I had family up last weekend (Thanksgiving in Canada!) for four days, but somehow that four day stay magically turned into seven days! Which seriously messed with my blog posting schedule! Sorry Mum and Dad, you’re too distracting! Why can’t you let me get on with my busy Internet-time-wasting schedule, like god and nature inten…. oh right. Anyway, my parents, younger sister, and grandma all came out for four days – a longer than usual trip because they were dropping my grandma off at the airport on the fourth day (Tuesday) so that she could fly further west to visit my aunt/cousins in BC. But then my sister was leaving for India for three weeks (work trip) on Thursday, so when my brother-in-law wound up in hospital on Monday (personal information short, he had a couple head wounds, one of which required stitches, and he was left with a concussion and some woozy-making drugs) for several hours, my parents decided to stick around until Saturday to make sure he’d be okay. They ended up leaving Friday because bro-in-law swore he’d be okay (they were concerned that he’d go to work and be too pained/tired/drugged up to drive home – it’s a very long drive to his work) and that he’s got several co-workers in the neighbourhood who could drive him home if necessary. (But then he’s solved the potential issue by just not going to work.)
In any case, since they were here for so long, they decided to spend Thursday doing whatever I wanted. Because I don’t have a car, there are a lot of parts of the city I just never get to (in fact, I don’t go anywhere more than about 2 stops beyond the train stop that gets me to work, 99 days out of 100), so they figured… hey, let’s take Kristel wherever. Well, there was no where I needed to go, so I decided we’d go to a couple quilt shops. Just two, because I had to work a night shift on Thursday and needed to get some sleep beforehand.
So first we went to Traditional Pastimes. I’d never been to this store before. Once, when I first moved here, but after I had a job and could afford to waste money on fabric (rather than just on food and shelter) my mom and I went on a day-long shop hop in Calgary, but we ran out of time before we made it to Traditional Pastimes – it was the last store on the list and traffic was so slow on the way up that it got too late and the store would have been closed before we made it there. With the whole no-car thing I never went there afterwards because I assumed the transit would be ridiculous – probably in the neighbourhood of an hour’s trip one way. Ridiculous!
I wasn’t going to buy much of anything, but I let myself talk myself into things. Too many things. Lovely things.
Two very different patterns. The stitchery one is very… not to my taste. But my mum loves it, so I’m hoping to make a wall-hanging for her with it. I’ll likely change the ‘Spring’ caption at the bottom to just ‘Welcome’ since I didn’t also buy the other 3 season stitches. (And they’re costly patterns, nearly $20 just for the one pattern! They do come with an iron-on transfer, but I think $8-15 is pretty standard any more, at least with more modern patterns, so $20 felt expensive.) The Canada flag… I don’t know. I’ve kind of wanted it and talked myself out of it before because it’s just raw edge appliqué and I feel ripped off (even at $8) paying for an appliqué pattern I could very easily draft myself. But I decided in favour of supporting Cheryl Arkison, even though I think it’s too simple a concept really to need a pattern.
These wool scraps are for a couple different things. The green is for a needlebook I need to make, like, last week. The rest is for the stitchery pattern up above – I decided to do the house and bee-hive with wool appliqué, though the yellow is too bright and so I’m going to have to figure out a way through using a darker colour in the stitching to make it more bee-hive-ish. The houndstooth will be the roof and the grey the house itself.
There’s a project I haven’t shown you yet (because my parents just. wouldn’t. leave.) which is actually finished and which my sister liked well enough that she would like me to make a larger one for her. I enjoyed making that project – which you can see on Flickr if you like, but which I’m wanting to re-photograph before posting about here – so I think I will make a version of it for her and these dots are going to be a part of the new fabric additions.
I find it quite interesting that Traditional Pastimes sells so many rolls of long quarters of fabric. The fat quarter has really taken over the world of small cut sizes, so it felt kind of strange to see so many long quarter cuts in the store. Still, without delving too deeply into the bolts they had on display, I would venture a guess that they tended to stock more in the small to (maybe) medium size print range, rather than anything very large scale, so the long quarter works out well enough. And for this quilt project, I need the full width of fabric anyway, so the long quarter was perfect.
I dithered over this for a long time, picking it up, putting it back, picking it up, putting it back. When Tula Pink’s Acacia line came out, I didn’t think I liked it very much. I made exactly zero plans to buy any of it (and I’m a long time Tula Pink fan), but seeing it in person, in this particular combination of prints/colours, I found myself liking it quite a bit more than I previously thought I did. And now I’ve got to figure out what to do with it! I think it’s pretty awesome, but… I need some plan. I can’t keep stock-piling all her fabric and never using it!
As for the store, should any of you decided to hit up Calgary quilting stores: I think I might like it best of all the Calgary shops I’ve been in (I still haven’t been to all of them, but I have been to most). It sort of feels right to me, in an older building with creaky wooden floors and beautiful things everywhere and bolts and bolts of fabric. They stock a lot of fabrics that aren’t particularly to my tastes, but they did have a nice selection of lines I did like, as well as a fair number of solids, and a lot of books with pretty widely ranging styles. Neither of the ladies I saw working there came up to greet me or offer me help, but that’s not something that bothers me – I prefer to find someone if I need help, and one of them spoke at length to my Mum and the other was helping someone find The Perfect Fabric, so it’s not like they weren’t occupied (at least part of the time). When I did go to pay for my purchases, I talked for quite a while with the lady at the till, which was nice. We commiserated over not much liking Cheryl Arkison’s newest book (sorry, but lifestyle books from pretty much anyone are not my thing, they just make me throw up huge Eff Off signs because oh, for fuck’s sake, get over yourself and your favourite recipes. I’m happy to see a blogger post things like that, but I don’t ever, ever want to pay anyone to offer me tips on how to live my life) and talked about how compelling Acacia is even though we didn’t much think we’d like it (she liked it better once she saw it in use, I liked it better once I saw it in the real world rather than just online). Anyway, she was nice to talk to and that was a bonus.
After that, we went to a quilt shop I’ve been to before, Out of Hand. If you’ve ever been there before, I’m about to make the most obvious of puns, but their stock situation is entirely out of hand. The first time I went there, I was afraid to walk down the “aisles” because there was so much fabric EVERYWHERE that I felt like the entire store was going to collapse in on me. This time it was a little more pared back, but still pretty, um,… overwhelming. I couldn’t tell you what types of fabric they sell there because there was so much to look at you could go down the same aisle three times and see something different each time. One of the ladies who was working spoke to me twice to see if I needed a hand, which was fine, but then she kept wandering by where I was looking at things and staring at me, which sort of made me feel like she thought I was either hiding an ice cream cone in my pocket and intending to maliciously drip all over everything or else like she thought I was planning to steal a bolt or two and felt she had to keep an eye on me. Maybe it was nothing nefarious, but who knows where thoughts come from, they just appear, and that’s the thought that came to mind with her. The lady at the till also seemed… I don’t know. Off in some way. She didn’t greet me, she just took my fabric, wrote out the receipt, then put it on the counter and said “there’s that then” and then rang the total into the debit machine and put that on the counter and said “there’s that” and then put all the fabric in a bag and put that on the counter and said,.. you guessed it, “and there’s that.” She didn’t say goodbye or thank you or fuck off and never return or anything at all. Just “and there’s that.” I don’t know if someone had a burr up their bum, but I certainly didn’t feel welcomed (which wasn’t the case the first time I shopped there – the owner was present that time and she was lovely). And I rather regretted spending nearly $80 there. (Which, as I said, the owner wasn’t present and when I met her, she had a nice long conversation with me about finishing projects and using long-arm quilters and all sorts of things. I’m can’t remember what if anything I bought on that first visit, but we still went away feeling we’d had something enjoyable out of it besides the adventure of possibly dying in a fabric avalanche.)
In any case, fabric:
I started out just with these red and blue fat quarters and I was planning not to buy anything else, but I found (down an aisle I’d been in twice) the 1 yard remnant of the green comma fabric. And then .9 yards (metres?) of the grey pin dot fabric (also from Comma, I think) and the fat quarter of the grey comma fabric. Then I found a rather pretty stack of green and blue fat quarters:
I didn’t think I liked Florence very much, and I still think some of the prints are kind of ugly, but they’re the kind of ugly that plays really well together. I think it could turn into something quite interesting, if I can figure out how to use it. So purchase wise, it was a pretty successful trip. Even if it was kind of unsuccessful from a comfort level. And unsuccessful from a Stop Buying Fabric Until You Start Using Fabric perspective. I think I need to take an inventory of all the fabric I own, and then start keeping a Fabric In, Fabric Out chart.