Where the Curated Fabric Collection Began

So where did my collection of textiles come from you might ask? It runs deep in my bloodline. I’ve heard stories about how fabric took precedence over my Grandma’s clothing. Heard her dresser drawers were over flowing with textiles, rather than the latest fashion off the store rack. My mom on the other hand, was more of a functional textile lover. She had an appreciation for the intended use of the fabric and was not intimidated to cut into a new piece. She had confidence in her sewing ability to alter and tailor to perfection and only purchased fabric for projects she would complete. I only remember three drawers of fabric in her sewing room, and if my memory serves me right, it was mostly remnants left over from completed projects. Her notion drawer, on the other hand, had a different story. Busting at the seams with elegant trims and laces of various shades of white and cream. That was her candy.

My love for fabric falls on the extreme side of my grandma’s appreciation for fabric verses the practical side of my mom. My fascination for fabric is in the beauty the textile holds and what it can inspire inside. The aesthetics of a neatly folded pile of fabric that is coordinated by color and texture is good enough for me to consider home décor. I’ll display pieces of well-woven fabric that seems too beautiful to cut and just admire it for what it is while envisioning the potential project. The options are endless and the ideas flow, but it’s at this point the piece gets held up in the inspiration phase. Cause we all know that there is no turning back after cutting into a new piece of fabric. If the project does not turn out, it’s just another project sitting in the drawer half finished. So lets just say some of my textiles have not met their moment of full inspiration just yet 😉

There are really three parts to the creative process. First there is inspiration, then there is the execution, and finally there is the release. -Eddie Van Halen

My collection of fabric started with the inheritance of fabric from my mom and my grandma. It continued to grow, as I would use the purchase of fabric as a reward system to get me through my university years. I would often find myself gallivanting through local thrift stores in rural Manitoba searching for treasures or picking up a few meters here and there while on vacation as a souvenir. The collection, however, did not take on its true form until I stepped into a local fabric warehouse located here in Winnipeg. For eight years I worked at the warehouse while working other jobs on the side. I maintained sanity in life by feeding my internal yearning for fabric (and creativity). Portions of the 40,000 sq. ft. space were stocked with regular re-orderables, but the majority of the space was a collection of unique, one-of-a-kind pieces of fabric. Last season’s remnants where often purchased in bulk from warehouses in the Montreal Fabric district, or from local clothing manufacturers here in Winnipeg. If a manufacturer would go bankrupt, there was a high probability that new and unique fabrics would start showing up by the pallet full and it was my responsibility to organize them and put them out on the floor. It was like Christmas every day! So needless to say working there gave me access to unique, sometimes vintage, quality fabric at an extreme discounted price. It was only natural that the love of a bargain, along with the ability fabric has to inspire me, that I would accumulate a ‘few’ meters of fabric. My sewing machine could not keep up with the ideas my head was creating!

Creativity is just connecting things. When you ask creative people how they did something, they feel a little guilty because they didn’t really do it, they just saw something. It seemed obvious to them after a while. That’s because they were able to connect experiences they’ve had and synthesize new things.         -Steve Jobs

I still have a lot of residual projects lingering in my head that want to be created. But I will have to admit, my collection of fabric has gotten past the point that I can remember what I initially intended the fabric to be used for. I’m to the point that I have created a fully self-sustainable sewing room, where the simple act of browsing through my curated collection of textiles can stir inspiration. And this is my place of happiness 🙂

Thought Provoker: What do you collect? Why do you collect and how does it make you feel?

Next Blog Entry: The Evolution of my Creative Space (Projected posting date of February 5 )

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Source of Inspiration: I’ve been finding inspiration in the pod casts by Jennifer E. Snyder called ‘Creating Your Own Path’. She interviews people living creative lives and the journey they have taken to get there. Choose any episode and be sure that you will be inspired! Great listening for while you are working on your creative projects. Enjoy! http://www.jenniferesnyder.com/creatingyourownpath/#about-cyop

Collection Posting: This week I have posted a collection of five aprons. Inspired by our summer road trip to the east coast, I put together durable canvas and denim aprons. Influenced by the hardworking fishermen of the Atlantic coast, the historical buildings of Lunenburg, and the landscape of Nova Scotia. These aprons can function as a stylish yet practical addition to anyone’s creative endeavor. From the kitchen to the BBQ, in the wood working shop or while painting. Aprons are adult unisex. (While playing around with fabric options for this project I came across a sticker on the back of one of the colored denims. It was the specs for the fabric and it stated it was made in the USA in 1983. I like finding things like this. Tells me it’s a vintage, unique, one of a kind find. (Smile). Click on the ‘Collection’ link on top of the page to see the aprons in detail.

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