Wednesday, December 01, 2010

Slice of Lime-Sew What?

Just prior to being hit by the plague I did accomplish something over the holiday weekend.
You may recall how I made my first quilt two years ago for Diana's graduation....ok, fine, I didn't actually finish it until 15 minutes before we drove her to college but the idea was there.  Well, Calypso is set to graduate this June so that means this Christmas she gets her fabric.  Last time, Mom and I went halvsies on the cost of fabric (it ain't cheap, lemme tell ya) since she is my quilting/sewing mentor (the woman has made more quilts during her lifetime than I think she can count and I recall playing under her frame as a child...quilt frames make the most awesome set up for blanket forts, by the way). We planned to split the cost again. Last time we had a hard time finding what I wanted in my area. This time Mom suggested we head closer to the Lancaster County area where fabric stores are plentiful, well stocked, and generally cheaper.

She had hoped we'd be able to find what we wanted at a Mennonite place that was selling flannel for a dollar a yard in October.   For the record, a dollar a yard is unbelievably cheap.  We arrived and their prices had increased to $2.49/yard, which is still crazy cheap considering the good quality of the fabric but the selection did not include the colors we were looking for.  I was able to get the batting layer for a great price though.

After I checked out I had to go looking for Mom, who had gotten talked fast to another lady making a coat.  they traded suggestions.  Mom gave altering tips and the other lady hipped us to another fabric place she was sure would have some things we'd like so everyone benefited.  Mom and I headed down the road and very nearly missed the place.  From the outside it looked very tiny and not at all promising.  From the inside it was completely amusing.


Floor to ceiling it was packed with bolts of cloth stacked in an disorganized, ominous, Jenga-like fashion.  It was pretty hilarious.  We were greeted in a friendly manner though and asked if we needed help.  We asked if they had flannel and where it might be.  The clerk directed us to the back corner of the store.


Here's mom squeezing sideways through the aisle.  We giggled the whole way to the back of the store, marveling over the stacks and wondering how anyone found anything.  Once we found the flannels we rooted through the skewed towers of bolts and found a few colors we thought might work.  The challenge was how to get at them without topping the whole wall of fabric on our own heads.  At that moment the clerk poked her head out from behind a row of teetering bolts, peered down the narrow aisle, and asked if we needed help.  After retrieving a step stool and getting her weightlifting workout we had 6 bolts to look at and decide upon.  The lighting was pretty bad so Mom and I brought them to the front to be able to see them better.  We noticed the sign on the door warning us against stealing and asked if we could just open the door to get some good light.  The clerk said we could go outside with the bolts if we wanted.  Mom was delighted and promised not to steal the bolts.  The clerk laughed, gestured at the disarray surrounding her, and declared, "I don't think anyone would notice if you did!  Just before you got here I was nearly buried by an avalanche of Christmas potholders!"

We found two suitable bolts and shared another chuckle as the clerk swept aside a pile of who knows what on the cutting table in order to cut our yardage.  Mom and I hit a third store to find the last color we needed.  It was more expensive and not nearly so entertaining a place as this little country store.

15 comments:

Cocotte said...

Wow! That place looks crazy. I'm afraid I'd have been totally overwhelmed. How neat to live so close to Lancaster!

Craig said...

Reminds me of my favorite hardware store. . . ;)

G-Man said...

A Cacoon of Cloth!!

coopernicus said...

I mean, if I went around sayin' I was an empereror just because some moistened bint had lobbed a simitar at me they'd put me away!

Beach Bum said...

My claustrophobia would go into overdrive in such a place.

Hilary said...

You gotta love shops like that. It kind of reminds me of a jam-packed second hand bookstore I know.

Cricket said...

Hm. Looks like I've missed a few. Sorry to hear that , once again, there is a pox on your house. All the same, I hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving, with plenty of baked pineapple for all.

That's a crazy looking store, though I suppose it makes a certain amount of sense. When I was little, we once stopped at a general store in or around Bucktown, PA, wherever that may be: a huge barn that had everything, and I mean everything, from LP records to roto-tillers and God knows what else. Full to the rafters and you know you needed help to find and retrieve.

haphazardlife said...

Wow, my mom would love that place... Though how you can actually find anything is beyond me. I need things organized.

- jazz

crazy4coens said...

Your last quilt was awesome - I am sure this one will be, too and I bet you finish it in plenty of time to get it washed and dried by Christmas morning. Good work!

S said...

LOL It looks just like my favorite fabric stash place in Bangalore!
Same deal, it's too dark to see stuff, the piles are 10 feet high and of course I want the stuff on the bottom!
That's so hilarious. I can imagine that sort of craziness in India, but here? Hilarious.

When that lady said she was almost buried in pot holders, only one thing came to mind..hoarders...she maybe should be considered for that show?
:)

Mother Theresa said...

That reminds me of a lot of the small shops we have around here in Pamplona. Unfortunately, there are fewer and fewer all the time. Good luck on getting the quilt done, sounds like a lot of work, but I'm sure you'll do a fabulous job. :)

(M)ary said...

Hope you are feeling better from the plague! Sew great to hear about your quilting. The farthest I have ever gotten on a quilt is cutting out the squares.

KB said...

Wow, what an aming place. I could easily get lost in there.

snowelf said...

I know exactly where you were! I was my beloved AuntieM's basement!!

I wish I was kidding about that...

What a fun little clerk! And what a fun mother-daughter adventure!!

Glad you are feeling better!! ope the rest of you guys are too.

!!!=thought this comment just needed a few more !!'s ;)

--snow

secret agent woman said...

I love looking at fabric even though I absolutely hate to sew.