There are at least a hundred things which Florida has going for it. For example, in a "best weather" face-off against London, Florida (pretty much any part of it) would win, hands down. Also, there are lots of Tiki bars here. I could go on...
One thing I have struggled with however is the lack of craftiness. And I don't mean a general demeanor of deceit. I mean folks getting their craft on - sewing, knitting, crocheting, gluing, painting, pasting and getting glitter all over the floor. Sure, we have the awesome temples of craft that are Michael's and Jo-Ann conveniently located every 10 miles or so...but are amazing as it is to have so many handy supplies at your fingertips, they somehow reek of school projects, science fairs, and school holiday time-fillers, and less of hand-quilting, hand-dying, unique and beautiful makes.
I have been on the hunt for the Local Yarn Shop, and the Local Fabric Shop, and have thus far been unsuccessful in finding anything with even a smidge of the DNA of my beloved haunts of London - Ray-Stitch or Loop. (I actually just looked at the Ray-Stitch class list and it makes me physically sick to know that I am missing a quilting class with the wonderful Jane Brocket. Ladies of London, please run don't walk.....) But you know, I'm not giving up. I was delighted yesterday to realise that one of my favourite fabric designers/quilters Carolyn Friedlander is from central Florida. Apparently her town is full of crafters... but it's 200 miles away, so I don't guess I'll be integrating into that community yet! I have been to all the local flea/craft fairs that I could sniff out, and I'm sure there is something out there which I have yet to discover, so I keep making lists, and searching.
So, due to the crafty desert surrounding me and also due to the fact I am having some difficulty focussing on craft projects (too many familial distractions), I decided to sign up for an online quilting class. I loved the two quilting classes that I did at Ray-Stitch, and I figure with lots of online coaching, some community spirit, and some deadlines, what could possibly go wrong?
The class that I found is run by Rachel Hauser of Stitched In Color. She has been running classes for a while and there are generally good vibes about her around t'internet. I love her quilts, and her blog is full of great tutorials and information. The class I am doing is called Angled, and yes, it's about angles - equilateral triangles, diamonds, half square triangles and flying geese for example. Seems like a good next step for me as I have only worked on blocks, squares and strips so far in quilts.
I have signed up for the "Camp" version of the course which is a small group of 20 learners, we have our own private areas for personal attention, and we will have regular online chats and meetups.
I'm really excited, looking forward to learning a lot and having some fellow quilters to socialise with online. I will post some progress updates here as we get going!