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This week in Tortoise: Cross Stitch – An Embroidery Scandal

Monday 29 March 2021

You probably haven’t had much cause to think about the British Embroiders’ Guild – a group of about 4,000 members devoted to making art from needles and threads. And if you have, you probably haven’t thought of it as a hotbed of radicalism. But Cross Stitch – An Embroidery Scandal, this week’s Tortoise File, is here to make you think differently.

Remember the Handforth Parish Council meeting that went viral earlier this year? That had nothing on this: a story of high executive salaries, questionable sell-offs and financial recriminations. The Guild’s members are now fighting back to preserve their passion from what they regard as the market-minded interventions of men in suits. It’s the story of consultancy culture’s assault on a community; money spoiling a hobby; capitalism vs craftivism.  

Tortoise’s own community will gather at this week’s ThinkIns:

And we’re particularly excited about the special ThinkIn we’re holding on Thursday. Tortoise went live at the start of April 2019. To celebrate, we’re holding our second birthday ThinkIn, a digital open house with reminiscences, some future-gazing, and, of course, the drinking of cocktails. I really hope you’ll join us.

Two years, one of them spent under lockdown during a pandemic, isn’t just a birthday – it’s a milestone. We couldn’t have got started or got this far without you, our members. A heartfelt thank you.  


James Harding,
Editor & co-founder