Monday, October 18, 2010

Fabric Store versus Op-Shop

Washed and ironed store snippets.

I decided to experience buying cloth from a fabric store instead of limiting myself to op-shop purchases. I enjoy op-shop buys because there is such a good chance of finding interesting and unique fabrics. The down side is the bulk of items to deal with and store once I bring them home. As a result of my visit to a fabric store I found some great advantages in buying fabric thus. It was easier to find exact shades I was after, if I was attracted to a small design aspect I only needed to buy a small yardage, and the cost was not high when only buying a fragment. Overall though, I loved assembling the little pile of color and design. I could look at this little pile happily for the rest of my life. This pleasure reminds me of the immense satisfaction I derive from organising stationary items in drawer or on a desk. Fabric store shopping doesn't replace the thrill of the really great op-shop finds but it certainly does enhance the range of fabrics from which to choose just the right one for the task at hand. Plus it was really good fun - better than choosing a cheese from a Paris 'fromagerie'. That is saying something! I did learn that when washing these fabrics I need to put them in a little bag to minimise the huge tangled mess I had. Any tips regarding this?

At close of needle I had nearly finished my second bear cloth. I will post it soon. I am pretty happy with it. The two together do make a stronger composition just as Janet Bolton comments in her book, Patchwork Folk Art.

Happy stitching all, Gilly

Tangled mess after washing.


  1. oh yes, such a tangled mess. you could try placing them in underwear washing bags, using the gentles cycle on the machine, recutting the edges with pinking shears or as i do just hand washing. lovely pile of threads to play with now tho.
    the top one of orangey purples is lovely, as the old timers here say "i'd like a pup out of that". k.

  2. Hahahah kaite- I haven't heard that expression. Would you like me to send you some? G.

  3. i save all my threads from washing and use them in collages and fabric cards. i don't have many these days because before washing, i fold the fabric in quarters and just snip the 2 raw edge sides with a pinking shears. works like a charm.

  4. i snip around the edges. about 1/4" in. with a sharp scissor first, makes lint rather than tangled long threads. and nice fringe

  5. What a wonderful pile of inspiration! It makes me want to go to the fabric store. I'll keep myself from that for now... I have plenty of started cloths to work on. Now, I might want to go get some more floss... there's always room for floss!

    ;~) Debi

  6. hmmmmm. thinking.
    you are right, about the pleasure, i DO
    know that pleasure, but i think i need to
    stick to the thrift shop/op shop.
    what i'd like to do is learn to redye them
    and/or color what i do with my own hand.
    i like very much though, your words about
    this...very nice for me. thanks....

  7. Hi Gilly; I think I do the same as Jude. At each corner of the cloth I snip at a 45% angle about a quarter of an inch triangle.

  8. hi Gilly, the expression came from the old farmers who were always on the lookout for good working dogs, our famous kelpies. and no, you keep it but thankyou. k.

  9. Makes good stuffing too. Like the colors you've chosen.

  10. Love the brown and purple .. on the top of your pile .. I was so excited this week to find a wonderful piece of batik in a rich red and orangish color. I love to find fabric at the thrift store. I dyed some quilting that was discarded in the thrift store. It now has a lovely pink shade overall... maybe i'll post some images soon. Too much going on right now .. but love looking at your goings on. :)

  11. i snip at a 45 degree angle at each corner... it eliminates the treads so no tangles... it was a long while before i learned this!

  12. Thankyou all very much. I tried the snipping but not cutting the ends. Next time I will definely cut the ends. I can see how it would help. Gilly