Sunday, June 26, 2016

Garbage Quilt Part 2

The previous post talked about how I started my "Garbage Quilt",  here I have a few more squares to show you.  My trip to New Jersey is a very busy collage, but then the trip was full also, and it reflects the conflicting priorities of a husband who was in Texas waiting for his hip surgery and. a mother who was turning 94 in New Jersey. The flowers are coffee filters (yes I brought NJ garbage back to Texas with me) as Mom loves her coffee.

NJ collage

For the bottle cap square, I ,  drilled holes in the bottle caps and tied them to the square with leftover yarn, I save leftover bit of yarn for projects like this.  It is not a traditional tied pattern but the caps are staying on!  Each cap is from a recycled bottle or jar.

Bottle Caps

My other use for leftover yarn (bits to small to make much of anything) is to crochet edgings on coffee cup holders.  Paper coffee cups get dirty, but the holders usually do not.  I started this in 2013 after I retired and we were in California.  The Santa Cruz area has a lot of great coffee shops and my friend Robin and I would "taste test" the coffee.  We were working in my friend Robin's art studio when I started playing around with them.  Originally I was going to make funky bracelets and then I got the idea of recycling them.  I wanted to learn how to use the app Instagram so I made a site for the coffee holders.  If you take a picture of one in use you can post it at Instagram or Facebook "Pick Me Use Me" (#PickMeUseMe).  I had a great time leaving these around Santa Cruz and giving them away.  Here in South Texas there is not quite the coffee shop culture and I got away from it, however I decided it would make a great square and I got back into it again and found some nice coffee shops too.  At the International Knit in Public Day  I even got another lady to make one to practice her crochet (here in Texas we are equal opportunity yarnists, knit, crochet, looms, our LYS The Lambs Loom encourages all skills).

Coffee Holders for Pick Me Use Me

The plan is to have the recycled holders in the cup on the square.  My sewing machine stopped working so I had to hand sew this, more, non-traditional material experience. The brown square is the paper we use here in Texas when you get Bar-B-Q, paper, not plates! so I went with a funky marker look to explain it.

I have "bound" them with duct tape (the industrial kind not the cute stuff) and I am planning to attach them together with twist ties and use larger twist ties as the hanging "sleeve".  You know, the little wire things that are sometimes on bread or you can use them in the produce department to close you plastic bags.  Friends are saving twist ties for me.  Plastic in the produce aisle is another story, I am working on string bags for the grocery store, but that will have to be another post.

Sunday, June 19, 2016

My Year in Garbage

I have joined a wonderful group of ladies in an Art Quilt group, Fiber Arts Unlimited.  We agree on challenges and one of our challenges was a Trash Quilt, a 12 inch square with at least 25% made from trash.  I overcompensated and made the whole thing from trash.  Now I am not talking banana peels here - I am not using "organic" trash, rather the stuff that piles up like packing, boxes, snack bags, etc.  I had so much fun I decided to make one square every month, next January I will have Art Quilt to submit to the Quilt show (I hope).

Traditional Applique

So far I have made several squares.  Some I used traditional quilting techniques like applique and piecing, one is tied.

Traditional Piecing

I like stories so I find myself exploring themes, my trip to New Jersey to see my mom, claims and announcements from manufacturers, bottle caps that represent recycled bottles.  I am learning about working with non-traditional material with each square.

New Jersey Collage

A lot of this started because on our last trip to NJ with the motor home we brought back artwork that had been in my mom's basement for the whole time we were on the road, 14 years.  They were wrapped in bubble wrap (yes some of it is 14 years old) which became my batting of choice, except where I used dryer lint (the NJ square).   I once swore I would not use dryer lint for crafts but "never say never" because my moms dryer filter puts out lovely big sheets about 3 inches wide, how could I resist that?

Seriously, it is leading me to explore my own practices, I recycle a lot more and I am much more aware of the packaging of what I buy and how I store things.  It also makes me want to do some more "awareness quilts". 

This is my form of "Craftivism".  For those of you not familiar with the term, it is a way for those of us who are not prone to protesting to be socially responsible and champion a cause using our crafts.  Here is a link to The Craftivist Collective ,a movement started by Sarah Corbett in England, as her own approach to "Gentle Protest".  I find it ironic that here in the Rio Grand Valley, Texas, our only "mountain" is made of trash.  We all hear about the problems with trash and the plastics in our ocean, it becomes one more sad story in a whole list of sad stories. I hope that in presenting the problem in this way, people will see the problem in a new light.  I will post additional squares in the future, and some information about how I will connect and hang this piece.