Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Philosophy, Projects, Play, Progress

Alliteration, anyone? Soapbox rants? If you're more for pics, skip the following paragraphs. Just sayin'.

Let's start with Philosophy! As I was sewing on quilt binding last week, I re-watched The Future of Food. I'd seen the documentary before but this time was struck as they listed commonly genetically engineered plants. Corn I knew. Soybeans, yes. Cotton. Wait a second... Really? Even though cotton is not ingested, I can understand how genetically engineering the plant can have just as many negative effects on the species as on other crops. (Let's not even get into the controversy over patenting living seeds.)

Now, I'm not one to follow trends. I usually balk at bandwagons, and there seems to be an increasing trend among the gentrified to live organically, adore all things vintage, pillage thrift stores, etc. Granted, I love my local thrift store, but mainstream commercialism is not criminal. Nevertheless, something resonated with me when I realized that cotton is being genetically modified.

In order to keep from inadvertently supporting the use of GM cotton, I decided two things: first, I have waaaay too much fabric already. I have projects undone, bits and pieces squirreled away that I'll get to "one day". Why am I amassing more when I've not used what I already have? That doesn't make sense. Second, there is waaaaay too much fabric in existence already. When the time comes to get more, why don't I hit up Goodwill instead of a fabric retailer? In both instances, I can keep from supporting GM cotton production as well as be sensibly ecological. I don't think the generation growing up in the Depression considered themselves ecological. It was more about economy. But in this day in age, there's a need to be both. By using what I have and replenishing from donated sources, I can be both economical and ecological. The icing on the cake is the creativity that comes out from limitations and constraints. I'm excited about the prospect!

In the spirit of this philosophy, I've been playing with materials I already had and working on existing pieces:

I'd had this one cut and tucked away for months. It took me minutes to assemble. Literally!

Repurposed T-shirt apron, front

Repurposed T-shirt apron, back

What to do with a remnant of monk's cloth and that $1 bag of garage sale embroidery floss? Why, take inspiration from paint chips and PLAY!

Monk's cloth embroidered table runner

Color inspiration

Embroidery doodles

Playing with embroidery stitches

Progress. Progress means ironing, ripping and cutting lengths of sashing for my antique pinwheel/yoyo quilt. It means being satisfied to piece some lengths rather than cutting into more yardage. It means I'm ready to finish assembling this baby!

That's a lot for one post. Thoughts? Comments? Are you ecological or economical? When the two are mutually exclusive, how do you choose?

1 comment:

Emma said...

I like the idea of getting your fabric from Goodwill. It would be harder to get some of the bigger pieces (backings) and you'd have to be creative and patient with finding the fabric you want, but it's a great idea!