Thrift Shop Adventures

Awesome $2 Thrift Shop Find

Howdy.

It’s time to return to blogging after taking a week or so off after 31 days straight of posting to celebrate the tierneycreates blog 5th anniversary for the month of October.

I am going to return to sharing more photos/stories from the quilt retreat I attended the near end of October; and I recently returned from a trip to Santa Fe, New Mexico and I have photos and stories to share.

But first, I wanted to share another very cool thrift store find! It’s another entry in my series of posts Thrift Shop Adventures. This post is sort of a follow up to my October 22 post, Awesome $3 Thrift Shop Find. However this time it was an awesome $2 thrift shop find!

A Trip to a Local Charity Thrift Shop

Why I ended up on Saturday at a local thrift shop: I was dropping off a donation of yarn skeins after clearing out my excess yarn stash.

In my master bedroom closet I had two tubs of yarn tucked away. Poor forgotten yarn. 

A couple of years ago I made a commitment to only keep the craft items/materials that I loved and used (see my series of posts My Minimalism Journey) except I appeared to have forgotten about my yarn.

I pulled out the two large tubs of yarn, dumping all the skeins onto the floor and discovered I had yarn that I purchased over 15 years ago, never used, and likely would never use (especially the faux fur type of yarn that was popular for making those furry looking scarves 15 years ago!). I was able to put together a large package of yarn skeins to donate to a local charity thrift shop.

After pulling out all the yarn I would never use, I decided to put the yarn I would like to make something with (someday) somewhere besides tucked away in tubs in the back of my master bedroom closet.

So I organized (and I use that term loosely) the yarn skeins in the closet of my studio which I keep open most of the time:

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So with my remaining yarn organized, I headed off to a local thrift shop to donate the yarn I did not need.

A Yummy Find

After dropping off my donation at the donation area in the back of the thrift shop, I figured it would not hurt to just peek inside, quickly (smile), the thrift shop.

Once inside I immediately headed to the crafts section and what did I find – a large bag of beautiful home decorating samples:

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I could barely contain my excitement when I saw the price on the bag – two dollars! So the bag and I headed up to the counter to pay and I gleefully left the thrift shop with my prize!

Inside the $2 Bag

It was difficult not to open the bag and look inside in my car, but I knew I should wait until I got home and could fully enjoy the discovery of what waited inside.

Inside were many beautiful home decor fabric samples, like these ones below that were from New York City:

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And here are photos of a sampling of the other samples, as I was putting them away in the container where I keep home decor samples (which is now full…):

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Included in the package were beautiful swatches of raw silk, gorgeous embroidered fabrics, velvets and other wonderful textures.

Who knows what I will do with these fabrics, for now I am just happy to have them in my recycled fabrics collection and appreciate that someone donated them for someone else to enjoy rather than having them end up in the landfill.

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harmony1.com
Special Events, Thrift Shop Adventures

5th Blog Anniversary Giveaway #2

Welcome to Day 2 of the 5 Days of Giveaways in celebration of the tierneycreates blog 5th anniversary!

Here are two related previous posts if you need are just joining us today:

So What Are You Giving Away Today Tierney?

In honor of my love of craft books (see posts like Craft Book Hoarder?!?!?) and my great finds at thrift stores (see my series of posts Thrift Shop Adventures) the next two giveaways are related to crafting books found at a thrift shop.

The first one is Modern Designs for Classic Quilts: 12 Traditionally Inspired Patterns Made New (2012 by Kelly Biscopink and Andrea Johnson. 

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image credit: amazon.com

This book is used but it is in very good condition.

It is a book I already have in my collection (and plan to make a quilt from it someday!) so if you win it then maybe we can work on the same quilt from the book at the same time (and maybe you can inspire me to actually use a book I own to make a quilt instead of just letting it gather dust on my bookshelf!)

Here is a screen shot from the Barnes & Noble Bookstore website with an overview of the book:

Screen Shot 2018-10-26 at 8.15.23 PM.pngIn addition to this book, if you win this giveaway you will also get a little wallet in your choice of color:

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So How Do I Win It?

To enter the drawing for Giveaway #2 simply write in the “Thoughts/Comments” section of THIS CURRENT POST whether you prefer Classic/Traditional Design or Modern Design in general.

Feel free to elaborate on your preference of just write “Classic” or “Modern” in the Comments.

Good Luck 🙂

This drawing is open until 11:59 pm Pacific Standard Time on 10/31/18 and a winner will be selected by random drawing from those who commented on this post.

Thrift Shop Adventures

Awesome $3 Thrift Shop Find

Happy Monday, can you believe it is day 22 of daily blogging in October as part of my 5th blog anniversary celebration? Thanks so much to those of you who have been finding time each day to read my ramblings! Later this week I will do a post about my 5 years of blogging and then introduce the five giveaways to celebrate the tierneycreates blog anniversary!

This post I want to share an amazing $3 thrift shop find – a collection of beautiful high-end silk and premium fabric drapery samples.

The Giant Bag of “Upholstery Fabric”

Saturday I dropped off some donations at our local Humane Society Thrift Store. As long as I was there, I thought I would peek in and see what they had in the craft section. I found a large bag marked upholstery fabric for $3. I do not need more upholstery fabric in my life but I noticed some very nice looking pieces peeking through the pile of upholstery fabric.

Here is the bag when I got it home:

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Giant heavy bag of fabric

Unpacking it, I first discovered some very cool textured upholstery weight fabric:

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Look at that texture!

Then to my surprise, under this fabric, was a collection of 4 large drapery swatches:

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I was blown away with the beauty of the fabrics and removed the heavy duty staples and cardboard legend of the samples from the top of the swatch books.

The photos do not do the fabric swatches justice but here are photos of the fabric swatches after the individual samples were separated:

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Here are some close ups of some of my favorites (though it was difficult to choose favorites):

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Here is the whole stack:

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Yes, are you thinking what I am thinking? Some of these fabrics will work in the piece I have simmering on my large design wall in the hallway (see post What’s Simmering on the Design Wall):

2018-10-14_10-46-03_866I need to focus on preparing for the quilt retreat I am attending later this week, so I am not going to play with the new fabrics and the design wall right now but it is something fun to look forward to add more to the “simmering”!

Did Not Keep It All

I did not keep all the fabric – a third of the larger pieces were not my style, so I put them back into the bag and I am going to donate them back to the thrift shop to sell again!

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I think I got my money’s worth for $3!

I’ve posted about thrift shop finds over the past 5 years and I’ve created a new blog category in case you like to check those posts out – Thrift Shop Adventures.


Postscript

If you would like to see what beautiful and amazing textile art can be made from upholstery/home decor fabric swatches and samples, check out the art of Dianne Browning, a member of the SAQA art quilting group I belong – Art Quilts by Dianne Browning (bendartquilts.com).

Check out her website and here is one of her amazing pieces made with home decor fabric swatches – Crossroads:

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Crossroads by Dianne Browning

 

 

Thrift Shop Adventures, tierneycreates

Found! At the Thrift Shop!

Have you ever found something you made/gave someone as a gift at a thrift shop?

A couple of weeks ago I had my first experience of finding one of my handmade items at a thrift shop for sale – one of the little wallets I used to make. This experience got me pondering about the handmade gifts you give people and what becomes of them (and how sometimes you have to just let go for the sake of your own sanity and peace).

Found at the Thrift Shop

I was obsessed with making little wallets for a while from fabric scraps and here is one of my posts about my obsession – Little Wallet Madness.

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I would give them as gifts with my tierneycreates business card inside as an example of how you can use the little wallet. I also gave away five little wallets during the tierneycreates Blog 4th Anniversary Celebration (Announcing the Winners of the tierneycreates Blog’s 4th Anniversary Giveaway).

It was serendipitous that I found the little wallet at the thrift shop and it was sort of like the Universe wanted me to find it.

I had just finished having lunch with a friend and felt compelled to visit a local charity thrift shop after our lunch. I wandered around, not knowing why I was there and then felt drawn to the purse and wallet section.

Inside the used purse and wallet section, I found this adorable item for my sister who loves Lululemon – a little zippered wallet made from recycling a Lululemon bag:

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My sister has a collection of Lululemon bags and this little wallet was the perfect treat for her. So I thought – “Wow, I guess I was supposed to come in here and find this for my sister!”. Just in case there might be another one, I kept rummaging through the used wallet section and came upon this:

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It looked familiar and I thought: “Ah someone else must have made little wallets like I did”

But then after inspection I discovered something shocking: an old tierneycreates business card inside the wallet!

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I stood there in the thrift shop, mouth open, feeling like I was having an out of body experience.

What bothered me was not that someone no longer wanted one of my handmade little wallets and donated it (that was better than them just throwing it out); but that they just left my business card inside (note this is one of my old business cards from when I used to have an Etsy shop, etc.)

I may have narrowed it down to who could have done this and at the moment I felt like it was obviously a person without any class – a person with class would have removed and recycled my business card before donating (I’ve since calmed down from my initial reaction…).

Of course I purchased it (it was only 50 cents) along with the Lululemon little wallet for my sister. I removed and recycled my old business card from it and put it away for now. At a later time I will decide whether to regift it to someone or to re-donate it to the charity thrift shop (but not with my business card inside).

What Becomes of the Handmade Gifts We Give?

Many times you know what becomes of the handmade gifts you give people – either they love, cherish and use them or they do not. They might regift them, they might donate them, they might even throw them away. Or they might just shove them in the closet to gather dust.

This is something I’ve struggled with as a crafter and quilter and had to work on letting go – once you give someone something, it is theirs to do with what they want – even if it might be heartbreaking to you.

People who are not crafters or artists may not understand the love that goes into something that is handmade and how essentially a piece of the maker goes into the piece (and not just if you stuck yourself with a needle while making the piece and bled a little on it like I’ve done a time or two – ha!)

Sometimes my heart breaks for the maker when I see a beautiful handmade item sold for cheap at thrift shop. I’ve rescued lovely granny square afghans from thrift shops (usually sold for $2 – $3) as I know how much work goes into this type of project and I love granny square afghans but have yet to make one myself.

On the overstuffed chairs in our front window where we read (and I work on blog posts) I have rescued granny square afghans from my collection as well as on the bench where Mike our miniature schnauzer hangs out to watch cats, birds and passing dogs out the window (to practice his barking).

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Here is Mike napping on one of the rescued afghans:

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I do not want to become a hoarder and I know I cannot rescue all the beautiful handmade items that have been donated to thrift stores. I only rescue granny square afghans if they are exceptionally appealing and under $5, that is my guideline, but still how many granny square afghans does one person need?

A friend of mine told me a story of how she discovered a neighbor’s husband using a quilt she made her neighbor to mop up an oil spill in a garage. To me this sounds much worse than finding something you made donated at a thrift shop.

What I’ve learned as I mature as a maker is that I need to be very selective of who receives my handmade items. Also I’ve learned to that sometimes you need to just let go of your attachment to the handmade item when you gift it.

Sometimes it hurts when someone does not fully appreciate the work and time that went into a handmade item but I have to remember unless they are a maker, a crafter, an artist, or any type of creative individual they may never understand.

Life is a balance of holding on and letting go. – Rumi

Studio, Thrift Shop Adventures

The Backstitch and the End of Tangled Floss

Inviting the Backstitch into my Repertoire

Continuing my theme of cleaning out the old UFOs (unfinished projects) from yesterday’s post, this weekend I also worked on an appliqué project that I began in a wonderful class a over year ago (Adventures in Appliqué). 

I made progress on this piece while attending the annual retreat with my Quilting Sisters in May 2017 (Quilt Retreat Inspiration and Projects):

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To finish this wallhanging size quilt top, I needed to embroider the words that go with the image using a “backstitch”:

“Nature does not hurry, yet everything is accomplished” – Lao Tzu

Hopefully it is obvious (fingers crossed) that my wallhanging contains an acorn which eventually becomes a large oak tree in time.

The concept of the wallhanging is based on the African Themed Bible Verses appliqué quilt that students had the option of making in the class.

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Bible Verses Quilt by Ugandan Women, Sisters of the Heart Foundation, Sisters Coffee House during the 2016 Sisters Outdoor Quilt Show

I being the rebel, decided to use the words of an ancient Chinese philosopher as inspiration for my piece (also a rebel, I decided to make a smaller wallhanging with one block instead of a quilt with multiple blocks).

Although I have allegedly been quilting for 17+ years, sometimes I feel like a brand new quilter when I discover something else I do not know how to do: in order to stitch on the words, I needed to learn how to do the backstitch.

The wonderful instructor, Janet Storten (who is the Director of Sisters of the Heart Foundation) kindly offered to give me a refresher on the backstitch as she did cover it in her class (and I swear I did pay attention in class). I was tempted but I thought I would take a chance and try to learn the backstitch from YouTube.

YouTube is filled with awesome instructional crafting videos (and I have lost hours of time watching one right after the other). I discovered one by the talented crafter Lauren Fairweather:

As Janet had instructed in her appliqué class, I first lightly drew words in pencil on my fabric (see I did remember something). Following the video above, I slowly did my first backstitch letters!

This is another hand sewing meditative experience (slowing down and focusing appears good for the soul!)

In time I know I will get better, but here are photos of my progress so far (I had to put my work in a hoop to stabilize it until I get more experienced):

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So Tierney, you stitch on TWO letters and then post photos? Why yes, I am very proud of those two letters – ha! Of course when the whole top is finished I will post an updated photo.

A Tale of Tangled Threads

Actually a tale of tangled embroidery floss, but the words “embroidery floss” did not not provide the alliteration that “threads” did in the header to this section!

Last May when I took Janet’s class on Appliqué I discovered embroidery floss cards (Tierney – have you been quilting under a rock all these years, why do you not know about basic crafting items?!?!) Janet was kind enough to share some of her huge collection of embroidery floss cards with her students. She gave me this one that coordinated with my piece:

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I did not know such magical cards existed! I thought that she had discovered a mysterious and secret fountain of embroidery floss!

You see I have always purchased embroidery floss this way:

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Photo credit: Jo-Ann Fabrics and Crafts

And turned these nice little packages of embroidery floss into TANGLED MESSES.

Prior to learning to stitch with them, I used embroidery floss in various colors as the “string” to hold the chopstick on the miniature kimonos I make so they can become a wallhanging.

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Miniature Kimono by tierneycreates with red embroidery floss

Other crafters will likely cringe at this but I would just cut in the middle of a new package of embroidery floss in order to access a length of it for hanging the kimono. Then I would put the rest of the floss away in a small bag and it would turn into a tangled mess.

I would untangle the mess to try and cut more floss out for another kimono as needed.

Are you cringing, I mean really cringing? Do you want my “Crafter Card” revoked at this point?

Not able to find embroidery floss on these mysterious spool like cards, I just kept doing what I was doing until I discovered a large package of embroidery cards with floss and some EMPTY CARDS for $1.50 a couple of weeks ago at a thrift shop.

(Lightbulb)

So…you buy the cards and then you wind your embroidery floss onto the cards!

This weekend I sorted my thrift shop find into an old small plastic container with dividers and wound all my floss packages onto their own spool cards!

I went from this (note the tangled floss in small packages):

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To this:

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When I ran out of the cards I got from the thrift store bag, I used one of them as a template and created my own with some recycled cardboard.

Just think how much more basic quilting/crafting stuff I will learn in my next 17 years of quilting!

My Minimalism Journey, Thrift Shop Adventures

Shameless Thrifting, Part II

Yesterday’s post featured a completed quilt to convince you that this is still a Quilter’s Blog, so now I am free today to post about some other non-quilting random topic!

This is post is a sort of follow up or continuation of my post from August 2016, Shameless Thrifting. In my “Shameless Thrifting” post I share how I overcame my aversion to thrift stores as part of my Minimalism Journey. I also share a secret obsession from my childhood discovered during an afternoon of thrifting.

Got Outfit?

In yesterday’s post (in which I try to convince you I am a quilter again), The Wedding Gift Quilt, I mention that I recent returned from a trip to Fort Worth, Texas for a family wedding.

Preparing for the trip I realized I did not have many nice warm weather outfits for Texas (90+ degrees F and high humidity).

I live in the Pacific NW and in general we dress fairly casual; and I am a telecommuter and I can work in sweat pants and a T-shirt all day. I used to have a lot of dressy clothes from when I worked in an office, but I donated most of them to thrift shops as I discussed in my series of posts on My Minimalism Journey (My Minimalism Journey).

I could not stand the idea of going out and buying NEW clothes. Anytime I think about buying new clothes, I think about an article I read last year on how “Fast Fashion” is creating environmental issues. This is not the exact article but it has the same message: Newsweek’s FAST FASHION IS CREATING AN ENVIRONMENTAL CRISIS

Several times I started to get into the car and go to the local Macy*s or J. Jill, or even Old Navy to see if I could find any cute outfits for the trip. I also thought of our local boutique shops and although I would like to patronize small businesses I was not sure if I wanted to pay their prices and I noticed many of their clothes are made in overseas.

Let’s Try Local Thrift Shops!

Thank goodness due to the influence of my sister, a very creative “thrifter”, I can proudly and shamelessly, go thrift shop shopping for clothes! There are many wonderful “gently used” fashionable clothes at thrift shops.

After visiting several thrift shops, I was able to put together a couple outfits for the trip I was very pleased with. Here is an example  of one of those outfits (note I already had the shoes – they are are Dankso dress clogs with ankle straps I’ve had for many years and they surprisingly matched perfectly):

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How much for the entire outfit including the jewelry (not including the shoes) – $9.

Yes $9 for the whole outfit: the $5 dress is a J. Crew dress, the $3 jacket is a boutique brand type item, and the coordinating necklace was $1. I received compliments on the outfit while on my trip!

And when I get tired of my “new” thrift shop summer travel wardrobe, I will just donate it back to the thrift shops!


Postscript

The Capsule Wardrobe

Speaking of clothing, a vlogger (video blogger), Casually Matthew, has a beautifully produced short video on how to create a Capsule Wardrobe:

I love the idea of a “Capsule Wardrobe” and first heard about this concept when I started following The Minimalists a couple years ago. I was going to add a link to provide more background on Capsule Wardrobes, but you can google this phrase and find many wonderful guides.

Essentially a Capsule Wardrobe is a way to declutter and minimize your closet while curating your clothing into a coordinated collection of clothing you really love; and is flexible in its ability to “mix and match”.

I have a fairly casual Capsule Wardrobe for my telecommuter/Pacific NW lifestyle but I would like to evolve it to be a tad more stylish and plan to use thrift shop finds to achieve my goal!


Feature photo credit: Roger Kirby, free images.com

A Crafter's Life, Thrift Shop Adventures

Softies and Sharing

Softies

I love working with fabrics and in the future I want to focus on more craft items than quilts – like tote bags, pillows, handbags, pincushions and “softies” (plush toys).

Although I am trying to be good on not buying crafting magazines, whenever we stop by Barnes & Noble for a book and magazine browse, I peek at the latest issue of Stuffed Magazine: The Crafting of Softies, published by Stampington & Company.

Like the other high end crafting magazines, it costs $14.99 an issue, and I could not really justify bringing an issue home with me. Especially when I have other crafting magazines filled with many patterns and inspirations waiting for me!

Until today…

Monday is my day off, and I took a car trunkful of donations (from cleaning out my crafting supplies – see my posts on “Craft Room Archaeology”) to the Humane Society Thrift Store.

I had in my purse a “$5 off a $15 or more purchase” at the Humane Thrift Store coupon, so after turning in my donation, and noticing that all books and magazines were 50% off, I thought I would just stop in for a quick wander.

Guess what I found?

I found 9 issues of Stuffed Magazine, in excellent condition, for $3 each (instead of $14.99). With the 50% off sale on books and magazines, I only paid $1.50 per issue. I also picked up a knitting book, Yarn Play, and a $1 brand new container of Mod Podge (yes I opened it up and made sure it was still usable).

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I know what you are thinking….

“Tierney, didn’t we just read a whole series of posts about you getting rid of stuff in your home…and this whole minimalism thing you are embracing?”

Yup.  But, but, but – I could not pass this deal by…

Also, I am thinking of it as a “rental“. When I am done with the Stuffed Magazines, I will donate them back to the Humane Society Thrift Shop!  For now, I am going to put on the kettle for a HUGE pot of tea for this stack of magazines!

Sharing

Do you ever feel like the Universe is having you hold onto something for someone else?

A couple weeks ago, I clipped the Humane Society Thrift Shop “$5 off a purchase of $15 or more” coupon and stuck it in my purse with no plans to go shopping with it. It just seemed like a good idea to keep it handy.

Today’s impulse wander at Humane Society Thrift Shop led to a $16 purchase but I did not use the coupon. Instead I gave it to the woman at the counter/line next to me, who had 4 young kids with her and was struggling to decide if she could get all her thrift shop purchases.

She had a stack of books for her kids (obviously taking advantage of the 50% off sale) and a couple of kitchen items. She was having the clerk tally the items several times to see what she could get and what she needed to put back/leave at the shop. I handed her my coupon, with the excuse that it was about to expire and I did not need it. She was quite pleased and exclaimed: “Now, I can get everything, thanks!”

I felt like the Universe had me put that coupon in  my purse for her.

A Crafter's Life, Audiobooks and Podcasts, Thrift Shop Adventures

Thursday Crafting, Thrifting and Laughing

Check out Sassy the Highly Opinionated Miniature Schnauzer’s blog page Schnauzer Snips, for her later musings.


A Day of Fun!

I took yesterday (Thursday) off from work as I wanted to attend a class that our SAQA (Studio Art Quilt Associates) group was having at a local gallery that started at 2:30 pm (I normally work until 4:30 pm or later at my healthcare industry pay-the-bills-job).

I have a couple of friends who are retired or self-employed and have a lot more freedom in their day, so I invited them to meet me for lunch and then wander around downtown Bend, Oregon until our class at 2:30 pm.

So began my lovely Thursday of crafting, thrifting and laughing.


Crafting

Our art quilting group, met up at A6 Studio & Gallery in Bend. The A6 Studio & Gallery hosted a private Bookmaking Class and Tour in honor of their OPENING JAPAN: THREE CENTURIES OF JAPANESE PRINTS exhibit.

The class, held in the back of the studio/gallery, was taught by a professional bookmaking artist. We made an origami folded little booklet called the “Blizzard Book”. A renown origami artist had created the book and the pattern during a blizzard when she needed a paper folding project to distract her from the weather outside.

Here are photos from my first origami mini book making experience:

During the class I learned the importance of the “bone folder” tool to get crisp folds and markings during origami paper folding.


Thrifting

After the class, before heading home, I thought it would be fun to take a peek at a couple local thrift stores near the gallery. As discussed in previous posts, I’ve found some wonderful fabric treasures at my local thrift stores. (My all time greatest find was a couple of years ago at the Brightside Animal Shelter Thrift Store. I found several yards of brand new Maywood Woolies Flannel, in brown check, for $1. Yes one dollar for like $30 + in new flannel. I ended up giving an extra donation to the animal shelter as it felt like pure stealing to only pay $1, so I paid $5!).

So here was my treasure I found on this thrifting trip – nearly a yard and a half of Amy Butler Midwest Modern fabric – for $1.50!


Laughing

The day filled with laughter began around 11:30 am when I met my friends for lunch, walked around downtown Bend and through the origami bookmaking class. We have a fun SAQA group of extremely talented art quilters (some of them super famous…but I finally learned to stop being intimidated) who were completely new to origami and were very able to laugh at themselves as they completely bungled paper folding.

When I returned home, the laughter continued, as I took the dogs on a walk and I continued to listen my my latest audiobook from the library: The Girl with the Lower Back Tattoo by Amy Schumer.

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Photo credit: Amazon.com

Now this book is not for everyone. It is very irreverent and it is filled with profanity and some graphic stories from her love life. But, Amy is brilliant in it.

She narrates her own audiobook and her comic delivery is flawless. She shares (and maybe overshares) her vulnerabilities, mistakes and accomplishments in life is a warm-hearted, extremely humorous manner.

I love the relationship has with her younger sister; and I love the sections where she shares excerpts from her teenage journals with footnotes/comments from her current views on life.

In this book, Amy shares her flaws and her genuine desire that young women learn from some of the errors in judgement she has made related to relationships.

She also has a brutally honest story about her scary experience with domestic violence.

After listening to Tina Fey’s wonderful audiobook Bossypants and Jesse Klein’s nearly brilliant audiobook, You’ll Grow Out of It, I thought I was done with female comic’s memoirs.

I am so glad I borrowed this one from the library – numerous times on walks I stopped for a moment because I was laughing so hard. I was also glad my bladder was empty before listening!


Well the weekend is upon us. I hope you have some crafting (if you are a crafter), perhaps a little thrifting, and of course bountiful laughter!

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Gratuitous photo of beautiful Central Oregon, from one of my walks
A Crafter's Life, Thrift Shop Adventures

Fabulous Thrifting Fabric Find!

I shared in my post Shameless “Thrifting” that I learned to enjoy searching thrift shops for cool donated fabric. Recently I had a fabulous thrifting fabric find, and let me share the story of how I ended up coming upon a wonderful fabric deal at a local thrift store.


Off the Wall, and Out of My Life

Mondays are my day off and this past Monday I decided to take in some donations to our local Humane Society Thrift Shop. I wanted to donate a couple old art pieces that were no longer bringing me joy.

One of these pieces for donation was a large poster of a photograph by David Lorenz Winston called “Solitude”. This framed poster featured a solitary tree in a wintery landscape. I loved this poster for its austere beauty and how the stark palette gave the eyes a rest in my otherwise colorful walls hung with quilts.

I had this poster hanging in my entryway for years and then I took it down for awhile and put up an art quilt in its place (and stored the poster in the closet).

Then, after being hurt by the betrayal of several friends that I had treated with an open and kind heart (a couple new local friends and one old friend), I took the art quilt down and put the “Solitude” poster up again.

This time the poster was on my wall not for its austere beauty but to represent how I felt – that I needed to just draw into myself (and close my heart) as I obviously could not trust those I thought I could trust. I saw solitude as a way to protect myself.

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A week ago, I decided it was time to take this poster back down and put the art quilt back up. I have had enough of feeling like I have to draw into myself and protect myself from people.

Also, as I mentioned in the post Buttons and Revisiting Traditional Piecing: The Blocks Part I, I recently listened to the audiobook The Four Agreements: A Practical Guide to Personal Freedom by Don Miguel Ruiz.

The Second Agreement is:

Don’t take anything personally

The author discusses in depth in the audiobook what this means in regards to relationships and how when someone has an issue with you, it is really about them and their issues within themselves. A quote from this book sums it up nicely:

Nothing other people do is because of you. It is because of themselves. – Don Miguel Ruiz

Although I had read this before in other “self-help” books and sort of knew this intuitively, for some reason I was ready, while listening to this audiobook to hear this message.

So the poster came down from the wall, and I have moved on.

(and I decided never to have this poster on my wall again, so it was time to donate it)


After the Donation – A Treat!

I dropped off my donation at the Donation area on the side of the Humane Society Thrift Shop and thought “I wonder if I should just take a quick peek inside…”

Wandering over to the “Crafts” section, I noticed a package of fabric bundled in an old curtain/linen package. A dull looking Christmas-like fabric surrounded a bundle of other fabric which was obscured by a sea of blah paisley Christmas colors fabric (which also appeared to be low quality fabric).

I noticed the thick package of fabric said $2.50. I tried to peek to see what was wrapped in the paisley fabric but they had the package well sealed. I put it back in the bin I found it in and walked away.

Then a little voice told me – “go back and get it, it is only $2.50 and if all the fabric is terrible you can re-donate it”. I figured a donation of $2.50 to the Humane Society was worth feeding my curiosity of what was inside. So I bought it, and the moment I got out of the thrift shop I hurried to my car to open the package.

I was pleasantly surprised! Inside was approximately a total of 8 yards of different cool fabrics in various sizes. The fabric included many high quality fabrics from lines such as Moda, Hoffman, and Alexander Henry.

What a fabulous thrifting fabric find! It sort of seemed to be my reward for letting go on the art that no longer brought me joy!

Here is my $2.50 treat of fabric joy!

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Did not take a photo before I opened the package but here is the empty package with the price (you can see it was wrapped in an old curtain or linens bag)
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The Score! Fabulous Thrifting Fabric Find! (At the top of the photo you will see there were also some scraps to add to my scrap collection, ha!)

 

A Crafter's Life, Fabric Scraps Obsession, My Minimalism Journey, Thrift Shop Adventures

A “Humane” Way to Eliminate Fabric Scraps (re-post)

Every so often I like to re-post something from the tierneycreates archives. Here is a post from October 2015. As an update to this post – it appears the fabrics scraps I bagged up for donation sold immediately at the Humane Society thrift shop. It seems my part of the country is infested with fabric scrap obsessed crafters!


If you have followed my blog for awhile, then you know about my addiction to fabric scraps. This addiction seems to be incompatible with my desire to downsize and minimize my possessions.

The fabric scrap addiction began innocently enough – friends would give me their fabric scraps at quilting retreats. I would go for a “sew day” at a fellow quilter’s house and leave with some of her fabric scraps. As if that was not enough, I began to actually BUY scraps.

Yes, BUY FABRIC SCRAPS, you read correctly. There is a wonderful quilt shop in Central Oregon called The Stitchin’ Post and occasionally they would sell scraps bags of their beautiful high-end quilting fabrics.  I bought numerous bags from them.

Beautiful scraps or not, still I was buying fabric scraps.

In my post “Creative Inspiration: Organization???” I shared my new organization of my favorite fabric scraps by color. Although I had organized scraps by color I still had a GIANT box of remaining fabric scraps.

I knew I had to do something. I needed to let go of the fabric scraps I did not completely and absolutely love. However, I did not want to throw them away or try to convince another quilter to adopt them.

So I packaged them up into 30 bags and organized them into two baskets and DONATED them to our local Humane Society Thrift Store to sell! (How do I know that the Humane Society Thrift Store sells fabric scraps? Do you want to take a guess? Yes, because I have bought fabric scraps also from several thrift stores include the Humane Society Thrift Store in the past).

The Humane Society Thrift Store Volunteer accepting my donation seemed pleased that I had packaged them up for sale. I like to imagine if they sell each bag for a couple dollars or more each that could be over $90 – $150+ profit for a wonderful local animal shelter! Some of the bags are packaged by color and some are random – so many options for the Humane Society Thrift Shops’ customers!

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A “Humane” way to let go of excess fabric scraps!

When I buy fabric from quilt shops in the future, it will be actual whole fabric (fat quarters or yardage). I still have plenty of fabric scraps and my fabric scrap collection contains only scraps I truly love and plan to use…eventually.

POSTSCRIPT

I am still working through the lessons from the book The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing by Marie Kondo that I discussed in the post “The Space in Which We Live“. 

Studio, Thrift Shop Adventures, tierneycreates

Make Do Quilt Challenge

Yes, this blog is called “tierneycreates” and Tierney should probably discuss…well…doing some creating…instead of her random rambles about her Minimalism Journey (Part II of her ramble will continue in the next post).

I am participating in Sherri Lynn Wood’s (author of The Improv Handbook for Modern Quilters) recycled quilt challenge: Make Do Quilt Challenge – #makedoquilt.  You can read about this challenge on Sherri Lynn’s blog – dainty time.net; or you can read a wonderful post by Kris R. about this challenge and “the skinny on trashing textiles” on one of the wonderful blogs I follow, Coloring Outside the Lines:

Make Do Quilt Challenge

The Made Do Quilt Challenge asks you make a quilt out of recycled textiles using one of the “Scores” that Sherri Lynn Wood discusses in her book The Improv Handbook for Modern Quilters (for more about this book, see my post Creative Inspiration: Books I Own).

In her book, she helps guide the quilter, new to improvisational piecing, by providing “scores” to suggest the creation of an improv quilt. Ms. Wood likens these score to “musical scores” and shares the following:

In creating a musical score, a composer is making a record of how the music is to be performed. Yet each performance of the score will be unique. – Sherri Lynn Wood

For my challenge quilt, I am using the “Score” called Floating Squares. The score suggests to limit yourself to three fabrics (two used in small amounts and one used to “float” the improv squares). I am using 5 fabrics but treating four of the fabrics as pairs as they are loosely (very loosely) in the sort of same color way.

My fabrics are:

  1. A recycled table runner from a thrift shop that is in stripped orange, greens, reds and purples.
  2. Recycled orange corduroy pants (I only have a tiny bit left and it is the companion fabric to the #1 fabric above)
  3. A recycled tweed jumper
  4. Gold-ish recycled home decor fabric scraps (this is the companion fabric paired with the tweed in #3 – yes of course brown tweed and deep gold lame-ish fabric are in the same color way – ha!)

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I began with cutting up squares with scissors (Sherri Lynn Wood is all about ruler free design) and ended up with these squares on my design wall:

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Here is my “pile-o-denim” scraps on the floor to float my squares in:

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And here is where I am with the piece so far:

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I am very interested to see how it comes out. I am just making sections and when I feel I am ready, I will figure out the layout (the initial layout you see above may have nothing to do with the final piece).

So that is my current Tierney-creating!


POSTSCRIPT

Sassy the Highly Opinionated Miniature Schnauzer has taken a short hiatus from her SchnauzerSnips blog page but she will return soon with her story of “The Herd” (recently we babysat two other schnauzers for 5 days).

In my post, Seattle Public Utilities’ Portable Works Collection, I shared my elation of the piece Abandoned Water Structure (designed and pieced by myself and quilted by Guadalupe Designs) being purchased by the City of Seattle for its Seattle Public Utilities Portable Art Collection. Yesterday I mailed it off the framer in Seattle and I wanted to share the custom label I made for the back of the piece – I included the photo of the structure that inspired my creation of the piece:

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I of course have more random rambles, but I am trying not to make my posts too long (so you do not fall asleep while reading!). More next time!


Feature image photo credit: Charles Novaes, free images.com

A Crafter's Life, My Minimalism Journey, Thrift Shop Adventures

Shameless “Thrifting”

Check out Sassy the Highly Opinionated Miniature Schnauzer’s page SchnauzerSnips for her latest musings. 


MY HISTORY WITH THRIFTING

I titled this post “Shameless ‘Thrifting'” as I used to be ashamed to go into thrift stores. I would avoid them at all costs and despite hearing stories from friends about the cool items they discovered for a very low cost at thrift shops.

My shame did not come from fear that people would think I was poor and needed to shop in a thrift shop, it came from once being quite poor and a thrift shop being the only option for clothes, household items, etc.

I put myself through pre-med and then nursing school (when I decided to become a nurse instead of a physician as I had originally planned) when I was in my late teens to my early 20s and I had no disposable income. At one point I was working 40 hours a week (at night as a Home Health Aide) and going to school full-time. It is a long story (related to why my family did not have resources to help me with school) but I obviously made it through (and met Terry, the future “Quilting Husband” while I was in nursing school).

Although we have likely donated thousands of dollars’ worth of no longer used items to charity thrift stores, I refused to shop at thrift stores. To me they represented the poverty I once experienced (and never wanted to experience again), so I stayed away from them. I was all about being able to buy the new things I wanted to buy, when I wanted to buy them (before embracing the Minimalism movement).

A couple of years ago, my a friend introduced me to the fun of discovering cool cheap high quality fabric and antique fabric finds at thrift shops! My sister, who has an excellent sense of style and is a wonderful dresser, also encouraged me to explore thrift shops (She has discovered many incredible inexpensive clothing finds, including “designer” brands).  Inspired by my friend and my sister, finally I realized that shopping at thrift stores not only makes good financial sense, but it is very “green”. Instead of items going into a landfill they can be reused by someone else (and the purchase benefits charity organizations – it is a “win-win”).

Concurrently with my sister’s and friend’s influence, over the years my consumerism fueled drive to purchase “new shiny things” has ended. I started to choose experiences over things and realizes new shiny things only bring temporary and fleeting joy. Real joy comes from say a quiet walk in nature or cup of tea with a friend. This is one of the reasons why we have donated likely 30 – 50% of our stuff now to charity organizations.


THRIFT STORE SATURDAY!

So this past Saturday I decided I wanted to go wander around our local thrift store and hunt for fun deals. I had a desire for “Retail Therapy” but in an inexpensive and “green” way. Here is what I found during my Saturday adventure visiting Goodwill, Humane Society Thrift Shop, and the Hospice Thrift Shop (benefiting Central Oregon Hospice).

Goodwill

I know there is some controversy about the Goodwill Industries organization but their mission seems on the surface to be pretty darn wonderful. I spent the first part of the my “Shameless Thrifting” Adventure, wandering around Goodwill.

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Shoes! I could not believe how many nice pairs of shoes were at Goodwill at very cheap prices. I am not that into fashion, being a telecommuter and outdoorsy kind of person (I prefer a comfortable outfit and pair of shoes) but if I were I would know where to get lovely designer shoes very cheaply!

After I was done entertaining myself with looking at shoes, I went to visit the fabric section (especially after the find from my last visit – see the post Mysterious Thrift Store Fabric Find).

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I did not find anything interesting in the linens and fabric section. However I did return again to the shoe section just browse it for fun; and to think about how much money women spend on new shoes that they only wear for a short period of time. I bet most of the shoes sitting on the shelves of the Women Shoe Section of Goodwill at one time gave some woman a fleeting sense of happiness and temporary “new purchase high”. And now they were sitting on the shelf for $6.99 a pair (note – this Goodwill store appeared to only sell used shoes which were in very good condition).

Humane Society Thrift Store

I left Goodwill empty handed and ventured onto the Humane Society Thrift Store where I entertained myself browsing their used vinyl record collection. While browsing, I stumbled upon this record which brought back some major memories from my childhood:

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Yes when I was a pre-teen I was a HUGE Barry Manilow fan. I cannot believe I am admitting this (and putting it in writing), but while some pre-teens were crazy for Michael Jackson or Donny Osmond, I was all about Barry Manilow! I remember the joy of getting a new Barry Manilow record as a kid. (Are you so shocked you have to unfollow my blog now?!?! Can I ever regain your respect?!?!)

A young couple who was browsing in the same section, looked at me with curiosity as I was photographing this record. I can only imagine what they were thinking, ha!

Now, I did not buy the Barry Manilow record. However I did leave the Humane Society Thrift Store with 3 used SAQA Journal Magazines (from 2011 and 2012 before I was a SAQA member) and 5 buttons (for future miniature kimonos). A purchase that totaled $1.

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Hospice Thrift Shop

I ended my thrifting adventure at the Hospice Thrift Shop. I did not purchase anything this thrift shop, but I was very entertained looking at their used craft supply section. My favorite item: not only did someone donate their yarn but they must have said “screw it, I am done with this knitting thing” and they donated the piece in progress still on the knitting needles!

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Summarizing My Saturday Shameless Thrifting Adventure:

  • Time spent browsing = 2.5 hours
  • Money spent = $1
  • Fun (the thrill of the hunt), giggles, and insight = priceless!

POSTSCRIPT

I do not regret the time in my life when I had little financial resources. It was during this time that I learned to cook as I could make my own food from scratch (much cheaper than purchasing pre-made food). For example, I learned to bake my own bread from discounted flour I bought at wholesale from a food coop I volunteered at (to get wholesale prices on food).

Also I learned at an early age how to budget and manage resources; and also how to stay away from the pitfalls of credit card debt.  My life could have been easier by taking out a large school loan but I worked my way through school instead (there was no partying or goofing off during my time in college) so I had a minimal student loan to pay when I graduated (yes and sigh, no wild college parties memories but that is okay).

But most important though, is I learned to appreciate everything I have, as everything I have was earned through my effort and hard work.

I do believe through struggle comes growth.

A Crafter's Life, Thrift Shop Adventures

Mysterious Thrift Store Fabric Find

Earlier in the week I went to drop off a donation of no longer needed items to one of our local thrift stores.

There was a long line at the “drive thru” drop off donation area (good to see so many people in town making their lives lighter of stuff!),  so I decided to park at walk in my donation. After dropping off my donation, since I had already parked, I figured it would not hurt to go into the thrift shop and look around…

Naturally I went directly to the donated fabric section of the thrift shop and after a bit of rummaging discovered a yard of a lovely Asian print I thought would make great kimonos.

I am careful on thrift store fabrics of quilting weight material and always check the manufacturer name on the selvage (end/label area) of the fabric. This print had a name I had never heard of – Watex – but it the fabric felt like a high quality Hoffman Fabrics style Asian print, so I bought it (yes my huge $1.99 investment).

Returning home, I tried to google “Watex” and could not find anything of use other than it appears to be a Japanese fabric and several people were selling “Vintage Watex” on eBay and Etsy. The word “Watex” on the selvage was surrounded by Asian language characters, so I guessed the fabric was manufactured somewhere in Asia.

Below are photos of my fabric find, let me know if you have ever heard of Watex fabrics!

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If the fabric’s origins/manufacturer remains a mystery, it will still be great fabric for a future miniature kimono or other project.

Studio, Thrift Shop Adventures, tierneycreates

More Creating – More Art Pillows

This post is a quick follow up to the post Creating… on 07/27/16 where I discussed pulling out from my project pile and completing a set of “art pillow experimentations”.

I spent part of this weekend finishing up the rest of the little art pillows (they range from around 6 x 6 inches to 8 x8 inches for the large one).

Here is the full set of the finished pillows (notice my new tierneycreates labels on each pillow):

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Here are the backs of the smaller pillows (made with hand dyed fabric found at a thrift store (it was quite the score!)

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I was going list these three pillows on my tierneycreates Etsy shop as a set but I decided to just list them separately (they do look cute together though): 

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Here are close ups of some of the pillows:

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I am posting this on Sunday night but you will likely read this on Monday, so I wish you all a wonderful week, and talk to you later!


Postscript

My blogging buddy, Laura of Create Art Every Day, posted a lovely painting of a quilt block, inspired by my blog on her post GEOMETRIC ABSTRACT CALL TO AUTUMN IN WATERCOLOR AND ACRYLIC (WORLD WATERCOLOR MONTH, 29/31)

I am inspired by her paintings! I might do a little quilt piece inspired by her work.

In Central Oregon we actually have a famous quilter and a well-known painter collaborating on art projects – Jean Wells Keenan (quilter) and Judy Hoiness (painter).

Here is a link to examples of their wonderful collaborations: Twist from Tradition Series.

A Crafter's Life, Thrift Shop Adventures

Granny Square Rescue!

It all began 6 years ago when I attended a neighborhood garage sale and spotted a granny square afghan for $2. I picked it up and studied the amount of work, effort and love that went into making that crocheted blanket. Before I could stop myself, I exclaimed to the seller “Wow, someone put a lot of work into this and you are selling it for only $2? I hope someone does not sell a quilt I made for them for $2!”

The seller/home owner looked at me like I had lost my mind and replied “Well you can pay me more for it if it makes you feel better!”  I gave her the $2 and quickly left the garage sale (before my foot reentered my mouth), but this began my obsession with “rescuing” granny square afghans.

I only daydream someday of making a granny square afghan. I have several craft books about making them (does that count?) but I have yet to make one. I so appreciate the work and craft that goes into making one.

The ones in the photo below are from garage sales and thrift stores. My most recent one (in the upper right hand corner) was a gift from a friend that got it for $1 at a thrift store.

Rescued Granny Square Afghans - all safe and loved in my home
Rescued Granny Square Afghans – all safe and loved in my home
I shudder at the thought that maybe one day one of my quilts that I spent months making (as I am sure these granny square afghans took to make) will be on sale for $1 – $2 at a thrift store or garage sale. Of course all crafters have to remember: Once you give someone a handmade item as a gift, you have to let it release it emotionally – you have no control over what happens to it next.  (It took me awhile to learn this lesson).

As long as they do not become clutter in my home (just how many granny square afghans would be considered “clutter”?), I will keep “rescuing” beautiful granny square afghans and giving them the love and appreciation they deserve!

Fabric Scraps Obsession, Studio, Thrift Shop Adventures

A “Humane” Way to Eliminate Fabric Scraps

If you have followed my blog for awhile, then you know about my addiction to fabric scraps. This addiction seems to be incompatible with my desire to downsize and minimize my possessions.

The fabric scrap addiction began innocently enough – friends would give me their fabric scraps at quilting retreats. I would go for a “sew day” at a fellow quilter’s house and leave with some of her fabric scraps. As if that was not enough, I began to actually BUY scraps.

Yes, BUY FABRIC SCRAPS, you read correctly. There is a wonderful quilt shop in Central Oregon called The Stitchin’ Post and occasionally they would sell scraps bags of their beautiful high-end quilting fabrics.  I bought numerous bags from them.

Beautiful scraps or not, still I was buying fabric scraps.

In my post “Creative Inspiration: Organization???” I shared my new organization of my favorite fabric scraps by color. Although I had organized scraps by color I still had a GIANT box of remaining fabric scraps.

I knew I had to do something. I needed to let go of the fabric scraps I did not completely and absolutely love. However, I did not want to throw them away or try to convince another quilter to adopt them.

So I packaged them up into 30 bags and organized them into two baskets and DONATED them to our local Humane Society Thrift Store to sell! (How do I know that the Humane Society Thrift Store sells fabric scraps? Do you want to take a guess? Yes, because I have bought fabric scraps also from several thrift stores include the Humane Society Thrift Store in the past).

The Humane Society Thrift Store Volunteer accepting my donation seemed pleased that I had packaged them up for sale. I like to imagine if they sell each bag for a couple dollars or more each that could be over $90 – $150+ profit for a wonderful local animal shelter! Some of the bags are packaged by color and some are random – so many options for the Humane Society Thrift Shops’ customers!

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A “Humane” way to let go of excess fabric scraps!

When I buy fabric from quilt shops in the future, it will be actual whole fabric (fat quarters or yardage). I still have plenty of fabric scraps and my fabric scrap collection contains only scraps I truly love and plan to use…eventually.

POSTSCRIPT

I am still working through the lessons from the book The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing by Marie Kondo that I discussed in the post “The Space in Which We Live“.