Debbie Dalston’s Dreamy Donation – Heart UpCycling!

Debbie Dalston's Dreamy Donation

Sometimes, I get small donations of fabric/lace/wool/beads/buttons etc.  Sometimes, friends will hand over a carrier bag full of goodies.  This week, my friend Debbie Dalston – who studied textile design at university and has been building a stash of fabric remnants for some years since – had a clear out and handed over two huge boxes of remnants.


Debbie Dalston
Thanks so much Debbie!

It is pretty exciting for me to get a large donation like this.  So many projects suggest themselves as you start to turn over the pieces of fabric all lovingly set aside for a day when they can be put to good use.

The first thing I do is wash and iron it all.  That took me a couple of days to process Debbie’s large stash.

Everything in its Place and a Place for Everything

Then, I separate large pieces (anything half a metre or so or larger) from smaller ones.  Large pieces are sorted into colour ways and “filed” in my fabric store.  I have one spare wardrobe  I use to keep my fabric in.  I don’t have any more space available, so when it eventually gets full, I will have to do some pruning.  For now though, my fabric requirements seem to be keeping pace with the level of donations, so I can happily hold on to it all!

Debbie Dalston's Dreamy Donation - in my Fabric Store
Laundered, preside and stacked away by colour
Debbie Dalston's Dreamy Donation
Debbie Dalston's Dreamy Donation

I store smaller pieces of fabric in clear plastic boxes so that I can easily see what’s inside – one for each colour way.

If the fabric is pretty or unusual enough  – I save quite small pieces.  It is amazing how useful even tiny pieces can be when you are working on a fabric collage/appliqué project or a custom order.

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A Tilda Doll Goes Gardening with Kanzashi Flowers – Heart UpCycling!The same day that Debbie’s fabulous donation arrived, I received a custom order for a gardening Tilda doll.  My customer wanted me to create something like the doll you see pictured here.

Imagine the pleasure in finding a large piece of beautiful quality rose cotton lawn and two large pieces of green felt in Debbie’s cardboard boxes.  My customer chose the lovely rose fabric for her doll’s dress straight away.  

Having the green felt available meant that I could get started on creating the doll straight away rather than having to source the fabric and wait impatiently for it to arrive.

Debbie Dalston's Dreamy Donation Green Felt
Debbie Dalston's Dreamy Donation Rose Cotton Lawn
Debbie Dalston's Dreamy Donation Gardening Tilda Custom Order
Custom Order Request - A Gardening Tilda Doll

Better still – I have sufficient felt to make a couple of gardening aprons – so I will be able to create another gardening Tilda doll when I have finished this one.  I really like this doll and she inspires me to start creating a range of dolls with passions/hobbies – watch this space!

Keep reading to see how my first gardening Tilda doll turns out…

Four Christmas Angels

Another gem lay towards the bottom of the boxes.  I have been busy the last couple of weeks running workshops locally in Birmingham to make Christmas Angels.  I made around 40 angels for sale on my Etsy shop and have been struggling to keep up with demand.  There are still a few in stock, but they are almost sold out now.

Debbie’s bumber boxes gave me enough pretty small print red and white cotton to make four more Christmas angels.  There was lots of white lace trim in the boxes too.  

Perfect!  Thanks so much Debbie!

The angel workshops have been really popular and raised over £300 so far for Birmingham St. Mary’s Hospice with three still to run.

Having a good supply of donated fabric available for use in craft workshops really helps us to keep the costs down and increases the funds we can raise.

If you are like Debbie and have been carefully stashing away fabric and crafty bits and pieces over the years, maybe now is the perfect time to donate them?  You know where to find me!

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