Okay, back on task! I need to finish up my posts about Florida! Here is another shop I visited while in Florida. Quilt Lover's Hangout in Ft. Myers, Florida. I LOVE THIS SHOP A LOT! I could spend many hours in this shop. It is big, it has LOTS of fabric of all different sorts, and the staff were really friendly and helpful....as were some of the customers! Well, here, let me take you on a tour.
I have this magazine, read it, oogled over the shops, and then completely did not connect it to the fact that I would be in Florida for Christmas. What luck for me! I save all my back issues of this magazine, thinking that when I travel, I'll go through them and find some good shops to go to. But I get so busy, I forget to check them. Sometimes you just luck out! This was very exciting for me!
I forgot to take a photo of the front of the store. So sorry!
This is the Civil War collection, looking back toward the front window. You can just see the door on the left side of this photo. For some reason, when I walk into a quilt shop, see an antique sewing machine and a bunch of Civil War reproductions, everything just feels right in the world.
This was a pretty little display on the back side of the Civil War fabrics. The Accuquilt cutting machines, carrying cases, dies, and a very pretty, hand embroidered quilt from a Crabapple Hill pattern. I pretty much love all of Crabapple Hill's patterns. (My mom said she liked this quilt, too. She said she'd like to do the embroidery, but it's really not her style, so she wouldn't want to put it together in a quilt and it really wouldn't go in her house. I told her, "Hey, embroider the blocks for me, give them to me, and I'll sew them into a quilt for myself! It's a win-win!" I think she was actually open to the idea! ha! What a deal that would be. I told her I love to do the hand embroidery, but I often just don't have the time!)
A little closer up shot of the quilt. What's that piece of paper on it? Well, it turns out that this shop really supports Habitat for Humanity. They had a lot of activities going on to support the cause, and raffling this quilt off was one. I really love Habitat for Humanity (I have worked on houses for them in the past and even traveled to Jamaica once for a couple of weeks to build houses for Habitat. What an amazing experience.) So, I had to buy some raffle tickets. I'm pretty sure I'll win it. LOL.
If I pivoted 180 degrees from where I was standing to look at the raffle quilt, I saw this quilt. A very pretty quilt in fun, bright colors. This is the quilt the shop designed for the Quilt Sampler magazine (you can see the issue of the magazine sitting next to the quilt). Next to the quilt are kits one could purchase to make their quilt. Very fun.
Here is a little wider shot of that area. It is very bright and cheery, isn't it? you know, come to think of it, I do not think I made it to the area behind this when I was in the shop. Huh. Just realized that. Well, I guess I'll have to go back sometime soon! LOL.
And, oh my goodness, the books this place had! I could have just pulled up a chair and spend a couple of hours going through the books! Wow! And so nicely organized so you can actually see everything.
Just past the books is a little hallway that leads back to the classroom and to the sale fabrics. You can see all the samples on the wall for the classes coming up. I really, really wanted to take the class for that little green hoodie you see there. It was so cute...A little hooded dress made from a sweatshirt and some fabric. I thought it would be a great swimsuit cover up for Sweet Pea. Too bad they didn't sell a pattern for it. The pattern was designed by one of the gals at the shop, and it is just part of the class. And the class is in February.....
And then there was all this ric rac. LOVE! And dolls below it. I just sort of had to stand here for a while and absorb it all. There were lots and lots of patterns on the wall behind where I was standing, as well as around the corner. And the classroom was behind the wall behind where I was standing, too. Sweet Pea was playing with Legos back there, and I struck up a conversation with a gal working on a quilt project. She was very nice, and we were both disappointed that I lived too far away to join in for her class (or other classes).
It's pretty easy to see why this shop has been selected as one of the "top 10 shops" across the country. It had an amazing selection of fabric, really great samples, neat looking classes, and the girls in the shop were as nice as could be. I was looking for a specific fabric in a quilt, and I couldn't find it. One of the gals went to all sorts of lengths to find it for me. Turns out they were sold out of it. But she even went scavenging in the sale bin for me, as that's where they might throw remnants from a bolt. She also looked through their bundles to see if it was in one of those, and she said they'd break apart the bundle for me if she could find it. Alas, no luck. But I sure appreciated her help!
So, if you are in Ft. Myers, you should definitely stop in to this shop. It's a "don't-miss-it" kind of shop. And right next door to it is a sewing machine store that sells Brother machines, as well as Tin Lizizie mid-arm and long-arm machines. They sell lots of machine embroidery supplies, too. So, that was a nice bonus.
My mom and Sweet Pea were with me when we went to this shop. (My family is so supportive of my habit/addiction, aren't they???) Afterward we were hungry, so we went looking for a place to eat. (Are we seeing a pattern here?) My mom had her little doggie with her, so we needed to find a dog friendly restaurant. (If you were worried about what we did with the dog while we were in the fabric store, Mom brought Maddie [the dog] in with us. No one minded. Again, very friendly shop. Granted, she is a little, tiny dog.) Anyway, I googled "pet friendly restaurants Ft. Myers." Did you know there is a website that lists dog friendly restaurants? I sure didn't! Through that, we found this restaurant, The Dog Bar and Grille, in Cape Coral (a town right next to Ft. Myers). They advertise that dogs are welcome to come and hang out with you while you dine if you eat on their patio. So, that's what we did.
I kind of like it when restaurants really carry out a theme through everything they do. I like reading their stories, too. The last paragraph of this part of the menu says, "So go ahead. Live the Dog's Life. Come, Sit and Stay. Eat, Drink and Play. You'll be sure to find The Dog Bar & Grille a Pawsitively Wagnificent experience. Bone Appetit!" Very cute.
The food was fine. I didn't think it was anything too special. I mean it was "bar food." To be honest, I don't even remember what I had. Probably grilled chicken of some sort. But it was good. Moreover, it was a pawsitive experience for all of us. :-)
Until next time,