Sunday, June 23, 2013

A Midnight Caper of International Proportion

During the Peace by Piece Quilters Charity Bee earlier this month a volunteer (Jane) shared an idea with the other volunteers.  If they could raise the money she had a way to purchase quilt shop quality fabric for our charity quilts for about $3 per yard.  Now, that's a statement that will get the undivided attention of a room full of quilters!  Turns out that over the last few years Jane has purchased literally hundreds of yards of fabric at this price.  It's the going rate for fabric in Korea.  Korea!  So how does that work for those of us living in Arizona... USA???   Well, turns out Jane's daughter has lived in Korea with her family for several years and they were getting ready to make a visit to the good ol' USA.  AND they were willing to purchase and bring some of that $3 per yard fabric with them.  By the end of the bee it was amazing how much money the volunteers had handed over for fabric, $186.

Now Jane really enjoys fabric shopping and she had developed a Korea Fabric Shopping System with her daughter and it goes something like this...

The fabric shoppers (that would be Jane's daughter with her husband and sons) arrive at the 'Fabric Market' (as Jane has affectionately dubbed it).  Dongdaemun is a four story facility dedicated to sewers of all kinds.  There are fabric shops for every need from 100% cotton to all kinds of garment and decorator fabrics. There are shops that just carry threads, buttons, zippers or any other need that should arise.

If the family drives a car to the Fabric Market you would have to use a the Car Elevator to get in the parking garage.  You drive your car in an elevator and up it goes to a floor where parking spots are available.  You get out of the parking garage the same way when your shopping trip is over.  Our family, however, chose to take public transportation.

The subway will get them there in no time.

So the daughter finds the fabrics she thinks we'll like.  Son-in-law takes a picture of it with his cell phone and send it to Jane.  Jane texts back with a YAY or NAY.  If it's a YAY piece of fabric she also let's him know how much she wants.

Just to clarify this shopping adventure took place at about midnight USA time.  Korea is around 16 hours ahead of us.  It took us about two hours to pick 50 t0 60 yards of YAY fabric!

While daughter is finding all the cute fabric and son-in-law is taking pictures and texting, the staff of the Happy Quilter fabric shop are cutting our YAY fabrics.  Check out the rolls and piles of fabric behind them!

The first shopping trip netted 120 yards of fabric.  The cost... was 420,000 Won (translated that's $370).  I did say first trip didn't I?  The second trip netted about 60 yards ( about $180).  Most of that yardage from these two shopping trips will be coming to Peace by Piece Quilters.  Jane couldn't resist owning some of it so that will live in her stash.

This is the HAPPY staff of the Happy Quilter shop.  They loved all the money our shopping team left with them.  Check it out... Happy Quilter Mom still has the calculator in her hand.  It doesn't look like they could get another roll of fabric in their store but I bet they could get a few of those stacks a little higher.

So this is where the job of the sons (and a friend) comes in to play.  They get to help carry some of those 120 yards of fabric through the subway to get back home.

They are going to have to hold onto those bags really tight.  All that fabric has a long trip and a BIG job ahead of it.

They will see lots of vendors in the subway selling their wares but the boys will stay focused on those precious bags of fabric.

Danny is still hanging unto his bag while waiting for the subway train.

And big brother DJ is worn out from all that shopping and carrying his bag.

The family has finally made it onto the subway for the trip back home but there is not a seat to be found.  They will be home with their cargo soon.  But that wasn't the end of their adventure.  Mom, DJ and Danny have personally delivered those 180 yards of fabric to Jane's house here in the USA.

The final player in this Midnight Caper is Jane's husband, Sam.  Jane shared with him the difference in the amount of money those Peace by Piece Quilters volunteers donated ($186) and the amount of money all those yards of fabric cost ($556).  Being the awesome man he is, he offered to pay the difference.  That's a lot a dollars!

I'll let you know when all the YAY fabric makes it to the Peace by Piece Quilters closet.