After our yearly “Text and Textile Sale”, many leftover fabrics were picked up by a church group and packaged for shipment to Syria. The group packaged up 100 bags for shipment this summer! Another large donation of fabrics was just picked up for shipment to Colombia.
Recently, Paramount Pictures in Charlestown delivered a load of very interesting and unique fabrics from their costume department; these were left over from their last motion picture, “Two Men and a Baby, Part 2” and included faux fur, sequined fabrics, various mesh fabrics, and many spools of trim. People who sew costumes as well as members of the local Cambodian community had a lot of fun going through these and finding new homes for much of the fabric and trims from this donation. (There are still some bags of fabric and trims from this donation available for purchase at very reasonable prices.)
We also received a donation that included some neutral and geometric drapery fabrics; these were snatched up by someone to be used as backings on Quilts of Valor quilts.
Room and Board, a modern furniture and home décor store in Boston at the intersection of Newbury Street and Mass. Ave., sent us a donation of upholstery fabrics. These make great stable backings for wall hangings and art pieces. If you are going to use such fabrics for the back of placemats, totes or other items that will be washed and dried, Debbie Janes from the museum shop has found that you can prewash and dry most of these fabrics at hot temperatures to preshrink them before using them in items to be washed.
We never know where our next fabric donation will come from, or who will arrive in our shop to give those fabrics a new home. Some folks wander in for the first time and discover something they can’t live without, and then there are the “Ooh Ahh Ladies”, our fond name for a small group of women who visit the shop at least once a week to go through our latest donations, exclaiming with delight at their finds. What we do know is that this whole process is the ultimate in Recycling, Reducing our carbon footprint and the amount of material that enters the garbage stream by Reusing wonderful things that others have discarded. Come visit our museum shop, check out our offerings and you, too, may be exclaiming “Ooh Ahh” over some delightful discovery!
Thanks to those individuals and entities who make donations of fabrics so we can offer them to groups and individuals for charity work and for personal quilting and sewing projects.
-Debbie Janes, Museum shop and Dottie Macomber, Museum Library volunteer