Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Adventures in Walmart

So, our local Walmart is getting rid of their fabric department. This is happening all over the country as I understand it. I'm no huge fan of Walmart, but I do shop there occasionally. And if I am in need of fabric for a project, I always wind up there. We are fortunate enough to have a small quilting store in town. They have very nice things, but I'm usually making diapers or baby carriers, so I need things quilting stores have no reason to carry. I always check the quilting store first if they are open, but usually I have to go to Walmart to get what I need.

Yesterday, Walmart's fabric was marked down 50%. I have never seen anything like the crowd there. Nana, the kids, and I arrived a little after nine, and the place was swamped! There were fifty or more people in line with only two women cutting. Nana got in line with the first of our fabric choices, and I shopped for more. We took turns until we were both confident the rest of the fabrics we were both hoping to find were gone.

The amazing part was how nice everyone was! All of us were strangers, but we chatted, shared sewing tips, and even shared fabrics. If someone saw a fabric they liked in someone else's cart, one just asked if they were intending to get the entire bolt and if not, could they have it next. The amount of patience and cooperation I have never seen in a "crowd." We waited calmly as folks in front got literally 20-50 bolts of fabric measured and cut for about three hours. As we neared the front of the line, the nice woman in line behind us said she needed to go pick up her granddaughter from school. We offered to let her go in front of us, but we still had too long to wait. So, she asked Nana to buy her fabric and bring it to her at our convenience since we all live in the same small town. Nana took her money and her fabric. All was well.

Until someone cut into the line. We had all been waiting for a long time and suddenly there was an unfamiliar customer at the cutting table. A Walmart employee wearing a name tag cut into the front of the line! I only saw her from the back but several customers verified that she was an employee. I tried not to get too irritated about the situation, there was nothing I could do, after all. A man waiting in line a few people behind me, was not so willing. He found a manager and told him what happened. The manager apologized for our lengthy wait time and said he would review the security tape.

Just when we were nearly done, we encountered yet another bump in the road. My fabric was being cut and I was about to hand them the other lady's since Nana had to sit down and rest a bit. The woman at the cut table asked me if that was all of mine and I told her it was. Then she left! So the line I had been waiting patiently (more or less) in was now no more. With the permission of those in the next line over, I got in line second from the front. I thought I would never get out of there.
Finally, we did get out of there. It was almost 1:00!

All this time, Stinkerbaby was really good. She didn't whine once! A stranger gave her a Happy Meal toy. Bonus slept in my homemade mei tai carrier almost the entire time. Everyone was really kind except for one Walmart employee. It really could have been a mob, but it wasn't.

I won't go back to Walmart anytime soon if I can avoid it, but the next time when I need just a bit of this or that fabric to finish something, I will surely miss the fabric department at Walmart.

So, when your local Walmart loses its fabric department, if it hasn't already, go early and wear comfortable shoes!


  1. I haven't seen a walmart with a fabric department in quite sometime. I wasn't sure they still existed. Guess they won't anymore. Bummer. Glad you got some good deals, though!

  2. Thanks for the comments, Courtney!
    I guess it's like the old joke, when the world is destroyed by nuclear war, I want to be in Kentucky because we'll still have 20 years before it effects us here! I think Benton Walmart still has fabric, too. I must check my next trip to Kentucky Lake. . .
    By the time I left Walmart, I wasn't sure I ever wanted to see any of those fabrics ever again! I'm sure I will eventually, but not soon.


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