Fabric Shopping with Noah and Grace

I talked about Grace’s first fabric shopping trip over here for her 5th birthday present. Noah, her older brother (7), didn’t want to be outdone so he informed me that the next time his parents went away and they stayed with us, I was to take him fabric shopping. I told him I would if he had a project to shop for.

It was quite the experience. On the way there I asked him if he had any ideas of what to expect and he said no. I asked Grace if she would like to tell Noah. Noah was emphatic that he wanted it to be a surprise. I told him that even if I tried to explain it he would still be surprised. I really wanted to see how Grace viewed it.

Here goes as best as I can remember,

Grace: “Well, Noah, there are all these shelves with fabric on them and when you want something you take it off the shelf and look at it. They are all different colors. Then there are these pieces of fabrics that you can pick up and hold, what are they called Grandma?”

Me: I replied, “fat quarters.”

Grace: “Oh yeah, fat quarters, you get to hold these in your hand and carry them around and there are all kinds. When you know what you want, you take it to the lady and she cuts it for you.”

So Noah, there you have it. The description of a quilt shop from a 5-year-old. And of course he was clueless. How do you tell a 7-year-old boy that your eyes glaze over as you take in all the colors and patterns and that your mind fills with possibilities.

It was interesting to see how they shopped. Tell me if  you think this is typical male/female shopping:

Noah knew right off the bat what colors he wanted so I took him to that part of the store and he barely moved from there. I won’t share what he is making (he doesn’t like his parents to read what he is doing before he gets to show them), but I did encourage him to add another color into his plan.  This is what he started with. He did swap out the fabric on the right and change the color of the bolt on the left.

Noah's fabrics

And did add some color, his final picks:

Noah's Final fabric pics

Grace got out her fabrics swatches (she wanted to add more for her doll quilt) that she has started here, and started browsing the store. I kept trying to check on Noah (and get a picture) but she wanted my opinion on the different options she was picking out.

Grace debating 2

Things came off the shelf and then back on, many times. Noah was wondering what took Grace so long. He has a lot to learn about a girl and her fabric.

Grace Debating

The last color Grace added was a blue. She was looking for the right one. The owner even came over to help but none of them were the right blue (to Grace). Grace finally found just the right one, shown 2nd from the left.

The swatches are the original fabrics and she has decided the middle purple one doesn’t work any more so that one will be saved for a future project.

Grace Final Fabric pics


I can see a difference in her color choices from the first shopping trip to this second one.

Now to find time to sew with them again.

So what are your thoughts about a fabric shop, how would you describe it to someone who has never been?

Learning and teaching on the journey, Jackie

  • Jaye

    This is a great post and I love the descriptions of their process. Males and females are definitely different and Noah may take longer next time. You are a good Grandma!

    • Jackie

      Thanks Jaye, The process of sewing/crafting has not taken hold of Noah as it has Grace. And that is okay, but I plan to foster it as much as I can.