QFNJ 2010: Part III, The Shopping

March 10, 2010 at 3:18 pm Leave a comment

I don’t know if anyone else has this particular hangup, but I feel awkward admitting that the vendors are part of what brings me to the quilt shows.  I like to maintain the polite fiction that I’m solely there to admire the quilts, and then oh look, here are some ladies and gentlemen who wish to sell me thread, fabric, and gadgets!  Why, it would be rude to decline their offer, would it not?  But if I am indeed operating in good faith, I have to say that the vendors factor heavily in my decision to go to shows.  I even checked the vendor list on the QFNJ website and made my shopping list accordingly.  My list included:

Thread for quilting Ruby Wedding and Convergence Birds

Blue chalk in a pounce pad for marking the stencils for Ruby Wedding

The thimble cage my husband didn’t get me for Christmas

Renae Haddadin’s DVD on quilting circle designs

NO FABRIC!!!

Overall, I did very well.  I couldn’t find the Renae Haddadin DVD, but I knew that was a long shot; besides, I want it for an idea I had on how to quilt Taupe Winding Ways.  Considering that top is only half-finished, and it’s fourth in the quilting queue behind Convergence Birds, Window on Whimsy, and Ruby Wedding, I’ve got some time.

My first purchases of the show were at the Superior Threads booth.  Even though I had just gotten that big shipment from them, $10 clearance cones of BRYTES (the discontinued colors) are hard to pass up.  I also found a lovely variegated Rainbows that matches the palette of Convergence Birds uncannily, and the lighter shade of grey-blue King Tut I wanted to complete my armamentarium for quilting Ruby Wedding.

Superior ThreadsI almost managed to avoid buying fabric, and I only bought a total of a yard, which may be a personal record.  Quilt Plus had bins of Japanese fabrics, and it seemed foolish not to buy fat quarters of my two favorites:

Taupe FQ'sI’m a sucker for taupes to begin with, and when they have attractive patterns with not-quite-accurate English translations on them?  Tell me how I’m not supposed to buy that.  I also bought a pattern for a little coin purse and the metal frame to make one.  Connie, the owner, has an offer going where if you bring a purse you made from her patterns and handles to her show booth, she’ll give you a free pattern in return for a photograph of you and your purse for her gallery.  I’ve made two of her hobo bags, one for myself and one for Diane’s birthday last year, but I only used Connie’s handles on Diane’s.  (Mine has cheap knockoffs from JoAnn’s, shame shame!)

I went through nearly three quarters of the vendor booths before I found someone selling the blue chalk pounce powder — and I bought the last one she had!  At her booth, Quilting Connection, I also bought a pre-cut half yard of a batik with a pretty pattern that reminded me of DeLoa Jones’ “Dragon Fire” meander, and that I thought might be adaptable for machine quilting.

Dragon Fire & chalkSo it’s not really like buying fabric; it’s more like buying a quilting pattern and getting a half yard of fabric free with purchase, right?  That’s my story, anyway.

I had asked my husband for a thimble cage for Christmas, and he claimed he couldn’t find any for under $150.  Google disagrees, but I think he was just afraid to buy the wrong thing for me in an area he knows nothing about, so I’ll give him a break this time.  This way, I got to select my own, and the saleswoman at Baskets, Boxes, Things North was even nice enough to size me for a Roxanne thimble she knew she wasn’t going to sell me, just to make certain that my thimble at home would fit comfortably in the cage.

thimble cageI have to get a chain for it, and the booth owner gave me the tip to put a weighty charm on the ring that keeps the cage closed (she had a little silver turtle on hers), to help prevent the thimble falling out.

My only absolute impulse buy of the show wasn’t even directly quilt-related.  I am a sucker for anyone demonstrating a product live and in person, and when that product actually, obviously just works, I find it very hard to resist.  Especially when the product is a lint roller that never needs refills, and the customer (me) just took a whole lot of cat fur off her show quilts.  The demonstrator had me transfixed, as she picked up thread, sesame seeds, glitter, and coins, then just rinsed and dried the roller and started all over again.  $35 later, I am the proud owner of the set of three magic sticky lint rollers:  regular size, purse size, and telescoping-handled super size.

sticky lint rollerI had a brief moment of buyer’s remorse when I got home and couldn’t get the regular roller to take any cat hair off my husband’s black T-shirt, but I then realized it had a piece of cellophane covering the sticky pink roller surface.  Once I removed that, we were both amazed by its performance.  I’ve been de-furring the upholstery on my chair in the living room, which tends to be heavily cat-bedecked.

All in all, attending the show was a good time that I don’t have to feel guilty about.  I bought less stuff than Kathy, but then, she’s a beginning quilter and has a stash to build!  My shopping needs to take the form of facilitating the use of the stash, not necessarily adding to it.  I think I did OK on that front here.

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Entry filed under: Fabric Shopping, Quilt Shows, Travel. Tags: , , , , .

QFNJ 2010: Part II, More Quilts The Final Word on QFNJ: The Judges’ Comments

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