Shannon Downey


Badass Cross Stitch

Craftivism, Embroidery and Ritas Quilt.

July 17th, 6-8:30pm. $55


Get acquainted with craftivism, learn to embroider or

enhance your skills and stitch something brilliant.

About this Event

Craft-based activism has been around since the beginning of time and used as a tool of resistance, coalition building, and even espionage! Come learn a brief history of craftivism and how craftivism is being used today, from Shannon Downey aka Badass Cross Stitch - a leader in the modern craftivism movement.

She will introduce you to her global project Badass Herstory AND teach you  embroidery skills in just minutes so that you can join in the fun and the movement.

Ritas Quilt

Shannon Downey was at an estate sale in Chicago where a 99-year old woman named Rita Smith used to live.In the bedroom Downey found hundreds of pieces of fabric that had been intended for a big quilting project which Smith started before she died.

"It felt so personal and intimate seeing the way she had left it. As soon as I saw the pieces I knew I had to complete it but I knew it was bigger than anything I had ever done before,"

After buying all the fabric pieces for $6  Downey took to social media to put out a call for help in completing the quilt.

"While I embroider, I don't quilt. So I asked my Instagram community if people would help me finish it. In one day, I had over 1,000 volunteers. Because people are amazing. There are 100 individual hexagons to be embroidered to make the quilt,"

Downey explained she had to start a spreadsheet to organise who would be embroidering individual pieces and where to send them. Many of the volunteers were keen to learn more about the woman whose quilt they were making. Downey got insights into her life after making contact with Smith's son.

"He lives in the area and told me his mother was born in Michigan and worked as a school nurse all her life. He said she loved to undertake big craft projects, some which would last for years. He was really excited to learn about the joy people were finding in completing his mother's work." 

Downey's volunteers, who were from all over the US and Canada, had until November to complete their needle work and send the finished pieces back to her, where she had 30 quilters waiting to get the next phase started.

"Humans are amazing. Community can be built anywhere,"