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Posts Tagged ‘fabric’

Busytown Fabric!

Richard Scarry gets a lot of snuggle-up-with-a-book time in our house. Now, what to make with this new yardage due out in October?

Busytown Fabric from Quilting Treasures.

Summer Stash

I once really enjoyed stashing yarn; now I tend to purchase it only by the project. Because seriously, unless you’re exclusively a sock knitter, how could you possibly just intuit how much of a particular yarn you’ll need for some undefined future sweater?

I break this rule regularly for gorgeous single skeins while on vacation.

Also, the one under-the-bed box I allow myself for storing yarn is completely full. Mostly of gorgeous single skeins purchased on vacations.

In the past couple of years, I’ve found much more enjoyment in stashing fabric. I’m still somewhat tame; I tend to make just one or two orders of unpremeditated – that is, not earmarked for a particular project – yardage orders each year. And I really do try to use up stash fabrics before buying new. Again, however, exceptions are easily made while traveling.

I love to knit, but rarely do I take out the box of yarn and gaze at its possibilities. Each of those single skeins will ultimately end up as a lace shawl or lovely scarf. I learned my lesson with the beret. But the fabric…it’s so delightful to dream up a project, or be inspired by a tutorial, and riff through the stash to select which fabrics to use.

Mr Apparently gave me a bias tape maker and Ellen Luckett Baker’s book 1-2-3 Sew for my birthday, and so clearly a little stash renewal was in order. Look at this restraint! Only 7 yards!

summer stash

That’s because I have a gift certificate to Hawthorne Threads pinned up over my desk, waiting patiently.


Summer’s Crafty Goodness

Why is it that I always find myself sewing – which by its nature means, turning on the iron – on the hottest days of the year? Apparently heat inspires me. Here are just a few of several projects I’ve completed lately.

magnolia hat

This sun hat was a commission from a lovely friend. The inside has a little secret – a contrasting fabric with a pretty picture that reminds me of her. I’m not going to show you what it is, but I’ll tell you it’s a Heather Ross fabric.

manly pincushions

A bride-to-be in California commissioned two Very Manly Pincushions for her wedding. I’m not entirely clear on the role they’ll play, but I love that she’s doing something very creative!

nesting hen pincushion

We made a trip to Fish’s Eddy, where we got some new egg cups. This means that the nesting hen egg cups I bought at Anthropologie a few years ago (and which really aren’t very good at holding eggs) – will be repurposed.

I couldn’t resist a piece of this Suzuko Koseki linen fabric printed with vintage sewing images, and so of course it became a potted pincushion.

The FedEx man just rang with a package I’d forgotten about – a fresh stack of fabric! Stay tuned for pix…

An Anthropological Experiment

I know. I’m not supposed to like Anthropologie, because the owner-founder is a seriously right wing former hippie who has embraced capitalism. But I’ll confess: like most design-minded women of a certain age, I love the store’s upscale boho aesthetic and have been known to scour the sale racks for those drape-y linen pants I can’t resist. I may have dreams of turning their entire selection of French-inspired bowls into pincushions.

And now, this: decor8 tells us that twelve stores will be opening a Decorator Concept shop on March 24. From decor8, the shops will deliver

a unique experience that helps generate design ideas and support decision making, and the decorator shops in stores will have wallpaper swatches, rugs, curtains, printed information about products, and it will host regular workshops with design experts. Main categories such as curtains, furniture, hardware, lighting, rugs and wallpaper, will be helpful to decorators and the in-store shop will look a little different in each location and will serve as both reference and to spark creativity.

As if I didn’t already want to buy a hundred glass drawer pulls for furniture I don’t even own yet.

Of course what I am most interested in is the fabric. And for those of you not near one of the shops (which are listed in both of the blogs I linked to above and here), the online decorator shop launches March 17. I’m looking forward to getting my hands on some swatches. Update to follow…

fabric or wallpaper?

Random related fact: Did you know that Ravelry has an extremely active group of knitters who recreate Anthropologie designs?

From the Future: Spray-On Fabric

In just a few years, this won’t seem so weird. Or rather, this precise application will remain completely bizarre, but I’m sure we’ll have found some sort of good use(s) for peel-off fibers sprayed directly from a can…

Make Clothes Out of a Can With Spray-On Fabric | Gadget Lab | Wired.com.

Vermont: Land of Quilting?

Mr. Apparently and I went on a lovely trip to Vermont, where we stayed at the incomparable Windham Hill Inn and drove all over the southern part of the state in search of the unique, the antique and oh yes, fabric and yarn. Armed with his trusty iPad, we were able to search out local yarn stores on the fly (or rather, in the rental car) and even found two incredible houses-converted-to-stores filled to their attics with fabric.

Not until this trip have I observed firsthand the great divide between quilters and modern sewists. Each of these shops was stocked with hundreds, if not thousands of cotton fabrics, on bolts and in neatly tied bundles of half-yards, fat quarters, charm packs and jelly rolls. (If these terms mean nothing to you, scroll down for a glossary.) Yet almost nowhere in these shops were the modern cotton fabrics I have come to know and love. Let’s not even get into designers (often the dividing line between modern and traditional); the patterns and colors alone displayed a serious commitment to traditional American quilting. I am coming to terms with the sad truth that unless one lives in a teeming metropolis or is a dedicated internet shopper, it’s not easy to find fabrics that appeal to a modern sensibility. Thank [your chosen deity] for the internet. And that I live in NYC with a high-speed web connection.

SoleDon’t worry. I managed to support the local economy nonetheless. In the charming village of Wilmington, I spied a bolt of Valorie Well’s Sole in the attic of Norton House, and along with some argyle, various dots and a few lovely reproductions based on fabrics discovered at Old Sturbridge Village (the school field trip destination of my youth), easily passed some sort of secret “free piece of fudge with purchase” threshold.

At Country Treasures in Chester, I overheard two women telling a third that they had driven two and a half hours to reach the store and planned to stay all day.  This shop was even larger than Norton House, and yet I had a much more difficult time trying to make a purchase. I was stunned and impressed with the sheer quantity of fabrics, not to mention the enormous quilting machine in the attic, but the colors were just not my palette. It was obvious that the fabrics in the shop had been chosen by the same person; room after room and bundle after bundle presented a unified aesthetic that was just not the same as mine. Mr. Apparently left me to wander, and did I catch him making a purchase? Yes, I did. (Isn’t that sweet?) And did he choose a bundle of Sandy Gervais prints that I had already earmarked as a possibility? Of course he did.

I have a feeling that in the bedrooms and attics of Vermont, thousands of quilts are keeping people warm…or waiting to be found by the next generation.

(The careful observer might spy a little piece of “Cars” fabric in my stack of purchases. I couldn’t resist a little something that would make my son happy. One lovely fabric isn’t pictured, as I’m making a surprise for someone who may read this…could it be you?)

Glossary of Quilting Terms, for the Uninitiated:

A half-yard, is eactly that: a piece of fabric that is 18″ high and the entire width of the bolt.

A fat quarter is made by cutting a half yard in half again vertically to produce a rectangular piece that measures 18″ x 22″. (Many people prefer this to a piece that is 9″ high.)
Moda Jelly Roll

Charm packs are stacks of fabric that have been laser-cut into 5″ squares. Layer cakes are stacks of 10″ squares.

And jelly rolls are bundles of 2.5″ x 44″ strips that are rolled up to look like their namesake.

One can also find honey buns, dessert rolls and turnovers. Isn’t this making you hungry? I’m going to have to find some cake.

17 Yards of Pure Cotton

I knew we were taking a risk by venturing out at 5pm on a Saturday. I’d been tracking my shipment of new fabric and it was on a truck “out for delivery” today. But for the sake of family harmony (not to mention a fine meal), I crossed my fingers and hoped for an 8pm delivery. That’s not uncommon around here.

When we turned the corner by our building, an empty FedEx truck was parked across the street. “Go!” insisted Mr Apparently, and I rushed to our door in the hopes of thwarting one of those nasty little door tags that means “package undelivered.” And like some sort of FedEx groupie, I loitered by the truck for a good ten minutes until the delivery man returned from an adjacent block with a hand truck bearing one yellow parcel. “I think you may have something for me…” I suggested, my tone hopefully conveying the proper mix of “oh, I’m so ridiculous” and “I’m not leaving this truck without my eight pounds of yardage.”

The yellow parcel was indeed mine, and here’s a quick iPhone shot of what it contained:


As is often the case, I am totally surprised and delighted by some of what I expected to be “rounding out the stash” fabric, and a tiny bit disappointed in the couple of yards I may have earmarked just for me. But that’s good news for everyone else, as it means they’ll go into the pool of available patterns. The botanical reproduction prints are particularly lovely, and really every yard in the lot has excellent potential. I’m very pleased with this order.