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a quilting Thing-That-Bugs:

Since Sunday, I've been working on cutting the pieces for two different quilts. In fact, right now, my kitchen table looks like this:Quilt cutting table

One quilt started last fall, intending to give it to a certain kid with a November birthday, but then all the heart stuff happened and I had no time for quilting. My mother-in-law saved the day by giving Nathan, you guessed it: a quilt for his birthday. (I didn't know she was making him a quilt, so really, the heart thing interrupting my quilt was perfect, because I wouldn't have wanted to steal her limelight. The quilt she made him is awesome!)

The other quilt is for Kaleb, who has scary dreams that cause him to sneak into my bed—almost every night. I wake up and he's been sleeping snuggled up close to me, with his head in the exact spot on my arm where a nerve must run, because it's always my painfully-asleep hand and forearm that alert me to his presence. I carry him back to his bed, a difficult feat considering my sleeping arm and the fact that he weighs almost 50 pounds.

I'm really, really tired.

So I am making him the Magic Dinosaur Quilt. I'm using this Michael Miller fabric, which Kaleb spotted at the fabric store. (Luckily, we were shopping just a few days after the store got this fabric; they tend to cut up all the really awesome fabrics into kits, leaving a quarter yard for some lucky customer to get her hands on. This bugs me but it's not The Thing That Bugs from my title.) I am hoping a little wonky psychology will get him to stop dreaming, because since I bought the fabric (in June; don't judge) I've been telling him that the dinosaurs will scare away the bad dreams.

Now that the kids are in school, I can work on some projects, and these two quilts are the first on the list. (Nathan's birthday is, after all, in November!) Which brings me to all that cutting, and the Thing That Bugs: incompetent cutting by fabric-store employees.

I've been shopping for these fabrics for a long time. Over a year in Nathan's quilt's case. So I can't take the fabric back and demand a re-cut. I can only work with what I've got. And what I've got is a lot of nearly-a-quarter yards. Even though I was very specific, each time I bought a new piece: I need nine inches. Please, please, can you cut it straight? Or, even better, cut it generously and give me a piece that's 9.25" wide. That little extra bit gives me just enough to straighten and still be left with nine inches. You know, the nine inches I paid for

It is simply maddening to need nine inches of fabric (and to have paid for nine inches!) only to realize, once I've straightened everything out, that I have 8.75. Sure...it's close to 9. But "close" doesn't really work in quilting. It has to be nine. Of course, I can work around it by cutting in a different way, but it's much less efficient and leaves me with fewer squares and more unusable (for this project) scraps. And, sure: I suppose I could have been buying third yards instead, but I don't think I should have to. I think the fabric store employees should simply be more careful when they are cutting my yardage. Don't you?

Comments

Melanie

I agree 100%! You probably don't buy a lot of fabric at Joann's, and neither do I, partially because of the quality and lack of cute fabric, but also because they're the worst offenders in this area! I have gone back and demanded a re-cut, but it was a fabric they almost always carry. I really love the stores that give a little extra just in case. I think it's their responsibility to make sure we get what we pay for!

Funny, I just had this conversation with my sister the other day. Man, does it make me mad to start cutting and find that I'm short fabric!!!! (Wow, you really brought out the anger in me with this one!)

becky

I have to agree with this post. Wholeheartedly. What is almost as maddening is when I cut something so completely wrong (which I do *so, so so* often, and then I have even less to work with. Argh!!

So excited to see the quilts.

Helena

Ooh, that's bad.

Hmmm... could you tell them you need ten inches?

Angie U.

I agree that they should be trained to cut accurately, but what I really want to know is where to get your willpower?! If I need 9 inches of a fabric, I tend to get a yard, just in case I need it again. This has resulted in an ever-growing fabric stash which causes my husband to ask things like, "Do you know how old you'll have to live to to use up all your fabric?"
Can't wait to see your finished quilts!

Kim

My local quilt store rips the fabric, which always gives you a straight edge. I thought all quilt stores did that. Unfortunately, JoAnn does not . . . . I have no suggestions, sorry.

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