Sewing with fabric scraps from the trash

I am the hole in the flute that the Christ’s breath moves through.
Listen to the music.

Asking the question: What if…

What if… some of my Daily Art Cards were made from fabric?

What if… I played with fabric scraps from my mothers sewing trash?

What if… other peoples leftovers are my true material? What if I need nothing but that?

What if… I’m just a tiny hole in a flute in the hand of the divine?

Daily Art Card 2008-10-15

It sure would save me a lot of money, time and energy if I was content with what I find laying around, what I’m given and what just floats my way…

I love the randomness of playing with other peoples trash, a.k.a. the leftovers that are thrown away when someone else is finished. What will I find when they empty their desk into the trash bin and leave…
What did they cut away, leave behind? What did they not see or need – that I can pick up and blow life into? Mom’s quilting trash is tangled threads, tiny pieces of fabric sewn together in rows, bits and pieces of nothing that can be turned into little somethings. Daily Art Cards!

Imagine how much beautiful trash every artist throws away every day? And not just artist’s trash, but papers and materials from everyday use, that are not even considered materials; at the office, restaurant, fabric, library, farm, packing station, store, woodwork shop. I don’t want to think about the waste of it all. The big piles of pretty things that is just wasted.

What if I could put it all together into a field of flowers? Use some fabric scraps and make something.

Daily Art Card 2008-10-14

What if life was as simple as that? Sew together trash into art. It’s doable if you reach out and ask the people you know for their unused “stuff”. Over the years I’ve been given a lot of excess stuff that I think of as treasures. Some I don’t need (or want), but I give it on further. I take care of stuff that I feel sorry for, because I know if I don’t take it with me it will end up in the trash, without reach.

I am often given peoples scrap fabric, leftover yarn and papers. Collected stickers, tickets, photos not suited for the fancy album, scrapbook papers to small for anyone else to use, read magazines (that I browse and cut through and then leave to kindergarten children for continuous play or to the recycle station) etc. etc. It all ends up with me…

What if... daily art card - 081009

This is my first post for (but not the first time I mention it) the collaborative what-iffing effort that Jude describes on her site Crazy Quilting Revisited;

We are asking questions about technique and rules and style using the traditional Crazy Quilt framework as a jumping off point. We have taken a pledge to share our questions and answers and to use each other as a jumping off point.

I’m adding these art cards to the What if flickr pool The Crazy Quilting Revisited. Join in and don’t be afraid to be a little bit crazy like me, if you’re reading this blog you probably are already!

The art I make comes from the divine, but yeah, the material is sometimes just trash. This time it came from mom’s trash basket on her sewing table:

trash or treasure?
She’s been working on baby quilts and other projects this autumn.

The sound of the sewing machine humming away through layers of fabric is inspiring. It promise quality and energy in her life as the art does in mine.

13 Responses

  1. What if and you DID and it’s wonderful.
    I love doing this too. I take my scraps to my grandchildren and to gether we sit and make scrap collages, they are only four years old. I have blogged our collective creations.

  2. I’ve thought of you often when I come across stuff that I want to throw away but can’t make myself. It needs to go to someone that will appreciate it and use it. Do you mind sending me your address so I can pass it along?

  3. What a lovely stash of fabric and so much potential for inspiration. Sometimes it is just lovely to look at for ages before you do anything with it, just absorbing the colours and patterns.

  4. Hi Hanna

    ive been following your blog for quiet a while now and absolutely love it! you are so inspirational. Those artworks that you made are so beautiful and i love them.

    It would be so great if we could all use each others trash to make art! Whenever im throwing something away i always look at it again to see if it is reusable, sometimes it stays around my room for months but i believe that eventually i will use them ;)

    Thanks Hanna and have a beautiful day!

  5. Ever since I have started reading your blog & doing more art journaling I now save all my scraps, cut out magazines & use what my loved ones discard. I have a big box full of loved scraps waiting to be put in my journals. Your always such an inspiration.

  6. I love your Hafiz quote, and your post is resonant with my philosophy about our funny, messed up world — namely, everything is beautiful given enough love and the willingness to see =)

  7. The Hafiz quote is wonderful . . . you really used it and your words to capture the connection between the creative work we do and spiritual work we do . . . sometimes, I will give myself a challenge – especially when I travel – to make a collage a day only from things I find or can pick up for free. Very fun!

  8. I am much like you. Your post resonates with me. I love using bits and pieces of things others leave behind, especially the jetsom and flotsom of life that others pass over. I can see why this is a favorite buried treasure. It’s an awesome post with some pretty super bits of fabric.

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