Thursday, January 31, 2013

Field Trip: Textile Fabrics With Alexia Abegg

Posted By on Thu, Jan 31, 2013 at 10:30 AM

I've had a longstanding fascination with quilts — Country Life readers might remember that last year's Gee's Bend exhibit at The Frist stoked my quilt-obsessed fire, and I signed myself up for a weekend-long quilting class under heavy metal quilter Ben Venom's tutelage. But when I discovered that one of my all-time favorite quilters Alexia Abegg had written an instructional book about quilting and sewing with Liberty fabrics, I knew that I had to graduate to Quilting 201. I called Alexia right away. She agreed to guide me through the process, and I'll be posting updates continually until my quilt is finished.

(Spoiler alert: Her book, Liberty Love, is fantastic, and I'll be writing a feature in the Scene about it in an upcoming issue. It's available at now, and also at Textile Fabrics, the scene of our recent field trip.)

Alexia worked at Textile Fabrics, the enormous fabric store that's been operating out of Nashville since the 1960s, when she was younger, so she was able to give me an insider's tour of the space. There's a section devoted to prints designed by Alexia's husband Rob Bancroft, a section of Japanese imports, a section of Dolly Parton-esque glitz, a wedding section that's stored inside an antique armoire, and on and on. The store is just off Franklin Pike in the Melrose neighborhood, and after an hour I had barely scratched the surface of its 10,000 square feet of space. Some of Textile's greatest hits are pictured after the jump.











I admired the Liberty prints, but kept my distance — they're out of the price range I had set for myself, but I'm hopeful that I'll be back to this section of the store after I've sharpened my skills.


I ended up settling on a couple African print fabrics with gold accents, and some neutral colors to balance it out. I'm aiming for a witchy Stevie Nicks vibe, with a luxe sort of softness and a few pops of red.


(Next up: An inspiration board filled with Gee's Bend log cabin designs, and I follow the first few steps in one of Alexia's Liberty Love patterns.)

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