Creative articles about sewing

International Pictogram Project – Men Have Children Too

Men Have Children Too

When my project pack arrived I was struck and somewhat daunted by the masculinity of a male pictogram and intense blue felt material. I knew then my piece would have to be about men in a way I could relate to. So it is about fatherhood and called Men Have Children Too.
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I come from quite a strong matriarchal family so it’s a reminder for women like me to be inclusive and recognise the male role in parenting.

It is also saying men should act on their responsibilities to family.

Wouldn’t it be great if all employers and governments could provide good paternity leave and flexible working conditions that take account of family needs?

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Family pictures showing men with their offspring were printed onto fabric for the pictograms. I found enough to span 7 generations. Luckily the men I’m aware of have been wonderful fathers despite some dominant women!

Men section

Digitised male figures were embroidered onto a net ‘family tree’ then layered over male gender symbols.

Tree section1

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It was useful to have extra felt for sampling.

I was dissatisfied by my attempts to illustrate ‘daddy’ and eventually digitised the word written by my 4 year old granddaughter who is just learning to write lettering at school.

Daddy emb

Speech bubbles were added for balance and to add a more light hearted element to the design. They were digitised in the software because I didn’t think I could free motion such small lettering.

Speech bubble

I enjoy a project that challenges me and this one did. Creating the work was a time for reflection and nostalgia.

Only when I’d finished did I notice how much I had softened the masculinity suggested by my project pack!

Men Have Children Too

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  • Jan Allston

    As always Ros – the voice of reason. You have encapsulated the essence of the relationships so well in your piece here. Yes, men do have children and it is good that we are made aware of this now and then. A thoughtful piece of work which has so many different areas and techniques for pondering, it will take a while to inwardly digest it all. Well done you!

  • roscro

    Marilyn, I can see your work is now published – and it’s lovely! I like the idea behind it and the way you dealt with that red.

  • Shruti Dandekar

    Wow! Someone really needed to say this and you have done an awesome job!!! Brilliant work! So much effort has gone into the 22×28 cm piece! And digitizing your grand daughter’s handwriting was PERFECT! Love everything about this quilt! Every single element! Cheers from India!!!

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