Earlier this year my boyfriend and I had dinner with his family, and a part of the conversation got me thinking about what would happen to our cross-stitching collections once we pass. I realise this is a morbid topic, but something that I hadn’t really thought about until now.
My boyfriend’s mum had said that when his grand mother had passed away, her embroidery collection had been given to charity or passed onto members of the extended family who may have been interested. I’ve also been told that my boyfriend’s grand mother was part of the Embroiderers’ Guild ACT and was very proud this and her embroidery.
Thankfully I’m not the only one who has thought about this topic and written about it. In 2014 Little Thread Crafts (LTC) wrote a blog post about this titled Save the Stash from the Trash! LTC talks about the importance of us stitchers ensuring that we have other stitchers around us who will be able to save our collections from the trash and other places that our collections really shouldn’t end up. LTC also talks about the major finds they have come across in charity stores that they have then added to their own stash. For example, patterns, threads and other stitching equipment that are out of production and for a portion of the price in regular retail stores.
Alternatives to charity donations
Don’t leave it until it’s too late and you’re unable to see the joy that others will get out of your stash. If you already have some items in your stash that you know you’ll never stitch, why not pass it onto someone you know will enjoy it? They could be friends and family or fellow stitchers’ you are yet to meet. The point here, is to get the word out through whichever channel you’re comfortable with.
If you’re really happy with the stash you have and you aren’t ready to part with it yet, it may be worth having some formal documents in place listing what is in your collection and what you want to have happen to the collection upon your passing. It’s morbid, I know! Just don’t live in denial, thinking that you’ve got plenty of time to worry about it later.
Our legacy is more than just our stash
When I’m stitching, I feel calm and peaceful. All other thoughts (most of the time) leave my mind and I’m able to properly focus on the task at hand. Partly because my projects will punish me later if I’ve been too tired or distracted! The other part is, when I’m not stitching, I’ve usually got a few other things going on/happening at once. For example, as I’m writing this post, I’m listening to some really nice instrumental music whilst checking the time to see if it’s too early for my boyfriend to be home yet (it’s his first day back at work after a nice, relaxing week away!), and wondering whether or not I should get up and turn on the heating and questioning whether cold or not. All the while trying not to be too distracted by the sore muscles in my neck from sitting on the couch doing cross stitch and watching tv at a slight angle. Which leads me to wonder if I can get away with re-arranging the lounge room so that I don’t get a sore neck. All the while ensuring that it benefits my boyfriend as well, when we’re able to chill out together again once I’ve recovered from my cold! Which leads me to question whether I really should be trying to rearrange the lounge room when I’m sick.
I appreciate that from a reader’s perspective, the previous paragraph is very much a ramble. It’s also a perfect example of why I need to stitch and do other things to get such thoughts under better management!
Telling our story. Sharing our legacy.
Aside from some a wide range of projects completed, partly completed and barely started ones, how many people will know how much time was put into those projects? Unless there are people around me to see me working on the projects or I’m remembering to document the amount of hours that go into them, no one is going to know. This is the true point of it being more than just the stash!
We need to document in whichever way is comfortable and easy for us, the amount of time we put into our projects. Why we started working on them then stopped at a certain point. Why purchased the patterns/kits in the first place. Which projects we found easy and which ones were challenging and why. Why we framed one project and turned another one into pillow or wall hanging or card.
Thankfully the Internet and social media has made all of this a lot easier to do. Just by posting a picture and a few sentences (or a video) about our works in progress, finishes, questions and challenges, we’re documenting what’s happening. We’re sharing our stitching legacy!
Related articles and sites
- Little Threads Crafts blog article – Save the Stash from the Trash!
- Creative Live Blog – Cleaning the House? Here’s Where to Donate Old and Unused Craft Supplies.