All the trimmings

I've been thinking about trimmings. The way we trim off the excess when we have to choose a new path. The way we add things to our meals and memories and collections. Trimmings are extras....extraneous or extraordinary. They are the side salad, appetizers and desserts. But they are also the leftovers, discarded and forgotten.

I save all the trimmings. There's a whole in there somewhere.

Collections show which extras I want to save.

There are two ways to think about trimmings — as additions or subtractions. In fiber art trimmings can be decorative edges or edited scraps—add-ons or take-aways.

My memory is a collection of trimmings. I don't know how my brain selects each bit. Do the memories come up by catalyst or do they float around waiting for a chance to surface? As we formulate our thoughts do we pick up little trimmings, put them together in new combinations and blurt? Or, is the whole just a leftover of the editing? And what about the new stuff we learn each day? Where does it all go in the stack?

Conversations are a collection of thoughts trimmed in emotion, logic and beliefs. The extraneous drones on and on, the extraordinary inspires and lingers. Bits and pieces stay with us, stored mysteriously in the heap of understanding.

Assembling a group of extras gives me a playground for stitch. This is a work-in-progress that started with two-inch strips sewn together and then cut into rectangles.

This medium gives me a perfect way to use trimmings. I can edit, add, and subtract. I linger with compositions that move forward, get stuck in cul de sacs and challenge my perception. I squint my eyes to see the final stack, tilting left and right to find the balance. Then I commit to negative and positive spaces that support or conflict with each other. Each shift of perspective tells a new story. Each scrap adds its own voice. I'll let it build until it tells me to stop. Then the fun begins—a new playground for stitch.