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.


  1. Replies
    1. thanks - I am having fun with it - and when friends bring me garbage I accept it graciously, you never know where the next idea might come from!