up-cycle with patchwork

Posted by Melanie Hasan on

When first sourcing fabrics for Modest Transitions, I witnessed the harmful effects that the textile industry had on the environment. The effect the pollution had on my body while I was pregnant opened my eyes even more. For all designs and textiles, we source our fabrics from local recycling and reuse businesses. FABSCRAP is a notable and reliable recycling resource that educates and empowers the community.

modest transitions featured designer at fabscrap

Modest Transitions FABSCRAP featured designer (2023)

Rabbit Recycling provides recycling and up-cycling solutions for both households and businesses. The Resource Exchange provides inspiration and reclaimed materials for sustainable making and lifestyle choices. Thanks to these resources we are able to transform preloved fabrics and give them another life.

With beautiful designs comes leftover fabric that was tossed aside during the creation process. Instead of discarding these scraps, I collect them all for future use. While collecting the scraps, there is no specific use for them in mind, but eventually, I become inspired to make something great. You’d be surprised what can come from leftovers that are considered to be trash by many. One of my first zero-waste projects was a patchwork design, which I put in a frame and now have displayed in the studio. The design consists of various colors and patterns from previous projects. After two years the colors are still beautiful and add value to the space.

naturally dyed patchwork at modest transitions studio

These days, I look forward to hosting a zero-waste workshop where attendees will create their own patchwork tote bags. The one-day workshop will cover project planning and drafting, cutting and piecing patchwork fabric, handle installation, and more. Though we have donated fabric for use, we encourage everyone to bring their own fabric to cut and transform! 

naturally dyed patchwork tote bag close up Modest Transitions

After taking a workshop, you can use that skill again in your everyday life! Patchwork designing is useful because you will have the ability to give an old item a new life. For example, instead of throwing away worn jeans, upcycle them by adding a funky patterned patch. This patch could be from an old shirt or blanket. Or you could cut up your jeans and make your own denim tote bag. Add value to your personal items while being creative and environmentally sustainable! What do you have in your home that needs to be revived?

community events do it yourself patchwork quilting sustainability up-cycle workshops

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