Back to Basics

When I claimed Mom’s fabric stash from the bin, I had no idea what I had in the bags and boxes or what to do with it. I just knew I wasn’t giving it to some ‘charity’ that would basically shred it and sell it by the pound. There were too many memories of shopping sprees and too much unsewn potential.

I admit it languished in my basement for a couple years. I had stopped sewing after I gained a lot of weight, and making tents for myself was no longer appealing. Then, in denial, I didn’t take it up again after losing the weight because I was too busy. Yeah, well…

Now I’m not too busy and I don’t need a lot of clothes. I will occasionally make something comfy for myself, but I’m also offloading a lot of unnecessary work clothes. Meanwhile, I had boxes and bags of Mom’s fabrics and my own stash sitting downstairs, waiting for a purpose.

I love the variety of quilting cotton. The prints, colors, the subject matter. You can find a print for anything! This, from one bag of Mom’s stash.

When my parents travelled, the deal was often based on both fishing (for Pop) and fabric (for Mom). In a stroke of genius and peacemaking, Mom started making shirts for Pop. He could pick out the fabric and she could make them fit perfectly. This also made ‘waiting while fabric shopping’ less onerous on Pop since he could participate.

Anyway, it’s taken me a long time to make some decisions about the legacies I have in my house. With the fabric I make bags. The original intent was not to sell them, but I hope some of you buy them anyway. The original intent was to give them to people at food pantries. They could fill up the bags there but use them for other things later. And, now with stores in my area charging for plastic bags, a reusable bag could save already hard-pressed folks a little change.

A friend suggested other bags for other purposes: toiletry bags for shelters, book and toy bags for kids. The unsewn possibilities grow as more people face hard lives. People that in many cases have not just people but whole systems against them.

So, I’ve changed policy on my Etsy shop. For every $10 in purchases I will donate one of the Self-Storing Shopping Sacks to a food pantry near Warwick, NY, where I live.

I am working with my pastors to locate the right options for all of the bags to be offered. You’ll hear more about that soon.



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