Over 30 pairs of hands have worked on this rug over seven sessions held at the Sharma Women’s Centre and Bishop Street Methodist Church in Leicester. Our group has included Muslim, Sikh, Hindu and Christian women.
Our design is based on the stories we told each other. Two themes in particular influence the design. Firstly the idea of how we can rely on God to give us strength through difficult and painful times in our lives. This theme initially came from our conversations about the importance of Mary in both the Muslim and Christian traditions and how she drew strength from God during the time of the birth of Jesus. We incorporated the ‘flower of Maryam’ into the design to symbolise this.
This is the actual flower….find out more about it’s meaning and how it is used during labour even to this day by clicking here Below you can see our visual interpretation of the flower in fabric.
The second theme that we found in many of the stories we told of special women in our lives was that of hospitality and having an ‘open door’ which welcomed people in need. We used two, ‘door shaped’ pieces of fabric to represent this idea and decorated them with beautiful embroidered and sequined scraps that had been kindly donated to the project.
We have enjoyed meeting each other and sharing about our lives and faiths, the smiles and laughter and finding out how much we have in common with each other. It has been fabulous to see how the rug has progressed as weavers brought new ideas to it along the way which changed its direction as it went along.
We have learnt about the central role God plays in our lives and how many of us find strength and comfort in prayer.
We would like to thank the Sharma Women’s Centre for hosting many of our meetings, for encouraging people to get involved and for providing excellent biscuits!
I would also like to thank Surinder for doing such a great job in edging the rug with cream wool so that it can be easily joined to the other rugs in the project.
Details of the rugs – many techniques were used to create them!
This rug will now be sent to Bradford where Touchstone – the organisers of the national project – will gather together similar rugs made all over the country and sew them together to create the floor of a Yurt which will then become a touring exhibition.
We are hoping to host the exhibition in Leicester later this year so watch this space for more details!!