|A couple of my larger cuts of fabric from my last visit to the remnant table.|
If you have been to Hancock's of Paducah you know all about the remnant tables.
Well first, let me say that HoP is an incredibly utilitarian store. Almost all of the 'shoppers' in the building are employees filling internet orders. The fabrics are ordered by designer, collection and manufacturer. There are little street signs to guide you to your favorite. They are not laid out to inspire creativity or to showcase the shop's creative bent. They are set up to be found, cut and returned with speed and precision.
As a casual shopper it is almost overwhelming to wonder up and down the rows in the warehouse setting. You have to have some sort of strategy or you hit overload and can't find a thing. Now that I have been there a few times, I usually try to make a plan first. I decide I am going to look for purple and yellow or I need to coordinate a focus fabric or I am looking for polka dots. Then I wonder up and down the aisles looking for specific colors or patterns and do my best to tune out the rest. Usually my plan involves spending time at the remnant tables.
These are huge tables piled high (sometimes neatly and other times a total mess) with remnants of everything. I always try to fold and stack as I work my way around the table. There are always hidden treasures to be found. Pieces of fabric I have ogled and adored at a price I can afford. I have fallen in love with the bright colors of Kaffe and I almost always find a few pieces. Here, as with the rest of the store, I try to have a plan.
The last time I was there, I was by myself. No impatient spuds chomping at the bit to get back on the road making me rush. I approached the remnant table with joy. There was a cute older couple working both sides of the table along with me. It was clear they had a plan. It was also very clear that he was as involved in the fabric selection as she was. I struck up a conversation with them. Sharing bits and pieces that seemed to fit with their search. In the course of our conversation I mentioned to the lady that she was fortunate to have such a treasure in her husband. His patience and participation was remarkable. We continued to chat a bit and when asked, I said that my husband did the cutting for most of my quilts. She commented that she could use that sort of help and then said "if only I could find some one to baste and pin for me...." Another shopper at the end of the table commiserated. I simply said "spray glue".
The sweet lady stiffened her spine and said "I hand quilt". The kibitzer said "well I never". Both of them quickly walked away. You would have thought I made rude noises and emitted noxious gasses! I don't think I've ever cleared a room faster.
Yes, I use spray baste. I love the stuff. For the record, I also use starch! I think I have said before that the "original" spray baste in the big white cans truly is noxious and horrible and gummy. If that was my first experience with spray baste I would never pick it up again. Today there are lots of different versions. I've used the 505 spray from my embroidery projects, the Dritz version and now Spray and Bond. I like them all. they don't gum up my needles and they hold really well. If I still had to baste or pin, I probably wouldn't quilt. And I hand quilt too!
At any rate, my little admission of indiscretion left the field clear and netted me several large cuts (3+ yards) of fabric, a bit of a Dear Stella pattern I needed to coordinate with a project and some more Kaffe to add to my collection.
If you want to think less of me as a quilter, that is OK. I respect traditional quilters. We can still talk designs and fabric. If you really want to be picky about it just remember, while you are holding your nose, I might just be working efficiently and finding the only 4 yards of American Jane fabric on the table.