I often spend a good chunk of my Friday shifts “playing” with fabric in the Ste. Anne de Bellevue Thrift Shop. I say “playing” because, even though it is work that takes time, energy and perseverance, I love it.
Yes, I could choose to see it as a frustrating chore: I’m faced with the cluttered disarray that our lovely customers create when they unroll the pieces, examine them, and then neglect to put them back neatly in place. Believe me, sometimes the task does seem overwhelming, and I wonder if I will be able to finish before my shift is over.
But I welcome this assignment, and actually do see it as play. It allows me to feel, to hold, to stretch out and to roll materials that have texture, weight, pattern and COLOUR! And while I repackage and reorganize and replace these gorgeous bundles on the shelves, I remember, and I imagine, and I design and I dream. What have I made with this kind of material in the past? Which one of these colours would I wear today? What could I sew for my granddaughter, or my sunroom?
When I decide I have had enough, I take a photo of my colourful palette, and I feel a joyful peace, knowing that my creation is once again inviting customers to dig, and to remember, and to imagine, and to design, and to dream.