a time to gather, a time to distribute

The rotary cutter I needed hid somewhere in the pile of quilting fabric. A box overflowing with cloth that could not fit into the overstuffed fabric closet blocked my path. I shoved aside quilt blocks to find the sewing machine. The time had long since come for me to re-organize and reduce my stash of fabric, sewing notions, equipment and spools of thread. I put away the quilt project and began sorting.

I don’t know why I bought that fabric, I do not even like it,” I muttered as I tossed it into the give away pile.

Why would anyone fold fabric to hide the ragged edges after cutting out a blouse?” I sighed and slashed off strips too small for even a string quilt.

I don’t need four large spools of green thread. I have never used this tool,” I added them to yet another large tote box. It was time to talk with family members who sew. I found four who eagerly volunteered to relieve me of anything and everything: fabric, zippers, buttons, patterns, “Oh, and by the way do you have a sewing machine you could contribute?” one asked.

Well, I might,” I studied the seven sewing machines in the sewing room before choosing one to share. I did not consider sharing the two sewing machines on the work bench.

I folded fabric, packaged zippers and bagged buttons. I filled a rolling sewing case with fabric, thread, accessories and a sewing machine. We lined up boxes for the anticipated deliveries. 

Time donate to the thrift stores where I buy fabric,” I said. I proudly surveyed my clean shelves with neatly re-folded fabric organized by colors and themes. It only took four days to clean deep enough to dust the corners usually blocked with fabric. 

I am done!” I announced, walking out of a room that now echoed my footsteps.

The doorbell rang.

Do you want some fabric for the sewing group?” my smiling friend asked. She had just sorted out her excess sewing supplies. 

The fabriholic inside me jumped up and down with joy! More fabric. I like fabric.

We chatted as I picked up various fibers, mentally cataloging where each piece needed to go. After she left, I began adding her surplus to the piles.

The size and number of piles overwhelmed me. It was time to pack for our drive to deliver stuff. Before we packed, I went to one of my sewing groups to use a special sewing machine. They welcomed me with open arms, “We have been waiting for you! We saved this fabric for you,” they indicated a heap of fabric, thread and other notions. “We knew you would know where to take it.”

I took a deep breath, thought about the size of our van, my very tidy sewing room and how very much I like fabric and sewing stuff. “Let me look.”

The entire lot filled my car’s trunk and back seat. Having just completed a four day training in sorting, I carried everything into my living room and quickly arranged more piles including a bundle for yet another sewing group. I only slipped a few pieces into my personal stash. Half a bushel of spools of thread became half a dozen designated piles. I filled and delivered bags to my favorite thrift stores and kept my sewing room neat, tidy and echoing footsteps.

A day later I went to four estate sales. I didn’t need a thing. I just wanted to look. I came home with another sewing basket. It really helps reduce the echo of footsteps in the sewing room.

About jottingjoan

retired former newspaper writer. Many children and grandchildren. One husband.
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