My friend, Catherine, who I met at the ASG conference in Houston in 1997, and who now lives in Chicago, came to visit Nick and me this past weekend. I hadn' t seen her in at least a few years, although with the magic of email, we've kept in touch.
Being true sewing friends, the first thing we did, after I picked her up at the airport on Saturday, was drive to Jomar! Jomar is the fabulous, wonderful, exciting, textile wonderland, of which several outlets exist in Philadelphia. Catherine and I started at the Whitaker Avenue location, near Roosevelt Boulevard. I got a silk knit for $1 per yard. Catherine and I both got a yummilicious rayon lycra knit for $1 per yard. And so on. Despite our relative gluttony, I only spent around $28. Catherine spent about $15. (There was a beautiful silk that I 'splurged' on for $4 per yard, which brought my tab up to way more than Catherine paid.)
Onward to the outlet at I and Venango, in Juniata Park. By this time, we were hungry (it was around 1:30 PM). I spotted a police cruiser on I street, about 1 block from Jomar, so I drove up to him. He rolled down his window, and we asked him where we should eat lunch. Cops ALWAYS know the good food places, right? He looked us over, and after deciding we were for 'real', he told us to get out of that neighborhood pronto, and that he NEVER eats in that neighborhood, and for our own safety, to LEAVE. NOW. He meant well, but really! Well, we backtracked back to Roosevelt, found a fabulous Vietnamese place, and proceeded back to I and Venango. That Jomar is usually the best, in my experience. This day, however, it was HOT. (The ambient street temperature was at least 95 degrees...and the Jomar A/C was NOT working.) So I only spent about $10 there. (5 yards of white tricot interfacing and a black and grey poly textured knit.)
We got back on the road, and ended our trip at Jomar in Lansdale. Catherine exclaimed, upon entering this store, "Barbara, this is Nieman Marcus, compared to those other places!". She is right. There is plenty of room between fabric aisles, the A/C was blowing full force, and there were hardly any other shoppers in the store. Phew! A long, but productive "Jomar" day! Catherine and I headed back home (I live only 15 minutes from Lansdale), where Nick, my wonderful, gem of a husband, was preparing to grill some Omaha steaks, which Nick's darling dad had sent us for Nick's birthday.
Oh yeah. Now to the "sewing room gets cleaned" part of this treatise. Thanks to Catherine, who slept on an AeroBed in my sewing room, because I had spent the previous evening organizing my sewing room. Whenever friends come to visit (which is not often), they sleep in the sewing room. And yesterday, in my super clean, wide open, spacious, organized, sewing room, I cut and constructed an entire dress.
So the moral of my story is: Host out of town sewing friends at your house- you get twice the benefit -- a clean sewing room AND sewing motivation and inspiration!