New Orleans House Project

Sunday, October 18, 2015

ATA: Alternative Textile Acquisition

As we all know, quilters never have enough fabric.  There's nothing better for the spirit and the stash than a trip to the Local Quilt Store or perusing fabrics online.  Those are pretty traditional methods for stash enhancement, but I've got another method that can be just as satisfying - maybe more so!  I'm talking about Alternative Textile Acquisition - the technique of sniffing out bargains and amazing finds at garage and estate sales, thrift shops, flea markets and even antique stores.

I recently went to a local estate sale and walked away with multiple yards of fun cotton fabric.






Plaids and stripes in 100% cotton are always useful.  Several of these shirts were still in the original packaging - never worn!  And, as they're mostly size 3 Extra Large, I walked away with yards of fabric for less than $10!

I always wash my estate sale finds in hot water before adding them to the plaids and stripes shirt stash.














The same estate sale also had a large selection of 100% cotton Hawaiian shirts.  Often this style of shirt is only found in blends (usually rayon), so I was pretty excited to find cotton.  Again, several of them were in unopened packages and all were size 3 Extra Large.

I've been saving ideas for quilts using Hawaiian-themed fabrics, as well as ideas for Hawaiian shirt memory quilts, so these were a great find for my stash.  If you want to see the prints a little closer, click on the picture for a better view.







I also had a lucky run with finding some vintage calendar and tea towels when I visited my mom in Florida last week.
The flower power calendar towel in the center was just too much fun to pass up!  I can see the dogs as the center of a medallion quilt with lots of bright curved piecing and maybe some orange peels for the borders.  No specific plans for the others - I just couldn't leave them behind after finding them.  The Holly Hobbie calendar on the top right is from 1976 - the American Bicentennial.  The bottom right towel is a Waverly print.  The chicks and bird houses on the bottom left look like they could've been printed last week.  And the blueberries on the top left are full of saturated color.

I think the joy of the hunt is what makes these so special.  It's not difficult to find vintage textiles via eBay & Etsy these days, but it's a lot more fun to track them down for yourself!


13 comments:

  1. Such a fun post. The shirts look great.

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  2. That was a wonderful romp in finding some very good deals. You have a lot of fabric there! Those tea towels are great. I just created a wallet with a tea towel I brought home from Ireland in June. It makes me smile every time I look at it.

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  3. Love love love! I'm extremely jealous of the hawaiin shirts!! I have two, and I'm looking out for more!!

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  4. So much fun! Lovely fabric additions.

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  5. You really lucked out on that spree! neat stuff--hugs, Julierose

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  6. I just found yardage of Hawaii fabric, that would be great either on the front or the back of that Hawaii shirt quilt you are planning. Send my your snail mail address, and I'll send it to you. I don't need it, I just thought is was fun (and cheap).

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  7. I am always willing to grab a great looking shirt at the second hand store--mix it into my fabrics.:) Looking forward to your next upcycled shirt quilt!

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  8. You won the jackpot with those shirts! Good for you for finding all cotton ones. I would be thrilled!

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  9. Looks like you will be busy with these down the road. Enjoy!

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  10. wow - you found a treasure trove of fun fabrics!!

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  11. OMG! Brilliant suggestion now that I am on the hunt for plaid. Also, if you need more Hawaiian fabric, I have plenty to share.

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