Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Thrifty Acres - Quilt Fabric Rescue

Hello! Made a quick stop at a local thrift store to look at Christmas stuff - nothing caught my eye so I figured I'd check out the crafts section as long as I was there. Wasn't expecting much, though, since this particular thrift store doesn't usually carry much in the way of craft supplies that interest me. 

I almost missed the shoebox on the top shelf, with the words "quilt pieces - $5.00" scrawled across the top edge of the lid. More often than not, "quilt pieces" at this thrift store means polyester double knit squares, but I checked out the box anyway. 

Inside was what looked to be hundreds of fabric triangles, packed tightly into several sandwich-type bags. The triangles were made from squares folded over and stitched together. I could tell that at least some of the fabrics were older, and there certainly was a colorful assortment, so I bought the box. I felt it cried out to be rescued!

I sorted the pieces out by color, which may sound tedious, but it didn't take that long and I got to feast on the different patterns while doing so. Ended up with large bags of blues, reds, greens and browns and smaller bags of pinks, purples, oranges/yellows and blacks/grays.

Here's an example of a large bag:

 And here's a small bag:

I pulled out a few favorites to show off:

There were also some pieced sections in the shoebox, such as this:

The triangles have been sewed onto a piece of muslin to make a  21" x 7" section.

Fitted together differently, someone had come up with this:

I've folded this up on itself for picture-taking, as it measures 8' by 5". I wondered if someone had thought of using this as a muffler?

And there were a few pieced sections just waiting to be added on to:

I took apart one triangle and learned that it was made from a 4" fabric square with a piece of a light brushed cotton sandwiched inside. Each triangle is quilted around the edges and whipstitched shut on two sides. Unfortunately, while it's all handstitching, it was not done very neatly. 

Can't say I blame the would-be quilt maker, though - I estimated that over 800 triangles were packed into that shoebox. Must have taken forever to do all that handstitching!

I'm no fabric-dating expert, but I'd guess that most of the fabrics are from the 60's, with a few probably older than that and some newer. No, I don't like every fabric - there are some drab plaids and paisleys in there - but a lot of them are really cool. 

Not sure yet what I'll do with all these triangles, but will probably take them apart to use in craft projects. It was a fun purchase and I am very pleased with my rescue!



  1. Let's see if I can post a comment this way, it won't let me do so with my Google acct.

    You find the greatest stuff!!! I read back several posts and really enjoyed your photos from Pennsylvania. Keep this up!

  2. Thanks for stopping by, Libby! I enjoy doing this so continue to follow along when you have the time!