Yesterday I went to collect the second batch of fabric samples that I’m saving from landfill and, once again, I felt like a small child on Christmas Day: faced with sacks and boxes of beautiful fabric I didn’t know where to begin.

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I’m impatient to see what’s inside…….

I started by exploring the easiest box, one that contained large oblong pieces of fabric not attached to cardboard hangers.

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Inside I found an assortment of amazing textiles ranging from natural silks, woollens, cottons and linens, to some interesting and exotic synthetic concoctions.  Many of the larger samples had smaller pieces in other colour-ways pinned to them and so, as well as saving the fabrics from the tip, I have also salvaged a huge number of safety pins.

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Even the safety pins have a hint of luxury

Having reached the bottom of the first box and bagged up the majority of the contents to pass on elsewhere, I moved on to a box containing cardboard folders; it was gone midnight by this time and I should have been asleep, but sleep is of secondary concern when there’s fabric around.

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It was assumed that I wouldn’t want the folders as they only contained very small swatches of material glued onto cardboard; that I would leave them behind to be thrown away.  Instead I explained that I would recycle the cardboard, and loaded them into the car.

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The swatches are samples of suiting originally destined for places such as Saville Row and Jermyn Street in London and made from the most luxurious lightweight wool, many of them blended with silk by the feel of them.

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The fabric came away effortlessly from the cardboard without leaving any trace of glue behind, and as I continued to remove them, I realised they would make the most amazing patchwork quilt: they are pre-cut, all of a uniform size, and the muted greys, browns and blues would be perfect for my teenage son’s new room.

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I predict an elegant quilt with a masculine feel

I still have a mountain of fabric to sort through, but I am pleased with what I have achieved so far; instead of being thrown away, the folders have been broken down into their constituent parts and I am left with:

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a large pile of cardboard which will be recycled;

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a number of unused cards which, with the addition of a white pencil, will make great “chalk boards”;

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a pile of elastics that bound the folders, sure to come in useful one day (I hope you’re proud of me Dad!);

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hundreds of ready-cut patchwork pieces, destined to be a quilt.

I’ll let you know what else I discover as I explore the rest of my haul…..

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