- 1. a person who collects things of a specified type, professionally or as a hobby: “an art collector”
As a child, I collected all of the typical things: rocks, coins, shells, and stamps. I probably passed those on to cousins or sold them in a yard sale as I got older. They were a passing phase on the journey of childhood, long forgotten into my adult years.
As an adult, I never thought of myself as a collector. Yes, I’d heard people say that if you owned three or more of any type item you had a collection, but I thought of myself more as a rescuer of old things- Old quilts, old sewing notions, and old sewing machine topping the list. Items that might find themselves in a trash heap if I did not step in and redeem them.
Most of these ‘rescues’ ended up in storage when I moved from SC to a smaller home here in the mountains of western NC in 2003. More boxes joined those original boxes when I moved to an even smaller home in 2008. Safe and sound, and somewhat forgotten, the boxes and the treasurers within, sat silently in the shed, year after passing year.
All of this changed recently during my move to a larger home with studio space. All of those boxes moved too, and each needed to be unpacked so that I could evaluate what would be kept, and what if any items I could now bring myself to donate to local thrift stores. Each box contained a variety of ‘old friends’, waiting to be seen and appreciated, and each brought back fond memories when opened.
So, what did I find? Far too many goodies to show you in this article, but I will share a few. (And save some of the others for next time)
While antique toy sewing machine have been a passion since the early 80’s, any type miniature machine seems to have found its way into my possession. They are now displayed in four different areas of my home so I can ‘visit’ them often. Tiny machines even found their way into the studio bathroom.
Vintage pin cushions of all shapes and sizes brought a smile to my face as I unpacked them. Ceramic, cloth, metal…I seem to like them all. Not all of these found a place in the new house. Many went back into their boxes and I will rotate each season until they all get a chance to come ‘come out and play.’
Even my Homer Laughlin vegetable bowls, now have a place to be displayed after so many years of being hidden away. Why just the vegetable bowls? I’m really not sure, but I believe that the first one I purchased reminded me of something I had seen in my grandmothers kitchen. One led to another, and before long there were more than a dozen.
With far more than 3 of each type item, I might have to admit that I really am a collector after all. But, as I adamantly explained to my husband, fabric does not count. I don’t collect fabric. I think of it more as my artistic pallete.
Unlike my other true collectibles, my fabric might get used and recycled into new items. It is my stockpile of creativity waiting to emerge. While it too, makes me smile, it speaks in ways that only a quilter can understand. While my days of collecting the other items might have come to an end, the fabric palette must continue to grow. (If not, I might actually use it up!) OK, that might stretch the truth a bit, but I am really am trying to use it…and, I am sure there will be a new blue out there sometime in my future that just has to follow me home.
Just like the Jo Morton blue I used in this mini quilt. This gorgeous blue followed me home from TX during International Quilt Market. Watch for this new Cut Loose Press Pattern called ‘Kitty Kapers’ coming soon. It uses the Creative Grids CGRDH1 Cat’s Cradle Tool and the CGRDH3 Turbo 4 patch tool.