I hate waste!
For some reason, unknown to me, I’ve become a person who absolutely hates waste. I didn’t grow up during the depression, nor were my parents deeply wounded by it. They didn’t squirrel away lightbulbs and steal hotel soaps for the next one. So I can’t blame my upbringing for this hatred.
I use up sketchy food by making soup
I save fabric scraps for the birds to use
I recycle furniture, at one time a particle board entertainment unit stood in for a kitchen pantry
I’ve become a community composter
Once the Great Covid Mask Era was over, I was left with lots of novelty fabrics. I’d made hundreds of kids’ masks. I had sports fabrics, Disney, Star Wars, princesses and unicorns, animals, dinosaurs, cars, trucks, fruits and veggies, you name it, I had it. Prints I’d never use if I wasn’t making masks.
What to do with all those prints?
This was the very first Eye Spy jacket I made. It was a gift for a friend’s new grandson. The stitching of fabrics in random ways, cutting them into the pieces for all the jacket parts then quilting them to fleece was incredibly fun.
And let me tell you, those little scrap babies breed at night!
A few more attempts and I refined my system. A few requests and a new hobby/revenue source began.
Now I’m working on adult jackets
The requests keep coming too. My hairstylist was listening to me blather on about making these and she started imagining one for herself. Plaids, herringbone, textures. It spoke ‘wool’ to me. She is quite tall, has very long arms and has trouble finding jackets/coats to fit. That evening I sent a couple of pattern pics for approval, and started buying up wool scraps on Etsy. The result?
She’s calling it her Post Apocalypse Coat, i.e…it’s the coat that gets made from whatever survives the apocalypse, (did I mention she’s a sci-fi nerd?) We’re trading my coat for her services too, not a bad deal!
Making jackets from scraps is floating my creative boat in ways I never imagined. It’s therapeutic and soothing, 2 things sorely needed after the past couple years. Pandemic, heart surgery, job loss, depressive cycle…it’s been a season. It also speaks to my highly practical side.
Why make it if you can’t wear it?
I joined a FB group called The Scrappy Girls Club, which has over 50,000 members around the world. I thought it would be a great place to display what I am doing and pick up a few ideas for using up fabrics. It’s largely a group of perfectionist quilters who love to use their scrap pile to make gorgeously designed quilts, soo not my style right now.
Originally imperfect is my jam
(Side note, I was privileged to connect with a woman from Ukraine and have followed her updates on the war…)
I have always believed that God is the master repurposer. Clearly he’s portrayed that way in Scripture. When thinking about, say Ruth, he actively rescued and repurposed her life. He saved her from poverty and widowhood and used her to accomplish his plan for Israel. Ultimately she becomes a (#) grandmother of King David, who is in the lineage of,
And that’s just one story! All the OT patriarchs and the NT disciples are people God repurposed into men and women who were used to accomplish his purpose.
The NT promise is summed up this way,
Romans 8:28-29 “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” NIV
God has always chosen people who needed repurposing. Even Paul, the most elite Pharisee needed a new purpose. Once they were chosen, their purpose changed. They became new people, ones chosen for use in a new way.
Nehemiah chapter 3 is nothing if not a story of people being repurposed to do a job that they were never trained for. High priests, rulers, goldsmiths, perfumers…all of them used as wall builders. Men and women with swords at their sides, working for a cause that reestablishes Israel as it’s own nation.
A beautiful picture of what God can do with willing hands and hearts
Isaiah puts it this way,
“He has sent me to bind up the broken-hearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor and the day of vengeance of our God, to comfort all who mourn, and provide for those who grieve in Zion, to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of joy instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair. They will be called oaks of righteousness, a planting of the Lord for the display of his splendor. They will rebuild the ancient ruins and restore the places long devastated; they will renew the ruined cities that have been devastated for generations.” Isaiah 61:1-4 NIV
Beautiful word picture isn’t it? Ruins to splendor. Crowns of beauty for the ash heap. Rejoicing instead of deep despair. Renewal from generations of devastation. That word generation implies a long lineage of brokenness. But the great restoration expert can rebuild even the most broken lives.
People are pursuing lives absent of guilt, pain, consequences, shame and remorse. Entire books are written about it today. It’s such a sad endeavor. I’ve tried to eliminate every one of those things in my life, with absolutely no success. The pursuit left me feeing frustrated, angry and wounded. It lacked the redemptive quality needed to right the wrongs that left me haunted by those feelings. Instead of abolishing them, I needed to have them,
Recognizing where we’ve been repurposed is a gift. One that keeps giving (remember-night breeding). Participating in that gift means allowing the Master Repurposer to craft us into his design. In the case of sewing it can mean trimming away pieces, stitching others together, using a seam ripper to re-stitch something, or a hot iron to press away the wrinkles and open the seams. You get the idea.
I’m soooo grateful to be a member of The Scrappy Life Club,
There’s nothing quite like it