Clutter in my life

I’m in a phase of wanting to use and repurpose things I have. Two weeks ago, I shared how I was working on a 100-day stitch challenge and set restrictions that I would only use materials that I had on hand. There will be no purchasing any other products for this project.  I’ve also been creating fabric postcards which are made from repurposed scraps from my quilted projects.

I use to be a traditional quilter and made my quilts to specific dimensions and then quilted and bound them. I still do that occasionally, but usually my art quilts are made larger than the finished design. I either piece my fabrics or start with a whole piece of fabric, then create my design on top. After creating the design, I’ll quilt it with the batting and backing, then cut it to the finished size.

The trimmings from the quilt are waste, but I hated throwing them in the trash. So I saved them. After a couple years of saving (hoarding?), I came up with a way to repurpose them. I cut the quilted trimmings into strips and randomly piece the strips together into a rectangular shaped block. Once I have enough of these patched blocks, I cut them into 4 inch by 6 inch rectangles, which I use for the background of my fabric postcards.

Sometimes, I create practice quilts and occasionally there are “failures” where I just can’t save the design I was working on. I use these larger pieces for my postcards, too. I might hold onto them for a few years hoping I can save the project. Eventually, I’ll decide I can’t save it, that’s when the rotary cutter comes out and I chop it into strips for my postcards. It takes a lot of guts, but I like that I’m repurposing the trimmings and “failures.”

At first I just used the “postcards” for my own personal gifting and thank yous. This past year I realized I had so much of this patch-worked quilting, that I decided to make the cards available for sale on my Etsy store.

It feels good to let go of things. Although, repurposing has always been an important part of my creative practice, for some reason it feels more important this year. Maybe I’m just feeling the need to let go of the extra weight that appears as clutter in my life.


  1. DonnaT says:

    I treasure my “Dream Big” hand sewn card that you have created. It spends time in two places. Usually the card sits right on my desk. Then, when I get a new book, it becomes my favorite book mark. I am so glad that you are sharing these for sale on Etsy. What a great idea.

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