Gathering vintage fabric for a Boro repair project

Awhile back, I began making denim patches constructed from old worn vintage denim clothing.  These patches are great for decorating your own torn jeans or jacket, and for adding to quilts or story collage.  You may remember.  The one on the right is in my Etsy shop but the one just below has sold.  Now I am gathering old scraps for boro repair work.  Boro was–and still is–an originally Japanese method of making use of worn clothing by patching–sometimes with other worn pieces.

Repairing old clothing and linens was practiced in many cultures, as with the American patchwork quilt.

Now I have gathered these materials to begin a project in the Boro patch repair style, but I am approaching the project with the utmost respect for the original Japanese tradition.

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Recycling, Reusing, Hand-dyed Scraps with Sashiko Stitching

With the plant dyeing season over in Chicago, I have begun putting my natural hand-dyed scraps together.  Patches. And patches with sashiko style stitching.

Combining vintage scraps with new sashiko patterns (well, new to me!)

Sometimes going for mood…

and sometimes not!

Thoughtful Recycling

One of my big wishes is that people did not throw away so much stuff:  like clothing, paper, food–just to start.  We do have legitimate garbage, but do you ever ask yourself if the stuff you are about to throw away could be used again?  Re-use, recycling, repurposing.  Donations.

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Brown paper bag rolled to protect homespun yarn.
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Cutting selvedges from decorator fabric.
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Cotton selvedges rolled and ready for rug weaving.

I made some curtains this week and had to trim the selvedges.  What do you usually do with selvedges?  Throw them away.  Me, too.  But not anymore.  I carefully trimmed the selvedges then rolled them to be used in my weaving.  Then there are those folks who really know how re-cycle and have been doing it forever.  I recently purchased some hand-spun yarn online and discovered that the spinner had used recycled paper to band her yarn.

I admire people who have made businesses out of recycling, such as Rose and Penelope, who both have Etsy shops selling reclaimed yarn.  This is a labor-intensive business, and because I love the idea and the yarn they offer, I am a repeat customer.  Top in photo is linen and below, cashmere. What are you recycling?img_3423