It’s a new year, and I’m trying new things. Boro style textiles have captured my imagination, and sashiko stitching can easily be embraced by those of us who are daunted by the skill and precision of traditional American dainty little quilting stitches. I’ve received such a positive reaction to my first piece and have gotten many questions, so I’m just going to lay out my process here. And remember, I have no idea what I’m doing. I’m just doing, and this was my first piece. I have graduated to my second, however, for whatever grandeur that might lend to my resume.
We are renovating an old farmhouse. There is a lot of very cool stuff ending up in the dumpster. So, yeah. I’m the crazy lady dumpster diving in her own dumpster to salvage cool things. I also needed a way to display a new yarn I’m designing with AND I was home alone with the workshop all to myself. So I made a Primitive Trencher. This is the first of several that ended up happening…
I love it when my work is transformative. If only it were so easy when the project is Me.
Not so very long ago, recycling was a way of life, not a trend. A surprising, if not charming, reminder of this wended itself my way at an antique shop in Brunswick, ME. A feed sack, of all things, was purposed for fiber art! Utterly functional in getting supplies to the farm, this beautiful coral cotton sack was printed with inks that are easily removed expressly for the purpose of allowing the cloth to become a dress, a curtain, a pair of knickers. It is a fabulous concept that I had never come across before. I’m completely enamored. As my husband and I continued our flea market hopping, as we are known to do, this fabulous thing that I had never been aware of before kept presenting itself. And I lost all control. I purchased every feed, salt, and growing ration sack from Woolwich to Bath. And now, to the studio. Must. Sew.
As a fiber lover, stash management is always an issue. Everything seems to have such intrinsic value. And that has only been getting worse for me as I’ve been exploring rug hooking and quilting. Every little tiny scrap is suddenly a representative of enormous value. I don’t want to throw anything away. This is especially true when I am working with vintage textiles, rugs, and linens. I love discovering the new life that lies hidden in an old tea towel or tattered rug, repurposing its charm into pillows, purses, and brooches. But what to do with the remains? Those leftover little pieces of antiquity that lie on the cutting table? This has become my personal challenge: find the latent purpose of these remnants of our forebears. They certainly wouldn’t have wasted a scrap, so why should I?
I’m still searching for a few more pieces of fabric to complement the background colors. Unfortunately, whenever I find the perfect piece of wool to work with, inevitably it is being worn as part of some lucky person’s ensemble (pants, skirts, etc.). A little inappropriate to get all grabby about it.