My neighbor passed away this year of a recurrence of cancer. I did not interact with her very much, would see her in the yard or driving by. My fault as I could have reached out to her but did not. She was a real thrifter, going to yard sales often and then having her own. She would open the garage door and sell what she could. We would wave and say hi.
My husband walked over to the sale Friday morning and came back and said, get dressed and go! Oh my word! She had two walk in closets filled with fabric! One whole room was her sewing and crafting room. She had at least 5 sewing machines, stacks of cross stitch and assorted sewing and crafting magazines. She probably had 500 patterns and I'm not exaggerating. She had notions, ribbons, and elastic, buttons, pins, and more. In each closet was a set of drawers that was filled with all of these things. Each closet was stacked to the top with folded fabrics. She was very organized.
There was batting and pillows, iron on interfacing, stuffed dolls, one huge bag filled with 18" doll patterns. Just this month I ventured over to Joann's to buy a doll pattern for $1.99. Could have waited. The second bedroom was devoted to games and toys, dolls and doll beds, a Tv with DVD's to watch filling a chest. My 6 year old granddaughter had just come to visit and I was able to get a lot of things for her to play with when she comes. And a few games for the boys. I did take a handful of doll patterns, definitely did not need the whole huge tote full!
I told the daughter that I quilted for Lutheran World Relief and that when the sale was done, would appreciate some fabric for that effort. She was happy for me to come and take it. My car is full. I keep having nightmares about the fabric I left behind. I know there were bins still full of cottons for quilting but I felt so greedy as it was.
I recently ventured into garment sewing so I did manage to get several pieces that I can make tops and shirts with. And a good length of embroidered denim that is beautiful! Will have to make a jacket out of it! And I bought a 30" by 6 ft bookcase that will go into my sewing room! I desperately need it! A good deal of this fabric, magazines, cross stitch items and more is going off to my church. In the garage she had stacks of twig wreaths, already decorated. The daughter gave them all to me for our church arts and crafts. I'll just spruce them up a bit! And if we can't use them, a thrift store will be the recipient.
I don't fault my neighbor for having all this stuff. She had a gruesome cancer that affected her face and her voice. She was the most brave person, having lost her husband about 25 years ago in an accident. She raised 3 daughters on her own. If it gave her pleasure to go to yard sales and thrift stores to accumulate treasures, so be it. She had numerous grandchildren and devoted that one room to entertainment for the.
But it does put things into perspective in my own sewing room. I am happy to get this extra bookcase and will be able to get better organized. And my guild meeting is next week and some of it will likely go there. Just need to sort out the bags and bins I brought home and donate it or fold it nicely on the shelf. Monday I quilt with the Lutherans and my car is full of donated fabric and more. Hopefully I can get my son and husband to help me bring in the bookcase!
Use it up! Or donate it! When its a quilt, give it away! We sew for our pleasure but it is also pleasurable to share! Happy Quilting!