My Parents’ Acquaintance’s Boyfriend’s Mother’s Stash

We spent the last several days, our spring break, with my parents.  While there my mother said, “I have something to show you, but I don’t want you to be overwhelmed.”

She took me upstairs and showed me about 10 large plastic totes.  Full.  Of.  Fabric.

“That’s not all.”

So, we went to the shed where there were six more large plastic totes.  Full. Of.  Fabric.

Not to mention the totes of patterns, notions and gadgets.

“Where did this come from?”  I asked.  Overwhelmed.

“Well, we met this woman and went to visit her a time or two.  And she introduced us to her boyfriend.  In the course of conversation he mentioned that his mother had recently died, and she was a quilter.  When we said that our daughter is a quilter, he said that he had some things of hers that he would like to have go to a good home.  So we brought it here.  Two truckloads.”


WOW!  I sorted through a small portion of it and brought home this much. For now.

All kinds of fabric.  Large pieces for backs, one that happens to  be perfect for the Calico Rose quilt I am working on right now.  Fat quarters.  Scraps.  And 6  unfinished projects that I should be able to complete fairly easily for charitable purposes.

Not all the fabric will even come here, let alone stay here.  It is too much.  I don’t believe that “she who dies with the most fabric wins.”  But, I am grateful for my parent’s acquaintance’s boyfriend’s mother’s stash.  I will put a good portion of it to good use.


26 thoughts on “My Parents’ Acquaintance’s Boyfriend’s Mother’s Stash

  1. Wow. That sounds truly overwhelming. But how nice for you to get some new-to-you fabrics. I just started following your blog last night though I’ve had my eyes on your fading charms quilt for a while now. I just got my treadle machine working and chose that quilt to be my inspiration for my first treadle quilt. I work almost exclusively with scraps, too.

  2. I sent mailed home a huge box of fabric from my Aunt’s mother. That stash was about 75 copy paper boxes, and weeded through tons of it. I love using it,

  3. Wow, I’m sure it must be overwhelming, but how exciting too! Those unfinished projects will be so fun to figure out and finish. I hope you can write about them.

  4. How exciting is that…I bet your eyes bugged out of your head….I just know you will make some fantastic things from all of this…what a windfall!!

  5. Oh wow! Glad it went to someone who can use or redirect it – instead of to the dumpster! In cleaning my studio these past weeks, I imagined what it would look like to anyone else trying to make sense of it all…

  6. Wow! That’s an amazing amount of fabric. So awesome that you’re planning to finish her UFOs. I’m sure whatever fabric you can’t use, a charity would love to have.

  7. Lucky you! Just think of all the people you can help now. Maybe someday I will happen upon a winfall, don’t want anyone to die, just could use stash help at times.

  8. Wow! What a wonderful gift. I too came in to a very large gift from a friend of mine this past Friday. Her daughter passed away a couple of months ago. She gave me 9 trash bags of fabric. Some very large pieces 5 yds or better, about 10 of them. And a lot of 2yds or better. Some panels Etc. She also decided to give me all her stash which was a whole double door cabinet of packed fabric. Whew! It filled the back of my truck. Not the back seat the back end. There is we figured so far over 500 yds of all kinds of fabric. I am sharing it with my daughter who is also a quilter. We are now at the point that we are going to finish a part of the basement off just to store fabric. I have a few friends who cannot afford fabric and come to me. I let them take most anything they like as long as they do something for charity now and then. Cancer Center,sick kids, oncology ward, Etc. I have certain shelves that are available to all. Anyway good luck sorting and sharing. A lot of work but worth it for sure. God bless you and all you do.

  9. I have had a similar experience and I did feel overwhelmed. I gave away about half the stash immediately. It’s good to be reminded not to hoard supplies, don’t you think.

  10. This reminds me to add to the list of important information (like insurance policy numbers and bank account numbers) the names and addresses of quilters so that my stash (12 copy paper boxes sounding small after reading of 75) can go to people who will use it. My daughters would have no idea otherwise.

  11. I’m amazed that everybody thinks it’s awesome! To me, it seems more like a reminder that we all have WAY more fabric than we can possibly use in a lifetime, and that the ridiculous accumulation really ought to stop! And, I’m a fine one to talk. I KNOW I have more fabric than I could possibly use in three lifetimes, yet I continue to purchase. And happily accept offerings from the leftover stashes from others who have died or otherwise decided to give up quilting. I’m as bad an offender as anybody.

  12. It’s great that the fabric is going to be used and appreciated! When I leave this world, I hope my fabric stash doesn’t end up in the landfill, it would be nice if it goes to quilters who will use it for themselves or make comfort quilts from it.

  13. I am also hoping that my fabric gets to someone who can use it..i do not buy fabric anymore—unless I need a back or border but it must be used immediately for daughter nor grand daughter sew..i bought them both machines but they never or rarely use them—for mending…but my daughter knows people who do sew—groups who do good things for others..but I have gotten my 35 paper boxes down to about 25 in the last year so I am making a will too..i know you…

  14. Now that really scares the heck out of me. My worst nightmare come true. I’m with Charlotta but way more guilty than her. I’m aiming to leave finished quilts or quilt tops, and hopefully very little fabric. I’m on track with this years goal.
    I have told my husband and children that my friends have been told to come and clean out my sewing room when I depart this world. Just take the lot out of their way. One less thing for them to have to do. But, this has made a couple of my friends quiet uncomfortable. They think it is in bad taste to come knocking on the door and say “sorry to hear about your wife, but I am here to take all her fabrics etc”. But I know he will be more than pleased to have them come.
    So I have no time to stop sewing for the next 20 years. A girls’ gotta try!

  15. A couple of years back a friend of a friend’s wife died. She too had a huge, huge…. did I say HUGE stash of fabric, plus she did all sorts of crafts, plus knitting, crochet etc… So after their family went thru it. He started having craft stash sales. Last I heard he is still having them off and on. Mind you, I bought 1 tub, (you know the large 25-30 gal. size. And they had at least a couple hundred. Plus then he had us look at some beautiful old antique quilts to ask us if we knew of anyone who would come evaluate them. That man must have the patience of Job. Mine would have been great until we got to the first 100. Then he would ask me if I really needed all that stuff? I used to work at a fabric store and at least some of my check would go to my stash each week. I’ve been sewing just from my stash for a long time now… it feels pretty good not to be buying fabric. My girls sew so I have them first come shop here! 🙂 Hang in there…. there are bound to be quilt guilds that may need it for charity quilts.

  16. I hope that I don’t die with so much stash that someone else doesn’t want to take it all. But I’m afraid it might already be a lost cause.

  17. That\s quite the story Deanne, I know that you’ll share I round where it’s needed and that some lovely projects will come out of it. How kind of the boyfriend to send it your way even though he didn’t know you at all.

  18. Oh, wow, Deanna!! How fun is that!! Just sorting through it must have been exciting!! I wonder who will get all my fabric after I go to the big quilt store in the sky?? ;-))

  19. What a great post! I’ve been the receiver of a few of these friend of a friends’ stash’s. I’m happy to receive them, though nothing like what you are talking about here. How wonderful it was for them to think of you. How better still for them to not throw it out!

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