Wednesday, September 19, 2012

More than a Sale

What a bitter-sweet experience this sale was turning into for I realized that whatever I purchased could possibly end up in a sale like this. I heard other women comment that they would buy this or that, but they are beginning to reduce the sizes of their own stashes realizing that they are getting older and getting more real about what they can and cannot accomplish in the course of one life.

Only a few years ago, fortunately, or perhaps,unfortunately, I went with my husband to visit Grandma Moses’ collection of art, and I fell in love with her story.  She first painted at the age of 76, after being a farmer's wife with all the chores that entails, having ten pregnancies, and raising five children.  When she finally found the time to paint she created over one thousand  works and she passed away at the ripe old age of one hundred and one from "wearing out".  I wondered if she lived longer as she fully embraced what she most loved to do in life? She became my heroine and doing what I love to do became my creed.

By the time I hit the most amazing collection of wools I had ever beheld, short of shopping a wool mill store, I was fully appreciating this woman and her most amazing collection of materials, threads, machines and various notions.  I wanted it all, but was being so good about containing my greed, and enjoying the spirit of the sale.

Sewers were gathered and there was talk amongst people who knew and loved these various crafts.  Quilt talk and rug hooking talk prevailed, and then someone recognized me as The Pincushion Lady.  I felt like the Speaker of the House had just announced the entrance of the President as I was suddenly elevated to such status!! I was so proud to be recognized and appreciated amongst these women of talent, though in truth, I am easily and truly dwarfed among great quilters and craftswomen of the world, for my skills and talents are truly modest in comparison!

My neighbor sat in a chair in the living room of this house.  She was taking this sale at her leisure, as the pressure to buy was truly not like the other estate sale I had been to, and I was beginning to relax myself.  There were enough materials, threads and patterns and sitting made her appreciate the extent of the sale and take it in incrementally.  I sat on a brick hearth nearby and joined in the chatting.

I don’t socialize a lot these days and this was truly a special event on many different levels, not just a sale but a happening with like-minded women.  A nurturing and supportive environment to soak in, and soak up and we were doing just that, though we had promised each other to get back home within only a couple of hours, as we are both busy and caught up with our various tasks of living. But my neighbor took time to savor the moment and extend it and who was I to complain?

We eventually circled the house many times reconsidering our choices and tempting ourselves still further and finally carefully selected our purchases.  Mine included a button collection with antique bone buttons among others that I would later enjoy sorting and mixing in with my own collection. I also got a thread basket of embroidery thread and pearl cotton, only later to discover that the basket held wool, cotton, linen, and hand-dyed threads as well. There were over 25 balls of pearl cotton, though mostly of one color. All were priced to be true treasures as for those of us creating beyond hobby level, threads alone at full price can raise prices higher than this economy will bear! (The picture I took of the basket's contents was taken after I had sorted it all and thrown out  the scraps that all sewers collect.)

After saying goodbye to our old as well as newly made friends and promising to keep in touch at local quilt club meetings, as well as privately, we made our exit.  In checking out I gave each of the women running the sale my card and told them how wonderful they were to pay tribute to their friend by hosting this sale to be sure that her materials found worthy homes and then muttered that if all the wool didn't sell, to give me a call as I had heard one person say that the husband of the deceased had threatened to take the contents of this sale to the dump, uncertain that anyone would have any interest in her collection. I couldn't imagine this happening to her beautiful wools so carefully purchased and cared for, though only my want was driving me to buy anything at this time.

My own stashes, though small in comparison, especially in terms of wool materials, were still more than adequate for my immediate needs and then some and  my total collections of craft related "stuff" fills every corner of my basement and spills from my dining room to the living room as well! I sincerely added that I hoped buyers would come and support their sale. I didn’t know it at the time, but apparently rug hooking groups had been notified as well as other wool craft groups. These were professional sellers to be sure and they advertised this event well!  (To be continued)….


  1. This is a great adventure Jane. You ARE the pincushion lady! Relax and enjoy it! You were in company of those you belong with. Sometimes our fear,doubt and insecurities bubble to the surface. Let's work on letting them go. Warm fuzzy moments are the best!
    We've earned them. PS: I love your blog.

    1. Cindy, thank you for your feedback. I am overwhelmed with my new materials, but they will soon be organized, sorted and properly stored and it will be such fun using them. I see penny rugs ahead and other fun projects --more pincushions??--I am finishing up a batch of 84 pincushions--so maybe in another few months!