Stitching Together an Editorial Sewing Circle


Session Title:

  • Media, Crafting, Fashion

Presentation Title:

  • Stitching Together an Editorial Sewing Circle




  • This paper shows how meaning is created through the process of arranging and re-arranging fragments; how meaning is created through patches, seams and quilting.

    Various researchers have been using metaphors from textile handicraft in relation to knowledge construction, writing techniques and other forms for disseminating knowledge (eg. Haraway, 1988; Brännström Öhman and Lovholts, 2007).

    The paper will, however, focus not only on metaphors, but also on the practice itself of quilting (Brännström Öhman and Lovholts, 2007) and seams (Sundén, 2008).  We use the concept of quilting as it allows us to move beyond the single narrator and include multiple voices. The concept of seams is used, as it puts focus upon the things that hold thoughts, stories, memories, and knowledge together, as well as what separates them (Sundén, 2008).

    More specifically this paper draws on our experiences of the sewing circle Stitching Together, to which people were invited to embroider text messages by hand and/or by using an embroidery machine, which has been programmed to receive text messages. In Stitching Together knowledge is materialised through textile and create new knowledge from working with textile material.

    In one version of the sewing circle we invited participants to put these fragments of conversations together, to create new narratives, and thus partake in what we call an Editorial Sewing Circle . This also included a patchwork-seminar in which we (authors) had prepared patches of texts, which were placed on the floor in front of a circle of audience, and used as a starting point for discussions. Throughout the seminar the participants were asked to make their own patches and join the conversation.

    Based on these text-patches, and the conversations that took place during the seminar, we will in this paper tell a story that embraces several academic perspectives such as that of editorial boards and that of sewing circles as historical, professional and artistic forms for collaboration, production and hierarchies.

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