An Unlikely Find

This morning was, as it has been all week, too hot to work outside. My husband and I were cleaning up our basement (it stays nice and cool down there!) As we went along, I made a huge pile of items to donate at one of our local thrift shops. I came across a bag of odds and ends and thought it best to take a quick look before adding it to the pile. I’m so glad I did!

In the bag was a pile of fabric that I had purchased some time ago at a garage sale. It was the sort of thing where you buy an entire bag without being able to take it apart to see what is really contained in the bag. I threw caution to the wind and spent my $3.00 on the mystery bag because that’s the kind of person I am. Most of the fabric was not my type of thing (lots of shimmer and shine.) So it ended up in the basement. This morning I took a closer look before donating it and found a set of African wax print fabrics! Score.

I hand washed them as I was fairly certain the bright colors would run a bit (and they did.) They looked so pretty hanging on my line in the way too hot sun. They dried in about five minutes!

imageTwo of the four pieces are marked as being Sotiba prints, made in Dakar, Senegal. There are conflicting accounts of the status of Sotiba. When I was googling the company there was reference to it going out of business in the late 1980’s and also some reference to current production. I honestly don’t know if they are still making fabric. Anyone out there have any info on this??
imageThe pieces aren’t large – they measure about 14″ x 25″. Not quite a fat quarter in size. The colors are so bold.

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I was first introduced to African wax prints last November when a customer requested a custom order through my Etsy shop. She sent me this beautiful fabric and asked me to make a Chemex cozy with it. I posted about that project here. The fabric she sent me was Ankara, and it felt like a higher quality weave than these pieces. It was wonderful to sew with.

 

I think I will use these pieces to create some items for my shop. These pieces are not large enough to make Chemex cozies so they will probably be used for French Press cozies instead.  At any rate, I am so glad I took a minute to scan that bag one last time.

Linking to Molly Sparkles Sunday Stash.

 

 

11 thoughts on “An Unlikely Find

  1. Yvonne @ Quilting Jetgirl

    How wonderful to refind that fabric. I was lucky enough to take a trip to Tanzania with my husband a few years ago and although I looked around I did not find any fabrics that I thought I could quilt with.

    Reply
    1. Bernie Post author

      Yes, they could be hard to quilt with. Some of the fabrics, especially the Ankara, are sort of stiff. These pieces that I found this morning were much softer after washing them and could probably be used in a quilt. Definitely a good find!

      Reply
  2. Cassandra

    What a great find! These are gorgeous. A few years ago I came across a photo of a quilt made with African wax cloth. It was stunning. I wish I had kept a link to it because I can no longer find it. I think the quilter was Canadian… If that rings a bell for anyone, let me know!

    Reply
    1. Bernie Post author

      Some of the African wax are just gorgeous. I need to find a way to buy them that isn’t so pricey though. The shops that carry them on Etsy are fairly expensive. I love the colors though.

      Reply
  3. Linda

    I’ve not heard of Sotiba, but it is gorgeous! Always nice when you come across a treasure while doing a project. 😉 Is your basement big? I grew up with a basement in a 1930s farmhouse in Oklahoma and would give ANYTHING to go back and keep some of the stuff that was in it.

    Reply
    1. Bernie Post author

      We have a decent sized basement that we use to store everything that we think we might want or need ‘someday’. It has gotten a bit out of control! Yesterday I took the pile that we sorted out over the weekend to donate at the
      Hospice Thrift Store. Mostly toys from when the kids were little. I am sure someone will want them and I feel better about the state of the basement! It needs a bit more work but we made good progress. Today it has cooled off a bit so I will attack my overgrown forsythia bush! Hope your day going well.

      B.

      Reply
  4. Mari

    Serendipity! When the quilter is ready, the fabric appears? Or something like that. They’re lovely. Almost makes me wish I liked coffee! Have a great day!

    Reply
    1. Bernie Post author

      The fabric appears more often than is necessary for me, that’s for sure. Since my moratorium on fabric buying at the beginning. Of the year was such a miserable failure ?? I am trying to just not buy anything for the month of July. Surely I can exercise restraint for one little month? 30 short days? Four quick weeks? I have made it thru the first week and it seems attainable.

      Reply
    1. Bernie Post author

      It is fun to use fabrics that are out of my ordinary choices now and then. I sewed with the African prints yesterday and they are really pretty. Take care Deb!

      Reply

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