Fat quarters, stashes, jelly rolls and layer cakes — based on jargon alone, the Destin Snowbird’s Quilting Club meeting sounded like a meeting for things much more nefarious in nature.
"How big is your stash?" meeting facilitator Shirley McClary asked the 13 attendees.
The ladies took turns introducing themselves and describing the size of their fabric stashes.
"My stash is color-coordinated and stacked in little cubbies in my sewing room. It has the best view of the mountains," Sheryl Nelson said.
Nelson and her husband snowbird in Destin each winter, traveling from their home in Greeley, Colorado.
Most of the club members who attended the meeting came from Canada, Wisconsin and Michigan and have been snowbirding in Destin for five to 10 years.
As they talked amongst one another about sewing machines and local fabric stores (TJ’s Fabrics in Destin is a favorite) a few of the women sewed labels onto colorful quilts.
"These are going to be donated to the Emerald Coast Children’s Advocacy Center," McClary said. "They were made by our members."
Carol Aakhus of Danbury, Wisconsin, led a demonstration on how to create a new contemporary-looking quilting pattern, passing around samples that she made for the class.
"See this bubbling technique?" Nelson said, pointing to the pebbled texture on the square quilt. "She did that by hand."
After the demo, it was show-and-tell time.
Dorothy Jones unfurled a stunning quilt with a curving deep green vine along the border and hand-stitched flowers of different colors every few inches. The quilt was made in browns and greens, with splashes of pink and dark blue throughout.
"I just don’t know what to do with the border," Jones said. The quilt was nearly complete except for an exposed few inches of white fabric along the outer edge.
Everyone in the room oohed and aahed collectively, bending over to get a closer look.
McClary suggested a cream color to offset the browns.
"I hope you’re keeping this one in the family," said McClary. "This is an heirloom quilt."