I recently found a pile of small blocks I’d made from scraps a while ago. I’d made a bunch in different colors: green, pink, yellow, etc. I’d forgotten about this set of blue ones and put them up on the design wall to see they made a nice sized wall quilt. A sign at a protest march that was a blue wave made from blue post it notes gave me the idea for how to quilt this. I’m hand quilting white and blue echo lines to make a waves all over it. I’m feeling cautiously optimistic for November 2020 given the election results in Virginia last night.
I’m finally creating a project that’s been on my mind for years – making a crocheted rug from the leftover T-shirts from my kids’ memory quilts. I collected their favorite outgrown shirts for years and for each kid made a T-shirt memory quilt of the images printed on the front. This still leaves a lot of leftover fabric from the shirt – the back, the bottom and often the long sleeves. I made “T-yarn” from the bigger scrap pieces (there are lots of tutorials on how to do this – just Google it.) From this yarn, I’ve learned to crochet in-the-round and am making a large, colorful crocheted area rug (took a great class at ImagiKnit here in San Francisco.) I’m still going at it, but it’s getting pretty big!
…to make this!
I’ve been sticking to my 2018 New Year’s resolution to use repurposed materials, or to only use what I have in my stash and on hand. This project, thankfully, has helped me use up several bags of stored items. Also, it prompted me to go through my own wardrobe and repurpose shirts that no longer fit, are stained or that I simply have not been wearing. I have a lot of balls of T-yarn to use – this could get pretty darn big.
This quilt has been a long awaited labor of love. I’m finallymaking this memory quilt for my son from his collection of T-shirts that I’ve held onto for years – from preschool through high school. It’s a trip down memory lane for me – I clearly remember him wearing each one at every stage, and every interest and passion. I’ll have it done for his 22nd birthday next month. I’m very happy with how this is turning out! And still sticking with my resolution -going on two years now – to make quilts from what I have and from recycled materials, clothing and fabric.
Three of my quilts were juried into, and received Honorable Mention for, the Envision Arts online Earth-Mother exhibit.The theme is artworks made from recycled materials. Shown are: “Shirt Off His Back” made from my husband’s repurposed shirts; “Julian’s Jeans” made from outgrown denim and twill pants following my son’s teen growth spurt; and “American Patriot: Words Matter” constructed with old jeans from my family and friends. One of my goals this past year was to enter my quilts into more juried shows and exhibitions so I’m pretty excited! (And a first for me in an art show that isn’t exclusively quilts or fiber art!)
ARTIST STATEMENT: LORRAINE WOODRUFF-LONG
My medium is the quilt to highlight the political and moral challenges of today’s world. Using recycled fabric from my family, friends and community, I design modern quilts that create a permanent connection between the original wearer and myself. I use a variety of traditional quilting techniques including machine, hand quilting and applique, and design with traditional blocks as well as improvisational quilting – with a particular emphasis on modern and contemporary designs . My work reflects my community, my family and my political beliefs.
Shirt Off His Back quilt – made from my husbands shirts
I am having so much fun making these blocks from a collection of “my precious” silk – Some which I’ve held onto since almost forever.
Over 30 years ago I bought several yards of teal silk while in Thailand on a round-the-world ticket following my time in Peace Corps Kenya. I always thought I’d make it into something to wear. The yellow, red and orange silk were recently gifted from a Bee Modern SF buddy – a neighbor clearing out his mom’s house had yards and yards of silk to give away and it was shared with our group. And the pink was just given to me in a large box of fabric from a friend this fall. I’d bought a few fat quarters over the years waiting for inspiration. Well I FOUND IT and have had so much fun creating these blocks! I have about five more to make to finish what will be a wall hanging to go over our fireplace (28”x28”).
I’m excited that my “Shirt Off His Back” Quilt was accepted into the Modern Quilt Guild’s “QuiltCon 2019” show in Nashville,TN. It’s the first time an entry of mine has made it into QuiltCon (1 out of 10 quilts I’ve submitted to this show over the past 3 years.) I don’t think I’ll be able to swing attending in February, but am grateful to have finally made it in. If at first you don’t succeed…and all that.
“My 2018 New Year’s Resolution was to only use quilt materials that I had on hand. My architect husband (with very good taste) used the holiday for some closet-cleaning and I nabbed this collection for myself. First attempts to machine quilt this giant were abandoned and I decided to hand-quilt it using perle cotton. Many hours, days and weeks later, it is our new family treasure. And I kept my New Year’s Resolution!”
Keeping to my resolution in 2018 to sew with what I have, recycle where possible, finish WIPs or planned projects – but not to buy new fabric! – I’ve been plowing through my Kona Cotton stash and making these color bar blocks. “Making things to make things” as I told my husband. I’m not sure what I’ll do next but it’s a fun mindless task to create these – and I’ve used up a lot of my stash. Next up I’ll make a set of neutrals (whites, grey, beige and black) before I start creating something (probably many things) from all these strips.
I am an American Patriot. Following service in the Peace Corps, I emerged passionate about our valuable American rights and freedoms. I witnessed first-hand the oppression of a people without freedom of speech or a free press; of an unchallenged president in a one-party state; of corrupt elections. The women I worked with were limited in personal and economic freedom and had little control over their bodies or lives. This quilt was inspired by these experiences as well as signs exhibited at the peaceful marches in which I’ve participated since 2016. Made from my family’s jeans and recycled clothing