In the history of quilts and quilt makers, there’s a lot written about “making do” – using what you have, working within the constraints of circumstance, finding all kinds of substitutions and work arounds, and not giving up when encountered with limitations. In older quilts we often find that the quilt maker has run out of a certain fabric and has just substituted what she had on hand, or has re-used an old blanket in place of batting, or has simply sewn together leftover bits and pieces of fabric scraps, willy nilly, to make something that will provide comfort and warmth for her family. I find these “make do” quilts beautiful and inspiring. I’ve also found that the very limitations we encounter in life can foster creativity and ingenuity. And so the Making Do Project came about.
My Make-Do Quilts are made from a variety of upcycled fabrics – from thrift-store shirts to vintage linens and fabrics found at estate sales. Most of the quilts are inspired by the particular antique quilts I happen to be studying at the time, but all of the Make-Do Quilts seem to hover in between the past and the present, with my sometimes more modern take on the quilt blocks, and more contemporary edge-to-edge quilting designs. More often than not, my version moves beyond the original inspiration simply because I am “making do” with what I have!