Arohanui Hospice Day Stay patients and volunteers have produced one of the 546 panels for Suffrage in Stitches, a collaborative community project led by Vinnies Re Sew in Wellington.
The project’s aim is to commemorate the 1893 suffrage petition and represent it through fabric, stories and conversations.
The 546 panels represent the number of sheets signed in the petition, while the 46 individual hand-stitches on panels signify the number of signatories.
The Arohanui Hospice group’s panel features a hand-stich of the signature of Eleanor Douglas Collis (nee Bulliman) of Manawatu, who signed as ‘Mrs John Collis’ on the 516th sheet of the petition.
Day Stay Coordinator Faye Lloyd said all the fabric, lace and buttons were donated to Hospice, while the photo featured on the panel was sourced from Ancestory.com
“Patients and volunteers chose fabric, sewed-on individual lengths of lace and made button flowers. Special mention goes to Alison, one of our patients, who hand-stitched the name. Also to volunteers including Ali for machining the photo onto our panel, Judy for the beautiful cross-stitched pansies and the 46 individual cross-stitches under them; and Barbara for incorporating some of her mother’s wedding dress tatting.”
Faye said the project was very enjoyable and inspired many conversations.
“A couple of volunteers even tracked down one of Eleanor’s descendants, Stewart Collis, who visited Day Stay one day to see the panel,” she said.
The panel, along with the others made as part of the Suffrage for Stitches project, will be on display at Wellington Museum (note; not Te Papa) at 3 Jervois Quay, Queens Wharf, from Friday 2 August until Saturday 31 August 2019.