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I have been thrown out of worse places...or have I???

While thinking of things to share on this blog, I have to admit I do have this one story that makes me giggle each time I think of it: despite the title of this blog it is quilting related.



Picture it (yes, in my mind I was picturing Sophia on Golden Girls going into one of her stories) 2019 (pre-pandemic): I was in Amsterdam for a workshop (an amazing workshop I might add) at the Ann Frank House...in case you forgot, I am a teacher in Germany in an American school, so workshops in Amsterdam are sometimes a good option. The weekend itself was amazing because of the workshop, but also being a quilter, and knowing there really are not many quilt shops (in comparison to the United States) in Europe, I scouted out a few that were on google maps to visit, while I was there. Yes, there really are other things in Amsterdam besides the brownies, Heineken beer, and flowers.


A friend from my quilting guild (the Rheinland Pfalz Quilt Guild) was also at this workshop and had ridden up with me, and being a quilter, she was up for quilt shop adventures. We stopped at one store, which from the outside, I never would have guessed that it was a fabric shop, but to our surprise it was a very interesting shop indeed.

Ok, truth be told the majority of the shop was really aimed at the production of lingerie (they made some and also sold the fabrics and supplies for people to make their own), but there within a back corner of the shop was some pretty amazing quilt fabrics, and for a great price too. Fabric is not cheap in Europe, thus the reason most of us shop online. By the way if you are ever in Amsterdam stop by Kantjeboord (that is the fantastic shop with fantastic prices...seriously 6 euro a meter...that is unheard of in Europe). The owners were very nice, the shop was great (bought more fabric than I should have but thank goodness I drove so didn't have to take it on a train).


You might be wondering what this story has to do with the title...well here you go...not all fabric shops in Amsterdam are equal. Far from it, as you will soon read.


Continuation of story...being that my friend and I were in Amsterdam on a weekend, for a workshop (not quilt related) that left very little time to visit fabric shops...remember that in Europe many businesses (even before pandemic) are closed on Sundays. There was one shop though, that we hoped to visit, as it looked like it would be a nice quilt shop (actually dedicated to quilting). Don't let the exterior fool you, though. (Please note, I believe at this time this particular shop with this particular owner is now permanently closed, and I think someone else has taken it over, so please do not hold anything against the present shop because of the past owners).

So, my friend and I went to see this lovely shop and see what trouble we could get into at it...boy did we find the trouble. We went in the shop and it really was a pretty little shop (European quilt/fabric shops are not known for being airy and spacious, they tend to pack in a lot in a very tiny space). We looked around a bit and found a few kits, patterns, and fabrics that we were interested in. The problem was, there were no prices listed, so in true shopper fashion (or perhaps its in true American fashion) we asked the woman in the shop what the price was for the items we were interested in. She was not happy with us at all for asking about price, but responded, none the less. While we were in the shop (keep in mind this is only a few minutes into our visit) an English couple came in to look around. They happened to ask the woman a question as well...I hate to say it but being asked a few questions within a few minutes was just way too much of an imposition on this woman and she just was not going to have any of it, and promptly told the couple to get out (her English was very good at this point, while not so good when answering questions).


My friend and I looked at each other, in dismay. What could this couple have done that was so terrible as to be thrown out? They appeared very polite in their actions, so what could they have done? To our utter shock the next thing out of the woman's mouth was "YOU LEAVE TOO!" We looked at each other and couldn't figure out what we had done wrong either. Perhaps it was the shock but we hesitated a bit, which only irritated the woman more, so she continued, "GO NOW!" We set the items down that we were going to over pay for, and left the building. The four of us ruffians stood in complete perplexity on the sidewalk outside the shop, having no idea what we had done...basically cash in hand, as we were, up until the minute before ready to pay way more than we should have for items in the shop, only to now be standing on the street empty handed.


Long story short, I can honestly say the only place that I have been thrown out of is a quilt shop. Quilting is a tough hobby! (I still giggle to this day at having no clue what I did wrong...but we joke that we were so bad we were thrown out of a fabric store.



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