Friday, October 20, 2006

All roads lead to quilts

My husband's Hifi was ancient save for the modern addition of a CD player which cost all of about £34.99 a few years ago. For a music buff this is the equivalent of a treadle sewing machine so not unreasonably, ( and after I took delivery of my semi-professional sewing machine) he bought, for an extremely good price, a new, tiny and higher tech Hifi.

Fine. Only It looks daft in the much larger cabinet bought for the old one. And it has an aeriel that has to be pinned to the wall and which now looks like a black varicose vein up the wallpaper. Which, now you come to look at it closely has got a bit faded. So I made an executive decision that the only solution was new cabinet ( I'm thinking one with drawers to hold fabric and may be even one or two of his CDs) new wallpaper and custom made quilted wall hanging to cover the aeriel.

So off to the wallpaper shop. Dennis hates our local curtain and paper emporium Shaws with a passion. He shakes if I make him go in there and look through racks of to-order wallpaper books. So we went to a shop my Mum recommended - Slinns. Which I got Dennis to on the basis that it was more like a B&Q warehouse with racks of choose-and-walk-out-with-them rolls of paper. Which it is. Only nothing off the rack suited. It never does. So then we had to look through all the racks of paper books whilst standing up because, unlike the delightful Shaws, Slinns being like B&Q , do not provide chairs.

Dennis did very well. Very well indeed. Once he got over the habit of trying to guess what I liked and just got into comparing the paper against the sofa cushiosn we dragged in with us because he finds it so hard to carry colours in his head, he was fine.

We began to stack up the open books with possiblties in. One pile I then spread round the cushion, one particular paper stood out for us both as being just the right shade and we put all the other books back and off we went to order it. Only they don't sell it. So why is the sample book out? Because the manufacturers don't tell them which sample books they have discontinued. They just provide a catalogue with an index of what they do sell. I asked why on receipt of that catalogue they didn't just go to their racks of books and take away anything not on the list. Blank look. Arrgh. Why is customer service and common sense such an elusive thing these days?

I was all for denying them my custom and buying said expensive (don't ask) wall paper from Shaws but Dennis started to shake so we had to start again with a second choice , distinctly hampered by the fact that we couldn't remember which books contained out shortlist.

The only happy thing to come out of this was that I was so furious at the staff for wasting my time that they let me borrow without a deposit the 5 sample books in my second pile which contained wall paper that I have no intention of buying but which have design or textures that would make wonderful quilts. I never thought of looking in wall paper books for inspiration but it proves to be a good source.

Such a good source that I might end up with so many wall quilts that we won't see the paper we strove so hard to buy in the first place.
Ah well, tis life.

Off to Bath for a week in a flat for a break early tomorrow so may be blog lite. Not lite in any other way mind you - I have three large bags packed for a seven day trip. One with clothes (and shoes., always so many shoes!), one with fabric and one with sewing machine, and there are two quilt shops within easy reach so I antcipate being heavier on the way back......

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