Books + Magazines

Published on March 13th, 2008 | by Skye Kilaen

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Green Crafts In The News: Quilting and Craft Supplies in eInsider

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buttoneInsider is the “electronic newsletter for the quilting and soft crafts industry” by Quilts Inc., the company which produces the International Quilt Festivals. The article Green Quilting: Improving the Earth One Fiber at a Time appeared a while back, though I didn’t find it until now. It profiles a variety of green crafting issues in quilting and beyond.

I did have a couple of bones to pick with the article, but there were also quite a few good things that were new to me.

First, the Green Quilts Project, founded by Susan Shie, encouraged quilters to make quilts from 1989 to 2004 to send healing energy to the Earth. I had never heard of this effort before. I also didn’t know about Mountain Mist’s Eco Craft batting, fiberfill, and pillowforms, which are made from corn fiber.

The Aurora Silk website offers natural dyes and great tutorials for using them. And it was good to see a mention of Betz White’s delicious recycled wool sweater crafts and her book Warm Fuzzies, which always make me want to buy every wool sweater within a 10 mile radius and start felting them.

Readers of Crafting a Green World will no doubt recognize a few of the other artists and businesses mentioned!

What didn’t I like about the article? First, the claim that there is little need for eco-friendly notions because many notions are made from bamboo. Maybe that’s true for buttons, but not for everything else. Second, the following recommendation, emphasis mine:

Aside from personally reusing textiles, quilters and fiber artists can also donate fabrics, clothing, or other fiber products to local charities, regardless of the condition of the item. According to the Council for Textile Recycling, close to a million tons of post-consumer textiles are collected by non-profit organizations each year. Of that, about half can be sold as second-hand items, while most of the remainder is recycled and used to create new products, often for individuals in third-world countries.

I hope the readers of this article check with their nonprofit of choice before donating torn, stained, or worn out clothing! Not all nonprofits participate in such programs, and receiving “donations” like this just increases their disposal costs.

The article mentions that Mountain Mist and the International Quilt Study Center are co-sponsoring the Crafting A Better Planet Quilt Competition. Unfortunately, the deadline was March 1st. We’ll keep an eye on it to see who wins and keep you posted.

[Photo by Rodolfo Clix.]

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About the Author

Skye Kilaen began sewing at an early age and eco-rabble-rousing shortly after that. Many years later, someone finally told her that there are books about how to make quilts. Life was never the same. In fact, she spent more on her sewing machine than her car. Bringing her green and crafty passions back together, Skye is now happily discovering ways to create beautiful and useful objects using thrifted and sustainable materials. No, that's not just an excuse to visit Goodwill more often. Honest.



  • http://www.stringtheoryshop.com Autumn Wiggins

    Great post Skye! I’m sooo buying that Betz White book :)

  • http://www.stringtheoryshop.com Autumn Wiggins

    Great post Skye! I’m sooo buying that Betz White book :)

  • http://www.stringtheoryshop.com Autumn Wiggins

    Great post Skye! I’m sooo buying that Betz White book :)

  • http://www.stringtheoryshop.com Autumn Wiggins

    Great post Skye! I’m sooo buying that Betz White book :)

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