Yesterday I went shopping for supplies for my quilt class next week at Mandors, a downtown fabric store, with my good friend Dr JB who is doing the same quilt class as me. It was an interesting shopping experience. Mandors was hosting its quilt group/class and it was quite intimidating. The leader/teacher of the group was shooing us about whilst issuing short, sharp commands at her group/students. I felt rather glad that I signed up elsewhere as I probably would not have taken nicely to someone barking "I have fifteen years of quilting experience and my mother hand-quilted.." at me if I asked a newbie question.
But it was very fun finding fabrics.
Mandors has a large area devoted to quilt cottons which meant we almost had too much to choose from. Dr JB ended up with a gorgeous burgundy/cream/light green combination while I have obviously been inspired by Roobeedoo's current obsession with orange. That art deco-esque cotton just .. yes.
However, again I felt slightly weirded out by Mandors whilst I was choosing my fabrics.
Thanks to my day job (and my other preoccupations) I know I have a good eye for colour. I want a contemporary edge to my quilt so I deliberately stayed far away from flowery fabrics and cuddly teddy bear prints and instead opting for fabric with clean, simple visual design - but I had to do battle with the young sales girl to get away with this (yes I'm serious when I say I don't like blue) and I now regret giving up on a grey-and-orange idea I had going into the store. I wonder what the girl would have made of the Oh, Fransson! quilting aesthetic which I think takes quilting into the 21st century.
Mandors is a good shop with a great selection (and I happen to have friends working there too, so I think some of their staff members are wonderful). I just feel a bit odd about how my aesthetics match up what I ended up buying. The fabric selection is lovely but perhaps a touch more matchy than what I had anticipated..
Questions: how do you choose your supplies, dear crafters/knitters/sewers? Do you have a strong, distinctive style that you do not deviate from? Do you go for "things that go together" in a slightly nebulous way? Do you have an idea in mind before you purchase? Do you look for inspiration in the shop? How much does staff influence your choice? How much advice do you look for?