Modern Sunbonnet Sue's Musings

Musings from the mind of a modern day Sue:
Mother-of-Pearl Buttons and Daughters

Yard Saling was a big hit today. There were three sales in our block alone, which kept the cars stopping and bargain seekers walking around to all three sales.

You have to take care when having a yard sale with someone that has received a gift from your stitching. As quilters, we have ideas about the value of the items we craft. We expect that those who receive our gifts will value them as much as we do. However, take care that you do not expect that family understands or places the same value on our sewing creations.

Case in point, I was putting out some of my daughter's items for the yard sale today, when I came across three items that I had stitched and given as gifts to her. One looked as though it had never been used, which she confirmed. She stated that she just had too many items around the house and needed to clean things up. I immediately wanted to confiscate the items, but thought better of myself and left them in the yard sale. They were given to my daughter, so I do not have a right to reclaim them; otherwise they would cease to be a gift. A little later, I came across a couple more items that I had sewn up for my granddaughter. All the items were some type of small purse/bag that I had received a pattern for in a "Groovy Girls Club" that my sister and I had participated in at the local quilt shop. Of course, everyone tries out the patterns and has several items that end up being gifted. My recourse, I put a hefty price, for yard sales, on each of the items. I took into consideration the cost of the fabric - often $9.00 per yard - and zippers. I could not have her part with them for less than the cost of a fat quarter. Subsequently, none of the items sold.

I did end up confiscating one of the items that I could not consciously allow being sold. I had made a bag from reproduction Civil War fabric that required buttons. I used four antique, mother-of-pearl buttons I had purchased at a local antique shop. I recall telling my daughter about the buttons when I gave the bag to her. However, that value system just doesn't connect if you are not a seamstress/quilter. Although I probably shouldn't, I am highly considering using my own yard sale profits to purchase back all the items. Then, my daughter will receive a fair price for the items and my hurt ego will be eased.

The Moral of the Story - Make sure that you are willing to part with your sewing creations to less appreciative family and friends, because they may end up in a yard sale. And, plan ahead for your fabric stash and sewing machines in your will or trust. They may end up in a yard sale, as well.

Published Thu, Aug 25 2011 8:50 PM by Pamela


# re: Mother-of-Pearl Buttons and Daughters@ Thursday, August 25, 2011 8:54 PM

That's disappointing for sure.  My kids are teenagers/young adults and I still have little sweaters and blankets my mother (who passed away ten years ago) knitted for them, though I have gotten rid of their other baby clothes.  I just can't bear to get rid of them - I found one yesterday that had a dinosaur knitted right into the front of the sweater.  Hopefully someday my grandchildren can wear them, or snuggle up in the blankets.  

That's pretty tricky, pricing them up that way!  You could offhandedly ask her if she'd like you to take those items off her hands and she might just give them back to you, you never know. I hope it all works out.  Maybe as time passes she will come to appreciate the time, effort, and money that go into a handmade gift like that.


# re: Mother-of-Pearl Buttons and Daughters@ Sunday, August 28, 2011 2:35 PM

I made a beautiful cross stitch sampler for my brother-in-law and his wife for Christmas one year. Even had their initials worked into the pattern. A few months after Christmas, we were looking around a craft shop and I said that I thought about and said prayers for the receipient as I worked on a item for them. She said oh, she guessed she shouldn't have been so quick to put that sampler in the storage room. Haven't made any thing else for them.