Friday, June 29, 2007

The Good Ol' Days

I remember my mother telling a story of the summer she worked at a Piece Goods store to raise spending money for college. She learned to sew then, because the mannequins in the displays all wore garments made of in-stock fabrics and the employees were expected to know how to sew. Ahhh....does anyone out there long for that time?

I had a most unsucculent experience yesterday at a large chain fabric store. The employees might as well have been working in an ice-cream parlor, that is how little they knew about fabric, notions, and sewing. I think this is a trend in the larger fabric stores I frequent and it makes me sad. Maybe turnover is high or employee training is lacking, but it's always disheartening to visit a fabric store, so ripe with possibility and rich with sensory stimulation, only to see employees looking bored, often irritated, and worse of all - completely uninformed.

The obvious solution to this, of course, is to patronize small, locally-owned fabric shops staffed by active quilters and textile aficionados. And I do, with frequency. However, due to budget constraints, these sprees are largely limited to times when I am working on an extra-special project and am in need of only the finest fabrics. I really cannot afford to spend $9/yd on solids or interfacing, tempting as it is.

I think I am going to write these corporations and in my little voice encourage them to select and train their employees in a way that enhances the shoppers' experiences and just the general vibe of the store. There is actually one guy who works at said disappointing fabric store who is just *awesome* - so knowledgeable and passionate and helpful. He wasn't there yesterday and was obviously very missed.

ahhhhh...that feels better.

Goodwill, on the other hand, it a totally different story. I love it. I love, love it. I dabbled in some thrift shopping several years ago with great success, and for some reason took a break when we were in Manhattan. Now I'm addicted. Look at all of the beautiful things I found yesterday for less than $17!!! (2 exceptions in this picture : the pitcher was found at an antique show for $5, and I got the creamer/sugar on sale - they're Nigella's - at a local gourmet kitchen shop.) The little painted pitchers are Vietri and usually cost a pretty penny. When I saw them there for $1.98 my hands started to shake.

My sweet niece is coming to visit next week and I wanted to make her a little something (since I am her only crafty aunt!) and so I again attempted a project out of The Crafter's Companion and here it is - a little clutch designed by Lyn Roberts. She'll love it - if I don't keep it for myself!

I hope all of you have a most lovely weekend, filled with tender moments and little treasures.

1 comment:

Galadriel Thompson said...

Ooooh, I love the finds! I just went to Goodwill yesterday and I'll have to send you a pic of what I found. A hutch some fabric and some sweet little shelves that I'm going to paint up for my daughters room to add to her kitchen collection. Kansas City usually isn't too hot on their thrift stores but Oklahoma surprisingly is awesome. I love your blog and your stuff!