For the last four summers, I have been coordinating a worldwide summer design project: “Progress, Hope, & Happiness.” Conceived and started in 2017, the project was my (albeit humble) antidote to the worldwide contraction starting to occur (Brexit, the U.S. election results, etc). I wanted a way to continue to work with my fellow indie designers during a time in the year outside of the holiday season, when the Indie Designer Gift-a-long usually takes place.
Incorporating indie dyers as well, creating these summer collections of knit and crochet wearables has been an absolute balm and joy. The accompanying make-a-long is always friendly, composed of makers around the world, and most participants walk away with a sense of accomplishment as well as new friends made. Most importantly, our collective ability to create some things both beautiful and functional across time and space each summer has been nothing short of amazing. Many designers have created designs for multiple collections, and makers return each summer to chat with and make alongside fellow hand stitchers.
I have been a designer, artist, and maker of many things over the last nine+ years, and the Progress, Hope, and Happiness textile project remains one of my brightest ideas – it has brought me so much light and comradery.