You'd Never Guess These Quilts Are Made From 1000s of Envelopes

Envelopes generally don't get a lot of love—especially the ones holding big fatty bills that need payin'. Small consolation, but the privacy patterns that line the insides can actually be pretty awesome.

Artist Stephen Sollins gives these paper relics a gallery-worthy second life as massive, incredibly intricate quilts—and they're great.

You'd Never Guess These Quilts Are Made From 1000s of Envelopes

From far away, you'd think these were just traditional textiles sewn together, and it's only when you get a view up close can you make out the markings of their former use: a bit of an address, the corner of a logo, the recycling symbol, or "PAY CHEX" repeated over and over again.

You'd Never Guess These Quilts Are Made From 1000s of Envelopes

It's a nice tie to the traditional quilting, which is precise but personal, a combo of careful plans and the inherent human touch of the handmade.

"Mailing envelopes exist at the unavoidable intersection of communication and privacy," Sollins writes on his site. "Their contents are banal yet guarded: private thoughts mingle with business records and utility bills."

You'd Never Guess These Quilts Are Made From 1000s of Envelopes

You'd Never Guess These Quilts Are Made From 1000s of Envelopes

The fact that these scraps were all destined for the garbage at one point makes the project particularly sweet, and hats off to him for the patience it must have taken to get all the edges just right and the geometry just so.

You'd Never Guess These Quilts Are Made From 1000s of Envelopes

And the fact that these represent yet another step in making quilting cool—see Haptic Lab's Constellation series, Libs Elliot's computer coded collection, Sabrina Gschwandtner's 16mm creations makes me love them even more. [Stephen Sollins]