Tuesday, November 16, 2010

A Glimpse of My Future

Today I got a glimpse of my future unless, like Scrooge, I say, "Men's courses will foreshadow certain ends, to which, if persevered in, they must lead. But if the courses be departed from, the ends will change. Say it is thus with what you show me."

Aunt Susie and I are in charge of the church sewing circle this year, definitely a first for me but I'm discovering that the job uses a number of skills I'm actually good at, such as figuring out how many quilt blocks we need for a comforter or examining a tote bag and figuring out how to make 8 more just like it.

We are trying to finish up a bunch of "comforter kits." These consist of enough squares to make a full size patchwork comforter, thread to sew it, a big piece of fabric to put on the back, and yarn and needles to tie it.

These get sent to sewing centers in eastern Europe, where local poor women can learn to sew and make warm blankets for their families.

We were scraping the barrel for backing fabric, so when Carrie G. said she knows someone who's taking care of her mother's estate, including lots of fabric, and lets people come see it by appointment, we jumped at the opportunity, and today Carrie, Susie, and I sallied forth to shop.

But first we note that when my children heard about this they said, "Mom, you canNOT buy any fabric for yourself! Only for sewing circle!" Because they know what my sewing room is like. And the attic.

Because, see, I have a lot of fabric. More in the direction of my mom, who has a good roomful or two, than my Aunt Bertha, who once told Mom, "I have a lot of fabric collected too. Just look here, I have this whole drawer full!"

So we went to Springfield and into this normal ranch-style house. And stood there and gaped. Tables of fabric, boxes of it, shelves of it, piles of it, rooms of it. Big pieces, little pieces, hundreds of fat quarters. Flannel, denim, quilt fabrics, dress fabrics, Christmas fabrics, fleece, t-shirt knits, and more, all neatly folded and tucked in rows. $2 a yard for the big pieces, $1 for the small.

It was overwhelming. How could we ever make decisions with so many choices?

"My mom bought fabric everywhere she went," said the daughter. "I have a brother in Alaska. She'd go visit him and buy fabric. Idaho, Washington, California. Portland, everywhere she went she was always buying fabric. And she sewed a lot too, but she just never got it all used up."

I noticed a plastic organizer with a rainbow of lovely Gutermann thread. "Before anyone came I counted, and Mom had 750 spools of thread," the daughter told me.

And this was the thing--in a fabric store, I actually like maybe 25% of the fabrics, the rest aren't my taste at all. This lady must have had my exact tastes, because I thought at least 75% of the fabric was gorgeous.

As I said, overwhelming. But heavenly. Hundreds of smooth cottons and warm flannels under my fingers, colors to take your breath away, innumerable yards of rich, beckoning FABRIC.

We finally decided to get a lot and share the bounty with the young moms in church who want to sew but don't have time to go shopping. Or can't afford fabric. So we picked out two bags and two boxes full. We'll let the ladies at sewing go shopping and use the rest for comforters.

"I've probably sold 500 yards already, before you came," said the woman in charge.

And then, yes, I just had to pick out a few pieces for myself, like a few cute fabrics with bugs for Jenny who loves bugs.

And then we filled Carrie's trunk with our loot and left, and I thought about my daughters going through my stash some future fall and putting it out for sale.

Horrifying. But on the other hand, just think, some future sewing circle ladies could come dig through it and have as much fun as we did today. Really, would that be so bad?

Quote of the Day:
"I think me and Cleo's attitudes match. We both want to be the center of attention."
--Jenny. Cleo is her cat.


  1. Don't you know that she who dies with the most fabric, wins?

  2. Dorcas, I could run a close race with you I'm sure! Although most of my fabric is from work. Beautiful upholstery and drape fabric scraps that end up in the dumpster!! I could make such wonderful things with them! When I moved a number of years ago, one of my boys asked me in which lifetime I think I'll do this! Hmph! Actually, I have made quite a few things. That people actually like. So there.

  3. Anita--if that's true I'm headed for the front of the pack.
    And Mary--this made me laugh. I can only imagine how I'd behave if I worked at a place where they threw away fabric scraps.