" Yes that's right, " I replied.
"I have some fabric and some quilts my MIL made. She had dementia for several years but has died now. We are cleaning out her house and I thought you might know what to do with her material and half finished quilts."
"Yes," I said, " our group sometimes gets given fabric and we use it to make Charity quilts." ( this is where the story get ugly. )
The person arrives 36 hours after she said she would be here with 9 cartons of "stuff" and some half made quilts wrapped in a sheet."
I think it ALL must have been stored in a shed or some very damp cupboard. It all smelt disgusting. Some friendly little mice had been visiting some of the boxes.
The 5 unfinished quilts were all hand pieced hexagons ( sort of Grandmothers garden style) all very badly done indeed. ( NIGHTMARE STUFF ) There was every kind of fabric under the sun in every loud colour . The corners don't match up in some cases.Whether any one can do anything with them I doubt they are too badly done. Maybe cut them up - certainly NOT unpick. The material was scraps of everything she must have made in the last 50 years - much of it samples and very poor quality. It is truly sad that this lady had dementia but I think the fabric storage thing goes back way before that set in.
I have sorted and sorted and filled a box for burning ; a box for oil rags at the local garage and several boxes that may go to the charity shop. I have washed 6 loads ( sorted by colour in case they ran ) of fabric. Some had to be done twice as they still smelled musty. I left some on the clothes line overnight and have ironed and ironed and ironed. Much of it is tatty and even more is not cotton patchwork fabric. So far I have salvaged some usable pieces.
This is the pile of usable fabric. I threw away her smelly container and used a new shoe box for the many hexagons prepared for paper piecing. Some I tossed. That is a whole days work. I am now left with disposing of the other boxes of material. Some small curtain samples may be suitable for cushions. Tomorrow I am going to ask a friend from our group to give a second opinion. She will have to take it all to club as I am away for 6 weeks from next week. ( we may decide to take lots of it to the Recycle Centre. )
There are 2 things to be learnt from this.
* Store your fabric properly in a clean, dry environment if you care about it.
* Learn to piece properly ( by hand or by machine )- ask for help or join a group and don't use unsuitable fabric.
For me the lesson is be more cautious. Say I will inspect fabric before I accept if on behalf of the P and Q Group.
The unsuitable boxes of stuff are still outside in the carport ( under cover ) it smells too bad to have it in the house.
Was I being made use of? I think so.