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The Vine: January 18, 2013

Submitted by on January 18, 2013 – 9:03 AM16 Comments


I've got a question for the TN readers, particularly those who have access to the BBC. While studying in London in 2001, I saw a television show that was so weird and twisted that it has bothered me ever since. 

The plot basically went something like this: A not-unattractive redhead in her mid-teens is attracted to her high school's Classic Hot Guy. I'm almost positive the girl was named Poppy. Anyway, CHG is the top athlete/scholar/etc. and even volunteers at the local hospital, and doesn't ever seem to notice all the things Poppy does to get his attention. Finally, Poppy decides to confront CHG at the hospital and openly declare her love for him. When she arrives, she finds him in the morgue, committing an act of necrophilia.

They both freak out, and Poppy runs home to consult a book of spells (or something??), since she is convinced that if CHG will only find her attractive if she is a reanimated corpse, since he obviously prefers the dead. She then slits her wrists in the bathtub after saying an incantation of some kind, dies, and then revives. Aside from being paler and proclaiming not to have a pulse, nothing much is different about her. The next day at school, CHG is all over her, and asks her out on a date. She then goes home and consults the magic book about embalming herself, as she has begun to rot.

This was the point at which I had to abandon the TV and go to class, so I never found out how this incredibly sick and strange show (or possibly made-for-TV movie) ended. It was the fall semester, so this might have been some kind of Halloween special. Other plot points included Poppy's best friend, who seemed only to exist to say things like "I don't know, Poppy, this might not be a great idea" in the most unfazed possible way. The chilling thing about this show was the blase way in which all of the macabre matter was treated. When Poppy proposes killing herself to her friend, the friend is like, "Well, whatever. Just because he likes ONE dead girl doesn't mean he likes ALL dead girls." And when Poppy is discussing embalming herself, the friend is all, "Tsk. The things we do for guys, amiright?" As though embalming one's undead self was on part with plucking one's eyebrows.

There did not appear to be any other supernatural elements in the show, and no one besides Poppy's friend ever acknowledged (or noticed) that she was "dead."

That particular TV only got BBC stations 1-4, so I know that this appeared on one of those channels. Various attempts to use my Google-fu have been fruitless. Please, Nation — I have to know how it ends! Many thanks in advance.

 Hoping It Wasn't All Just Poppy's Dream


Dear Sars & Tomato Nation Readers:

I'm looking for fabric featuring people, especially kids, which is both cute and has non-white people on it. Quite a bit of the "retro" stuff, including Candy Land, features only white kids; I would like something with kids of all colors. Sub-categories I find especially challenging are princesses, fairies, most other fantasy, astronauts, and cowboys/girls. I can sometimes find "People of the World" stuff, and some of that's okay, but the American is always white and the non-whites are always representing other countries.

I'm not particularly interested in stereotypes, like geisha girls or Native Americans only being represented with feathers and teepees; I really want what-kids-imagine-they-are, just not with only white people. (Try find an Asian fairy-princess or a black medieval knight, for example. Oh, and I'm not so much concerned with historical accuracy as I am with just representing the kids in my life and their make-believe with someone who looks like them.) I also need it to be high-quality quilting cotton. 

Here are some examples of what I'm talking about:


More stereotypical, but acceptable


Not interested (stereotypes abound) 

I am willing to buy online; I have previously bought from equilter and fabricdepot, and Spoonflower is fine, although please don't point me to something which violates copyright. Physically, I can go to anywhere within 2 hours of the Bay Area in CA, or dispatch people to places within an hour of Chattanooga, TN or Portland, OR. I am also dynamite at calling fabric stores anywhere, if you can tell me the information off of the selvage on the bolt of fabric and the name and phone number of the store. 


Paper dolls are also challenging

Dear Paper,

I would try Brooklyn Mercantile. Granted, the only fabric stores I deal with are BM and Jo-Ann, which no, but BM owner Tammy is rad and likes a challenge, and you have to love a storekeeper who makes a jerk-off motion when she says the word "colorway." (Hee. But for serious, can we find a decent synonym for that?) Her stock runs more towards prints with cakes, or chickens, or grey toile — i.e., why the store is total Buntnip — but don't be put off by that; if you email and ask, she may know a specialty/artisanal fabric-maker who's likely either to carry a print like that, or even work with you on one.

Spoonflower…yeah, that one's tough in this case, because you'd kind of be generating your own. But you might consider drawing/commissioning it yourself, because you know what, I bet that would sell like whoa.

Readers? Any thoughts?

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  • Leah says:

    Paper, may I suggest It carries a lot of children's fabrics and many are imports from Japan. Similar to your first link is:

    I also like large collection of quilting cottons and frequently has good coupon codes. Also has a varied rotating selection.

  • Anlyn says:


    I'm not the OP, but you're bang on:

    16 "Necromance" 5 November 2001 #2.03
    Poppy, an alienated teenager, uses a spell book to transform herself into her school crush's ideal woman. However, after the spell is cast, Poppy discovers that her crush is actually a necrophile, so the spell ends up turning her into a zombie.

    That series looks awesome.

  • Angharad says:

    Paper, Fat Quarter Shop has some for girls:

    Ballet Dancers:
    Butterfly Fairies:

  • ama says:

    I did a quick search on etsy and found some fabric that might fit your needs. I saw a Rocket Club pattern that makes me wish I had a need for it.

  • Rebecca says:

    No suggestion for fabric, but in re: paper dolls, it brought back awesome memories of my mom helping me make my own. We drew the dolls on manila folders, then did the dresses on heavy sketchbook paper. But I had the privilege of doing it just for fun, not because we couldn't buy a hundred paper dolls that had my skin color. It seems like there are printable paper dolls online via various paper doll blogs and via Etsy these days, if that helps, but again it doesn't change the frustration of just wanting to buy a nice shiny book of paper dolls at the store vs. having to search for and print them all yourself, or draw them all yourself.

  • Nina A. says:

    There may be something in this set of Spoonflower designs by writer Nalo Hopkinson

  • Stephanie says:

    Hi Mairead,

    Seconding the rec for Fat Quarter Shop – the service is excellent and they are constantly changing their stock. If you write an email describing what you're looking for, I wouldn't be surprised if they would consider bringing in more along those lines.


  • Gina says:

    Mairead and Anlyn,

    I'm the original poster and I am pretty damn sure that the Urban Gothic episode Necromance is EXACTLY what I was looking for; I knew her name was Poppy! Can't wait to get my hands on a DVD. The series looks amazing. Thanks for your help!

  • Beadgirl says:

    Paper Dolls, are you looking for fabric with ordinary multi-culti kids on it too, or just cowboy/mermaid/astronaut stuff? The fabric from Eric Carle's Brown Bear series has a great print with schoolkids on it:

    I used it myself for a quilt for Beadboy2.

  • Laura says:

    As far as Bay Area in-person options that aren't the chains, you may have tried Stonemountain and Daughter in Berkeley already; their quilting cotton selection is pretty broad. If you're in the east bay, Piedmont Fabrics might be worth checking out; I haven't been to their new store yet. Hart's Fabric in Santa Cruz has a great quilting cottons selection and nice employees as well as a website, and Always Quilting in San Mateo also has all kinds of quilting cottons. I don't know of any stores in the city that focus on cotton prints off the top of my head.

  • Laura says:

    Oh yeah, I also meant to say that there are *tons* of fabric stores in the Portland area, including Fabric Depot which is crazy-big. I am not familiar which ones of them would be the best choices for prints and for multicultural kids in particular, but some of the more "modern quilting" oriented stores would probably be a good bet, like Bolt, which iirc is downtown somewhere.

  • Leigh says:

    I love Kokka fabrics, and here's one that I think meets your specs (comes in different colors).

  • Wendy says:

    All right, I can't believe I'm saying this, but… now you've got me hung up on finding out how "Necromance" ends, too! Can someone who's seen it comment with spoiler tags or something?

  • Lisa says:

    I just wanted to say this is my first time to the site, and I'm loving the juxtaposition of how to find both quality quilting cotton and television about a zombified, necrophile-loving teen.

  • Sarah D. Bunting says:

    Welcome, @Lisa! And yes, that's how we roll.

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