27 Sep


I’m thinking about how to use up scraps. I’ve used water soluble stabilizer as a base for several scrappy scarves and a poncho, but how many of those can one person have? I like the fabric beads in the Spring 2003 issue of Quilting Arts and I made a dozen or so last night while watching TV. I’m also inspired by Sonji Hunt’sbundles of joy, but what would these mean to me in my work? Nada. I’m not meditating on wrapping up pain, or creating gifts of healing, or using buttons to bind a split world, or whatever art school BS people tag onto their objects. I’m just participating in the feminine act of fiber work. While I was contemplating the deeper meaning of my work (or actually, the lack thereof) I was thinking about knitting the scraps, but they’re too short. I could sew them end to end though, and knit with the resulting “yarn.” I rather like that idea. I rather like the idea of mailing the yarn to my sister and letting her knit something. Then I thought, “what about the rag rug book I bought?” I could hook scraps into burlap or a loosely woven fabric and then piece that into a quilt. Hmm, the sunflowers I’ve been contemplating could have shaggy rag centers… And it’s tying back into the theme of women’s work. Quilts that incorporate other fiber arts, and not in a silk pods and Angelina sort of way, but a knitting, crocheting, rug hooking, basket weaving sort of way. And then, how to make it modern and personal? And why is is that so many quilters seem to be knitters as well? There must be some feminine chain of creation and practicality that seems to link us.

One thought on “Scraps

  1. Maybe it is that lovers of one textile craft are lovers of many textile crafts. I think I have always loved textiles and have experimented with many from weaving the fabric to using fabric to create a finished article, to collecting historic and ethnic textiles.

    Textiles have provided an outlet for my need to have something to show for my efforts. Much of the traditional women’s work is not very gratifying. Fix a meal and the results are consumed, clean the house and it gets dirty again, weed the garden and the weeds come right back. These days many women work outside the home as well and typically still have nothing tangible to to show for their efforts. For me, textiles have always rewarded me with a tangible result – clothing, curtains, needlework projects, whatever.

    I’m chomping at the bit to make something right now, but I am too practical to take the time now when the first priority is to finish the repairs on our house. I did take the time to go to the Conejo Quilters quilt show.  I always get inspired when I attend this type of event, although it was truly overwhelming.  My favorite was a traditional quilt called “Black Cherry Pie” designed by Laura Nownes and quilted by someone named Barri.  It was squares on the diagonal with alternating cherry applique and checkerboard blocks done in reds and ecru. In the corners were silhouetted blackbirds.  I thought it would be appropriate in our historic house. I’ll keep it in mind for a time when the need to create becomes stronger than the need to be practical.

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