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We were teaching a young knitter about the big picture. Our knitting group is comprised of very experienced veteran knitters with lots of opinions. We began to discuss our approach to multiple projects.

“If I don’t have the next project on needles I don’t knit for months.” says Sue.
“I have start-itis. I love to start projects” says another.
I’m with them. I love to start projects. There is a little thrill that occurs in me when I decide to start something. That thrill is about the creative process. The choices- which design, what color…do I pull paper, cast on, thread the sewing machine, break a plate (mosaics).
There are different projects for different mindsets. There is the mindless knitting project for its’ meditative effects. There are projects that I am learning something on. An unfinished object may be one in which the next step required some problem solving, or perhaps it just wasn’t turning out to be what you thought it would be…I saw that more experienced knitters rip out quite a bit…that is part of the process. You get ‘do-overs’ with knitting.   A novice knitter may be reluctant to commit a beautiful yarn to something.   Instead of berating yourself for the loss or waste- take the unfinished project apart to become something else.

I have many unfinished projects. There are some that just require concentration for the next step. What I have learned about myself is that I do go back to them. I do finish projects. When I go back to the project, usually finishing them won’t take very long.   If it’s halfway started, it’s halfway done. (My mother’s German Proverbs)
And closure is as satisfying as the thrill of starting.
So the Temple of Fabric and Yarn grants you absolution of your unfinished objects. You are forgiven, go forth and create!

Thus this remains our benediction.  Sherry


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Other than the obvious selling of the fabric, yarn and needlework crafts that make fiber artists so happy there is this other aspect to what the store does and a higher purpose for our being here.  Let me tell you a story.  This is typical of the many stories we hear everyday as folks donate the large ‘estate’ donations. To me the Estate donations are someone’s lifetime accumulation of needlework supplies, button collection, decades of fabric, etc.

Once upon a time, (because all really good stories start that way) a sweet old man came into the Legacy.  I had not worked there for very long and not that many men come into the store, so I greeted him.  He had looked around and he said, ” My wife did this stuff, she died and I have alot to bring you…but, (his eyes welling up with tears) not yet. Not yet”  I asked how long it had been, and I think he said 2 years….Sweet man, missed his friend so.  Very poignant.  I assured him it had a place to come whenever he was ready.

It had been a long time since that day…Long since forgotten.  The volunteers tell me that there is a truckload for us and I should take a look.  I go out to greet an old man by his truck.  I don’t realize it is him…then he starts to hand me what had belonged to his wife.  I realized that it was the same guy and how important for me to facilitate his process as cooperatively and expediently as possible.  I needed to accept what he had without sending him somewhere else.  We would take care of it, what wasn’t right for us gets sent to Goodwill or Hospice (shoes,tennis rackets)  Some stuff just needed to be tossed but it was too hard for him to be the one to do it.

As we unloaded his truck, he started to tell me why he was doing this now.

He had decided to trade houses with his daughter that does emergency foster care.  Those are the folks that take kids in emergent circumstances (police holds for drugs or violence) of the most difficult situations.  This gentleman had decided that she should have the big house.  He would take the smaller house.  He had already painted a tree on the walls of the boys’ bedroom and bought bunk beds.  He had become animated with his eyes twinkling.  He had plans for the girls’ room.  I told him that the kids were lucky to be getting him as a foster grandparent.

When he left, the volunteer that had observed this and participated with the unloading said,” Wow, now I see what else The Legacy is about”.  What we had observed was this gentleman’s’ process of grief and the shift to looking forward to his future.  It was truly a beautiful thing.

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Aprons-Part 2

(Notice that a “Medium” is a size 14 – 16.)


Remember making an apron in Home Ec? Remember Home Ec? If you have to explain “Home Ec,” you may delete this.  I just don’t have the energy anymore. Read below.

The History of  ‘APRONS’


I don’t think our kids
know what an apron is.
The principal use of Grandma’s apron was to protect the dress underneath because she only had a few, and because it was easier to wash aprons than dresses, and aprons required less material.  But along with that, it served as a potholder for
hot pans from the oven.

It was wonderful for drying children’s tears and, on occasion, was even used for cleaning out dirty ears.

From the chicken coop, the apron was used for carrying eggs, fussy chicks, and sometimes half-hatched eggs to be finished in the warming oven.

When company came, those aprons were ideal hiding places for shy kids.

And when the weather was cold, Grandma wrapped it around her arms.

Those big old aprons wiped many a perspiring brow, bent over the hot wood stove.

Chips and kindling wood were brought into the kitchen in that apron.

From the garden, it carried all sorts of vegetables.
After the peas had been shelled, it carried out the hulls.


In the fall, the apron was used to bring in apples that had fallen from the trees.

When unexpected company drove up the road, it was surprising how much furniture that old apron could dust in a matter of seconds.

When dinner was ready, Grandma walked out onto the porch, waved her apron, and the men folk knew it was time to come in from the fields to dinner.

It will be a long time before someone invents something that will replace that ‘old-time apron’ that served so many purposes.


Send this to those who would know (and love) the story about Grandma’s aprons.


Grandma used to set her hot baked apple pies on the window sill to cool. 

Her granddaughters set theirs on the window sill to thaw.

The EPA or CDC would go crazy now trying to figure out how many germs were on that apron

I don’t think I ever caught anything from an apron – but love…


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I took a quilt workshop hosted by our Santa Rosa Quilt Guild featuring Cindy Needham (cindyneedham.com)teaching us about her Linen Ladies and what can be done with vintage linens that may be just to delicate to survive. She help to demystify her magic salvaging these treasures and shared her enthusiasm so we were all hooked as well. I’ll try to get a piece done and in the store to show how “ooo-ahh” quilts can be made. It has me looking at our vintage lace and linens in a whole new way.

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Estate donations at the Legacy will sometimes cover decades of someone collecting fabric, trim, books, yarn or patterns. This week we received 17 leaf-bags of silk and cloisonne cottons, sashiko embroidered indigo cotton, etc., etc, from the estate of Joanne Newcomb, Eastwind Art. That arrived Monday, went out Tuesday AM, some remains but the pile has greatly diminished. It went out at $6/lb. In addition to that donation, we have received several estate donations from quilters. Fabric has been the flavor of the week! We have so much quilters’ cotton there isn’t enough room to put it out! So it will be coming out as the piles, baskets and bins diminish! $2/lb, our usual…I was actually dreaming of being under a pile of fabric and couldn’t get out of bed! I think I woke up with a fabric hangover, apparently it IS possible. And still no 12-step program for fabricolics. We just don’t have remorse. Especially at the Legacy where the $$ go to a good cause. I must say I did feel like a drug dealer calling her junkies. “Hey, I just got some of the good stuff-its the kind”. The volunteers have worked very hard to keep sorting the carloads of fabric, notions and craft supplies. 4 sewing machines sold this week, the knitting machines have not. We had so much fun today…Come check us out

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My name is Sherry and I am the Store Manager of The Legacy. With the work of 50 volunteers, the Legacy thrives as a community gathering place. These volunteers are receiving donations, sorting, pricing, and perpetually organizing what we have. At the same time, they are a wealth of knowledge with skills and experience in all aspects of art/needlework. That would include garment making, quilting, doll-making, knitting/crochet, etc. etc. I could say we usually have over 100 years of needleart experience at the store on most days! If we can’t help problem solve, we put it to the customers and they are a wealth of knowledge. I have said, I couldn’t meet more amazing artists in a day if I were working an artist convention! We do know that West Sonoma County has ALOT of artists…well, those savvy people shop the Legacy!

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Once upon a time there lived a talented woman named Bess.   She lived in a large house in the City.   Her children had grown up and left home. Bess started to collect and sell antiques. This did not satisfy her creative talent. She started buying a few fabrics and patterns an made things for her grandchildren. Everyone told her how beautiful her handiwork was, and urged her to share her crafted items with the world. So she did.

Everyday and into the night she sat at her sewing machine and made bibs,  place mats,  napkins,  fancy t-shirts,  aprons, wall hangings,  and more.   She was a happy woman.

On weekends she would pack up all that she had made and sell them at craft shows.   With the money she got,  she could buy more material to make more things to sell.   Friends made at the craft shows shared their secrets about where fabric bargains were to be found.   What a thrill it was to find good buys!

Years came and went and the cycle of buying and selling went on and on.   The fabric remnants from projects and the bolts of fabric that weren’t quite right but not returned began to stack up.   Banker’s boxes filled with “left-overs” mingled with her French Provincial decor.   The extra four bedrooms in the house were filled.   The family room was the next to be converted to storage. Hallways and stairways became narrow paths as space became more and more of a premium.

After many years of happy sewing and selling, Bess’ health began to fail, and suddenly she was gone.

Months later the family decided to donate a portion of her fabric and craft collection to the Sebastopol Senior Day Services Program.  This was in 1995.   Beverly Martin, was the Coordinator of the program for frail elders in Sebastopol. Ms. Martin, together with her finance Committee, identified this gift as a legacy that could create an ongoing fund raising opportunity in the community of Sebastopol.

The miracle of The Legacy has been fostered and supported by members in the community as they donate needed items such as a cash register, fabrics, craft items, and their time to staff the store.

Bess’s legacy to the Sebastopol Senior Center is a gift that the entire community of Sebastopol can celebrate. This was the seed of a Legacy large enough to create the miracle of a new Senior Center that is large enough to serve the growing number of people who need and want to use it.

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