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Thread: Stashing for retirement

  1. #1
    user3587's Avatar
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    I still have 10 yrs or so before retiremnet. I purchased a couple of machines, software, etc now while I'm stilling work because when retirement comes I have the feeling all will go towards living. My question is as long as fabric and thread are not in sunlight and packed correctly to keep out unwanted varmits, will they last. I'm especially concerned about threads. I have found a kit I really like and would like to add it to my collection of desirables. I would use it now but not that often. Would my thread still be good say in ten years.

  2. #2
    Super Member Pam Pollock's Avatar
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    I think as long as your fabric & thread are stored properly, they should last for years. Out of the light, moisture & bugs etc.

  3. #3
    Moderator Up North's Avatar
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    I really don't know the answer but when we sew a quilt together and it lasts for 50+ years, I would hope the thread would hold up as well.

  4. #4
    user3587's Avatar
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    That was my thoughts. I know if you leave a piece of fabric (like a blouse,etc) in the sun or the elements it will rot. I have a shirt I made our first son 35 yrs ago and it still looks as good as the day I made it. I keep in a drawer. It never sees daylight. We had another son 4 yrs later and had his picture made in it just like the first one. The boys were about the same age (10 months) and holding a baseball in front of them. That is the only reason I have kept the shirt.
    Do you think being wrapped around a spool would shortened the life span of the thread. Also if you had a piece of fabric folded for many years do you think the fold (crease) would become permanant? That really doesn't matter, as long as it doesn't distort the colors, I can work around a crease.

    Curosity question: What is the longest time you have held on to a piece of fabric? Inquiring minds want to know!

  5. #5
    community benefactor Knot Sew's Avatar
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    I have been given thread that is old and it was all fine, and then other that was not . its all storage :D

  6. #6
    Community Manager PatriceJ's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by okie
    Curosity question: What is the longest time you have held on to a piece of fabric? Inquiring minds want to know!
    I have a piece of silk my uncle brought back from Japan for my mother. i don't know exactly when, but i know it's older than i am. i don't have the heart to cut into it. i just take it out once in a while to admire it and remember mom.

  7. #7
    Super Member Chele's Avatar
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    Stashing for retirement? What a great idea! Like a fabric 401K. Love it! I'll get "saving" right away!

  8. #8
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    oh man..........

    I don't mean to discourage or depress you, but I have spent the last couple of days packaging and pricing thousands of dollars of quilting fabric for a yard sale. Wanna buy $50 worth of quilt fabric for $2? Come to Burlington, WI next weekend. My friend, Dianne, was a fabric stasher. When she died of breast cancer a year ago, she left a HUGE amount of fabric and half-finished projects. Sorting through all of it and finishing some of it was something I am uniquely qualified to do - there really isn't anyone else to do it!

    Dealing with this over the past year has really changed my heart about stashing fabric (or hoarding anything at all.)

    If you have money to spend on fabric now, but it into a good mutual fund (12% is a decent and not unattainable rate of return). Then you can go shopping after you retire.

  9. #9
    Super Member Chele's Avatar
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    Cathe, so sorry for your loss. You're a good friend to take care of everything. We're just joking about stashing for retirement, but I bet it did hit close to your heart. Good luck with the fabric sale. I'm sure you'll find good homes for every piece.

  10. #10
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    LOL - I dont' really mean to be a wet blanket. But really, won't it be fun to shop at leisure once you are retired????

  11. #11
    Super Member retrogirl02's Avatar
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    I agree, I'd like to shop when I retire but my grandmother is 90 and says she always planned to go shopping when she retired. Money isn't the issue...her eyes got really bad and she had to give up driving. Depending on your children to transport you and be patient while you cruise the aisles of yor favorite quilt stores may not happen for all of us. We don't live close or I'd be happy to do it for her. I've tried sending her fabric but it's not the same & I can appreciate that.

    Find the joy of today and cherish the fabric for now and the future. I have had a couple of older friends pass and their children chose me to receive their stash....it's a wonderful legacy to see the fabric choices and the special pieces of kids clothes from MANY years ago. Absolute treasures. I've used old thread without any problem and love to give a nod to my friends in projects, too.

  12. #12
    user3587's Avatar
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    My stash at this time fits on 2 small shelves in platic containers. I"m not thinking of buying a fabric store. My ideal is when I retire and gas is 10.00 a gallon and what I have saved is to keep the house warm/cool, food, lights on, etc I can still get up in the morning and say, Self " I think I'll make a quilt or something" and the "stuff" is there to do it with. I don't have to wonder, do I have the fabric, thread, etc. I will have it. Quilt making and appliquing is relaxing to me (most of the time, depends on how many points are in the design). I have to be doing something with my hands. My kids have always said, mother why can't you just sit down and watch a movie or watch TV. I don't know why I can't but I just can't. I have to have something in my hands. I can't see me changing that part of my personality as I get older. I am a past avid counted crosstitcher and I've had to change to another form of needle work but it's all the same, I'm doing something with my hands. If I ever learn to send pictures on the board I will have to show you my pride and joy picture of counted crosstitch.

  13. #13
    Super Member Bill'sBonBon's Avatar
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    I did kinda what you are talking about. I retired in 2004 at the age of 60, didn't have a choice. I am a caregiver for my Mom and my husband is disabled. Before I retired. every pay day,I ordered form Coltilda catalog, for tools,different feet,marking pencils,you name it. I didn't order material as I just went to walmart or joannes for that.
    If you are retired on an income,that just pays the way and doesn't have a lot left over as I am,then you have to plan ahead for extras. I have some old,old,old thread. In funny looking spools,wooden spools, As long as the thread has been stored properly it is ok. Mine was and I use it. I have skirts,blouses etc. of my Daughters,Disco stuff,that I am going to make into 2 lap quilts for the 2 of them soon. They are now 44 and 45.I bought them when they were 12 and 13. The mateial is perfect.
    If you are lucky enough to have a hugh 401K and a big retirement form the company you worked for that is fantastic. If not like me then buying ahead is the sensible thing to do. I am glad I did.
    10 years is really not as long as it sounds. The older we get the more time is so short. Buy and enjoy now and later.
    Bill'sBonBon

  14. #14
    Super Member Pam Pollock's Avatar
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    10 years is not that long. That is about what I'm looking at too before retiring. I don't think I'll plan on stocking up on fabric. I wouldn't mind having another sewing machine with some extra stitches...but I do still have my 33yr old Kenmore & it keeps plugging along. It seems I manage to get enough extra fabric from the projects that I do. I'm finally starting to see some selvage build up for scrappy quilts & I'm looking forward to doing a scrappy quilt sometime. I hope my eyes & hands etc hold up so that I can continue to sew. If not...I'll just have to appreciate what everyone else does & I'll go fishing or something. :D

  15. #15
    Junior Member jan22's Avatar
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    I can totally relate to the retirement stash. I have so much fabric already, but keep on buying what I like. My husband is retiring this summer and I plan on working hopefully 3 or 4 more years. I don't mind buying more, I'll have plenty when I can't afford to buy more. My only worry is that I won't have the backing I'd prefer and won't have the funds to get it, so I'll end up using all left over pieces for backing too. I've done it in a pinch and I'll just do that again. Recently I've been buying larger yardage of some that could work for backing and just put it away. I have a large piece of fabric my mother bought when I was pregnant for my oldest and making my own clothes. I never used it and it's at the very bottom of one of the many full plastic tote containers. I remember the cost was 3 yds for $1.00. About 1962 it was!! Yipes, our 46th anniversary will be middle of July. All with the same husband!

  16. #16
    english rose's Avatar
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    if you store thread for some time - before you use it pop it into a sealed plastic bag and put into the freezer for a day. That way you will be putting back the moisture that may have evaporated. It works well.

  17. #17
    ccbear66's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cathe
    oh man..........

    I don't mean to discourage or depress you, but I have spent the last couple of days packaging and pricing thousands of dollars of quilting fabric for a yard sale. Wanna buy $50 worth of quilt fabric for $2? Come to Burlington, WI next weekend. My friend, Dianne, was a fabric stasher. When she died of breast cancer a year ago, she left a HUGE amount of fabric and half-finished projects. Sorting through all of it and finishing some of it was something I am uniquely qualified to do - there really isn't anyone else to do it!

    Dealing with this over the past year has really changed my heart about stashing fabric (or hoarding anything at all.)

    If you have money to spend on fabric now, but it into a good mutual fund (12% is a decent and not unattainable rate of return). Then you can go shopping after you retire.
    Couldn't you wait a couple of weeks for the garage sale. I'll be in Burlington WI in two weeks. I'd love to be able to go to that sale. If you have any left let me know. We are going to see my BIL and SIL and they live in Burlington.

  18. #18
    Super Member b.zang's Avatar
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    It never occured to me that thread could go bad. Like an expiry date or something. I inherited my grandmother's embroidery thread which now must be in the 70 years old category and it still sews up nicely. I keep my quilting thread in a flat tackle box with lots of compartments so the thread and bobbin together have their own space. Some of it is getting on in age and I've never wondered if it would work or not, it just does.

    My MIL has a big fabric stash but arthritis now keeps her from sewing like she used to. She let me raid her stash. Now, I KNOW that some fabric was past retirement age but with a careful washing it's just fine. I guess the key is that it was dark and dry.

    Cathe - you made me think about one of the cutest things I read in a book (Chiaverini) with your story of your friends stash. A quilter keeps each of her UFOs or planned packs separately in a box that she has labelled with the name of a friend or family member. That way, when she goes, her things are not only designated, everyone will believe she was thinking of them to leave something to.

  19. #19
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    No way! And I lived in Knob Noster for 4 years!! We are practically related. I hope you will stop by for coffee one day! We live right in the middle of town.

  20. #20
    hdqltr's Avatar
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    I'm new to this Board, saw your posting and had to respond. It depends on your sewing machine as to how long you can use your thread. I have some pretty old thread left from a sewing business I had about 20 years ago. I have a Bernina 200. When I tried to use the thread, the machine told me it was too brittle and lacked the amount of moisture needed to use it in my machine! How about that for a machine talking back?

  21. #21
    hdqltr's Avatar
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    Cathe, I live in Menomonee Falls, WI, just NW of Milwaukee. I just joined this board today, and saw your message about your yard sale of fabric stash from your friend. First of all, my sincere sympathies on your loss of a friend and sewing buddy -- that must be very difficult for you.

    I am unable to get to Burlington today, as I have a wedding, but if you have items left following your yard sale perhaps you would like to donate them to a Guild for its service project. I am the President of Menomonee Falls Quilters and a member of Tosa Quilters (Wauwatosa WI). Both guilds make dozens of quilts each year for local hospitals for at risk babies or children of abuse -- the quilts are hugs from use to help children through difficult times. Several of the local hospitals accept quilts and preemie t-shires (made from flannel that open easily at the shoulders to make room for IV cords and monitors) from these guilds. Our biggest "user" is St. Mary's Hospital in Milwaukee.

    If you'd like to donate any "left-overs" from your sale, I would be happy to come to pick them up next weekend (6/28 or 6/29) on behalf of these guilds. Both groups would be very grateful. If you wish, contact me at [email protected]

  22. #22
    Senior Member Roben's Avatar
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    Okie, I did something similar to what you're talking about but had to condense my timeframe. I was working, Mom was here for a time, and the stresses took a toll on me and I ended up not being able to work. I could feel it coming, so I pushed to get my machines, a thread stash, etc. before the day came when I had to quit working.

    I have over 400 cones of embroidery thread; I keep it away from direct sunlight and run a humidifier in my sewing area in the winter. So far, so good! I keep my fabric away from sunlight as well, bringing it out when I want to use it and I do keep some on a shelf in my sewing area. I'm not concerned that the fabric will be a problem, as I've been collecting good quality fabric. I have 60 year old antique quilts that are hand pieced and quilted; they are holding up well!

  23. #23
    Senior Member johnette's Avatar
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    I have a growing stash that I think I will use in retirement. At least, I hope to use it. I also have quite a stash of counted cross stitch materials-mostly patterns and floss. My eyes (or maybe my patience) have gotten to where I just can't make myself do the x-stitching any more. I keep thinking maybe one day I will pick it up again...
    I will keep stash building anyway, especially any batiks that I find. I am 40 miles from JoAnns and 80 miles from Hancocks, so when I get to go to one of them, I usually get something for my stash.
    By the way, Okie, how far are you from the Red River?

  24. #24
    user3587's Avatar
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    Johnette

    I'm probably about 80 miles from the Red River. I'm about 1 mi from Highway 81 and I can get on 81 south and go straight to the Okla/Texas border.

  25. #25
    thequiltlady08's Avatar
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    I posted on another topic that I was collecting for retirement and was only half kidding... my husband can retire in four years, but I am 11.5 years younger than him and don't REALLY want to work much longer after he retires - mainly so we can spend time together. We have planned carefully for retirement and will have enough money to be ok financially when he, as the main breadwinner, is done. HOWEVER, I will still need to be able to sew - thus the need for a way to get material. I will probably work some years after he retires just because I can and it will help our retirement account also...but I still will be buying things for future sewing/quilting. My oldest is just 18 and the youngest is 11 so it will be awhile before grandchildren come along and I will need to be able to make quilts for each of them after all!! :lol:

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