“More fun than you can imagine:” Textile Center garage sale will draw national audience to Minneapolis on April 13-14


“The sale is huge and the bargains are amazing,” said Margaret Miller, the executive director for the Textile Center in Minneapolis.  “People come from all over the country and have more fun than you can imagine.” That’s quite a claim for an annual garage sale/fundraiser, which will begin this year on April 13 in a new and expanded location. 

“It is a one day sale with a preview on Friday night.  We usually get around 1,000 to 1,200 people attending,” said Miller.  “The makers of sewing, knitting, weaving, spinning, felting, basket making, and beading come to the sale. We sell everything that the makers need to make fiber art from fabric to yarn to sewing machines, books, magazines, patterns, etc.”

The new location this year at the University of Minnesota ReUse Warehouse, 883 29th Avenue SE, Minneapolis (near Hwy. 280 and Como Avenue SE). The ReUse Warehouse will also be open for selling tables, chairs, desks and filing cabinets for offices or studios.  This year’s location has more space, more parking, and easier to get to than previous garage sales.

The big garage sale is Saturday, April 14 from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.  Admission is $1.00 The preview sale is Friday, April 13 from 6:30 to 8 p.m.  Admission is $25 which supports the Textile Center programs.  Free parking in the lot for the preview sale. If interested in donating or volunteering e-mail info@textilecentermn.org or call 612-436-0464. The Textile Center is at 3000 University Avenue SE #100, Minneapolis, Minnesota 55414.

The Textile Center is a national center for fiber arts that has offered classes and exhibitions since 1994.  Their mission has been to honor textile traditions, promote excellence and innovations in fiber arts.  “They are such a unique arts organization where the members actual practice their art,” said Tina Hughes, a fiber artist and member of the board.  “Their exhibitions display high art forms.”

The Textile Center was incorporated in 1994 and they bought their present building at 3000 University Avenue in 2001.  They are now looking to expand and move to a new location because no parking spaces are left on University Avenue with the light rail construction.  Their present building has galleries, a shop, 300-seat auditorium, classroom spaces, dye lab, and office spaces.

Margaret Miller the executive director will be retiring on July 1, 2012.  She has been the only director in the organization for the past 18 years.  Miller organized a group of fiber art guilds in the early 1990s and had headed a capital campaign for the present day Textile Center facility. 

“We now have 50 guilds most of which are members of our center,” said Miller.  “”Our library is one of the largest with 23,000 books.  We are the largest textile center in the USA that makes and sells its fiber art.” After retiring she will provide volunteer services overseas.

The Textile Center’s education department is taking registrations now for summer camps and workshops for youth that run from June through August.  A few of the classes that are offered for adults are: quilting, dyeing, felting, needlework and embroidery, for teachers, technology Tuesday and business topics.  Neighborhood classes are new this year.