Thursday, January 20, 2011


I think I have mentioned before that I have collecting donations for the local quilt guild garage sale in April.

I have been getting lots (and lots and lots) of stuff to sell for the benefit of the guild.

I have also been collecting knitting supplies for the middle school knitting group that I work with as well as sewing supplies for the kids I have been working with at Workshop Houston.

Sometimes things don't work out as the givers intended.

For instance:

  • heavy macramé cording for the knitting kids is now in the garage sale,
  • nasty smelling fabric has ended up in the trash,
  • magazines for the quilt guild with key articles or patterns missing have ended up in the recycling bin,
  • tiny scraps of fabric for the quilt guild have ended up in the dog bed stuffing donation bag and
  • one yard cuts of upholstery fabric for the quilt guild have been given to a group that makes wheel chair bags for a local charity hospital.
Sometimes though the donations are amazing.

For instance:

  • a beautiful  piece of Hawaiian style appliqué given to the garage sale is now being hand quilted for the quilt auction,
  • yards and yards of colorful linen blend fabric destined for the garage sale are going to the fashionistas in the third ward, 
  • about 50 pairs of knitting needles, some still in their packages, were given to the knitting kids,
  • wonderful, high quality yarn, including some wonderful silk and wool blends was given to the knitting kids, and
  • the sewing kids are getting a whole set of pressing aids (tailor's ham, sleeve roll, sleeve board, clapper and a tailor board) and a huge cutting mat, all brand new.
I will take almost anything and find another use for cast-off arts and crafts supplies.

The tough part is not trying to find homes for all the donations but the unknown stories behind the donations.

The other day I got a wonderful pieced quilt top with Raggetty Ann and Andy fabrics.  It was incomplete but came with extra fabric for binding the finished quilt.  Who made this top and then abandoned the project?  Is there some child out there missing a quilt from Grandma?  Is the intended recipient now in college and therefore past the joy of Raggetty Ann and Andy?  Did the maker piece it for a charity project and is now too embarrassed to turn it in after many years?

Or how about the bags of fabric I found on my door step the other day.  They were filled with old dry cleaner bags of exquisite fabrics.  In many cases the fabrics were matched with coordinating fabrics, notions and patterns.  In one bag was enough fabric, with patterns and trimmings, for a whole wedding night peignoir set.  Did the wedding not happen and if it didn't, what happened?  Did the maker decide that bright coral was just not her color anymore?  Did the maker decide that sexy lingerie was just not her thing after the divorce?

Or how about the CD of relaxation music that showed up a while ago.  It had never been opened.  Was it a freebie from somewhere?  Was part of a gift package of spa products and the CD was unwanted?  Is there a stressed out someone out there trying to relax and who can't find her CD?

I'll never know.

I will, however, keep collecting and redistributing donations until people stop giving them to me.... with or without the stories behind them.

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