Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Cleaning House

As many of my friends know, we're working very hard to clean out our house. For the past few weeks, we've been going through things, making great efforts to find places for everything whether it's giving things away to friends, trying to sell on Craigslist, or donating items.

My craft and sewing supplies have receive my closest personal attention. My dilemma is now about what to do with some unique items.

For at least a decade, I was a smocker. No, not a smoker as in puff-puff, cough-cough. A smocker - someone who hand-embroiders designs across pleated fabric to make a stretchy sort of fabric that's sewn into adorable little girl's clothing.
I made all my daughter's best dresses, as well as custom-sewed special occasion dresses and bonnets for other little girls.
I'm keeping the 20 or so smocked outfits my little girl wore, but I have lots of smocking supplies. While I found a home for my large pile of batiste fabrics (the best type for making smocked clothing) and some pre-pleated items, I still have a bunch of stuff!

Not a sniff of interest on Craigslist, nor from the Smocking Arts Guild (Cedar Rapids, Iowa).

I have patterns for girls and boys in a multiple sizes of one design,

smocking books and patterns,

and 39 smocking design plates.

It's quite a bit of stuff.

Giving them to Goodwill or Salvation Army would see them dumped in the trash, and some of the patterns have never even been used! I'm at the limit of my ability to try to figure out what to do with everything. Ideas anyone?

Unfortunately, smocking-related items aren't the only things I have that I haven't been able to sell, or know where to give away. There are still books and supplies for Hardanger embroidery, bobbin lace-making, and fabric-dying. I have a few more quilting and counted cross-stitch books, embroidery hoops, pillow forms, Miniature Quilts magazines, 15-plus years of Quilters Newsletter Magazine (in binders!),  and a floor magnifier lamp.

If you were me, what would you do with them? Linda


  1. Hi Linda - I've put my thinking cap on :)

  2. Linda I'd say try putting pictures on your blog and sell them for a dollar or two plus postage. You might sell a few but probably not all. If it were me I'd donate any leftover books to your public library if they have a book sale. That's tax deductible. Our guild has drawings for door prizes...if your guild has anything like that then any leftover quilt stuff might go to them. That's all I can think of! blessings, marlene

  3. Have a table at your guild to sell them cheap and use the money toward your donar quilts?

  4. The MCC sale here has what's called a Quilter's Corner at their annual sale which benefits their programs. The donations are tax deductible. Is there a charity in your area which could benefit from your craft supplies if you're unable to sell them?

    I'd also try to sell what I could by listing them on your blog or how about through e-bay?

  5. I was going to say advertise on your blog but i see i've been beaten to that suggestion. Only other thought is eBay. Hugs,

  6. Linda, it is so sad that you so far couldn't find anyone wanting your smoking and other items. Hope all these things will find a new good home.

  7. Do a smocking workshop and give attendees a goodie bag. A fee for attending could cover costs and any leftover donated to charity. I'd love to learn but don't live near enough!

  8. thanks for the message Linda, hopefully my profile should be ok now!

  9. I hope you find takers for the remaining items you wish to sell. I think showing items on your blog would bring some interest.

  10. Is there a national smocking association that would be interested? Maybe they would pay for the postage. I understand your dilemma because I couldn't give all those wonderful patterns, etc., to Goodwill. Possibly a retirement community in your area?
    The photos of Jill in the dresses are so cute. What a lucky girl growing up with a mother who could make such lovely clothing. Hope it all works out for you.

  11. I have had great success posting items in a couple of yahoo groups. SewingNQuiltingForSale, QuiltersFleaMarket and SewItsForSale. No fees, just sign up and follow the posting rules. You may want to search for any smocking groups.

  12. Hey Linda,
    never took up smocking. Are any of the embroidery hoops wooden? I would be interested in some of them.

  13. Hats Off To You for recognizing what will happen to these things if donated willy nilly. I am wondering if the time of year on caraig's list is part of the slow show?

    It would seem you need to post to a more direct market...and this blog post might bring the needed attention.

    I too smocked and have things WAY back in the closet. And I will keep those as I can see doing a project or two if a grand baby arrives.

    When reading about the Hardanger embroidery, bobbin lace-making,etc. at one time I had an interest but now would not acquire books or supplies.

    Books, a library book sale might like and more importantly find a happy soul browsing... but then you are left with the supplies....

    Happy Days for some person to happen upon these items, just hope it is SOON, so you can finish your project.

  14. Hmmm. I might have some interest in the girls dress patterns... it's something I've always wanted to try, but I don't want to go crazy, Zoe won't be little for that long! I could take a look at them next week. Good suggestions here, with library book sale and posts on your blog.

  15. Wendy at Ivory Spring blog does smocking, you could contact her and see if she is interested or maybe she would have some suggestions for you..good luck


I reply to comments!

However, if you are a no-reply commenter, I cannot reply to you by email.


Related Posts Widget for Blogs by LinkWithin