#MakeDoQuilt Challenge

In the spirit of the challenge, I've pulled from my fabric stash two feed sacks and some left over hand dyed silk noil. From my closet, I've pulled one dark teal blouse and a pair of red pants, both past their prime. 

In the spirit of the challenge, I've pulled from my fabric stash two feed sacks and some left over hand dyed silk noil. From my closet, I've pulled one dark teal blouse and a pair of red pants, both past their prime. 

If you're a quilter and are on Facebook or Instagram, you likely know about Sherri Lynn Wood's #MakeDoQuilt Challenge. I'm joining the challenge, and sincerely hope you will, too! 

In a nutshell, Sherri Lynn's challenge to quilt makers is to make at least one quilt in a year's time using only found textiles; for example, discarded clothing and household linens, garage sale and thrift shop finds, clothing swaps with friends, etc.. She states that you get extra points for salvaging the batting and backing, too! Read Sherri Lynn's post for all the details and thoughtful back story: http://daintytime.net/2016/08/11/make-do-challenge/

Her challenge resonates with me on a few levels: as a quilter who loves a challenge; as a dyer who is seeking best practices for our health and the earth's health; as a textile artist who wants to leave as small a footprint as possible. I'm both compelled and excited to participate! Plus, there's tons of inspiration already happening on Instagram, #MakeDoQuilt, by other talented quilters joining in. What a great idea - thank you Sherri Lynn Wood!

This challenge already has me approaching the quilt process in a new way. I'm keenly aware of the variety of textures and weights of the fabrics I've pulled (photo above). The quantity of each fabric now plays an integral and critical part of the design process, designing according to what I have. Quilt strategy at its best!  

Pursuing my interest in feeling closer to our quilting heritage, I'm looking to antique quilts for design inspiration. Here are three from "The American Quilt" by Roderick Kiracofe: 

Since making letters for a special commissioned quilt in December 2015, I've wanted to do more with words - perhaps piecing a beautiful quote or poem.  This challenge might be the perfect opportunity to get going!  Inscription, 1874-1876, made by Cornelia Catharine Vosburgh, Red Hook, NY

Since making letters for a special commissioned quilt in December 2015, I've wanted to do more with words - perhaps piecing a beautiful quote or poem.  This challenge might be the perfect opportunity to get going! 

Inscription, 1874-1876, made by Cornelia Catharine Vosburgh, Red Hook, NY

As a natural dyer, indigo quilts and Turkey Red quilts always steal my heart. From this challenge, I'd like to learn a new technique or a new block. The feathered star might be the ticket! Feathered Star, c.1840-1860, found in eastern Ohio; cottons, pieced, with stuffed work and cording, 82 1/2" x 91". Collection of Gail Binney.

As a natural dyer, indigo quilts and Turkey Red quilts always steal my heart. From this challenge, I'd like to learn a new technique or a new block. The feathered star might be the ticket!

Feathered Star, c.1840-1860, found in eastern Ohio; cottons, pieced, with stuffed work and cording, 82 1/2" x 91". Collection of Gail Binney.

Hawaiian Quilts make me weak in the knees. They're always stunning, and they certainly speak to my love of paper cutting. What I'm most curious to try is echo hand quilting. So beautiful. Unnamed pattern, c. 1940, Hawaii; cottons, appliqued, 81" x 85". Robert and Ardis James Collection.

Hawaiian Quilts make me weak in the knees. They're always stunning, and they certainly speak to my love of paper cutting. What I'm most curious to try is echo hand quilting. So beautiful.

Unnamed pattern, c. 1940, Hawaii; cottons, appliqued, 81" x 85". Robert and Ardis James Collection.

https://www.theguardian.com/sustainable-business/2016/feb/23/marie-kondo-joy-decluttering-waste-recycling-clothes-peak-stuff

https://www.theguardian.com/sustainable-business/2016/feb/23/marie-kondo-joy-decluttering-waste-recycling-clothes-peak-stuff

In addition to pushing one's own creative limits, there's a second element to Sherri Lynn's challenge, and that is increasing one's awareness of the huge problem the world is facing regarding fabric, landfills and our soil and water supply.

Overconsumption is a problem for us all. As a quilter, if the making of even one quilt can begin to affect change, then I'm all in. Every effort counts! Recently, I posted about how each piece of cloth is handled here in the studio, and the truth is, every scrap is accounted for. None of it goes in the trash. 

100% of my quilt making scraps over the past 22 months, and all of it is safe for my compost bin.

100% of my quilt making scraps over the past 22 months, and all of it is safe for my compost bin.

I'll post my #MakeDoQuilt updates here and on my IG feed. Do you have any questions for me? Are you participating, too? Let's get some conversation going, and I'd love to hear and see how you're meeting the #MakeDoQuilt Challenge!