Thursday, July 21, 2011

Gather 'Round the Cutting Counter

I'm a person who works from home. As such, there is really no daily cameraderie with colleagues . . . no hanging around the water cooler to chat about how hot it is outside (or whatever it is people talk about around a water cooler) . . . no face to face sharing of ideas. 

Is it just me, or is half the fun of going to the fabric store the inevitable chatting about sewing projects?  I mean, sure . . . I love the time to stroll around and pet all the fabrics, but I've picked up a lot from the ladies behind those cutting counters. 

Last night I drove over to the JoAnn near my house (my LQS is a little further away and doesn't have 40% off coupons - - which I had in ABUNDANCE yesterday) to pick up some bits and pieces for a few projects I have in the hopper.  I found the most lovely pattern for a new sewing machine cover which I'm quite excited to start on, and I've got a purse and a little change purse in the works for my first "customer"!  I practiced restraint with the fabric (for the most part - - I did pick up *one* half yard cut of a lovely print that I plan to make into a few pillows for my couch just to freshen things up a bit).  Mostly I was just there for facings and fusibles, velcro, cording, etc.

It gave me a bit of time with the ladies.

Ok . . . maybe not *these* ladies in particular, but pretty dern close.  Image by Cushing via Flickr.
There was a bit of gabbing about the weather ("It's not just that it's hot . . . the air is just so THICK out there."), a chat about what I was buying all this stuff for ("Bags?  Ohmygoodness . . . I thought you said 'eggs' which made NO sense at all."), and we even covered those dreaded UFOs that we all have ("My latest project?  I finally finished a winter coat that I started 6 years ago when I thought I might move to Alaska.")

I used to work at Hobby Lobby quite a few years ago in the Floral/Wedding department.  This also meant that on odd nights I covered the Fabric department when they were short.  Though I wasn't a sewer back then, and that job wasn't always a barrel of laughs (horrible boss, drama among the coworkers - - long story), I have many fond memories around that cutting table.  My favorite thing was the woman who would inevitably come up with a question that I could not answer (remember how I said I was *not* a sewer back then?) and then one or more ladies who were hanging around the area shopping or waiting for the fabric to be cut would jump in with ideas: "You know what would be *perfect*?  If you pulled that red out a bit and took some of this ribbon to tie it all together."  Gasp . . . squeal . . . and then the exclamation, "What a great idea!!"

Is it any surprise that the sewing/crafting community is such an abundant group out in the blogosphere?  We're a very social bunch.

What have you learned 'round the cutting counter?


Esther July 21, 2011 at 3:04 PM  

My very very first time sewing something all on my own with my brand new sewing machine was a baby blanket for my brother and sister in law's new baby. I picked out a fleece for one side and a flannelette for the other. The cutting lady cut 1 m of the flannelette, and then went to measure out the fleece, and there was only .6 m! I was devastated, because I loved the fabrics and how they went together, and as my first project, I figured everything had to go just perfectly. Thankfully the lady at the cutting table suggested cutting the .6 m into 12" blocks and then sewing them together. It worked perfectly! I was very happy with how it turned out. If it wasn't for her advice, I probably would have forgotten it all and never kept sewing :) (Ok, maybe that's a bit dramatic, but you understand...)

Brennan's Mom July 22, 2011 at 12:58 AM  

When I was sewing veils for my dance class, I learned ('round the cutting table') the best solution to get the chiffon and my serger to get along... :) After four hours of failed attempts, I headed off to the local fabric store to find something... Anything that would save my sanity! As I asked a clerk for help, three or four other customers chimed in with suggestions! We all had a good chat about sewing, tips, tricks and hints! In the end, a $4 package of rinse-away stabilizer did the trick... I had researched it before hand to see what other costumers were using (this was my first costume attempt) but there isn't anything quite like the art of speaking to a real person to get the advice you need!

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