My volunteer partner, Barbara, and I did some research, looking for suitable patterns and designs. I also looked in the library’s yard sale area and found several books of traditional designs that might, with some modifications, serve the purpose. I called Margaret to tell her about the books, and that I could pull the same books from the permanent collection for her to look at, as she had indicated that she and another guild member might be visiting the museum soon. I also said I could hold the yard sale books for her, if she wanted to buy those copies. However, Margaret said that they could not come just then, that she wanted the books ASAP so they could start their planning of the raffle quilt, and asked if I could just send her the yard sale books and she would send a check to cover the cost of the books and the postage. I told her I could certainly do that and would take the books home that evening to get them ready to mail out.
As I looked through the books that evening, I found many quilt patterns and designs that seemed to fit Margaret’s specifications. I happily marked up the books with sticky notes with my ideas and wrote a long note detailing what I had found and got them ready to mail the next day. The next week, we received the following email from Margaret:
Good Evening, Dottie,
I'm sorry I haven't sent my "Thank You" until now, but on the other hand it worked out better as yesterday I discovered the letter you enclosed with the books, therefore I can email you which is easier than posting a written note.
The box of books arrived on Tuesday [October 10th], and it was like Manna Sent from Heaven! The books are wonderful and your notes are priceless! What a wonderful experience this is turning out to be for me and all of our 7-member committee. My favorite book is the "Scrap Quilts Fast and Fun" with the Japanese Lanterns (log cabin blocks) on the cover. The colors are so bold and bright and the pattern so deceiving being a log cabin block.
Reading your letter yesterday actually gave me time to verify with our chapter treasurer that she has received the application to become a supporting member to the NE Quilt Museum, and she will be sending the check shortly. Our chapter had actually voted on October 2 to become a member, so it is happening. I also would like to ask you that if an additional donation is made directly to the library, is it tax deductible?
Our next committee meeting is October 16th, and I am so excited about sharing these books and your comments to the other members. I will keep you posted as our decisions continue to be made regarding the quilt. One additional criteria that we as a group made is that all members of our chapter who make blocks will have their blocks included in the quilt - somehow we will make it work - no exclusions.
Again, many thanks for your research and book picks for me.
I can’t wait to see what Margaret and her group come up with for the raffle quilt; it will be exciting, knowing that my efforts may have given them some ideas and inspiration! This story illustrates the kind of services that we in the library can provide to individuals and organizations. We have many, many books that can be perused to help with your quilt history research or quilt design process if you visit in person but if, like Margaret, you need help before you can visit or if the distance is too great, we can still help. For many of the titles in our research library, we also have at least one circulating copy; if you are a member of the museum, we can ship such titles to you anywhere in the United States. You can keep the books for a month and ship them back to us Library Rate, just including a donation to cover our postage to you. Or in Margaret’s case, she did not want to wait until they could come down and look at books in the library and just wanted me to mail the books from the yard sale to her; she got nine books for less than $20! Of course, as with any yard sale, you never know what you will find. The yard sale is replenished whenever we receive donated books that are already in the library’s permanent collection; the excess books are placed in the yard sale at prices that are significantly reduced from the original retail price and help fund the library’s operations.
Unlike many libraries, we do not charge for our research services, although we will accept donations for our services. And yes, those donations to the library are tax-deductible!
So, whether you visit in person, or call or email us with your quilty questions, the volunteers in the library are here to help. And if you visit, you can help yourself to the chocolate in our ever-present candy dish. Now that’s what I call a full-service library!
-written by Dottie Macomber, library volunteer