NI Big Sock's Pamela Emerson receiving her certificate from Nick Carter of the Marsh Christian Trust. 

Dr Emerson has had a lifelong passion for stitching and as well as being a trained teacher has had a professional career in museums and research. Her ambition is to combine her love of crafts and academic research by offering informal craft skills workshops and lectures and talks on local social history. In May this year, Pamela Emerson was awarded the Heritage Crafts Association/Marsh Volunteer of the Year for her work with NI Big Sock and we couldn't be more pleased for her!

NI Big Sock is a community participation project supported by Voluntary Arts and #ArtsNI encouraging people to learn the skill of English paper piecing and contribute to the creation of a world record breaking patchwork Christmas stocking.

Pamela's dedication to the idea of establishing a creative project that showcases the skills, talent and enthusiasm of volunteers from Northern Ireland and beyond has earned her the Heritage Crafts Association/Marsh Volunteer of the Year Award!

Since the beginning of the project she has engaged over a thousand participants and developed a strong network of volunteers across 5 counties in Northern Ireland. Volunteers and participants have learnt new skills by utilising traditional methods, made new friends and become part of a vibrant and enthusiastic sewing community.
The goal of the project is to create a 52-metre-tall usable patchwork Christmas stocking. It will be filled with gifts for charity many of which will also be handmade. The project also aims to increase the engagement of local communities in creative activities and help Northern Ireland become a creative capital for Europe by 2030. 

You can get involved in the NI Big Sock challenge!
- Contribute materials such as fabric, old calendars, cards and other stiff paper to make templates and sewing accessories. 

- Spread the word! Use #lovetoSEW in social media and follow the NI Big Sock Facebook page.

-  Volunteers can also act as collection points for materials across NI, contributing the space to join the sections together towards the end of the year and handcrafting small gifts for the completed stocking.

NI Big Sock was also awarded Epic Awards 2017 Runner Up for Ireland - Go Pamela!