I'm willing to bet that there are a lot of you out there who are exactly like me. We simply don't shop.
Shoes, handbags, jewelry, clothes, electronics, cars...We really don't care. My one exception is good kitchen utensils, but like my contractor friend says, if you have a job to do, you should make conditions as favorable as possible.
Ahh, but needlework things? Now that's a different story. I'd like to think that I know the trends. I know what's new and exciting. I know what's hard to find and hotly sought after. Some ladies know shoes. I know stitchery! So if I'm shopping for needlework supplies, I'm in my own little heaven and I can find all kinds of ways to make myself happy.
Sadly, so many shops have closed over the years that I don't get many opportunities these days to spend time in my only shopping heaven. So when I found that I'd be passing within 10 minutes of The Stitching Post in Baltimore, Maryland, you know I had to stop.
In a word? Fabulous. No. Really, really, fabulous. As in a wonderful shopping experience. Seriously, I'd plan a day trip just to go there. (It's just over a three hour drive for me) Here is its fabulousness in list form:
1. Friendly and helpful staff. Two very nice women were working that morning. I was greeted, left to browse at my leisure, and helped very quickly when I asked for it.
2. Excellent selection of fibers, and well organized displays of those fibers.
3. Excellent selection of fabrics - custom cut AND pre-cut. I like being able to choose between those options. Also a nice varied selection of bits and pieces of fabric that were inexpensive to begin with and then discounted an additional 20%.
4. Good selection of local-interest charts, and well organized "families" of charts. Cubbies of samplers, baby projects, seasonal, etc.
5. Gadgets! Oh yeah!
6. Location - I mentioned that The Stitching Post is just minutes off of I695 in Baltimore, which is wonderful. But it's also in a small shopping plaza with a quilt and fabric store one door down! And a yarn and knit shop too, but I didn't go into it. (There was a time I thought I was a knitter, but that phase ended quickly.) Easy-peasy parking right out front and lots of places to grab a quick lunch.
And now you're all thinking, just Shut-Up-Lee and show us what you bought. I should preface this by saying that I had several charts that needed to be kitted up, and I took those charts with me. But I did treat myself to one new project. So here goes:
First up, my new project, a Quaker card purse - or whatever it becomes whenever I've finished with it! Here's the chart and the Belle Soie silks. Didn't buy the fabric. I have plenty of white and ivory linen. (I took these photos yesterday and it was kind of cloudy. The colors here are waaaaay off)
Next is a HIH project that I've had on my mind since our 25th wedding anniversary, but only just bought this winter and now I've kitted it up with Summer Khaki belfast and WDW and GA threads. Once I start it, I know it'll go quickly. And that's a new magnetic needleminder. I'll tell you, when I'm dead and gone, I know my descendants will wonder about my obsession with magnets....But is that adorable or what?
I've had this La D Da chart for a couple of years. You are my Sunshine was Colleen's favorite song when she was a baby, so you know I had to buy it. Now I have it kitted with some gorgeous WDW linen and GA threads. It's going to be a great project. The needleminder needed another photo op, too.
I've had Beneath the Sunlit Sky since last year - a perfect summertime chart. So now it has fabric and thread to keep it company, too. That's Confederate Gray linen and Crescent Color threads. My own conversion....I think it'll work.
I've been itching to try some larger count fabrics for some of these simple charts. I think it'll give them some "pow", if you know what I mean. There was a nice selection of 18ct Cork Linen (I'll stitch over two and make it 9 stitches/inch), and some workable pieces of Tula. I already have most of the perle cottons. Oh, and the white piece is lovely and glittery.
And speaking of glittery, here is some opalescent Jazlyn and Cashel. (Just arrived from Silkweaver via mail order, but I thought you'd like to see it anyway)
I was very happy with my haul, and despite the way that I bragged in the post I wrote before I left, my credit card barely got warm. Oh, but if I lived closer....I'd be in big trouble.
Moving on, I visited the quilt shop, too. The Seminole Sampler had some beautiful fabrics, and I wish I had taken time to read their blog before I went because I would have hunted more for the Williamsburg Sampler Collection fabrics. But anyway, I found some nice fabric to finish-finish these projects:
OK, so after all of this exhilarating shopping, I hopped back onto 695 and drove through to Cape May, where I had hoped to visit Stitch by Stitch, but I never made it there. It was a combination of family, friends, drama, and the fear of rush hour traffic on I95 through Philadelphia the next day. It all conspired against me, and I had to skip shopping there. I had some beach themed projects in my head, but maybe next time....
In other news, I have lots of family stuff going on right now, but that will be fodder for another day.
Drama? You betcha.