Sunday, January 5, 2014

Bay Area Treasure Trove

Whenever I get a chance to visit a city/town I usually google (or ask fellow bloggers) and try to find out if there are any unusual fabric places around. This time it was no different. I happen to be in the Bay area this winter and found myself in this warehouse store in Mountain View.
Fabrics that would usually be thrown in the trash get collected by dedicated volunteers, sorted and offered to the public for a nominal donation. It opens to the public on a particular day each month.
Fortunately in December 2013 I happened to be in the area and quickly made an appointment for a 45 minute time slot. It was not difficult to find the place. The door opens to a parking lot and there is a sign in front. A volunteer greeted us at the front door and tallied our name against her appointment list. The whole idea is to limit people so the place does not get unusually crowded, yet give everybody a chance to shop. We bought some curtain material by the yard ($2.00) flat rate, and collected a bag full of other smaller pieces which were mostly designer upholstery pieces.
I also found some embroidery books and vintage patterns to add to my bag.
Lots of goodies!

Years ago one summer in Oklahoma a much younger me with a younger husband and younger kids had hand stitched this pillowcase and sheet sets in shades of blue. It was a wonderful summer filled with wonderful memories. Nostalgia took over me and I just couldn't help myself grabbing the book! Just another excuse to hoard!

There were also floor tiles and wallpapers. As I was sorting through the huge pile of fabrics I was thinking that one has to be quite creative to reuse these miscellaneous assortment of fabrics. And many crafty people are actually doing so. I missed this years boutique where local artisans showcased their art using the materials from fabmo. Visit their website to find out about their wonderful workshops. This whole idea is so intriguing and innovative and it makes me wonder why more of these green projects have not become more popular. I guess this is because it is a totally volunteer driven organization that requires a lot of work and passion.

The other place of interest is Lacis. Over the years I had ordered some European magazines from this place by mail order and I was aware of their online store. What I was not aware was that they actually have a retail store in Berkeley and a lace museum that has centuries of laces as far back as  the 1500's!

Mr. Jules was an inspirational orator who gave us a tour of the lace museum.  My point of interest was the Richelieu magazines and the transfers. I wanted to hold the books in my hand and browse through them! The book collection is huge - anything and everything related to textiles, needlework, needle technique, costumes and designs.

The book alley
Of course I came home with 3 cut work magazines - I love cut work. It is just too difficult and expensive to get a direct subscription from Italy.

My stash!
A lot has been written about this cutwork by Jeanine in her 'Italian Needlework' blog. With the permission of the store I have tried to captured some a glimpse of this place with our IPhone.

Inside the store
More pictures of the store.

If you ever get the chance to visit Berkeley, it is an interesting place to check out!