Thursday, February 12, 2009

Sarasota, Tonya, Gwen & Me!

The trip to Florida was too fast, too furious....but we got a lot done together, plus the bonus of talking, laughing, eating fun places, visiting quilt shops, getting LOST....all those fun things you can't do by email and phone alone. Sometimes you just have to GO even if you can't take a whole week to fit it all in!

There are more pics I wish I could have taken. The first night we were dying for Indian food, but the place was closed...so we ended up at a tiny Mexican place instead. Little did I know it was "Serenade" night..they had a great guy playing guitar and singing. WONDERFUL! I had to tip him $10 he was so good. Needless to say, he sang for us more than once :c) The whole place broke into song when he played and sang "Guantanamera"

Tuesday was THE DAY. Somehow Tonya had fanagled us the whole day with Gwen Marston & her friend Betty who is hosting Gwen while Gwen is teaching in Florida. We weren't able to schedule classes with her, but the one on one time was so much better!

We showed her our quilts, especially ones with Tonya's lettering technqiues. She loved them! She really went nuts over Tonyas....it was so fun to see!

We ended up all going out to lunch at this (can you believe it?) AMISH ALL YOU CAN EAT BUFFET. In Florida. In the land of Margaritaville...we were at an honest to goodness Amish place. I felt like I was in Lancaster County! It's not for the light hearted mind you. We were trying to figure out why the "Lighter Side" part of the menu listed homemade noodles OVER mashed potatoes! *LOL* We all agreed that "lighter side" must refer to the COLOR or VALUE of the dish being served...*hehehe*

Next door to the restaurant was a quilt shop. Now this is the funny part...In walks this lady with a cross stitch kit quilt under one arm. I was talking to Gwen about yardage sizes she usually finds herself buying,and this lady butts in and tells Gwen (not knowing who she is of course) that if she were a TRUE QUILTER...she would buy a yard more than she thinks she needs. I about wet myself..*howling* Gwen of course, just smiled at the lady in an "Is that so?" manner and proceeded to buy one yard cuts of the fabrics she had stacked up. What a riot!

I did some damage too...I bought some 2 yard cuts, thinking I might want something for borders or setting triangles, but I really limited my purchases. I STILL feel like I have way too much and there is so little I need.

Tonya and I BOTH had brought our "out of print" Liberated Quilting books for Gwen to sign, and that was such a treat.

Yesterday was SO full....we went to the beach! It was gorgeous, you just can't believe how nice it was. The sand is the whitest sand I've ever seen. It's quartz so it doesn't get hot on your feet. The water is the most gorgeous aquamarine...

Next to the beach was a little park area, and there happened to be an "art in the park" thing going on, so we wandered booths and I found a couple trinkets to bring home with me as souvenirs.

On our way to the park from the beach, there was an Amish family headed to the beach just like everyone else,blankets and baskets of food, barefoot children in toe. It was so refreshing to see! Also, kind of out of place,but I am so glad they take the time to enjoy the beauty too. I'm sure the ladies are glad to have the black hose off their legs and some sun on their faces,healthy complexions all around! Tonya took some pics of me with them in the background, trying not to get pics of them directly..hopefully she will post the rest in the next few days. My camera screen was so reflective it was hard to see WHAT I was taking pics of in all that sunshine.

One more quilt shop, lunch...and back to the airport. We crammed as much as we could into almost 3 days full!


  1. Ohh my!! this was a lifetime experience for you both! Love to see the pictures. The temp over there is much better as here (round freezing point)

  2. How lucky for you to spend time and even shop with Gwen Marston. That lady in the shop is too funny. You could have 'informed' her to whom she was speaking...Thanks for sharing the pictures on the Beach, it snowed in my town yesterday again. the groundhog was right...

  3. This comment has been removed by the author.

  4. I don't why the comment about the Amish going to the beach made me laugh so much! Just can't picture it...I mean did they sit on quilts? : ) (I have this strange sunbonnet sue going to the beach picture in my head....)

  5. What a great time you had. I got a kick out of your mention of the noodles over mashed potatoes. If you have never lived in the midwest then you wouldn't know that is a staple. Chicken & noodles or beef & noodles are ALWAYS served over mashed potatoes. This Texas girl had a real education on carbo loading when she moved to Illinois.

  6. How wonderful, I wish I had been with you!!!

  7. Anonymous4:56 PM EST

    Welcome home again Bonnie! Ok...I have a couple of comments. In the quilt shop the lady not only didn't know who she was talking to with Gwen but she obviously overlooked you! The photo of you on the beach is my next comment. Ya ready? You worried? You know in the past you have received some hateful emails but girlfriend I have to tell you that you look fantastic! Check out your hourglass figure!! Woo Hoo....you are doing good!!

  8. Too Funny, apparently the gal thought that she was the only quilter in the area! Maybe because she had "her kit" she felt like the local expert. Well, we all need to feel needed! I'm sure she thought that she was helping.
    Sounds like a good time was had by all!

  9. Bonnie,

    I live in Sarasota!!! I sent you an email after your post saying you were going to be in Sarasota. I'm glad you found the amish quilt shop and the restaurant. I work just down the street from where you were at the art show on the beach. I would love for a guild here to "book you" for an event!! Two of my friends are taking the Gwen Marston class next week. I couldn't get off of work :(. Glad you had good weather while you were here. The beach is busy busy this time of year! And we have a huge Amish community here. Many of them winter here from Indiana, Ohio, Penn. Sorry I didn't run into you while you were here!
    P.S. I'm loving my book!!!


  10. Oh that beach looks wonderful! But whats wrong - no shorts? :)

    Oh man, the story about you and Gwen in the quilt store cracked me up!

  11. Hysterical laughter here. Gwen and You in a quilt shop and she just bundles along and says what you "should" do! OMG my sides ache with laughter. BTW I always buy more than I should "just in case" and so far its never let me down.

    When I was little I had a picture handing on my bedroom wall of ladies in heavy black cloaks trying to dry children off on the beach. Wonder if the Amish women looked like that?

    Rhat photo of you is great. Hope you use it for the next book.

  12. Bonnie take it from a quilter to say what is on her mind!! LOL. I sure wish I had been in your shoes or packed in your suitcase. Gwen is one of my all time favorites and would love to see her come to Ontario one day.. maybe you and her can plan a vacation here when our weather is a little warmer.. I have room for you both to stay if you ever come to Toronto. Humble mind you but there is good eats and lots of quilt stores.

  13. Loved this post since my folks live in Sarasota - which quilt shop did you go to?
    I love watching the Amish on the beach, the women enjoy it so much - I have some great photographs also - and yes...those Amish restaurants are wonderful.

  14. LUCKY YOU and Tonya
    my dream day , spending it with Gwen.

  15. I'm glad you had a great time!! Now when is Tonya coming to NC? I'm sure I speak for many, we love to meet her!!!

  16. Sounds like you went into Alma Sue's Quilt Shop. When I moved to Sarasota, I was surprised that so many Amish and Mennonite winter here, who knew?!

  17. Sarasota has become my favourite place in Florida (we live in France) and I know that Amish restaurant and of course the quilt shop just next door. Didn't they have a group of Amish quilters working on a quilt when you went there ?

  18. Yes it must have been alma sue. I love seeing the Amish ladies quilting there in the shop. I live in France, but have visited Sarasota twice already, and am hoping for more next winter ! Love the Amish on Buena vista road.


Did you know that ad space on this blog provides for all of the free patterns and free mysteries and challenges at no cost to you? Without ads, this blog would not be possible.

Thank you for understanding the many hours that go into this blog 6 days a week, 52 weeks a year. :)