What to do with and where to donate Grandmother's quilting supplies and unfinished quilts...
(Central California USA)
I'm almost 70 yrs.old, my hands are not much use any more to do any handwork (sob).
Have been cleaning out 'the storage shed' and have come across all sorts of material and partial quilt tops that my very talented grandmother had. I hate to just toss it all and hoped you all could advise a practical distribution of the items.
I realize quilts aren't constructed these days as of old. Grandma totally designed, made the patterns, her quilting frame and did meticulous hand stitching throughout.
Would appreciate any advice.
In response to your question about your Grandmother's quilting supplies...
While it is sad to look that projects that were started, but never finished, know that your Grandmother derived oodles of enjoyment from her stitching.
I suspect that her quilting, like for all other quilters, provided a place for her to think about things that needed thinking-on and a respite from the day-to-day craziness that all women deal with.
Quilting is something that stays done, unlike housework and laundry. It provides a mental vacation when there's not enough $$ in the bank or time on the clock for a real one.
Several years ago, when my Mother died unexpectedly (from a stroke) and much too soon at 71, my Dad was bereft at all the fabric and projects that she never got to.
While I was devastated after she died and still miss her terribly (I don't think that ever goes away) I was comforted by all that she was able to create in such a short life (and man did she do a lot!). I was there for a lot of the planning and shopping and dreaming.
I know how jazzed she was about the projects she anticipating doing.
Wouldn't it be saddest if all the projects had been completed???
...that there was no more to look forward to?
So now it comes to finding a good home for what she loved.
My suggestions are...
Contact a guild in your area. I've guilds listed by state here on the website, click here to find them.
Currently, I've got over 1600 listed—from several other countries, too. Contact them directly through the URL, email or phone number listed under the organization's name.
Most guilds have favorite charities that they make items for. Extra supplies are always welcome.
And if the guild is local to you, then there's no need to mess with boxing things up for shipping and lugging everything to the Post Office. Fabric gets pretty heavy to ship!
The other place to look is your local churches. Again, there is usually a member group who works on projects. There are never enough supplies or fabric to meet the need.
Contact these groups and I'm sure you will find a good home for your Grandmother's treasure.
And finally, if she had tops that need quilting and you have no family members that are interested, you might consider selling them on ebay. There are many quilters who spend their hours lovingly finishing tops that others have created. Tim Latimer
is one such guy
. It gives me a warm fuzzy feeling to see the love and workmanship that he lavishes on old tops that luckily found their way into his possession.
He's not alone, there are many others who do this too! And they are always watching ebay for tops.
As for my mother's stash...
The unfinished projects I kept. I filled in my notions and tools supplies where I needed to.
The fabric and remaining supplies and books were sold through the Vesterheim Museam in Decorah, Iowa where my dad relocated. The proceeds from the sale helped the museum purchase computers for a new interactive exhibit. Mom was also a Gold Medal Rosemaler (a Norwegian form of decorative oil painting) and a Museum member.
I know that she'd be pleased with how her treasure was dispersed.
Sandy, I hope this has helped.
To my readers, how have you re-homed quilting treasures—quilts, tops, fabric and supplies—from friends and family who have passed on?
Please do share your experiences so that your fellow quilters may benefit. I appreciate your contributions to the conversation. Thank you!