Fabric Road Trip

So, when your favorite fabric store is having a rare 20% off everything sale, it’s been a typical yucky Ohio winter and you’re finally feeling a bit better after an unhealthy start to the new year—what’s a poor girl to do?   Well, grab her two quilting buddies and take off for the sale of course!!

Disclaimer:   Some of the information in this story may or may not be embellished and the names have been left out to protect the not so innocent!!

So, everyone in each of the households is settled and scheduled to go here and there and it’s finally time for the quilters to hop into a fabric wagon and head for the sale!  One of the three in the car on the way down says…”Ok you guys, I need your help, I’m only going down to get outta this winter funk and to get some inspiration.  You’re my friends and I’m trusting you to keep me from buying anything.  Or at least not very much.  Not anything.  Especially if it’s not to finish a current UFO (all you non-quilters..that’s quiltereze for UnFinished Object).  Not anything.  Or if it’s not the batik I can’t live without, or a blue I don’t have, or maybe some new 30’s/40’s print that is just out and hard to find.  Not anything.  Please, plleeeassse, puuhhllleeease help me behave.  Ok?”  “Ok!” said by the other two in unison.

The ride down was quick and safe despite the fact that January decided to send a sweet little icy snow dusting.  However, the conversation was lively and full of emotion.  The three hadn’t been together for at least, oh – I think a week!  Still, so much to say and so much to catch up on!  The three all admitted that they didn’t need this shopping trip for fabric, but the inspiration boost would be wonderful.  Especially since the three will be meeting up with quilting buddy number 4 in Cincinnati in just 11 short weeks for a huge Quilt Show extravaganza!

Upon arrival – SCORE – the coveted spot in front of the door, only two there as the main parking lot is on the other side of the second building.  Little did they know they would need it for their haul! Ha!

As the three enter the front door, they pause and gasp as they look around at all the new stuff within the beautiful walls of this store.  They become like zombies walking slowly inward not knowing which way to go to start this fondling event.  They become entranced by the smell and the colors and the feel of this magical stuff they call fabric.  Their eyes glaze over.  They have entered into the zone of “Uh Oh!!”

One by one they move into the room, each girl’s eye caught by something they must go fondle, smell and ooh and ahh over.  They get separated, but it’s ok – they are still in the same building and can help each other stick to the “not really buying anything plan”.  Yeah, right.

The marketing plan in this store is amazing.  They have set up a little spot where you can put down your bolt or bolts for some of us…cough, cough.  Then there is a little bean bag with the words “Still Shopping” embroidered on it so you can keep your stash from being put back away by the workers.  Marketing genius–hands free–more bolts!!  However, on this huge sale day – there is a pair of quilters who feel this little table is all for them to lay out their 10 bolts to plan a new quilt!  Really – you don’t see 30 plus other women in this store with arms full of fabric and no place to put them down?  Thanks for sharing!!  Did that stop any of the others?  Ha, no way and for sure not us by golly.  We have found the fabrics we have been looking for,  for eons and we ain’ta gonna put it down now and risk another quilter picking it up!  No way – no how!

So, it’s now time for fabric cutting.  All three have touched almost as much as they can considering they couldn’t always get down an aisle.  It’s been about three hours and it’s way past lunch time.  That’s got to be what happened. Yep, I’m sure of it.  They have had no nutrition since early this morning or even last night and they were weak and foggy without nourishment.  Because you start hearing them call off specific measurements for cuts of fabric without specific uses in mind from these cutting tables!   WHAT!!!  They’ve been had!  From one cutting table you hear…”1/4 yard from these three bolts, 1/2 yard of these two fabrics, I’ll take a yard each of all three of these.”   From another table…”I want a yard of each of these, aren’t they just beautiful, and I’ll have a 1/2 yard of these four fabrics, and I’ll have 3 yards of these—need for borders and sashings, ya know.”  And yet from the third table…”I would like 1/2 yard each of these four bolts, please, and a yard each from these three bolts, oh and make it 2 yards each from these three bolts – these are just lovely.  Actually, lovely enough just to fold and put on my shelf with the others I have at home – the hues are just amazing.”

Yeah, so as you can tell – the trance they walked into was strong enough for none of them to remember the plan—-Not Buy Anything.  Oh, and don’t you worry about the quilty girl from the top of the story begging for help to not buy anything.  Not anything.  She won the prize for the most spent.  It is, after all, the one and only big sale this shop does all year, you know.

And lest any of you think that the other two let her down (of course, if you’re not a quilter you may), you really need to learn to read between the lines and understand what any quilter really means when they ask for help not to buy anything.  Are you ready?  Here it is:

“Ok you guys, I need your help.  I’m in a no-good rotten funk from this nasty weather.  I need this trip to buy me some really pretty new fabric and please point me to some new patterns or books to buy to go with it to inspire me to make something with the fabric I am obviously going to buy.  I need you to be my friends and help me in this endeavor that will surely bring me to an endorphinic fabric high for enough time to make it to the Cincinnati Show in April which will, in fact, be about the time I will need you to yet once again be my friends.”

Now that, my friends, is what it’s all about to be true Quilting Buddies!

….and that’s all I’ve got to say about that!


One thought on “Fabric Road Trip

  1. Tammy, your writing is wonderful!! It does inspire me to laugh, smile, and think back. Thanks for the comments about thinking of something funny when thinking about a loved one…have had John on my mind a lot, and it does help to remind myself of all the funny times we had together when I am missing him so much. Also, thanks for the email you sent to me the same day you posted this…I really enjoyed it…just got it today actually but it still made me smile. You do have a way with words, and I have enjoyed reminiscing with you. Could actually picture the innertube…and the fabric story made me laugh…especially the part where you described the cutting part. hehe! Thanks, dear friend!! Looking forward to more! Love ya

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