This time of year many quiltmakers (and nonquiltmakers) are chatting about the need to simplify, which includes cutting down on the amount of stuff we have. My efforts to destash and declutter can be summed up as "one step forward and two steps sideways."
I always have a Salvation Army donation box going and last week I dropped the most recent box off at the local store. My husband did his part last week by deaccessioning 14 t-shirts. (When I posted that fact on Facebook, and mentioned that among the 14 was the t-shirt from the Three Dog Night concert that was the ALA Scholarship Bash in 2001, there were several comments to the effect of "How could he? I remember that concert!" and "That's still my favorite t-shirt." I may have to rescue that one from the rag bag.)
I kept a coat and a dress of my mother's, thinking that I'd use the fabric for a memory quilt or something. It's been 10 years since she passed away and I haven't done anything with either. I took them out of the closet when my sister and niece came for Christmas dinner. My niece tried them on and they fit perfectly! And so they went home with her.
The coat is Ultrasuede, that "miracle fabric" of the 1970's. It is still very expensive ($69/yard at Vogue Fabrics). Circa 1980 my mother found out about a factory in Chicago that made Ultrasuede clothing and had an outlet store (back when factory outlets were really at the factory). She got this blue coat, which has a sort of ruffled collar and a self-belt (no buttons).
The dress is cotton. Mother made it about 1960. There's a lot more detail in the pattern than I'd ever have patience to sew today, with an attached, pleated skirt and a shaped collar. She sewed all the buttonholes by hand because the Greybar sewing machine was straight-stitch only.
For her turn, my sister brought these pieces of Royal Copenhagen that Mother specifically left to her. Mother inherited them from her cousin Savina. My sister was willing to part with them because they don't go with her decor. I remember Mother saying, "They're quite valuable." I looked them up, and they are. Though they do go with my decor, I would never use them for fear I'd chip them. I'm going to try to sell them -- that's a 2013 project. :)
And finally: here's what followed me home today. This string quilt has a few ripped patches, but for $4.08 at Salvation Army I could not resist. I don't think it's a made-in-China cheapie (the fabric is too eclectic and the batting is heavy cotton). There's a name tape label on the back: "G. Lemieux" but no date.