Thursday, March 04, 2010

It Doesn't Matter if it's Good Enough for Someone Else

I've got it in my crazy-ass pregnancy mind that I'm going to be dusting off my sewing area (and by "sewing area" I mean "that corner of the laundry room that I notched out for myself") and making quilts before the baby comes. Glorious quilts! For my whole family! Nevermind I have a few thousand projects in progress, these nine months will produce quilts! Because I'm not busy doing ANYTHING ELSE RIGHT NOW!

I've been on the hunt for a glorious white cotton for the baby's quilt and have been searching high and low. It has to be the whitest, the softest, the cottoniest fabric ever. Nevermind I have gobs of other white fabrics hanging around, those are simply not good enough.

So I've been ducking my head in this quilt shoppe and that quilt shoppe looking for a glorious white in which to use as my base. I finally stopped in a local store, ran by old biddies who are quite opinionated and I mean that as in quite opinionated in a way of which I don't quite appreciate but they do have some fabrics I never see anywhere else, so in my infinite awesomeness, I put up with their behavior.

Because I'll suffer quite a bit for the ideal fabric. More specifically: ideal fabric that doesn't break the bank.

So I went into the store, took at look at their solids and sighed.

"Can I help you find anything?"

"Yes, I'm looking for a white, soft cotton for the base of my quilt."

"Oh, you mean for the sashing?"

"No, it won't have sashing. For the base."

"But. Quilts don't have a base. They are patch worked."

"Yes, I know. Most do. This won't."

"No. That's not a quilt."

"Yes it is. In anycase, I'm looking for a white, soft cotton."

"Right over here."

"Thank you."

"No, you do realize you need to add some patchwork sashing to make it a quilt, yes?"

"No, I don't."

"But. All quilts have sashing."

Okay, I know she's trying to be helpful. And in my hands I have a glorious white, soft cotton fabric that's double-width and only eight dollars a yard. I know better than to fight or otherwise she's gonna take my fabric away.

"I know most do. But I'm not a traditional quilter. I'm a member of the Kansas City Modern Quilt Guild. Quite a few of us re-work the rules."

"Oh. Okay, then."


"So you do realize you need to make your quilt top about two inches longer on all the edges so your Professional Quilter can quilt it for you, yes?"

"Oh, I'm gonna quilt it myself."

"No, you can't quilt it yourself. That's not Professional. No one will like it if you quilt it yourself."

"Um... thanks. But I'm quite certain my baby will like it just fine."

"Fingers crossed."

Ohmyhell, ohmyhell, ohmyhell. I paid and high-tailed it out of there.

Now, I'm not stupid. And I'm quite certain she was trying to be helpful. But really? Do you really tell your paying customer she's wrong in such a situation? I mean, fighting over facts is thing. But "it must be patchworked" and "it must have sashing" and "it must be professionally quilted" or "otherwise the recipient won't like it" aren't all those really opinions?

In anycase. I have High Hopes to get off my napping butt and begin working on a quilt.

And no, it will not have patchwork. It will not have sashing. It will not be professionally quilted. But I'm quite certain the recipient will like it just fine.

(My friend, Crystal, is forming a quilting bee if anyone is interested! Sashing not required.)


Kristen said...

Holy crap! Way to spread your inferiority complex around there, Quilt Shoppe Lady. Whatever happened to craft store owners encouraging do-it-yourselfers to actually do it themselves? "No one will like it if you quilt it yourself" indeed.

I would get very high and mighty with such a person. My handquilting stitch is better than anything that anyone in her little database could do.

mommymae said...

i had a woman at a quilt shop try to tell me that anna maria horner was a designer that worked for amy butler. i gave up. it was like talking to my grandma.

and i wasn't pregnant when it happened, so i was much more in control of how i reacted. i can't imagine this woman telling you this nonsense.

your quilt will be gorgeous.

Kelly said...

That fabric looks good enough to eat! I don't care for the "help", but I sure would buy fabric at that store. My fabric store specializes in selling ugly fabric, with a smattering of well hidden mediocre stuff.

Vicki said...

Wow, that's crazy! I'm interested in hearing more about your quilt. I can't believe that quilt shop staffer... I think quilters should be encouraged to try almost anything they want, why not?

teaginny said...

want to share the name of the shop so we can avoid it? :)

Anonymous said...

Are you freaking kidding me? ALL quilts have sashing? Since when? I'm sure my great-grandmother would've had something to say about that. How does one do a Grandmother's Flower Garden with sashing?

But...yeah, I won't like you very much if you don't hire a pro to quilt it. Ha. ;)

Missy Ann said...

What a moron. I think she's lucky the pregnancy hormones didn't take over and beat her over the head with a bolt of "sashing".

MichelleB said...

All I can say is you really wanted that fabric bad! Women like that are the reason that I've come to like shopping online. And how very sad for her that she thinks someone won't like anything she does unless it's "professionally" quilted.

grace said...

I have no idea what any of those quilting terms means. What I do know, though, is that the pile of fabric in that picture is SO FREAKING CUTE. Your quilt is going to be perfect.

Jackie said...

OH MY GOD!!! I can't tell you how much this infuriates me! So, I've been "not-quilting" for the past 10 years because I hardly ever have sashing and I've NEVER had any of my stuff professionally quilted? Crap. I have been wasting my time! Sorry, but hardly any quilter I know (and I know a LOT of quilters) has their quilts professionally done. What an idiot. It's a good thing I don't live where you do or I would go into that shop just to mess with her 'cause that's how I roll.
I can't wait to see your beautiful "Not-a-quilt"!

misschris said...

Oh good grief, where was this???!!

Of course, I get some crazy freaking looks when I pop into my LQS with my vintage sheeting pieced quilt tops and such.

A quilt, the last time I checked, was about the sandwiching part, no??? Because that makes it *quilted*. Or maybe I'm making that up. Whatever.

Skye said...

"And I'm quite certain she was trying to be helpful."

I think part of the problem with civilization is that we react to these people as if that's true, as if they really are trying to be helpful and not to dominate you. Perhaps we are too stunned by their behavior to really believe it's as bad as it is.

Kristi said...

I've made quilts for all three of my kids. There was no sashing, and I quilted them myselves. All three of them made their feelings known about this travesty of quilting in their first six months of life when they each proceeded to throw up, spit up or manage to squirt something out of their diaper onto the quilt.

Everyone's a critic.

Anonymous said...

Coming from a tiny town, I have experience with little old ladies thinking they need to tell you your business. My defense is to just nod and smile, even if they can TOTALLY tell you're not taking them seriously.
On a side note, I don't think I've ever commented on your blog before so I'd just like to say, I appreciate your attitude :P

Chickenbells said...

Sheesh...give some people a little bit of power. Anywho...the fabric selections you have picked are absolutely adorable, regardless of whatever that lady though you needed to be doing with them.

Rebecca said...

I was just talking to a friend about customer service, or lack of it. I'm older, so I remember decent customer service, you know... I'm always right!! The old biddies should have known better. Just as irksome are the young girls who tell me me choice in a meal is awesome! What the hell?

Keyona said...

You should have choked her with the fabric. Ugh. I'm so violent. It's the hormones. Can't wait to see the quilt and get mines in the mail. What? No quilt for me? Hmph.

kristi said...

Gee, I had no idea that none of my handmade quilts were actually quilts, nor that nobody liked them! Is she a professional quilter herself, or is she maybe referring people to a professional quilter and getting a kickback?

I agree, very poor business practice, also bitchy!

Sarah Jackson said...


btw, I am in serious covet over the rainbow drop fabric. I used to have tons of it and I used nearly all of it. *sob*

Lesson learned. Hoard the good stuff.

jacquie said...

damn...guess i don't make quilts at all. good for you! have fun making it...and oh...i'm so jealous of those seagulls i see under there...covet, covet.

gail said...

Jeeee-zussssss! Serenity NOWWWWWWW! (Seriously, though, that IS in the world did you keep a straight face during that exchange?)

Sharon said...

Fo' real?!?

On another note....your fabrics are DROOL-WORTHY!!!

Emily Grant said...

I am not a quilter, but I do enjoy sewing, and I have never even heard of sashing. I'm sure it exists, but I don't have any earthly what it is.