Fabric Piecing: Art Intersects Environment

Just like brushwork creates a painting, the art of fabric piecing gives birth to a Folk Tote bag.  Fabrics are the “paints” and the product is a visual statement that never before existed.

Our grandparents called it “patchwork,” and the piecing together of cloth fragments was a creative process born of necessity.  While many Folk Tote bags are pieced from new fabric (Indonesian batiks, Australian Aboriginal prints, organic cottons, and so on), others give the nod to traditional patchwork by re-purposing usable scraps.

Many Folk Tote bags give new life to “experienced” fabrics by using remnants of vintage linens and thrift shop finds. As in times past, thriftiness remains a virtue – now, with respect to the environment.

Imagine, for example, a little girl’s dress sporting a grape juice stain.  Four square inches of purple on the skirt say its party days are done. But beyond the spot there’s a half yard sweep of like-new fabric complete with intricate embroidery and eyelet trim.

Plenty of beautiful life remains in the fabric of that dress, and it’s a windfall, environmentally speaking.  That re-used dress fabric represents cloth for which cotton won’t be grown (think unneeded irrigation, fertilizer, and pesticides), and for which carbon emissions won’t be generated during processing, production, and transportation of newly manufactured cloth.


                                                                               detail from   Blue Ribbons

                                                                               detail from Blue Ribbons