Earlier this year, my stash was purged of metres of fabrics I will never use. I can’t remember why I bought some of these pieces in the first place! I have decided to prevent this happening again by hiring a personal shopper who specialises in advising quilters.
Does such a person exist? A personal shopper helps other people buy goods by making suggestions for purchases. Usually this relates to fashion items such as clothes and accessories, but also in other fields such as home furnishings. I can’t see why we couldn’t extend this to the quilting world.
Here is a job description for my fantasy personal shopper. She needs to have these attributes: empathy, tact, a sense of humour and patience. She needs to accept, without becoming frustrated, that often I will say I want green fabric when what I really need is pink. The ability to read my mind would be convenient for this purpose.
My personal shopper needs to understand that there is no such thing as too many blue fabrics, but one brown fabric is one too many. She has to accept that Sunbonnet Sue and yo-yos have no place in my world and that a look of horror will cross my face if they are accidentally encountered.
I expect my shopper to have extensive knowledge of the current ranges of fabric and also the new ones just about to hit the shops. She should also have contacts in the quilting world that can help her track down an extra fat quarter of a specific fabric I bought in 1992. Knowing my habits so well, she will purchase a metre instead, so that when I finally get around to sewing in a few more years, there will be sufficient to double the width of the borders without panic.
My shopper will have wide-ranging storage experience. She will be able to stack fabric on shelves so that I can remove a piece from the bottom of the stack without the whole lot cascading onto the floor. An understanding of creative chaos is important. I do not want her touching my carefully arranged piles of fabric on my sewing table unless I call for her help; in which case it will be because she has neglected to read my mind on this matter.
Since my personal shopper will constantly entice me with purchase suggestions, she must have a firm grasp of budgeting principles. At the same time, she should know that exceptional temptations call for extreme action and that spending a week’s income on fabric that is 50% off retail price is sensible and is to be applauded.
Wouldn’t we all love a personal shopper to help with our quilting needs? At the very least it will give us someone to blame for all those inexplicable pieces of strange fabric in our stashes.
What guidelines would you give to your fantasy personal shopper?