Posts Tagged ‘week 10’

A quilt from my favourite shirt and some shorts that don't fit

Clara Vuletich’s workshop was an interesting change from the usual classes as it was nice to create something practical and change groups around. I found the workshop tied in quite nicely with the previous Smiths Family site visit although this felt more intimate and personal.

Contrary to the instructions the tutor had given us, Vuletich’s understanding of the workshop was that we would bring in pieces of clothing that had sentimental value to turn into pieces of quilt, thus creating a multi-layered material that works in both a sustainable and memorial level. However most brought in scraps of fabric which had little or no special value and were leftovers from past projects, which was quite valid as the lab focused on tackling waste. I however, brought in some old garments that were in both categories- these fabrics were now unusable but at the same time, they used to be favourite pieces of clothing in the past, which tied in to Vuletich’s original intent. As such, I actually found it quite hard to see a favourite shirt being cut into pieces.

our group's quilts

These feelings were soon put to rest as the quilting process began turning that old shirt and some other fabrics into something different and more layered. As soon as I got past the sentimental feelings, I soon found it enjoyable to turn the unusable fabrics into something with a new use. The workshop was quite relaxing and therapeutic in fact, conversing with new people- it felt like a community project. It was nice to slow down and focus on a tactile process, as soon as I finally recalled some sewing techniques.

quilts from the whole class

It was interesting to note that a few people in contrast had mentioned how the quilting process would have been much more efficient with a sewing machine and while that is a fact I do agree on, I felt the experience would not have been the same. Even though the quilt making would be faster, there would have been less communication or conversation with other members and the slow, therapeutic quality of the workshop would not take place. I find that this side-effect is an interesting way of approaching a task that was intended as a way of reducing waste. It bolsters a sense of community and would be a good approach for community projects while tackling waste problems.


In Taiwan, coffee beans have been turned into coffee yarns that could be used to create textiles, and Singtex is the only textile manufacturer to win the 2010 Taiwan Excellence Award. The product is made from 98.5% recycled PET bottles and 1.5% ground coffee beans.

It is interesting to see how the humble coffee grain can lead to such innovative product designs. Obviously the above is a more commercial approach to designing with coffee grounds and I doubt our group will have the technology to create prototypes of this calibre. What we were thinking of focusing on is the many ways the coffee grounds can be used, so perhaps a range of products to showcase different benefits could be an option.

A little bit closer to home, Whatawaste is a student-run blog in Melbourne that focuses on minimising restaurant waste in the area. The group had identified problems such as customers ordering too much as a cause for the high number of food waste in landfill. It is interesting to see another student be concerned about waste as they set out to interview restaurants and thus produced designs to help combat the problem.

Possible solutions included a guidebook kit for minimising restaurant waste, segregation of waste in restaurants and raising awareness through this video. Maybe if we don’t decide on doing an actual product with coffee grains, maybe we can do something that raises awareness and has the potential to change habits.



Wang, A. 2010, Recycled Plastic is Fantastic for Taiwan Textile Firms, viewed 12/10/10 <;

projectwhatawaste, 2010, What a Waste: Reducing Food Waste in Restaurants, viewed 12/10/10 <;