Sis, I See You (Part 1)

Special thanks to the women of Black Women Stitch:

Allysia

Ayesha

Candy

Deborah

DeWahn

Jill

Katrina

Naomi

Nikki

Queenora

Shana

Shani

Sherri

Sierra

Sone-Seere  Created the cover art/logo for the Stitch Please podcast

Toni

The recast photo for this episode is courtesy of Ryan Kelly who took it during a march for #GeorgeFloyd  #BreonnaTaylor #Tony McDade #AhmaudArbery in Charlottesville, Virginia, May 30, 2020. 

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Episode 34 - Sis I See You Part 1

[00:00:00 music]

Lisa Woolfork

[00:00:15] Hello, stitchers. Welcome to Stitch Please, the official podcast of Black Women Stitch, the sewing group where Black lives matter. I'm your host, Lisa Woolfork. I'm a fourth-generation sewing enthusiast with more than 20 years of sewing experience. I am looking forward to today's conversation. So sit back, relax, and get ready to get your stitch together.

[00:00:54] Hello everybody, and welcome to a special edition of the Black Women Stitch Stitch Please podcast. Black Women Stitch, as you know, is the sewing group where Black lives matter. And the Stitch Please is the official podcast of Black Women Stitch and I am honored, thrilled, delighted, and super happy to have a super crew of amazing folks from the Black Women Stitch community. And so what you have here on this podcast recording is a special episode of... basically what we tend to do, just on Tuesdays and Thursdays now, thanks to the Ronus, you know, thanks to the Corduroy, we get to get together on Zoom twice a week. And on Tuesday, it’s Taco Tuesday. And then on Thursday, it was bra-making and we sewed bras, and then I think we have a pair of pants coming up. I forgot what the next thing was, was it a strapless bra? It was... someone had... it was some pattern we was supposed to get so we could sew that together. I forgot which one it was.

But we've got 12 people on the call. So just relax and... this is not like a typical one-on-one interview that I do or a solo episode was just me talking. This is me with 11 other amazing women from the Black Women Stitch community just talking about... this is what, essentially this is what community looks like. So I was moved to do this episode because I just wanted to let people know that there are other options possible and that there's... I kept seeing so many Black women who felt as I did two years ago, really harmed by... oh gosh, three years ago now, really harmed by the racism in the sewing community, that I was a person who was deeply involved in a bunch of different sewing groups and groups on Facebook and craft groups and all of this stuff. And I had convinced myself that these were places that I could just concentrate on crafts, right. And yet, it felt like every other day some racist in that group was posting something horrible, right. And so it became quickly apparent to me that racism flourishes in groups that are predominantly white, unless there's deliberate steps to make it different, and none of the groups that I was in was trying to make it different. And so it wasn't until after my own experience with white supremacist terrorist violence and surviving that experience, and then getting such horrible feedback from the white women that I had believed to be my compatriots in the sewing or quilting community that I was like, I can’t do this anymore, and there’s no reason why I should. I do not have to sacrifice my full humanity in order to do something I enjoy.

[00:03:53] And so that’s when I started Black Women Stitch. I think we have a birthday coming up, everybody. The Black Women Stitch birthday! I looked it up, I had to scroll back really far. I wrote it in my calendar, and I think the Black Women Stitch birthday is… I don’t know. July? Or is it June, like Juneteenth? Probably not. Wouldn’t that be perfect though? I don’t remember. It’s in June or July. And we’ll be… Oh shoot, now I’m about to get hazed because I’m not good at math, but we’ll be two years old! Two years old in 2020. Cause I started the group in 2018, and we had our first live in-person event in 2019, and then another one in 2019, and then one in 2020. And then we had all these plans for more in 2020, 2021. And then the Corduroy came, and now no one gets to have any fun. But we do find a way to stay together via Zoom, which is giving us a chance, as I'm recording the audio, to connect and get together and we've done that pretty regularly.

So I just wanted to let folks know and give you a bit of a inside slice of life inside Black Women Stitch, and to talk with some people here who are with us about the group itself and what... I don't know, I just feel like I learned so much from everybody. And I think that we're all so different, from different places and different kinds of sewing we like to do. But one of the things that I love that we have in common is that we care about each other. And this is something that I have really cherished and appreciated. I wanted to make sure to have a group of folks who, I mean, I think that my basic rule was, I would never again sew with people who did not believe that Black Lives Matter. I refuse to do it. And this gives me, and on top... And that's just the bare minimum. What I have instead is this amazing constellation of Black women who are so gifted and so talented and so generous with their time and their resources and their energy. And, you know, I don't know, and so, I'm not going to start crying yet, but it just feels like, it's just been a real blessing to my life. And it's just been so encouraging for me to see that the thing that I needed so badly was... I could build that. And it's something that was powerful and helpful and useful for other people, too.

And I had been very firm in this idea about Black Woman Stitch and about how we proceed. And it’s just worked out so beautifully, and I’m so glad that you all are here. Lots of people are on mute. You can’t see them, but they’re all like smiling and someone’s about to fall out the chair, and someone’s walking their dog, but they’re all here smiling and waving. And there’s also a chat that you cannot see. And people are… there’s kikiing going on. You can’t hear it because they’re all on mute. But I just wanted to, let’s see, open the floor and see if anybody has... [laughter] I just read the chat... and see if anyone has anything to add about Black Women Stitch or if you had any advice that you might want to give to Black women [laughter] who might be listening to the podcast. I'm telling you...

Allysia

[00:07:53] All of this is the evidence of our non-behaving selves, like, this is us. Welcome.

Deborah

[00:07:58] My advice would be, find a bunch of women that you can laugh with. That would be my advice.

Lisa

[00:08:03] Yeah. Get you some women you can laugh with. Absolutely, absolutely.

Jill

[00:08:07 inaudible] … with the standard model. The standard model didn't come with behavior. That was an upgrade.

Lisa

[00:08:12] Yes.

Nikki

[00:08:14] Did you really expect us to live up to that wonderful introduction?

Lisa

[00:8:21] You live up to it every day! [laughter] You live up to it… I mean, honestly, it's just, I think it's just been so… so it's just such an amazing community. So like, I think it really helped me to shift my thinking about sewing education, about how we have access to materials. I had... my entire sewing life I had been surrounded by white people, you know, I thought that they had the information. And if I wanted the information, I had to go where they were, you know, and that's not the case at all. Poor Queenora and DeWahn tried to show me how to grade a pattern. And they were like, Oh, well, let's see, if you just plug in your, you know, put your curve here. And you do that... I do continue to be harassed by them over this topic of me and-

DeWahn

[00:09:21] ...the titty drop. [laughter]

Jill

[00:09:23] Yes, the titty drop. [laughter] It's an important measurement to have. I mean, you just… You need to know it.

Lisa

[00:09:35] It is true, it is true. But all of these little things to know are like, Jill, like you telling me measure your body in quarters, I was like, what? Genius! That’s genius!

Jill

I think Allysia actually told you that. I think that was Allysia.

Allysia

I learned it from Jill though, because I'm one to just get in there and start cutting up stuff. And my motto is, if it don't fit, just serge it out. [laughter] So I will be in there serger fitting in a minute. So Jill's the one that actually does the math and stuff. I’m like, Oh, yeah, you could do that on the front end. [inaudible 00:10:11]

Lisa

One of you all also told me that if I had anxiety about measurements to put them in in centimeters?

Jill

Yeah.

Lisa

...and I don't know what centimeters, well you know me, I don’t hardly know inches are either by like, but centimeters, there's no judgment, because I don't know what the cent... so I thought that was also very clever, like a little mind trick, so.

Jill

So, can I...? Okay, you know somebody gotta start some... Wait, is this a family show?

Lisa

I can click the explicit if you want to say bad words, but I say bad words all the time.

Jill

Oh, I was gonna say, I don't... it's not so much that I want to I think it's just, that's just-

Lisa

Don't worry about-

Jill

...that's just how I talk. But in the interest of starting some shit early, I would say that, one, thank you for that lovely introduction. It's a beautiful thing to hear yourself being seen that way. I just wanted to drop the notion that we are exceptional somehow. I mean, this group is absolutely talented. It is, absolutely. You know, I mean, the women in here are stunning. But the idea that this coming together is somehow exceptional is belied by Black women every single day in every single place. Like we are as regular to one another and as normal in our support of one another as anything. And I think that the fact that other people don't know that is, I mean, that is what it is for them, but Black women know that. And I think that… I don't know, something in me feels like that needs affirming. It feels like it's important to affirm that from the top.

Lisa

Mm-hmm. Yeah, no, thank you for that.

Deborah

[00:!2:44] I wouldn't use the word exceptional. But I feel like we don't always give ourselves permission to create our own spaces. And instead, far too often we feel like we have to soldier on in these other environments that are not welcoming to us. And at least for me, it was hard to find… I mean, I think most other Black women sewers who had experiences like Lisa and I've had them too, at least for me, I just went in the house and did my own thing by myself. And I found that other sisters were doing the same thing. So it was hard to find each other. And so it was actually Naomi who told me about this. And I went back and forth. And she said, Just do it. And I thought, well, you know, at the time, my work-life was horrible. So I thought, Well, yeah, it'd be nice to be in community with some other Black women. So I jumped in the car and drove to Virginia. And I think it was one of the best gifts that I gave to myself. And so I hope that what people hear is that, you know, you don't need anyone's permission, you don't have to soldier on, you can choose to create a space that’s welcoming for yourself. And so gather up your sister circle and go do it.

Lisa

Yeah, yeah. That's great.

Jill

Thank you for that. See, smart people can say it better.

Lisa

[00:14:07] You said it great too, and you know what, this is one of the reasons that I feel like I knew... also this is Jill, that was Deborah who just spoke and Jill who's speaking now. It's just like, what… I think that we also had this energy that we want this to go well, because one of my first memories of Jill was when she called me. I had put out the call on Instagram for the retreat. And she called me and she was like, I just want to talk a bit about, you know, your plans. And are you sure you're charging enough? Are you sure about this and about that? And I was like, Yeah, yeah, I think it's gonna be great. I got grant funding, I've got this, I've got that and I was just like, this lady I don't even know, she called me cause she wanted this to be okay. And she didn’t want my shit to be raggedy. And I think that was so nice! And, you know, I don't know, I just feel like, I definitely, I mean and I organized this entire project on Instagram, all of it was through social media, all of it was through finding Black women that I had seen on... at least for the first beach week retreat in March of 2019 was a lot of work that was done in the fall of 2018. And that was me looking at accounts, sending personal notes, sending larger messages, having a intake form to make sure people were on the same line in terms of values. Look, this is, I mean, I haven't really put it into firm words, but this is like an, this is like.. Oh, hi, Ayesha's waving? Yes.

We can't hear you! Wrong microphone! And so I went through the Google Doc, I went through like all of this thing to try to help get folks... just so I can tell because you can't tell, you know, if you... how things are gonna go, you don't know. And so that was-

Ayesha

Sorry. I'm just gonna wait now because I clearly, after you used the old microphone-

Lisa

Y'all, Ayesha was trying to jump in front of the line. And then she got in the front of the line and she started talking and no sound came out, even though I actually personally gave her a microphone this afternoon.

Jill

Oh, the shade, the shade. No, no shady [boots 00:16:16].

Ayesha

It obviously works very well. I think... hey, I love the shade. It helps. My skin-

Lisa

I thrive! I thrive in shade.

Ayesha

I thrive in the shade. So yeah, I was gonna say something about your intake form and the intentionality of it. Of how like, it is not a surprise that so many of us are on the same page about what is needed. I’ve met other Black women who are not on the same page like this group is, that they're just like, they're very white-affirming, white is right. They're very about respectability politics, and they're very in support of all kinds of foolishness. And that is not what I come here for. But I knew that from the intake form, right, from the intake form that I was filling out. It was like, Black Lives Matter. Here's what we're not gonna have in this group: we're not gonna have no homophobia, no biphobia, no fatphobia. Don't start it. Don't try it. I love that intake form. As I was going through it, I was like, Oh, this is gonna be amazing. Cause you are making sure there’s none of the foolishness.

Naomi

Yeah, this isn't a person who's gonna be inviting people to the cookout. I am here! Like, yes, that’s the group that I want to be in.

Shana

Yeah, I had the same experience when I got the intake form. I showed it to my husband and he was like, She need to know all that for y'all to go to the beach? And I was like, it's more than that. This is way more than just us going to the beach and sewing. And he was like, all right. She asking a lot. I was like, that's good. I'm glad.

DeWahn

Yeah.

Shana

Cause you know, it was my first time I was like, well if I’m gonna spend a whole week with people, I want her to know who she is getting. And I want to know that everybody else that’s there has gone through this as well so there won't be no foolishness. So I’m with you, Ayesha. I enjoyed the intent of the intake form as well.

Ayesha

Yeah.

Lisa

[00:18:26] And shout out to Allysia who helped me revise the intake form from the first retreat to the second. I think I made some changes between the beach week form and the Stitch Please form and, you know, like, so just these, again, this kind of collaborative spirit. It also really helped me so like when people would ask a question, I would say, a simple question, how do you racially identify, and somebody wrote "human," and I was like, "Well, I'm not picking you.” So-

Allysia

You out.

Naomi

Even when somebody says... Is my internet jacked up again?

Jill

No, you're fine.

Unknown Female Speaker

You're fine.

Jill

You’re fine!

Naomi

Okay. Even when there was a situation where somebody answered in just the right way to the intake form, and they showed up, and proved themselves to be something other than what we expected, she got 86-ed.

Jill

Let me put my mute button on, let me put my mute button on.

Unknown Female Speaker

No, don’t put your mute button on, what is happening? [laughter]

Lisa

Yes, because this space-

Naomi

When somebody shows themselves to be outside of who we were expecting, who we all showed up to be. They were identified as harmful and removed and-

Lisa

Right.

Naomi

Like, how wonderful is that?

Lisa

And I feel like we are worth... Black women and our peace is worth defending. It's worth preserving. And I feel like, I think that everyone kind of agreed to that when we all try to come together. We can recognize if there was a problem, there's ways to try to intervene in that and conversation and whatever, whatever. But I mean, our time is precious and it's limited. And I just can't... yeah, that was unfortunate. But also, you know, kind of necessary. So now we have a precedent.

Jill

Oh, but that’s normal.

Naomi

And we lived and learned.

Jill

Yeah. But that's a normal thing. I think that's probably what I was trying, like, where I was trying to impress maybe earlier on was that like, Black women in support of one another, Black women in support of healthy boundaries, and like, in a wonderful healthy space with one another is not like... normalizing that is, I don't know, it's a powerful part of being in community. And it is, in and of itself, a normal and regular thing. And that, that is powerful.

Lisa

Yes.

Allysia

I think that’s demonstrated what Jill was just saying. Also what Naomi was saying, of the person who hit the right levers on the form to show up, but it was readily apparent that they weren't a right fit is even more so demonstrated that now we are at this makeup of group that is over the course of three different events. And thinking about the first event, so the first Black women beach week retreats, and it was the 10 of us. And we had this like, Man, this is like lightning in a bottle that-

Lisa  21:39

right

Allysia  21:39

...we like there wasn't really an agenda, nobody came in with any expectations because this thing did not exist. We had not met each other before, we had limited connection on the polos. But because we didn't know each other, and we're just trying to get stuff done to be ready to be at the beach for a week, we weren't connecting in a bunch of different ways in that there was no drama, no problems. And we just had a wonderful time at the beach. And we're like, but for real though, we got to go home now? Like we have to go home-home? We aren't just gonna stay in this beach paradise. But then to have... you had the second retreat, Stitch Please, that some of us didn't get to come to, new people added, and then second beach week, and now new people added. And we have this group, and I'm looking at the faces that I get to see and it's people from all three of those events. But there's no difference like when we're together. It's not like, Oh, well, you're from that group, so I don't fool with you no more.

Lisa

Yeah.

Allysia

And I think it proves what Jill is saying, that our community is not remarkable in the sense that it was, just because we were at this one event that we are bonded, that we are like-minded and like-hearted people, and that we come from all these different places. And nobody had to give us a script or an agenda for that to be true.

Lisa

That's right. That's right. That's beautiful. Thank you. I saw Katrina's hand here, her little blue hand.

Katrina

[00:23:11] Yes.So I want to go back to the form. So I had actually just started back sewing. And I had no work/life balance. And so my therapist suggested to me that, Hey, why don't you do something that you enjoy doing? I had no idea who you were, Lisa, I don't know how I ended up following you. And so when I got the form, when I found out I was accepted, I screamed like I had got into the, you know, when I got into the college I wanted to get into. I called my mom, I called my family, I'm like, I get to go to the beach with nine other ladies I don't know, but it's gonna be fun. [laughter] I knew I had found my tribe when… so this was during the first beach week, and we had, we would have dinners together, you know, every evening. And you know, everybody's talking about their stories and their experiences. I knew I had found my tribe when I told you guys about my coworker who told me or said something to me about my hair being "nappy." And I was like, Oh, what! We all had similar weird questions from the white people asking us crazy-ass questions that I don't think they would ask each other about hair. And that this story was kind of funny, but then it was also the compassion of, "Oh Katrina, I'm so sorry that you have to experience this in your work life." So I am very grateful to this group. And I am very grateful to us having the polos where I can come on and vent almost every other day about my wonderful work experience.

Lisa

Katrina, can you say more about, I know you didn't mention this, but can you say more about your plan? About the plan that when you came to the first beach week, you weren't sure. But you had convinced yourself of an exit strategy. She had an exit strategy. I know, y'all for the recording-

Jill

Tell the truth, please tell the truth.

Lisa

Everybody is muted and everybody is laughing and cackling right now. Because we all know what Katrina's exit strategy was.

Jill

She was not there for us.

Allysia

Tell the truth to shame the devil.

Jill

Tell the whole truth please.

Lisa

[00:25:46] She came, she paid her money, she got her flight, she got a rental car, she got her stuff, she was driving down to the beach. And tell them about your strategy.

Katrina

So I had decided, I'm like, Okay, this sounds like fun. And I received several warnings, as you know, just concerned people, you know, you're going, you're getting ready to go. And I did have some level of concern, because I knew nobody, I didn't know anyone at all. And they're like, You're going to go and stay in a beach house with nine other people you've never met in life? I'm like, Yeah!

[music]

Lisa

[00:26:28] You're listening to the Stitch Please podcast. And we have a special episode today called Sis, I See You. And this is essentially a 12-way conversation with members of Black Women Stitch, talking about what community looks like. So stay tuned, and we'll be back.

The Stitch Please podcast is really growing. We have recently hit 30,000 downloads. That is a huge deal for a small podcast that is totally independently funded and unsponsored and just a labor of love. I want to thank you for listening to the podcast and ask a favor. If you are listening to this podcast on a medium that allows you to rate it or review it, for example, Apple podcasts or iTunes, please do so. If you're enjoying the podcast, if you could drop me a five-star rating, if you have something to say about the podcast, and you wanted to include that, a couple sentences in the review box of Apple makes a really big difference in how the podcast is evaluated by Apple, how it becomes more visible. It really is a way to kind of lean into the algorithm that helps to rank podcasts. So if you have time to do that, to drop a little line in the review feature of the podcast, that would be really appreciated, and it would help us to grow even further and faster.

[00:28:11] Stitch Please podcast. And we're talking today about Sis, I See You, about building a sewing community of Black women with women from Black Women Stitch. So we're talking about the retreats. And here's more.

Katrina

I'm like, this was my strategy. The best thing was everybody had their own room. I had a rental car. And I'm like, if these women turn out to be crazy, I’ll just lock myself in the room and use the rental car and go and see what there is to see. But y'all weren't crazy. Y'all weren't crazy, it was amazing.

Lisa

I feel pretty good that Katrina never had to lock herself away in her room at any point, or disappear for days on end, that we passed the test. So I feel really great about that. I know. Whew! I definitely feel good about that.

But it's true. It's a lot of risks, you know, and I definitely understand that. It certainly is, you know, I didn't know anybody and I think my actually… I call him my little boy. But Ryan, who is now not a little boy anymore, but he called on the second day of the retreat. I think he might have been 12 or 13, 13 at the time. And he was like, “Mom, is your retreat fun? Are there any problems, Mom? Are you having any problems?" Like he had, you know... and then Riley was like, “Mom! What if you invite people and nobody comes? What are you gonna do then? Are you gonna go to the house and stay at the beach by yourself? Mom!" And I was like, Gosh, why are you so pessimistic? It's gonna be fine. He's like, "I don't know, Mom. You're like, meeting strangers on the internet and going places with them. I don't think you would approve if I did that. If I would do that, you wouldn't like that."

Shana

I think it was good. I mean, what I’ll add, because I was new this year to the beach week that, you know, my reservations just came from being new and knowing that you'd had a beach week before and that people were returning. And I am not a person who, when I’m put into a new situation, is just one who is just going to be like, "Hey, my name is Shana, how are you? What do you do?" I am more of a sit back, observe, what's going on, who's doing what kind of person. So to come into that, like when you called me and asked me, I was like, hell yeah, I'm going. Because you said, "I got one other person out, if they can't go, then you're good." And so literally, I was like, I hope that person don't go. I was like, I hope they don't go. So but I was still like, there was I was still nervous about it, because I had only met you twice at that point-

Lisa

That's right.

Shana  31:07

… and had met no one else. And so I was just like, you know, what if I get here and I become so self-conscious with myself that I can't intermingle with these ladies. And then, you know, I had put a lot of pressure on myself. And from the moment I walked in the door, I think DeWahn and Sherry were there. And you were there. And it was just like, "Hey girl hey! What's going on? Hey, we’re doing this!" And I was like, Oh, wait, I don't even have to, I felt like I didn't even have to try. It was just, it just automatically happened in every... And here we are, literally from then here we are. And I'm just like… It's hard to make friends as adults. So that, you know, I have made, however many, there's 12 new friends is, you know, means the world to me. And then the fact that you know, we are in this community together as Black women, we are in this community together in a hobby that's new to me. And the things that I learned from you ladies is amazing.

And then the true sisterhood and friendship that is in this group... I mean, a couple of weeks ago, I didn't have a good day at work. And Jill picked up her phone and called me and said, "Move away from the whites." And then she said, "What do you need from us?" She literally was like, "What do you need from us? What can we give to you to help replenish you, to help refresh you?" You know, no one’s ever asked me that. I mean, my husband's like, what you need? But nobody else. No other friend in my life has ever said to me, "What can I give to you to help replenish you?" And that meant the world to me. I was just like, Who are these people? And how am I blessed enough to have just picked up a hobby and now I have these people in my life.

Lisa

Yeah. I thank you so much for that. And also, I just have to add that I did not realize how nervous you were. Because on the last day, y'all, on the last day, on Friday, we need to get out of the house by 11 o'clock. And I'm running around, I'm trying to do this and trying to do that. And I've put all my stuff on one table in the big room. And Shana, who just spoke, she grabs my sleeve and says, Lisa, we need to be out of this house in 20 minutes, and so does your stuff. Let's go. And the next thing I know, all my stuff is out, they have moved, they have put it in the elevator, they put it on stairs. And I said, and this is what happens when you have a friend who's a project manager, because she managed to get out of that, let’s pack this house up and get it back in the right order according to the photos we took in the beginning. I mean, and everyone pitches in and that was the thing that I just absolutely loved. And that was one of the concerns. I was like, I don't want to host a retreat where I'm the host and I don't get to sew or have any fun because I'm worried about what everybody else is doing. And I tried to set that up in the beginning that I'm also a paying participant, I want to have a good time, everyone's responsible for the success of the event, blah, blah, blah. And everybody went with that. And everybody was like, Okay, and everybody pitched in and it was just so great and so unique. And it really is a beautiful example of building what I needed that also happened to be helpful for other people. And I mean, I really do thank God for you all every day, absolutely. And it's just... y'all are amazing.

Nikki  35:09

It's a great experience. It's a great experience. I was a little opposite for the retreat itself. I had been on other retreats. So my treat was the form.

Lisa

The form?

Nikki

Really! It was like, what? Okay, right? Because other retreats it’s just, Okay, show up. I think you're doing this, and I think you're doing that. So the form was a treat. I think Lisa, you had told me a lot about it over the phone, we had a long conversation. So it wasn't a surprise. And I felt honored. Because I had been invited to Stitch Please and I couldn't come-

Lisa

Right.

Nikki  35:53

… And then when I got invited to the beach, I’m like, "She remembered!" right? That was very cool. It's like, wow, okay. And so Shana, you’re right, this is my first year also, you did not have to try... I didn’t know anybody. Katrina, I get the same question from my mom. Like, who are you going to the beach with? Well, I really don't know. A lady named Lisa invited me. And all I know is, we going to sew.

And that's the thing about this group is, if you know how hard it is... Shana, you just said it's hard for adults to make friends as adults. It's hard for Black women to really come together at this level, at this level, unless you have something like sewing in common and sewing is, it’s a magical thread, no pun intended. It's just a magical thread. You can have a bunch of CPAs together, you can have a bunch of you know, whatever together in the same career.

Lisa

I don't think CPAs are that fun.

Nikki

No, they're not...none of them are...

Lisa

DeWahn and Queenora are CPAs. They are not fun people. They are always harassing me about like, math questions and whatnot. And hazing me. I just, I don't know, maybe... anybody but CPAs. Lawyers, maybe.

Nikki

Roller skaters.

Lisa

Lawyers.

Jill

You know what?

Naomi

So much shade is happening right now?

Jill

I know, right. It's cool and breezy under this shady tree. Cool and breezy.

Lisa

You didn't see what they did to me about that doggone pattern that you didn't see I was trying to get my titty drop together. And I was trying to get my, blending my lines together to blend between sizes.

Jill

No, we saved your titties from the effects of gravity. You are welcome, friend, you are welcome.

Lisa

And you know, people don't have all that specialized knowledge about that...

Unknown Female Speaker [Naomi?]

[00:38:02] See? See what sewing does?

[crosstalk 00:38:04]

Nikki

[00:38:10] So thank you again, thank you, everybody. This is, you know... and every Tuesday and Thursday, this is the part of my day that I look forward to. I’m like, Okay, I gotta get done. I gotta get this done. Because in about 30 minutes it’s my time.

Lisa

Yeah.

Nikki

So, you know, whether it's a retreat, whether it's podcasts, whether it's this or that, this is the stuff in the middle that is really important, because this is where we all get vulnerable. And, you know, we're able to be who we really are. And I love it. So thank you again.

Lisa

Thank you so much, Nikki, thank you for being with us. It's amazing.

Jill

I didn't think that y'all were gonna, like, try to chop me up and bake me in a pie or something, I wasn't afraid of that, you know, of not really knowing anybody coming into this space. I was actually more concerned about alignment, because I felt like I really just wanted to be around people who were not exactly like me. Because I mean, who wants that? But also, you know, what comes with that is having a whole bunch of different personalities, and my patience for personalities, it's fine. It's just, it's my face that needs deliverance. Like I can hold the space fine in my body, but my face cannot always hold it, and my mouth is even worse. And so I felt like... I just felt really gifted with a number of women who are just, I mean, we're just different, everybody, like personality-wise. I mean, even down to heights and body shapes. I don't think that there's even close to a duplicate among us. And I think that that is wonderful. But that was the thing I was like, all right, is this... how much work is gonna take in order for this to feel like a comfortable community space. And kind of like what Shana was saying, I mean, it happened pretty straight off. It happened pretty straight off, which was lovely. It was lovely.

Naomi

Yeah, I felt like when Deborah, bless Deborah's heart, because she got to have to pick me up because she drove to Stitch Please, because we both live in the DC metro area. We got in the car, and we were like, Alright, what are we getting ourselves into? I don't know. I don't know. W gonna go and it's gonna go we’ll just go and see. And when we got there, I don't know about you, Deborah. But when we walked into the room, and it was set up, and there was a space prepared for me. It wasn't like, Oh, you can go in and grab your name tag again and find somewhere to set up. To get there and there was already a space prepared for me was like, This is different. This is never like, I got there was a space and there were gifts. Like, there was a bag and a cup and-

Deborah

With your name on it.

Naomi

… With my name on it. Oh my goodness. Like...

Lisa

I'm telling you, I-

Naomi

Everything about it was considered. I felt like, oh, Lisa thought about every single person and wanted for every single person to have a positive experience. And that showed through every single detail. It's a wonderful thing to go into something and feel considered from the outset as opposed to being lots of circumstances. So that was like, that from the outset let me know like, okay, this is a little crazy, but it's gonna be okay. That "I'm nervous about this" feeling was gone within an hour. It was like, you know what? These might be my people.

Lisa

I'm telling you, I worry DeWahn and Katrina to death about every detail of Stitch Please. They were my planning committee. And I was calling them, texting them, Venmoing them, emailing them, poloing them. I was like, Well, if we get this if I do this cup, then we can have this instead of the water glasses and then we can reduce plastics. But then what about [00:43:44 inaudible] and I mean, like they would just like, "Girl!!"

DeWahn

Lisa has a Stitch Please polo committee set up. Every time she had a question before Stitch Please, we’d get on the polo and give opinions. And so.

Lisa

Yeah, I worried them half to death. I would not leave them alone. Every thing, every little thing, what about this? Oh, I found this. What about that? I tried to keep some surprises for them too. But, oh yeah.

DeWahn

And she was like, "DeWahn, I don't think I'm gonna have enough for the grab bag, it won't be like beach week.” And I said, “Lisa, if you have one item in the grab bag it's enough. We're gonna have a great time. Don't worry about it. Don't worry about providing too much stuff, it's gonna be fun.” And it was.

Lisa

[00:44:35] You've been listening to the Stitch Please podcast, and we have a special two-part episode today. This is part one of Sis, I See You, Black women in the sewing community that we have created in Black Women Stitch. I would like to thank Queenora, Toni, Deborah, Ayesha, DeWahn, Jill, Allysia, Katrina, Nikki, Naomi, Shani, Shana, Sherry, Sierra, Sone-Seere and Candy. Thank you all for being the amazing, amazing women you are. And tune in next week everybody for part two.

Thank you for joining us for this week's episode of the Stitch Please podcast, the official podcast of Black Women Stitch, the sewing group where Black lives matter. There are a variety of ways that you can support the program, and you're doing it right now. By listening to the podcast, it does help us grow. Another way to do that is to rate the podcast, review it, subscribe to it, all of these things are ways that you can support the podcast without having to spend any money at all. If you would like to spend some money to support us, there are ways to do that as well. You can make direct donations to our Patreon site for monthly contributions, as well as one-time contributions to PayPal, Cash App, or Venmo.

And finally, we have another cute, very adorable way for you to support the Black Women Stitch project. It's a pin! A P-I-N, enamel lapel pin that's very cute. It's about two inches wide and one and a half inch tall, and it's of the Black Women Stitch logo. And that is $15 with free shipping to the US. And so if you drop $15 in the PayPal, Venmo, or Cash App accounts, and then send me your email, no, not email, if you send me your mailing address to my email either at Blackwomenstitch@gmail.com, or you send me a direct message on the Black Women Stitch Instagram page, we will put the pin in the mail to you. Again, free shipping, $15 for the pin, and all of this goes to support the Black Women Stitch project. Thank you again for joining us this week. Come back next week and we will help you get your stitch together.

Hosted by Lisa Woolfork

Lisa is a fourth-generation sewing enthusiast who learned to sew while earning a PhD in African American literature and culture. She has been sewing for more than twenty years while also teaching, researching, and publishing in Black American literature and culture.

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