Florida Holiday II

Since I’m on holiday with two men in tow,  I know I can’t expect to visit every quilt shop in Florida.  (Even though I might like to!)  But when we reached Dunedin on the west coast I put my foot down with a firm hand.

While chatting, I heard about an aladdin’s cave of a store, right there in town, from a newbie quilter who worked on reception at the motel we stayed at. She told me she had been taking lessons there and just loved it, so of course, I simply had to check it out.

Rainbows End Quilt Shoppe in Dunedin really is a knockout place. Room after room piled high with fabrics all gathered together by colour. By the time I walked through to the second large room I had already picked up too many fat quarters to carry but I just couldn’t help myself. A kindly assistant came to my aid with a carry basket so then I had space to pick up even more.

In the furthest room I came across two lovely ladies working away on their quilts, so naturally I stopped to chat and to see what they were doing. One had appliquéd a succession of lovely pink teapot motifs onto hers and was busy hand quilting it. The other was in the midst of hand appliquéing every type of flower you could imagine in a succession of beautiful colours onto her quilt top. I was so in awe at the quality of their work.

I could have spent all day at Rainbows End, but instead I spent too much!!

… link to previous Florida Holiday post

… link to Florida Holiday III


Florida Holiday

So here we are on holiday in the USA. A day late because our flight was delayed courtesy of Hurricane Matthew, but safe and sound nevertheless.

We’ve been travelling up the east coast of Florida from Miami, and the further north we travel the more apparent is the storm damage – it’s not complete devastation, but lots of destruction to trees and quite a few roofs have taken flight – so we decide to stay the night at Stuart, a small town on the SE Federal Highway, and then head inland to Lakeland.

Naturally, I’ve been on the lookout for quilt shops along the way, although i did promise myself I would only be looking for pattern books rather than fabrics (like that’s ever gonna happen!)

On Highway 1, at Sebastian, I discovered Marilou’s Quilting and Sewing Center. Marilou herself wasn’t there at the time, but we met a really helpful guy, a US Forces veteran, whose name sadly escapes me. (It’s my age, what can I say?)

He showed us around a well stocked store filled with beautiful fabrics and a long arm quilting machine in the centre loaded with a lovely quilt top in the process of being quilted. A large seminar room in back housed some state of the art Husqvarna machines, and was already occupied by ladies hard at work on their sewing and embroidery.

I bought a Stars Across America pattern book by Eleanor Burns, and of course, several gorgeous fat quarters. (You can just see them in the foreground of one of the images below.)

…link to Florida Holiday II

… link to Florida Holiday III

A Memory Quilt for Len

Irene and Len are longtime friends of Angie’s mom, and Angie herself knows them well. Sadly, Irene passed away at the beginning of this year.

It’s a special time in the grieving process when a surviving partner can bring themselves to part with their spouse’s much loved possessions, but now Len has begun to quietly rehome some of her chattels where he thinks they may do most good. Irene was a seamstress of the old school and, knowing she is also a sewist, Len has given a bewildering collection of fabrics and notions to Angie along with an impressive old sewing machine.

Angie told us all about this at one of our regular sewing group get togethers. She then showed us a lap quilt she has made from the plaids and tweeds she unearthed in the donated fabric stash. She plans to give it to Len soon to keep him cosy this coming winter. I cannot think of a more wonderful way to commemorate Irene than the thought that has gone into the making of this beautiful memory quilt.