Monday, December 10, 2012

etc bucks party

my favorite local scrapbook/fabric store (what a combination! killer on the wallet to have both in one spot), ETC, has been doing a customer incentive program for the past two years. with purchases of certain dollar amounts and numbers of items customers could earn ETC bucks (bonus points). Twice a year there is a "bucks market" where bucks can be cashed in for goods or used in an auction on quilts made as samples for the store. i've missed the last three bucks days either because i was on vacation or because of the baby. not this time. i was determined to cash in my accumulated points. and a good thing, too, since it turned out to be the last one and the end of the bucks program. i decided to make a day of it by taking my two oldest daughters along for a day of open lab putting together scrapbook pages and then hanging out for the two hour silent auction in the evening.

back up a week - i hadn't been to the store in months. my stash is plenty big and i was avoiding temptation while i worked on whittling away what i had at home. however, i "needed" to go in for some cardstock and to look for an album for my 2012 december daily album, a tradition i've done for 3 years now. while there i browsed the fabric section, too, and came across a quick and easy quilt (detail above) being offered for a one day class in december. i thought it would be a great way to bust into that stash of mine. since i'm nearly done with my two current projects, i signed up. and that's when i found out bucks day was this tuesday. so my plan for a girls day out came together. while we were at the store for bucks day, i set to work deciding what to use for the quilt class project.

there were so many new quilts hanging around the store. they've started making lots more samples for display. i snapped (rather sloppily - i apologize) some of my favorites.
really cute use of flea market fancy
cool blues/greens color scheme and mod styling
easy peasy from moda's bake shop
bricks pattern here
this pattern looks so doable and i think i found the perfect fabric for it for my oldest, dog-loving daughter who doesn't have a mama-made yet. the pattern i picked out for her last year is still beyond my skill set and i won't get to it for ages. this, however, is within range and reasonable. unfortunately, it requires a purchase.

riley blake's "puppy park" dog line. i want to use the white fabric for backing and the stripe for binding. however, i have held off for now while i wait for an up-coming promotion. i'm trying to be somewhat responsible, at least.

bold and darling in momo's "oh, dear" dots and florals
another easy, fre,e on-line pattern
this pattern, "a quilt for claire", looks like it could eat up some of my jelly rolls. the on-line sample by designer emily taylor is uber darling, too. i really love the gentle color range she used. take a peek!

another jelly roll busting project from bake shop
pattern here
i am always on the look out for simple patterns that will utilize my precuts stash. this one takes a jelly roll and charm pack. that it's "free" is an added bonus!

that's what caught my eye around the store.
about an hour before the auction started, we left for dinner. then the bidding excitement started.

now for the auction eye candy! there were about 6 quilts i  (or the girls) was interested in to some degree or another.

this darling baby boy quilt used those robert kauffman robot guys i love, but i didn't have a need for a baby boy quilt. maybe if it had been bigger, i'd have bid on it anyway.

ooh, lovely summer-themed beach quilt out of ollie's 4sq fabrics. tempting.

this wild and crazy mish-mash of color was one of my top picks. i especially liked the polka-dotted backing. it's not something i'd probably ever make myself, which made it desirable to bid on. and the red in it meant it could go in my family room okay.
full front view
this patriotic quilt was a flag (with only 5 large stars, not 50) on the front and the themed quilting was crazy cool. so many americana motifs. i wasn't particularly interested in bidding on it since i already have a flag quilt, but had to snap the quilting.

when i saw this chevron number hanging on the wall, i thought, "yes! there's the quilt for me!" unfortunately, it's a current store sample and wasn't part of the auction. dang.

there was a diamond and fleur de lis appliqued quilt daughter #1 wanted (at bottom left in the above photo) and a pink & black polka dotted quilt daughter #2 wanted (actually, there were about 4 she wanted) but i had my sights set on this lovely:

i think the fabric line was from basic grey. i liked the mix of bright colors, the teal, and blacks. and the diamond pattern was impressive. i am ages away from attempting triangles. getting something out of my skill set and in a retired pattern line were both desirable traits. only problem was someone had already bid $150 on it. i had $229 and was hoping to get more than one quilt/item if possible. i put my bid in at $160 and also bid the $100 minimum on that other polka dot backed quilt as a back up.

ladies started trickling in slowly, many people waiting to see how the wind blew before bidding. honestly, it started getting a bit nerve wracking! the other bidder on my favorite quilt had bid on several pieces and left. i was fearful she'd show up and whisk it away from me. there was another lady there who was waiting for her to call if she wanted to up her bids. fortunately for me, she never did.
lobster softie daughter #1 was in love with and wants to make herself since i wouldn't buy it
about 30 minutes before the end, someone came in, considered a few quilts (some not bid on at all) and up-bid me on the polka dot quilt. yikes! i then had to decide if i wanted to add cash to my bid so i could get both quilts. i was going to have to do that anyway. at first i was a bit perturbed that she didn't bid on the other items with no bids on them instead of challenging my bid, especially since she didn't seem that taken with the quilt. but i decided not to be greedy or mean enough to raise the bid on her and just let it go. i let my girls shop in the bucks market with my excess instead. lots more fun.

 the tension in the room was becoming palatable, but remained friendly. my girls and i sat at a table reading and whispering. i'd send them to look at bid sheets every so often. they were under strict orders not to divulge the amount of bucks i had. all the anticipation really did make for fun.

one minute to the end, i went back and dropped my bid to only $1 over the other lady so i could save the $9 extra bucks for spending in the market. then time was up and i had won my quilt!

we paid for the quilt and our other items then left for home. girls day/night out was over. the bucks program is over, too, but i bet they come up with something else good. ETC is a great store for customer appreciation.

thanks, ETC, for the bucks, the fun, the quilt, everything!
it's been great doing business with you.

and for the record, this is my 100th post! sure wish that meant 100 projects completed. happy sewing, anyway, y'all.

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