Somebody else’s work in progress

Yesterday, I popped into a charity (thrift/op) shop to pick up fabric to back my hexagon quilt.  Probably an area of most charity shops that I don’t rummage in, in the normal way. I’m now wondering why. Do I need to say that I came away with more than quilt backing fabric? Does anyone ever go into a charity shop and leave with just what is on their shopping list? Sometimes nothing. Sometimes more, but seldom the one item on their list.

I found dinosaur curtains for my dinosaur mad son. Up to yesterday, he had pink curtains with cats and birds on them. Left over from when his big sister had the room. He didn’t complain, but deep down, I knew that the tractors and diggers and homemade space ships lined up in front of his window were telling me something. Maybe time was right to change away from pink! Not on my shopping list, but at £4 I bought two curtains, which fit his window exactly. It’s not my favourite, but how my three year old loves them!

Then my eyes fell on one single, lined, unfinished curtain, which I knew would suit my bathroom window perfectly. Blue fish are difficult to resist. It only had the hem to finish, but everything else had been lovingly handstitched. The fabric felt lovely. Even the curtain rings were in place. We needed curtains. I knew it was longer than our window, so the hemming was going to need doing anyway, once I had chopped it to size. This was someone else’s work in progress.

It wasn’t until I got home that I found the Ralph Lauren brand name printed on the selvedge. I buy because I like something, not because of the brand, so it would not have influenced my purchase.  It did make me wonder why someone had stopped so near to the finish. I’m guessing that this is not a bargain fabric to buy in the shops. It probably wasn’t a frivolous purchase as time had been taken to make the curtains. I’m also guessing it is not a recent print. If the maker was a follower of fashion, maybe it became dated before she finished. Could it be a commissioned piece where the customer changed their mind. Not that I mind. Its mine now. Not on my shopping list, but so perfect for my bathroom.

Oh, and the price. Well it was steep. The curtain, with all the trimmings and the other edges stitched, was 66″ down by 48″ wide. The price tag was £2 (a bit over $3) . After cutting it down to size, I have 18″ left, which I plan to make cushions with. Can you hear that noise? Yep. That’s me doing a dance of joy!

Almost forgot I did get some fabric for the hexagon quilt (which was on my list). It’s a white duvet cover. I’m still “umming” and “ahhing” over whether I’ll use it. Otherwise it might just end up on our bed. As a duvet cover.

Will I be going back? Oh yes!

I’m not sure, I will be buying new linen and curtains ever again.

I’m linking this up to The Shabby Nest’s Frugal Friday.

10 thoughts on “Somebody else’s work in progress

    • Sunday 27 March, 2011 at 8:26 pm
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      Its a small bathroom, so the white is important. I love the touch of blue and what better than a fish! Apart from the print, the actual fabric is so lovely that I’m really looking forward to doing more sewing with it.

  • Sunday 27 March, 2011 at 3:37 pm
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    Shh don’t tell everybody! That is my favourite part of charity shops – it’s amazing what you can find!! What a great time you had, lots of goodies – my advice is to use the duvet cover quick or it will go on the bed and you will have an excuse to return to the shop and ….well thats what always happens to me anyway 😆

    • Sunday 27 March, 2011 at 8:17 pm
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      I have to say that I was amazed at how many good household pieces there were in a relatively small room. It would have been easy to come home loaded with good fabric, but I didn’t want to burden myself with too many of my own WIPs. I’ll take your advice and move fast on the duvet, otherwise it will end up in my airing cupboard doing nothing.

  • Sunday 27 March, 2011 at 10:22 pm
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    These are fantastic purchases, your little boy will be sooooo happy now. 😛 I usually go into op. shops just to look. Our shops tend to be a bit junky in comparison to what you have in the U.K. and the U.S. so I’m usually most envious when I see what you come home with.
    Have a lovely week,
    Anne xx

    • Monday 28 March, 2011 at 8:59 am
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      The charity shops in the UK have really upped the game in the last decade or so. Some are more like boutiques and a million miles from jumble sales. They have a corporate look that means, for example, they don’t take old clothes hangers anymore, as everything must look uniform. I suspect our “throw away” culture has also improved the quality of the items to be found in charity shops. Some shops are better than others. This shop is a favourite, as I usually come away with beautiful clothes. Not the height of fashion, hey, but I don’t care! Hope you have a great week.

  • Monday 28 March, 2011 at 1:54 am
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    OH YEAH! you done good 🙂 those fish curtains are awesome. Nice score for the dinosaur lover too.

    • Monday 28 March, 2011 at 9:03 am
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      He loves his curtains, although he wants to know why there is no pterodactyl on it. His other felted dinosaurs are there, but not that one. Never one to miss the chance to weave in a story, I’m having fun telling him more dinosaur stories to explain the absence. Maybe at some point I’ll add a pterodactyl. 🙂

  • Wednesday 30 March, 2011 at 1:29 am
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    Great finds! The fish fabric is gorgeous. Lucky you!

    • Wednesday 30 March, 2011 at 8:53 am
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      I was certainly lucky to find it. Right time, right place. It is absolutely perfect for its new window.

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