Throwing away scraps of fabric hurts the crafter in me.
Every small square of material can lead to an amazing project, and the challenge of making it happen peaks my interest. I’m constantly looking for ways to use my fabric stash wisely to prevent waste and create art.
Recently, leftover scraps from a snack quilt became part of an art piece entitled “Eggplanet.” My imagination transformed images of tomatoes, onions, peppers and pickles into appliqued planets in outer space. Paired with an alien from another scrap and an upside down coffee cup as a flying saucer, a silly universe was born. Leftover tulle and ribbon made a fine comet, and soda can tabs and a bead added a 3-dimensional satellite to the cosmos. I entered the wall-hanging into an art show called “Beauty in the Dark.” The piece was rejected, so I hung it on a wall in my home. Friends see something new in the quilt each time they visit. I like to see their reactions.
Leftover material also can create more than art.
As a novice, I learned how to tie quilts by making blankets for charity from discarded Laura Ashley fabric. My quilters’ group spent many evenings together rotary cutting squares from the donated material. Then we formed an assembly line to sew the squares into strips and blankets. We stretched out on a parish hall floor to tie the quilt layers. The project was win-win. We kept material out of the landfill and provided warmth and comfort to those in need.
Rescuing fabric runs in the family. My sister is especially creative with local finds.
A great fan of Lilly Pulitzer fashions, she up-cycles materials from skirts and dresses to make doll clothes with matching headbands. In addition, she recently repurposed pink and green Lilly Pulitzer fabric by covering a bowling pin. The result was a cute décor item great for a bedroom, porch or any special spot.
She and our mother also have found uses for rarely-worn T-shirts. My sister turns strips from the castaways into colorful knitted rugs and bathmats. Our mom uses T-shirt scraps to make rose flower pins.
As Earth Day approaches on April 22, we celebrate finding new ways to generate art and crafts from everyday items. A little imagination helps turn useless scraps into useful products.