What is Craftivism? I define it as hand-made social change.



new craftivism project

Over Thanksgiving, my future in-laws gave me these incredible antique embroidery pieces. I haven’t stopped staring at them or thinking about them.

 Molly M. - “Molly M. worked this in the tenth year of her age 1898”

Molly M. - “Molly M. worked this in the tenth year of her age 1898”

 Anna E. Jones - New England farm scene sampler (1892)

Anna E. Jones - New England farm scene sampler (1892)

I’m certain of a few things.

  1. I now live with a ghost named Molly

  2. Molly M never in a million years expected a cross stitch that she made when she was 10 to last for 119 years and be sold in an antique shop

  3. Molly M REALLY never imagined it would be given as a gift by the future in-laws to the woman who was going to marry their daughter


Aside, from those certainties, I find myself thinking about Molly M. and Anna E. Jones - the people -  nonstop right now. What were their lives like? What happened to them? Were they  happy? Where were they when they stitched those pieces? Did Anna live in that house (does she live in mine now?!)? Did she sheer those sheep and make her own thread? Were they friends? Relatives? Schoolmates? Did they even know each other?

And all of this thinking about Molly M and Anna E. Jones got me thinking about the importance of legacy and how those legacies are shared and immortalized. What gets included in our history? What gets erased? How do we want our lives to be remembered? What artifacts do we leave behind and what do they tell future humans about us, our lives, our priorities? Do we leave behind truth? Who controls narrative?

You and I know that our history books are full of half-truths, outright lies, omissions, and erasures. A history told through a white man’s lens. You and I also know that every life and every story matters. That the more voices we hear only serve to enrich our understanding, our perspectives, and our choices.


I have been stitching tweets lately because I do actually believe that stitching something immortalizes it. All of these things seem to have building up to this idea...

A new craftivism project for all of you inspired by Molly M. and Anna E. Jones



The Gist: I want every female-identified and gender non-binary human on the planet to stitch me their story! 

The Vision: I am picturing a giant 3-D installation (like airplane hangar size) with structures and magic! Like a village built from your stories. I could do this. I have the network, the experience, and the skills. It will require A LOT of you participating. Can we get hundreds of thousands of people to participate? A million? I believe in us!!!

I see a digital catalog/gallery that documents every story and brings the art to everyone on the planet. I see an army of women helping to design, build, and sew this thing into an art experience like none before it. (I am a Chicagoan...I make no little plans)

The Goals: 

  1. A fucking huuuuuuuge global craftivism project that at least one million female-identified and gender non-binary humans participate in creating.
  2. An art installation like the world has never seen. Created by women and for the world, that honors the voices and stories of women everywhere.
  3. An engaging and interactive digital museum/catalog that showcases each and every story.
  4. One million new stitchers who put down their devices, learn to embroider, and use their hands and hearts to slow down and create a beautiful analog version of their story.


Where there is voice, there is power.


Are You Into This????? 

STEP 1:  Go to and sign up for the mailing list.

STEP 2: Start spreading the word and telling everyone to register. #BadassHERstory

STEP 3: Think on:

a) What is your story?

b) What do you want this project to look like?

c) What can you do to support this project? 

The guidelines and resources are being cooked up now and once you sign up for the mailing list you can be sure you will be the first to know when they are ready.

I am so very excited about this and I hope you are too! I NEED YOU! THE WORLD NEEDS YOUR UNIQUE STORY.

More Soon! In the meantime, get excited!!!!




Craftivism 101

workshop updates

I held a Craftivism 101 workshop and it was downright magical! We sold out at 20 participants (the number of chairs in my conference room). Participants learned all about craftivism throughout history, how to be a craftivist, how to embroider, and they stitched their message to the world. The ticket price included a donation to Advancing Justice | Chicago and was co-facilitated by everyone's favorites, the Chi_Arts_Boyz! More of these will definitely be happening!


I also partnered up with @CraftivistChi a few months ago and we hosted a craftivist stitch-up at Chicago's greatest feminist bookstore, Women and Children First. It was a rowdy and fabulous evening full of feminist stitching and a packed out house. 



Boys will be Boys

OCTOBER viral madness

The past few days have been bananas (I mean...I'm in Vogue y'all!) . My piece went viral in response to the Harvey Weinstein bullshit. I have gotten THOUSANDS of request for that piece and/or that message in product form. You all clearly connected with the message. I can't possibly stitch that many pieces (unless I become a hermit and stitch for like 10 years straight...and you know I love you but even I have my limits). I think I have done the next best thing.

I set up a RedBubble store with two collections. The first has a bunch of products with the original expression on them. The other one has products without the curse word. Essentially, I have licensed my design and selected the products but I don't do any of the printing, shipping or customer service. I get between 5% and 20% per sale. I AM NOT KEEPING THIS MONEY. I have no intention of benefiting financially from this. I will be donating it to the amazing nonprofit I work for, Advancing Justice | Chicago. That way I can be certain every penny of your purchase will go directly to positively impacting immigrant and refugee women and girls. I'll provide proof. 

I want you to be happy. I want you to rock the message. I want you to take a stand. I want your funds to go to an organization making change. I want to use this moment and my 1 second of almost internet fame to create change and have impact. 

As of 12/19/17 we have raised $1,428.28 for Advancing Justice | Chicago!

Boys will be Boys Embroidery
redbubble store

Happy shopping! I'll keep you posted. 

<3 Shannon


Women's March


I can't explain how full of joy and hope I am after participating in the Chicago Women's March. Holy shit that was a powerful start to the resistance! I stitched my sign (of course). It got quite a bit of attention on the interwebs and at the march. Craftivism is powerful.



Community Craftivism Project - #EndGunViolence

What a success!

You astounded me friends! The results of our #EndGunViolence craftivism project were unbelievable!

  • 200 pieces of fiber art submitted from 10 countries and 40 states
  • The opening reception of the gallery show was INSANE with hundreds of people in attendance
  • A $2,000 faculty grant from Columbia College to fund the show
  • We raised OVER $5,000 to support Project F.I.R.E.
  • Our free community embroidery workshop + discussion was at capacity (and provided some much needed post-election processing)
  • The Project FIRE youth sold EVERY SINGLE PIECE of their glass art AND learned how to embroider

I can't applaud you any harder. I love you.

about project fire

Project F.I.R.E. (Fearless Initiative for Recovery and Empowerment) is an artist development employment program that offers healing through glass blowing to youth injured by gun violence in Chicago. Project F.I.R.E. combines glass arts education, mentoring and trauma psychoeducation in order to support trauma recovery and create employment opportunities for young people who have been shot or witnessed the homicide of a loved one.


Some photos of the events:

 Opening night reception!

Opening night reception!

 Project FIRE embroidery workshop

Project FIRE embroidery workshop

 Opening night reception

Opening night reception

 Free community embroidery workshop and dialogue

Free community embroidery workshop and dialogue

 The Project FIRE, ArtReach and Badass Cross Stitch team!

The Project FIRE, ArtReach and Badass Cross Stitch team!