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I wonder what the collective noun for inspirations really is? Anyhow confluence will do because four inspirations all came together yesterday morning and stopped me in my scrap busting, square cutting tracks. Four inspirations plus Necessity who we all know is the mother of invention. 🙂

Inspiration 1

I watched Rossie’s video presentation about modern quilts and she spoke about the concept of “wabi sabi”. According to Wikipedia “Wabi sabi represents a comprehensive Japanese world view or aesthetic centered on the acceptance of transience. The aesthetic is sometimes described as one of beauty that is ‘imperfect, impermanent, and incomplete'”.

Inspiration 2

I’ve always liked Silly Boo Dilly’s work quilts with their utility quilting stitches and patched effect.

Inspiration 3

The Gee’s Bend Quilts fascinated me when I saw the book about them at a friend’s house in Washington, DC last year.

Inspiration 4

Jenny of Elefantz had an August Reinvention Challenge on. Some of the things she made with an old orange shirt were really beautiful.


I have problem ankles and when I sit cross-legged to meditate they cause me pain. To this end I purchased a meditation stool. It has however, two problems. The first is the colour which is lovely but hardly conducive to contemplation. The second is that it is too high for me. I had always planned to make a long, thin cushioned mat to go under it to lift me up and protect my knees.

The inspirations and necessity converge

I decided to cover the seat and make a cushion for underneath. As I was rifling through my scrap bag busily extracting fabrics to cut into squares I came across two linen dresses that I had stuffed in there. They were too faded to wear any longer but I loved the soft, washed out feel of the 100% linen fabric and so had saved it for a “rainy day”. Well yesterday was it.

As I fondled the soft, faded fabric I was reminded of the four previously mentioned inspirations and so the meditation stool and cushion projects were born. Here are some photos of the fabric and the process I used to cut them up and reassemble them into reasonable sized pieces of fabric that I could use for the two projects. If you click on the thumbnails you’ll get larger photos. As you can see I didn’t worry about removing the darts. In fact I left them in as they add character to the final piece and speak of the fact that they are recycled pieces of fabric. I think it all adds to the utilitarian beauty of  it.

I didn’t worry about precise seams etc., as the fabric doesn’t hold its shape and deforms very easily. Again I didn’t mind this as it resonated with the whole concept.

Once I had my fabric pieces I went to work transforming the stool first of all. I folded the fabric around the stool, anchoring it with long pins. I now need to buy some upholstery nails to attach it permanently to the seat. Once that is done I plan to embellish it with some “utilitarian quilting stitches”.
Here are some more pictures of the stool. I’ll leave the cushion project until tomorrow to show you. Stay tuned…