Stitch Craft Tulsa (SCT) seeks to support modern handcrafts as an accessible means of creativity, self-sufficiency and well being through community education and encouragement. Stitch Craft Tulsa seeks to collaborate with area non-profits, schools, parks, neighborhoods and other organizations to benefit the greater Tulsa community. Stitch Craft Tulsa is a new and unique, privately funded, local agency which relies upon donations from individuals, corporations, and private foundations for its operating costs and programs.
Starting with a mobile classroom and off-site partnerships, SCT will be able to take handcraft education to any location. Further down the road, SCT will have a permanent location where the community can come together for education and to congregate in our craft-ready workspace. Projects of interest include: kids sewing and crafts, sewing and mending, embroidery, quilting, apparel sewing and design, home sewing, weaving, knitting and crochet, macrame and other on-trend handcrafts.
Why start a non-profit to teach sewing and handcrafts?
Traditionally, handcraft skills were passed down through families and apprenticeships, but that chain of learning has all but vanished due to social and economic changes. Stitch Craft Tulsa strives to bridge the gap, and restore availability of modern craft education to people of all walks of life.
There are multiple and various benefits to sewing and crafts.
First, sewing is incredibly useful. Knowing how to mend items that are torn, or replace a lost button, are necessary life skills that sustain the longevity of things that might otherwise get tossed in the trash.
Handcrafts require, hand-eye coordination, which keeps the brain agile and alert while keeping fingers dexterous.
There is problem-solving element to making things by hand. Learning handcrafts fits in well with STEAM education, which incorporates the “A” for the arts along with science, technology, engineering and mathematics – recognizing that to be successful in technical fields, individuals must also be creative and use critical thinking skills which are best developed through exposure to the arts. Most crafts require all of the disciplines of STEAM.
There is also a strong sense of inner-peace, connectedness, or meditation in the rhythmic repetitive motions often used to make handcrafts. This is true of all crafts, but in recent years knitting has been hailed as the ‘new yoga,’ conveying craft as an activity that contributes to healthy mind and body.
Crafts can be a positive alternative to harmful activities, such as smoking cigarettes or other addictive behaviors, because they occupy the hands and keep the mind focused. In fact, handcrafts have been proven to have a calming effect for a variety of mental health issues, providing a therapeutic effect for those who struggle with anxiety, depression, or PTSD.
Crafting brings a distinct satisfaction and self-actualization in making as the item or image takes shape in one’s hands, providing a boost in self- esteem, and a tremendous sense of accomplishment.