I've had the most calming, centering, beauty-filled book on my bedside table these past few days. It's Maya's creation - Reinvention: Sewing with Rescued Materials, published by Wiley. I'm so happy to kick off Reinvention's blog tour, give you a peek at what's inside, as well as host Maya for a behind-the-scenes chat about the book. Oh! And how could I forget the giveaway! Leave a comment to be entered to win a copy of your own, courtesy of Wiley. I'll draw a winner on Friday, May 4th!
Comments are now closed. Congratulations to Emily who won a copy of Reinvention!
I whipped up a quick inspiration board, which is one of the projects featured in Reinvention .
I often think of Maya as the Burlap Ambassador - she's the wonder behind the burlap bins and inspiration boards that took the craft and design blogs by storm several years back. She's so much more than that, though - such a kind-hearted, deep feeling and thinking person. She's someone who I really look up to as I navigate the waters of motherhood, and I think you'll feel the same about her, especially after reading her book.
Me: It's an honor to share this space with you, Maya, to celebrate the release of Reinvention !
Maya: I'm so thrilled to have you be the first stop on my tour, Meg. I will always feel that you played an integral part of making this book happen, simply by giving me that sweet nudge that propelled me forward a few years back. It seems quite fitting to have you get the tour ball rolling, and comes as no surprise that you have asked such thoughtful and compelling questions.
Me: As I was reading through my copy, taking special care to soak up all of your little stories and peeks into your life that you pepper throughout the book, I was struck by the parallels between your relationship with your mom and your grandparents and your passion for bringing new life to found materials. Your words about them are infused with love and admiration, and you talk about how their creative passions and parenting practices have greatly influenced your own. As I read, I thought to myself, isn't it interesting how we are reinventions of our own parents and grandparents - how we take what they have given us and make it our own, or make something new out of it. Somehow, though, the raw "material" of their love, that which we pass on to our children, stays constant throughout the generations. Can you tell us one of the ways that your are passing on your passion for repurposing to your two children?
Maya: I absolutely love the image that you paint. Yes, the raw "material" of love is the thread that weaves our family and traditions together. My hope has always been to model a sense of ingenuity and capability for my children. These are the gifts given to me that have served me best. One project that comes to mind instantly with a smile on my face is our aqua scope and the story behind it. When I think of intergenerational gifts, I must include this portable art studio that was inspired by one my grandmother's craft books. Repurposing and recycling are wonderful practices to teach our children, regardless of our backgrounds. Let's make reinventing a part of all of our traditions!
Me: The organization of Reinvention is so compelling - you offer readers seven commonly found recycled materials, discuss a bit of the history behind each material, and offer tips on sourcing and crafting with each. What really caught my eye was your chapter on working with Tyvek, which is the fabric-like plastic material that is often used in mailers. Tell us how you discovered sewing with used mailers, and what other projects you have used them for.
Maya: I've always loved sewing with unexpected materials, and Tyvek takes to thread and needle beautifully. I first became intrigued with Tyvek when it landed in my mailbox, and I realized that the only way that I could recycle it was to send it back to its manufacturer. Well, that's a hassle for anyone leading a typical full life. I thought it would be much easier, and definitely more satisfying, to find a new use for it. I squirreled it away until one day when I was looking for an interesting way to package a present.The Tyvek envelope came to mind. After cutting off the top, I stitched some boxed corners on the bottom and turned it inside out. With a simple strap, it was suddenly an indestructible little gift bag that could be used again and again. Easy. I knew that I wanted to incorporate more than the standard recycled fabrics into reinvention. Tyvek is post industrial material needing to be repurposed.
Me: I love how the projects in the book are so useful - you suggest stuffing the wool poufs and the bolster pillow with unused linens, and you designed a genius insulated wool lunch sack. The list goes on and on - these are projects that are, at once, beautiful and utilitarian. Is it something about working with the recycled materials themselves that inspires you to create something useful out of them?
Maya: Thanks, Meg! I've always been drawn to making things that could be put to work right away. Not that I don't like fun or whimsical, but most of my creating tends to focus on resolving a problem... whether it be storage or not wanting to buy something new that I could actually make. I always feel more justified in spending the time to create something if it's practical, regardless of the materials I use to construct it. That being said, fabric that has a prior history does feel extra exciting to transform. Making a lunch sack out of sheets of wool would be useful, but reinventing old wool blankets speaks to that resourceful place ingrained in me. There's a universal sense of pride in clever reuse.
Me: My heartfelt thanks for taking the time to stop by and chat about your new book, Maya!
Maya: Thank YOU, Meg!!
Follow along with the blog tour for the next few weeks!
reinvention: sewing with rescued materials blog tour
5/15 Etsy (tuesday tutorial)