Creatively Recycled: From Tablecloth to Applique to Tote

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I get a strong sense of satisfaction when I finish a project to completion, and I’m sure you do also, but in opposition I also feel a strong sense of dissatisfaction when I don’t finish a project. Because of this, I tend to put my ufos away out of sight so I’m not constantly reminded that I didn’t finish them.

There are on occasion, projects that I *really* love and *really* intend to finish one day, and these I pin to my design wall so they are always in view. But like most things in life, if we see something every day it eventually becomes invisible.

I’ve been keeping myself busy these last few weeks by recycling some of my unwanted fabric into bags and totes and other odds and ends, and unfortunately one of my much loved (but invisible) ufos got in the way of my line of vision this week as my mind was ticking over about other types of stuff I could “creatively recycle”, and this is the result.

Overdyed Applique Tote

Originally this project was intended to be a focal design for a wearable art jacket, and it’s been a good couple of years since I started it. The fabric originally was an overdyed damask tablecloth and a piece of overdyed japanese kimono silk, and the intricate machine applique was painstakingly sewn using a very small zig-zag stitch and decorative machine stitches. I should have taken some *before* photos, but … oh, well. The finished size of this beautiful tote is approx 13″ high by 11″ wide and I have to admit, I think I like it much better as a tote.

Overdyed Applique Tote

Because the applique design was so large, it wraps around to the back – I love it!

Overdyed Applique Tote

Look at those tiny stitches, I can’t even image how I was patient enough to do all this.

Overdyed Applique Tote

You can see the lovely damask design on the background fabric; the design became very subtle once the fabric was overdyed.

Overdyed Applique Tote

This creative recycling has been incredibly rewarding and I have quite a few items completed already, mostly from recycled ufos and unused samples, and I have *lots* of samples and ufos and other odds and ends lying around so I expect this recycling project will keep me busy for a very long time.

2 thoughts on “Creatively Recycled: From Tablecloth to Applique to Tote”

  1. This is simply a beautiful piece of art – I love it!

    I found your site on Google this morning and have been having a fabulous time going through your posts. Your work is very ispiring – thank you for sharing. I am just so excited to have found you!

    Nicki Lee / Raviolee Dreams

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