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Thread: Some advice for the LQS from a senior quilter with a bad back.

  1. #26
    Super Member Just Jan's Avatar
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    I totally agree. I have this problem since I have a neck injury and can't get up and down as easily as I did at age 20. LOL
    Joanns has stuff packed in so tight you can't get it down and it's too high to see what it looks like anyway. And I have to practically stand on my head to see the bottom row. Wally World just redid their floor plan and its just as bad. I rarely shop WM so that doesn't bother me much, just don't go there! As for Joanns, I have a sewing buddy that is younger and taller than me. When we shop together she does the pulling out and putting back of the high or low shelves. Now thats a true buddy! LOL But I'm always rescuing her with pattern instructions she can't figure out, etc. so I think its a pretty fair trade. ;o)

  2. #27
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    And those pretty displays where the fabric is flared/draped out - I always mess it up when I want to see the information on the bolt end - I think there is some neat little trick to doing it 'right' - but I haven't figured out what it is yet.

    I would guess that a shop owner/manager has to find a balance between using all available space for product display and still leaving enough room for customers to get around.

    My biggest gripes are still having bolts crammed in so tightly that one causes a fabric slide when one tries to pull one bolt off the shelf

    and

    things so high that I can't reach them.

  3. #28
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    I would definitely speak to the owner. People who don't have physical problems just don't realize how uncomfortable it is for those of us who do!

  4. #29
    Super Member CAS49OR's Avatar
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    I think since it is a LQS you may be able to get the owner or clerk to help you. Of course they may be busy with other customers, but let them know it is so hard for you to shop with the arrangement they have. I have the aggravation of shopping at Joann's and not being able to get the bolt out, or not being able to see the label on the top indicating what the fabric is because they are wedged so tightly together.

    When I shop my LQS, (she moved so I've only been to her new store once) I will take the whole bolt of material I am considering to the front and leave it there till I'm done and have made my choices. I sometimes change my whole plan so the bolts will stack up before I'm done. I think she's kind of amused at my indecision. Her bolts are mostly on the lower shelf too. A cart is a wonderful idea! When I shop the big stores I will keep the bolts in my cart to audition the fabrics.

    When I started reading this thread I thought it was going to be about the comfort during classes. She had folding tables and chairs, and my back was killing me trying to bend over to cut the fabric during class. The metal folding chairs were so uncomfortable, I brought a butt cushion and had to keep trying to adjust it every time I got up to iron. I think there should always be a cutting table at the proper height. This has actually prevented me from taking more classes there. Also, the ironing board cover was stained and it bled onto some fabric I pressed. She didn't think that was a big deal.... "just buy another yard". I'm thinking if you have students, take good care of them, provide the right environment and they will keep coming back, and will buy more from you! This is starting to sound like a rant, but the bathroom was dirty too, and that really bothered me. I started thinking I would just be so much more comfortable and have a clean environment at home, and quit taking classes there.

    I'm sure you LQS owners are looking at this thread, there are many things to consider for your customers, and you do what you can. I can see both sides, but if I were you I would do whatever I could to make it comfortable to shop and learn and keep "me" coming back.
    :-)
    CAS

  5. #30
    Senior Member Maire's Avatar
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    I also need items easily reached, a local small grocery store carries good quilt magazines but keeps them on a bottom shelf, I can't bend over enough to reach them. I did suggest that since many of quilt magazine customers are older women that they move them up to a higher shelf (where they have the teen magazines) but they never did.
    A great private book store near my daughter's home stocked their quilt books up so high that I need a ladder to reach them. I did suggest that they move them down a little but they probably won't, I don't think they sell many.

  6. #31
    Super Member ghostrider's Avatar
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    One of my favorite local shops (Keepsake Quilting) has a separate table where you can pile up as many bolts as you like, plop a beanbag on top of them and no one will touch them. It's great for fine tuning your purchase decisions and keeps the 'reserved' bolts out of the way of the cutters, though within their line of sight.

    As for shopping carts in small local shops, I think I'd probably stop going if any of my shops added them. First off, the shops are all carpeted and carts don't move well on carpeting. Secondly, there are too many bends and sharp corners to navigate even with small carts. And lastly, I just think it would ruin the atmosphere...make it too much like a grocery store or Home Depot. Besides, I've always been offered a place to set down the bolts I'm carrying, even if it's only one or two, so it just doesn't seem necessary to add carts to me (not even Keepsake has carts, big as it is).

    I've offered assistance to other shoppers when they appear to be physically struggling with something and have had offers of assistance extenderd to me as well. Quilters are like that...thankfully.
    The Earth without art is just "Eh".

  7. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by An Arm Long View Post
    I have not come upon that place. I live near you in Cambridge, MD and was wondering if you would be willing to tell me which shop you found that situation in. We have several in our guild who have back problems and we sometimes shop together. I would not take them there.
    I was going to ask this as well. Is this the shop in Dagsboro with the 'new' location? Or is this another new-to-me LQS that I must visit when I'm down there in a few weeks????

    My LQS has display shelves 3 high. I'm only 5'2" and can manage to get bolts off the top shelves with no problem. In fact, when they put finishing kits or other larger purchases together for you, the put the bags on the top of the shelving units and I can even reach them! The will also have additional bolts on the floor leaning against the shelving units but so far I haven't had issues with too many of those. I was at another shop a few months back that had many, many (at least it seemed to me) bolts also on the floor. But I think they were in the process of stocking/arranging their bolts as the shop had just moved into larger quarters. And I nice, bright shop too, I might add.

  8. #33
    Power Poster nativetexan's Avatar
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    Yep, I do. I also hate my library having books on the floor shelf. I would have to sit on the floor to read the Titles!
    so take it up people!
    "From hence only infer that an Englishman, of all men, ought not to despise foreigners as such and I think the inference is just, since what they are today, we were yesterday, and tomorrow they will be like us"
    Daniel De Foe -The True Englishman

  9. #34
    Super Member Jeanette Frantz's Avatar
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    Like you, I cannot bend and stoop to look at fabrics. If I ever got down on the floor, I would need a lot of help to get up. I've had that happen to me in the grocery -- I got down on one knee to get something off a bottom shelf way in the back. When I tried to get up, I couldn't! It's rather frightening (it's the first time I've ever had anything like that happen). I'm not a really large person but it took two other women to help me up. I don't do that anymore!

    Jeanette Frantz

  10. #35
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    I found a cute little Ott light at Joanne's that flip folds closed. I carry this with me to quilt shops, which are notorious for bad lighting. It enables good color matches, preventing many a bad purchase!

  11. #36
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    My DH and I are also aging, and we are not ashamed either. If we need to get on the floor to do something, so be it. We were at a local hardware store and just took our time on the floor looking at doorknobs and latches. I know some must of thought we were nuts, but hey, they don't know us and besides that, we don't care. We too, laugh at our geezer status and revel in it. It took us a long time to get here and we are glad we're here, still loving the life we built together. Me quilting, he tinkering.

  12. #37
    Super Member May in Jersey's Avatar
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    Newly relocated quilt shop in my area has fabric bolts on 3 shelves, and I always have trouble really seeing the color of the ones floor level. One nice thing they do have are some small carts to put the bolts of fabric into while you continue looking throughout the shop. They also have a few chairs scattered around, just the thing for bored DH's and people with leg or back problems that many of us have.

  13. #38
    Super Member sahm4605's Avatar
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    My problem is when I have to go to a lqs with a stroller (used to be more of a problem when my kids were much smaller). they have many "crooked" rows and when you get to the end of one it is really hard to turn the corner and its pritty much useless to do so when they have bolts on the floor 4-6 deep. They have a wonderful and very extensive selection of all fabrics, but I would like to see more fabric on shelves. even if the fabric was so squished the only way to move it would be with dynamite. I would also love to see most of the citch stuff that they have decorating the place go away, my kids wont stop touching it, it is a little tiresome to have to keep telling them please don't touch this or that. The stuff they are selling I am fine with "yelling" at them about but other junk just drives me nuts. I would also love to see a small section with crayons or paper or blocks for kids to be occupied with. (I would stay longer and buy more if this was the case. but that is just me.) I almost hate to take my kids to the fabric store. Joanns and walmart are bad enough but at least they have carts to confine my kids. and the bolts are stacked in two rows and the bottom is about 4" from the bottom or flat on the floor type shelves. which is hard to see. especially when there are bolts on the floor 4-6 deep in front of the shelves (the shelves are so packed that you couldn't fit a piece of paper on the shelf between the bolts).
    when life gets you down go and talk with a little kid. They will help you work out even the worst problems with their simple logic.

  14. #39
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    Our is diffently crowded but there is always someone to help

  15. #40
    Super Member mhansen6's Avatar
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    I with you on this. I visited a very high end quilting store in West Linn, OR. Beautiful store. All sorts of antique furniture that the fabric was displayed on. But 50% of the fabric was on the floor. It was under antique tables, or the bottom of antique cupboards. The lighting wasn't the best and it was so difficult to see the fabric. I quit looking at the fabric on the floor. I am not that old but it gets tiring to have to squat down and look at fabric. I go to quilt stores to enjoy myself not to get a workout. I don't know if this is a trend, I have seen fabric displayed on the floor in many quilt stores, but they really need to get it off the floor.
    Marie

  16. #41
    Super Member lisalovesquilting's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bearisgray View Post
    I try not to leave a mess while I shop -

    HOWEVER -

    if the bolts of fabric are wedged in so tightly that I need a prybar to make enough space to put the bolt back on the shelf - I will either leave the fabric leaning against the shelf or laying on top of the bolts.

    I don't have the upper body and/or arm strength to be able to shove the bolt back in.

    Or - if/when I try to pull one bolt out to look at it - and five or six more come crashing down along with it -

    I realize that shelf space is probably limited - but I will just walk away when that happens.
    I think some shops would rather that bolts are left out like this because they can really get messed up when we try to shove them back in. So don't feel bad about leaving them out.
    Peace

  17. #42
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    I have this problem too. I also complained about the Quilting Magazines, always being on the lowest shelves & all the guy mocho stuff being at eye level.

  18. #43
    Senior Member emlee51's Avatar
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    Right now, I'm shopping from my stash...haven't been to a LQS in a long time...so glad I went crazy at the LQS with this passion when I did. There's always going to be beautiful fabrics out there, and when I'm ready to purchase again I'll ooh and aah over them just like I did with the ones already in my stash!

  19. #44
    Super Member glenda5253's Avatar
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    One of my pet peeves is fabric bolts wedged in so tight you either can't get it out of you cause an avalanche in the process. I will walk away from this situation. I can't imagine having all the fabric bolts on the floor. I couldn't get down there and the lighting would be impossible. I hope the LQS wises up or they may be out of business.

  20. #45
    Senior Member VickyS's Avatar
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    Our local LQS has a great idea - fat quarters of all materials at eye height, with the bolts up high and down low. This allows us to color match (taking them outside if necessary) and see patterns/etc without having to fight the big bolts. Fortunately this LQS also uses the OTT light type of fluorescent lighting for store lighting so I usually don't have to take them outside. Yes, the material is more expensive but staff helps with moving the bolts around and with problems on patterns/ color combos so it is a good tradeoff when I don't want to shop online.

    There isn't enough floor space for seating (except in the classroom) nor is there a lot of aisle space (but being in California there is room for wheelchair access or walkers down the aisles). The store is an affiliate of my guild and does offer small discounts to guild members (every little bit helps these days).

    I do what I can to support them, because they really do provide a great service to our community and are a great conduit to getting more folks interested in the art and science of quilting.

  21. #46
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    I'm in total agreement about the problem of accessibility of items. It drives me bats. I have steel in my back and two artificial knees. If only these shop owners walked in my shoes for awhile. My bra sizes are always hanging on the bottom rung in the stores too!

  22. #47
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    I too have back and hip problems so I would really appreciate a chair to sit down on for a few minutes and rest and then continue my shopping.

  23. #48
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    Quote Originally Posted by jcrow View Post
    The stores I go to have two rows of fabrics, one to the ground and one above. I hate bending over or getting on my knees and then crawling along on the floor to see all the fabric. It's ridiculous. So, I don't usually buy from the bottom shelf. Sometimes I will ask the clerk if she will grab something off the bottom shelf for me because I can't do it and they will do it. But what I agree with is when they have all the bolts wedged in too tight. Ohhh...If I can get one out, I'll leave it on the floor with a couple more and then shop thru the rest of the bolts. They always have half empty shelves elsewhere so I don't know why they have to fill up some of the shelves plum full unless they want to keep the fabric line together. It must be frustrating for the owners, too. They probably feel bad seeing us crawling around on the floor and trying to pry a bolt of fabric loose off the shelf. I can see both sides. I wish they had shopping carts at my quilt shops because I usually buy fabric from quite a few bolts and have to haul them up front. It'd be nice to throw them in a cart and keep on shopping. I'd end up spending more money. They could buy those small carts they make now. They make inexpensive ones. They'd need only 2 or 3 in their stores and they'd pay for themselves in a couple of months, I'd think. And I agree about having a stool to sit on while looking on lower shelves. Would be terrific! And sometimes I spend a lot of time looking in the store and my legs get tired.
    You would love my store, I provide a walker with a basket in front, you can use it to put bolts on the seat, notions in the basket and wheel it to the cutting table and leave the bolts there. Then, go back and sit in the walker when your legs get tired and look at the fabric closer to the floor, fill the seat up again and you're ready to cut and check out.
    OzarksGma

  24. #49
    mim
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    I agree -- When I go to a LQS it is eacuse I really want to buy a particular fabric. It seems like all the shops -- both in WA and here in ME that I go to put fabrics on the floor. I can do the bending/squat stuff, but I don't notice what is there. The shop in downtown Olympia has bad lighting so the colors are dull or distorted.

    I know they want to have as many choices as possible, but bad display means bad sales on overlooked fabrics.

    They may not do anything about it -- or reposition some - not all - items. If it is a small, personally owned shop, you may run into the "virgin daughter" syndrome. "She is mine and she is perfect"

    Still I think, as a past shop owner, suggestions are welcome if they are gentle.

    Mim

  25. #50
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    Quote Originally Posted by OzarksGma View Post
    You would love my store, I provide a walker with a basket in front, you can use it to put bolts on the seat, notions in the basket and wheel it to the cutting table and leave the bolts there. Then, go back and sit in the walker when your legs get tired and look at the fabric closer to the floor, fill the seat up again and you're ready to cut and check out.
    How aobut you move to Wisconsin? I would stay longer at the LQS (bad back and knees!) with that walker set up!

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