Last week we announced stitchlove, a new project for the June 2017 TNNA trade show. We hope you’ll join us, here’s a post by Mari on why this project is important to her.

In 2016, I went to both the January and June TNNA shows with a baby in tow. In January, my mom came down to San Diego, and in June, I drove 5 hours with my in-laws from North Carolina to Washington DC so they could help with my son during the show. While we were in DC, the Orlando nightclub shootings took place; the loss of so many young lives hurt my heart. At this point, my son was 9 months old, and in those first 9 months I had felt more love and more fear than I had in my previous 29 years of life. For the most part, there was very little conversation about this tragedy on the show floor. I had a few conversations about with friends, but since I was there for work, I wasn’t sure how to broach the subject and stay professional.

Since then, a lot of things have happened politically that I fundamentally don’t believe in. And if you know me personally, you know that I do not suffer from a lack of opinions. Ask me anything, and I can spout off for far too long and give you all my thoughts.

Although I want my voice to be heard, and I have things to say about what’s happening in the world right now, I know that there are just as many voices and opinions out there, and the increased divisiveness our country is experiencing is part of the problem. When I told Leanne about my strong desire take action and say something that would help me feel heard and make something beautiful, she listened.

#Stitchlove was sparked by my need and desire to feel connected to fellow crafters, no matter their politics. It’s become a team effort with my colleagues at Stitchcraft, which makes it more meaningful. I want to connect with you, my fellow crafters to spread a little love and a little hope. This mama needs to know that my son will grow up in a world that will always have love and hope for a better tomorrow.

If you can’t come to TNNA, post a photo on Instagram with #stitchlove and tell me how crafting brings soothes your soul, helps you find inner peace, and makes your day a little better. Help me spread the love.

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