Saturday, August 14, 2021

Gallivanting for Fabric

Good morning Noreen! Are you dressed? Face on? Had your coffee? Feel like going for a spin? 

Well, no. And no. Not 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. 

And hungry.

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.


Susan Kane said...

Quilting...oh the fabrics and colors make me feel so happy. Your fabrics are enticing.

My hands gave up on me. Had surgery on the left hand back in Feb. Will have the 2nd in October. Maybe in Dec. Maybe. Keep the quilt info on your site?

Elephant's Child said...

That sounds like a WONDERFUL day. For both of you.
My hands have (for the moment) called it a day on sewing. I hope to be able to sneak up on them later.

gz said...

Fabric gallivanting,. bliss!!

Colette said...

What a beautiful day! I'm quite taken with Kaffe Fassett fabrics. If that is your quilt, it is stunning.

Wisewebwoman said...

It's yarn gallivanting for me. I love your fabrics and great that your friend could join you in your excursion.

I await your finished product!


Secret Agent Woman said...

Ah, that sounds like fun! I love gallivanting!

Thimbleanna said...

You're looking darling as always Miss Molly! Sound like you had a wonderful day. LOVE the quilt! NINE yards! That IS a big one -- can't wait to see it finished!!!

Pam said...

Goodness, you've suddenly leapt into life again.

I loved the post about your father. I've been thinking about my father recently, while trying to sort out his archives. He wasn't exactly one of nature's gentlemen - he was extremely clever and a war hero but could be very difficult - though he meant well and was kind in his way. Your relationship with your dad sounds much less complicated. How sad that you lost him so young.

Dee said...

Dear Molly, I so enjoyed taking the jaunt with you and Noreen. I have a number of quilting friends and they all talk about not being able to resist this material or that and having closets and rooms piled high with fabric that they hope will become a quilt--like a caterpillar and butterfly!--in the years to come.

And I so enjoy your vocabulary. It reflects mine in the sense that you use words that so we don't hear much any more. The one that tickled me the most was "spiffed"! Just love that. I hope you'll post about the finished quilt and let us see a photo--or more--of its finished glory. Peace.

molly said...

SK - Sorry to hear about your hands. I keep praying mine will hold up under the onslaught of RA. So far so good. Anytime you want help just shout! I'm gonna be quilting 'til I croak, both because I love it, because some family members that want one still don't have one, and because I have enough fabric to work my way through! Good luck in October.

EC - The joys of ageing - but at least we're still here!

gz - I tried all sorts of art with good and bad and sometimes terrible results. bUt when a friend introduced me to quilting I knew I'd found my 'paints!'

Colette - Yes, that's the quilt for youngest daughter. The biggest and loudest one I've ever made! KF, whether he holds himself responsible or not, has caused a lot of addicts!

WWW - I could easily have gone down the yarn rabbit hole too but knitting got squeezed out when I took up quilting...

SAW - It is and I think it's because people who open quilt shops are kindred spirits with their customers, all in what you might call a co-dependent relationship with fabric...

Anna-banana - Ah, flattery, it'll take you far! Sad to say, that photo's from about a decade ago. And they didn't have quite the nine yards so it was almost like making a whole 'nother quilt making an insert for the middle of the backing, but so much fun - while the house fell down around me. It's done now so off to the longarm lady it goes. I can't believe you did such a great job on quilting that wedding quilt on your home machine! Hats off to you!

Pam - been here for a while Pam.....preoccupied with quilting, but put the last stitch in least until I get to the binding. And yes, my children were cheated not to have know their grandfather.

Dee - I like that comparison! I have several more quilts in the caterpillar stage. One at a time, I hope to help them with their metamorphosis into beautiful butterflies! but I think my next project should be a small one. A king size quilt takes man-sized strength and determination to wrestle into being. I will for sure post about it when it's finished.