Most of us probably craft for fun, to make presents, or to sell our wares, but the other day I came across an exciting group called the Craftivist Collective, who use craft as a vehicle to campaign.
The Craftivist Collective, whose tag-line is ‘Changing our world one stitch at a time‘, was founded five years ago to help people do activism through the medium of craft.
Over the years, they’ve found that campaigning through craft has helped spread awareness, but also shown politicians what we care about.
So what’s the call to craft?
At the end of this year, world leaders will meet in Paris for the UN climate talks (COP21 Paris), where they will sign new agreements on climate change and sustainable development.
The #fortheloveof campaign aims to protect the things we love from climate change, from bees, to the British coastline. The Collective call to craft is to stitch a handmade heart to wear on your sleeve.
In the middle of the heart, you should feature whatever it is that you care about the most, be it a word in a banner or a fabric shape. Be creative and make it personal to add your voice to the mix. Whilst you craft in comfort, the Collective hope that you can spend some time thinking critically about some of the world’s issues, and how we can help solve them both individually and collectively.
They also hope that each contribution will help to spread awareness, acting as a catalyst for open, honest exchange and discussion to encourage and empower others to support the cause.
The more I thought about it, the more I wanted to feature a countryside icon on my heart, who is threatened, not only by climate change in the long-term, but also from hunting in the short term.
Making my heart
I was a bit cheeky, and made my heart using felt scraps from an old Mollie Makes kit. What was supposed to be a festive retro bauble decoration featuring a reindeer, became my fox heart.
I started by printing the Climate Coalition logo which I used as a heart-shaped template. Using this as a guide, I used scissors to cut two identical blue felt hearts for the front and back of my design.
Thankfully, reindeers are not too dissimilar in colour to foxes (ish), so I used the pale and dark brown felt scraps to create my fox figure, taking inspiration from a bookmark design on Pinterest.
I scribbled down a few designs on paper first, before deciding on the optimum positioning of my fox at the bottom of the heart. I also trialled a few different sizes, before opting for a smaller style.
To ensure that I cut the felt to the right shape, I cut around my paper template. I tried to use PVA to stick the felt parts together without much luck (read ‘patience’), so instead opted for double-sided tape.
I learnt how to blanket stitch by watching a YouTube tutorial, and did this around the edge to give my heart a nice hand-made look. Though it’s not complete, I’ll be fine-crafting it over the next few days.
How can you join in?
Will you be wearing your Heart on Your Sleeve this year for climate change?
UPDATE: Please note that your hearts should be green!