I've read so many mean and critical estate sale posts over the years that it makes me want to scream. Sometimes I do scream. One in particular that I read last spring motivated me to write this post, but I'm not linking because I don't want to sound like I'm attacking that particular blogger.
Why do quilters and knitters (and I'm sure all kinds of other hobbyists) feel like it's okay to attack strangers, especially dead strangers, because of how much yarn or fabric they had? Can't we just assume that they enjoyed it and be happy for whoever else got the great deal at the estate sale or auction, or for the group it was donated to?
I was going to say that unless you knew the deceased it's unfair to make assumptions, then I changed my mind. Because I've known some friends and neighbors of crafters or quilters or knitters who were just as snotty.
The idea that we shouldn't leave anything behind but finished projects seems unrealistic to me.
A decade or so back, I belonged to a church quilting group where one of the women had planned out every last one of her future projects. There were other patterns she wanted to make, but she'd decided she only had time to finish a set number of quilts and was sticking to that list. Maybe I'm projecting my own feelings onto her. I hope that I was, because it didn't seem like a happy way to live. She was only seventy-four. That's younger than my own grandmother was when she opened the antique mall. Grandma ran that business for quite a few years before selling it and moving on to other projects.
These days, I quilt with a group that meets at another church. Some of the members have been working through the stash of a woman who suffered from dementia. Her family saw that quilting helped her, so they kept buying fabric. Her skills deteriorated from what they had once been, but she kept making quilts until the end. The ladies who are working from her unfinished projects have had to work around uneven blocks and weirdly matched fabrics...They do a phenomenal job of turning what she left into gorgeous quilts. And you never, ever hear a critical word about what that woman left behind. We should all be more like them. We don't have to salvage someone else's bad quilts, but we can be happy for whatever someone else made and not pick it apart.
I'm young enough that I don't think too hard about stash beyond life expectancy. I'm definitely not going to use it all up and I'm not worried about that. (For the purpose of this, we're calling those cross stitch kits a collection and only talking about yarn and fabric.) I hope I've got lots of years of knitting and quilting ahead of me, but anything could happen. Drunk drivers cross the center line. Blood clots are a thing....and there are lots of other things...
From now until whenever, I'm going to enjoy making quilts and knitting socks and stitching things and not make up deadlines based on fear of the future.