Happy Valentine's Day!
Here at Mrs Fox's we are celebrating the day of love with an update, as promised, on our jigsaw pieces for the Craftivist Collective's Jigsaw Project (#imapiece).
"Using jigsaw pieces stitched together, the project will create an art installation to raise awareness of the issues of world hunger and injustice. As well as making a piece for the artwork, we're encouraging you to make one for yourself to keep as a reminder to be part of the solution, and to give a piece stitched with the words "I'm a piece" to your MP, to ask them to be the positive change they wish to see in the world. You can find instructions here, your jigsaw template here, suggested slogans here, a story to reflect on whilst stitching here and there's also a video here.- everything you should need!"
On Monday I printed out the jigsaw template from the Craftivist Collective's website and cut out three shapes on white cotton. Little Louis Fox is only three and not yet holding scissors with ease, much less a needle, so in order not to exclude him from this activity I dug out some fabric pens. (For this they probably could have used ordinary felt tip pens.) The children watched the instructional video on the Craftivist's website and we talked about what we were doing and why. Then I told them they could do what ever they liked as a design on the fabric with the pens.
As you can see, Louis went for the abstract approach while Una said she wanted to draw; "something beautiful to make the children smile". Una's is covered in flowers, butterflies and ladybirds. I love the way the flowers are arranged in an arc around the hole in the jigsaw piece and the blue of the sky stops leaving a big white gap. Don't you remember drawing the sky like that?
As I talked a little more with Louis about what it means to do something for others, 'kindness' seemed to be the word that for him was most helpful in understanding this concept. So, I wrote out the word and very quickly, with Louis watching, stitched over it in chain stitch. Louis had been looking at what Una was doing and requested a flower too. So, I used one of the felt daisies that I make for our felt flower headbands and sewed that onto his jigsaw piece.
That evening I cut out some more of the jigsaw shapes this time in blue cotton to back and stiffen, their pieces. The Craftivist website very sensibly suggests you use bondaweb, which you can iron onto fabric, but I don't have any and thought that sewing around the shape was well within Una's capabilities. I've finished Louis' for him, sewing the 2 layers of fabric to the back with a simple running stitch. Una has finished her backing and is still trying to decide what words of wisdom to embroider onto the front in the space she has left for this.
It is so nice to be crafting with the children and also teaching them about their place in the world and responsibility to help others. It feels right that their creativity has the potential to do good even while they are so young. And I find myself absolutely inspired by the Craftivist Collective's approach to activism.
If you fancy a really worthwhile craft project to share with your children, why don't you have a go too. All the details can be found on the Craftivist Collective's webpage, including a step by step video guide.
If you need help with the sewing then take a look on our previous post at our offer of a FREE copy of a vintage Ladybird book, Learning to Sew. All you have to do is go over to the Save the Children's Race Against Hunger petition, sign it, and then leave a message in the comments section of our posts here or here.