Another Year, Another Machine (and quite a bit more)

Sad, but true, the JoAnn ETC at the Palisades Mall in W. Nyack is closing. The story I heard is that the mall just didn't want them there anymore and didn't offer them any kind of lease. Too bad, 'cuz the main reason I shopped at that mall was to go to JoAnn's . . . now I have no reason to ever go back.

I managed to get myself up and out the door fairly early for a Saturday at about 9am on the 8th. I should say that I hate shopping at malls and avoid it when I can, hate it even more on a weekend, and absolutely refuse to go near them on a weekend during Christmas shopping season. So this was a really big deal for me. I arrived at the mall about 9:45am and was quite surprised to see that the parking lot was less than half full, even though the stores opened at 9am. I was able to park in the garage on the 3rd level, near JoAnn's, and there were many open spaces. There weren't too many shoppers inside the store, either.

My first stop was the Viking Sewing Gallery inside JoAnn's. Since I wasn't sure when I'd ever get a chance to look for the next nearest gallery, I decided to try and stock up on any supplies I may need in the next few months. What did I get?
  • I started with 3 books - I found a Simply More Techniques serger workbook, Creative Serging (by Bednar & van der Kley), and More Fabric Savvy (by Sandra Betzina). I want to use my serger for more projects, and these should help me explore more techniques.

  • My Christmas wish list included the DVD set for America Sews with Sue Hausmann Series 2400, since I missed most of episodes that were shown on WLIW. There was one DVD set left, so it went into my shopping cart, too.

  • I looked for stabilizer and added one roll of Light & Soft Fuse-on for knits to my pile.

  • I *needed* more accessories for my Designer SE, so I added 3 feet (Clear Open Toe Free Motion foot, Clear 2-3mm Embellishment foot and Clear B Edge Stitching Foot w/guide) and an extra 100x100 hoop.

  • The embroidery designs were too much to resist - Cactus Punch's Sewing Sassy as well as Husqvarna Viking CD's for endless embroideries (Endless Quilt designs and Happy Seasons) were added.

  • Thread was half price so I selected 20 spools of rayon embroidery thread in colors I don't already have in my collection, plus some bobbin thread.

  • Last, I searched through the notions and picked up a spool of Chizimi Shrink-it Thread, a Martelli Minute Miter 1-1/2 binding tool and several packages of Blooming Bias chenille. Then I started looking at the fixtures . . . and decided I didn't really need another Ott Light. But I did buy one of the shop's large cutting mats and a large ruler 12x24".
I was all set to leave it at that when I remarked that it was the 2 year anniversary of the purchase of Designer SE and 1 year anniversary for the Huskylock serger . . . and joked that I wouldn't be getting a new machine this year. But then I noticed the felting machine and inquired about the price of the store model (which was the only one left). The price wasn't so bad . . . so I took that too. But first I called home to check with Rich . . . he said he had intended to buy a "machine" the following week for my Christmas gift anyway so I might as well get it while I was there already. So I am now the owner of a Huskystar ER10 felting machine. I just need to figure out where I am going to fit it into the sewing room . . .

All that shopping took most of the morning, so it was nearly noon when I finally started browsing through JoAnn to see what bargains I could find. My goal was to look for items I couldn't usually find at the JoAnn Fabrics in Ramsey or anything marked down more than the regular sales flyer. That didn't leave too much -- I found some more pink leopard print velboa marked down 60% and a couple of other fabrics. Christmas items were 70% off, but the selection was sparse. I did find a couple of purse handles and some printable fabrics. The notions were only 20% off so I didn't bother with them. I looked for woolly nylon thread, but the color selection was limited. I spent 90 minutes wandering around the store, found a few items to add to my stash, but nothing outstanding. Most of what was left is available in Ramsey, so I'd rather shop there and pay less sales tax.

The store itself had an odd atmosphere -- it was all very sad, because the store was closing. But, at the same time there were Christmas songs playing in the background and people were kind of humming along while shopping. I didn't arrive home until after 3pm -- that was a long shopping day.

I'm really going to miss that store -- it had a wider selection of fabrics and threads than the smaller store in Ramsey. Most of the general craft items can be found at Michaels or A.C. Moore, but there aren't too many local fabric stores left that aren't quilt shops or home dec (like Calico Corner). And I don't even want to think about how much I'll miss the Viking gallery . . . maybe they'll expand Ramsey . . . we can only hope . . .

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