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Wednesday, May 19, 2021

Where Weed Whackers Don't Reach! (And Mile High Quilt Piles!)


Such an interesting discussion about wildflowers and "rules" about what is invasive, or noxious or what -
Yesterday before I headed on my drive to Wallburg, I had to stop by Quiltville Inn to do a couple of things - and as I walked back to my car, I spied a whole mess of Dames Rocket growing beyond the fence off of our property.

YES! The lavender and new spring green is such a lovely sight. I'm glad that I'll be seeing this for a while longer yet.


My mountain lilacs are beginning to bloom!

We have a whole huge hedge of these at the parking area at the cabin - and I can't wait until their delicious scent fills the air.

And yes - the rhododendron in front of the inn is popping its blossoms too - just in time for our next group to arrive this afternoon!

Yesterday's jaunt to Wallburg put me on an emotional roller coaster that I was not prepared to handle.

I'm not even sure why.

I went to pick up a treadle machine and cabinet - a couple of other machine heads, and some random things including a few tubs of recycled shirt parts for future quilt projects.

I have A LOT of shirt parts.  I have A LOT of bins of shirts that never even reached the deboning process - 

I think what set me off was the conversation I overheard The Hubster having with our renter friend Adam.  

"You know, there must be at least a dozen huge bins in the under the stairs closet where the furnace is!" says Adam.

"Yea, that's even MORE fabric..." replied The Hubster.

It set me on edge.  I'm not even sure why - but I felt SO super defensive.

I started collecting shirts and other articles of clothing to use in quilts way before I wrote Scraps & Shirttails and Scraps & Shirttails II.  

Being the mom of boys and having 5 brothers I have always gravitated toward more masculine fabrics including plaids, stripes and geometrics than I have flowery things.  That's just the way it is.

Yes - I KNOW I have a lot of plaid shirt parts in bins.  But my long goal plan is to happily make donation quilts in lap size when I reach retirement age (Getting closer every day) while I happily host retreats at Quiltville Inn for as long as I can.

Well - I grabbed 3 of those tubs yesterday.  And left about a dozen more to be dealt with later - and the chiding from menfolk and my realization at the sheer massiveness of this whole moving thing got to me.

I don't just have THINGS - I have TREASURES.  I have attachment issues.  Even as a small child I hated to see the old car go and a new one come home in its place.  I cried when I didn't get to say goodbye to the old Corvair when dad brought home the new Volvo.

I was MAD that mom got rid of the favorite family room high backed couch, and I found a new one that smelled funny like the furniture store in the room when I returned home from school.

So, this was my yesterday when I walked into the upstairs bedroom where we have moved things out of Adam's way until they can be dealt with.


I've shared photos of the Quilt Vault before. The cabin is much smaller than the Wallburg house. Places to store things are just not as available at the cabin. I don't have an empty bedroom to use for quilt storage like this.

Likewise, there isn't room at Quiltville Inn because I can't store anything in the attic or the cellar - those areas are not climate controlled.

I know I will have to do something.  Every niece and nephew that gets married is going to be getting quilts.  As they have babies they will be getting quilts.

My problem (not a problem really) is that MOST of my quilts are full to queen size.  They aren't lap quilts.  They exceed most requests for certain sizes by whatever organizations are out there.

That is where the bins of plaids come in - I want to make hospice quilts and lap quilts in certain sizes easy for donating.

But I have to be honest with myself - I want the BIG quilts to go to family and friends.  And I'm on the verge of honestly looking for new homes for them.

I still have aunts and uncles. I still have parents.  I still have siblings and their children and grandchildren.  And that's where I'm going to start.

While sitting in the car a text came from a sweet friend:


Another solution!

I think I like this one best of all - for all of the quilts that are not given to family and friends ahead of time.

If there are not enough quilts for EVERYONE to take -  perhaps folks could put their names in a jar when they sign the guestbook, and we could hold a raffle at the back of the chapel after the memorial is over? LOL!

That doesn't solve my lack of space issue.

I know that there are many of us reaching this stage of life.  It's okay to be emotional.  Quilts are not just THINGS.  We pour our essence into the making of them.  All of the living that happens from the first time we hold the fabric and cut it, to the final moment of finishing the binding and attaching a label.  These quilts have our lives infused into every moment.

And then there are the other things to deal with - extra sets of dishes that I love.  Things that have been in our family since the boys were small - I still see them excited to pull out the Christmas plates right after Thanksgiving.  Those things I can part with more easily, but not until I have held each one and locked the memories away in my heart.

Some favorite pink depression glass pieces came home with me and will find a place at the inn, and some at the cabin.  Some will find their way to friends as gifts.

On my long drive home I was fighting the little voice in my head that was saying "Maybe you should just stop making quilts - where are you going to put more quilts? Don't you have enough?"

And I quickly told that voice to shut up.

There are NEVER too many quilts.

There is just not a house big enough to store them, and that's not the quilt's fault!

Busy day ahead today - The May Quiltvillians are arriving this afternoon.  I have an early afternoon haircut appointment - and I'll be rushing back to welcome folks as they arrive.

There is a big QUILTY WEEK ahead as they are staying until next WEDNESDAY! Hooray!

What's up for your mid week day ahead?


Do you have your Basket Toss pattern yet??


Did you enter to win our Gift-Away on Friday's Post? We will be drawing for THREE winners!
Irene at Cotton to Quilts has chosen a wonderful array of fabrics perfectly suited for enhancing your own fabric pull while making Basket Toss.

Need more neutrals?  Be sure to check out the Notable Neutral Rolls while checking all of the fabric bundle offerings!

As promised, the introductory price for Basket Toss is already marked 25% off - no coupon needed!

This price drop is good through May 31st, and will revert to the full price of $12.00 on Tuesday, June 1, 2021.  Don't delay!

If this is your first time downloading digital patterns from my store to a computer click HERE.

If you intend to download to an iPhone/iPad click HERE.

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Quilt Size: 88’’ x 88’’

Are you ready to enter to win? Do it on last Frirday's Post!



Quiltville Quote of the Day -

What advice are your quilts giving you?

I thought this was a good one after yesterday's time in the Quilt Vault.

Have a wonderful Wednesday, folks!


 

119 comments:

  1. Hugs to you, my friend! You’re right, there’s no such thing as too many quilts! ❤️

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  2. Maybe you could start looking for a place to be a museum for your quilts. After all you are famous and people would certainly go to your museum of quilts!

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    1. That sounds like a good idea for some of the quilts. Lots of people could enjoy them that way.

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    2. Or see if there are places around town that could display them, and you could rotate them with the seasons/months. I'm thinking city hall, the post office, local stores, police/fire station...

      Speaking of fire stations: As a first responder, we carry blankets and stuffed animals in our command rigs to give to kids if we respond to fires/medical emergencies to give them comfort. With some of the larger quilts, maybe donate a few of them to the local fire house to give to families impacted by house fires?

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  3. As a funeral director and quilter the giving away of quilts at one's funeral is just fabulous!!
    I have had several services where the deceased's "collections" were put on display and there for the taking. Everything from neckties to books.

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  4. Instead of waiting for your funeral, hold “raffles” at certain retreats. Everyone who comes to Quiltville Inn would certainly appreciate that time and effort that went into each quilt. There’s more floating around in my head about this idea, but they’re your quilts and if you considered this idea, I’m sure you could figure out how YOU wanted it play out.

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  5. I have a set of encyclopedia's that my parents bought for my sister and I that they couldn't afford at the time for our homework. I can google whatever I want but I can's seem to throw them out. No one wants them. I need to let go also

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    1. The set of encyclopedias my parent's bought when I was a child went home with one of my children after my dad passed last year. I'm so excited that my grandchildren will be looking through the books from the 1950's like I used to!! Don't despair, someone may surprise you! They are also really great for making a rag rug lay flat as well!

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    2. If we lived closer together I would take them. I want to wallpaper my bathroom with them! At least my hubby will always have something to read while in there. LOL

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  6. I sympathize with your “too many quilts” dilemma. I don’t have too many but just like the process of creating a quilt. Our church donates to our local Salvation Army’s family adoption for Christmas. Each family has a gift list. I’ve decided that I’d like to include a quilt for the head of household for each family. And if I have been productive enough I will put one in the gifts for the teenagers.

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    1. That is a fabulous idea. I have friends who are passing their beautiful quilts along to families at Christmas or when the opportunity comes along.

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  7. I sympathize with your “too many quilts” dilemma. I don’t have too many but just like the process of creating a quilt. Our church donates to our local Salvation Army’s family adoption for Christmas. Each family has a gift list. I’ve decided that I’d like to include a quilt for the head of household for each family. And if I have been productive enough I will put one in the gifts for the teenagers.

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  8. I sympathize with your “too many quilts” dilemma. I don’t have too many but just like the process of creating a quilt. Our church donates to our local Salvation Army’s family adoption for Christmas. Each family has a gift list. I’ve decided that I’d like to include a quilt for the head of household for each family. And if I have been productive enough I will put one in the gifts for the teenagers.

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  9. I apparently also have attachment issues with 'things', especially the quilts I make - I spend so much time with them during the construction that I find it hard to give them away. While I don't have the large number of quilts that you have, many are queen and king sized. I have been working on rethinking size when I start a new one, to make them easier to give away. My thought is that if construction took less time, and perhaps I started making multiples of a pattern, maybe it would be easier to part with them? I guess we will see lol.

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  10. Bonnie, I understand your feelings. I, too, have a hard time parting with things. I'm just not a purger and my fabric stash has grown since in retirement! Some suggestions for your quilts. Habitat for Humanity - our guild supplies the quilts for the beds for the homes they are building locally. There are 2 houses a year built in our area. Often there is need for queen or twin sized quilts. Perhaps there is a chapter between the VA and NC locations.
    A second suggestions is when there are natural disasters like tornadoes, often there is a need to help folks put there lives back together. Our guild has also donated quilts to this effort. After Florence, here in coastal NC, people were homeless, living in temporary places and there was a request for quilts for folks...anyway, hope those suggestions give you some ideas...

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  11. When my sewing group friend died, our group finished 9 quilts that she had in progress for her family members. My friend’s daughter put all the quilting supplies in a room and invited us all over to take everything we wanted to have. I still love sewing with some of Julie’s stash. Our quilts and supplies will continue to bring love and joy after we are gone. Keep on quilting!

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  12. Perhaps the extra dishes could be stored in the attic at the inn. Things do get broken, accidents happen and then those extras will be needed. I am sure the Christmas ones would be appreciated by your boys, or the retreaters at the appropriate time of year. One retreat place I went to always had an assortment of quilts in each bedroom to choose if you needed an extra blanket. Maybe extra storage in your new laundry room could be made? The museum idea is a great one, or a permanent display at an existing one? Quilts are too precious to be thought of as excess. Take care, the job of downsizing is daunting, but a sign of a life well lived.

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    1. Love your idea Wendy. Bonnie, personally I would gave a very hard time giving away my quilts to strangers. Family first, if they wanted one, then a friend who’ve had an illness and needed comfort, or lost their spouse or child.

      But getting quilt racks for the Quiltville Inn, with extra quilts to load up on beds esp in cooler months is a wonderful idea. You have so many beautiful quilts, it’s just too early to give them away yet, esp when you’re still teaching.

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  13. I'm sure some of your extra quilts go to the next community disaster such as wind, fire, etc. Please continue your blogs.

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  14. Totally in the same boat. This entry completely resonates. I have a small pink depression glass collection in the garage I think about letting go every 6 months or so. The quilts are being stockpiled for the "next" generation to marry and have kids. I am running out of room. I look in my sewing room and it is stuffed. I figure 5 years to get through all the wonderful projects I've kitted. But that means 5 years with no new fabric or patterns. That is very hard to do.

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  15. After you gift what quilts you want to family and friends you could possibly sell the remainder. There are many loyal followers that would love to own one of your masterpieces and it would be treasured again!

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  16. It is what we do and who we are! Create, stack and give! Painters don't worry about their output. It gives you joy so enjoy! No different than lumber stacked for future projects! Marilyn Marks

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  17. Don't be in too big a hurry just yet to get rid of things that have meaning to you. Your boys are just now getting to the place where grandchildren are in your future, and there may be one (or two) who would want to inherit.

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  18. I'm struggling with this too... I'm only 48 but my only child (son) is 32 and has told me that he has zero plans for children. So I won't have grandchildren, and my only sibling is 47 and has no children so there are no nieces/nephews. I have cousins, etc. but we are not close. So who gets the quilts? Who would even want them? Why do I keep making them? For now, I won't fret over the "future" questions. I'll just keep making quilts because it makes me happy.

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  19. I'm twenty years older than you are, and I just now am starting to look at stuff with a jaundiced eye. No one wants my collection of antique glass pinecone ornaments, for example. There are really only three choices: keep everything and live a hoarder life surrounded by piles of stuff; start selling and/or donating stuff until everything fits into an assisted-living one-bedroom apartment; stop worrying about it and let someone else handle it after you die. I'm thinking those gorgeous quilts of yours would go for high prices -- give away what you can, and then choose one charity to receive the funds from the sale of the other quilts. On-line auctions?

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  20. I too am emotionally attached to things! Especially family things and QUILTS! I have plenty, but would love a Bonnie Hunter in my collection and will cherish it always as a reminder of our friendship. Just sayin! My heart breaks for you on all that fine stuff but I know you will find people to cherish those items as you did! I love your retirement plan too!

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  21. Another idea would be to have a drawing during each retreat at the Quiltville Inn and give the prize of a Bonnie Hunter quilt. You could select the prize quilt or even give the winner a choice between two or three quilts (they pick which one they get). Downsizing is so emotionally difficult. We just sorted through my parents things. The three sisters couldn’t keep it all and it was gut wrenching. So much attachment and love attached to everything. You know if someone came to the Inn for a retreat, they will be one to treasure one of your quilts. This also goes for some of your fabric. Maybe have a bin they could get a few pieces of scrap fabric from?

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  22. My first thought was there needs to be a Bonnie Hunter Quilt Museum! But then I thought no, they were made to be used and loved by family and friends so maybe that would be the best place to start. I wonder if "someone" could build a new quilt vault for you at Quiltville Inn? Or maybe there is room for an armoire here and there? You have every right to be emotional, you've poured yourself into the making of these quilts, they are part of you!

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  23. My daughter also cried when my hubster got rid of his old pickup. Think of those quilts as a secret bank account. If at some time you needed funds you could sell some. I have passed on a lot of stuff to my daughter and have left plans for the fabric stash if she does not want to quilt. Parting with stuff does get easier as you age I have found. I have been doing it bit by bit over the years and still have more to go. One cannot have to much fabric or quilts. It is what makes our world go round.

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  24. I learned to drive in a Corvair, I also experienced the fish tailing on a curve. Scary time but fun memory.

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  25. If you ever attend a family reunion, you could take quilts and just say 'everybody take one!'. I did that one Christmas years ago. But I could never stop making quilts. They're mostly all going to charities or QOV now. There's a local charity that covers seminary students and they ask for larger (at least twin size but also queen) quilts.

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  26. I feel your pain. I am trying to go through my stash from multiple crafting periods in my life. It is hard. I try to be organized, but my mind sees another quilt pattern or piece of fabric.....Good luck.

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  27. Hugs to you Bonnie

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  28. I love Mananita's suggestion of a museum!
    I have the same attachment style... I love my cars, my appliances, my quilts, my sewing machines... everything that makes my life/quilting run smoothly. I will repair things until they are no longer repairable, and cry when I have to get rid of something I have loved and appreciated. It's what makes me special :)
    Let's continue to quilt on and bring beauty and comfort to our world!

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  29. I love the idea of giving them away at the funeral after family has their choice. I don't think I'll have that many but what a great idea!! and I like the raffle idea too! Ha ha!
    I am also too attached to things and I'm learning to slowly give them away to bless someone else's life but it's so hard! :)

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  30. My husband has been after me for a few years now to downsize stuff. I finally did go through the coffee cups and get rid of some that haven't been touched in years. But getting rid of some brought back memories. My youngest son was learning to clear the table and dropped an entire stack of stoneware plates on the way to the kitchen sink. Had to replace 6 plates. Still had the cups for that set(still have the saucers and snack plates) but it kinda broke my heart to get ride of the cups. Keep what you treasure and let go of the rest. Problem is I treasure so much stuff.

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  31. Quilts (and the fabric) are a nest egg for if the time comes that you aren't running the Inn. I am sure there are plenty of people that would buy a quilt, or even people that would buy and donate a quilt to a museum. Evening activity at the Inn; deboning shirts.

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  32. Your nieces and nephews and family may want more than one of your treasured quilts. Don’t lose heart. We’re all in the same boat.

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  33. I understand completely. I'm 69 and in the pas few years I've sold property that had been dear to my heart. Many things just had to stay with the property. When I left my mountain place in NC I cried all the way down. Mourning the lost and clinging to the memories. It gets better with time, but I still feel the lost deeply. I don't know the answer, but I'm searching and moving forward.

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  34. I've reached the point where most of my relatives have at least one quilt. Now when I start a new one hubby says "Who's that for?" and I say, I don't know yet! Please don't be sad Bonnie. It's true that downsizing is no fun, but enjoy all the memories.

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  35. I am in the mist of downsizing as well. I don't have nearly what you have in quilts and stash but it is hard nonetheless to part with things that are not useful to me anymore but still has so many fond memories. Another option for your quilts could be to auction a few off and give that money to charities. I know you'd have a few readers who would love to be in that auction :)

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  36. I seldom make a quilt to keep. I make them to give, and it makes me happy to think someone I don't even know will be cozy under the quilt I'm making. But, of course, I have no emotional attachment to the fabric I use. I bought it or it was given to me as yardage or precuts or scraps. I keep pictures of the quilts I have made. That satisfies my soul. And I cry, too, when we leave our good old car behind and drive off in a brand-new-smelling vehicle with memories to be made. We downsized two years ago. It was a great decision, but going through the process was miserable. Hang in there, Bonnie. Trust your process and it will work out.

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  37. it's ok to be emotional, to have and FEEL feelings! Of course there's a challenge there, but just know you don't have to DO anything about them immediately and for sure you're not going to stop making more... you cannot stop that creative child, not possible and still be healthy! Of course, i'd be in line waiting for a gifting, any one, any color, any size... but that's not an option and you've just recognized the challenge, so allow it to "perk" and you will certainly solve this as you have so many other quilty things... Love, hugs, prayers & blessings... Cats in Carlsbad CA

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    1. Hi Cats, I love all your comments on this blog and I learn a lot from them. Especially moving my focus from ME to YOU! Thank you!!!

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  38. Oh Bonnie, I feel your pain. And I'm weeping right along with you. I like that funeral idea too. And I really like the idea of a museum type setting for your quilts. Another thought I had... do you have room on your property for a storage type shed. Something like that, or perhaps is there a storage facility in your area that has climate controlled storage?? The thoughts of downsizing any of my quilty stuff just makes me shake with uncontrolled fear. We are quilters & we have to make quilts.There are never enough quilts. Sending you BIG hugs

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  39. It is sad when each individual item is such a treasure, but when considered as a whole, it becomes clutter when there isn't enough space to store it properly. You could consider selling your quilts. I am sure many people would love to own a Bonnie Hunter original. Another idea is to have a family reunion where you gift the quilts to people now. I find that idea more appealing than waiting for a funeral.

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  40. No such thing as too many quilts, just not enough time to make them. I will continue making quilts - like you I need to make more donation quilts. I have made several for QOV and our local guild, as well as quilts for extra large twin for a drug/alcohol rehab. When I am gone someone will do something with them. The joy is in the making and the sharing.

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  41. There are always big issues ( ie fires, tornados, floods, covid relief...you get the idea) that could use a donation of cash. I wonder if your shop could sell raffle tickets for a quilt made by the famous Bonnie Hunter! Maybe just twice a year.....It could be a win-win situation and a “feel good” for everyone!

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  42. All I have to say is...what a wonderful problem to have. I would ask my close friends if there is a quilt they love from a select pile of quilts. After my quilty friend Denise died at 59, I finished her UFO's and gave the quilts to her friends to remember her by. That way the quilts will be treated in a special way and be a gesture and symbol of love.

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  43. OH Bonnie.. so many of us are in similar situations.. Of course most of us have not been quilting for business reasons, so there is that.. But still, so many quilts to deal with. I've been re-evaluating. I have one more king size quilt to finish and then done with that size. Several twin size in the works and then done with bed quilts. A few more for special people and then done unless a request comes up. Then just for the fun of it.. wall hangings, throws, etc. I'm also part of a church quilt group and that satisfies the need to make quilts that I know where they will go. Sending cyber hugs...

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  44. In my area, Habitate likes getting the bigger quilts for families that receive a new home. There is a big demand for twin quilts for children in foster care. Just a couple of thoughts.

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  45. "Maybe you should just stop making quilts..." Keep telling that voice to shut up. What else would you do? We have read how the simple act of stitching two scraps of fabric together soothes your soul, inspires your creativity, and fills your heart with hope. Never think that negative thought again. It would be a loss not just to the quilting world, but I cannot imagine the hole it would leave in your life and being. I think the give-away at your memorial idea is excellent. Now I have to get to making quilts so there will be enough quilts at MY memorial. LOL!

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  46. I am fortunate the the Community Quilts program with my guild accepts larger quilts. We have provided bed size quilts for local refugee families, as well as to those who have suffered from home fires, and other serious losses. In Ontario, Covid patients who require an ICU beds have been transferred to our local hospital from areas that have more serious cases. We are providing quilts to all those people for their trip back home as they get better. I've been sewing from my stash and my bins of strips and orphan blocks - I love knowing that I am giving a "hug" to people in need.

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  47. Bonnie, i feel your pain! I am the same age as you, but unlike you i dont have any children and only have a few nieces and nephews. I have already given my sister and one of my brother more quilts than they possibly need. My few nieces and nephews the same. I feel like the crazy quilt lady, but right now this is the hobby that keeps me sane. I have probably 30 quilts upstairs that are completed and another 7 to 8 that still need to be quilted and another 5 to 6 in progress. Because of the time and effort that go into making them, most of these are too precious to me to just give away to anyone who isnt close to me. I just keep stacking them up LOL! Oh well, if i have to hoard something, quilts isnt the worst thing :)

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  48. My husband is a practical hoarder with things to take care of many unexpected things. We both had a phase where we bought sale items to repurpose and did. I am a quilter and have fabric to make more quilts than I can finish in my life. Unlike you my skill is not remarkable so most of my quilts are given as gifts. I make with a recipient in mind and give them the quilts. But I fret over each one and love it like a baby even after it has left. There are 3 in my home and each has meaning. I visit gamily and see my quilts, friends send pictures of babies on quilts. I love my quilts and you love yours. No judgement should be imposed because we do it differently. You have loved each of them and seen the joy they bring to others. You will find a perfect resolution.

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  49. When my best friend of 50 years passed away, at the reception following the funeral, her children displayed all of the jewelry she had made so people could take "memory" pieces home with them. I cherish the earrings given to me there and truly appreciate the way her children shared her love of jewelry making with all of us.

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  50. I use my quilts and I give away a lot of them (my kids' teachers each get a large quilt at the end of the school year). I use the things I love because I want my kids to develop the attachment to the stuff also...everything else has to go because I live in a small house with little for storage options. Funny, my mother got red of my favorite Pyrex mixing bowl set (boo!) but gave me some dishes she thought I would like...not!! lol

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  51. I understand your dilemma - I severely downsized 9 years ago to a point where everything I owned could fit in the back of a pick up. I was fortunate that most of the things I was parting with found their way to good homes. I hope all that I donated also found good homes. My new dilemma is now i have a dedicated sewing room, and while I have a space limit, I have filled it to the brim with fabric to make quilts. I give all of the quilts I make away when I make them, whether gifts for family & friends or donation quilts. Perhaps you can choose your absolute favorites to gift to family and friends, donate the others to worthwhile organizations to raffle, and this process will give you some peace about the letting go.

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  52. My hubby has a website where he posts photos of the quilts that I want to give away. Anyone can access it and choose what they want and I'll send it/them.

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  53. Bonnie it is very hard to downsize and purge! Then I see some Quilters post in groups about people getting rid of grandma's quilts and how could they do that?! Well, it gets to point you have to. Especially when there are no kids or nieces and nephews.
    You can do hard things.

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  54. I know the feeling of not having enough space to store things. I understand the longing to hold onto things that have memories. Do what has to be done and save what's most important to you.if you're like me you'll fix the space needed.

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  55. Oh, Bonnie, I feel your heart and I hear you. If the boys get to you, remember quilting is your passion but also your career! You are a success and you are famous. Your quilts have more value than most because they were made by you. So there is love of the quilts and the significant value of them. Both. Jus sayin with love 😁❤❤❤

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  56. Once you work through family & friends, perhaps an online auction to benefit a worthy cause (or yourself :-)).

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  57. My teenager tells me I have too many quilts, but I know she’s wrong! Haha. The storage problem is certainly an issue, but it’s lovely that you have such a treasure of quilts and fabric.

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  58. In regards to people passing and what to do with their items left behind - we displayed my mom's hand work and invited anyone to take what they wanted - it was a great way of our family to take something that they would treasure and remember her by - this was the same for my dad.

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  59. I think that shame and guilt should be banned from the quilting world! You are an amazingly talented and extremely hard-working quilter who has gifted the world with daily quilty inspiration. In my view, you have earned all the fabric that several houses could hold! It would be doing the world (and yourself) a disservice to hold back on your gifts in any way. Go forth and multiply!

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  60. How about selling some of the quilts? Now they are worth a lot of money. But it's hard to get what they're worth. Set a $$. Offer them up to your retreat guests. Use what money you do get on stuff for the inn. How many different quilts do you offer to teach classes on. Maybe that list needs to pare down too. If a group requests one that your ready to not teach again. Raffle off the quilt in that last session. Best of luck!

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  62. I don't have room for any more large quilts and I have already given many away. For me the joy is in the making, not the having. After cleaning out my Mom's house after she passed I have learned that not every one takes the same joy in a quilt. All the ones in assorted sizes were still in their original packages..never used, never hung and I brought them all home. It makes me sad but the urge keep things for sentimental reasons is less now. I am older than you Bonnie and have a small place and that also tempers the urge to keep. Shoe boxes, however, are a different story. LOL

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  63. Every closet in my house has completed quilts. My daughters want me to start selling them but I also have issues parting with some of them

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  64. Are there any climate controlled storage places near you. You could put shelves up in one and put all of your treasures in there for the time being. At least it would be close and you could visit it and pet the quilts.

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  65. I would suppose you could donate quilts to shelter homes. Where abused families can start anew with their lives.... Just the right people to be comforted with the lkove you put in. Plan myself for just every 10th quilt to donate for an organisation for victims of lover boys.... They need to be uplifted for the same reason. It will be the destination of all my mothers' inherited stash. Don't worry about what you love, it will multiply by itself! Have a good evenning from here, love Irene

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  66. My partner wants everyone to bring the quilts I've made for them to my memorial and then he's going to keep them! Haha my besties have been forewarned of his ploy.

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  67. Bonnie as one of your many followers I would love to own a Bonnie Hunter quilt. I think you could silent auction quilts not destined to family and friends. Then you could donate to charities of your choice. Don't stop making quilts! We need your inspiration!!!

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  68. You have gotten so many wonderful ideas for the quilt mountain. You always have the pictures of each - write a short story about each quilt and the memories associated with it and attach the picture. Put in a notebook and you can pull it out anytime and do your own remembering over and over. Regarding the dishes - well, when quilters come to the Inn, it is a special experience for them. Use the special dishes at the Inn. They will get love and they may get broken in the process but that is life, huh? Take pictures, write the story why they are special to you and stick them in the notebook too. Then use them - they would be enjoyed during a special experience for other. Now, I'm working on what to also do with my 58 notebooks of my 40 years of genealogy research. That's another whole room in my house! I know the options - it's just which one to choose that is so hard.

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  69. Bonnie, don't feel like you have to justify your feelings for your items. Our world is geared toward shaming those of us that might be considered 'hoarders', but I know my grandmother's generation was lauded for not throwing away anything, which she learned in the Great Depression. If you enjoy it, use it, keep it! And, rather than thinking this is the time to consider stopping making quilts, maybe, instead, it's time to think of making quilts differently. You've spent your entire professional career racing to get 9-10 quilts made every year (or year and a half) to meet a publishing deadline. There is no deadline now. You can slow down and make quilts at a different pace. A slower pace. You can enjoy the process rather than focusing on the end product. This way, you get to still enjoy making your quilts, but aren't producing more than you know what to do with. Hugs to you as you work through this stage in your life.

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  70. How about...when your guests come to Quiltville Inn, they put their name in a jar. Before they depart to go back home, draw a name and that person gets to take a quilt home?

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  71. Again, my heart goes out to you. After reading your post last evening then again today, the ache in my heart, followed by some tears, had me longing for what can never be. Do what you want with your treasures. Life is too short to stress about it. If others have a problem with your stuff, though. That's their problem, not yours. Do what makes you happy.

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  72. Hang in there Bonnie. Who better than the maker of very beautiful quilts, you should be the one deciding where/who they should be passed along to. Having had to sort through family treasurers, (or not), on more than one occasion, the realization is you just can't keep it all and reality is, there are a lot of things that our families just do not want. I go through my stuff annually and pass along or donate.(I am not talking quilts here) I am sad, but, I do not take it personally if they just don't want it. I make the quilts I want for myself and the rest are created for a specific recipient and gifted away. I have a few quilts that spontaneously just find the right home.

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  73. Thank you for your honesty! We are downsizing too and my massive quilt pile has been a concern. I thought of not quilting but I LOVE to quilt and my stash of vintage feed sacks need to be quilted by ME!! I've given 2 friends (they love the old feed sacks) a nice cutting from my feed sack pile. Last year I donated over 15 quilts to charity and still the pile grows. I'm currently working on a diamond shape hexi quilt with feed sacks. How do I give away a quilt that is so labor and time intensive?!?! I haven't bought fabric for a few years...not even for backings....and still there is a massive amount in my quilt room. Oh well, I've decided to look for every opportunity to donate a quilt and only keep the ones that are a part of my soul. That's about 35 quilts. Patty McDonald

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  74. I use my stash to make children's quilts for our Sheriff's Dept. My goal is for each deputy to have one in the trunk of his or her car ready for a child involved in an accident or being removed from a dangerous situation.

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  75. I was watching a video on YouTube yesterday from the Minimal Mom. She was talking about how to corral things and downsize. You can either pick a number of things to keep, or have a defining space to keep them in. This might work for the quilts. Then, the extras…I agree with the raffle at each retreat. You could also seek out women’s shelters or a foster agency that could send quilts with foster kids as they go into a new home. Anyone in a stressful situation would benefit from having a wonderful quilt to snuggle in. Local fire departments, especially volunteer ones, might like to have some to auction off as a fund raiser for the fire department. You could also do that online for your followers and just donate the money. I know as a volunteer firefighter, we are always looking for ways to add to our budget.

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  76. Oh Bonnie - there are so many good ideas here. I know you'll consider them all and then decide what works best for you. And maybe you'll find a way to do a little of each - donate, raffle, give and keep. I am constantly working on several quilts at a time and four are nearing completion while many others are just getting started. I have four that need binding and seven that need quilting. And four that are currently at my LAQ. Oh my - I really didn't need to count!! I too sometimes hear that voice that says why are you making more? You don't have family to give them to! But then what would I do with my time? The urge to create is so strong that I MUST! Quilting gives me purpose for my days and as I've heard you say, it feeds my soul. You are an artist, a designer, a creator and in order to be you, you must follow your passion. Like the saying goes, Keep Calm and Quilt On! {{Hugs!}}

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  77. Enjoyed todays blog. We all accumulate too much ? over the years.and are emotionally attached to most of it. I've been machine embroidering designs on various sizes of jean fabric squares that then turn into zippered/lined pouches. Fun to match up coordinating fabric - kinda depleting SOME of the stash. Carry on - please keep us up to date on your PROGRESS

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  78. Perhaps if there is a charity or charitable cause close to your heart, you would sell some quilts on eBay, "Bonnie Hunter Original" is very marketable.... and donate the proceeds to your charitable cause. That would take time which you probably don't have, but food for thought. Take care.

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  79. "The Quilt Vault!" I love it! I wouldn't know what to do with that many quilts either. But I like the idea of leaving them at the funeral.I wish they did that with my Grandmother's quilts. And the next time the Hubs gives you grief about more fabric, tell him, "I don't mess with your tool box, you need to leave mine alone!" I tell mine that all the time!
    Hugs as you go through this time. Hopefully a solution will come to you as you are quick to come up with them! Have a good evening... hoping we get a chance to dry out. We are enjoying some much needed rain. :)

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  80. Bonnie, my mom collected bells for many years. When she passed, I made a display and asked those close to her to choose a bell to keep in her memory. (The family chose theirs first.) Since her passing in 2018, I've had so many people comment to me about how much they treasure their bell, or the special place where they display it. I'm so glad that I offered her bells to the people she loved.

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  81. I have a small family and a quilter sister, so very little family to pass them on to. My personal collection is a dozen. I have quilted mostly for charity for a decade, and am working on a stash of smaller crib to twin size for baby gifts. I make them for enjoyment, and give them away. Some are big, some are smaller.

    I also downsized 200 yards a couple years ago. My guild sisters were very happy that day.

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  82. Sew Yeah Quilting in Las Vegas, Nevada is having a quilt drive to take quilts (around twin/full) to the homeless in Alaska.

    Second, it would be neat to have a bin of your scraps at your retreats and ask guests to make one or more quilt blocks for you to then assemble into quilts for donation.

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  83. I taught quilting through the local park & rec for over 10 years, and presented three quilts per session three times a year. It was mostly the same ladies each time, so I wanted to have new projects for them each time. The sample quilts started stacking up quickly. After a few years, I started only making the tops. It saved on time and space. I'd never have room for them all if they were all quilted. Now when I need a gift, I pull out one of the tops and have it quilted as needed.

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  84. I understand your attachment to the your quilts, your fabric, and the process of quilting. All quilters "get it" and those who do not make quilts don't understand, but that is ok! Quiltmaking as a hobby or business is, I believe, uniquely different than other hobbies. I don't have quite the right word for it. The lack of understanding isn't an indication that quilters have gone off the deep end. All fabric has the possibility of becoming a quilt so all fabric, regardless of it's state, i.e. shirts & jeans. You have created a successful business out of you enjoyment of all things quilty so it stands to reason that you would have a copious amount of fabric. Goodness, you are Bonnie Hunter! :) Enjoy being you. You never know how your quilts will bless someone in the future!
    Susan

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  85. I am certain that many people would LOVE to have a quilt made by anyone who cares about them. How about a family in your area who has had a fire...they have lost everything!!! Give a quilt to each family member to keep them warm--the quilts would be greatly appreciated and your response would be happiness when you see the faces of the family members. Therefore making parting with these beauties a comfort and not a sadness of parting.

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  86. I can get rid of lots of things without much trouble. The things I find hard to part with are my few antiques and my quilts. The bottom half of my closet is 2/3 full of quilts. The other 1/3 third stores other things, but I may have to get rid of that stuff to make room for more quilts. Maybe my grandchildren would like some. My daughter has never been too interested. My son was the one who wanted them all, but he's gone now so that option is out. It's hard.

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  87. Unfortunately, I don't have many of my quilts, they have all gone to family, friends, Quilts of Valor, etc. You need many of those quilts, since you teach classes on those designs. You can never have too many quilts. I've told hubby to cover my casket with quilts, not flowers. My son's, and now my grandkids love my quilts, and cherish them (thank goodness). Keep making quilts because you want to. Someone has to use up all that fabric ;).

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  88. As to giving away items at a funeral, my mother collected Nativity scenes. She had almost 300 and took great joy in putting them out each Christmas and having people come and see them. Many people bought them for her in their travels. When she passed away, we were stumped at what we would do with them. We decided to display them all at the wake and invite people to take one to remember her by. Each year at Christmas, we get many Facebook posts of Nativity scenes in remembrance of Mom!

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  89. I get it i really get it. I am collector. Tea pots ,quilts (my Own) ceramic animals,old glassware. I have been trying to go through the attic this winter and i see so much that has memories and at this point the kids are not i nterested or are not yet settled. if they are sitting in the attic shouldn't they be enjoyed by someone? What to do?

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  90. I have started giving quilts away too; the first time was the hardest. I always said sewing them makes me happy, using them makes someone else happy.

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  91. Your dilemma is why I usually just make lap quilts now. I enjoy the process of making the quilts and I give them to the nursing home for the residents. They get a home and I get to make a quilt. Although I am having a problem with my Grassy Creek (I made 2 lap quilts). They turned out so cute and I'm really wanting to keep them. I'll probably take pictures and settle though.

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  92. Bonnie, Don't give them as charity quilts just yet. They are way too lovely to let someone who may not appreciate the work have them. For now let family pick something. If there are auctions needing items for a worthwhile fund raiser then you would know the recipient would appreciate the value of the quilt.

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    1. Janet, that is another great idea for parting with quilts. I just finished a quilt with dogs on it that I'm donating to our local pet rescue to auction off.

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  93. Hi Bonnie, it's Janis using my hubby's account. I know what you mean about the quilts. I have only been quilting for about five years and every year I accumulate more and more quilts. My mom received quite a few in the beginning because every time I showed her a finished one, shed say, "ooo, I like that" and it was hers! She passed two years ago so now I am determined that every person in my family receives at least one quilt. I have a large family so I get to make many more. Now, my dilemma in my mind is, do I have enough time! Lol. No matter how many quilts a quilter has, there is always a reason to make more!

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  94. I have bins and bins of quilts, too... I make what I like, then gift them as I see fit. My parents, in-laws, siblings, their spouses, close friends, all have quilts now. Babies get them when they are born and nieces and nephews get them when they graduate... I have given a couple as wedding gifs, but I feel like graduation is more of an accomplishment than getting married these days. I've also made a list of close friends and neighbors who will get a quilt. As time allows, I have invited them over to choose one from the collection of quilts I have finished . What they select is different than what I would have chosen for them, so I'm glad Ive done it this way. Soon, I will try to post some on my FB page to see if any friends wish to purchase one - to help pay for our daughters' college expenses . It's hard to put a $$ value on them, but they need to move out of my house, and i need some compensation if possible.

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  95. Share your quilts with your family. As you are aware life is short let your family enjoy them now while they can share their joy with you. Quilts need to be loved and used not stored away waiting for someday. along with sharing with family I have been sending quilters to people that have crossed my path and added to my life. I call them my Random Act of Kindness" quilts. A fellow co-worker that made my days brighter, a woman that showed me kindness when I was an expat, a woman that was kind to my daughter in law and grandchildren. What was interesting is that for each act of kindness I received a note telling me how much it meant to recieve a gift for no apparent reason. Several arrived during a particulary difficult day or week though I had no idea what was going on in their life. It brought a smile, hope, and made people feel loved. Please share your quilts now while you can enjoy people enjoying them!

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  96. I give almost all my quilts away, if a family member loves a particular quilt, they may have it. You need your quilts to show when you give talks to guilds. A local quilter who was diagnosed with terminal cancer, had a sale of her quilts before she died. Everyone who purchased a quilt or wall hanging had to agree in writing that the quilt could be called for a later show. After her death, there was a retrospective of her work, and all the purchased quilts were reunited for this show. It was a great tribute to her lifelong passion.

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  97. So many of us are faced with how to relinquish our possessions. My 75th birthday is this week and I have been trying to get a hold on this issue through the pandemic. I find my attitude changing as I age. I dont want to be "owned" by my possessions or leave a mess for my family to dispose of. One daughter lives with me and says she could never part with my quilts but that is unrealistic. After family takes what they want or not the rest can go to a local charity that helps families transitioning out of homelessness. My recent projects are for those I know will enjoy the quilt or for community service donations. Recently completed a large throw for a friend enduring chemo. Did it in her favorite colors and was able to complete entirely from the stash. Doing lots of children`s quilts too. They bring joy. I take a picture and keep a scrapbook.

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  98. My thought was - when you have ladies come to the Inn for retreat, maybe you could pick one of your quilts and raffle it off to them, to the highest bidder? Or if they belong to a guild then donate a quilt, to be raffled off to raise funds for the guild or community? Just a thought, as I know the ladies would give one a good home and be loved. Sorry to hear your emotion whilst watching your video - hope you feel better today :)

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  99. Hi Bonnie, the feelings you have happened to me several years ago. It's the realization that we love making quilts, we are aging, and that we will never finish all the stuff we think we are going to do "someday". That particular year, I gave away a lot of quilts with a "friends & family" drawing I had on Facebook. I didn't realize how much my quilts were appreciated. Since then I now donate or give quilts away with abandon. I never look back. Of course I've saved a few that I truly can't part with. Few being the key word. Don't wait for your funeral to part with your quilts. Enjoy the pleasure you can bring to so many right now---also, I gave my Orange Crush to my nephew and his wife. I gave away Trail Mix to another family member. I still have one quilt I made from your pattern because Bill, my husband who died recently loved. Now I make quilts with larger blocks so that I use my stash quicker. If someone says they like a quilt I'm making or showing on my Facebook page, I send it to them....take care.

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  100. Good morning Bonnie. As I read your column this morning, it reminded me of my situation. We moved from a 2 bedroom apartment to an RV. I had to get rid of almost all of my fabric. So many memories came flooding back as I looked at my scraps. The tears flowed as I thought of all the unmade quilts I had planned to make. I ended up donating them but still. Keep as much as you can/want. Have no regrets.
    Much love and prayers

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  101. Thank you for finally giving me a name to one of my favorite wild flowers, Dames Rocket. I always knew it as Wild Lilac but couldn't ever fine seeds for it.

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  102. I make quilts and give them to camps for kids (Seany/Oncology organization). Only keep what I can use. It's the fun of playing with fabric that I enjoy and it is nice to have a quilt always ready to give away. I enjoy making your patterns and have learned to cut them down to twin or double.

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  103. Put me down as another checkmark in the "never too many quilts" column. We are not just making quilts, we are planting seeds. As those 'seeds' get spread around (donated, gifted, sold, etc.) some of them will germinate, and other people will take up the craft and spread love through quiltmaking.

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  104. There is never too many quilts! Ever! There are so many comments so I don't know if someone else has already pointed you to this but I'll share anyway: Nancy who blogs at "Blogging Near Philadelphia" had put out a call back in February for twin-size quilt tops or finished quilts for a charity endeavor. The quilts would go to provide a bed covering for each new resident who will occupy a tiny home unit in what will be a village of them that are being constructed in Northeast Philadelphia to house currently homeless people. In a recent May post Nancy said she was looking for quilts "that are approximately 68" by 86"" but "A little bigger would be fine". Your full-size or smaller queen size quilts could be just right to help her cause. I'll put the link to the post where she talked about the quilt sizes and if you contact her through her blog, I'm sure she'd love to get some of your "downsizing stock" to help set up some new homes!

    https://nancynearphiladelphia.blogspot.com/2021/05/sanctuary-village-quilts-four-flimsies.html

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  105. Ohh Bonnie, I laughed when I read your post about your treasures. Our first car was a Corvair, and I have never (seriously) ever been happier to see it go. It was A candidate for automobile "lemon of the year"!! Thanks for the memory!!!

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  106. Whew! I read everyone of these posts... truth & good ideas. I could’ve sat & cried with you... please keep what makes you happy & mull over it, even if every room in the house has pretty glassware & a stack of quilts for quite awhile!!
    I’m really struggling with letting go of many things... not only our own things, but our parents’ memorabilia, things that I grew up with as a kid I want to hold on to... in addition to my OTHER creative supplies I need to let go of... I’v e sewn for 55 years but only in the last 10 years have I really begun to accumulate a fabric stash & rulers... and a few sewing machines. I’m a realist... but my heart is not! I’m 67... I wonder how long will I be here? How long will I be able to quilt? Then, I realize I set aside a lot of things I wanted to do through the years, so I’m trying to do them, within reason, & be in my happy place (sewing, cutting, touching, ironing fabric & dreaming...) I’ll leave instructions for my kids for the important stuff. Yes! That’s what I’ll do!!

    Keepers unite! Pray, sew, quilt, be happy! And let the auctioneers take over someday if needed!

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  107. Oh Bonnie I cried along with you, I've had a rainbow scrappy quilt hanging in my shop. It was in the window throughout our lockdown period and people came and told me what joy and hope it gave them. I bravely chose to send the quilt on , it will be given to a victim of homicide and I hope it will bring comfort in it's new life. I know I can make another, but my connection was strong and I'm missing it terribly.

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  108. Bonnie-Like so many others, I feel your pain. I am facing the same thing. I don't have a stack of quilts to give away, or sell, but my sewing room is enormous, and I just about have my own fabric shop! My daughters aren't that interested, so I'm still mulling over who will get all my tools, machines and fabrics. It is a dilemma. Hugs and prayers for you.GOOD LUCK!

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  109. Maybe you could have a auction and let us quilters bid on your quilts. I would love to have a Bonnie Hunter original. You could than use the money where you needed,( mortage, food, gas..... or more fabric. LOL) then you would know the quilt is going to someone who would love it.

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  110. I hear you! We moved and downsized 5 years ago. Towards the end I just had to make quick decisions and gave it away or donate. For the more sentimental stuff I didn't have time to sort, I just packed it up. I still haven't unpack what I kept at the end of cleaning out the house, hopefully this summer I can go through it. I totally understand what you are going through.

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