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Looking for places to donate your stash?

How much fabric do you have in your stash? According to the 2010 Quilting in America™ survey, the average quilter has a stash of $3,677 worth of fabric and spent on average close to $1,000 the previous 12 months on fabric. In 2007, our stash averaged $3,195 and we spent $2,304. So we’re spending less on fabric and our stash is slightly increasing. But who among us is average?! I probably have in excess of that average amount, and I’m sure many of you do, too.

Are we hoarding our fabrics? In actuality, quilters are among the most generous people I know. Every time the word goes out about a need, quilters are the first to respond. This summer I’ve been cleaning out my stash and donating to worthwhile causes. If you’re in the same cleaning mode that I’m in, here are six places that can use your unwanted stash.

1. Project Linus. Project Linus is dedicated to making security blankets for babies, children and teens in need. Volunteers will turn your stash into quilts. More info: Look for the link for Chapter Listings to find one in your area.

2. Local quilt guilds. You may not belong to your local guild – not everyone is a guild joiner – but most of them have charity projects. In my guild we call it “Quilting for Others,” and our chair packages fabrics into kits for quilts. In addition to collecting quilts throughout the year, we have a quilt-in at our November meeting. Quilts have been made for Habitat for Humanity and children who ride in the back of police cars, for example.

3. Haiti Peace Quilts. This organization establishes and supports independent women’s quilting cooperatives. In addition to helping the women build a business, Haiti Peace Quilts markets one-of-kind art quilts in the United States. The cooperatives need donations of fabric and other quilting supplies. More info: Look for the How You Can Help link.

4. Prayers and Squares. This interfaith outreach organization combines the gift of prayer with the gift of a hand-tied quilt. Individual chapters around the world need fabric, batting and other supplies. More info: Go to the Before You Join link and look for the Chapter List.

5. Denver Fabrics Fabric Stash Program. Operated by Denver Fabrics in St. Louis, this store sells donated fabric in in its Annex stores on its fabric-by-the-pound tables. The money generated goes to the Foundation for International Community Assistance (FINCA) a microfinance organization. More info:

6. Clara’s Calling. This is a new initiative started by Lisa Steele, owner of Bella Fabrics in Carrollton, Va.; Rob Krieger, president of Checker Distributors; and Laurie Harsh with Fab Shop Network. The impetus for the project is to support the task of quilter and Master Sgt. Clara Vargas in Afghanistan to teach more than 4,000 widowed Afghan women how to sew so they can provide for themselves and their children. Donations needed include fabric and sewing supplies. Donations must be made through participating shops. We have an article on this in the Summer issue of The Professional Quilter and will share more on the project in an upcoming e-zine. More info: Look for the link to participating shops.

Please share some of your favorite places to donate your fabrics and sewing supplies!

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2 Responses to “Looking for places to donate your stash?”

  1. Carla Triemer said:

    Hi Morna. I coordinate longarming for an organization called Quilts Beyond Borders. Therefore, all my stash and then some is going to QBB.

    QBB gives quilts to orphans in Ethiopia, and children in need in other underserved areas. Ethiopia has the largest orphan population in the world, with almost 5 million children orphaned primarily due to the AIDS crisis in Africa. The children who receive the quilts really treasure them, as they own nothing — even their school uniforms are shared with other children of the same size. We’ve also given quilts in Haiti after the earthquake, and a few to Japan after the tsunami there.

    For more information on Quilts Beyond Borders, please check our our blog at:

    Thanks for the opportunity to talk about our charity! Regards,

  2. Morna said:

    Carla, Thanks for sharing information about Quilts Beyond Borders. Terrific work!

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