Saturday, May 05, 2007

Going Out of Business ... eventually

Last summer when I was on a grand jury and down in lower Manhattan twice a week, I explored the last of the rats' nest fabric stores that used to abound in that area. Only six or seven remained. By "rat's nest" I mean a jumble of fabric, mostly on long rolls, not folded on bolts as suburbanites find it. Often with barrels of remnants and piles of trims. Some of those stores are so claustrophobic I can't handle going in them -- there are a few in the garment district still but most there have mordernized and organized at least to some extent.

Tracy, a coworker spoke of S&W on lower Broadway when she made bridesmaides dresses for a sister's wedding. I found it and was glad to discover that their 100% cotton, quilt-appropriate cottens were organized in a section at the back of the store. Not a large selection but some nice ones at lower prices than uptown. Then in December I was disappointed to hear they were going out of business as of December. I was recovering from hip surgery and could not have managed the trip except with an expensive cab ride so I missed it. ... I thought. However, a couple of days ago I went down there to check into other bargain stores [shoes mainly!] in that area and walked along B'way. Lo, and behold! S&W were open with a big SALE sign. Wild horses couldn't have kept me from going in.

Everything was drastically, 50 to 60%, marked down. I quickly found a few bargains -- I would have found more but it was Friday afternoon and like many such stores, they close early because of the Sabbath. They actually turned the lights off in the back of the store to encourage me to make up my mind and get out of there. So I didn't get back to the majority of qulit fabrics. However, their patterns were 60% reduced and I have long been envious of the many quilters in my guild with wonderful patchwork jackets. I've thought of making one but don't have pattern. I found a Vogue pattern with an asymmetrical closing -- I like being a little different from the crowd -- yet simple enough to lend it self to a patchwork technique. I also found 6 yards of the wonderful multicolored fabric it's on for only $7 [barely over $1 a yard]. The very first thing I found, as I walked into the store was a cut of blue and white print that my color-memory said is the same as the colors in the blue and white quilt I am making and for which I need a border fabric. It was so inexpensive I knew that if my color sense was wrong I'd be able to use it for something else. Glory be! it is just the right blues. Today I finished the star blocks for the main part of the quilt. Now I have to do some interesting border piecing [Seminole, I think] and I have the right fabric to finish it! Hurray.

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