Monday, October 20, 2014

Fabric Stores

Sunday was a drive to the big city for me, which means a total day of shopping. Its a one-hour drive through the Mojave Desert to Palmdale. The desert has its seasons and changing of colors, which still amazes me more on every trip I take. Thing is, when I go, it means thinking ahead for everything I might like to buy. 

The most important purchase was finding a fabric for the back of the Butterfly Wings quilt. I really thought that something in yellow would work, yet, I took the entire top with me to audition fabrics. Its best for me not to guess those things.

This is the choice I ended up with and think it will be great on the back and bring out the feel of the front. There was another one that was in purple with butterfly lines on it that I might have gotten if the top wasn't with me. However, this choice is light and fun, and perfect for a child.

Sunday shoppers filled the store and as they loaded their carts with bolts of fabrics, there was a sort of contagious energy to buy-buy-buy more-more-more. It was a crazy feeling. Being in any fabric store is like seeing eye candy. The temptation for wanting gets worse the longer I stay in the store, which is why I make a list before I leave my home.

My list for the fabric store started with the Butterfly Wings back. Four yards. Then my list had "2. Brown; 3. White on White; 3. Holiday Buttons; 4. Orange Embroidery Floss; 5. Yarn for Doll Hair, etc."

While standing at the cutting counter, a woman in front of me had a holiday print that was mustaches and the words, "Staching through the snow". And I had to have some. Just one yard for a pillow case, so I ran back to that section and found a bolt, and bought a yard. It is so darling, and will make up one last Winter Solstice non-quilt gift for my younger Son, who is at this stage of his life, clean-shaven. Of course, as soon as I left the cutting counter, I wished I had taken everything left on the bolt....and for what?

One yard is enough for a king-size french-seamed pillowcase. Its a directional print so would not make a good fabric box. Yet, the want-must-buy energy was in high gear. Of course there were a few more items that slipped themselves into my cart unnoticed. I left the store with a $62 receipt that said I saved $76 from sales, discounts and coupons, and stopped for lunch before shopping on.

Later, in Palmdale, I bought new bathroom rugs, a lime green kitchen spoon, kitchen towels for gifts, some bathroom accessories, & a bday gift for my eldest Granddaughter, and made a stop at the Pet Store for turtle tank supplies. And then turned the car towards Tehachapi, driving back home through the Mojave with a smile on my face.

There was a phrase in the Star Trek series that said, "Resistance is Futile" that makes me think about what happens to me when I get into a fabric store whether it is one of the two shops in town, or any place I travel. I found one shop in MN where I always lay down at least $100 every time I visit. The biggest challenge for me is remembering just how much stash I have and to use IT first rather than to buy more. 

I've heard more than one quilter say she has to live forever in order to use up all the fabrics she owns. Its something we all laugh over but also take seriously. I get so excited to use up fabrics from my stash, yet know that sometimes I need to purchase supplemental pieces in order to finish them off, like the yellow fabric with butterflies on it; like the brown and the white; like the orange embroidery floss; like the buttons I put away and plan to use on a couple of holiday fabric boxes.

A person could say that needing money holds them back, but as a privileged woman living in our culture, I really think everything we purchase is about making healthy choices. I need my list. I need to know what my bank account says and decide upon a budget before I leave the house, and then stick to it when I am shopping. I don't want the stress of bills coming due with the money for them having gone into building a stash...a stash of anything, not just fabric. It doesn't make sense to me to be surrounded by more things. 

But then, I didn't always think this way.