Wednesday, July 1, 2009

No Pattern Left Behind: the Second Fabric Swap*

It wasn't quite the sunny, hot pre-Fourth of July weather I pictured. And to be honest, I wasn't quite in the mood to spearhead another swap, even though I had organized it. I just wanted to nurse a pomegranate martini and swing dance at Martini Park. However, I'm a responsible community organizer, so I follow through on what I'm say I'm going to do. So off I trotted to the Rogers Park Public Library with my box of sewing dollars, a loop of lottery tickets, and vintage Carson Pirie Scott yarns (one box Kelly green, the other black).

Even though I advertised the FREE event on Craig's List, I still only had about eight fabric collectors show up, a little more than the first event. I'm not sure if it was the cool climate, a weeknight or Americans were still mourning the death of Michael Jackson. Who knows?

In any event, I found myself enjoying myself once I unconsciously put myself into Zone. It's just so much fun to meet other sewing and knitting aficionados. In no particular order, I enjoyed meeting:

* Leslie, in her sweet black and white check homesewn halter dress, was waiting in the room next door with her box of patterns and fabric when I arrived with my supplies.
* Mary, who I actually know through her work at Big City Swing. (She's a dance instructor, particularly skilled at the Charleston.) I would never have guessed that she's a quilter although with her great 1930s retro dress style, it makes perfect sense. She left with a few tote/bag patterns, and fabric, of course.
* Calicosarah, who actually convinced me to bring back the box of black wool/poly yarn that I contributed. A consummate knitter, she had all sorts of knitterly knowledge that I'm only beginning to understand three years into the hobby. I admired Sarah's sunny yellow dropped-stitch scarf that she made from a skein of Lorna's Laces.

There were others that I didn't get a chance to chat with quite as much: Lee, Jess, and two other moms whose names escape me. I'm grateful that all came, and we such a good time, and came away with some new goodies. I personally got a fuschia knit and pretty trims from Calicosarah's collection, another swishy pink and blue sky knit print, and a watercolor woven. Sheesh! I'm all set until the next fabric swap.

I don't want to omit Ruth, my regular Vogue Fabrics free sewing demo partner. She was at the swap last time with her daughters. This time her oldest didn't want anything to do with the sewing dollars, which we incidentally didn't use. Not enough shoppers! Erin McKean was also there dumping an unfinished knitted sweater in addition to fabric.

Anyhow, some of you may know Erin is leaving Chicago next month for the lovely city of San Francisco for a new job. In Fabricspeak, she's leaving Vogue Fabrics to shop at Britex. I knew you'd get that. Anyhow, she's been very emphatic about wanting another swap before she departs. It has something to do with de-stashing. Does anyone fully understand that concept?
So I promised to organize another exchange to help her out. Next time I promise to make the event more inviting to knitters and quilters. You'll be able to bring knitting needles, YARN, and bags of fat quarters. How exciting can that be? Stay super-tuned while I return to the library to set a date.
* The picture above has nothing to do with the swap. It's completely gratuitous. These are two of perhaps a dozen smocked, unfinished dress panels now at Vogue Fabrics, in Evanston.. These two are in the remnants section, near the cash register. There are more hanging on the wall in the silk room. They're each $23.99, a little pricey in my sewing book. All you had to do to complete 'em would be finish the bodice edge and edges and stitch up the back. Done!


QuiltyGoodness said...

Hi Mary Beth! Thanks for the shout out. If you (or others) want to check out my blog, it is linked in my name.

And if you have some secret fabrics that you'd like to get rid of, feel free to email me.


the_lazymilliner said...

Mary - thanks for coming to the swap. I'll go through my collection and see what fabrics you might like. Have a Happy Fourth! Mary Beth