Monday, August 13, 2007

I have lots of fabric to show you today. Friday I decided to go shopping for, among other things, a new living room rug. The old one smelled worn and catty and didn't really match the new color scheme. There's a place in Reno that sells rugs, upholstery fabrics and miscellaneous household and sewing textiles (drapes, pillows, etc.) for huge discounts. So it was worth the 100 mile drive.

I did find a rug, which I haven't unrolled, so you'll have to wait to see it. I also found some matching draperies. But most of what I want to show you today I bought at another place, a textile warehouse called Mill Ends. It's in a huge building that used to be a U.S. Post Office regional distribution center, to give you an idea of the size of the thing. It's filled with all things textile and also carries foam and batting and other cushion supplies.

I used to go to Reno more frequently then I do now and I'd go to Mill Ends whenever did, to stock up on quilt store quality fabric for half to a quarter the price of a quilt shop. It was a good place to find fabric I needed in larger quantities for backings or borders. But I haven't been there for many years and I've never been there with the idea of buying anything but quilt fabric.

So it was quite a surprise to me to walk in there on Friday and discover that I'd been blind to 90% of the store's selection. With my head filled with thoughts of making curtains, slipcovers, upholstery fabric, and last but not least, fairy costumes, it was like stumbling into a dragon's lair full of treasures! (and just as expensive. I got great prices on everything but I'm still not gonna tell you how much I spent!)

Here's sort of an overview of most of my purchases. You can see I had a clear color scheme in mind. If you click on this photo (or any of the other photos) and open it up, you can see the textures, colors, and other details much better.

I bought this thick, soft, nubby cotton woven as a possible throw cover for my new couch. What do you think of it? If I'd thought it through better, I should have purchased double the amount I did so it would hang all the way down in the front and the back. I like it but I think I will go with my other option, below.

This is a soft but heavy upholstery fabric that I actually found at our local Walmart for $2 a yard. I bought all that there was because I loved it so and, at $2 a yard, figured eventually I'd figure out what to do with it. I'd assumed it wouldn't be enough for the loveseat so I hadn't even tried it but when I pulled it out to photograph for you all I was delighted to discover that, if I cut it in half and then sew the two pieces back together alongside each other (actually, I'll probably cut one piece into two yet again and sew them to either side of the larger piece to avoid a seam down the middle) it's just enough fabric to fit perfectly. While in Reno I bought a tall red metal floor lamp to fit behind the couch so I can use it as a reading spot, so it's a great match.

I found some quilting fabric while I was there.

It's really hard to tell how lovely these two fabrics are without seeing how soft and drapey they are. The brown floral is a big uneven piece but there's a solid uncut two yard in the center of it all. It would make a beautiful skirt or shawl or shirt. The stripe is a nubby raw silk. I didn't realize it was silk when I brought the bolt up and bought six yards of it for curtains at $6 a yard. At that price I just assumed it was a polyester. Now I'll probably save it for something else. Or maybe just go for it.

At the last minute I spied a box of these little roses and bought a few just in case they make the perfect addition to a fairy costume or collage piece.

I want to make several fairy costumes for next year's festival. The costume I've decided to work on for sure is of a Crow Fairy. I bought this lovely, long black feather boa to either wear or take apart and use as part of the wings and cap.

To get an idea of this fabric you need to know that you're looking through the fabric and seeing bits of pieces of sky and garden behind it. When there's no sun shining behind it, you can see that the dark green floral design part has a bit of a shimmery lighter green surface to it that matches the light green wall paint for the dining room and kitchen. This will be my new curtains for those rooms. I'll probably have to add a second rod of a heavier fabric, or alternately, a pull down shade, for the winter months.

The curtains I have in there now are actually cotton table cloth and napkins. They've hung up there for twelve years and I've liked them all this time. But they don't fit my new style change, so I'll take them down and use them for their original purpose and put up these softer floral curtains.

For some reason you can't tell how bright this fabric is. It's actually more of a lime green, not the mossy green the photo shows it as. You can just barely pick up the shimmers. I bought this to make a flouncy skirt, just because it will be fun to wear and also it might work for another fairy costume idea I'm rolling around in my head.

Speaking of fairies, look at adorable tulle I found! Y'know, I'm not sure if that's really what it is. It's not as flimsy as tulle usually is, it's a denser weave. Does anyone know what it's called? Regardless, it has the same crisp, flouncy appeal and POLKA-DOTS! I'm thinking my granddaughters will make adorable punky fairies in these middle three. If you can't tell, the most solid dots are the ones on the top of the fabric and the paler dots are the dots on other layers showing through. The smaller orange dotted tullle on the left I'm thinking of using for Halloween dolls of some sort. Ditto for the shiny, slippery polyester stripe on the right, although it might be a pain to cut and sew.

Hmmmm, somehow I missed taking a photo of another Halloween colored fabric, a rough cotton plaid in orange and green. The same green in the dining room, I bought enough to make a table cloth or maybe chair pads. If you click and open the first photo of all the fabrics, you can see a tiny corner of it peeking out on the left end of the fabrics lined up on the top of the couch.

Last but not least, I picked up this trio at JoAnn's. The black is a polar fleece with embroidered thread cherries on it. The spider webs are a cotton blanket weave. I like how one side is the reverse of the other side. And a small piece of the windy leaves quilt cotton. Oh, and you can see a tiny peek of the new rug, all rolled up behind. Well, the back of the rug anyway.

As you can see, I have my work cut out for me. But how can I not want to play with such an abundance of wonderful new fabrics!? I know! I should be in there sewing right now! Of course, I can't. But if this doesn't inspire me to dig out my studio and sewing machine again, I don't know what will.

Unfortunately, right now I'm in a stuck place again with putting the rooms back together. Between distractions, travel, and stuck places, this project seems neverending! I started unpacking books and organizing them in my new freestanding bookcases. The first bookcase went well. But the second one is "front heavy" and when I opened the glass doors to start putting books inside it, it tried to fall forward on me. NOT GOOD. If I can get it to not fall over long enough to lay the shelves back inside it and then get some books in it, I think it will stand up. Of course I need to open the glass doors in order to do that, and when I open the glass doors, it tries to fall over because there's nothing inside it. You can see the Catch-22 of this situation. I'd try coercing William into holding the bookshelf up while I tried to get some ballast in it but I'm afraid the bargain that I'd have to strike in order to get him to do it would be far more than I'm willing to pay.

It will need to have a bracket installed on the top, securing it to the wall to be safe. Both of the bookcases will, to be safe. It would only need a misplaced tug from one of us or the climbing of a grandchild to make a dangerous situation. The problem is that I can't bracket it to the wall because it's not against the wall, there's a unused old baseboard heater that holds it a few inches out. I want the heaters ripped out but I don't know how to do that safely. My son Sam would come do it for me but he's currently without a vehicle reliable enough to make it over the mountains, not to mention busy with his own jobs. So. What to do, what to do. For the time being maybe just stack the boxes of books over in the corner near the bookcase and move on with other decisions and tasks. That means tomorrow I should probably finish painting the living room ceiling. Bleh. Necessary. But bleh. Maybe I can talk hubby into painting...


Miss*Laurence said...

OMG! OMG and again! I thought I was the only one to come back with 30 yards of fabrics out of the shops!!! I absolutely LOVE the red upholstery withthe circles on it, in fact if you have any scrap left of that please please let me know I'll swap you with anything, I just can't get my eyes off it!
I'm also impressed with this amazing sofa you bought, it's got character to say the least, this is all fabulous!

Charity Grace said...

Isn't it fun to buy fabric?!

Thanks for visiting my blog, by the way...