If you’ve read my blog for a while, you know that I’m a huge fan of the Grandmother’s Fabric Sale. For good reason – all the fabric is donated, and so is super-cheap to buy (about $1.00/meter for regular fabrics, and $2.00/meter for fancy and home dec fabrics), plus the proceeds all go to a worthwhile charity.
Now.. if you go looking for something specific (tropical suit-weight cherry red worsted wool for example…) or need a specific measurement (4 meters) you’re going to be out of luck most likely. However if you want to add to your child-friendly quilting fabric collection, or want a pile of polar fleece, you’re in luck. A little digging and you can find a happy balance between the two too.
This year I wanted to get there two hours early. Doors opened at 2:30 p.m. on Friday, and I hoped to get there at 12:30 p.m…. but my ride was late and we didn’t get there until a little after 1:00 p.m. Well… an hour and a half early put us SUPER far back, though it was enough to get us in on the ‘first round’. Thank goodness! I brought a camp chair, a drink, and some nuts (but should have brought sunscreen too – I got burned!) plus a book to pass the time.
They only let so many people in at a time, so if you’re in the first batch (of 50?) you’ll get in when the doors open, but if you’re further back, you’ll creep forward as they let other people in. Next year I definitely want to try to get there earlier… though I heard some of the true keeners were there at 9:00 a.m.! Of course, you have NO idea how many spots the people ahead of you are holding for people who will come later…
As I mentioned in an earlier post, there are many cities across Alberta (and Canada) that participate in this sale. Usually they’re all on different days, so a real keener could go from city-to-city finding the best deals if they were up for a drive. This year multiple sales were all held on the same weekend though… so unlike previous years when I’ve been able to add the fabric sale into my trip to an SCA event, I only visited the Calgary sale this year.
Home Dec fabrics
I started off by going into the Home Dec room this year, and bought on my first round
- a small roll of a orange/gold and burgundy brocade – about 4 meters
- a small roll of “studded” silver PVC – about 3 meters
- and an amazing blue velvet with gold lion heads – about 1.5 meters
- a black upholstery sateen with woven in bees – about 1 meter
- On my second round I also picked up two lengths of black fabric with large red roses two pieces at approximately 3 meters each
Yep… I did two rounds. First I went through and paid, then dropped my purchases off with my friend who finished just before me… then went back in for another round. In previous years they let you back in again without waiting in line again… and they said they were going to do so this year to – but as I was paying I overheard someone saying that it wasn’t fair… since there were people still standing in line… So I opted not to take my chances since my friend was willing to wait for me.
After home decorating fabrics I headed to the 3 meter, 4 meter, and 5 meter long fabric tables. I bought
- Caramel brown herringbone twill – listed as 3+ meters
- White wool suiting. Yellow selvage says 100% worsted wool.- listed as 3 meters
- Tan with black windowpane plaid – one piece about 3 meters, another piece about 1.5 meters
- Brown herringbone twill – listed at 5 meters
- Greenish brown tropical weight 100% worsted wool – 5+ meters.
Next, I went into the fancy fabric section, and picked up:
- Black suiting – Selvage says “”Gerard de Villieres”” Online search suggests this is vintage and Italian – labeled as 2 meters
- Pink suiting/ lightweight jacket fabric-Listed at 1 meter
- Black suiting. Yellow selvage says 100% worseted wool -Listed at 2 meters
- Burgundy suiting. White selvage says 100% worsted wool. -Listed at 1 meter
- A roll (guessing 10-15 meters) of light tan silk noil
- Orange metallic-like shot red spandex swimwear – labelled 1 meter
- Yellow and gold devore-style sheer and velvet – narrow fabric, but about 3 meters.
Finally I went to the 1 and 2 meter long fabric tables, and picked up:
- A gorgeous green wool lightweight jacketing. – listed at 2 meters
- A diamond twill look knit in black and white. – listed at 2 meters (on round two)
Going into the building I picked up an inkle loom (though either it was damaged or it got damaged trying to carry it around, because when I got it home I saw damage. Hopefully I can fix it though!)
On my second round I picked up a big bag full of different crochet cotton balls ($1.00 for a grocery bag full!), some yarn which I HOPE is wool but is probably acrylic to try tablet weaving with, and a huge spool of hemp yarn…
I looked through the craft and notions rooms, and popped my head into the quilting room, but didn’t get anything from these rooms.
There was also a spinning wheel… which I was super tempted by – but it didn’t look entirely complete, and I wasn’t sure if I would be able to FIND the parts to get it up and working for me (or someone else).
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