Cleo C.

The Positive Value of Limitations

            Living in a small island in the Caribbean, I am continually faced with the challenge of finding materials and other supplies that textile artists in larger countries can find, almost literally, on their doorsteps. Recently, for example I could not find ordinary red sewing thread in any of the three fabric shops on the island!  No shortage of Sun, Sea and Sand though!

            When I first started quilting, needing good cottons, threads and notions,  frequently searching fruitlessly for just the right thing, I did a fair amount of hair pulling, but eventually I have, as you said, ‘embraced the limitations’.   I can’t say that I learned to love them, but learning to live with them has caused me to accept and adapt to a less accommodating environment. It has led me to improvise materials to work with, to look at simple, familiar objects with new eyes and to use them in creative ways.           

            Because I’m always facing a scarcity of fabric, very little goes out when new stuff comes in. However, I have recently plucked up the courage to clear out a drawer and given its contents to a local school with the thought that the pieces might be useful in developing an interest in fabric and in other art projects.           

            However, I have a game plan for making something with my leftover fabric pieces by combining them with something a bit unusual. . I have a strong interest in the natural environment and have recently been collecting small cast off branches withinteresting shapes.  My plan was to choose a few of the branches, and cover them with a variety of my treasured fabric pieces.

I have attached two pictures of a few of my covered branches. I am quite happy with how they turned out.

 The second picture shows them in more detail.  I plan to display them as I have shown here.   Later I may think of some other ways to feature them.