Monday, March 21, 2011

"...Dah dah, duh duh duh dah, duh duh duh dah, duh duh duh dunnn..."

It was a day and a bit ago in a capital city 
approximately 4 and a half hours drive away,
when a young country lady went to a fabric 
store to meet someone she'd only 
ever talked to online before...

Sorry. The geek in me couldn't resist, especially after the last line of Shay's post. So here's my side of the story.

I left the backpackers early - about 9.30. I was hoping to be there at 10.30ish but I had no idea really how long it was going to take. The guy at the backpackers charged me 30 cents to print out another "Save $40" voucher, but you don't have to be a maths whiz to work out why I didn't mind that much. I got there a bit before 10, and then realised I only had Shay's home phone. I went in anyway, got completely overawed by the fabrics, and... well, I may have stood there open mouthed, possibly with a little drool hanging out, or maybe I went into an immediate fabric pulling out frenzy. I had a half dozen on my pile when I got an SMS from Shay, but by the time she got there, the pile had had to be moved to a bench with a little more structural integrity. It still insisted on toppling as soon as you stopped looking at it for a second.

Some backings - both 1m, the orange is standard 112 wide quilting and the green is a 144 wide cotton poplin.
You know what Shay's like on her blog? Well, in real life, she's pretty much exactly the same, except you can hug her. My pile was pretty comprehensive before she arrived, so I was quite happy to sit on the floor and do some maths for her while she picked some. It was for Bec the Sarcastic Quilter's pink version of the paper piecing quilt, except with 36 blocks instead of 20. So fabric requirements of 1.5 yards per colour, divided by 20 and then times by 36 came out to about 2.7 yards. Then, while Shay did some indecisiveness, I got properly stuck into some of the toughest quiltmath I've ever faced*. I've refined it since then, and some measurements have shot up once I actually read the information so far as to why extra is good, but really, I've just done it for the fun of the math. I know many of you think there is no fun in math, but if you poke and prod them long enough, the numbers really do dance.

They had some Flourish, which is what I used for Kelsey's quilt. I got a half metre of each.

Shay's assertion that it took two trips to the counter is not entirely accurate, as I had already dumped a couple of rolls there before she arrived, so it was technically three trips. Nor did I rugby tackle any little old ladies; a discreet turn while holding a long roll of fabric, which hits them in the guts and winds them would be more my fabric-store-fighting-style. But sadly it's not the first time I've had a little old lady come up to me and say "whatever do you need all that fabric for dear?"

Why doesn't my local store have any Riley Blake fabrics? There's a half metre of each.
It was all I could do to not wet myself as she went back to her friend and said "Ooh, she's a quilter. But not from around here" And then about a dozen women started talking about me while I was not 5 feet from them. They're just jealous.

Various other half metre cuts.
The ladies behind the counter called for some reinforcements. When I was working at Spotlight we probably would have fobbed them off to the furnishings counter.

Random 25cm cuts.
As always, but the time it was all cut, the pile that made all the ladies chatter was disappointingly small.

Just under two hands high once it's all folded neatly. But that's 10.5 metres there, and it cost me around $80, so I'm pretty pleased with that.

Shay wanted some browns too, so we went to the Lincraft up the road too. I got a couple of books for Kelsey to have a go with, but no fabric. Shay doesn't have a Lincraft card, so I scanned mine - it probably earned me enough points to go buy her another repro bundle from the local. We most have both psychically known we were going to get some stash from the other - Shay has given me my first ever charm pack.

Of course, I have no idea what to do with it.

So I've just laid it out and cooed over it for a bit.

After Lincraft we went to the KFC across the road and gasbagged about anything and everything for over an hour. I didn't eat my chips, because by the time I was done laughing and talking, they were cold.

In spite of the chips, it was pretty much a perfect day. I went to Marion on the way to the hospital to see if I could find a cable to play the laptop through the big telly, but noone had one, so I went to the Big W and bought my work shoes again. I went and got satay sticks, again, for tea, and I watched Tangled and drew up some soft toy patterns, while Kelsey sewed a cat and Areysha (not positive on the spelling, but Kelsey's roommate) felted a ball. I may have used up all the nice weather for my perfect day, because today was quite grey, and a bit drizzly. But Kelsey wanted some felts before I went home, which seemed like the perfect excuse to go to the Melrose Park Spotlight store.

25cm each of the top three and 1.5m of the rainbow diagonal. Small world - I was served by someone I went to primary school with.
And then, because my work shoes had only been $15 this time, I went to another Big W, to see if I could find them again. I did, and I also found this.

Doesn't look like much, and it was in amongst some real rubbish, but look:

Good find for $3 huh?

Even though that was my last bit of fabric bought for the trip, I still have the fabrics I got on Friday from Rundle Mall to show you.

These are fat sixths - weird cut I know, but they were a cute bundle for $10, minus what was saved with the voucher.
This is the rest of what I got from Spotlight - A metre of the yellow which never arrived at our store, as well as the brown batik and the rainbow flowers and leaves on brown, both of which I bought on the last trip too. There's a half of the two pinks and the green spot, and I got 20cm of the buttons for Helen, cause they're cute.
And a smattering of Lincraft purchases. 30cm of the cats and the pink stripe, and whatever was left on the bolt of the grey/brown check, which, again, I already have a heap of.
And now I'm home safe, with no money and more fabrics I need to find room for. But I still have 3 more satay sticks - I was waiting at the restaurant at 5pm for them to open so I could get some to bring home. It meant I did some driving in the dark, but so what? The thunder and the rain kindly waited till I got home and unpacked my car, but it's getting pretty heavy now.

I guess a whole lot of fabric isn't the only thing I brought down with me.

*Bec, if you want some more precise amounts, I may have them already worked out for you. They're not uber precise - I've basically worked out triangles to cover the long point and left the other edge with some right angled overhang. But I've kinda guessed your measurements, so it could all be a bit skew whiff.


  1. Star Wars theme?? I saw your post first and had to skim through all the other blogs to get to Shay's post so I could come back and read yours. What a wonderful adventure with so many rewards! I love the fabrics and the tales.

  2. How did you fit everything in Taylor for the drive home?

    Oh the owls are cute ...

    I had the perfect Sunday hacking into the fabrics you gave me and making up half the blocks for a quilt. I was going to try and get it done in a week but Im not sure I have your level of quilt making brilliance, so I'm just going for "as fast as I can ".

    After what was pretty much a perfect weekend Im cranky about having to go back to work!

    How long before you have to replenish your stash do you think?

  3. Wow what a wondrous shopping adventure you went on. Some gorgeous finds in that huge pile of stash. Your right a fat sixth is a weird cut, but wow, I think it was worth it. I would have bought 2!

  4. Loved the starwars beginning! I have that as my hubbys ringtone, makes me giggle :-) Love all those fabrics, I just get overwhelmed when I go into spotlight except in the wool section :-) Looks like you and Shay had a great time!