The Young Custodians IMG_1053 Full view

The Young Custodians

V couldn’t stop grinning – and was the first to run out of thread. Cheeky S kept upping the speed on her machine, and made A swap machines, so she could have the set-up with pink. Camera shy A was so thrilled to wind the bobbin up by himself he posed for a picture. M had some problems being heavy handed but was so pleased to work independently he asked his mum to come watch him. He also was very pleased to hear we will be offering sewing machine use by the hour so he could practice.

Following the E17 Neighbourly Quilt workshops Friends Empowered did last year, the 15-24 year old of the Limes Community Centre, a centre that offers inclusive programmes and specialist support to young people with disabilities and their families, asked to learn to sew with machines. In that project, M made one of my favourite patches, one with African Dutch Wax batik fabric, a tribute to his Ghanaian roots.

For over a month now we have been teaching them the skills they need for a quilt they designed exploring the heritage of their organisation and the building where it is housed in a Limes project dubbed The Young Custodians and funded by The Heritage Lottery Fund. Despite its very neighbourly themes, which are clearly keeping with the aims of our Community Quilt Programme, I’m not going to steal their thunder. They are planning their own ways to tell the story.

But, with their agreement, I want to share their joy in making – and my joy in teaching them. Here are some of the pictures so far.

NOTE: The LIMES is keen to recruit a number of volunteers comfortable with using sewing machines to support the Young Custodians. If you are interested, please contact Maja Dawson <>.





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