Thrifting Fabric

About a week ago, our local guild sent out an email to members stating a seamstress in town was retiring and having a sale. She wanted to clear out her fabric and supplies as she planned to downsize to a smaller home. I am sure you knew I would be sure to go check it out. The woman was both a garment maker as well as a quilter. Her shop was large and there was tons and tons of fabric.

By the time I got there much of the quilt fabric had been sold. But I was not really interested in quilt fabric considering the shop I have downstairs! My interest was actually in garment fabric. I found a few gems. Instead of setting a price on each piece of fabric (which would have taken days and days) the woman had a stack of plastic laundry baskets. The deal was $10 for whatever fit in the basket. Oh my. Let me show you what I picked up.

This is two yards (58″ wide) of a stunning border print. It is a cotton/rayon blend and has the nicest feel to it. I washed it and had no issues. I think Julia has claimed this piece for a pair of wide legged pants. That border will be so nice at the bottom of each leg. Sort of a boho look.

I picked up six yards of this fabric. Not a seersucker but it feels like one? I am not sure what it is but it washed well. Julia and I both want pants out of it and I am sure there will be leftover fabric.

Four yards of this gray and white chambray. It is really pretty and a great quality fabric. I am not sure what I will make with it. It is heavy enough to back a quilt but I think I want to make some sort of wearable with it. Hmmm…. decisions, decisions.

As I brought these up in the basket, along with a few oddball pieces, Carol (the seamstress) smiled and remarked my basket wasn’t yet full. I looked around and saw an antique unfinished Dresden quilt top stuffed into a corner. All hand stitched to a very thin muslin (as was often the case with this sort of quilt).

The blocks are huge at 18″ across. The fabrics look like the 1940’s – 1950’s. I picked it up and she said to add it to the basket. My plan is to pick the blocks apart – there are twelve blocks in good enough condition to use. Then I will fuse a very thin stabilizer to them since that muslin is so thin. Add some sashing from my vintage fabric collection and it will be a quilt top again. I am really looking forward to finishing this one and it shouldn’t be a huge project.

As I was waiting to pay, I saw this little quilt folded up on the counter. Apparently Carol had picked up the center patchwork piece and added borders to it. The little squares are 1 1/2″ and all hand stitched. It had been tied intermittently. I believe it looks like the remaining 1/2 of a quilt – if you look at the pattern, I think it continued into full square with that navy blue having been at the center. I am not terribly fond of the borders that were added. They are filled with puffy batting, probably a polyester. But it was calling to me. I could leave it as is and just give it a wash or I can consider taking those borders off and reworking it. Looking at the fabrics, the patchwork portion was also made in the 1940’s or so.

Julia will be busy this week with the county fair. Hard to believe her time with Leo has come to a close. Why is it that time goes by faster and faster?? Since we share a car, I will likely be home quite a bit which means lots of time to sew. I started a purse for myself a couple of days ago and want to finish that up. The quilting on my friend’s memory quilt is very close to being finished. Those two projects will be the focus for this week. How about you?

27 thoughts on “Thrifting Fabric

  1. Kaholly

    Quite a haul! You got lucky…or should I say you and Julia got lucky? Wow! That was a quick season! I hope she does well at the fair.

    Reply
    1. Bernie Post author

      Thank you Karen. I hope she and Leo do well too. This is her last year of this sort of thing so it would be great to end on a strong note. Hope you are feeling well. It is ‘same old, same old’ around here with lots of migraine nonsense. Sigh.

      Reply
    1. Bernie Post author

      I think so too Lisa! I hope I can get a good fit for Julia with the pants. Crossing my fingers there – proper fitting is certainly the biggest challenge for me.

      Reply
  2. Wendy

    Oh, I think I’d have to pet that border print for awhile, it’s so pretty! It will make a great pair of boho-style pants. When I see the chambray, I think some kind of shirt-tail tunic. You really came home with some fun things. The two quilts will be fun projects (I’m with you on the borders of the little quilt.) What fun!

    Reply
    1. Bernie Post author

      A tunic is a good idea for that chambray. It was fun to pick up so much nice fabric (for $10???). Now I have a long line up of projects. (as though I didn’t before this??)

      Reply
    1. Bernie Post author

      Me too Cathie. I was so excited to see that print. Julia knew just what she wanted with it. Now to find a pattern that works and to try to get a good fit for her. Crossing my fingers there!!

      Reply
  3. FlourishingPalms

    Nice for you to have found such bargains that obviously attracted your attention. I admire you for being willing to pick apart an old quilt top and then refurbish it. I have an old quilt from my grandmother that needs attention – it’s been promised to a granddaughter – and I have no enthusiasm whatsoever for doing it. “Old” isn’t my thing anymore. But, I know I’ll do it eventually.

    Reply
    1. Bernie Post author

      I am glad your grand daughter wants the quilt. I have two older quilts, one I made – my first quilt – and another made by my kids Great grandma. They both need repairs and I have been procrastinating on them for a long time. But the Dresdens just need to be reassembled. All but one is in good shape. Somehow that project appeals to me more. I suppose because it will be simpler. Hope all is well!

      Reply
  4. Quiltdivajulie

    I love your plan for rescuing the dresden top — and as far as the second one, I would remove those borders and then see what speaks to you in terms of finishing it (wide runner, center for a medallion quilt, or ???). Those boho pants will be fabulous.

    Reply
    1. Bernie Post author

      Thank you Julie. I will start unpicking the Dresdens. Some of them might be cut out with the rotary because there is ample space around the Dresden. Others have almost no space so I will have to unpick them. I need to measure the Dresdens before I start chopping them up tho! I like your suggestion about the patchwork and will do just that!

      Reply
  5. Katherine

    What a wonderful bunch of fabric!!!❤️
    Have fun sewing this week!
    Time is going faster! 😳
    I can’t believe it’s already country fair time!!
    Hope Julia and Leo do well. ❤️

    Reply
    1. Bernie Post author

      Hi Katherine – so… how does one slow down this passage of time. The thing that seems best is to try not to look ahead. If I am anxiously waiting for the next thing, then I am not really experiencing current time. Of course this is much easier said than done!!
      I am having fun sewing. Yesterday I finished up my new bag. I also pulled fabric for a baby quilt that just came to mind for no apparent reason. Haha – A whole new stack of fabric and I start cutting something entirely different out.

      Reply
  6. Kathleen Kingsbury

    Looks like you hit the jackpot! What a great way to run a sale . . . fill a laundry basket. I’m looking forward to seeing the pants you make with the border print. I wonder if that second quilt was a family heirloom of sorts that was cut in for sharing purposes because two people wanted it? I’d say you have enough projects there to keep you busy for quite a while.

    Reply
    1. Bernie Post author

      I was wondering the same thing. Either that or maybe there was damage to the other half so they thought this a good way to rescue it? Who knows. I do think I will remove the borders though. The more I look at it, the more I want to take those off and figure out something different for it.

      Reply
    1. Bernie Post author

      Thank you! Pretty fun – how is summer going? Do the kids go back to school in a couple of weeks?? Julia doesn’t go start mid-September this year which is so strange.

      Reply
  7. tehachap

    Working on things for the Depot gift shop and will try to put another baby quilt together for my great-niece’s baby–that makes me a great-great-aunt! Whew! LOL Also have downloaded patterns for a couple of personal cases for a charitable project.

    Reply
    1. Bernie Post author

      Yikes! You always have so many things going on simultaneously. But that keeps it all interesting, doesn’t it? Hope all is well. Enjoy the sewing during this hot season.

      Reply
  8. Janice

    So fun seeing what others bring home from the “sales”! It will be fun to see what you decide to make out of your great deals!

    Reply
    1. Bernie Post author

      I know thrifting isn’t for everyone but I enjoy it. Seems most of the time I don’t find much but now and then I get treasures like these and it is the motivation for going the next time. (An addiction of sorts!).

      Reply
  9. Rebecca Burch

    Girl, you got quite a haul! I’m green with envy (LOL!) but happy you got such good stuff (shall I say “such good deals”!?!). That Dresden Plate is gonna be spectacular when you get done with it! PLEASE post a picture of it when you got it all dolled up, OK? Thanks for sharing with us!

    Reply
    1. Bernie Post author

      Sewing clothing was my first love – quilting came much later. It is a challenge to get a good fit though and that can be so frustrating. Crossing my fingers on the pants with the border fabric. I think I will actually do a muslin first because I don’t want to wreck the fabric. I really like it. Wish me luck.!!

      Reply
    1. Bernie Post author

      Thank you Linda. This is her last round of county fairs so I really hope she does well this year. Then she starts looking toward college (tho she doesn’t move in until the 3rd week of September).

      Reply

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