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Inspiring Quilting: Elly's blog to boost your creative IQ

Remarkable Recyclables

DSCN1535 Seen and admired at the Pennsylvania National Quilt  Extravaganza last week:



This vibrant abstract is by Batia Eichenholz of Herzelia, Israel, and it’s a winning entry in the 2013 World Quilt Competition XVII that was on tour at PNQE. Called Shopping, this machine stitched and zig-zag quilted wall piece is made of plastic shopping bags–which would seem to be more colorful and sturdy than the US variety, and so I’m certain they get lots of repeat use. Love the black bars that give the composition strength. Notice in the details the Hebrew that occasionally appears, and the metallic prairie points that punctuate the design.

DSCN1533 DSCN1534


KitchenHamsa-EL (2)


Kinda reminds me of what I do with recycled, foil lined packaging, predominantly coffee and tea bag envelopes. I’ll be teaching this technique in a workshop for the Pomegranate Guild on Oct. 7.

Click here to check out the other pieces in my ReUse series.

And bear in mind, that plastic or plasticized packaging prevents this amateur photographer from getting a sharp, clear image for ya!






Back to the real artists: Like her Israeli compatriot, Orna Shahar also used shopping bags, but as commentary on their severe environmental hazard. Her piece is called Artificial Nature. The plastic bags are fused, creating lace-like leaves, and the orange of the background is meant to serve as a warning.

ArtificialNature   DSCN1541










Another innovative use of recycled materials reveals itself in Tea, by Trienie Krugel of South Africa. This artist placed used teabags under tulle on an old tablecloth, and hand-quilted. At some stage she must have stamped images of tea cups and tea pots. Gathering stitches turned round teabags, clearly already dunked in a cup, into mini flowers.













And now to return to that most classic of recyling materials–old clothing and leftover scraps! For the making of Don’t Fence Me In, entered into PNQE’s “Home” themed contest, Margaret Fabrizio of San Francisco was inspired by the Siddi people. Of African descent, they had been brought to India as slaves 400 years ago. Emulating their style of quilting, she did the piece completely by hand, and with Indian fabrics–upcycled into this stunner:


Dig those corners–another unexpected use for a prairie point!


What have you seen, and what are you working on, that turns recyclables and found objects into art? Do tell, in the comments below!



2 Responses to “Remarkable Recyclables”

  1. Judy says:

    I made a colorful wallhanging from popped balloons and soda cans.

  2. Eleanor says:

    Judy, that sounds like an eye-POPPING awesome work. I’d love to see a picture–would you email me a jpeg?–elevie@comcast.net

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