Thursday, 12 November 2015

Snippet Rolls

What a relaxing couple of weeks we have had making these little snippet rolls! Lynda, one of our volunteers, suggested them a few weeks ago at our planning session, and  I went home to set up a Pinterest board for snipper rolls

Lynda's sewing themed snippet hung with a bobbin

Claires snippet made with her favorite fabrics and random found things
These little snippets are a lovely way of gathering together memories in the form of photos, trinkets, objects, bits of paper etc that hold meaning to either yourself or the person you give them too.  They are conveniently rolled up and once unrolled can be hung on the wall as a work of art and cherished by the recipient...

Lisa's snippet with all things that remind her of her daughter
We started the session by selecting bits of fabric that we likes and stitched them together to form a long thin strip...

From our large stash of lace, ribbons buttons and bows, we started to embellish the snippets... 

The studio was a fantastic creative mess, and the atmosphere in this Georgian setting very conducive to this kind of vintage craftmaking...

There's seems to be little research on snippet rolls, and the internet is replete with the currently fashionable 'vintage' aspect they bring and nothing about the current reason for resurgence. However, a recent programme on the BBC called 'At Home with the Georgians' recounted the story of poor women who could not afford to care for their own children and had to leave them at the Foundling hospital (now a museum), in London, to be cared for.  The programme highlighted that even the poorest of women, in Georgian times, craved colour and beauty and they would leave an identifying mark with their child in the form of a textile snippet, which could have been an item of clothing of a piece of patchwork.  The mother would keep a counterpart in the hope that they would eventually claim their child back, by accurately identifying their snippet, from the foundling hospital if ever they were to raise enough money to do this.  There are few historical artifacts to tell the tale of these relics, but this accounts show that 'the smallest of relics can have breathtaking power'.

A strip of patchwork made from pieces of woven silk and printed cotton or linen, embroidered with a heart and cut in half, left at the Foundling Hospital, as an identifying token with a baby boy christened Charles on 11 February 1767
Foundling Hospital Billet Book, 1764-7, Foundling no. 16516. © John Styles and The Foundling Hospital Museum.

Who knows, one day our own snippets may be examined by a contemporary historian...

A selection of our completed snippets

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