It is nice when people gift you things. In this case, it is fabric. I am always glad to have more fabric, especially if I don’t have to spend a bunch of money to get it!

In this case, a friend of a coworker needed to have some help clearing out their parent’s place. He came across the fabric and yarn stash that was slated for either the Goodwill or the dump. He asked if he could take it home for a friend. Ten totes worth!


This is what it looked like when we unloaded them into my dining room. Unfortunately, Eric forgot to mention that he thought he smelled cigarette smoke. Now my house has the smell of stale cigarettes in several rooms, as the fabric is steeped in it. My free fabric now has the added cost of laundering before I can use it. That cost is still much less expensive than if I went out and bought all of this.


After some searching on the internet and several practice runs, I figured that the first wash with the powdered detergent followed by a wash of Dairy Du with 3/4 cup of white vinegar will remove the smoke smell from the cottons. The poly/cotton blends seem to hold the smell no matter what combo I try.

I lost count on the number of loads I have washed, but I’ve been working on it for about three days. I pre-sorted the fabrics into stuff I want. Stuff that will make good pillow cases for our Cyber Elves project and blocks for the Circle of Comfort quilts. And finally materials that will be usable for the After ‘Ours sewing class. There is at least one tote of fabric that will go to the Angel Guild (the community thrift store) as I have no use for it, and certainly no space!

This is where I am so far with several more loads to do.


My sister will be heading out to choose what yarns she is going to take. With her new loom habit, she is cooking through the yarn in a big way. Thankfully for her, the yarn doesn’t seem to be as smelly.

This is the second quilter’s stash I have inherited. It has really made me think about what I have and what I am doing with it. I have specific projects in mind for fabrics, but may not have stuck instructions with them. I know getting through all of the fabric I have will take a while, but I am being much more diligent about shopping my own supply first. I’m even being very selective with the “free” stuff I’m accepting.

I will say, if you have a unfinished project, you should probably leave a set of instructions, diagram, or at least the name of the thing with it. It will help whomever inherits your stash after you are gone.

Back to folding my “free” laundry!