Hoarders and Kooks… My People.

Hoarders and Kooks… My People.

Did you know that the Salvation Army Greater Pittsburgh Women’s Auxiliary has an annual Fabric Fair?  No?  You should.  It’s huge and it’s amazing.

Hubby and I were out cruising on a beautiful spring Saturday earlier this year with no particular destination in mind.  We had just stopped for coffee when I saw the event pop up in my Facebook newsfeed and just like that, we had a destination.

Pile o’ remnants.  Just full of possibility.

It turns out that sauntering into this annual fabric fair on a whim with a coffee in your hand is not the best approach to fabric fair attendance. The shuttle stops with lines of determined looking ladies (and some gentlemen) clutching handfuls of empty bags and rolly-carts as we got close to the venue was my first clue.  When we arrived at the front of the building, we stared in awe as people filed out looking like beasts of burden loaded down with their new treasures.  I’ll be honest, I was judging.  Words like “hoarders” and “kooks” were flying around my mind.  Hubby, not surprisingly, decided to sit it out and dropped me off at the front door.  “I’ll give you a ring when I’m done; I shouldn’t be long,” I shouted over my shoulder as I hopped out.  Looking back, I think I could hear the collective eye-roll of the exiting fair-goers…

My jaw dropped as I entered the room. It was a hA-UUUGe rec room/gym filled to the brim. Signs all over the room shouted “Wool!  Silk!  Knit!  Notions!” Tables stacked high with fabric as far as my eyes could see.  I wandered around dumbstruck for a full 5 minutes before I dumped my coffee in the nearest trash can and set to work. 2 yards of emerald green, bright red, and blaze orange lining fabric for $1.25 ea.? Yes, please.  Zippers of all colors and lengths for $.25 ea.?  Thank you very much.  Patterned knits, pretty buttons, and silky satins? Yes, yes, and yes.

My arms were already quite full when I saw them…  Tables along the back of the room that weren’t getting much attention.  Tables piled high with upholstery, decorator, and tapestry samples and remnants.  All for, wait for it… $.25 per bundle.  WHAT??!!??  I dove headfirst into the piles, cursing myself for not bringing bags and a rolly-cart and forgetting all about my earlier judgements of the the kooks and hoarders.

A hour and a half later, I emerged. A beast of burden loaded with my new treasures, blinking in the sun.  My husband pulled up to the curb to retrieve me and helped me load the trunk, silently shaking his head.  I knew he was judging me, but I didn’t care.  All I could think about the possibility of what I could create with all of my finds and how amazing the fair was.  But also, how much more amazing it would have been if I’d been prepared.  I was already planning for next year.  Next year I’ll arrive early.  Next year I won’t carry in coffee. Next year I’ll bring bags and a cart.

See you next year, fellow hoarders and kooks!


These sweet little clutches are one of the many projects that were born from the remnant pile at the fabric fair!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *