When someone dares you to do something, you might do it. But when you’re double-dared… you have to do it.
Especially when your name is Mari VanderStelt and you’re the owner of Yankee Dutch Quilts in Brownsville, Oregon and it was your customers who issued the challenge. So she did it. Mari sent the following letter to Mr. Dunn, the man behind Moda Fabrics.
Dear Mr. Dunn:
First, let me compliment you on your strong marketing skills, keen business sense, ability to recruit talented designers (although you have not recruited me… yet…) and your company’s user-friendly website. You have left many other fabric companies in the dust in just a few short years.
I do, however, have just one small complaint. Okay, it used to be a big complaint but thanks to appetite suppressants, exercise, and the fact that I no longer eat, my problem is getting smaller. Yes. I am talking about my thighs, stomach and rear end. (Okay, I’m not entirely serious… I figure the Moda Bake Sh0p thing was only responsible for about 20% of my weight gain. Yes, I realize I’m responsible for my own choices…)
I am referring to the Moda Bake Shop. Sir, it was a brilliant move to name pre-cut fabrics after delicious foods that invoked memories of Grandma’s kitchen (This was before Grandma got dementia and started to forget to add the sugar… sigh. I miss Grandma.) and including “recipes” for the pre-cuts. Layer Cakes, Jelly Rolls, Honey Buns, Candy, Turnovers…
However, there was a dangerous side-effect to all this goodness. Some of us quilters got hungry, and when we got hungry, we ate. Baked goods were already on the mind so you can guess what happened next.
It was so innocent at first. We could keep this quietly controlled. An occasional jelly roll was slipped into the shopping bag at the quilt store, and we might stop off to get a jelly filled doughnut on the way home to complete the experience. Then we graduated to hosting “Moda Bake Shop” parties , slicing and dicing up our layer cakes and snacking on chocolate cake as we sewed. Quilts were completed more quickly, which gave us more time to have seconds of the turnovers brought in by the skinny baker/quilter who never gains weight. (We’re all pretty sure she’s taking something illegal… but dang, her turnovers are good!)
Our New Year’s resolution was always to make more quilts and lose weight but we never realized that by accomplishing one, we were setting ourselves up for failure in the other.
But I have finally found a solution to the problem. Fabric is fiber and fiber is good for you. Fabric has no calories and you can’t get fat with zero calories! All of the Moda treats are low-fat, have zero calories and are high in fiber. And since traditionally, low-fat, high fiber food is also low in taste, this should help me trick the old taste buds. I will continue to use my Moda “baked goods” to finish more quilts and if I get too hungry, I will just eat the fabric. Desperate times call for desperate measures!
I am sure you had the very best of intentions and didn’t know that you would be contributing to America’s obesity problem. Maybe, as an act of good will, you could use one of your Collections for a Cause fabric lines to sponsor scholarships for Weight Watchers! I am also open to a tummy tuck, whatever works best for you.
Mari VanderStelt/Fabric Geek
Mr. Dunn got a huge kick out of Mari’s letter and called her. Mari told me that she was so shocked to receive a personal phone call from him that she was sure she sounded a wee bit like a bumbling idiot. After it had all set in, her “head swelled to extreme proportions and [she] was forced to walk through doorways sideways until [her] teenagers deflated [her] ego a bit.”
It gets better. Mari then wrote… “picture it something like this: ‘I was just talking with Mark Dunn of Moda about the weather.’ Or, ‘I was just talking with Mr. Dunn – the President of Moda Fabrics, you know – about my husband’s Dutch heritage.’ Name-dropping. Five minutes of blissful name-dropping until the teens reminded me to cook dinner.”
We owe a huge thank you to these ladies – the Tuesday Thread Therapy Quilters group. If it weren’t for you, everyone here wouldn’t have been laughing out-loud reading Mari’s hilarious e-mail. Thank you!
By the way, Congratulations are in order for Mari! When she replied to my request to re-print this e-mail, she wrote that she’s lost 24 pounds on her “Moda” diet. She just keeps chanting, “This fabric is vegan, it’s not a baked good! This fabric is vegan, it’s not a baked good!” Apparently it’s helped a lot… along with the appetite suppressants and “stupid exercise.”
And if she ever meets the guy who invented Diet Pepsi, she’ll kiss his feet. (Don’t we all want to read the e-mail she sends to the President of Pepsi?)
Until then, she’s on a fabric diet. I might need to adopt her chant as I’ve just spent the past week at the Zermatt Resort in Midway, Utah where there is an on-site bakery…
I’d better stick to these…
Zero calories. High in fiber. Low fat.
My favorite “baked goods” are the Layer Cakes and the charm packs – I’ll call them “cookies” because I always seem to grab two of them.
Which Moda pre-cut is your favorite – and why?
Then tell me what your favorite baked good is t- cake, pie, cookies, etc?
As much as I love these Moda treats… it’ll never taste quite as good as that Lemon Meringue Tart.