Little Scrap Crows Workshop at Ragfinery October 13, 2019

2 handmade crow toys

Question: Is it a premeditation of crows if you’re working on making a murder of crows but they’re not done yet?

If you’re looking to make a special something for Halloween, come and spend an afternoon with me at Ragfinery in Bellingham, WA on October 13, slow stitching little crow figures. We’ll be exploring an interesting territory–following the inspiration of children’s book illustrations, the reality of crows, folktale crows and our own imaginations.

We’ll work with a low-pile black fabric that I was unable to resist adopting from the free section of Our Social Fabric textile recycling initiative in Vancouver BC. You’ll be helping me put it to its next purpose. It has a wide-wale corduroy-type texture that makes it easy to cut and tatter for visual interest. Beaks are made from a repurposed vinyl chair seatcover, so even more upcycling! I’m happy to share both materials with you—if you like you can take home enough more of both materials so you can make 2-3 more crows at home.

Beak detail - handmade crow toys

The little crows finish about 5 inches tall, based on the classic craftdesignworks finger puppet pattern. And you may choose to make a finger puppet crow–that’s how I got started with these. Optionally, you can take the next step and add wire-crafted legs and feet to create a little standing crow character. Unlike more complicated bird figures that require complete wire and/or paper mache armatures, this uses a simple technique to add the feet to the stuffed body—easy yet effective.

Handmade fabric crow toy with gold ruff

The workshop will start with pre-sewn bodies so there won’t be any machine sewing needed in the class. I’ll guide you through the traditional toymaking techniques to add wings, tail, beak and eyes with hand-stitching and glue.  Once the finger puppets are complete, I’ll demonstrate crow costuming and accessory options.  There will be lots of choices of fabrics/notions/trims from my stash to spark your ideas. And there are some tasty options to add your unique touch with messages and accessories–pennants, banners, etc. (“Trick or Treat”, “Happy Halloween” , “The Witching Hour”…)

Fabric and notions for Little Scrap Crow workshop Ragfinery

Then we’ll fork off into 2 groups. For those who want to keep their crow as a puppet, it will be time to create the costumes and accessories that complete the character’s personality. The other group will learn to form the wire legs and feet, then stitch up the bottom of the crow. Then they’ll be ready to join in costuming and accessorizing. We’ll finish up with a quick photo-and-share so we can learn from each other and harvest ideas and inspirations.

All materials will be provided, and of course you can always supplement with your own purchases from the treasure trove that is Ragfinery. The pattern and instructions (and crow material, if you like) are yours to take with you so you can continue making more at home. Basic hand-sewing skills and a pair of sharp scissors are all you’ll need to bring.

These little guys are the right size to inspire so much imaginative play (for children who are old enough to beware of scratches from the wire feet). I can imagine them lurking atop dollhouses, lego and block structures and little nooks in the garden during dry weather. They’ll add so much character to Halloween decor and tablescapes–a special pleasure when they emerge from your Halloween stash each year because you made them yourself.

I’d love to see you…here are the details:

Little Scrap Crow workshop, October 13 2019, 1-4PM

Ragfinery 1421 N. Forest St. Bellingham, WA 98225

Tickets: $22-$24


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