The Red Suitcases

My house is slowly being taken over by vintage red suitcases. Well not taken over, but they are definitely multiplying. You may remember one of these cases as my Craft Cwtch case. It comes along to our meetings and hold spare wool, needles, books etc that everyone can dive into and use. Don't worry I am not planning world domination through beautifully styled pop-up craft events, no the reason these bad boys are multiplying is because I am running an arts project. Yep. This is the big SECRET project I have been working on for ages. I haven't wanted to blog about it until it had started because I was very nervous it would go horribly wrong. Despite some teething problems in the early stages it has taken off and come next week it will be go, go, go Red Suitcase Project.

Is this a project where you just fill your house with luggage because that sounds crazy I hear you ask. Well no, it is an intergenerational quilting project being run collaboratively between The Courtyard - Herefordshire's Centre for the Arts and Hereford College of Arts Contemporary Applied Arts course. We are taking a group of 10 students out to three care homes in south Herefordshire to make quilts. These quilts will then be displayed at The Courtyard in the Autumn and entered into this years Festival of Quilts.

Each group will be taking out a suitcase filled with inspirational pictures, fabrics and quilts to help inspire residents in making their quilts. So far we have been doing lots of prep sessions - though all of the students could sew very few of them have ever quilted before so it has been a great opportunity to share ideas and techniques with them.  Next week we are going out for our first sessions in the homes. There will a dedicated blog for the project being written by the participants once we are up and going. Click on The Red Suitcase Project link in the side bar to keep up to date with what we are doing.

Before these suitcases fly off with the students I have been enjoying having them round the house reminding me that I am actually doing this. I'm running an arts project. Me. It is actually happening!      And this is the main message of this post, if I can do it you can do it. I had an idea, wrote a proposal and approached The Courtyard who were really excited to get involved. All it took was the confidence to send that email. Hopefully the success of this project will encourage other students to think about approaching arts organisations with ideas, you don't have to wait till you're a 'proper' artist. Do it now. The amount I have learnt from this experience has been phenomenal. I should probably add a disclaimer to my 'do it now', this has been a lot of hard work but I know that it is these extra curricular activities which are going to be some of the most important experiences of my time at Uni when I graduate so for me the effort has been worth it.

So Red Suitcases; inspiring, reminders of what is possible. That and they are holding the laptop so I can watch an obscene amount of Netflix on the telly but that doesn't sound nearly so inspiring...

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