Stellar Quilters was formed after a Nancy Crow workshop, held at the Stella Maris retreat back in 2002 - hence the name. We had bonded well during the week-long residential course and decided to just keep going. And 20+ years later we still meet, exhibit and grow. One of the eye-opening memories of this workshop happened before it even started. We all remember opening up the needs list and seeing the first line - 100 x 1 metre lengths of cotton in different colours. Some of us still have some of this fabric. Some of us never need to buy pink again. But what’s good about having a stash if we don't use it. There is no end of fabric available to us, each season more tempting than the last. And only so much room in the closet.
There’s an old quilter's joke - she who dies with the most fabric, wins. But, the overall textile industry has three major sustainability issues; textile waste, water use, and carbon emissions. So all the fabric we covet, then buy and then store it away, adds to over-production and promotes consumerism. On the flip side, as quilters we are also good at using scraps, our stash and other non-traditional quilt materials - witness the beauty of Gees Bend quilts, Victorian quilts, the myriad of books about how to use scraps.
Therefore our latest challenge was to create something that spoke to the theme of sustainability and didn’t need a trip to the quilt store. It's difficult as individuals to make meaningful change on a global level. These are society level issues that need addressing. But we can use our art to make a statement and ask questions about our impact. And sure - if you need new fabric, go ahead; love it, buy it and use it. You don’t have to drastically change your habits; being conscious of sustainability takes time and dedication. As individuals, we can understand our activities have a cumulative global impact. We have the choice to imagine new and exciting ways to bring sustainability into our quilts.
Open Thursdays through to Mondays 1-5 pm ir by appointment.