Portfolio of older work

Monday, April 25, 2016

Tiny Little Scraps

Today I was reading Penny Beren's blog.  Penny loves sewing with tiny wee scraps. So do I.  I can't bear to throw a scrap away.  If it is an inch by an inch then it is big enough to keep.  If it is 3/8" wide and long then even better. I have totes and totes of scraps.

Lately I have been on a declutter kick and have been packing up lots of my clutter to give to Goodwill.  See, I am not only decluttering but serving the community at the same time.  I can't do that with the scraps.  Goodwill would just look at them in astonishment and throw them away.  They have no imagination.

Every time I consider throwing away my scraps I think I'll just start another sewing project and I do. But let's face it, I could sew for the rest of my life and still have scraps to sew.  And it is not like sewing all the scraps together would actually solve the problem.  When I sew I make more scraps so they will never be totally gone.  I won't even get into the metaphysical property of  scrap procreation.

But then a genius idea came to me.  I mean, really really genius.  One of my art projects is to reconstruct dresses that have started falling apart.  Let me explain.  It started with a lovely quote that said that life is fragile and we all hang by a thread or even end up on the ground in a pile of scraps.  At that point we can choose to reweave ourselves into a beautiful unique tapestry or settle for being nothing much.  So, I have started buying linen or cotton dresses at Goodwill, putting them in the compost pile and letting them partially decay.  Then, and here is the fun part, sewing them back into a work of art.  I just had a show with three of my Hanging By a Thread dresses.

Okay, the genius idea is that I can throw some of the scraps into the compost pile to rot into wonderful scraps to use on my rotten dresses.  Isn't that genius?  If I wait too long then the scraps will be rich compost.  If I get them out in time then the scraps will be perfect for my dresses.  I am just a genius.  I can't  help it.

Close-up of of tiny scraps, some rotted to perfection.


  1. What a creative mind you have! I would love to be able to see these in person. Do you wash them after taking from the compost pile, or use "as is"? I love the concept of falling to pieces or getting up and remaking ourselves from the scraps that are left. You ARE a genius.

    1. Absolutely have to wash them. Some survive the washing and some don't.

  2. and I know you would never say it but Janine and I say that you work was the best in the show - hands down.

  3. Genius begets genius! Love your dresses...bet they are awesome up close. You are also very fortunate to find items made out of natural fabrics at your goodwill! Out west in NV, everything is poly!


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