I wonder if you are smiling as I am at the title of this post? Of course I’m a collector and I’m guessing that if you are a quilter, sewer, knitter, crafter or maker in any art form, you too have a large collection of supplies to support your passion. In this case, I’m not referring to the obvious collection of fabric, threads, yarns, etc. but other objects that you choose to collect, just because you love them and most importantly, they make you happy. I’m curious to know what constitutes a collection, 3 or more items, how did the collection begin and what inspires us to collect?
When I was a child, I remember my parents giving me a folder for collecting pennies. I was initially intrigued and made several trips to the bank to exchange paper money for rolls of pennies, hoping to be lucky enough to find an older, sought-after coin. Unfortunately, I had neither the patience nor the luck, and soon lost interest.
During my college days, I was drawn to ladybugs. I loved finding them in unsuspecting places. They always made me happy. I purchased a small painted one and kept it in my pocket. For some reason, it brought me comfort. Apparently, the word got out and I started receiving all sorts of ladybug inspired gifts. Here’s a peek at some of the ladybug items you would find hiding around my house.
It was the ladybug that inspired “Ladybugs on Parade”, the first design in the From Me to You pattern line, which I designed with Diana McClun.
I recently acquired a portion of my mother’s hummel collection. It got me thinking about how my mother got started collecting these figurines and why they were so precious to her. I remember her telling me that she received her first one as a wedding gift, in 1952.
I have no idea how long it was before she either purchased or received another one. I only know that through the years, she received many more as birthday and Christmas gifts. My siblings and I would hunt for the perfect one to add to her growing collection. It was always a sure bet that she would love the chosen figure and proudly display it in a curio cabinet devoted specifically to this collection.
As sweet as these are, they are not something I would be inspired to purchase. However, my newly acquired collection will always be dear to my heart, knowing how much they meant to my mother.
In addition to my favorite ladybug collection, I have small collections of wooden houses, teacups and ceramic teapots and mailboxes.
Pati has a small collection of antique Oriental pan irons. “Pan irons were used for smoothing silks by putting hot coals or sand in them, then moved in a circular motion. Each iron was decorated differently to tell it’s own story. I only have a few of them, because I have never found an interesting way to display them.” Pati explains.
Pati also has a collection of hearts that hang on a wall. She says she doesn’t exactly have a theme. But each one has a special meaning or memory attached to it.
Jennifer Rounds, one of our former SHWS writers, says “I love blue and white pottery, and lately, I am a fan of bowls and plates. Blue and white is so clean and pure.”
I chatted with my students yesterday about their own collections. It was interesting to hear their stories and learn what inspired them to hunt for their treasured items. Some of the obvious to me were thimbles, buttons, teapots, typewriters, bells and hearts. The most fascinating, and one I was not familiar with, was a crystal spooner. I quickly did a google search to find the following. “A popular collectible today, the spooner or spoon holder, provided as much symbolic value as function for Victorian society. The prominently displayed spoons were a clear sign of ready hospitality, as well as a status symbol for the increased affluence among the expanding middle class who could now afford silver spoons, or at least a good facsimile.” (patternglass.com) Hmmm, I just might have to keep my eyes out for these. However, would it mean I would also need to start a collection of vintage spoons? Could be fun!
We love hearing your stories, so please feel free to share the most interesting and/or unusual thing you have ever collected, and tell us what inspired you to begin the collection?