Sarasota: Sew Much Fun

I just returned from my trip to Sarasota, Florida to visit with my mother and brother.  Its been a few years since last seeing either of them, so I was most excited.  While planning and packing, I made sure I included the usual (clothing, toiletries, beach wear, etc), along with quilting fun.

My mother recently purchased a new home, so new housewarming quilts were in order.
Happy Home:  Mon Florida Keys 2 and McCalls Mystery Quilt
If the left quilt looks a bit familiar its because I made 2 with just slightly different orange bands.  The other quilt included Cherrywood orange fabric and a slightly different Kona, whereas this quilt features all Kona solids for the blocks in a slightly more vibrant color palette.
Side by side Mon Florida Keys Quilts:  Left for mom and right for the ROYGBIV Challenge
Both quilts look fabulous in their new Floridian home.
More Hexie Fun

Besides bringing 2 quilts--I needed some kind of project to get in a quick quilting fix.  I thought about bringing a fusible project and even went through the effort of fusing all the fabrics and then realized it would be too cumbersome to pack the rotary supplies needed.  So instead, I prepped some more English Paper Pieced hexies.  Despite taking a class back in February 2013 to learn EPP, I had only assembled 7 hexie flowers total since.  Well, I doubled that number on this trip!  It was the perfectly portable project to work on while waiting for my connecting flight or watching tv.  Although bringing a small pair of kids scissors through TSA security did require them to inspect the contents of my bag.  But this slight delay was well worth my progress!

And what trip is complete without a local quilt shop hop?!?  I contacted a quilting colleague who was local to the Sarasota area for some shop hop recommendations.  Unfortunately she was out of the area travelling but was sure to pass along her favorites, which were all fantastic leads!  Yes, my mother saw my fabric addition in full swing as I was stacking bolts of fabric at the cutting table (fabric finds on the left).

But she got in on the fabric fun as well, as she hunted for some fabrics to make some reversible totes for a colleague's birthday along with bird-themed fabrics, for me to make her a new quilt (pictured on the right).  The reversible bags are a fairly simple project to complete, but having very limited tools made it much more challenging as we improvised making do without any rotary equipment or rulers.  But both bags turned out fantastic and were adored by the lucky birthday girl.  Unfortunately I did not get any pictures of the finished projects, but you will have to trust me that they looked beautiful.

Linens for a whole cloth linen quilt
We also checked out some of the local thrift shops, where we found some linens, inspired by Cindy Needham's recent presentation.

Everything just barely fit into my suitcase for the return flight home.  I can't wait to pull some of these fantastic finds out to work on new and exciting quilts, perhaps some inspired by my Floridian adventures?!?

Thanks for a fantastic week with family, fun and fabric!!