Anyone remember that song from 1970? By Stephen Stills? It was an insipid song about free love, but it has been stuck in my brain this week because I’m focusing on working from my stash of fabric. Loving what I’ve got rather than buying the latest yummy fabric.
Once I started delving into my stash I was astonished at what I found. Yesterday I came across a pile of five or six different fabrics depicting either cowboys or Indians. I think that at some point in the past I thought I would make a statement piece about cultural battles in the west…..but the fact that the fabrics are drop-dead hideous must have stopped me. Why do I still own these fabrics? At least they were good for a laugh.
I also found a paper-pieced mariner’s compass that I made sometime in the distant past. Lovely, but I pieced it using gray thread, which shows up in the yellow center of the star. As much as I loved the design and vibrant colors, I couldn’t get past the gray thread. It was consigned to the scrap bin, where my studio mate’s delightful daughter found it, and made it into a pillow. Finally, someone showed it some love!
I’ve also been using up random small bits of fabric in applique, which has been fun. This week I made a bunch of pot holders, all from scraps that needed a bit of love. A tiny piece of dotted fabric (that looks like bubbles to me) made friends with some graphic orange fabric leftover from a large quilt, and “birdie” potholders were born.
I’m currently finishing up some playful pot holders that pair car appliques (from scraps) with some map fabric that didn’t make the final cut in a larger project. Just enough map fabric for 4 potholders.
“Love the one you’re with” sewing feels a lot like recycling and upcycling, and also like cleaning out detritus from all the half-baked projects that never came to fruition. It also intensifies my creative process to have to work within the limits of what is available. What do you do with your scraps?