Win a £30 Gift Card!

Stories from the Studio

International Women's Day - Time To #EmbraceEquity!

International Women's Day - Time To #EmbraceEquity!

International Women’s Day (March 8) is a global day celebrating the social, economic, cultural, and political achievements of women. The day also marks a call to action for accelerating women’s equality.

This year the theme for International Women’s Day is a gender equal world.  A world free of bias, stereotypes, and discrimination.  A world that’s diverse, equitable and inclusive.  Where different is valued and celebrated.  We believe that together we can forge women’s equality and that collectively we can all #EmbraceEquity so why not give yourself a hug and post it on social media to support the initiative!


#EmbraceEquality Image of Helen Round Team

This year to celebrate International Women’s Day I went back to a group that I’ve worked with for years.  We started a Women’s Group some years ago.  At that time it was sponsored by the Racial Equality Council and Plymouth Museum to encourage BAME women and women those from some of the disadvantaged parts of the city, to come together to learn some new skills.

Together we covered stools for the gallery, started a quilting project and this in time grew into a Women’s Traditional Craft Group, providing a social space where women can safely gather, and share ideas, skills and experiences.

I returned to the group on Friday last week, invited by the current organisers, Joanne and Charlotte, to run a "make a coaster workshop". The group now meets at  The Box, the wonderful new museum, gallery and social space in Plymouth, UK.

At Helen Round, we’ve recently launched our new Slow Stitched Coaster and Mini Quilt Kits, in collaboration with Rebekah Johnston, an emerging textile artist.  It struck me that the Coaster Kits would make a great project for the Group to work on together. 

Slow Stitched Linen Coaster Kit from Helen Round

I had a dry run with some of my team at Helen Round on Wednesday and we came up with some beautiful slow stitched coasters. 

Mustard and Slate Grey Coaster with Striped Centrepiece

Even the less practiced sewers created beautiful and useful coasters!

Coaster made from fabric off cuts by Helen Round Team

Pinstripe and Blue Linen Coaster

With 30 women booked into the session at The Box, 20 of whom were likely to want to sew I needed to make reasonable preparation.  We cut the linen from off cuts and made sure the wadding was the right size for making the coasters in advance to save time, since the session was only 2 hours long! 

 Helen helping with choice of linen and getting started

The idea of the kits is that they can be Slow Stitched, to your own timetable and so you don’t need rush.  To keep with the ethos of meditative making, I wanted to make sure that all the materials were ready, so that the group still had time for the social interaction, which is an important part of the session.

Making a Slow Stitched Linen Coaster at The Box, Plymouth

We had a lovely afternoon, with some great chats, good company and beautiful coasters were made. 

Julie making a coaster

It was a wonderful way to share a Friday afternoon and to look forward to International  Women's Day to #EmbraceEquity. Thanks to the Box, Joanne, Charlotte and all the women that took part in the day.

Traditional Crafts Group at The Box Plymouth for International Women's Day

For more information about our lovely Slow Stitched Coaster and Mini Quilt Kits click here.

For more details on International Women’s Day (IWD), click here.

IWD has occurred for well over a century, with the first IWD gathering in 1911 supported by over a million people.  Today, IWD belongs to all groups collectively everywhere.

If you have any questions or comments about this article, please get in touch!  We always love to see pictures of your making and purchases of our products being used by you on our social media pages, so please do post any photos.  Find us on Facebook or Instagram.

To join our community and access all our free downloadable images and ideas, sign up to our newsletter here

You'll also receive early notice of sales, new products, gift ideas, recipes, workshops, and events!  So don't hesitate to sign up.  Click here.


Leave a comment


Sign up to join our community and access all our free downloadable images and ideas. You'll also receive early notice of sales, new products, gift ideas, recipes, workshops, and events!