Skip to content

Refugees for 25 Million Stitches Project….Guest Blogger: Penny Peters

March 11, 2020

At the very beginning of winter’s short, dark days I was inspired to join a community project called 25 Million Stitches ( ).  Each of the 25 million stitches represents one of the 25 million refugees in the world this year.  I signed up on the website and was sent a numbered piece of fabric that measures 15” X 32” with instructions that the 15” height couldn’t be changed, but the length could be shortened.  When I looked at the fabric, I instantly saw a long line of refugees fleeing violence, drought, grinding poverty, etc.  For a few days I thought about what subject matter I might like to stitch, but since the vision of the line of refugees refused to leave my mind, I settled on that.  Since I have little practice drawing human bodies, I looked up photos of refugees online, and drew separate forms from the photos.  I scaled them to size, placed them together in a line that filled the full length of the fabric, and traced them onto the fabric.  I used two strands of floss for the main stitching, and one strand for outlining.  I have now finished stitching the figures in grayed colors, and have begun working on the ground and stormy sky.  The dark days of winter flew by, and now I welcome the longer brighter days!  My piece is due to the 25 Million Stitches Project by the end of April, and all of the pieces will be exhibited at the Verge Center for the Arts, 625 S Street, Sacramento, CA, June 5-August 15, 2020.


33 Comments leave one →
  1. Ann Darling permalink
    March 11, 2020 7:36 pm

    Penny your work is WONDERFUL. Thank you for sharing. A bright spot in a day when I decided not participate in the annual RAGS show here in Tacoma. Thank you.

  2. Liz Cooper permalink
    March 11, 2020 7:49 pm

    Very impressive, well done, Penny.

  3. kim permalink
    March 11, 2020 8:13 pm

    Kim Weers
    Really impressive, Penny!

  4. Chris Okawara permalink
    March 11, 2020 8:28 pm

    Stupendous piece of work, Penny. Congratulations! This is something you’ll remember for a long, long time.

  5. Linda ingham permalink
    March 11, 2020 8:56 pm

    Amazing, Penny. Your piece really reflects the sense of despair as well as the looking to a new but unknown future.

  6. Alana Koehler permalink
    March 11, 2020 9:03 pm

    Beautiful and important work.

  7. BarbFox permalink
    March 11, 2020 9:11 pm

    Oh Penny, this is amazing. Both many, many stitches and a glimpse of the global issue. Thank you for sharing your beautiful work!

  8. Diane Dirou permalink
    March 11, 2020 10:11 pm

    Amazing work. Did you ever get any sleep when doing this??

  9. Vida Justino permalink
    March 12, 2020 12:22 am

    Hi Penny , your work is so amazing. it reflects so well the global issue. thank you for sharing your work.

  10. March 12, 2020 12:34 am

    I love seeing your process and the stitching has such feeling in it. Incredible.

  11. Machdel Basson permalink
    March 12, 2020 3:10 am

    Its a story in a story in snother story a neverending story. Thank you for Jesus for saving us from ourselves and the world. This is an amazing workbof art.

  12. March 12, 2020 3:12 am

    Its a story in a story in another story a neverending story. Thank you for Jesus for saving us from ourselves and the world. This is an amazing work of art.

  13. Jody Pilon permalink
    March 12, 2020 4:46 am

    Bravo! Penny, a very heart felt response to such a heart breaking world crisis.

  14. Peggy Doyle permalink
    March 12, 2020 7:38 am

    Thank you Penny for showing and explaining your process. It’s a very effective piece with the muted colors and the running stitches give it an atmospheric swirling movement. Beautiful!

  15. March 12, 2020 9:24 am

    It has turned out wonderfully, Penny. The design is perfect for the cause and I’m sure the full exhibit will be very impressive. I just hope that I will get to see the exhibit at some point. Thanks for sharing.

  16. March 12, 2020 11:06 am

    Penny this is a work of art! It will be so wonderful to add to the project. We have our North Shore Needle Arts taking part in the project.

  17. Jill Peters permalink
    March 12, 2020 1:11 pm

    Reading about your inner process and the beauty of the result brought tears to my eyes. Love you Penny!

  18. March 12, 2020 1:23 pm

    Thank you for global awareness and inspiration through needle and thread. Gail Harker

  19. Penny Peters permalink
    March 12, 2020 1:44 pm

    Thanks to all of you who are leaving comments, and noting the attention the 25 Million Stitches Project is bringing to the global refugee crisis. And, yes, good sleep is important to my creative efforts. I find the stitching itself to be almost like meditation, interrupted only by decision-making about which color to use next. Such a peaceful process.

  20. Sheila Asdal permalink
    March 12, 2020 4:28 pm

    Penny, your piece is inspiring on so many levels. Beautiful work & very thought provoking. Thank you for sharing.

  21. Marilynn Olson permalink
    March 12, 2020 5:21 pm

    Such a feast for the eyes, mind and the heart. Congratulations Penny and thank you for sharing your beautiful, meaningful, inspiring, emotional journey with all of us.

  22. Laura Elmore permalink
    March 12, 2020 7:53 pm

    Heartbreaking and beautiful

  23. Bev White permalink
    March 13, 2020 2:51 pm

    Beautiful thoughtful work….well done…thanks for posting!

  24. March 15, 2020 12:13 pm

    Hi Gail and Penny, I just got my post, about Penny’s 25 million stitches , removed from the North Shore Needle Arts page on Facebook,……..saying it violates Facebooks community standards………I have asked for a review in case someone reported it………but maybe it is because it comes from your blog and violates your blog privacy settings?? Can you clarify this??

  25. March 15, 2020 4:09 pm

    Hi Anni, I am looking into it as I don’t know why it was removed. Gail

  26. March 15, 2020 4:44 pm

    Hi Penny. What an inspiring way to have your stitches make a difference. This work fits into my photography project, Our Sister’s Keeper. I have been wondering how to take some of
    to stitch. You have given me inspiration to explore this more.

  27. Bobbie Herrick permalink
    March 17, 2020 7:40 am

    Dear Penny,
    Your piece looks wonderful. It is so great to see it after getting a glimpse in its early phase. It is beautiful and so inspiring in many ways. Thank you for sharing it. It’s a treat to be able to see the stitching up close. What powerful work documenting this tragic situation.
    Bobbie Herrick

    • Penny Peters permalink
      June 23, 2020 10:50 pm

      Thanks for reminding me to look at the comments again on my piece. As I said, I am kicking myself for not photographing the second piece. P

      On Tue, Jun 23, 2020 at 5:30 PM Gail Harker Center for Creative Arts wrote:

      > Bobbie Herrick commented: “Dear Penny, Your piece looks wonderful. It is > so great to see it after getting a glimpse in its early phase. It is > beautiful and so inspiring in many ways. Thank you for sharing it. It’s a > treat to be able to see the stitching up close. What powerf” >

  28. March 19, 2020 5:46 am

    Reblogged this on feltingandfiberstudio and commented:
    I thought you might all like to see an update on the 25 Million Stitches project that I shared before.

    Penny has been stitching away and has posted about her progress. Thanks for sharing Penny. She hasn’t finished the piece as she is still working on the background. She said she would share again when the piece is completed.

  29. Janet Nota permalink
    March 19, 2020 6:59 am

    So much inspiration on a 15″ piece of fabric. Amazing work !

  30. lynette4barnes permalink
    March 26, 2020 10:17 am

    Penny what a moving work you have accomplished. Incredible work, thank you for sharing!
    Lynette Barnes

  31. Gloria Shelton permalink
    September 20, 2021 6:07 pm

    Dear Penny, you have given each person a unique personality and personal story. I can feel their weariness in their posture and see also their human kindness and determination.
    Thanks you.

    • Penny Peters permalink
      September 20, 2021 8:27 pm

      Thank you, Gloria!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: