My newest project involves applique letters on a tablecloth, and I had lots of questions.
Will cotton letters pucker on a polyester tablecloth? Do the letters need to be stabilized? Which shade of blue should I choose for the letters? Does the fabric need to be solid or mottled? Do I have to wash the fabric before I start my work?
I had a plan and thought I was going in the right direction. To be sure, I headed straight to my local quilt shop to consult the owner.
When I entered her shop with my tablecloth, color swatches and design in tow, I had to take a number. About seven other quilters were waiting for her advice.
She was amazing, working calmly and unfazed as bolts of fabric stacked up around her at the cutting table. She skillfully used her rotary cutter to fill order after order while calculating measurements and giving advice about color choices, border widths and methods of applique inbetween each rolling cut.
Without pause, she directed a restaurant delivery man to the next room, where customers were taking a class. She praised two shoppers who offered her suggestions about quilting retreats. She helped someone find an app for a smart phone. She sympathized with the woman who was in line because she cut her fabric wrong.
She welcomed two women who had traveled from another state to visit her shop. They were making shoulder bags and forgot to bring their patterns. She gathered information about straps, pockets, linings and zippers to help them figure out how much fabric they needed and if stripes would work.
I waited an hour and a half for her to look at my tablecloth project and give me advice.
But I didn’t mind. The quilt shop owner is my compass. She helps lead my projects in the direction of success.