Scraps, Glorious Scraps

My friend entices me into a fabric shop. I am on a different trajectory of busy-focus and lunch-hunger, but I allow myself to be diverted.

red gold fabric flower art


My friend asks if they have remnants. They do. I proceed to spend half an hour – or is it a week? – rummaging through remnant bags. The bags are organised according to colour.

fabric cloth scraps

textures and edges

I am a kid in a lolly shop. I am an artist in an art shop.

I am caught in a fabric fragment web

of divine daydreaming.

All else fades away.

It is a surprise Artist Date.

I think of the art-making potential. I love incorporating threads and tissues into paintages.

I think of my elderly art therapy client who

continues to relate to most objects as if they are pieces of fabric to be rolled, smoothed, patted, arranged, aligned, gathered.

fabric remnant art

practically edible remnant bag

I cannot walk away until I have chosen a remnant bag. Better make that two. One for me and one for work. But which colours? There’s a bag of red pieces, a bag of green, of purple. I have to open up each of twenty bags and sift through carefully, as there are random stray pieces of dull beige corduroy or rough tawny serge (yuk) biding their time amongst the satin sea greens or velvet rich reds. I must choose well.

What was it

I was supposed to concentrate on

before the fabric treasure cave opened up?

fabric raised floral design

mainly greens.
I can’t remember the name of the fabric with slightly raised velvety suedy floral design patterns. Never mind. I don’t have to know the name; just enjoy.

A year or two passes. I must put an end to my slightly-panicky bliss. I choose two bags.

A mostly red

oh the colours
oh the textures

and a mostly green.

fabric remnant polka dot

there’s even a slinky pale blue-green fabric with white polka dots

My friend has to remind me to leave the shop. She steers my glassy-eyed, brocade-brained self to the nearest cafe.

Back home, I am besotted with my remnant bags. I love them just as they are, folded and mooshed in their abundantly textured colour harmonies. I photograph them. But which will I keep and which will I donate to the workplace? I am stumped.

material scraps colour


It is then that I have a phenomenal breakthrough.

I can mix and match! I do not have to accept separate red and green bags exactly as they are. I can adapt, rearrange and make a fresh compilation with a selection of reds and greens for myself, as well as one for work.

I am a dodo. Why on earth did the idea of actively re-ordering the pieces not occur to me until this point? Am I such a blinkingly blind follower of the status quo that I do not think outside the box (or the plastic snap-lock bag, as the case may be)?

How odd that the 25 years Creativity Coach, the Queen of Art and Soul Space, the artist and art therapist who continually generates ideas, didn’t imagine such simple action.

Do you have any ideas

about why this might be so?

Anyway, I remember to be kind to self and relish the Moment of Creative Spark. I mix and match the colours. 

I have a ball making my first post-remnant artwork with fabric scraps and coloured tissue. And guess what? I only want to use the reds, with a bit of gold. Ha!

red gold fabric

the reds with a bit of gold
(too much fun)

red gold fabric flower art