“Before I used to stitch just to make patterns. But now I think about what I want to say through my stitches,” says Raniben. Like her friend Meghiben and many others, she has moved beyond just beautiful needlework to narrative art, embroidering her own thoughts and stories. Stitching Stories is one such story – about how she and her family left their village in Pakistan, crossing the harsh desert to live in a refugee camp in Gujarat, how they rebuilt their lives, lost everything again in an earthquake, and began once more. The book is based on the award-winning animated documentary film Tanko Bole Chhe (The Stitches Speak), an exquisite visual narrative through applique and embroidery that looks at how an inherited craft has become personalised art.
“A book that is powerful and yet an effective story of women who have learnt to adapt to earth-shaking events in their lives – having been displaced, time and again, from their homes. A book that is about sharing, cooperation, and learning to live in harmony with each other. A book that is an engaging introduction to art and the artist through story, memoir and biography. A book that makes its statement clearly and simply, both in words and pictures, having text that is beautifully balanced in narrative style embroidery.” – Young India Books