Thursday, September 21, 2006

A dilemma . . .

What would you do? Curious minds want to know.

The Portland Quilt Expo starts today and runs through Saturday. This huge vendor mall and quilt show is held every September at the Expo Center in Portland, Oregon. The show consists of one of the traveling Hoffman Challenges plus a themed show of quilts by local quilters. It's always a wonderful show. Then there is the vendor mall - dozens of booths by quilt shops all around the country and vendors showing the newest gadgets for our obsession. I love going. I've gone almost every year. But I always spend a considerable amount of money every year.

So I'm trying to decide whether or not I should go. My daughter says go if I just see the show and not set foot in the vendor mall. Can't do that - they are all in the same huge room. I could go and leave my money, checkbook and credit card at home, but I know myself better than that. I don't have that kind of will power. Besides, my favorite shops would have no trouble letting me take stuff home and then call them with my credit card number. (I know it by heart anyway, from all the online ordering I've done.) My husbands only comment was "remember, everything you spend delays your retirement that much longer".

Right now I'm leaning toward staying home and sewing instead of going. My common sense side currently has the upper hand. But the other side is right there behind whispering "you'll be REALLY sorry if you don't go. You can go and just look at the new books. Would a spending spree really be that bad? You DESERVE this!" My common sense side is replying " you know yourself well enough to know that if you go you will spend money - you have no will power at all when it comes to quilting."

What would you do? Would you stay at home or go? I know what the right answer for me should be, but I'm really struggling with it.

31 comments:

dot said...

GO! Practice your restraint. I am going and I plan, remember I said plan, not to buy anything other than a stencil I am looking for and maybe a couple pantographs. Hoping to stick to this but I am going to see the quilts.

Darlene said...

When I first started reading your post I thought "go have fun and don't worry about it" but then I read what your DH said and I know how badly you want to retire so maybe it wouldn't hurt to skip it this year. I've been in similar situations and fretted about whether or not to go and found when I didn't go, it was OK. In fact I felt a little relief knowing that I didn't spend any money. You know in your heart what you want to do - if you decide to go then go with a happy heart but if you decide to skip it then enjoy what you're doing instead with the same happy heart!

Hedgehog said...

I had to miss my state show this summer and I regret it - not that I had a choice. I'd go and bring cash - enough that you feel you're allowed to look and buy, but not too much! Bringing nothing obviously won't work, so it's all about practicing restraint. If you go, take pictures for all of us!

Linda_J said...

I would go but leave the checkbook and credit card home--leave yourself only the cash that you need for lunch.

If you have to say to yourself over and over, "retirement, retirement, retirement" then you might leave that book behind and if you absolutely must have it later, get it from your LQS or better yet, buy it used, if you still want it and save some money.

I think it is the impulse buying that gets us into trouble. Quilt show vendors are probably banking on that. They will make more fabric!

BUT if you don't think you can handle it, then maybe you should stay home and sew or fire up the long arm.

Anonymous said...

I had to stay home... (TWICE)
I am still here living & breathing to talk about it.

My friends brough back some photos & yours will too!

Silverthimble said...

I would go! Don't hesitate. You deserve to socialize with other quilters. If you take friends with you, you will have someone to blame when you can't control your own spending.....they made me do it! *LOL* Enjoy the show!

Suze said...

When in doubt DON'T.....

Stay at home and move several steps closer to the day when you can enjoy being at home stitching.

I could be retired now if I had restrained myself sooner.

Judy said...

Since I don't know what you spending spree limits usually are, i'd say go and take a certain amount of money ONLY. I go to our local show and I usually take $500 with me. That's ALL I get to spend. CASH no CC's. So I have gotten very selective about what I buy because once it's gone, it's gone. The first year it was gone in an hour it seemed. Last year I actually had $20 left over. I was very selective and only got things I knew I couldn't find other places. No large fabric purchases that I could order online.

Can you go and stick to $200 spending? If you can't go and NOT use the cc's or spend huge amounts then I would say STAY AWAY. It's a good compromise to go with just a limit of cash. It will make what you get that much better. Otherwise don't torture yourself.

Screen Door said...

I'd go, and if you do go, you must go through the vendors. I get as much inspiration from the vendors as the show. Just set limits...and don't go over it. Call it souveniers of your trip.
Melanie

Joyce said...

I think the idea of going but only taking the amount of cash you want to spend is a good idea. THat way you get to see the quilts and not spend too much. You could also stay away from the vendor area. (Impossible, I know.)

DubiQuilts - Debbi said...

I ask myself this question every year when the International Quilt Festival comes to Chicago. When I first get to the festival I look at the quilts first then I go to the vendor section. When I see something "I had to have", I write down the booth number, get a business card. I don't buy anything. Then I go home and sleep on it. The next day with a spending limit in mind, I go back to the booths and only buy what I can't order from the vendor online. As the weeks pass after the show if "I still need it" I order it online.

Beth said...

I say you should go but only take enough money for your food and allow yourself say, maybe $100, in cash. Leave your checkbook, credit card, etc. at home. Put a little note in with your cash from your husband reminding you about retirement. Only allow yourself the cash you brought, after that, you're done shopping. You can buy several nice things with that much money.

But I kow what you mean, I have a hard time too when it comes to quilting or knitting stuff. I went out last weekend to a new shop and only spent $20. You know, it felt really good! It made the few little things I bought feel more special.

Beth
http://bethknits.blogspot.com/

Bonnie said...

Reading through the comments I have to agree with Amy. I have missed several big shows. At the time I felt sorry for myself. And guess what, I still have way too much fabric.
Save for Retirement!!!

Libby said...

Since you are feeling ambivilent about going, I vote for staying home.

paula, the quilter said...

I am going to agree with Amy and Bonnie. Don't go if you can't trust yourself. It's funny you should mention a show right now. The Colorado Quilt Council show (Quilt-a-Fair) is this Friday and Saturday. When I first started going to this I spent and spent and spent. But I have noticed that over the years as my stash has grown, I have spent less. It seems that the last couple of years I have gone for the visuals and the company instead of the shopping. Good luck and let us know your solution. /paula

Laurie Ann said...

I would definately stay home. I don't think I would have as much fun if I didn't go through the vendors. I may have to go to that show next year. My birth mother lives in Portland and I could go and visit her and see this show.

Samantha said...

Um, I know the right answer and my answer. I'm going to a huge local quilt fair tomorrow, so, maybe I'm not the best one to offer advice!

Janice said...

Yeah, same issues going on over here in Camas. I'm staying home this year. My plan is to spend a chunk of the weekend starting a new project and to complete it entirely from stash -- no problems there! Actually, there'd be bigger problems trying to find somewhere to put more stuff. I know myself too well, if I go, I'll buy.

Gail said...

Boy, have you asked the wrong gal!self-restraint? what's that?? Will you really miss not going in the long run? Are you really looking forward to retiring sooner rather than later? Its all a trade off, which means more? (of course, this all presupposes that you won't go on an online spree as consolation for missing the show!LOL)

quiltpixie said...

Go to the Bank. Take only cash with you, and spend nothing more than you have. You can do it!

Vicky said...

I wouldn't miss the show - especially if there aren't a lot of shows around you. I only go to Road to CA each year, and only once or twice the little Glendale show. This past year I brought cash and actually didn't spend it all.

One thing that helped though was making a list of things I wanted to look for that I hadn't been able to find anywhere else. That gave me a little bit of joy in searching the booths. I was on a mission, on a hunt - and we all know Southerners love a good hunt! LOL!

I vote for you to go. Take your time at each quilt hanging -- look for inspiration! And have fun!

Jenni @ Fairybread said...

Last year I was in a huff about the scandalous cost of fabric in Australia, so I didn't go to the quilt show. I rewarded myself instead with an online order from the US - it worked out that I bought something quilty, but didn't spend money on impulse buys. Don't go, but buy something nice for yourself instead, like a book.

Shirley said...

Why not go. Your a quilter, you love fabric. Go fill you eyes with the beautiful quilts. Then go to the venders and get inspired. Try to figure out how to make what you see with what you have in your stash. Maybe take samples of that last mail order (loved it) you got. Keep them in your pocket when your tempted to buy, take them out and admire them then ask your self how long its going to take to pay off that order thats on your credit card. Enjoy the thrill of quilting not the thrill of buying.

Mary said...

I say go - I'm all for controlling spending and using stash but I make exceptions for shows and that includes shopping vendors. Besides you don't HAVE to buy - you can just look and if you see something you need then go ahead and take it home with you.

Cascade Lily said...

DOn't go. Re-read your old quilting books instead :)

KCQuilter said...

I am just the wrong person to be commenting on this dilemma LOL. I always feel like quilting is my main vice and I do have to indulge it now and again (and again and again!) But on the other hand, I know how wonderful retirement is--I still can't get that permanent grin off my face. I went through a lot of what you are feeling right before I retired. Usually what brought me to my knees was the thought that, well, after I retire I won't have as much money to spend on my hobby so better buy stuff now!!! See--I told you I was not going to be helpful. Anxious to hear what you decide!

Pam said...

Boy - you got alot of suggestions.

The quilts from the APNQ show were so wonderful to see - I would love to go to the Portland show - I love to take pictures of the quilts and then get ideas from them. (Not that I will use all those ideas!!)

And I just love Portland - so - if it was me I would go, and just take cash.

Laura said...

Patti I say go for it, you only live once! Have a great time at the show!!!!

Sandy said...

I understand how you feel about retirement. I'd stay home and I will follow my own advice. I bought so much fabric this summer, but have an itch to "just look" at the quilt shop today. Besides, I have two unfinished tops to complete. Have a good & productive weekend!

Finn said...

Hi Patti, I'm being good and NOT reading what the other comments are..*VBG*

I say "stay home". Get out your Miseltoe Manor fabrics and stroke them. I say pretend you are in a covered wagon, traveling west on the Oregon Trail, and there are NO settlements til you reach the coast. You must be wise and careful with your small hoard of cash. You'll have to be finding a homestead or place to live soon, winter is coming. You are a strong woman who has great ability to rise to the challenge and to "make do". See, I knew you could do that...*VBS* Massive hugs, Finn
(who still hasn't read any other comments about this..*G*)

Evelyn aka Starfishy said...

Plan a fun "date" day with DH - go do something together and enjoy lunch out. You probably will spend less money and will get to enjoy each others company. I wouldn't go, but then again, I am on a big cleaning kick and finish the UFO's tear.

Cheers!

Evelyn