Saturday, August 18, 2012

Fabric Nirvana - $6.50

Saturday morning I thought I'd died and gone to fabric heaven!  The day was refreshingly cool and cloudy as I headed to the annual Friends of the Robert Hillestad Gallery rummage sale, located just a few blocks from the International Quilt Study Center & Museum on the edge of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln East Campus.  I parked near the IQSC, and snapped this photo of a beautiful sculpture, Reverie, located outside the main entrance.

The Robert Hillestad Gallery is located on East Campus, and it hosts ever-changing displays of fiber art, fashion, and textiles:  It is named after textiles professor emeritus Robert Hillestad, a studio artist and design educator who taught at UNL from 1965-1996.  You can read more about Professor Hillestad in a monograph published in 2009, Robert Hillestad:  A Textiles Journey.  ISBN-10: 0974829544:

Because the annual Hillestad rummage sale, which includes top quality cast-offs from interior designers,yarn shops, fabric shops, quilt shops, and fabric addicts, always draws a huge crowd, the neighborhood decided to capitalize on all that pedestrian traffic by hosting 25 rummage sales!

I met up with my small quilt group buddies, and we began our Fiber Quest!  (Almost all the lawns in Lincoln look like this -- watering restrictions were imposed with $500 fines for violators due to the drought. My neighbor planted drought resistant buffalo grass, native to the prairie, and his may be the only green lawn in town.)

To say I was not disappointed in my quest is an understatement.  I had budgeted $10.00 --- and I came in under budget at $6.50!!

There was a HUGE tub of fabric swatches 8.5" or smaller that were being given away for FREE!!!  All of the fabrics shown above were FREE! FREE! FREE!  Most will be used to create cute little zipper pouches.

All of the fabrics pictured above (over 7 yards, I'm sure), I purchased for $5.50.  The photo cannot give you a true sense of the incredible texture of the swatches, or the subtle glimmer of the beautiful red and gold autumn leaves fabric--enough to make four Thanksgiving table runners, I think.

My final purchase:  4 swatch books for $1.00!!!  Yup.  Two bits a piece.  Linen, ultra suede, and cottons in a veritable rainbow of colors!!!  As the ultra suede swatch book cover says -- IRRESISTIBLE!

My little quilt group then retired to the nearby UNL Dairy Store ( for ice cream, show and tell, and conversation.  Yum!

Good friends.  Great fabric.  Bargains.  AND ice cream!  It just doesn't get much better than that!!

LeAnn aka pasqueflower


  1. Wow, that sounds like such a fun day! I would also be in heaven if I lived near something like that.

  2. What fun! And it looks as if you hit the jackpot! Just think of the cool things you can make from the swatch books! People will think you spent a fortune on expensive fabric!

  3. Good for you! I never come in under budget lol!

  4. Sounds like a very fun day! Congrats on the great finds!

  5. Love that sculpture!
    And what great buys! Love the 4/$1.00 swatch books!

  6. Wow, sounds like it was a great day! You got some great finds and ice cream, what a lucky lady. I love the sculpture.
    Everyday Inspired