Friday, April 21, 2017

One Quilter’s Trash Is Another Quilter’s Future UFO

Years ago, my husband dubbed me a “leaver.” If you ask why, he will provide evidence from different aspects of our lives. If I take an umbrella to church on a rainy Sunday morning, for example, I’ll likely have to run back from the car to the sanctuary after service to retrieve it. If I write a detailed list before a big grocery run, I’ll probably leave it on the kitchen island and have to shop from memory once I arrive at the store.

So last fall, when I packed up some unwanted sewing stuff to give away at a guild meeting, I wasn’t surprised at the end of the night when I got in my car and found the bag sitting in the backseat. The demands of life: 1. Michelle’s unreliable memory: 0.

This instance of leaving instigated a rather good idea, though. If I had a bag of quilting paraphrenalia that I was willing to give away, my fellow guild members likely did, too. And my leaver self came up with the idea of a guild-wide yard sale.

The scenario the guild’s board cooked up was a win-win-win proposition. Members could get rid of sewing items they weren’t going to use and could buy ones they wanted for yard-sale prices. All proceeds from the sale went to the guild, for future in-meeting programming. Anything that didn’t sell was given to a local charity.

As a thank-you for participating, we entered donors into a drawing for a $25 gift certificate to a fabric store. (I’m sure the irony is not lost on you: We encouraged people to get rid of quilting supplies and fabric so they could win a gift certificate to buy more quilting supplies and fabric!) To ease check-out, we priced almost everything by category: Books were $3, magazines were $1, fabric was 50 cents an ounce, and so on.

I expected this event to help me clean up my sewing space. I didn’t realize, however, how much awesome stuff my guildmates were going to be giving up, and I scored big. I found a large cut of Denyse Schmidt’s New Bedford line and fat quarters from Amy Butler and Anna Maria Horner ...


And I snatched up other fats from DS, Cotton and Steel, and Art Gallery ...


I also bought multiple yards of Essex Linen, a book, and a pattern. I spent about $18 for all my loot, and I was one of many happy buyers. To boot, the evening raised more than $500 for guild programming. Yahoo!

If you’re looking for an easy way to raise money for your guild, I recommend holding a yard sale. After all, one quilter’s trash is another quilter’s future UFO, right?! If you have other simple ways to grow a guild’s coffers, I’d love to hear about them in the comments!

Linking up to Sunday Stash, Let’s Bee Social, and Needle and Thread Thursday ...

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14 comments:

  1. The ABQMQG does this, but income comes from table fees. The members keep the money they earn. If a member wants, he/she can simply donate items to the guild's garage sale table. I too cleared out a bit, but traded for new treasures. As for fundraising ideas, a guild can sell ad space on their website or in their newsletter. I'd also recommend taking advantage of iGive and Amazon Smile. Local restaurants often have fundraiser nights where non-profit organizations can score a % of proceeds for a given day/time period. I prefer fundraising that doesn't require an initial investment or have a burden of volunteer hours that outweighs the profits (unless making small handmade items is truly a profitable labor of love for the members).

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    1. What is the ABQ/MGQ group's scheduled? I'm a local also and would be interested in joining. Thanks

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    2. We meet the first Tues. of the month at North Domingo Baca Multigenerational Center. The meeting starts at 6:30 but some come at 6 to socialize.

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  2. Great stash additions! Our guild has held "unloved" fabric swaps before but this sounds like a great way to swap fabric and get some money for the guild at the same time.

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  3. Our guild has a free table at every meeting. Destashing and new treasures mix every month.

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  4. I donate unwanted fabric and some quilt tops to Protect Linus. They are always happy with anything except seasonal fabric (Christmas for example). There are chapters in even the smallest cities and villages (the village I live in only has ~7,000 inhabitants).

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  5. Our guild just held a 'yard sale' and I scored big too - 67 pineapple blocks plus all the setting fabric for $20!! You are so right - someone's trash is another's treasure! :)

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  6. Wow, you scored big! I'm always guilty of picking up new treasures as I get rid of ours. Case in point: our monthly freebie table at guild serves as a great place for me to clean out, but I always browse and almost always come home with something.

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  7. My guild has done this as well but we also sold fabric by weight....no prizes for participating. We started out with one pricing list and after a certain period of time the prices went down. It was great fun and made lots of money for the guild as well. I mostly bought fabrics for my other guild's community outreach program....so it didn't get added to my stash but it's in my house because I chair that committee.

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  8. Every year our guild has a "fabric auction" - why we call it this, I have no idea. It isn't an auction at all. We bring in all our unwanted fabric and notions, someone in the guild prices things out at yard sale prices and then an entire meeting is devoted to the sale. When there is 15 minutes left in the meeting, anything that isn't sold gets reduced to 1/2 off (or something ridiculous like that). If there is still remaining items, those things are packed up and then donated. I've scored some great finds in the past as well. Fabrics, notions, even WIPs.

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  9. Bravo! Lovely stash additions! You clever people at the NHMQG!!!

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  10. Our guild has talked about doing something like this, but have not yet done so. I think it's a great idea and thanks for sharing! You did have a great haul!

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  11. This is a brilliant idea! And your new fabric is sew-eet!

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