Welcome to CYT! This episode (Ep.19) features a fascinating, wide-ranging and inspiring conversation with quilt-maker, Shelly Sommer. I thought we were going to be mainly discussing quilting, potentially as a way to use up fabric scraps and unwanted clothing, however Shelly is such an intelligent, thoughtful maker and human that our conversation ended up going off on a whole heap of interesting tangents.
We did talk about the traditions, purposes and changing role of quilts, and that led to her making lots of great points about more considered approaches to consuming. We also talked about creative collaboration, her job that is related to climate science, her thoughts on a circular economy plus various forms of activism and their role in creating social change. Shelly was such a pleasure, and although we got into some heavy topics, I really came away feeling positive and empowered.
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Find Shelly Sommer on Instagram @encodedstudio.
Almost since she began sewing Shelly has used her skills to add bands to thrifted garments to make them longer. Some examples of Shelly’s lengthened garments:
Some information on the quilters from Gees Bend, Alabama HERE.
Listen to the powerful BBC World Service Documentary about the Gees Bend Quilters HERE (you need to have a BBC account or register for one to listen).
Shelly is part of the Boulder Modern Quilt Guild HERE.
Shelly makes a collaborative quilt with the young people in her life when they turn 13. Her latest project uses reclaimed denim from her husband’s old jeans:
Latifah Saafir’s Glam Clam quilt pattern HERE.
My first attempt at a small baby’s floor quilt that used some pieces of work shirts HERE.
See a beautiful example of Shelly’s fabric scrap patchwork mosaics HERE (and see below):
Sherri Lynn Wood HERE.
Chawne Kimber’s blog HERE.
One of Shelly’s favourite craft supply shop is Fancy Tiger Crafts that sends out their customers’ orders in fully recyclable packaging HERE.