Thrift Shop Adventures

Awesome $3 Thrift Shop Find

Happy Monday, can you believe it is day 22 of daily blogging in October as part of my 5th blog anniversary celebration? Thanks so much to those of you who have been finding time each day to read my ramblings! Later this week I will do a post about my 5 years of blogging and then introduce the five giveaways to celebrate the tierneycreates blog anniversary!

This post I want to share an amazing $3 thrift shop find – a collection of beautiful high-end silk and premium fabric drapery samples.

The Giant Bag of “Upholstery Fabric”

Saturday I dropped off some donations at our local Humane Society Thrift Store. As long as I was there, I thought I would peek in and see what they had in the craft section. I found a large bag marked upholstery fabric for $3. I do not need more upholstery fabric in my life but I noticed some very nice looking pieces peeking through the pile of upholstery fabric.

Here is the bag when I got it home:

Giant heavy bag of fabric

Unpacking it, I first discovered some very cool textured upholstery weight fabric:

Look at that texture!

Then to my surprise, under this fabric, was a collection of 4 large drapery swatches:


I was blown away with the beauty of the fabrics and removed the heavy duty staples and cardboard legend of the samples from the top of the swatch books.

The photos do not do the fabric swatches justice but here are photos of the fabric swatches after the individual samples were separated:


Here are some close ups of some of my favorites (though it was difficult to choose favorites):


Here is the whole stack:


Yes, are you thinking what I am thinking? Some of these fabrics will work in the piece I have simmering on my large design wall in the hallway (see post Whatโ€™s Simmering on the Designย Wall):

2018-10-14_10-46-03_866I need to focus on preparing for the quilt retreat I am attending later this week, so I am not going to play with the new fabrics and the design wall right now but it is something fun to look forward to add more to the “simmering”!

Did Not Keep It All

I did not keep all the fabric – a third of the larger pieces were not my style, so I put them back into the bag and I am going to donate them back to the thrift shop to sell again!


I think I got my money’s worth for $3!

I’ve posted about thrift shop finds over the past 5 years and I’ve created a new blog category in case you like to check those posts out – Thrift Shop Adventures.


If you would like to see what beautiful and amazing textile art can be made from upholstery/home decor fabric swatches and samples, check out the art of Dianne Browning, a member of the SAQA art quilting group I belong – Art Quilts by Dianne Browning (

Check out her website and here is one of her amazing pieces made with home decor fabric swatches – Crossroads:

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Crossroads by Dianne Browning



28 thoughts on “Awesome $3 Thrift Shop Find”

    1. The photo images on Dianne’s blog do not capture how beautiful the pieces are in person. She uses textured and embroidered home decor samples in amazing ways that make you think she actually did the embroidery and so she pieces look extremely complex when they are not as complex as they look as she is brilliantly using what is already present in the samples.

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    1. You know that is a great idea, I am thinking about it. Not all the leftovers as many are quite hideous and it would be very heavy to ship – but there is a really pretty large piece that just doesn’t work for me….we’ll see ๐Ÿ™‚


  1. Wow, Tierney! This was a great thrift store find…all those textures and colors…can’t wait to see what you do with them! I’ve got a stash of fabrics to donate to a thrift store near me and plan to donate them this week. Thanks for inspiring me to share my bounty with others.

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  2. Wow! What a find! I had some pieces of fabric my mom and I weren’t using and made a bunch of grab bags then tried to sell them for $5 each (for about 2 pounds of fabric), but none ever sold. Maybe I’ll look into donating them somewhere.

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  3. A bag of fun! I just put a bag of upholstery fabric into a local charity (thrift to you) shop, sadly a long way from you. I have been known to pick up remnants etc and keep them for years before regifting them or passing them on. I have way too much fabric and yarn in my stash to ever use up. Love the idea of doing more than just turning them into cushions, doorstops, etc, which was my usual path.


  4. I have tons of those awesome fabric samples too — one day I saw some swatch books in a dumpster and asked the business owner if I could take them instead. And then later she called me and gave me a dozen more sample books! So difficult to take apart, but the fabrics are incredible, so many elaborate techniques in each piece. I am planning to make gift bags out of the samples, but I had never really thought about quilting with them, so I am grateful for your link to the work of Dianne Browning too.
    Also, I have tile guys downstairs this morning, so I am up in my sewing room staying out of the way — I have had a great morning reading about a month’s worth of your posts! Thank you!

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    1. I am honored to be the source of your reading today – and hopefully you didnโ€™t get too sleepy after all those posts!
      Oh my goodness you reached the Swatch book mecca – I loved that story! Plus you helped them recycle ๐Ÿ˜€


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