My son Matt moved into a new house over Christmas. Since his job requires him to work during the holiday period, and since I have been saving my old set of dishes for him until he had a place of his own, I decided he needed a visit from Mom. Google maps says it should take 9-1/2 hours to drive from Stuart, Florida to Athens, Georgia, but they were not counting on visits to quilt shops along the way.
To be honest, I do not really need more fabric, since I buy bolts of it wholesale now. I did have some goals for my shopping trip, though. As program chair for the Martin County Quilters, I have organized a Row by Row swap program for our January meeting, and I wanted to collect just a few more rows and license plates from previous years. I was also in the middle of the Bonnie Hunter mystery On Ringo Lake, so was on the lookout for more aqua and coral fabrics.
My first stop was the Quilt Shop of Deland, which came recommended to me by my friend Edwina. As promised, the shop personnel were super friendly and helpful. I found some Row by Row patterns and license plates, as well as bag patterns to make with the license plates, and made a few fabric purchases as well. The friendly personnel gave recommendations for other area quilt shops and told me about a shop hop that will be going on the week of February 12-19 including nine central Florida shops. The cost is $5 in advance or $10 if you wait until you get to the first shop, and each shop will give you a pattern and strip set. Thinking about another road trip.
My next stop was Tomorrow’s Treasures in Ocala. This was a cute shop, and I was able to pick up more Row by Row patterns, license plates, and aqua and coral fabrics. I also picked up this great Florida fabric.
By the time I got to north Florida/South Georgia the quilt shops were closing and it was getting so late that I would be keeping Matt waiting for dinner, but I made note of the billboards for quilt shops that I passed on the highway. I mean, if a quilt shop has a billboard on the interstate they have got to be worth a stop, right?
I had a great visit with Matt. We started with a visit to Walmart to get some essentials. The next day I did some thrifting to scout out furniture, and we went out to lunch where we could take in the FSU bowl game with his friend Reid, who told us about an indoor flea market where he likes to find antiques. Reid met us with his truck at the flea market where Matt found a table, then I went to Goodwill to purchase a recliner I had found earlier while Matt and Reid dropped off the table and met me to pick up the chair. We rounded out the day with a visit to Reid’s home so I could meet his wife and baby, who was the recipient of the Ellie quilt.
I realized during my visit that Matt does not have a quilt. Or a bedspread. Or any blanket other than the FSU fleece lap blanket I made him a few years ago. Now I had a mission for my return trip shopping.
Now back to the good stuff. My first stop on my return trip was A Scarlet Thread in McDonough, Georgia. I had visited here before on a solo trip to Atlanta when I saw it’s billboard on the highway. This place is impressive–the first quilt shop I had ever seen with a men’s bathroom, as well as a multi-stall women’s room. We have our priorities. They also had a men’s lounge area with a good sized flat screen TV. Wondering if I could ever get Steve to stop here on our annual migration to the cape.
They had a great selection of AccuQuilt dies (I was tempted, but I didn’t get the cute cat die.) They also had a great selection of row by row patterns, license plates, and I picked up some trading dice for a game for our guild program. They have lots of fabrics from Kaffe Fassett and friends, and some lovely batiks. I picked up one of those little post cards patterns for a simple quilt for Matt, and started collecting batiks in navy and other shades of blue.
The friendly shop pointed out a calendar for a sew along they were just about to start, called Heartland Heritage. Each month of the calendar has a pattern for that month’s blocks, and they have a Facebook group for people sewing along. Who could resist? Plus there was no one there to remind me that I was already doing a sew along for the mystery quilt and have a pile of UFOs. And was shopping for a quilt I hadn’t started yet. But aren’t the sewing machine blocks great?
Next stop was Birdhouse Quilts in Byron, Georgia, also advertised with a billboard on the interstate. This is the second quilt shop with a men’s bathroom and men’s lounge, and the friendly staff insisted I take a peek inside the men’s room to see the manly decor pictured here.
Lining the entrance hallway were racks of some of the loveliest batiks I have ever seen. I picked up several for Matt’s quilt as well as this fabulous batik from the Salsa line from Anthology.
Next stop was Fabric Art Shop in Lake City, Florida. Here I picked up more batiks, and I’m afraid I would have spent even more if I had realized that everything was 25% off before I had finished at the cutting table.
Since I no longer remember which shop I got these from, here are some of the fabrics I picked up to incorporate into my “On Ringo Lake.” Now I had better get back to sewing.