Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Excess versus Necessity

Nikki Giovanni once told me that the largest issue that we needed to confront was that of excess versus necessity. Every economic system has it flaws, but capitalism relies on excessive waste to thrive. In order to maintain our social expectations we need to consume products quickly and appreciate the rationale behind built-in obsolescence and the quick paced creeping featurism of technology.
Bernard London coined the phrase planned obsolescence in his pamphlet, Ending the Depression Through Planned Obsolescence. In the 1950s the amazing industrial designer, Brooks Stevens, reintroduced this concept to the public with his interpretation of planned obsolescence , "Instilling in the buyer the desire to own something a little newer, a little better, a little sooner than is necessary."
Capitalism was taken by surprise in 1960 when Vance Packard wrote his pivotal book, The Waste Makers, where he exposed "the systematic attempt of business to make us wasteful, debt-ridden, permanently discontented individuals." Nikki Giovanni said that we need to think about necessity and what re really need to be happy. Are our lives defined by possessing that latest gadget?
HA Schult is an artist forcing us to think about much larger issues than his "Trash People" sculptures. It is the conversation that artists start that reflects a society and its time. What do you think about the HA Schult's Trash People? Where do you stand in regards to the argument of Necessity versus Excess?

Liz and I have been fond supporters of recycling! This is especially true in our quilting studio. When we started quilting Liz and I were still in college and we could not really afford fabric, so we bought our first stash at an auction. Our bag of scraps from another quilter helped us begin our enriching journey. Then we started combing the thrift stores for wool skirts to make a vest for Liz, and blouses for interesting fabrics to use in our quilts. We still have some of those fabrics that we use from time to time.
Over the years we have made dozens of scrap quilts and in the Twirling Sunflower Quilt you can see the great use of scraps!
Gather up your scraps and stitch this colorful portrait of a dazzling sunflower. You can use your scrap collection as we have, or limit your palette by choosing just one or two fabrics. Either way, this delightful wall hanging is sure to add a touch of fall's splendor to your home.

Rating: 2 out of 5 stars in difficulty (Easy/Moderate)
Finished Size: 18" × 21"
Designer(s): Liz Schwartz & Stephen Seifert
Technique(s): Foundation Paper Piecing

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Give Peace A Chance!

President Obama is trying to assist in finding an amicable resolution to the Mideast conflict again. I wish him luck and I will dream of world peace! The headline on reads "Netanyahu calls Abbas his 'partner in peace',"which could be the beginning of something this world really needs, peace.

Clay Bennett truly sums up the issue with his cartoon ; )

Liz and I designed this block in support of world unity! World Unity quilt block is a simple foundation paper pieced quilt block.