It’s been a couple of weeks since The Crafty Crusader and I exchanged items as part of our International Feminist Craft Swap ~ I quilted her a Serena Williams pillow sham and she knitted me a miniature pussy hat for my Feminist Funko Pop Collection. I’ve spent the last few weeks customizing a Pop to wear the hat and she’s finally finished!
Though I don’t watch Marvel’s Runaways, I started with a Karolina Dean vinyl figure because of the placement of her hands. I suspect she’s supposed to look like she’s casting a spell (?) but for my purposes, they were perfect for holding a protest sign!
Also, I liked that she was young, because I’m very impressed by the next generation of female activists like Emma Gonzalez, Malala Yousafzai and Greta Thunberg. Having nearly reached my 5th decade on this planet, I’m really rooting for these younger women to fix what my generation has (tried and) failed to!
Unfortunately, it turned out that the Dean figure was a bobble head. Because Funkos are newer on the toy doll scene, some other company already has the “non-bobble” vinyl figure license from Marvel, so Funko’s agreement with them states all Marvel Pops have to have bobble heads (who knew small doll heads were such a big deal?)
Anyhow… that means the first thing I had to do to customize my pussy hat Funko was remove the bobble. I researched a few different ways online, but ended up going with my initial idea of a balsa wood connector for her head to rest on. While I couldn’t match the skin color precisely, I don’t think people will be able to tell once she’s on display.
Then it was time for the fun part!
I decided that my Pop was a activist from a long line of activists and wanted to honor those who had come before her. Early 20th century suffragists wore green, purple and white, so I customized her hair to ‘suffragette city’ green, her pants to ‘votes for women’ purple and her tank top to ‘a woman’s place is in the House – and the Senate’ white! I also managed ~ and I honestly didn’t know my hands were this steady ~ to paint VOTE on her shirt with the “O” as the female gender symbol. (Check out her teeny tiny green shoe laces, too!)
Now when she wears her pink pussy hat, it’s like she’s linking the historic women’s movement with the movement of today – plus, that pink yarn really pops with her green hair!
I have also made a series of little protest signs for her to hold. Most of these sayings I got off the internet, looking through pictures from various rallies. I’ve decided I’ll change her sign depending on what administration action offends me most that day. Sadly, as you can see, there are a LOT of signs!
(ETA: These were all made before impeachment proceedings started in Congress. Looks like I need to get my markers back out…)
All this time, I’ve been referring to this as my “pussy hat Funko” or my “Women’s March Funko”. But the more I got into it, the more I felt she needed an actual name. Given the state of world today, Hillary or Elizabeth were strong contenders; Ruth would have been great, too. But ultimately, I settled on Marcia.
My pre-quilting career in public administration started in a small suburban Kansas community called Leawood. Originally hired as an intern, I moved into a special projects role with an emphasis on economic development that worked closely with city’s elected mayor, Marcia Rinehart. This was the first time in my life that I truly realized that a woman could be in a position of power (sadly, I was in my mid 20s at this point.)
Mayor Rinehart was an amazing woman. She was confident and assertive, even forceful when needed ~ city council meetings she chaired never got out of hand no matter what the topic! Yet she was also easy to relate to and really cared about her community and what the residents** needed. Mayor Rinehart was re-elected several times between 1987 and 1997, and when she retired, she’d been Leawood’s longest serving mayor to date.
Leawood was a pretty conservative area, so there’s a chance that Mayor Rinehart might not appreciate having a pussy hat-wearing, feminist Funko named after her. But she was a powerful woman with a powerful influence on me and I hope she’d realize that I truly mean it as an honor.
**Funny aside – Mayor Rinehart is also the person who taught me that people who live in a city are properly called residents, not citizens; you can only be a citizen of a country! 20 years schooling, including a political science undergrad and a public administration graduate degree, never taught me THAT distinction.
All my thanks again to Monique at The Crafty Crusader for knitting the pussy hat that really brings Marcia to life!
A little background first… I’m a collector. Part of it is in my genes (I come from a long line of hoarders) but part of it is also necessary – what kind of quilter would I be without a stash?
Outside of fabric, one of my favorite current collections is Funko Pops. In an effort to reign in my natural instinct to overdo, I’ve limited myself to only female Pops. I call it my Feminist Funko Collection ~
A couple of months ago I started thinking what my collection needed was an actual feminist Funko, a pussy hat wearing representative of the Women’s March movement. Looking around online, I came across Monique over at The Crafty Crusader. She had knitted the perfect pussy hat accessory for one of her Pops and even provided directions!
Unfortunately, my knitting days are long past. I think I last picked up knitting needles as a teen, so we’re talking decades of skill loss. On a whim, I contacted her to see if she’d be willing to knit me one, too. A few conversations later and we’d created our own International Feminist Craft Swap – a miniature pussy hat for me, a Serena Williams quilted pillow sham for her.
ISN’T THE HAT AWESOME?!? I’m hoping to customize this Pop a bit before she goes into the permanent collection – change her hair color, add a feminist symbol to her shirt, maybe pull in some additional suffragette imagery – but the knitted pussy hat is EXACTLY what I hoped for. (True story – when Monique went to look for hat yarn, she found a skein actually called “Pussy Hat” in her stash. It was meant to be!)
Monique seems happy with her quilted pillow sham, too. She shared that Serena Williams is her favorite feminist icon; I agree she’s totally amazing, but I don’t watch a lot of tennis. So I went looking for inspiration online and found this image of Serena’s face by RGB_Rao – their work is stunning and just called out to be recreated in fabric.
I chose solid fabrics to complement the modern, stylized image and created the sham using a mixture of reverse appliqué, machine embroidery and classic grid quilting. This was my first attempt at reverse appliqué and I really hope I did the original artist proud.
This craft swap was so much fun – and it was my first craft swap ever, too! I mean, I’ve exchanged gifts with friends who craft before, but this was an actual, official, quid-pro-quo. I got to give a really cool pillow, with a design that I normally wouldn’t have thought of doing, and, in return, I received a really cool knitted hat that I couldn’t have made myself. It’s like the best of both worlds!
I’d totally be willing to do one again, so if you are a crafter or craftivist looking for someone to swap ideas and inspiration with, let’s hook up – contact me at deidre [@] whimziequiltz.com anytime!