Fabulous finds

Making the decision to avoid using new materials and equipment, as far as possible, has thrown up some interesting challenges over the years – some I’ve solved happily, some have gone the way of ‘interim solutions’ (with varying degrees of success) and occasionally I’ve had to cave in and buy something new to fill the gap.

But, equally, over time I’ve learnt to keep my eyes open for interesting pieces – supplies, equipment, reference material and fabrics – and to grab them when I see them. I’ve also turned into the sort of person who can’t resist a good old rummage through a charity shop, car boot sale, village fair and garage sale – you never know what you might turn up!

I was having a nosy around our local charity shop – actually looking for a butterdish, since our old one met an untimely end – when I happened across these two gorgeous art-deco-ish plates in my favourite colours. And, excitement! Two embroidery hoops – unused, still with their original tags on them! I couldn’t pass up on them …. something that’ll always come in useful – especially the super-big one, which will come in handy for quilting.

The village fair last weekend didn’t look too promising, but I can never resist browsing a second-hand book stall … and found this book on printmaking – for only 50p! Bargain! It’s a wonderful reference text – clear instructions on the techniques, beautifully illustrated, and with some gorgeous photos inside. I know that it will come in useful one day … I’m already turning over a few ideas 😉

And finally, tucked away in the corner of the bric-a-brac stall, a collection of discontinued designer fabric sample books. I’m still annoyed that someone else swooped and grabbed a gorgeous book of silks while I was gathering my treasure, but I’m pretty pleased with the four I managed to snaffle … some of the upholstery fabrics might prove to be too heavy for fine work, but I’m really pleased with the little book of linen squares. And at only £2 each, that’s a fair selection of fabric 🙂

What’s your favourite recent find? I’d love to hear about it!

6 responses to “Fabulous finds

  1. :blush: you’re very welcome 🙂

  2. It does, and I hopped over to have a look at that very pretty quilt – well done – you are an insipration, thank you:)

  3. It depends on the difference in weight … if you’ve got a mixture of very different weights, if you graduate the blocks in weight order, then you should come out alright in the end – if you’re doing hand-piecing with paper, the way I work, then you might need to make some of the pieces slightly smaller for the heavier weights to make them fit overall.

    I find that it doesn’t generally work if you have one fabric that is a lot heavier than the others … like in this block here – see the picture towards the end, and the heavy upholstery fabric just looks wrong – I ended up taking it out and replacing it with a lighter silk.


    But if you’ve got a mixture of different weights, and they’re not too vastly different, then it does work – the quilt below was worked from old baby clothes, so there’s a real mix of some very light, summery cottons with heavier velvets and corduroys – and overall it works – I think it’s just a matter of getting the balance right.


    Hope this helps? Have fun with your experiments … I’d love to see some of the results 🙂

  4. Thanks, I think so too. Can I ask a question? – if using recylced materials of slightly differing weight will it effect the outcome of the project. I have got a fair bit of material in the forms of shirts to curtains and wondered if I used them in one quilt I guess I would have to to wary that the heavier of cotton might not sit at flush?…I guess I just need to experiment a little. Car boots sound perfect, what a good idea.

  5. Aside from the environmental impact, quilting cottons can turn into an expensive habit!!

    Good luck with your hunting … you may need to be open minded, though, and kind of go with the flow of what’s available.
    Other places you could try are car boot sales, as people often use them as an opportunity to de-stash (sometimes whole hobbies go this way – I once picked up 200+ skeins of embroidery floss in every colour for a mere £5 at a car boot!). The other thing you could do is check your local fabric store and have a good old rummage in the remnants bin – often some nice end-of-roll pieces in there. It’s also worth looking in on your local soft-furnishings maker, as they’ll often have sample books that’d otherwise go to landfill. Happy hunting!

  6. Well done you! I have just had my first sharp lesson in the world of buying cotton fabrics for quilting – OMG – IT is soooo Expensive. I am now relenting and rethinking. Charity shop hunting it will be for now, wish me luck:)

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