Thursday, November 29, 2007

Stitching Blogger's Question of the Week

This week’s SBQs were suggested by Heather:
What would your stash tell others about you?
It would say that I have a LOT of Rainbow Gallery and Kreinik threads, many more than I could ever use. It would say I have a LOT of handpainted needlepoint canvases, some of them very large. Most of them will not be finished in this lifetime.

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?

I would like to give all my stash away to stitchers, but I'm not sure how that will work. I have started to give some away here and there, but that still leaves me with a LOT. If I do not die suddenly, I would try to give away as much as I can.

Actually we do have a Living Family Trust with a professional executor. It's not that I worry about my family recognizing the value of my stitching materials. I know they won't. But we do have a lot of expensive photography and paintings. We want to make sure that they do not go to Goodwill. I don't want to see our Ansel Adams in the trash! I suppose I could make a stitching value list as we have done for our artwork. But I would rather give it away.

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.?

My stash is pretty well organized. A lot of it is inventoried in a database. I would need to make printouts and store them with the stash, but you could probably put together a sale in about a day. Our living trust is pretty well divided between charities and family members. Family members will have a chance to pick out individual items as keepsakes before the bulk of the estate is sold.

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?

I really have no idea if anything in my stash is more valuable than average. Some of the handpainted canvases are probably pretty valuable, but I doubt that any of the cross stitch patterns are really that valuable. I doubt that even the professional executor would take the time to sell anything on Ebay. And I doubt that Sotheby's would be terribly interested in my stitching, though they may covet our artwork.

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?

I know that a lot of the threads and fabric that I bought on Ebay, especially those I bought five or more years ago, were from estate sales. They were priced to sell in large lots and rarely got a lot of bids. Sometimes they were not even listed in the right categories. I did wonder about the people selling them and their previous owners. Some of them were obviously lovingly labeled and packaged. Although I did stop haunting the Ebay thread and fabric auctions some time ago, my stitching lifestyle did not really change until this year, when I started stitching more and more. The more I stitch the pickier I get about patterns, fabrics, and threads. Time is too short to stitch on aida or other bad fabrics. And I really would like to limit my stash acquisition, though I think I would have to stop reading blogs to stop seeing all the lovely patterns that other people are doing. I will try to slow down my acquisition, but as you all know, it is impossible to stop.


I spent this morning collecting my thoughts and processing them into action items. I am probably only 25% through with all the things I want to do, but I think we have everything listed that needs to get done in the next two months. I'm having a hard time convincing my husband that writing everything down will help take these things off his mind. He just sees a long list of things to do and panics. Well, he's only started to read David Allen's book. After he finishes it, the process may come more naturally to him.

1 comment:

Suzanne said...

Firstly I have to say that my stash says that I should spend less time looking and buying and more time sewing. Secondly it also says that I have a very wide range of interests.

I buy a lot of things off eBay and I am sure that they are estate sales. I am buying some right now as I type. I feel happy when I buy these items, becaue I know that I will appreciate them and cherish them as much as their previous owner.