Good morning Noreen! Are you dressed? Face on? Had your coffee? Feel like going for a spin?
Well, no. And no. Not yet....how soon?...where to? Puzzlement leaked through the phone. What was I up to?
It sometimes takes coaxing to get her out of her house. I know it's good for her to get out and, after she's been persuaded, she does too.
I need more border fabric, I told her. Nine yards - no kidding, nine yards - of backing. This quilt will cover a football field. Sale today at Nana's. How soon can you be ready?
She was still arguing with herself when I got there. Did she feel well enough to go gallivanting? Though still vacillating, she was dressed, spiffed and caffeinated. I took that as a yes and off we went.
Noreen is almost a decade older than me (and I'm getting up there!) She had a stroke a few years ago that put an end to her dancing days but she still has all her marbles, stays up with the latest in politics, world news and health care. Me? I'd rather hide under a bush, or in a quilt shop (as we were about to do) and hope that the politicians all sink into the oceans they don't seem to give a rat's hind quarters about and choke on all the plastic accumulating there.
Nana's was humming. Their sale was a fiftheenth anniversary celebration of their opening. It's a small, cozy quilt shop and I settled in to do some vacillating of my own. One of the biggest challenges in quilting, for me, is choosing the fabric. Especially when there is so much to choose from. But, miraculously, I found what I wanted in less than ten minutes. The quilt in question is in Kaffe Fassett fabrics which break all the rules I learned when first I started to quilt.
Light, medium and dark for starters. KF designs blithely ignore that one. Small, overall designs (think calico) was another. KF specialises in big, splashy florals. Suffice to say I'd been intimidated even contemplating such a quilt. But now I was one furlong from the finish line. No more vacillating. Nine yards please.
|That's it, behind pieces of the KF.|
It should calm things down
|Spotted in the restroom|
Can you read the sign?
Oh, I don't know if there's that much here, said the assistant, eyeing the bolt doubtfully. But I had counted folds and felt confident. Turns out there was eight and three quarters. I'll make it work!
Onwards to Quilted Twins for the yard and a half I needed for my last two borders. They were opening at one o'clock. We got there at twelve thirty and thought we'd have to kill half an hour - until we saw a light inside and "Open" on the door. The quilt gods were smiling on us. We had the store to ourselves - a bonus for Noreen - not having to navigate around crowds of intent fabric shoppers and risk falling.
Because they weren't busy yet we even chatted with Rachael, the woman who started the store with her twin sister,
She told us how the shop got started. Her sister was in Poland with her missionary husband. While the husband preached the gospel Becky saw the need for warm blankets in the freezing winters there and decided to make quilts. She asked Rachel, her twin, to send her fabric. Rachael's children were grown, she had the time, so she started hunting. And found that, though not a quilter herself, she loved selecting fabrics. Soon she had more fabric than even her sister could use so she started selling it on line. Some of her customers begged to be allowed to come and select fabrics in person. The rest is history. Quilted Twins is only open a few days a week. The other days Rachel and her staff are kept busy filling orders on line. And with Covid, anyone with half an inclination to quilt has moved into hundred percent mode so they stay busy.
I was elated. Not only had I found backing fabric that would work to calm my KF quilt, I'd got the last piece on the bolt of my border fabric. Noreen used to make beautiful quilts when first I knew her. She doesn't have the energy for it much anymore. But she did get fabric to make a baby quilt for her soon-to-be-born first great-grandchild. We were both happy as larks, but exhausted from spending all that money.
Off to The Green Door for a delicious lunch. Then home again, home again, jiggedy jig.
I called Noreen again this morning. She's still kicking. She took a nap when I dropped her off and is feeling no ill effects. It's good to have friends to go gallivanting with.