This post continues my series of posts on my trip to Quilt Town, USA to attend a Missouri Star Quilt Company (also known as “MSQC”) quilt retreat with my long time quilting friends. The previous three previous posts in the series are:
MSQC Quilt Retreat Part I: What I Worked On
MSQC Quilt Retreat Part II: Quilt Town, USA
MSQC Retreat Part III: Inside the Shops
First of all, do not judge. I have a fetish for fabric scraps – ha! Okay that sounds a wee bit weird, but I would rather make things from fabric scraps than cut into yardage. I only buy fabric by the yard when I absolutely have to or the fabric is so amazing I cannot leave it in the shop (and it looks at me with puppy eyes saying “Tierney take me home…”).
So when I heard that while I was at the MSQC week long retreat there was a “Scrap Bag Sale” at the Penny’s Quilt Shop I shivered with excitement.
This not my first rodeo as they say, I’ve been to lots of fabric scrap sales where you fill a bag for a specific price, with as much fabric scraps as you can fit in (and yeah, I am ALWAYS up to the challenge to see how much I can fit in the bag they provide without it breaking).
But, I’ve NEVER been to a “scrap bag” sale where 1 yard, 2 yard, and even 3 yard pieces are considered scraps!!! Yes there were a couple pieces here and there that you might call “scraps” – like quarter and half yard pieces, but most of what was in their bins were larger pieces that I definitely would not classify as “scraps”.
What I heard from another quilter during the feeding frenzy (photo below) was that Missouri Star will pull pieces off the bolt that are 3 yards or less and put them away for the scrap sale.
What you are about to see was what could be considered a “super spreader event” as no one was wearing masks, but luckily the pandemic is tapering down in my part of the world.
Here is the FEEDING FRENZY:
And yes I was right in the middle of it. I stepped out to take photos.
Actually everyone was so patient, thoughtful and kind. It was the nicest frenzy you could imagine. Quilters would yell out what they were looking for and we would pull for them and toss to them what they were looking for. I got so much Kaffe Fassett fabric this way from the bins.
Also people would take a break from being in the bins and make way for other quilters waiting in queue. Actually you had to take a break for a while as it was sort of exhausting sifting through all those yard pieces of fabric and a bit claustrophobic.
You also needed a break to stuff your bag!
Besides finding AMAZING top quality quilting fabric (of like every fabric line you could imagine) one of the most fun parts of the whole experience was laughing with everyone there as you tried to stuff your bag as full as possible.
Here were the early stages of packing bags with “scraps”:
Notice how no fabric is reaching over the top of the bags.
Here is my pile of bags starting to grow (I did stop at 4 but later got one more) as I left them among the pile of coats (it was getting warm from all those people foraging through all those bins of fabric):
Then we heard that the shop did not really care how full you got the bag as long as all fabric was “touching” the inside of the bag. So things got creative…
Here are a series of photos on my quilting friends and I engaging in “creative scrap bag stuffing“:
We were laughing so hard! It got to be a real game of “what else can we fit in there?“
Here are a couple of my long time quilting friends and I resting after our scrap foraging. We were exhausted but happy! (Note, not all our group attended the scrap sale, some were back at the Retreat Center being productive working on their projects!)
And here I am with another expression of “pure joy” like in the previous post (and note it was not just because of the amazing deals but that I was hanging out with friends, lol):
When we returned to the Retreat Center, Jessica, one of the Retreat Coordinators, challenged us to see how much yardage we had inside one of our bags.
One person had 27 yards of fabric inside ONE of their scraps bag. Yes that was 27 yards of fabric for $10.95! Most people had between 20 and 26 yards of fabric packed into ONE scrap bag.
One of the attendees actually ironed and folded her finds (show off, ha!):
I did not. I took all my scraps from the sale to the Main Shop for packaging up to send home to me! As I mentioned in the first post in this series (I think), MSQC will ship whatever you bought or worked on for FREE to you if you are attending a retreat so you don’t have to figure out how to get it home. (Yes they are encouraging attendees to shop to their heart’s content).
So, a couple days after I returned home from the retreat I received two boxes in the mail:
And here are the “scraps” I got from the sale:
I won’t tell you the total amount of fabric, because I did not even count the yardage.
I just ironed the fabric and incorporated it into my stash…while giggling…