Fabric Fantasy

A friend of mine who’s an interior designer told me about a fabric store that she said I just HAD to check out because I would love it.  So a few days ago, on a rainy Saturday, I headed to the fabric and trimmings warehouse of SR Harris in Brooklyn Park, Minnesota.

Quite frankly, it’s overwhelming.  There are thousands?  hundreds of thousands? of bolts of fabric there – fabric for quilting, for sewing, for high-fashion design, for upholstery, for anything your imagination can come up with.  I had my handy iPhone with me, so I could snap my favorite (there were many).

rolls (and rows) of fun

just a few of the seemingly limitless choices

don’t forget your leather hides! (and there were 10 more barrels on another wall)

Bright rosettes for a full skirt.

I call this fabric ‘exuberant cats’.

How fantastic is this outdoor fabric? It’s plastic, so it would be perfect for a picnic or a table you want to leave outside all summer. SO much better than the awful patterns they sell in every neighborhood home store in France!

A map of New Orleans circa 1798. My boyfriend (a NOLA native) would adore this. Maybe I can make him a pillow or two out of the fabric?

As it turns out, a few themes emerged from my top picks:

(1) Japanese/geisha/Chinoiserie ~

Japanese geisha. I’m thinking of using the black & white fabric (right) to cover a folding screen.

vibrant, delicate Japanese motifs

Dark blue ‘Chinoiserie’ on brilliant white. I would have snapped this up if the blue were lighter…

(2) Toile ~

Who would have guessed that I’d be so drawn to toile?  Not me!  I mean, I lived in Jouy, the birthplace of toile (toile’s full name is Toile de Jouy, and couldn’t stand all of the toile curtains, upholstered furniture and knickknacks on display.  Apparently I prefer toile patterns in bold, modern colors (no beige and rust red here!)

Bright colors, country scenes – a fab combo.

This is actually a toile with Japanese-sketched characters on it. Toile + Japanese, a 2-for-1!

A ‘classic’ toile, but in updated colors – I adore pink, red & white together.

Subtle lavender.

(3) Blue + white (with or without florals) ~

Yellow + white + blue, a favorite of the Swedes.

Blue semi-paisley/semi-floral + white

A modern Scandinavian pick.

Blue and white floral with a Hawaiian vibe.

Great, basic look for outdoor furniture.

‘Homespun’ is its name. It’s basic and the one that I bought. I’m going to use it to cover an ottoman that will sit next to a wild, floral patterned chair, so it had to be simple.

If you’re in the Twin Cities, and are looking for your own fabric/trimmings/leather adventure, head to SR Harris.

2 tips before you head out there:

1) Go to SR Harris’ website and print out the coupons.  Although SR Harris’ prices are always 50% off regular fabric store prices, you can bag even more savings by using the coupons!

2) Give yourself plenty of time.  It will take you at least an hour to get the ‘lay of the land’ at this warehouse of goodies.  The prices and selection are great, but if you’re looking for cotton fabric, for example, you’ll have eight rows of it to work your way through to find your favorites.

À demain,


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