Sunday Stash #220 – A&E Fabrics
Okay, A&E Fabrics. Discuss. What an explosion of colour, texture, style, design, and everything between the sheets. You know I almost didn’t make it to this place. When googling fabric shops in Pensacola, Florida it came up as attached to a pharmacy. Then I looked at the Google street view shot, and from the outside it’s not much of a looker, at least not in the typical local quilt shop aesthetic that is. I asked Grandma Sparkles and she hesitantly said, “Yeah, I think so. Let’s go over and have a look.” Oh honey, I did much more than look!
So to confirm, A&E Fabrics is actually attached to a pharmacy on one side, and then a fabric-palooza on the other. I know, it’s weird, but it’s been in existence for decades, and who am I to argue with tradition. (Especially when half of it is tailored to my every need, want, and desire!) This picture above is about twenty percent of the store. Wha-wha? Yeah. Like, I thought I had died and gone to heaven when I found the fat quarter bin, and then turned the corner to find all this jazz. Shut. Every. Front. Door.
When I saw shopping carts (trolleys) at the front entrance, I kind of chuckled. Oh naive Molli. By the end of the expedition (<–yes: expedition) I think I had filled up more than a few. Can you blame me?! I mean, look WHAT I FOUND! This is Moda’s Get a Clue with Nancy Drew range from 2013, and it is most definitely out of print. It was also most definitely on sale so I bought yardage of each of the prints. Did I have some in my stash at home that I’ve never used? Of course.
Don’t look at me like that! I know you have done exactly the same thing. Look at those magnifying glasses, and all those classic Nancy Drew faces. It makes me want to start reading Nancy Drew all over again. She was and always will be a personal hero and style icon. (Don’t even get me started on George and Bess … oh bless the Bess!) And just, while we’re in the moment, I liked Ned, but don’t you think she could have done a little bit better? Even though he inevitably would always show up when Nancy found herself in some crazy inescapable moment, he never truly appreciated her and her talents. Nancy Drew forever!
Okay, so other exciting finds: these Jay McCarroll pieces from Center City which was also on sale. (Like, sale-sale.)
Then a spot of Alison Glass, another tidbit of some Jay …
… who would I be without picking up some of Zen Chic’s latest, Lustre? I almost bought all the range, but then that dusty, Robin’s Egg blue she used just has me going NO. So I kept it classy with just the black and golds. I think I’m missing a few pieces though, so I’ll still be on the lookout!
Then I turned a corner and found they also had a few Art Gallery Pure Elements. So I bought a little bit of each one. And by a little bit I mean, um, … ssshhhh.
Okay, and then the craziest thing happened. I was chit-chatting with Grandma Sparkles about some fabric or another (who can remember in all the dizzying array of bolts that were throwing themselves at me!) That’s when Juliette (pictured below) interjected into our conversation that I should definitely buy them. Haha, like I need encouragement. But, but, but … it was the best interjection ever. Low and behold, I had been clocked as soon as I had walked into the store. (“Clocked” = to be found out.) Now, I say this with the utmost disregard to ego, but sometimes I get recognised as Molli Sparkles, but I never expect to be recognised. While shopping in a foreign city, where I’ve not announced I’m going to be, is one of those situations that I do not expect to be noticed. Wrong.
Ms. Juliette, who is the President of the Pensacola Modern Quilt Guild had noticed who I was, hence why she struck up a conversation. I’m so glad that she did! When travelling to new places, I love to speak to local quilters to get a feel of what the “scene” is like. Who’s doing what, and how they’re doing it, what’s popular, and all that. I never want to walk up to shop owners, or locals and be all like, “Don’t you know who I am?” (Rude.) However, I also want them to know what I am talking about with regards to quilting and fabric. Which, when you’re a guy in a fabric shop, can be a bit challenging. Juliette was my lifesaver so to speak. We had a good gasbag about quilting (of course), working on a project together, and speaking at the PMQG on my next visit. She even called her sister who is also a quilter to come meet us at the shop. #flattered
Meanwhile, Grandma Sparkles was standing there slack jawed that complete strangers knew who I was and had spotted me in the wild. While I have experienced this sort of notoriety before, it was the first time Grandma Sparkles had been present for it. I must say it was pretty spectacular seeing her reaction!
Juliette soon introduced me to the owner Rhonda who told me she has so much fabric she can’t even fit it all on the floor (gasp!) …
… then some of the team working to facilitate my habit. Hello! Martini fabric with instructions on how to make your favourite drinks. Yes, yes, and more yes. I’ll have another!
Now, as if I need any other reason to extol the virtues of A&E Fabrics, but I’ve got another one to share with you. Every month they have a fabric sale that caters to some sort of theme. In this instance, since it was February, any print fabric that had red in it was on sale. I really had to clarify that with the counter ladies. “Do you mean to tell me that even this fabric with one red dot on it is on sale?” Yes, Molli, yes. I think it was at that point I grabbed another trolley! Meanwhile, Juliette had concocted this plan to travel ahead to another local fabric and notions shop called Martelli’s. She insisted I come over and meet the owners after I had finished up all my shopping at A&E Fabrics. That is another epic story, for next Sunday!
So I quickly began throwing things in my cart that I had seen and had to double back and get. Alexander Henry, check. Mirror Ball Dot, check. Hoffman Fabrics, check. By the way, how fabulous is that prismatic digital print? Hot pants are most certainly in order.
I’ve long had a lipstick block designed in my sketch book that I’m hoping to utilise this fabric for. And another Hoffman digital print! Seriously, this fabric house is going from strength to strength. This picture doesn’t tell the full story of this fabric called Supernova in Emerald, but it has this amazing fractured ombre radiating out from the centre. Divine, I tell you, divine! At this stage, I was literally running around the shop just grabbing things that I thought I couldn’t live without. Looking back, maybe a bit embarrassing, but I’m writing it up as dedication to the craft!
So A&E Fabrics! Do you dig it? Are you ready to take a holiday to Pensacola, Florida just to visit this shop? I’m already planning a trip back sometime in September – October, so meet me there?! Maybe I need to host a shop hopping fabric bus tour!? How fun would that be! Okay, your turn, what’s happening in your stash this week?