Grandmothers’ Fabric Sale

I’ve mentioned the Ujamaa Grandmas Fabric Sale (to benefit the Stephen Lewis Foundation) a few times before (see links at the bottom of this post), and on April 20, 2013 I went again.  This time around, the sale was MUCH busier than I’ve ever seen it before.  Although I got there about 45 minutes before the doors were set to open, I was about twice as far from the front as I have been in the past when I got there only 30 minutes early.

I would have posted sooner, but the sale is over anyways…. and I have had so many other things to write about!

Lining up to get in

Lining up to get in

To the woman with the purple silk velvet…

Of course, with such a busy room, I should have tried to head straight for the most important area, but instead dawdled before I got to the “fancies” room.  Later, walking around I saw a woman with a whole role of dusty purple silk velvet walking around.  Is it any surprise that the thought of tackling her in the middle of the room and running off with the roll crossed my mind? Hehee (just kidding of course!)

I made my rounds through the fancies, the notions, the rolls in the back (sorely tempted by some lovely historical-recreation-appropriate red & gold fabric) and the main tables in the room.  I tried to get into the quilting room but it just wasn’t moving. I made one more stop past the fancies (not able to get in there either) before heading to the line up, only to find out that the line up wasn’t anywhere near the line up,  but instead was winding pretty much throughout the entire space.

The main area with tables of fabric - and a LOT of people!

The main area with tables of fabric – and a LOT of people!

They really should…..

When lined up (approximately 25 minutes!) some of the people in the line were complaining how silly it was for us to be taking up so much room to line up – and how we were blocking people who wanted to shop, and that we were also possibly a fire hazard. It felt that the room had just too many people in it.  My comment was that they should only let in so many people at a time… and of course as I was leaving I saw that was exactly what they were doing.  Even as I left, there was still a significant line up winding up the stairs and out onto the sidewalk outside.  Also outside was a news channel van; inside I’d seen their camera person, though he couldn’t get too far either!

My finds

Now, the Ujamaa Grandmas fabric sale isn’t like going to a fabric store.  Tables are in the main area mostly organized by quantity; how much yardage is there.  You buy the whole piece, but it’s for next to nothing.. (oooh, I’m even more jealous of that woman with the purple silk velvet…)  1-2 meters of a given fabric is $1.00, 2-3 meters is $2.00, 3-4 is $3.00 and 4+ meter pieces are $4.00.  All of that is for the piece, not per meter, so it works out to about $1.00 per meter – and that could be for denim, cotton shirting, knits, woolen suiting, coat fabric, etc.   The fabrics in the “fancies” room can be a little bit more, but not by much, so it’s worth checking out for sure.

In the regular room, I picked up some black and grey striped knit fabric.  I’ve been looking (without success) for this fabric at fabric stores for a while, and found it right away.  Hurrah!  Then into the fancies room I found another striped fabric, some latex-coated spandex, some embroidered satin, and some PVC.

fabric from the 2013 fabric sale

fabric from the 2013 fabric sale

  • A soft (probably acrylic) grey and black with sparkle stripe – I’ll probably make a long sweater out of this – approximately 4 meters for $5.00
  • The aforementioned black and grey stripe knit – I’ll likely make a hoodie out of this – approximately 2.5 metres for $2.00
  • Some botanical-inspired printed (silk? not sure, will need to test) velvet in greys and greyed-out purple, blue, rust – approximately 1.5 meters for $1.00
  • A lush grey rayon velvet – approximately 1 metre for $1.00
  • A beautiful gold-embroidered burgundy satin – I think this will work well with my burgundy and gold bedroom set – approximately 1.1 meters for $1.00
  • Dark silver latex-coated-spandex – I have some of this material already, but will add it to the stash… – approximately 1.1 meters for $1.00
  • Similarly, a light silver latex-coated-spandex – approximately 1.1 meters for $1.00
  • Two peices of gold latex-coated-spandex – one is only half a metre, and has cut-outs, so it will only be good for small pieces or trim, while the larger piece is about 1 metre.  This cost me $1.00 for both pieces.
  • A roll with three pieces of metallic bronze/purple with silver snakeskin printed PVC on it.  The first was 2.4 metres long by .7 meters wide, the second .4m long by 1.4 metres wide, and the third .85 meters long by 1.4 meters wide (1.4 meters being the printed material, not the entire material… there’s always a salvage on these pvc prints. The roll was $5.00, and I think that some of this will make an amazing bag – though I’ll likely end up donating the rest back next year (or the year after that… depending on how quickly I can work with this..   Who am I kidding.. maybe 2027…)
snakeskin pvc

snakeskin pvc

It was a fantastic sale, and I could have spent LOADS of more money if I had the patience, time, energy, and a partner to trade off with (“I’ll stand in line while you shop… then we’ll trade…”)  Oh.. and if I didn’t have the Calyx art show and lunch with a friend planned afterwards too!

If you head to the sale next year, what would you be looking for?

printed velvet

printed velvet

I feel like I’ve done this before…..

Read my 2011 post about the sale, where I picked up lots of red and gold fabrics, plus velvets and fun furs, plus a few amazing trims….

Or read my 2012 post, where I got a mis-mash of things ranging from silks to woolen coat fabric!

From the Grandmother’s blog post – they raised $28,500 at this one-day sale! wow! Want more photos of the sale? They also posted about it too.

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