If you subscribe to our mailing list you will have hopefully received your free cross stitch chart this morning - every year to celebrate International Women's Day we like to provide a little freebie or one-off kit - and this years one is pretty special!
I have always been fascinated by the history of the women's movement especially if it links in with craft movements and traditionally needlecraft was something that offered women escapism, freedom and creativity. The revival of these crafts and using needlework as an expression - whether political or empowerment has increased massively. As a designer I love to combine traditional and vintage styling with more modern symbols and affirmations and the 'Use Your Voice' piece has been a joy to create, I would love to tell you about some of the symbols and details used in the design.
The Wording: Some of the wording we use on our kits comes instantly, some takes time to work out. When sitting down to start this design i wanted to use something short and pithy to act as a reminder. This piece is a call to remember to not be afraid to express opinions and vocalise thoughts. To understand how important it is to develop your own character and narrative, be yourself and try to be authentic!
Sunflower: A powerful symbol and a flower that stands proud and strong. The sunflower had been a symbol of the American suffrage movement since 1896 and in 1905 the impressionist artist Mary Cassatt created an artwork with the sunflower as a prominent feature. Cassatt was a huge advocate for women's rights and included the 'Woman with a sunflower' painting in a significant exhibition that was raising money for the US suffrage movement in 1915.
Bluebirds: The Massachusetts suffragettes used the bluebird as a symbol for their fight to get the vote, the bluebird symbolising 'cheer and hope. Trying to sway the vote their way in 1915, they gave out 100,000 'Votes For Women' bluebird signs. Despite the effort it was another 6 years before they gained the vote.
Venus Symbol: A modern day symbol of female solidarity the venus symbol is thought to be a simple representation of the hand mirror used by Venus, the goddess of love.
Mimosa Flower: After World War II, feminists in Italy chose the mimosa flower as a sign of respect and solidarity for the Italian women's day. Men and Women give the gifts of Mimosa to show appreciation to to women in their lives. It's a symbol of strength and sensitivity, if you have ever encountered the flowers in real life you'll know why - they are so beautiful and striking!
The colour palette: Historically purple, green and white have been the colours of the Women's movement. Purple for loyalty, green for hope and white for purity. I have included purple flowers with lots of green leaves with the wording in a striking violet.
The Crown - simply, because you are all QUEENS!
I am a history geek - but not a historian! - but hope you found the inspiration behind one of our kits interesting! To buy the full kit - find it HERE
Have a great day!