Friday, March 14, 2008

Stash Ins and Outs

I just knew my post about tossing my crumbs would generate some responses - I just had no idea how many!

Several of you mentioned options other than throwing them in the garbage. Believe me, I thought about those options. However, since this was purely impulsive on my part, and so very unlike me, I was 100% sure that if I didn't toss them immediately I wouldn't have tossed them at all. I thought about posting them free for the asking, but in the time it took to get the first response I would have changed my mind. I needed to do something drastic immediately in order to get the ball rolling.

So I threw them out. There were lots and lots of them, but altogether they didn't amount to much fabric. I put them into one of those little plastic bags from the grocery store and tied the bundle shut with the handles. They all fit into one bag once I squashed out the air. If there had been a large box of bag full I never could have done it.

The action did get things moving however. It had results that I didn't expect - results that delighted me. I received an email from a nice lady in the south east who stepped far out of her comfort zone to ask me to toss anything else I might throw away in her direction. She kindly offered to pay me the postage. She currently had very little stash due to circumstances - what she had fit into a small Ziploc bag. She has been working on charity quilts with what she has but wanted to do much more. In no time I had her full name and address. This morning I boxed up every scrap - large and small - that wasn't cut into squares, triangles, strips, bricks or strings. I stuffed them into giant Ziplocs, squeezed out all the air I could, and packed them into two flat rate priority mail boxes. Those hold a LOT of scraps if you work at it. When I mailed them today I discovered their combined weight was just short of 10 pounds! Considering a pound of quilting fabric is approximately 3.8 yards, I figured she got over 30 yards of usable scraps. It felt so freeing to send them off to her, knowing they will be used for charity quilts now instead of taking up space in my sewing room and waiting for me to get around to using them.

And here's the discovery I made - I feel like a large weight has been lifted from my shoulders. I wanted all those scraps used for charity, so I spent a lot of time this past year sewing charity quilts from my scrap stash. However, I can never sew all the quilts I want to and use up all my scraps in three lifetimes. Now I can have both. So stay tuned - I may be offering up some of my cut scraps next! The more I think of that idea the better I like it!

In the meantime I did fall off my diet a bit. You know how there are one or two particular foods that you can never resist no matter how much you want to loos weight? Well, that's what Judie Rothermel fabrics do to my fabric diet. I love her nineteenth century reproduction fabrics so very much. So when Z&S put her newest lines up on their website I felt my dieting determination slipping. So I found a flat rate priority box for me in my mailbox on Tuesday. This is what it contained - fat quarters of her two new collections - Cambridge and Rocky Mountain Quilt Museum III. I can hardly wait to take these to class with me to see what era Eileen will place each piece into.

1. The chance to share with other quilters
2. Flat rate priority mail boxes and envelopes
3. Plum trees bursting into bloom
4. The most perfect cup of coffee I've ever tasted
5. Chunky peanut butter on toast


Libby said...

What a perfect solution to an abundance of scraps *s* I love a win/win outcome.

de vliegende koe said...

Wonderful new fabrics, a clean house, a clear mind. Nothing bothering anymore to get started to make something stunning. Plus you made somebody very happy with the rest of your scraps.
Impulsive actions can be great!!

Cascade Lily said...

Wow! I am loving your new fabric!

And Joseph is GORGEOUS!!!! How wonderful to have him finally in your family. He looks so happy! Let's hope he and Sophie do become the best of friends :)

Kathie said...

Patty I did that this week, I had posted about two big ziploc bags from my scrap bin I just didn't have room for and it became overwhelming for me to think about cutting them into shapes, I had waited too long.
So I mailed 4 priority boxes to another quilter who I know will use them and have fun as well.
I felt the same way a relief as well as happy to share with a fellow quilter who lives on a budget due to college costs like I do.
I just hope I am not jealous when she makes beautiful quilts, which I know she will, from the fabrics!

Tazzie said...

Isn't it amazing, one person's scraps are another person's stash! I love that you feel a weight lifted from you - now you can start to play with some of your other fabrics guilt free. I know I don't want to make scrap quilts forever, but at the same time want to tame the scrappage - it's a vicious circle!

quiltmom said...

HI Patti,
Your new fabrics are beautiful.I will look forward to see what you create with them
It was such a nice thing to send another quilter a gift package - someone else's scraps always seem so much nicer.
And you get to know that your scraps will be well used. What a generous and kind thing to do, Patti
Regards from a Western Canadian quilter,

Pam said...

PREFECT!!! LIM at its best...LESS for you MORE for another quilter!!


Dawn said...

Mmmm, between you and Judy I"m going to break down and get some.... and I"m just glad you tossed your crumbs and not your cookies!

Jen said...

I'm feeling overwhelmed by my scraps too. Want them to work into charity quilts but haven't had the time to even cut them up. If you think she'd be interested in me sending her my scraps, pass my email address along please. =)

Hopefully I'll be moving within the next two months and the last thing I want to do is drag my scrappy baggage with me!! I've even got a few priority mail boxes in my trunk!

LindaSue said...

I am back to quilting again after a too long absence. Now I have two boxes coming. Yes, I am the lady who is going to receive Patti's generosity. I was very uncomfortable when I asked for any scraps. Way out of my zone as she put it so well. She didn't give me time to breath before she was telling me she would send me some. That was yesterday and when I got up this morning there was the email and she had already gone to the post office. I can hardly believe it has happened. All I can say is God sure put some special folks on this earth and she is one. I will post some pictures when I get started with my new material. I just wanted you all to know how special she is and I could thank her this way.

Lissa Jane said...

g'day Patti
yes, its good to clear the decks so to speak and yes, I am loathe to save crumbs, I give them to my DD to play with.. I have too many ideas in my head to worry about what I'll do with all those bits..

and I just adore your new fabric.. we dont get WHOLE ranges of anything here in Australia in reproductions, I have had to beg the quilt shop here near me to update their 30's, there are some there that are 5 years old! she said no one buys them, I said they will if you get new ONES!

take care and have a lovely weekend!


Anonymous said...

awesome! What a geneous act. Your random act of kindness is an inspiration and reminder.
The fabrics are wonderful. I like the fact there are lights to add contrast.
Happy quilting day. Ardis in Oregon

Paula said...

Getting rid of burdens of any kind is always a good idea. Sometimes we can take the time to find places for things we don't need and sometimes, it's just best to get rid of them. Each person really does have to decide for themselves which road to travel. So, I will celebrate with you your new found freedom!!!! Congrats! And it's wonderful that you found someone who will love those pieces of fabric you no longer need!

Karrin Hurd said...

If you hear of anyone else needing fabric for charity quilts, let me know. I have nice fabric that I am not interested in any more, and my drawers are overflowing.

Tracey @ozcountryquiltingmum said...

I am with you, sometimes you are past using it and it just has to go! I used that premise on my walk in robes today, whether I liked the clothes or not, if they weren't going to be worn out they went...very cathartic!
Love the hair do and the grandies....he likes his quilt! Tracey

Sweet P said...

First, Joseph and Sophie are adorable. What a lucky family you have.

Second, you are a generous person. How great to share with other quilters. Now you can enjoy making quilts from new fabrics.

Laurie Ann said...

I too threw out a bunch of flannel crumbs. My hubbie even left the bag by the garbage because he didn't believe I meant to throw them out. But it felt good! I'll keep my cotton crumbs, the the flannel makes such thick seams when doing MOM.

Love the color combo on the Prosperity block.

Helen in the UK said...

If those scraps were weighing you down you did the right thing in getting rid of them. The fact that you also found a 'sub contractor' to turn excess scraps into charity quilts is a HUGE bonus :)

Melzie said...

aw this post made me smile :D xoxo melzie

Judy said...

Ah, I recognize those bundles very well!