Crafting with a Maritime Twist

#wemadethishull is very excited to have been given the opportunity to deliver craft sessions with a maritime twist as part of the Hull: Yorkshire’s Maritime City Project.

These sessions will be monthly and are two hours, so long enough to start and finish a piece. They are individual pieces in their own right, rather than being part of an accumulation of pieces and can be as different as we all are and each has a nod to Hull’s maritime history!

Three have taken place already, the first being part of the #wemadethishull very successful and great fun Nautic’Hull Alphabet project. This was all about using the international signalling flags to send messages to each other, and appreciating how difficult communication is until you know the mutual language spoken.

The next was weaving God’s Eyes, thought in many cultures to be helpful in warding off evil nastiness. Seafaring has many superstitions and it is important to remember these as they were a way of living with the hope that those seamen returned to their families. These were woven in wool in recognition of where Hull began in the 1100s with the monks from Meaux Abbey buying land along the rivers Humber & Hull to manage their wool exports more effectively.

In April we looked at scrimshaw, a pastime of many a seafarer, especially on long whaling trips designed to pass the time by scratching designs on whale teeth and bone to bring home as gifts, or sometimes to sell. The lines were filled in with e.g. powdered ink, or soot. These showed sights they had seen, or current fashion trends or characters from books of the time. In the absence of whale’s teeth, we used soap and shoe polish to emulate the real thing!

There are many more to come, they are free and are bookable on Eventbrite, although walk-ups are always welcome.

Coming up are:

Making love tokens using boxes and shells at Western Library – June 23rd 3.30-5.30pm

Wool wrapping maritime scenes at Blaydes House – July 6th 10.30-12.30pm

Inchies, twinchies and thrinchies! venue tbc

Knotting and netting venue tbc

Weaving using blues and hues Greenwood Library

Wreath making using sisal and hemp Cups & Scoops, Chanterlands Avenue

Lantern designing and making venue tbc

Details of these sessions will also be on the #wemadethishull, Hull Maritime and Hull Libraries social media channels. Please be aware that venues may change.

Come and have some maritime crafting fun!

Hanami Hull

Hanami Hull – cherry blossom time   April 4th – May 14th, 2022

‘In the cherry blossom’s shade, there’s no such thing as a stranger.’ Kobayashi Issa. Japanese poet.

This is the thinking behind the next project, Hanami Hull. Hull has some fabulous cherry blossom trees and a link with Niigata in Japan. Hanami Hull is about making and sharing the cherry blossom further and for longer to reach those people in our community who will then no longer be strangers.

Information below giving more info and the details.

Please sign up however you want to – on here, on the page, on twitter @wemadethishull, by email, by Messenger. There will be maker sessions, info to follow.🌸🌸🌸

Hanami in Japanese, the home of cherry blossom, means ‘viewing flowers’, particularly cherry blossom (sakura). Cherry blossom festivals date back a thousand years to when aristocrats enjoyed looking at the beautiful cherry blossoms and authored poems inspired by them. Due to their beauty and fleeting nature, cherry blossoms have become symbolic of the impermanence of beauty. This reflects the Japanese concept of ‘mono no aware’, nothing last forever.

Kobayashi Issa, a Japanese poet wrote ‘In the cherry blossom’s shade, there’s no such thing as a stranger’. This is because the blossom is so plentiful that people picnic and party around and under the trees in the parks. Cheers in Japanese is kanpai (ghan-pie) which means ‘to empty cup’, our familiar ‘bottoms up’!

Hull has many cherry blossom trees and is a sister city to Niigata in Japan (who knew?) and we would like to encourage you to add to Hanami Hull – cherry blossom time by making lots of it to decorate your windows, your doors, your gardens. Make garlands to hang from your fences, trees and around your front door, in fact, wherever you like! These beautiful blossoms always bring a smile, so let’s spread some Hanami joy to Hull!

Dates April 4th to May 14th. Your blossom can be hung as soon as you have made it, but it would be lovely if it were all up by the May Day Bank Holiday on May 2nd.

Sign up by April 15th please, so we know where the cherry blossom will be. You can sign up by adding yourself or your group on our Facebook group #wemadethishull – work in progress, or on the Facebook page @wemadethishull, Twitter @wemadethishull or let us know via our email or the website at, or via Messenger. Where there’s a will, there’s a way!

Maker Days  For those of you who like to come out and play, there will be sessions in Hull Libraries, but also in other venues both on weekdays and weekends, so watch out for those.

How to share  there are choices here too – display your makes wherever you are, in your garden, school, community so everyone can see them; join a maker session and then we will display them wherever the session is held; photograph them and send them to us and we will share them far and wide!

How to…  you are welcome to make your blossom however you choose, but please remember that, in the main, each flower has five petals. Some are single layer, others multi-layered and as many shades of pink as there are! You could use tissue, crepe, origami papers, felt, foam, fabric, pretty much whatever you like. You could attach them to string, twine, ribbon, wire, twigs. However, and whatever you choose, have fun blossoming!

Added extras  Japanese poetry often takes the form of haiku. In the West,  these are poems are generally a set pattern of 17 syllables in three lines 5-7-5. They often contain a seasonal reference and are traditionally about the natural world. So, now’s your chance to show your poetic skills to write and publish your Haiku!

It’s here!

Drum roll please>>>>>here it is, our  Nautic’Hull Alphabet Project (info sheet below). We hope you can have fun with this one and learn a few things too (we have!). Info sheet attached.

During February there will be Maker Sessions in Hull Libraries so you can come and join in the flag-making fun, more info to follow.

As ever, it’s a big help if you sign up below this post so we know that you are taking part and where you are.

Looking forward to seeing you fly the flag with #wemadethishull and the Nautic’Hull Alphabet!

Do you remember when letter writing was frequent practice and when we had to be in the house to use a telephone, or in a box with windows on a street corner? How communication has changed!

Over time, special ways of communication have been invented to communicate over long distances, like Morse Code (1844). Since then, there have been many codes developed, the binary code, the bar code, the genetic code, all of which are used in everyday life and communication.

So, we should not be surprised to discover that there was a method of communicating ship to ship in the middle of the ocean. Specific flags were used for this purpose at the beginning of the 1800s but developed and adopted as The International Code of Signals around the middle of the 19th century.

Each flag is an individual letter or a whole message in itself and they were strung together to communicate with other ships in the ocean. When at anchor, ships could be dressed in an agreed pattern, like in the postcard above, but not generally with a message as this one has (can you work it out?).

We thought it would be fun to exercise a bit of ‘creative licence’ with this and use this Nautic’hull Alphabet to communicate across Hull for a while to create some messages for people to work out. It could be your street name, like this one – or the name of the place where you live, or your own name to wear as a badge, or on your door. It could be the name of your school, or a message to people passing by, the possibilities are endless. It would be fun to cover Hull in the Nautic’hull Alphabet don’t you think?

There are only five colours, red, white, blue, black and yellow and three patterns, solid colour, stripes and square (and I with a random dot in the centre!) and they all match with the phonetic alphabet from alpha through to zulu too. It’s easy if you’re called Ann but takes a bit more work if you’re Christopher!

It’s always good if you can sign up to the project so we know you are taking part – you can do this on the facebook group #wemadethishull – work in progress or on the facebook page #wemadethishull or let us know by email (or by Janet or Jane’s email address if you have it already) or on twitter @wemadethishull .

This project will run from January 31st – March 18th just display them when they are ready!

These can be as big or as small as you like, just make/draw your flags, string them together and then display them. Let us know where they are and take a pic of them for us so that if people cannot get out, they can have fun decoding them from a photo gallery. If funding allows, we will gather them all together and exhibit them so they get a wider audience to join in the fun too. Watch out for #wemadethishull flying the flag at Maker Days too!

Sharing the Love with Christmas Wishes

The growth of the trees we have historically decorated this year led to our concerns about safety and as a result required a re-think for our Christmas Project.

A chance conversation planted a seed which turned into a project all by itself and then grew and grew and blossomed! Many of us had much smaller-scale christmases in 2020 than we would have chosen due to the restrictions of the pandemic and it made people appreciate much more having family and friends around us at such times.

The project plan was to ask makers to create hand-crafted cards and decorations that we could deliver to people in residential care and supported housing settings. #WeMadeThis has worked with increasing numbers of such settings so we had a running start with this one. However, none of us could have guessed what would transpire!

There was good take-up of this from makers from the get-go and numbers were gathered from residential care homes. Around 550 packs would be required – and this sounded like a lot, but we had no idea what was happening behind the scenes. Hull’s makers (and some over the city boundary too) were busy doing what they do best, and there were a few Maker Days (welcome back!) too and those cards and decorations started rolling in and just kept coming. There were so many beautiful cards, we could have opened a shop!

They were made by individuals, groups, schools, Brownies, Scouts, U3A, Youth Groups, nurseries, community groups and residential care home residents, around 1,000 participants in all.

By the time they were due to be delivered, there were upwards of 1500! We were thrilled and were busy looking for destinations for them – what a fabulous problem to have to manage. There was no shortage of takers, and it was great to be able to involve some organisations we had not worked with before.

They were really well received and it was heart-warming to see the happy faces as the cards were opened.

There were some real learn-its from this project. I don’t think any of us were surprised how many residents in care homes have limited or no family and their friends are other residents. However, I’m not sure we realised that so many homeless people struggle with christmas as it reminds them of happier times and it’s just to painful to recall them, or victims of domestic abuse who need to feel wanted and loved, or veterans who struggle daily with civilian life.

BBC Look North were keen to spread the word about this project and were as impressed as we were by how the project had developed. It also featured on the Hull City Council website and the Hull Is This webpage too. Those organisations who have platforms told the story there and many sent fabulous emails to congratulate us on the success of the project and relate how thrilled the receivers had been.

‘Mighty oak trees from little acorns grow’ as they say!

Creative Lives

Great news! For the second year in a row, #WeMadeThis has been shortlisted for a Creative Lives Award. These are national awards and so we are very proud to have achieved this not once, but twice!

Many of the 31 organisations also short-listed are much bigger than #WeMadeThis, many are better funded and some have paid staff – more reasons to be proud of this achievement.

If you want to know more about the awards, or Creative Lives, they have a website,

There is a People’s Choice Award with a public vote and it would be fabulous if you could vote for us before January 31st 2022.

Welcome to Christmas Wishes 2021

There are fewer than 80 days to Christmas!  Does that thought fill you to the brim with excitement, or panic or dread?  We all feel differently about it  – and what is important about it is different for us all too.  For some it’s about traditions – religious – not, making those traditional family recipes, decorating the tree in a particular way or with items made by children who now have children of their own. For some the focus is about getting together with family and friends and most recent Christmas’s have shown that without those people, Christmas becomes a pale shadow of itself.

For many it’s about the giving and sharing, not of expensive gifts, but of precious things like time to chat and willingness, like filling the empty seat at your table, making a hamper for a neighbour. It is also for the person that we have never met and may never see and it is here where #We Made This comes in.

Over the last few projects, there have been increasingly more participants from residential and sheltered/supervised care. These people are often living with many other people, but their life circles have become progressively smaller. So, we’d like to be able to share a Christmas Wish with as many of them as possible this year. How?  Read on!

We would like to include three elements in a pack which will be received – a hand-made card  using whatever you like, however you like and either 5in x 7in. or 6in x 6in– but no glitter please!

We’d like to include a decoration – 2-d, or pieces to slot together to make 3-d – to fit in the envelope, and finally a Christmas Wish, Message or Blessing written by the maker.

Now if you are a whizz at card-making and only want to do that – fabulous, you do that!  If decorations are more your line – great – you do them!  If you want to do the whole ‘bells and whistles’ then please do!

We would like to have these out in the community on December 1st 2021 so we will need to gather them from you before then so we can make them up – date to be advised.

If you work in settings where people might receive packs – you can be givers too, we’ll just make sure you don’t get your own ones back!

So get signed up to take part and then keep us posted with pics of the cards and decorations you make – and keep an eye on the fb page for ideas!

Introducing ‘Piecing Hull Together’

We are wondering if you have ever looked to buy a jigsaw.  If so, you will know that they are often described as ‘hand-crafted’ and if you haven’t, well, they are!  However, they are not hand-crafted in the #WeMadeThis sort of way….but what if they were?  What if there was a hand-crafted jigsaw of Hull which was actually hand-crafted?

Hull has a current population of around 260,000 and each one of us is a piece in the jigsaw.  Some of us have a lifetime experience; for others Hull is ‘home’ for now at least.  Those ‘pieces’ have different shapes, some with corners, some with edges and others which fit together with lots of other pieces, all of which are important in completing the picture of Hull.

Theme:  This project uses downloadable jigsaw pieces (see bottom of this post) as its canvas upon which to craft your experience of Hull using any materials you choose. Please download them, print and cut them out and you might want to mount them onto card – cereal boxes are good for this job.   

You could use paint/crayons or markers or photographs to decorate them, it could be a collage of all sorts of different bits, fabric, badges, newspaper headlines, adverts. There could be pictures, words, patterns to show life-history and/or memories. It could be a joyful combination of any or all of these! 

Places:  #WeMadeThis have an aspiration for these jigsaw pieces in terms of Piecing Hull Together.  In the last project, locations were organised into areas as there were so many participants – we didn’t mind, it was fabulous!  The areas are North, East, West and Central.  We will use those areas again – so where we say areas, this is what we mean. Specific committee members have taken a lead on areas, so you will be contacted by one person and not all of us!

Stage One – before June 30th you will make your piece/s, take photographs and send them to us for sharing via our various social media channels. Alternatively, you can put it up in our Facebook group (#WeMadeThis – Work in Progress) yourself or share it with us via Twitter. Be sure to tag us in your photos (@wemadethishull) and use the hashtag #PiecingHullTogether. Please also display your piece in your window by June 30th.

We will also upload your photos in our ‘online galleries’ on our website (, our Facebook group and Facebook page.

Stage Two – during July (tbc) The pieces will be gathered together and displayed in area locations e.g. community spaces, empty shop windows or libraries perhaps.  We are busy contacting with such places right now and if you have any ideas or contacts for such places, please let us know.

Stage Three – probably September (tbc) Those area displays will be gathered together to make one big display in a central location which will bring all of the various pieces together.     

Stages Two and Three are currently dependent on the Government Roadmap, but fingers crossed!

Important dates:   Different to our recent projects – there is no ‘join by’ date, but please let us know that you are intending to participate.  We will flag up the confirmed dates and places for area and final displays when we have secured the venues.  We are looking towards July for area displays and September for central displays.

Things to do:   If you intend to take part:

– let us know. You can comment on this post or on the Facebook group page #WeMadeThis – Work In Progress, or you can email us at stating the organisation, group, or area you are representing—or your name if you are creating individually or as a family.  If it is an organisation, please remember to include the name of the person we need to communicate with too;

– we need your location address including your postcode – we will plot the locations into areas from this info.   If we have your information already, we will confirm it with you in due course.   If we do not have your information already, please don’t share it on the social media platforms, let us know that you are a new participant, and your area lead will find you to get this info!

– download your jigsaw pieces here and craft away! 

When you have completed your piece(s), take a pic, and post it so we can see what you are up to, and remember to tag us in it (@wemadethishull), and use the hashtag #PiecingHullTogether.

We’re so excited so see your jigsaw pieces!


A Word version of this brief can be downloaded here: