Thursday, July 24, 2008

Mystery Fabric

As I look at the date of my last post, I can see that I have definitely been remiss about posting to my blog! Part of that is because I haven't been making anything new, but more about that in a bit.

Today I had to drive my son up to Fresno. Now it's about a 45 -60 minute drive, not to mention the price of gas. But, it is my son. And... there is a Hancock's in Fresno! I love Hancocks because it is the only fabric store in the area besides Jo Anns and quilt shops. I usually find a few things that I like at Hancocks, and today was no exception. Actually, I would have liked to have picked up a few more things, but I am really trying to pair down my stash, but it seems it keeps growing! Anyway, they had 3 big tables with everything 50% off. First, I found this poly/rayon blend linen-look. Hot Patterns is having their 3 for 2 sale this month and one of the patterns I bought is the Indespensible Dress. I think this fabric will work well, but they didn't have enough as the pattern called for. I think it will be fine because I am going to make it either sleeveless or with short sleeves. ( I also got the infamous Cosmopolitan Dress and the Riviera Pennant Blouse patterns.)

OK, here's the mystery:
I picked up this fabric and the bolt says 100% silky wool. The fabric has beautiful drape and is very soft. It feels like wool. But look at what is embroidered on the selvedge! "Donegal Linen Ireland" THis fabric does not feel like linen. I carried it around in the store and it was warm. It must be wool. Maybe its a "second" because they embroidered the wrong thing on the selvedge? Well, I don't know, but it was marked 5.95 a yard and I got it for 50% off of that! I bought all that was on the bolt, which was just under 3.5 yards. I should probably do a burn test, but I can never figure that thing out anyway. I 'll probably just cut a swatch and wash it and see what happens.

Another benefit of going to Fresno is Quilters Paradise. Actually, it's in Clovis, but, same thing. Even if you are not a quilter, they have a fabulous selection of wonderful cottons. Some of them have the silkiest hands. I love cotton clothing because it's so much cooler and comfortable to wear - plus easy to take care of. Although I love silk, it's just not all that practical for the classroom. I have to be able to throw most of my clothes into the wash, so cotton makes the grade for most of my warm-weather clothes.

Speaking of which, today I started making Simplicity 2938. I am making the blouse out of a cotton print I got when I was in Hawaii. This blouse is just the cutest simplest thing. I wanted to make a muslin, but was all out. I didn't have any "trash" fabric that I wanted to use. Then I remembered that I had some old sheets from my dad's house that I was going to give to my daughter. She never took them, so guess what?? That's right, I cut one of them up. I tell you what, though, sheets are not the best thing to do a muslin with. They are so tightly woven that it's hard to stick the pins in it! On the other hand, they don't ravel very much, so that's good. Well, I made the muslin for the top (ink marks on it, some seams sewn inside out) and it fits great. I've been wearing that dumb thing all evening! Anyway, my blouse should be finished tomorrow, so I'll be posting it then.

What I have been working on is finishing my quilt. I have all of the blocks sewn together and all I have left to do is the borders. I've changed my mind a couple of times on how I'm going to do them, so it's taking me a little longer than I wanted it to - but I think I'm really going to like how it will turn out.

As it turns out, I never used the pinwheel blocks in the quilt because I didn't like the background fabric. I'm sure they'll find their way into something else!


Little Hunting Creek said...

Wow, your quilt came out so pretty! And it's your first one? I love the colors

Elaray said...

Since you began your quilt, I've considered taking a class. Your quilt top is amazing. Hard to believe it's your first one. I bought a few fat quarters last week just to play around and I couldn't get my corners to meet. I heard somewhere it is difficult to get triangles to meet and the book I have is full of blocks with triangles. That's why I need to take a class!

Re: your mystery fabric (which looks beautiful) Maybe "Donegal Linen" is the name of the company that also produces wool.

Nancy Winningham said...

Actually, it's not my "first" quilt, but the first one in about 20 years. I did make a log cabin quilt for my son when he was a toddler (he still has it) from Eleanore Burn's book, Quilt in a Day. I also made a quilt top for my daughter when she was a baby. It is still unfinished and she is 20! I have learned a lot of little "tricks" even though I missed half of my class, so it was worth it. I was always afraid of triangles until I took this class. Also, it's MUCH easier to quilt with the strip method, rather than templates (almost all of the blocks on my quilt were started by cutting strips rather than templates.)

Anonymous said...

lovely quilt. On the fabric, did you crumple some of it in your hand to see how much it wrinkles, and if it keeps a fold? I find myself doing that alot, especially when I bolt says cotton, and I don't think there's much, if any cotton in it, and of course Donegal Linen would wrinkle like no tomorrow! I know Hancocks puts fabric on recycled bolts, so that could be the case, especially since you said it has drape. Whether it's 100 percent wool, or Donegal Linen, at $3/yd you got a fabulous bargain!

Nancy Winningham said...

Yes, I forgot to mention, this fabric doesn't seem to wrinkle. I crumpled it for a good 30 seconds and it came out perfectly.

Maureen said...

The quilt looks great Nancy!

And ditto on what Elaray said about Donegal Linen being the name of the company..I was thinking the same thing!

kbenco said...

I can see why you haven't been garment sewing, your quilt has so much work in it. It looks great.

Your fabric buying excursion sounds very familiar. I take my daughter on a 3 hour drive to the orthodontist, and we always come home with fabric, whether we need it or not! (Our theory is that we need it because it makes the drive so much easier :) )