It's the transformation of a "piece of something" into something much nicer...something you didn't have before, or something you can give to someone else...that makes gathering those pieces worthwhile. It's the same philosophy as "a bag of raisins in the cupboard is only half as good as a batch of oatmeal-raisin cookies." It's the annual Treehouse Use It Up fever that usually lies dormant until about December 20th...kicking in a bit early this year.
A bit of brown crochet cotton becomes a jar topper...or a coaster.
An old spool of white crochet cotton becomes a mat...in progress.
A piece of rummage-saled red velour fabric becomes...I'm not allowed to say yet. Besides, I still have to go buy red thread to finish it properly. There are some corners I'd prefer not to cut. Update: we went to the mill-ends store yesterday, so we're ready to roll on that. I did end up buying some extra yarn there, mostly because I had no red yarn at all (must have Used It Up in some other making spree) and I have a crocheting project in mind that needs some.
[LATE ADDITION] A thrift-shopped gingham bag with a ribbon drawstring (maybe for a wine bottle?) becomes a Crissy dress, with a bit of lace added to the top and bottom.
And a small pile of thrift shopped books may become...this year's Treehouse Advent Calendar. (Previous Advent Posts) Stay tuned.