Friday, September 24, 2010
Welcome to fall
I'm sitting here, scratching my head, wondering how it got to be September 24 already. I returned to CA from Taos a little more than a week ago, and the days have just flown. Two days after returning home, my DVR committed suicide (digital video recorder, for the uninitiated) and I could not watch television at night...so I bought myself this sunflower jig saw puzzle. That was great entertainment until I realized that I was completely possessed by it, and losing sleep, so on the third evening I just stayed up until the wee hours to get it finished. So much for the idea of having it just be there to work on here and there...but then, doing things in moderation has never been my strong suit.
I also decided to wash all my quilt fabrics, instead of just using them as is. That was great entertainment for several days: washing, pulling off wads of threads, folding, stacking, refolding, restacking again...kind of like the hours I spent playing with crayons as a kid. Then I spent some evenings reading blogs about quilters who are using men's shirts from thrift stores for their fabrics. Ta da! What a great idea. Lots of stripes and plaids (which seem in short supply in quilting fabrics), plus the fun of cutting things up to reuse them. How could I go wrong?
First stop: my local hospice thrift store. Bingo! A great rack of men's Hawaiian shirts, most in size 3XL, so more fabric for the buck. But wait...the price tags...$8.00. $8.00 for a shirt in a thrift store? I can buy yardage cheaper than that. Must be the shop. Next plan: find the Salvation Army store in San Diego.
Well...that's exactly where I went today. I am still fuming from the experience. The men's shirts on the racks there were anywhere from 5.99-8.99, and let me assure you, they were nothing to write home about. But wait! I saw another spot with more men's clothes, more in the center of the store. Off I went. Guess what it was? The designer shop! Not truly designated as such, but it quickly became apparent, by reading labels. What about the prices? Well...the shirts there were starting at 20.00 each and many were in the 32.00 price range.
WHAT IS THAT ALL ABOUT??? I don't care if it IS a designer label. I thought these stores were there to help people who need to shop on limited budgets. As a former shop owner, I'm the first one to understand the costs the customers don't often consider, beginning with rent, employees, and the horrendous liability insurance costs, to name just a few. However...I feel like I'm missing something here. I thought, when I donate to these organizations, I'm making things that are in usable, if not great, condition available to folks on limited budgets. Will someone please help me understand this?
It reminded me of a year or two ago, when I started rug hooking. Following the advice of other hookers, I decided to cruise the Taos thrift shop for wool clothes to dismantle and use. One trip to the thrift shop there gave me the same feeling I had today...after find a not so wonderful wool coat on the rack for the not so thrifty price of $45.00. I was so disgusted, I have not donated to these folks again...preferring, instead, to take things to the town free box, where the folks who need things can "afford" to shop.
If you have anything to tell me to calm me down on this matter, I'd sure appreciate another perspective.