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Why We March - Sonya

There are people in your life that you can't quite remember how you met. As if you've known them your entire life and that you've had so many shared experiences that you don't have to revisit the past. Virginia doesn't recall the moment Sonya walked into her life. It was definitely because of gather here. But she is a kindred spirit. An artist. And an inspiration.

What's your name and what kind of crafts do you practice?

Hi, my name is Sonya Sheats. Professionally, I am a bookbinder, but I love to spend as much time as I can sewing and knitting and crafting just about any way possible. I used to sew a lot of clothing and costumes, but these days, I make clothing for my kids. I also, finally, quilt, which pleases my mother to no end. I also like knitting hats and sweaters for my kids, but haven't yet made the jump to an adult-sized sweater.

Why did you decide to march on January 21, 2017?

I decided to march because peaceful protests are important when people do not feel heard and are dissatisfied or threatened. I want my son to see first-hand the power in that and the power in numbers. I will march against the hate that has been turned toward Islam. Though I do not practice Islam or call myself Muslim, I have a father, a stepfather, brothers and aunts who are Muslim. I will also march for the right that a woman has to make choices about her body, her fetus, her children.

How does handcraft/craft/handmade help you as you navigate these uncertain times?

Crafting sort of eases me and helps me to focus my thoughts. I find it therapeutic to work with my hands. I used to love to draw, but now, I crave making objects that I can hold or wear or hang, that can be visual symbols or reminders of what was going on while I made them.

Did you make something to bring to the Women's March?

I am enthusiastically preparing to attend the march in Boston. I've made 12 pussyhats, some for my kids and my husband as well as some other family and friends. I would have liked to march in Washington, but I sent 5 pussyhats to DC in my place. I'm also making a big pink tunic to wear onto which I'd like to add some images. I had hoped to have the time to screen print these images, but I didn't burn the screens, so of course, the next best choice is puff paints! My friend and I have been furiously finding images and such to make signs. We've printed some out from the web and my friend is hosting a sign making party on Friday where we will make some sashes and signs.

gather here believes in a community for ALL people. And we strive to not only build up the community but also one another while also continuing to share our deep love for handcraft.


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