Up until this year, I worked with a local church group to make prayer quilts for their members in need, and also to deliver to the children’s hospital during the holiday season. Once I became more involved in the AMQG, I stopped working with the church group mostly because of the time and distance to get to their location, but promised myself that I would continue to craft for charity. In the first half of this year, I donated about 10 quilts to Project Linus, many of which were previous creations that just hadn’t found a home yet.
On a personal level, I find it discouraging to make a quilt with no intended purpose. It’s one thing to make a quilt and think, “I surely will enjoy watching Daryl Dixon embed some arrows in a zombie’s head while under this quilt” (Walking Dead reference), and quite another to think, “I am making this quilt to learn a skill, but I don’t see a place for it in my home, or in the home of anyone I know”. I got into a place where I wasn’t quilting for charity because I felt these quilts were purposeless, when I know that’s not the case to the recipients. I booked up my quilting time with projects for myself or my family, and that’s perfectly legitimate, but I’ve felt the loss of charitable crafting.
So when I saw the tweet from ConKerr, I thought, “Perfect! I can use some fabric from my stash and donate to charity.” And, if I’m honest, not having to use part of my batting stash, as well as come up with thread for quilting and backing material (as well as time), is tantalizing. So I thought I’d take a little bit of time and pick out some fabrics to use to make some pillowcases. I thought I could make 10 easily out of the fabric in my stash, especially since I have a decent selection of juvenile or novelty prints I don’t have another purpose for since my kids are getting older.
So I started cutting. And cutting. And pressing and cutting some more. At current count, I have cut fabric for 50 pillowcases. Five. Zero. It is staggering to me, that 54 yards of fabric (and that is how the math works out, as I’ve triple checked it), some of which I have stored for over 8 years, is not even a quarter of my stash. I am floored. I am horrified at the sheer bloat of it all. I was trying to express this sense of waste to my husband, who immediately defended me (to myself, which is sort of silly, but one of the reasons I love him) as saying that the time clearly was not right yet for that fabric to be used, so I should not berate myself for holding onto it for so long.
So I am feeling lighter as I make plans to stitch these up. Removing this bulk from my stash, and bringing my stash of fabrics closer to a place that reflects who I am as a quilter right now, just feels… right. And good. And knowing these are going for a good purpose is icing on the cupcake.
I plan on using this as the maiden voyage for Marcia, and look forward to photographing a giant stack of pillowcases before I take them to the AMQG meeting on December 3rd. Since our meeting is conveniently at a drop-off site for ConKerr (Intown Quilters in Decatur, GA), that’s a nice stretch goal to have them all done by then.