Prison Quilts

Quilt made from shirts & jeans

"Sewing has given me a purpose and the ability to see the future in a positive manner.
It has given me the time to think and work through situations which beforehand I may not have come through."

Fine Cell Work, a UK charity, trains prison inmates in the art of needle point. The prisoners do the work when they are locked in their cells, and the earnings give them hope, skills and independence. The work which takes 20 to 40 hours per week, is a powerful antidote to the lives of turmoil and roughness that many prisoners have continually faced.

"Here I am, an ex-boxer, karate teacher, car racer, body-builder and weight lifter, doing sewing! Who’d have thought. Since I first started with FCW I’ve experienced a tremendous amount of stress, heartache and other problems. Being able to stitch was a great way to take my mind off what was going on inside my head. In times of great stress I would pick up my tapestry and immerse myself into it, which helped every single time. At times I wouldn’t put it down until the early hours of the morning. I can confidently state that FCW has helped me get through many problematic times in my life and has stopped me from going over the edge."

"I am what is called a lifer. I was sent to prison in early 2008. I am in a wheelchair. And no I am not after sympathy. I did wrong so I deserved what I got. Anyway, I have suffered from bad depression all my adult life, and I have tried to end it all a few times, and for the first two years of prison life I tried and did self harm a lot. Then I was moved to a new prison and an inmate made himself known to me and to start with he just talked to me. One day he asked me if I could sew.was given a pin cushion and a needle, and with this inmate’s help I began to stitch it. Because I was not thinking bad thoughts, the time that I was banged up behind the door flew by, and I did not self harm at all. To date, I have only self harmed two times, and that’s when I had no work, and that is not bad at all. This is totally because FCW were happy with the work that I was handing in, and believed in me enough to give and keep giving me commissions that keep my hands and mind busy, which is why everything I get I do to the best of my ability. I will continue to do it as long as you feel my work is good enough."