cover image Crafting a Better World: Inspiration and DIY Projects for Craftivists

Crafting a Better World: Inspiration and DIY Projects for Craftivists

Diana Weymar. Harvest, $22 (176p) ISBN 978-0-06-338928-1

Weymar—who in 2018 started the Tiny Pricks Project, which collects left-leaning, politically charged fabric art—debuts with a distinctive compendium in which activists reflect on art’s role in their work. The strongest entries highlight how fabric art can contribute to activism. For instance, Jayna Zweiman discusses her Welcome Blanket Project, for which contributors submit handcrafted blankets along with their family’s immigration story; the pieces and stories are briefly exhibited and then donated to refugee organizations. Other selections are authored by individuals whose words Weymar has embroidered for Tiny Pricks, such as memoirist Suleika Jaouad, who recounts her unsuccessful campaign to stop the 2021 execution of an imprisoned man she had become pen pals with. There are a handful of projects—including instructions for creating a “social justice banner” and a recipe for vulva-shaped chocolates from chef Lagusta Yearwood, which are meant to express outrage over the erosion of women’s bodily autonomy—but the focus is on activist profiles. Oddly, some have no apparent connection to crafting; for example, Tanya Selvaratnam’s account of collecting house plants to cope with emotions stirred up by writing a memoir about growing up around domestic violence feels out of place. Nonetheless, progressive crafters will be galvanized by this celebration of homespun resistance. Agent: Meg Thompson, Thompson Literary Agency. (Sept.)