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  1. #1
    Melanee is offline Member
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    Question Fabric Sample Books - question

    Hi all,
    I was given about 100 books (yes -tons) and there is very beautiful silks, pure cottons, cotton linen blends, linen.... I really would love to just make a silly top using these swatches. Paper covers the edges of many - glued on. What to do? Just use the noncovered part or what? As for washing, I'm thinking hand washing -- who knows how many people have touched it (am I OCD??)

    Anyone have experience with this? This is such ritzy fabric -- normally I wouldn't even dare look in books where fabric runs over 200 dollars a yard. I feel very much the need to use it (making 5 full size quilts right now anyway) -- but just need, desperately, some guidance. I don't know how much longer hubby will allow these stacks in my front room. I also have to figure out what to do with the lovely rayon/poly blends that are to die for. I had no idea such beautiful fabrics existed. WOW.
    HELP?????
    Melanee

    Well Behaved Women Seldom Make History - Laurel Thatcher Ulrich

  2. #2
    bakermom is online now Senior Member
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    Default Re: Fabric Sample Books - question

    DH's grandma used to get those samples from her work. She would sew them together and make comforters out of them. i don't remember her doing anything special with them as far as washing/handling.... they were a real mix too. I wonder if you did a cold water wash/soak before you begin would eliminate any surpises later. wish I could be more help.

  3. #3
    toggpine's Avatar toggpine is online now Senior Member
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    Default Re: Fabric Sample Books - question

    Hmm. I'd probably only use the parts that didn't have glue. Less work trying to figure out how to get the paper and the chemicals off of it! You can cut off all of the fabrics and sort them by fiber and store them in a plastic tote in less space than all of the books are taking up.

    As for washing, that sounds like a lot of hand work too. If you are going to do it, I'd go to the dollar store and get several of the mesh zipper bags. Place all of the the same kinds of fabric in the bag and wash them together. Then you don't have to worry about sorting them before you try to iron them all. Jill and I had been talking about sewing with silks and you are probably going to want an interfacing behind those to keep them from fraying while you handle them.
    I think you can mix together what ever fabrics you want. The Victorian ladies did it all the time with their crazy quilts.
    Good luck with your project!

  4. #4
    Sandy Navas's Avatar Sandy Navas is offline Senior Member
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    Default Re: Fabric Sample Books - question

    Melanee, I have quite a few stacks (not near as many as you) of these samples. I've used them in making crazy quilts, foundation or paper pieced pieces, knitting bags, needle holders, totes, and any other variety of items. I have an embroidery machine and make in-the-hoop tissue cases, coin purses, jewelry rolls, crayon keepers, cosmetic bags, you name it. A lot of the ones I have do have the paper around the edges, but some of it will peel off quite easily. Others are more difficult and I've tried soaking them off. Sometimes it works, and sometimes it doesn't. It just depends on the manufacturer.

    My sister also uses these samples and makes herself a different purse just about every month. They are beautiful and just imagine how unique. Not another one like it. I've also done a crazy quilt using men's neck ties - which can be a variety of fabric, and have washed my quilt with no problems. I'd say you have nothing to lose except a bit of thread and your time. Go for it!
    Before you criticize someone,
    Walk a mile in their shoes.
    That way you're a mile away
    And you'll have new shoes.

  5. #5
    Melanee is offline Member
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    Default Re: Fabric Sample Books - question

    I must say, you all have given me the confidence to press forward!! It is hard to tell how "soft" some of these will be after washing. I will be a learning experience. Never in my life have I worked with linen or ramie etc. And the silk...oh..so smooth. Most pieces will be at least 6 1/2" x 6" after cutting off the paper and staple holes.

    I really really am grateful for the feedback. I am disabled due to a virus damaging nerves and must limit what I can do each day because the muscles get worn out. I wish one of you were here to walk me through all these fabrics. It really is amazing how some of the poly/cotton blends are just absolutely amazing -- not like what one usually finds in a store.

    I better get to cleaning things up a bit for hubby dear. I'm sure my crafting drives him crazy, but he does know I'm not ever stepping out on him when I have soooo much wonderful fabric here No, he has the patience of a God. I won't give him up to nobody. Hey, when I was preg once (5 kids, full bedrest for 4) he even sewed receiving blankets! He learned to make bread, cookies -- who knows, I just might get him quilting one of these days

    Again, thank you. I am very grateful.
    Melanee

    Well Behaved Women Seldom Make History - Laurel Thatcher Ulrich

  6. #6
    Melanee is offline Member
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    Default Re: Fabric Sample Books - question

    I've been getting out the fabric (some is extremely beautiful) and the ones that are too heavy and so forth, it turns out they are perfect for professionals in OT/PT! Some children with sensory issues etc need those. She said she would take whatever I couldn't use.

    So, I feel very blessed to have found a great source for all the leftovers and thus no waste. Felt that I should share that with you.

    Have a great day!!
    Melanee

    Well Behaved Women Seldom Make History - Laurel Thatcher Ulrich

  7. #7
    GrammaBabs's Avatar GrammaBabs is online now Senior Member
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    Default Re: Fabric Sample Books - question

    i say... just "plug away" at these books until all the fabric is cut out........... i worked in home dec for years, and they gave me all the old books... i can't tell you how much i've used these pieces..... as soon as i got them,,, i would bring home... cut or tear out (box cutter works well)...........if the "paper" doesn't tear off nicely... cut around it... then stitch random.. to create "crazy patchwork" and make totes..... the larger pieces, can be small zip pouches... and yes , if you think you need to... wash... if you have a serger.. you could "chain piece" then thru on all sides.... although i never did.... if i can find the pics. i'll post some of the purses i've made my daughter... she get lots of comments on them... have fun... but pace yourself... i have RA... and am finding out about that part.... bj
    "Each day well-live and Happy;
    that's all there is to Life!"

  8. #8
    princessash is offline Junior Member
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    Default Re: Fabric Sample Books - question

    I have about 33 fabric sample books I am trying to get rid of for a dollar or two plus shipping. If any of you are interested please email me at Ashle18197@aol.com I have tried ebay but some just won't sell and i don't want to just throw them out.
    Last edited by princessash; May 19th, 2011 at 07:15 PM.

  9. #9
    Melanee is offline Member
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    Default Re: Fabric Sample Books - question

    If you can't find anyone, do remember that OT/PT people always are underpaid and deserve love and support for all that they do for children. I've always been super impressed with the work they do for such a low income. Often the facility doesn't provide them with much for "materials." When I dropped off the first pile with rug/heavy upholstery fabric, they immediately sent out the info to each other on it. It was like I brought Christmas. I still have many to go through and pull colors/cottons for me that are smooth and then the rest is for them. So, if you aren't wanting some of those cottons/upholstery fabric, and no one wants them for the shipping..... People might also want to know what kind of fabrics you have in your fabric sample books. Some are all polyester. Some are rayon/poly, cotton/poly, rayon/cotton/.... For me, for example, the heavy upholstery material is not very useful. I have some for the cats to scratch on and the rest, to this point, was donated. Hope that helps you -- all of you.
    Melanee

    Well Behaved Women Seldom Make History - Laurel Thatcher Ulrich

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