Sunday, October 16, 2011

End of an Era

Back in late July, I had the privilege of caring for the husband of the couple who own the closest local quilt shop.  (There was another one just a couple miles further, but they relocated about a year ago.) They have an unusual last name, but clueless me didn't make the connection until the off-going day nurse mentioned I would probably get along well with the wife, as she had lots of quilty stuff with her, and hmmm, she thinks they own a quilt shop. Duh.

I'm just one of many customers, and not a regular, so she didn't know me of course, but we talked quilting and about her daughter and son-in-law, (who service Berninas and used to live in my neighborhood) and cruising. When this couple lived in Florida, they used to arrange cruises for folks--didn't understand that part entirely--and we discussed cruise lines, etc. All in all, a pleasant case and I was able to get him comfortable enough to sleep through the night. I was off work the next two nights and when I came back, he was gone, so I assumed he'd gone on home.

On Thurs. before the trip, I dropped my Bernina off at the shop to be cleaned and oiled and serviced while I was gone, as I hadn't had this done since buying it second hand 3 years ago. It was then I learned that David had died! Seems he was diagnosed with stage IV cancer the day after I took care of him, was transferred to the hospital in Asheville, and died 2 weeks later. I was shocked--I'd had no idea. I dashed off a sympathy note to his wife and dropped it in the mail the next morning.

A few days after I returned (and could manage not to sneeze my head off!), I picked up my machine, which had been serviced by Pete Bonesteel, husband of Georgia Bonesteel, of lap quilting fame (!)  The family was still recovering from the loss.  I renewed my 20/20 membership there ($20/year for 20% off all non-sale items all year long) when I paid for the machine.  The next week, I dropped by the shop in search of some more blacks for some Hallowe'en wall hangings I've started. Usually I just get a few fat quarters, but I was having trouble finding many. While searching, I heard a customer ask didn't the shop carry something-or-other, and the shop gal said they usually did, but they were in the middle of a going-out-of-business sale and didn't have any more. Clueless me again--I whipped my head around, and noticed for the first time how empty all the shelves were looking. There were sale signs on all the Horn tables, most of the notions had disappeared, and the long-arm machine was gone out of the shop. None of this was present 5 days before, so the decision had to have been made over the weekend. I'm assuming the shop help got first dibs on items in the shop, because they hadn't advertised the sale and there were no signs outside.
I guess the shop must have been too much for one person to handle, so she decided to just close down.  The signs stated everything was 40% off if you paid by check or card, and 50% off if you paid by cash.  So the next day I came back in with some of my pocket savings and loaded up. I felt like a darned vulture, but told myself she needed the money and I "needed" the fabric, and that's just life.

I loaded up on solids, and fabrics that "read as solids", and some that will coordinate with some rose fabrics I intend to put together later this winter. I also needed more kid fabrics, as I'd like to make some I Spy quilts for my great-nephews.

Grand total before discount: $198.00. And mostly in fat quarters, with a little yardage thrown in, as minimum cuts were one yard. With taxes and discount, $101.06.  And that included 2 cute little jack-o-lantern candleholders I couldn't pass up. All that fabric has been washed and dried, and about 1/2 of it has been ironed and put away. The rest is still piled up on the cutting table, ready for another marathon ironing session, but heaven knows where I'm going to store it.  I am running out of room.

I drove by there the first week of October. The shop is empty, dark, and no signage even to show it was ever there. So very sad. I wish his family the best.


jacquie said...

wow...what a story! i'm sure the business was appreciated. finally have good internet again...great to be visiting old blog friends!

Finn said...

A very interesting tale Stephanie, and I agree, sad. All part of tide of life, ebbing and fully flowing. One just never knows what is around the next corner. So happy that you went back and helped out, LOL. That's what quilters do. Hugs, Finn

Pokey said...

Kindness is always a blessing. that is what you were for them.

MightyMom said...

I'm always sad when a shop closes.