Wednesday, 30 March 2016

Fabric of life and vintage material

As our lives take on a new rhythm, it is probably time for me to let go of some of my old 'stuff' and sell it to raise funds to do the things I want to do now. For years I have collected fabric which I have carefully stored for use at a later date, but the reality is that I have more material than I could ever use in our house, so it is time for some of it to go.

Since I was a teenager I have been buying fabric to use in sewing projects, all sorts of projects from curtain making to patchwork quilts and cushions. When I got a weekend job as a 14 year old, I used to save some of my earnings every week (I think I earned about 62p an hour) and when I had enough I would get a bus into Bristol or Bath and buy a small piece or two of material. Most of the fabric was bought from Laura Ashley as I liked the way the colours blended well together and the small printed designs were useful for patchworking, but later on I bought a lot of toile de Jouy designs from a variety of manufacturers.

I don't think I can bring myself to sell the bags of scraps that I have saved for patchwork projects as who knows what the future may hold and I might want to start making hand-stitched quilts again. The longer lengths of fabric however, can be sold on eBay or Gumtree which I hope will give me some much needed money to spend on very different products.

I've decided that I want some topsoil to supplement the rather poor soil in the garden. In fact I have realised that the soil is no where near as good as I had first thought. So rather than dig and dig, and pick out stones, pebbles and large amounts of glass, we will buy some topsoil and I will add compost to that, leaving the poor soil below it to gradually improve over the years as worms and micro-organisms do their thing. So doing a quick calculation, it looks like we will need about 10 to 12 tons of topsoil for the raised beds and at £43 a ton, I need to find the best part of £500 to create the vegetable and fruit beds. As this is an added expense that we hadn't budgeted for and I want to find a way to fund this purchase, so the unused fabric (and my collection of patchwork quilts) can go.

Now I have the task of going through my boxes and bags of fabric and deciding which ones to sell. In theory this should be an easy task, but it will be time consuming and difficult because as I look through them, I travel down memory lane and get all sentimental about different lengths of material or quilts and the memories that they evoke.

Still, if I stay focussed on the reason for selling it, being ruthless about my selection will be easier. Being able to feed us on home grown fruit and vegetables for years to come is a priority, hanging on to pretty fabrics and bedding won't be very productive in the long run and as I will still keep some of them, I won't have lost them altogether. So I had better go and make a start!

Well, it's taken me the whole morning to list the first length of vintage fabric on eBay, listing the hundreds of pieces of fabric that I have may well be a long and slow process. Here's what I've listed.
7 metres of Gaston Y Daniela fabric in a music themed toile de Jouy design.

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