SBQ, Stash bequest

I should re-visit this SBQ one of these days, and update everything…

Dec 1, 2007
(yes honey, you should read the whole entry…)

This week’s SBQs were suggested by Heather and were sent to me over a year ago. ….

I recently attended a stash sale organized by friends of a stitcher who had passed away from ovarian cancer. I didn’t know the stitcher, but I quickly learned things about her, such as who her favorite designers were and that she was much better organized than I am (she had almost no duplicate charts!). In talking with her friends, plans were to donate the funds collected from the sale to the hospice which cared for her at the end of her life.

The friends had organized everything, from going through her stash right down to what they were doing the day of the sale, because her family really had no idea of the value of her stash or what to do with it.

It was a rather somber experience; I even felt tears in my eyes a few times thinking of the woman who had once bought these charts in her LNS with plans to stitch them someday, gone home and lovingly filed them away, and then been unable to complete everything she wished to do. I felt guilty I was benefiting from her death and her losses. I felt honored to be offered the opportunity to take care of some of the things she had once loved. I felt like I knew things about her from the kinds of things she liked to stitch.

I realized if something happened to me, most of my stash would languish in my home because it wouldn’t cross my husband’s mind that he should do anything with it, and he’d have no idea *what* to do with it, either.

This experience made me think of lots of questions which would probably be great for an SBQ …

* * *

1 What would your stash tell others about you?

2 Most of us stitchers joke about having reached SABLE (stash acquired beyond life expectancy), but have you thought about what you’d like done with your stash after your death? Do you want it to reach other stitchers who will love it, too? Would your family know what to do with it or recognize its value?

3 How well organized is your stash –would someone be able to come in and put together a sale easily, or would it require lots of organizing work ahead of time? What would you like to see done with the funds collected from such a sale, i.e., should funds go to your family, to a charity or charities of your choice, to a charity or charities of your family’s choice, etc.?

4 Are there certain items in your stash which are rare and highly desired by stitchers that might make a much larger amount of money if sold on eBay? Have you done anything to designate which items these more valuable ones are to guide your family in how to handle them? Who would you tell your family should handle such a sale so that they don’t have to do it themselves? Have you done anything to make these thoughts known to others, either through discussions or through a codicil to your will?

5 Have you ever attended a similar sale of a passed stitcher’s stash? How did it make you feel? Did it encourage you to make any changes in your stitching lifestyle?

1- My stash would tell people that I have a wide variety of thematic interests, and that I love to start things. It would also tell people that I like pieces with complexity both in design and type of stitches. It would tell them I like to be prepared, because I have a complete set of DMC, as well as a lot of specialty fibers and plenty of beads. (Or it would tell them I had a needlework addiction, LOL) It would tell them I was curious about designing patterns, since I have books about that general sort of thing as well as the DMC color card. (The big fold-out one with floss samples). I guess I’d have to ask someone else to look at my stash and ask what they thought it said, in order to have a better idea of what it says.

2- I hadn’t really thought much about what would happen to my stash after I pass away. I assumed, if I thought much about it at all, that someone in the family would want it. I would actually expect that only the pieces I’ve actually stitched would be of importance to family; and that the unused stash would only be of sentimental value, and possibly the sort of thing to just be sold or given away. I would rather it was given to a stitcher, so it wouldn’t just rot away with the years. And no, I don’t think my family would have any idea of what to do with it, or have any idea of the value of it.

3- It is only partially organized. The floss is the most organized- by brand and type, in numerical order, in floss baggies on metal rings. The patterns and cloth are in 2 of my craft drawers, but not really “organized”; and my WIPs are all over in random places. If things were sold, I would want the money to go to my family. If none of them were left, I’d want the money to go to the Shriner Childrens Hospitals.

4- I have a couple of things that might be of more value, either because they’re discontinued (a couple of books) or because they’re purposefully discontinued to make them “collectible” (a couple of Mirabilia charts). Unless my family were really in need of every last penny they could get, however, I think trying to do a special sale of those few items would not be worth it. I’d rather they saved themselves the hassle, and that someone who would actually stitch it, instead of tucking it away safe as a collectible, be the one who got it. And no, I haven’t chatted with my family about this subject, nor written it down, nor added it to my non-existent will. Though now it’s in my blog, so I guess that counts for a little something. I don’t know who I’d tell them to contact about it- probably direct them to the other ladies in Nile because I know some of them do needlework.

5- No, I haven’t ever been to such a sale. I’d find it quite interesting- to see what they had and wonder if they’d bought it or had it given to them as a gift. Buying such things would be like getting a little bit of history, and stitching them or passing them on to someone else would be like that person still having a little presence and light in the world. Kind of like family heirlooms.

In the end, I just don’t want my stitching stash, (or any of my crafting things for that matter) to end up in the trash. It’s worth … more than I’m going to admit right now (besides, I’d have to go look at it all, and get a calculator out, and that takes effort and I’m feeling lazy), and it would be *loved* by a stitcher. Especially someone who couldn’t afford to buy something nice.

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