In my ongoing pursuit to clean out, declutter and organize my studio, the question that looms is what to do with scraps and fabric that we no longer want. For so many of us, this has almost become a war cry. We love to sew, we love to create, and yet we feel so guilty about throwing out fabric scraps that we know could be used for SOMETHING!!! And then there's the fabric that we once thought was great, but our tastes changed and it's just the sad old piece that continues to sit there because we feel, once again the "G" word, guilty about not using it.
To lighten up the mood just a bit, now that I have us all feeling guilty, I came across this on Facebook this morning. Made me laugh and I thought you might enjoy it as well :)
At the moment, and I say at the moment, because I have quite a bit more to go through, I have 3 bags full of fabric and scraps. So what to do?
A few years ago, a very energetic and creative woman came to speak to our sewing group, The Haute Couture Club of Chicago. I was amazed by what she has done and the impact that she has made. Her name is Monika Neuland Kimrey, and she is an artist who believes that you can change a life with a scrap of fabric or a piece of yarn.
She works with the elderly, the developmentally and physically challenged, children's programs, and has recently started programs in the Englewood area of Chicago. For those of you who do not know Chicago, this area has become notorious for gang activity and murders.
Monkia believes in creating opportunities for those whom society has labeled as unable and and giving them the new title of artist.
Below, an after school program.
Monika teaching a developmentally challenged young man to sew and ultimately create.
Another example of what can be created with scraps.
After meeting Monika and experiencing her vision, I no longer look at my bags of scraps and unwanted fabric as a burden. I see them as possibilities in waiting.
If you live in the Chicagoland area and have fabric and scraps that you would like to donate, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I will be happy to pass along Monika's email address. Sadly, she does not have a website.
Now, if you don't live in Chicago, what can you do? I've given this quite a bit of thought and here are some of my ideas.
1. Put an ad on Craig's List and direct it toward artists. There are many artists who use fabric scraps in their artwork. You can always arrange to meet them at a fabric store to pick up the fabric rather than coming to your home.
2. Contact a local art center. Again, many artist's use fabric and scraps in their artwork and would appreciate the donation.
3. Contact your local government or schools and see if they have an after school art program for children.
4. Talk to school teachers, especially those teaching kindergarten classes. They are always looking for materials that can be used for art projects.
These are just a few ideas that came to mind.
Do you have any resources or ideas that I can share? If so, please leave a comment and I will do a follow up post and share your ideas with everyone.
I posted this last Sunday for the week's inspiration;
Never believe that a few caring people can't change the world, for indeed that's all who ever have.
Even a scrap of fabric can make a difference.
Next week, I will share more of your studio pictures and my progress as well. In the meantime, if you would like to share your studio with all of us, you may link up your pictures on THIS POST. We want to see the good, the bad and the ugly :) Come on!, I showed you mine!!!