Monday, October 24, 2011

Secrets in the Garage

I have this dresser in my Garage - and while I'm totally embarrassed to be posting pictures of old, ugly things relegated to my dusty garage, there's a good reason that I share this with you. 

If you care anything for fabrics... anything for design and/or textiles... anything at all... I'm about to blow your mind.

Don't believe me?

Peek inside my dresser-drawers....

SEE?  I told you so.

It gets better.
I didn't pay for ANY of it, and these sweet bits of heaven are an extinct breed.

A few years ago, the US based Textile Business went completely Belly-Up, thanks to cheaper labor and fabrics now being made elsewhere.  And it's sad to me, because an entire branch of my family tree made it's living in the textile mills of North Carolina, from running the machines to filing orders -- not to mention the fact that it's damn near impossible to buy fabric milled in the US anymore.  Those days are gone (if I am mistaken in this, please tell me.  I'd really like to know where I could buy fabric made here.  I  truly would).

The death of the textile industry meant that my cousin, a textile salesman, was forced into retirement, leaving behind a storage shed full of decorator fabric samples in all shapes and sizes.

He gave them to yours truly. 

Wasn't that just the NICEST thing???

"Meh.  It's just fabric", you say.

IT IS NOT. This is luscious stuff. The "hand" (the feel of it) is AMAZING. Many pieces are triple-loomed and woven into the loveliest of designs. It is truly a wonder, I tell you.

And hey, if you like patchwork, and I DO, I DO, then it's a durn near-miracle.

It's a dresser-full of dreams.

Some of the pieces have gooey old pricing labels attached, and many are priced as high as $40/yard. 

That's 20 year old pricing, too. 

It's Nice Stuff.

This particular drawer housed the bits and remnants from projects I've already completed. 

For awhile, I was piecing and sewing patchwork bags both for myself and for sale.  They are lovely.  I still have a few, and will likely make more in the future.

The bottom drawer holds large swatches of textiles cut into 24" x 24" squares. 

Lemme tell you-- There's a LOT you can do with a 24" x 24" square.

These pieces are about 18" x 18".  Again... tons to do with them.

It's practically unending... and seeing as I've already been the caretaker of it all for more than 5 years already, I anticipate it will take a lifetime for me to use it all.

The top-right drawer is full of pieces I started cutting for a quilt.  Turns out, I don't have the patience to make an ENTIRE quilt. 

Oh.. I should've KNOWN better....

But! Should the notion strike, I have plenty of squares and rectangles of multiple sizes to piece together for smaller projects that won't make me crazy. 

A nice stack of 12" x 12" squares.

As with the best things in life, it isn't all perfect, though... to use it, you have trim the zig-zagged ends, and watch out for staples. 

There is also the little matter of the glue-gun glue which used to hold sample color-ways together.  I seem to spend the first half hour of any project ripping out staples, peeling off labels and sometimes biting off old glue (ew! But it's the only way!).

This is what I pulled out this morning for a little somthin'-somthin' I'll post tomorrow....

I've already made it and photographed it and everything, but this WAS getting a little on the long-winded


See you tomorrow....



  1. Shit, woman! I was going to ask you where you got that fabulous fabric!

  2. such a treasure chest!! quality that doesn't (or very rarely) get made anymore. in this quick, cheap and mass-produced world of ours...:(

  3. oooh salivating over your STASH!


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