I've been cleaning up and organizing my studio and realizing how much old work I have piled around. I need to clear some stuff out—somehow. I don't begin to sell everything I make. I send it off to shows, some sells, some comes home and ends up rolled up and stored. Some I give away. Some I feel great fondness for, some not so much. And I just keep making it! Last year, when we had the Open Studio Tour, I marked old prices down and cleared out some of it. I will do that again next month. I keep wondering if there are other ways to recycle some of it and have ideas for cutting up and reusing in an artful way... I'm still pondering that.
Meanwhile I repurposed one piece for my own use. You might remember this piece I made for a High Fiber Diet show called "Line Dance" 7 years ago.
I had been making little tiny pieces using scraps for about a year and incorporated them into two bigger quilted pieces. This was one of them. It was a fun, decorative piece to make and I always loved the colors. It was in a few shows and sales, but never sold. This week I made it into a tote bag.
I need a bag that is the right size for my laptop from time to time. For the next year I'm planning to use the bag to store and carry my supplies needed for my job as president of the Columbia Fiber Arts Guild. I think it will be good for that and better than my standard Trader Joe's bag! I lined it and included some pockets for organizing stuff. Granted, a lot of my time, energy and precious materials ended up as a lowly tote bag, but better than moldering away in a closet. I know of other quilt artists who have donated their unsold work to humane shelters to line dog beds...
A couple months ago the City of Beaverton Arts Commission sent out a call to artists for photos of their work to beautify the city's trash receptacles and thus, three more of my old works have found a new life! In this case all they needed was a photo, from which vinyl wraps for the containers were created. So this was not helpful in reducing my inventory, but a nice way to see more of my work in public places. Here is the one that now sits in front of the Beaverton police department, near the front entrance.
The other two are in a small park downtown. These photos, below, are from the city.
There are about 40 of these around the city, using all kinds of art. I love seeing them, and while I never aspired to have my art decorating trash containers, I'm pretty proud of my three!