The Kindness of Strangers

Every once in a while someone emails me about a collection of fabric, buttons, or trims that they want to get rid of. They find me on the internet and think my studio would make a good home for their rejects. Last summer it was a woman in Arizona whose linen closet was overflowing and wanted to weed out her less favorite things to make room for some new ones. All she wanted in exchange was for me to make a custom pillow from a piece of embroidery that she sent me and to chose a second one from my website. No problem! I got some very nice things in return.

I received an email from a man in Wisconsin late last winter about some boxes full of stuff that he wanted to sell. It took him until a month ago to send me swatches of the fabrics and he’s still working on the buttons and other things, but he had some really nice fabrics and good prices. So I bought a bunch of stuff.

When the mail carrier drives her truck up my driveway and honks her horn I know I’ve got packages—and there were two today. One full of lace trims, the other with fabrics. I also got an envelope with more swatches—he found another box! I’ll probably resell the lace because I don’t use it in my work, but there are some lovely larger pieces that may work for sachets. Some of the fabrics are gorgeous—bark cloth and cotton prints from the 50s. Others are polyester and I’m not sure why I didn’t catch that in the swatches. That’s OK. When it comes to fabric there’s always someone who likes what you don’t and vice versa.

What’s a post without pictures, so here are some of my “new” fabrics fresh from their box. Tomorrow they’ll get washed and hung outside in the sun to dry.

I'm not sure this is real barkcloth because it doesn't have the texture, but it has big flowers like you'd find on barkcloth.

Again, no texture, but flowers like barkcloth

1950s swirly turquoise and brown on dark pink

This was hard to photograph because it's really sheer so it's not really this faded. I think I'll need to back it with black if I use it for pillows.

Last but not least, black line sketchy drawings of flowers on a coral background

Is it terrible to love fabric this much? Now, where did I put those new swatches?


Kate said...

I love that black one with the birds - it is quite dramatic.

Getting parcels in the post is pretty near to being the most exciting thing that can happen when you are at home of a weekday. Especially if you don't know what it is you are going to get!

Lauren said...

What great fabrics. It also love the black one. Really neat.