What's On

Stitching our own Stories

In this textile oral history workshop we will be focusing on sharing our connections, memories and involvement with Elizabeth Gaskell’s House. We will start the workshop with a small free writing workshop to get our ideas and memories flowing.

Then we will move to the textiles portion of the workshop where you will each make your own quilt panel telling your personal story with the Elizabeth Gaskell’s House.

Each quilt square is a book panel, a space to tell your story. We will be using a variety of techniques including heat bond appliqué, hand embroidery and embellishment, and making tassel book marks. Although we will be working with stitch there are also options for using other methods, eg fabric pens. You don’t need any previous experience working with textiles and everyone is welcome. All materials will be provided for you, but feel free to bring your own fabrics, threads etc if you so wish.

Women have long used quilts to tell stories, and this is your opportunity to stitch yourself into history of the house. The completed quilt panels will contribute your own unique story to the archive of Elizabeth Gaskell’s house and the Manchester’s DNA project at The University of Manchester.

About the Workshop Leader

Dr Sarah-Joy Ford is an artist, researcher and quiltmaker working with textiles to explore the complexities and pleasures of queer communities, histories and archives. Her practice sits at intersection of digital and traditional: using strategies of quilting, digital embroidery, digital print, applique and hand embellishment. 

Her work is currently on display at the ‘(Un) Defining Queer’ exhibition at The Whitworth and ‘A Tall Order’ at Touchstones Rochdale. Recent solo shows include Looking for Lesbians at The One Foundation Gallery in Los Angeles, Quilting the Lesbian Archive at See Through Gallery in Manchester and Beloved: crafting intimacies with the Ladies of Llanogllen at Plas Newydd in Llangollen.  She is a member of Proximity Collective, and the Equity and Representation working group at the Portico Library in Manchester and sits on the editorial board of The Journal of Lesbian Studies.  See more here: https://sarahjoyford.com/

2nd Mar 2023

1pm - 3pm


Plans are like a card-house-if one gives way, all the others come rattling about your head

Elizabeth Gaskell, 1864