“A piece of grandmother’s chest” is an innovative service implemented by the Lukashiv Village Library in the Zaporizhia district of the Zaporizhia region. Service invites library visitors to create handicrafts together.
The initiator of the service, Olha Kravchenko, says the idea was born during the sorting things that were collected for low-income families, “There was a lot stuff left. We wondered what we could do with it. We began to cut off buttons, loosen the wool. Then someone offered to make blankets or bedspreads. That’s how the first idea was born – to sew blankets and bedspreads”.
A prototype of the new service was created by the library workers in cooperation with the people who like needlework. Among them there were both elderly people and young mothers on maternity leave.
“Enthusiastic about the idea, users brought other people who have patchwork products. We discussed what kind of products we could create, where we could gather to create together and who will buy the products”, said the librarian.
She also adds that the idea of the service has already turned into specific small products: napkins and flower pots, chair covers, bags, etc. At the same time, the library decided to give up the initial idea of sewing blankets and bedspreads, “We decided it is quite irrelevant and time-consuming at this point. During testing, we clearly determined what we would produce and even found prospective and first customers”.
“A piece of grandmother’s chest” has been available for free in the library since September 1, 2020.
Olga Kravchenko says, “We wanted to revive the ancient patchwork craft in our village, and at the same time to meet the needs of users in mastering this needlework technique.
At first, we focused on retirees and wanted to fill their leisure time with creativity, but over some period of time, our workshop grew popular among mothers on maternity leave, who created products in the techniques of desserts and appliques, as well as among teenagers and children – fans of Japanese kinusaiga technique. So now we have a very diverse audience.
Our library service is closely intertwined with the areas of work of the library and historical museum in Lukashevo. The aim of both library and museum is to preserve the historical memory of the village, its traditions and crafts. In Ukraine, patchwork sewing began to revive in the late 90’s of XX century. In our village it was forgotten and only now it is becoming popular again.
In our studio we have a sewing machine, iron, scissors and scraps. Community supplied us with comfortable furniture. But in order to carry out our plans, we had to master the sewing technique. We studied the origin of different methods of needlework, their features, shared the learnt information, collected samples and more.
Nowadays we are promoting and selling our products, and we are sure we are on the right track. The source of creativity is not the service itself, but the people who joined it. They enjoy communicating and developing their creative abilities.
We even have customers now. They are a café “Centre” and Olga Shershneva’s shop. We sell our products at a price of 5-25 UAH. But this is just the beginning”.