Saturday, February 26, 2011

Marshall Dry Goods

My younger sister is a quilter.  She's made 4 quilts for my kids... a baby quilt for each of them and Olivia has a twin sized quilt.  They are all awesome.  I need to get some pictures of them.  She decided it was time to make Isabelle a twin sized quilt for her birthday in April.  She's found a pattern and needed to go buy fabric for it and remembered a place she had been to before called Marshall Dry Goods.  It's in Batesville, which is about an hour and a half from where we live.  She asked me if I wanted to go with her, so I jumped on it. 

The morning started out kind of rough... my husband was on call and actually got called out about 2am.  He doesn't normally get called out when he's on call, but - of course - since I had plans it had to happen.  He didn't get home until 7:30am.  We had planned to leave by 7am (I had to be home about 1pm and there was 3 hours worth of driving to do), so we got a late start, but it was fine.  We had plenty of time to browse and not feel rushed.

I learned several things over the few hours we were away from home.  The first is that I'm a terrible navigator.  Seriously.  She has GPS on her phone with turn-by-turn directions and I was keeping up with it.  But there were at least three times I said "Oops!  You were supposed to turn there!"  And I'm really bad with left/right directions... always have been.  I didn't realize she was too.  So I'm sitting there getting it all straight in my head to tell her to turn left or right and she's trying to go the other way.  It's probably a miracle we made it.  But we did.  Needless to say she turned on the voice directions for our drive back, which was actually pretty funny when we stopped for lunch and sat down to eat and the GPS started telling my sister directions from her back pocket!

Batesville is not exactly a bustling metropolis.  And the store is just tucked away in an old building.  It's not fancy by any stretch of the imagination. I think I heard someone say that they have been open 60 years.  And I think I found some fabric that has been there about that long.  I was a little worried when I started browsing.  I'm picky about fabric.  It doesn't have to be designer, in fact I think plenty of designer fabric is just plain obnoxious and ugly.  When I was looking at some of this stuff, it reminded me of when I was a kid and you could tell who had homemade clothes because of the cheesy prints.  It reminded me of all the things I dislike about homemade stuff - the hokey, cheesiness you can sometimes get.  Don't get me wrong, I obviously love handmade things, as long as they don't look homemade.    Does that make me a craft snob?  So be it.

I found a few things I liked and just kept wandering.  Then I discovered these bins with fabric that wasn't on bolts, just folded.  I was worried at first that you'd have to buy the whole bundle of fabric and it was like 6 or 7 yards.  But that wasn't the case.  I started digging through those bins and it was just awesome.  I probably could have bought at least twice what I did buy, but I figured we might want to buy groceries or put gas in the vehicles this week.

Marshall Dry Goods
It's not as big as, say, a Walmart shopping cart, but still....

My sister's shopping cart was stuffed, even more than mine.  Izzy requested a rainbow quilt, so she had to get an insane variety of colors in different shades... I don't know that I could coordinate that much fabric.  I was trying to coordinate 3 fabrics for a pinafore and was struggling.  

I learned that I am definitely drawn to a particular color:

Marshall Dry Goods
These were the first 4 fabrics I picked.  

I had to force myself to concentrate on pink.  All three girls wanted pink or red.  I'm not a fan of red and I was thinking along the lines of Easter dresses and red is just not an Easter color to me.  So I went towards pink.  I changed my mind about their Easter outfits and have decided against pinafores.  I'm still making one, because I did buy the pattern.  And of course, it's mostly pale green.  I just can't help it.  But their Easter outfits will be pink and/or purple.

I learned that if you visit a fabric store in the country, you will find this:

Marshall Dry Goods
Camo... and I couldn't even fit the whole table in the picture.

Not only did they have an enormous section of camo fabric... but I overheard the ladies at the cutting tables discussing how they just got in some camo fabric for a wedding dress.  Silky, sheeny, fancy camouflage.  Different strokes, I guess...  

I walked out of there with 18 yards of fabric.  Yes, EIGHTEEN.  How insane is that?  And what is more insane.... I only paid $60.  Yes, that's way less than an average of $4 a yard.  I paid $2 a yard for a few of my fabrics.  You can't beat that with a stick.  I actually do have plans for a lot of it, but there is some that I bought just because I liked it.  And at those prices, I'm OK with that. 

I know that so far I have Easter outfits, a pinafore, curtains, and a purse planned for sure.  I can't wait to scheme up some more ideas.  =)  I had a wonderful time with my sister and a much, much needed break from my crazies.  I spent the afternoon with them and we even went out for frozen yogurt.  Wonderful day, all around.


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