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Rags to Riches

Textile Development and Marketing ’08,
Fashion Merchandising Management ’06

I use a variety of vintage and recycled fabrics in my custom quilt business, Mamaka Mills. Most recently I’ve been using clothing and textiles from people who have passed away, to create heirloom-quality quilts for their families to remember them by. I love the challenge of working with textiles that wouldn’t be used in traditional quilting, like wool or silk. I just used fabric from an umbrella, which I ironed to a nonwoven interfacing, like what you’d find in a shirt collar, so the nylon wouldn’t rip and run. Next year, my husband deploys to Afghanistan with the New Hampshire National Guard. I wanted something to comfort me while he’s away, so I made a contemporary quilt out of his old uniforms, fatigues, and patches. Soon I’m going to teach a class through the Guard’s Family Readiness Program, so other military spouses can make their own quilts. Old clothing has so much history and sentimental value. This is a way to keep those memories in our daily lives.

Alix Joyal operates Mamaka Mills ( from her studio in Hooksett, NH.


 Gary Ombler / Dorling Kindersley / Getty Images  

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