Wednesday, April 10, 2013

WIP: My Father's Stash

As quilters we all have strong feelings for our "stash" of fabric. Some of us love it. Some of us are apologetic about it. Some of us are overwhelmed with organizing it. Most of us are continually expanding it. My father, though not a quilter but still a craftsman in his own right, had his own "stash". My father passed away a couple years age, just short of turning 98 and he never stopped increasing his "stash". Here is his highly diversified and expansive collection of all things needed to build or repair. The picture shows just one wall in one of three rooms in his basement.  

My father has been a carpenter and man of very many trades for his whole life.  He has built entire houses, painted and shaped neon tubing for commercial signs, lined entire blast furnaces with bricks, and always repaired all his own vehicles. He knew framing, plumbing, electrical, masonry, tiling, glasswork, car-repair, and with no degree in higher education, could figure out just about any thing mechanical. His "stash" contained hand tools, power tools, taps, drill bits, router bits, screws, washers, nuts, bolts, pipe fittings, pipes, valves, a bathroom sink, sink stoppers, plywood, other lumber, a pull-down folding staircase to be installed for attic access, and many more items for which I could not begin to identify the function. I visited my sister in North Carolina this weekend and she and I, enlisting the much needed help of our husbands and one of his local grandsons, began dispersing his "stash".

We were very fortunate that just a couple miles away was a "ReStore" run by the "Habitat for Humanity" charity.  They were gracious and grateful, accepting all of our dad's treasures.  Although this collection could look like trash to many, the personnel at this store understood and appreciated the value and usefulness of all the items we donated. It make me feel good that these products and tools may give those who have no home the means to build one. Also our dad's "stash" may provide access to some age appropriate hardware and fixtures to those who are lovingly restoring an old home to its former glory. Our dad also had also kept several trunks of upholstery and drapery type fabrics from our mom's time which we also donated.  I am hopeful a good portion of these cloth goods will appeal to those pursuing that "retro look".  My husband brought back to California with us a few of my dad's micrometers and calipers. I kept this belt buckle of his.  I think it sums up his accomplishments.

All of my dad's "stash" has not been yet distributed.  There is more work ahead and that is why I thought it appropriate that it be listed as a Work In Progress. Here is my dad wearing one of his favorite hats that quips "Built for Speed" and proudly carrying one of his huge home grown hydrangeas.  It is more the size of a basketball that a mere snowball. Those craftsman hands of his also had very green thumbs!

1913 – 2011

If you are searching for quilting "works in progress" in this post, there are none since I was otherwise occupied this week. I picked up two quilts from my long arm quilter before I left for North Carolina but I have had not time to bind them. Anyway, that is the subject of another post. I did knit the back and part of the front of this sweater while on the plane, though.

This is what it should look like when finished. It has a shawl color and single button closure.

Now I am linking up and checking out other posts at:

WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced


  1. So glad you found a place that could use and appreciate your fathers treasures! That generation was so capable weren't they? We lost my Grandpa last November at 90 yrs old and right up until he broke his hip he was living in his own home and still tinkering in his shop. I'm sorry for your loss.

  2. My dad too, only needed to be out of his home about 6 weeks before he died. Yes, he was quite capable and talented. Thank you for your thoughtful remark.

  3. My Dad was also talented in building, gardening and repairing. Whenever I would ask "how did you know how to do this", he would reply "You read the book"..again all without a college degree. He left us too soon--75