We are living in unusual times. Many of us are doing things we never thought we would ever do like chatting to our friends over zoom and getting round to doing the boring stuff we keep putting off. Some people are working long hours in dangerous situations and others are struggling to cope with entertaining the kids and battling boredom.

In the district of Selby we are no strangers to coping with adversity, but this time we don’t have a positive practical focus like clearing up or rebuilding after the floods. Tadcrafters was started in 2016 to allow members of the community to help “make a difference” in a way that they were able to. In 2021 it is clear there is still a need to support each other and we are helping people to do this in a variety of ways.  Activities such as knitting, sewing, drawing and crafting can reduce stress and anxiety with similar effects to yoga or meditation.  The rhythm and repetitiveness of the actions has a calming effect. The sense of accomplishment and achievement boosts self-esteem as well as the immune system.

In the last year we have all endured prolonged periods of without social interaction, families have suffered the loss of loved ones and many people have experienced loneliness and the feelings of isolation.  For the last year Tadcrafters have been running the Tadcaster Community Patchwork.  Now, as part of Rural Arts’ Keepsake Project, funded by the government’s Department of Digital, Culture, Media & Sport, Tadcrafters have been commissioned to create a patchwork with the help of the community of Selby District  Everyone in the district is invited to contribute squares to represent how each of us is part of the community; individually joining together, and connecting with each other to make support networks in our neighbourhoods, villages and towns.

With your help we will be able to commemorate this unusual and unprecedented time. We would like people of all ages, to join in by making a 15cm/6” square that represents themselves, a loved-one, a feature or an organisation in the Selby District.  There’s full instructions on how to create a square below, but if sewing’s really not for you then we can turn a drawing/collage/painting into a printed patch for you.

If you would like to make your mark as part of the community we hope you will join in. If you would like detailed instructions have a look below or email us.  The deadline for the handing in your square is 17th May 2021.  For inspiration have a look our Facebook, Twitter or Instagram posts #PatchOfTheDay.

The finished  squares can be dropped off / posted to The Barn, St. Joseph’s Street, Tadcaster, LS24 9HA.  

Take a little time for some quiet contemplation, remember a loved-one, join together with friends and family and make your contribution to the project. The boring stuff can wait

If you would like to make your mark as part of our community we hope you will join in. If you would like instructions have a look below or email tadcrafters@outlook.com to print off your own copy.

Take a little time for some quiet contemplation, remember a loved-one, join together with friends and family and make your contribution to the project. Tidying the garage can wait.


This will take quite a good few hours to do properly so tackle each section at a time. Don’t try to do it all together and take plenty of time to do a really good job.

1. Draw your Design

You will need:
• Paper, pencil , ruler, eraser
• Coloured pencils if possible
• A picture to look at or copy will make it easier

1. Draw a box which is 15 x15 cm (6 x 6”) on a piece of paper. (You could do it on a computer but make sure it will print out the right size)
2. Draw a line 1cm (1/2”) all the way round just inside the box (to create a seam allowance)-
3. Think of a design that that represents you. You might want to look at a picture or mirror to help you.
4. Draw the design to fill the big box, (but don’t put lots of detail around the edges in the seam allowance where it won’t be seen.) It must be suitable to be re-created in fabric and stitches so keep it simple. Shapes smaller than a 5p coin are better made by embroidery, buttons, sequins etc. Bigger shapes can be cut out of fabric, ribbon or lace etc
5. Add a name to the design in some format (eg J Smith, JS, Smithy, Joe S or Josie)
6. Label the main features so that everyone can understand what it will look like and what it will be made out of.
7. If you need advice or materials, take a picture of your design and send it to tadcrafters@outlook.com . I will tell you if I think it will work ok. Let me know what supplies you will need.

2. Prepare your materials

You will need:

• Your design drawing
• Tracing paper (If you don’t have tracing paper you could improvise with other thin paper such as baking paper, tissue paper or even loo roll)
• Scissors
• A 15x15cm (6×6”) piece of medium weight fabric (eg suitable for trousers, jackets, curtains).
• Small pieces of coloured fabric depending on your design (fabric that doesn’t fray too much is easier e.g. felt)
• Different coloured thread.
• Pins (You could improvise with paper clips or hair grips if necessary)
• A bag or box to keep your little bits of work in

1. Using thin paper, trace the shapes from your drawing to make templates for any fabric you need to cut out. NB do not just trace your drawing, you are looking at the shapes.
2. Cut out the traced paper shapes. NB where I have added a little extra for fabric that can be tucked under other pieces of fabric when finished. This isn’t essential but gives a neater finish.
3. Pin them to the fabric you want to cut out. (You can draw round if you have no pins). Cut out the shapes in fabric.
4. Cut out a 15cm/6” square of medium weight fabric for your background fabric.

3. Make your square

You will need:
• A hand sewing needle
• A few pins
• A sewing machine if available but hand sewing is fine
• If you need help to sew you could look at.
o How to blanket stitch: https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=159&v=bqi86fVpJ1o&feature=emb_title
o How to sew by Hand: https://youtu.be/-xEYMT8QRyg

1. Start with the back or larger pieces first.
a) Pin in place.
b) Tack (temporary) stitch. Remove pins.
c) Final stitch around the edges.
Hand stitching: Blanket stitch if you can, failing that use small stitches around the edge of each piece.
Machine sewing: Zig zag stitch, width 3, length 0.2
d) Neaten the edge of your square with a zig zag or blanket stitch to stop it fraying.
2. Add any buttons, beads etc. Remember you will not see the 1cm around the edge when the squares are stitched together. Do not put anything bulky (like a button) within 2 cm of the edge of your square as they will get in the way when stitching the squares together at the end of the project
3. Add the tiny details by stitching. This is likely to take quite a long time. If you go wrong just unpick your stitches carefully and do it again. Don’t hurry.
4. Add your name. If you find this tricky you might want to write this on lightly in pencil/chalk first then stitch over it using a back stitch.
5. Take a photo of your finished work to keep and show everyone what you have done. The finished  squares can be dropped off at Community House in Selby and dropped off/ posted to The Barn, St. Joseph’s Street, Tadcaster, LS24 9HA.  before April 12th 2021 for the Selby District Community Patchwork, (sometime in summer TBC for the Tadcaster Community Patchwork) to be all sewn together to create a display.   Please indicate whether they are for the Selby District or Tadcaster Community Patchwork. your name and the town/village/area in which you live. We hope to have other drop-off points in Selby and Sherburn very soon too.