Found Fabric: Home Decor Samples

It’s true. It helps to have friends who have friends. In my case, it helped that my friend Maria has a friend who is an upholstery shop owner.  Through the friend (twice removed), I was the recipient of some discontinued samples of home decor fabric; the samples range from 8 inches, 16 inches and 24 inches square, and they are beautiful!

Decor Fabric Samples

(discontinued long ago)

Liz Claiborne
You can see the black and white piece in the center, which became a pillow this week.  There is a sheer, embroidered piece on top, and the other two are 100% linen, with rayon embroidery; both have a Liz Claiborne label and a retail price tag of $47.50/yard.  Yikes. All are 16″ square.

Here are some images of the samples, some of which are on their way to become sewn items.  The above picture is a “staged” photo which shows the fabric in the best light.


I got tired of “staging” and piled the rest of the sample stash in the above photo.  You have to take my word for it when I refer to the beauty of these samples. They are high end silks, linens, rayons, cotton, cotton, polyester blends, and have the loveliest motifs.

I adore this set of two coordinating fabrics! The hula girl and hammock embroideries (both on poly/rayon) are just 3.5 inches and 4 inches high, respectively.  I’m thinking of making a large handbag to take on a summer vacation in 2018.

Labels With Specs


The samples all have labels and details on them. The one above gives you the distance between repeats of the motif; they’re meant for interior designers to help figure out yardage and motif placement on upholstery, drapery and such.

Sewn Up

Over the years, I’ve made just four items (three if you count the stockings as one project) with these pieces, and here they are. That’s not good enough; I should be sewing up more of the beautiful squares. More “little” home decor fabric things to come on this blog.

First, this star shaped pillow was made in the early 2000s – samples of coordinating rayon/polyester were used on each side, connected by a 4 inch band of crushed velvet. Its so old that the star is now looking like a floppy star-fish.  Look closely at the two fabrics; there’s a bee motif on one side and pineapples on the other side of the pillow! Elegantly whimsical…..

Christmas Stockings

Last year, I made a pair of lined Christmas stockings out of an upholstery sample with a musical instrument motif. Musical instruments are so “holiday” to me! The tops of the stockings are the same crushed velvet and piping as the star pillow. These were intended as gifts but no one received the stockings because I lagged behind. They still need a hanging loop. Do you think a tassel at the top may provide a finishing touch?  Ideas? I have more unfinished stockings waiting for Holidays 2017.

Moving on to 2017, this black and white pillow is the latest rendition of my use-the-home-decor-fabric-sample song. One cannot have too many pillows, right?  (A minimalist family member is very unhappy with that.)  The back of this pillow is deep, rich, black cotton velvet (garment velvet), which was originally purchased for a totally different project. That’s the thing with long held fabric stashes – the pieces can end up years later as a different item altogether.

What else can I make with these samples?  Ideas?

Sew up some pretty stuff, my friends; this world could use as much hand-made beauty as possible.


6 thoughts on “Found Fabric: Home Decor Samples

  1. For sure a tassel to hang the Christmas stockings! What about tote bags? Wine bags? Are enough coordinating to make an “elegant” patchwork throw? Garment details (collar/cuff/pocket – though I bet that might be a bit hard to make work!)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Nice ideas, Lynn! A patchwork throw never occurred to me. Hmm. I will consider that, although the samples are different weights.


    1. Hi Pat, maybe someone should start a blog dedicated to ideas for using decor fabric samples. Until someone does, I’ll keep coming up with ideas. Stay tuned!


    1. Thanks, Tomasa! Yes, I am very lucky.
      My creative thinking cap is always on these days, ever since I unearthed these samples from the stash.


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