The streets were pitch black and wet from the massive summer monsoon that had, moments before, swept through Tucson. The sound of our shoes hitting the wet pavement seemed to echo through the entire valley. And the eerie glow of our two cell phones (thank goodness for the freebie flashlight app!) bobbed up and down the street ahead of us. We were running. And needed a place to hide.
Flashback to earlier the same evening.....we had been two sane quilters sitting in a car, with two 44-oz bubba kegs filled with Lizzie B juice (Diet Coke), calmly binding a couple of quilts to send to the photographer. While on a stakeout. So maybe sane is not the correct word to use in this instance? But let's not go there. We knew that someone was using Aurifil as a cover to import stolen goods, and we were NOT about to let them get away with it.
Flashback to a few days before....A new quilt shop was opening in town, so naturally, we had wanted to check it out. However, when I'm visiting Beth's town, it's rare we get out of the studio during the day. So when it was time to refill our juice mugs, we decided to swing by the shop front and check it out. It looked like a sweet location for a new shop, and the sign was already up over the door..."Desert Sand Quilts". But as we turned the corner to head home, we noticed two burly men carrying a large shipment into the back of the shop. Not that a large shipment for a quilt store would be unusual. But near midnight? And burly men?
We had to get a better look. So we parked the car a few blocks away and tiptoed back to the shop. The back door was propped open, throwing a shadow of light into the back parking lot. We heard voices inside, the men were arguing. Naturally, we squeezed behind the dumpster near the door and strained our ears to listen.
"What is this? This not diamonds. This some kind of string." Said Burly man #1.
"No, no. It's thread from Italy, which is easily passed through customs." Burly man #2.
We heard the sound of plastic being unwrapped and had to risk a peek inside the door...what was going on? We saw GIGANTIC cones of thread flowing out of boxes. And then we simultaneously gasped as we saw the sparkle of diamonds being pulled from inside the cone. The hand with the diamonds froze.
"Did you hear that?" Said Burly man #2
We ducked back behind the dumpster and starting inching our way around the building, backs flat against the wall, away from the door. We had just made the corner when we heard footsteps outside and the burly men looking around the dumpster. We didn't wait, we booked it back to the car and drove off before the Burly twins even knew we'd been there.
"We need a plan." Beth said, as soon as we were able to catch our breath.
"A plan? What are you talking about??? Shouldn't the plan be, call your son the cop and report the Burly's??" I replied.
"No, no, no." Beth said, "He'll never believe us. Not in a million years! What we need is...."
Oh dear, my heart started to beat double time, I knew what she was going to say.
Hence the stakeout. Where we calmly stitched and watched, through a downpour of rain, until the last shipment of the day was brought in. We watched the Burly twins lock the doors and leave just as the heavy rain turned into a trickle. Then each of us took a large sip of DC for reinforcement, grabbed our little "tool kit" and made our way to the back of the shop. All we needed to do was get into the store, grab a cone of thread, and head straight to the police station.
When we got to the door we unrolled our tool kit....needles of all sizes, small sharp scissors, a slim ruler, and of course, stilettos used for applique. We slipped the ruler between the door and door jam. Then used a choice needle and the stiletto to wiggle the lock free. Thank goodness there wasn't a deadbolt! Seriously, wouldn't you take more care if you were hiding diamonds? The door creaked open and we were inside. The exit sign above the door threw a slight glow over the room. The boxes had been rearranged since we'd peeked inside a few days before, so quickly, we tripped over fabric bolts as we tried to find the box of Aurifil thread.
"I found it!" I whispered-yelled to Beth across the room, holding up a cone of beautiful thread.
But we had been so intent on our search and find that by the time we heard the voices...
"Hey! The door is open! Someone inside!"
And the door kicked open wide....it was an instant too late. We looked at each other and without words, RAN like the wind for front of the store! I tucked the cone of thread under my arm like a football. Beth flipped the deadbolt on the front door. (So there WAS a deadbolt!) We turned and continued running down the deserted street, pulling out our phones as not a single streetlight seemed to be on.
"Call Max!" I yelled to Beth as we huffed and puffed our way down the street. She speed-dialed her son and told him we were being chased by two burly men and to come quickly, rattling off our general area.
But the Burly's footsteps were gaining on us.
"Shoot, what are we gonna do?" asked Beth. And then I had a plan.
"Turn off the phones. Grab this end of the thread." I pointed to one side of the street and she ran away from me wordlessly, crouching between two buildings. I ran the opposite direction across the street from her, unravelling the thread as quickly as I could. I hid myself from view and then we pulled the thread taught.
Seconds later we felt a tug as the Burly's ran straight into our trap! We heard two "Oof's" as they tripped over the thread and fell on top of each other. As sirens sounded nearby, we ran from our hiding spots and wrapped the Burly's in a web of Aurifil.
"To thread a thief." I said.
We smiled. And slapped a high five.
We just HAD to leave you with another Lizzie B/Aurifil adventure before we finished the bloghop! Hope you had fun! Don't forget to check Pat Sloan's blog today to make the final decisions on the quilt. AND tomorrow, the quilt will be revealed. YAY!
Keep checking back on our crazy cre8ive blog...we'll be releasing our big SUMMER issue of Dream Laugh Create soon.