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Just One Thing…

I walked into the fabric store yesterday with the intention of just picking up some purple fabric to complete a custom order. But then, of course, they were having a sale, and there were some great things in the remnants pile, and those little owls were calling my name, and and…

New Fabric
New Fabric (+ one kitty paw)

And I walked out of the store with a stack of new fabric.

When Roo saw me getting ready to take a picture of the pile of fabric, he hurried over to help me style it. Hence the errant paw. If he had his way, I don’t think there would be a stack of fabric or photo untended by him.

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Favorite Fabrics of 2009

True Up, my favorite blog about fabric, has launched a meme inviting readers to share their favorite fabrics of 2009. There was so much good fabric in 2009, I’m glad True Up kept it all nicely archived to make my job easier. So here are 10 of my favorite fabrics (and related things) of 2009:

1. Favorite Organic Print or Collection

My favorite organic collection was definitely My Happy Garden from Cloud 9 Fabrics. I love this fabric collection not only because the prints are beautiful (love those puffy white clouds floating in a blue sky!), but also because of the story behind the fabric. Cloud 9 Fabrics (and the My Happy Garden Collection) are the children of one of my long-time go-to blog reads, Cicada Daydream. It’s exciting to be able to follow along with an blog friend as she begins an exciting new business and launches a lovely new fabric line.

2. Favorite Fabric Shop

My favorite fabric shop of 2009 isn’t even online, which breaks my heart, but is totally in keeping with the vibe of the shop. The shop is Treadle, in Bloomington, Illinois. Walking in to Treadle is like walking into my grandmother’s basement. The entire store is piled with so much wonderful fabric that it’s overwhelming. All the fabric muffles the sound in the store, so it’s easy to feel disconnected from the rest of the store as you wander down the aisles. It’s impossible to see everything in one trip. I’ve found traditional prints, vintage fabrics, and more modern designs all sharing space here. There are vintage trims and notions hidden in the back of the store, complete with vintage price stickers, suggesting they have been hidden in there since before they were vintage. Treadle is like a fabric-lover’s treasure chest! (Edited to add: It’s funny, I just stopped in at Re- and ended up talking with the owner there about how amazing Treadle is. She told me that they claim that if you ask for any specific fabric, they can take you right to it in the store. If that’s true, they are beyond incredible.)

3. Favorite Motif Trend

My favorite thematic trend of 2009 was the natural world. Many of my favorite fabrics focused on garden and avian imagery, including: the Shade Garden and My Happy Garden collections, Alexander Henry’s Fashion for Home, with it’s butterflies, birds, and ferns, Laura Gunn’s Lantern Bloom, and Erin McMorris’ Wildwood. So many beautiful outdoors prints, I bet they would come together beautifully in a quilt.

4. Favorite Overall Designer

My favorite overall designer of 2009 was Heather Bailey. I love her bold designs and color choices, in her old work and her new. Seriously, aren’t all of these fabrics gorgeous?

5. Favorite New Fabric You Worked With in 2009

OK, technically this one wasn’t released in 2009, but it was new to my hands in 2009. My favorite new fabric I worked with was Heather Ross’ Mendocino fabrics. The prints of mermaids, sea creatures, and kelp are marvelous, and the feel of the fabric is amazing. Considering that a large amount of the fabric I work with isn’t “designer,” getting my hands on some designer material and feeling the softness and the quality was a thrill.

6. Favorite Handprinted Fabric

Hands down, my favorite hand printed fabric comes from Australian designer Lara Cameron. Not just 2009, but in general, her hand printed fabric makes my heart go pitter-patter. Wouldn’t this Birch Forest in Robin’s Egg Blue print make amazing curtains? Of her 2009 work, my favorite print is Rooftops (in snow, on natural).

7. Favorite Novelty Print

My favorite novelty print of 2009 was this Princess and the Pea print from Heather Ross’ Far Far Away Collection. I always love Heather’s collections, and this one was no exception.

8. Favorite Quilting Weight Cotton Collection

Joel Dewberry’s Deer Valley was my favorite quilting weight cotton collection of 2009. It was a hard call to make between this one and Heather Bailey’s Nicey Jane, but in the end Deer Valley’s color palletes (Azure, Tarragon, and Persimmon) and excellent geometric prints gave it the edge. I love the combination of strong, straight lines and natural elements, like birds and (of course) deer. Within the collection, my favorite print is Antler Damask in Tarragon.

9. Favorite Fabric Company

My favorite fabric company of 2009 was definitely Free Spirit. I always love Free Spirit, but this year especially they were behind some of my favorite collections: Nicey Jane, Deer Valley, and Wildwood.

10. Favorite Digitally Printed Fabric

I have to say that I loved the Tetris Print designed by Jenny (with the help of a designer on Etsy) at Chronically Uncool and printed at Spoonflower. It’s a border print, so it translates into a really excellent dress.

So those are my favorites. What are yours? The instructions to play along are at True Up, or just check out some of the other lists people have shared!

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Vintage Sheets

A pretty pile of thrifted sheets

So maybe I’m a bit of a follower. I’ve been seeing projects involving vintage sheets pop up around the Internet. Oh, Fransson’s! Vintage Sheet Swap (flickr pool) and Rec Room Pillows, the Vintage Sheet flickr pool, this great wrap skirt at Supafine, Cluck Cluck Sew’s vintage sheet quilt, and lots of cool projects on Craftster.   I got it in my head that I needed to jump on this bandwagon. So last weekend I cleaned out the linen sections at both Goodwill and the Salvation Army and came home with this pretty pile. I think these sheets want to begin a new life of service as reusable grocery bags, don’t you?

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True Up Side Bet

You may have heard, Sew, Mama, Sew! hosted this massive May Giveaway Day. Lots of great blogs participated and I was amazed at the generosity of creative bloggers. So many amazing people were giving away amazing things. Quilts, patterns, supplies, bags, jewelry. So much goodness. Of course, I’m a sucker for giveaways and I entered a few with little expectation of winning. I’m not the luckiest girl around.

Kim at True Up was so suprised by how many people entered her giveaway for scrap bags that she decided to have a side bet on twitter (@trueup), and invited her followers to guess how many comments she would get by the end of the giveaway. I bet 833, and someone else bet 879, and apparently we were both exactly 23 comments away from the actual number she received. Which makes us both winners! Hooray for winning, and those scrap bags look fabulous. I can’t wait to see what sort of goodies are hiding in there.

This also gives me an excellent opportunity to mention True Up, which is a great blog about all things fabric. Just recently, I’ve learned all about silk and gotten a peek in the Quilt Market. True Up also regularly posts about US and international fabric shop sales, and it’s been great having all that information collected and neatly presented. It’s one of my regular blogs that I follow in my feed reader, and it you haven’t checked it out, I recommend you do so now.

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Black Friday Shopping at the Fabric Store

Fat Quarter Bundles

I stayed up too late last night. It was a stupid thing to do, and I’m not sure why I did it, but I did. I set my alarm for 6:30 this morning anyway, and it woke me up at 6:51. It’s nothing new for me to sleep through an alarm, but SciFi Man didn’t hear it go off at all. We must have been pretty tired after feasting on pot pie and homemade ice cream (which turned out wonderfully).

I got to the fabric store at 7:30 and it was already full of crazed women pawing through the flannels (at 99 cents a yard, it was a good deal. I still can’t figure out what they were going to do with so much flannel, though.) The awesome thing about the flannel sale, though, was that it kept everyone’s attention away from the quilter’s cotton, which is what I was after. I actually had some time to decide which fabrics I wanted, and good thing, because it took me awhile to match everything up. I got enough to make two queen size quilts (a Christmas present and a wedding gift) and probably a bit to spare. Everything I bought aside from two fat quarters was on sale, plus I had coupons, which satisfied the bargain hunter in me, and I bought so much fabric that they just left one of them on the bolt for me.

There was a long line to check out, but mostly everyone was nice and friendly. Except one snotty woman who stood behind me in line at the fabric counter and was apparently not content to simply eavesdrop on my conversation with the woman cutting my fabric. She had to add her commentary and snicker with her companion about how ridiculous I was to think I could make a quilt before Christmas. Too bad I won’t have an opportunity to let her know she’s wrong. I’ll share the finished product with you, though.

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Big City Fabric Shops

Light Brights and Secret Garden Card Wallets

I got out of town this past weekend to spend some much-needed time with a good friend, good food, and all the fabric the city has to offer. Living in a small town, my fabric options are limited to the local Jo-Ann’s, a lovely but pricey quilt shop, and a Hobby Lobby with a small fabric section. I managed to find some fun new fabrics that I think will make cute card wallets and some wool for a coat I’m going to start working on for winter (I’m going to try to make the pink one, but in gray). I’m still searching for some insulated-type batting to make oven mitts with, though. I also got a few card wallets done this past weekend. Two of them went to new homes with friends in St. Louis, and the rest should be going into the shop sometime today.

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A Happy Accident

Teeth Fabric

Chance brought me to Hobby Lobby tonight. I had dinner with a friend who asked me to make a bag for his aunt. I was on my way to check out fabrics (his requirements? “Something dark.”) and missed the turn to my usual place. So I figured I’d check out Hobby Lobby, since it was on my way. I usually don’t go there first because the fabric selection isn’t that large, but it was a good thing I stopped today, because I found the cutest fabric ever. Adorable little teeth and clouds (don’t ask me why you’d pair the two) on a purple background. This fabric really stood out at Hobby Lobby. It’s not their usual sort of fabric, at least where I live. And it was on sale, too. What a happy accident that I ended up there today!

The fabric is a great lesson in maintaining good oral hygiene, too, as you can see some of the unhappy looking teeth are missing pieces. Normally, teeth creep me out. Ask anyone who knows me, I’ve got teeth issues. I paid an extra $400 to be unconscious when my wisdom teeth were removed because I couldn’t handle the thought of being aware of that process while it was happening. But for some reason I can’t quite explain, I just love these little guys! Now, what does one make with teeth fabric?