Huge Fabric Adoption

From Cindy Dean Mccoy of CD Designs and The Quilt Pattern Magazine.

Place: Hurst Texas

Date: Septemberish 2019


Questions and Answers

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Estate Sale

My mom-in-law moved to a wonderful assisted living community. We were left in charge of the house and its contents. My mom-in-law was a quilter who loved to hoard fabric. I mean, really hoard fabric. We have a house full of over 1000 yards of fabric, all needing a new caring home. Before addressing the fabric, we have a lot of other things to do to get the house ready for visitors. Fabric is stored all over the house. Once we get it all together, we are going to have a huge adoption. We will have pieces, bundles and lots from $1 to $3 yard. It will be scheduled some time in September. Come and adopt as much fabric as you like. All are guaranteed to love their new home.

There are also tubs of buttons, thread and other notions.

Let everyone know about this adoption. There is plenty to go around. Share this URL:

  • Email all your quilty family members, friends, guild members, and coworkers.

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  • If you have one, post it on your website, your blog and in your quilty newsletters.

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We left the sewing room with its closed door for last. We finally opened that door - but not all the way. It would only open about 18".

OMG! There is an 18" path from the door to the sewing machine that is in the opposite corner of the room. The 4-foot wall of the path consists of fabric and patterns. Along the room's walls the fabric goes to the ceiling!

I squeezed in and started removing bags from behind the door, each full of cotton fabrics for quilting. It was much easier to move fabric out once we could open the door all the way. We spent several hours clearing the center of the room. We are back to the WHOOSH! THUMP! WHOOSH! THUMP! . . . (See the last update about "Whoosh! Thump!" below)

We are using the two big rooms downstairs to display the fabrics. Piles of cottons are in the living room and piles of other types of fabric are in the dining room.

I drastically underestimated the amount of fabric my mother-in-law had collected. I was thinking about 1000 yards or more. Well, at this time we estimate over 4000 yards of fabric downstairs. Over half of it is cottons for quilting.

This is just the fabric in the house. We still have the garage and shed to go through. They are full of fabric too. When are they going to turn on the light at the end of this tunnel!

The "Huge Fabric Adoption" will happen at the end of September or beginning of October. Because there is so much fabric, we are rethinking the adoption fee. Most pieces will be available for just $1 yard.

This is MrsKs sewing room with the 18" path.


Whoosh! Thump!

It has actually started! The time has come to bring the fabric downstairs!

We removed all the fabric on, around, under, and in front of the cutting table that my FIL built for my MIL. It is huge at 6 ft wide, 3 ft deep, and 4 ft tall. After removing all the fabric, we found an end-of-bed storage bench under the table. Of course, it is full of fabric. The cutting table was built by a master craftsman and so was a pain to dismantle. LOL. We got the parts downstairs and "remantled" them in the center of the living room. It is such a nice table. My goodness! Where can I squeeze it into my own tiny house?

We created a long cardboard slide over the stairs. I picked a pile of fabric in the master bedroom and started taking bags to the stairs to slide them down. Whoosh! Most of the fabrics were in the original bags from when my MIL bought the fabric. At the end of the stairs is the front door which stopped the bag of fabric. Thump! Hubby was at the bottom collecting the bags and placing them in the living room. So, for about an hour, you heard: WHOOSH! THUMP! WHOOSH! THUMP! . . .

Removing the pile of fabric uncovered a small letter desk. I knew there was a piece of furniture under the pile, but did not know what it was. Once uncovered, we were able to check the contents. What a treasure we found - old pictures of great relatives! There was a gold locket with a picture of hubby's great grandmother holding a little child that was his grandmother.

Mostly, we are finding cotton fabric for quilting, but there are other non-cotton fabrics as well. I found linen, rayon, oxford, fleece, polyester, wool, synthetics, and blends. Some I cannot identify. We will stack those fabrics together and let the fabric experts decipher them.

Well, that is about 10% of the fabric down the stairs. Let's hope, now that we have a system, the rest will come down faster.

I tried to take pictures, but we do not have mobile phones which made it difficult. I used an RCA pad we found at the house to take pictures. Do you know you cannot transfer pictures from an RCA pad to a computer without purchasing special equipment? That was disappointing. I had an old electronic camera and took several photos. They are poor quality, but at least I obtained some.

This desk was covered with fabric. All we could see was the top shelf. The drawer under the writing area is where we found the gold locket.


This is the beginning of sorting the fabric. These are
small pieces.

This is the table on which we are placing fabrics such as linen, rayon, oxford, fleece, polyester, wool, synthetics, and blends.


Finally, after 5 months we have gone through the house and cleared the downstairs area. We continue to go to the house once a week and usually put in 3 or 4 hours of work each time.

While going through the house, we found boxes of fabric everywhere. They are in every room and every closet. I swear the fabric was breeding like Tribbles.

You can hardly get into the garage. There is a big boat on one side. However, on the other side of the garage, what did we find - old washers, dryers and other appliances and more boxes and boxes of fabric!

There are two sheds in the back yard. Each 12 ft x 6 ft x 8 ft tall. The first has yard equipment and tools. Pretty normal for a shed. We approached the second and opened the door. It is full of Rubbermaid totes. They are stacked to the ceiling with a two-foot path left to get inside. Inside all the totes is guess what - FABRIC!

We left the sewing room with its closed door for last. We finally opened the door. OMG! There is an 18" path from the door to the sewing machine in the opposite corner of the room. The 4-foot wall of the path consists of fabric. Along the walls the fabric goes to the ceiling!

We have boxes full of items we are going to sell in an estate sale. They are placed along the wall to mimic tables for the fabric. There is a huge cutting table we will dismantle before we can bring it down stairs. Before we can do that, we must remove all the fabric stuffed to the brim under the table! It will be reassembled into the living room to hold the fabric. We have a large dining table in the dining room. There are small pieces of furniture here and there that we can lay fabric on. All the big furniture has already been taken to Mrs. K's (my endearing pet name for my mother-in-law) apartment.

It is hard to imagine all this fabric. We will stage the fabric in three locations. All the fabric found in the house will be displayed downstairs. All the fabric in the garage will be displayed on metal shelves in the garage. All the tubs in the shed will be pulled out and set in the yard so visitors can go through them.

There is so much fabric! I do not know if we will be able to find homes for all of it. Please let everyone you know about this adoption event.

Questions and Answers


Q: Can you tell me when your MIL last bought fabric - i.e. how old is her newest fabric?

A: I am thinking she started buying fabric in 1950 and stopped buying it, I think, is 2010. We used to go to quilt shows and she would bring home a ton!


Q: Just a thought. September can be hot here in Texas. Is this going to be a one day event?

A: We will probably be ready in the middle of the summer. The downstairs is cleared and now it is time to bring all the fabric down. I picked September hoping it will be cooler. If needed, we will schedule the end of September or maybe October. It all depends on the summer heat.

The adoption will be a 3 or 4 day event over the weekend.


Q: I need an address and times when people can come. Because they will surely come when they hear about all this fabric.
Do you know if the fabric is cotton or polyester? Cotton is preferable for quilters.
When is the estate sale? Some people may be interested in furniture from the sewing room.

A: The adoption will be in Hurst and most likely be 3 or 4 days over a weekend. We do not know exactly when it will happen. It all depends on when we get all the fabric ready. We are shooting for September. When the time comes, I will send an email of the dates and a full address.

The older fabric is in the garage and in the back of the sewing room. They do contain fabric that is not cotton. I think there is some polyester, rayon and wool. I will not know for sure till I open all the boxes. In the past 20 years, Mrs. K has concentrated on just 100% cotton.

We are planning the estate sale after the fabric adoption. Hopefully within a month. You can sign up for updates at

Unfortunately, there is no furniture in the sewing room. Among the fabric is her chair, sewing machine and serger. These three items will go to her apartment. She is not able to sew any more but has shown interests that she would at least like the items with her.



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