Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Happy, Happy, Happy

I mentioned last week that I got to go shopping at a fabric store recently. But what I don't think I said is that I love shopping for fabric. Really. Truly. I feel my most creative self when I am planning and coordinating fabric for a project.

It was not love-at-first-sight. My crush on fabric. It happened gradually.

I didn't always sew. It was my high school boyfriend's mom who taught me how. We made Christmas table runners. And I remember going to the fabric store with her to pick out fabric and I had no idea what I was doing. In my day-to-day life I am often rendered incapable of making a decision because of the sheer plethora of options. Imagine how I felt at 16 standing in a shop filled with all kinds of different fabric, and I could have my pick. In the end, I think I just copied whatever fabric she choose, but in a different color.

It all worked out in the end. I learned how to sew (a very little). And that boyfriend's mom became my Mountain Ma (aka Mama T). We get together for lunch once a week, and she takes care of me when I'm sick.

But that experience alone didn't make me feel comfortable in a fabric store. When I was gifted my very own sewing machine a few years ago, I remember walking through a fabric store. Feeling overwhelmed, I ducked into an empty aisle, and I called my sister.

"I feel like a poser," I said. "I don't know anything about sewing or fabric. What am I doing here?"

You know how they tell you that if you want to conquer your fear, you have to face it? Well, that's kind of how my love of fabric shopping came to be. I just kept going back. And I found that as I like letterpress cards and nice paper, I like designer fabric. Often I'll order it online. But when I get the chance to go to a nice little fabric store whose walls and floors are covered with bolt after bolt of fabric, I could stay there all day. (Just ask my sister, who practically had to drag me out of Bolt last week!)

I mostly use this fabric for baby quilts. I just finished one, am over half-way through another, and have been commissioned for four more before the end of the month. (Yes, I sell them. If anyone is interested in buying.)

Quilting takes time. It takes patience. A lot of hunching over a machine. And my friends make fun of my "old lady" hobby. But I found my happy place in a fabric store. And not much tops seeing a photograph of a happy baby playing and drooling on quilt you made especially for him.

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