This problem gets even better when people bring me interesting vintage textiles. So here's one solution: Enjoy processing it immediately, then give it right back, in a form they can use.
That's what a happened a couple of months ago when my friend Marian went to a store closing sale, where she bought some fascinating embroidery fragments, each $5 or less, a price that reflected their not-great condition.
First, there were these three log cabin foundation pieced-blocks. They're silk and so frail - some of the silk was already shattered. I think they're from the US, but let me know if you know better!
Then there were two thick, sturdy panels with vivid flowers, one of which is below. They look handstitched (from the back), and were marked "Guatamala." I wonder what their original destination was - bags? Shirts? (If you know, please tell me in the comments!)
And this worn, beautifully embroidered strip, with tiny stitches, which I think is Thai.
What to do? I decided to skip the storage phase, and immediately make something Marian could use. I added two pieces from my own collection. In the photo below, the blue-and-white strip is kantha from India, gifted to me by friends who bought it at a quilt show (thanks, Saraj and Miriam!). On bottom, the pink-and-orange is an elaborately embroidered strip from Thailand, gifted long ago from another friend, Steve, a Buddha dealer. (The resemblance to the strip above is why I think it's Thai.)
I sewed them all together. Then I added strips of embossed gold velvet ribbon to the short ends. I added a hanging sleeve to the back of one short end. Here's the result (lying on my brick patio). It's about three feet long.
Thank you, Marian, Saraj, Miriam, and Steve, for your contributions to this international mashup!