About Joann Fabrics

Here it comes – How much fabric do I need? – I can see it in your eyes!

I love my job! Very few people can honestly say that but it’s true. Every day I get to help people be creative. And every day I get asked, “How much fabric do I need?” And every day someone gives me an answer that makes me giggle!

Like A Deer In Headlights

You know that look that people get on their face when you say, “Ha! They looked like a deer in headlights!” Everybody gets that same look. Their eyes are wide open, their jaw drops, and they’re frozen in fear.

Well, there’s a certain look that people get when they’ve never sewn before and they want to take on this huge project but they don’t have a clue how much fabric they need . It’s kind of a sheepish look, the look you get when you think the question you’re about to ask is stupid, even though it isn’t. The head is tilted, the brow is furrowed, and the lips kind of have this, “Ummmm, I know this is stupid but,…” thing going on.

And that ‘look’ is usually accompanied by the following statement…

I just have a quick question.

Whenever I see a customer approaching the cutting counter with ‘that look’ and that question, I know what’s coming next. “How much fabric do I need?” is a question that we get asked all day long. Most of the time we’re able to use our super powers to come up with the right answer. But sometimes… well, here’s a couple of real-life examples that made me giggle.

The Photo Shoot

“Um, I just have a quick question.”

“Sure! How can I help you?”

“My niece is graduating next week and I want to get some fabric to cover the trellis behind a bench in my backyard so we can use it as a backdrop for photos. Can you tell me how much fabric I’ll need.”

“No problem! Do you have the measurements of the area you’re trying to cover? Like, how tall and how wide is the trellis?”

“No, I don’t know, I didn’t measure it, but this past Easter I had to stand on my tip-toes to hide Easter eggs on top of it. Here’s a picture of the bench, does that help?”

The Newlywed Game

“Hi! I just have a quick question!”

“Sure! How can I help you?”

“I just got married and my husband and I just moved into our first house. (giggles!) I want to surprise him and make curtains for the living room. Can you tell me how much fabric I need?”

“No problem! Do you have the measurements for the window?”

“No, but they’re just regular windows.”

“Can you be a little more specific? Like, do you know how tall they are?”

“No, but they’re a little taller than me and they’re just regular windows”.

“Hmmm, OK, do you know how wide the windows are?”

“No, I don’t, and I don’t understand why you’re asking me all these questions. They’re just regular windows. I thought you guys were supposed to know stuff like this! Isn’t that part of your training?”

Let’s Go Camping

“Hi! I just have a quick question.”

“Sure! How can I help you?”

“I’m re-doing the inside of our camper and I’m trying to re-cover the cushions for the pull-out bed. Can you tell me how much fabric I’ll need?”

“Sure! Do you have the measurements of the bed?”

“No, but it has two cushions on the bed part and one cushion for the back.”

“OK. Can you help me out, here? How long is the whole bed? How thick are the cushions? Can you give me any more information?”

“I don’t know, it’s just one of those camper beds that folds out when you want to use it. It’s not as long as our bed at home and it’s not very comfortable. Oh, and my husband can’t stretch out in it. He’s too tall. Does that help?”

Two words, people: Tape Measure!

Donna Anderson

Donna Anderson 'works' at Joann Fabrics at 4600 W. Broad St. in Columbus, OH. Just look for the crazy old lady behind the cutting counter. As a kid, she ran with scissors and ate paste. She's since found safer, more creative ways to use her Fiskars and Mod Podge. Next time you're at the store, stop by the cutting counter and have a chat! (Just please don't ask her about lightbulbs!)

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