I don’t think I mentioned that my friend and I were chosen to be part of a focus group in the Timeless Treasures Fabric studio/offices in New York yesterday. When I found out we were both chosen I jumped for joy and did the happy dance in my office. It was a great day beginning at 4:30 a.m. when I woke to take the 6:31 a.m. suburban train to 30th Street Station to pick up the 7:30 a.m. Megabus to New York. I arrived home at 10:00 p.m.
The day started with the focus group where my friend and I were one of 8 consumers who quilt. I was probably the least experienced and maybe the youngest in the group. I was also the only one interested in improvisational quilting and reading quilting blogs on a regular basis. None of them really recognized any of the blogs I read.
The TT Fabric people had some good questions, but I feel they could have better steered the group as one person was particularly domineering and went off on tangents of personal experiences that the TT Fabric people may have found helpful, but I thought took the group off course and did not allow other people to participate. It reminded me of the guild meetings I used to attend where people just went on and on without consideration for others’ time or desire to contribute.
The TT Fabric people were very nice and treated us well beginning with a tour of their offices, (I must say I got a little depressed when I saw the design studio with all of the reference books on the shelves and the designers sitting in front of their computers. I wish I had been more together in my youth and went for a textile design major rather than fashion design) then the question session, gifts and lunch. We each received a $25 gift certificate from the fabric store that we got the application to participate from—Pennington for my friend and I—and a 16-fat quarter bundle of very nice blender fabrics (perfect for me). TT Fabric has the most beautiful batiks. They also have a wide range of novelties that are perfect for theme quilts.
After TT Fabrics we went to Purl, which is literally around the corner. I spent the most money there on solid Kona fat quarter bundles to round off my stash, 1 yard cuts that were discounted, a package of 100 John James hand sewing needles, snaps (conventional and magnetic), and a 4.5 x 12.5” ruler. Cha-ching at $144.00
Next stop was the Lion Brand Yarn Studio. It would have been a nice place to hang out, if time had allowed. I found a few things in the store that I could only find on line, but did not want to pay shipping for: highlighter tape, screw-in eyes for stuffed animals, and the Ablet Row Counter (an abacus row counter styled as a bracelet). Also, I saw sock yarn in a pretty yellow and la lovely orange. I purchased one ball of each which will make two different pairs of socks. Cha-ching at $52.00
I think the best place, which surprised me, was The City Quilter. I expected some hole in the wall kind of place, but it was huge and had beautiful fabric and notions at reasonable prices! If you walk in one door, you walk in through a quilt gallery where there was an exhibition of Beth Carney's work. Loved it! Free-form improvisational art quilts. I loved her choices of colors, it was a real treat for the eyes. The City Quilter also has a great selection of Japanese fabrics, which I purchased and the Q-Snap quilt frame in the 11 x11” size, which I also purchased. (I decided to return the 14 x 14” Dritz model to Joann Fabrics as well as the cheap jelly roll of gray scale colored fabric. Cha-ching at $50.00
While we were there, a couple spent thousands of dollars on fabric. I asked the cashier what they were doing and she did not know. They came in with swatches so maybe matching quilts to some furniture? Who knows, but it was pretty wild to see them carry 8 bags of fabric out of the store. They bought fabrics by the bolt.
The depressing part is I am going on a shop hop over the weekend and should not spend one cent, eight shops without spending privileges. I will still have lots of fun!
Looking forward to spending time in my studio.
Baci e abbracci