Sunday, January 23, 2011

The Saga of the Border Fabric

Here is what I decided to use for the border fabric. Originally I wanted to use one of the dark colors from the quilt, but the two quilt stores I went to get some didn't carry Moda Marbles.

Here is a very long story explaining why I didn't go to the original store to buy more Moda Marbles

The original fabric store is owned by a very controlling man. When I first bought all the fabric I purchased 13 different colors of the Moda Marbles. I wanted 1/4 yard of most of them and knew it would take a while to cut them all because there were so many, but it ended up taking about 30 minutes. The owner doesn't have cutting mats and rotary cutters for his employees to use...OK, not everyone does, but because the woman had to use scissors she could only cut one fabric at a time. That added a bit of time to the cutting time. He also has them use T-squares to mark the fabric before cutting so the cuts are straight and then it's marked with chalk and then cut on that line. The T-squares are those used for drywall, so are about 4 feet long. They're a bit unwieldy and when the employee is done marking, the T-square has to be put aside so the fabric can be cut, usually set leaning against the cutting table next to the employee. Twice while I was having my fabric cut the owner came through and told her to put the T-square away because it was dangerous and someone was going to trip (good thinking if she wasn't done using it.) She told him she was still using it because she was still cutting. He also told her to put away the scissors at another time, and not leave them laying on the table...oh, one of the other employees also came by and put the scissors away...while she was still working on cutting the fabric I had on the cutting table.

I was in a time crunch because I was there on my lunch 30 minutes and it took me about 10 minutes to get to the store. Needless to say I was late getting back to work. I clenched my teeth the whole time she was cutting because it took about 3 minutes per fabric (I never really timed it though so I'm not POSITIVE it took that long). The woman moved a bolt of fabric in front of her, unfolded a bit, lined it up along the front edge of the table and put a mark at 1/4 yard. She moved the fabric a bit, so she could get the T-square on the table in the right position. She then picked up the T-square, lined it up with the edge of the table, found the chalk, drew a line. Next, take the T-square off the table, set it aside (tell the owner she is still using it) pick up the scissors (need to be sharpened, so has to cut with the edge closest to the handles that means she can cut about 1" at a time). Set the scissors aside, fold, fold, fold my fabric, set it aside. Take the bolt of fabric, look at the end and write down the 7 -digit SKU  and put it with the other bolts that have been cut, (about 6 feet away). Start all over again. After all 13 fabrics were cut, she had to ENTER EACH 7-DIGIT NUMBER INTO THE COMPUTER with the amount. HELP ME PLEASE GET OUT OF HERE. I was about ready to pull my hair out by the time she was done. She wasn't dawdling, but she wasn't a speed demon either.


OK, I finally cut the fabric a couple of days later, and one of the 1/4 yard pieces was cut crooked so I didn't get 6 strips out of it, I only got 5...this means I have to go back and get another 1/4 yard piece. It's only one fabric to cut, so shouldn't take nearly as long, right?

This time, instead of measuring 1/4 yard with the chalk on one edge, then using the T-square to mark the fabric and cut it, she took out a tape measure to measure 1/4 yard in two places on the fabric then was going to line up the ruler and mark the line. Unfortunately this was the same fabric that was cut crooked before, so I would have lost a strip on each edge because I was cutting strips, with the fabric folded. I pointed this out and she said she had to do it the way, that was what the owner had directed her to do. I said again, that if she cut it that way I didn't have a quarter yard of fabric to use. There was another woman cutting fabric at the time (I guess the manager) and she came over and rather abruptly marked the fabric straight, saying that she would get in trouble from the owner for not following his instructions.  I kept quiet, payed for my fabric and left. When I got in the car I looked at the amount of "extra" fabric I got because one end was cut crooked and the other straight...3/4".

All of this to say, I just can't go back to that store right now and buy more fabric. No one was rude, but I know I would go INSANE if I had to watch them cut even one piece of fabric. Neither of the other stores in town had Moda Marbles, so I had to find something else (what a long story to explain why I have a different fabric for the border.)

I just needed to share that frustration. I have no idea how much it costs for rotary cutters, mats, and scanners, but holy mackerel, is it really THAT expensive?


Vicki W said...

Now that is one weird store! Can you imagine having to work there?

Wordfiend said...

Wow. Don't you just hate it when an experience that should be positive (like purchasing something that gives you pleasure) turns out to raise your blood pressure? Grrrr.

Ann Marie said...

I would order my moda marbles online, then make a point of going back there, just to ask him why he is stuck in the 70's, NO ONE cuts fabric like that anymore. That you would be taking your business else where.

Allie said...

You have GOT to be kidding - I would NEVER go back to that store! That's insane. I'd much rather buy online than go through that. Especially if you know what colors you want. Sure wouldn't want to work for him, although in this economy, I wouldn't be quitting!
I like the fabric you picked out for the border. It fits right in with the travel theme. Good job!

Joyce said...

I like stores that give you the benefit of a doubt and cut a half an inch longer. I'm not crazy about having them rip the fabric, which some stores do but at least it's probably straight then.

Dolores said...

OMG I feel for you. I would never ever go back to a store like that and I would make sure all my friends knew how awful a time I had.
Have you thought of purchasing what you need online?

Debby said...

I know you didn't think it funny at the time, but you had me laughing the whole time I was reading your sounded like a bad dream!


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