The countryside whispered sweet nothings to us from under a liberal dusting of snow and big skies worthy of being featured behind The Duke astride a golden palomino. We took the back roads which wound through the cattle-dotted hills and crossed streams busily tripping over fallen logs to the quilt shop in the historic Wharf District of Staunton, Virginia.
With picturesque and preserved turn-of-the-century warehouses and train depot which have since become antique stores, restaurants, and the infamous Jolly Roger’s Haggle Shop. Tucked alongside two cheerful cabooses and the railroad tracks sits the serious sewer/quilter mecca, Rachel’s Quilt Patch. With a cobblestone car park facing the street, one can easily imagine mule carts hauling coal & iron to and the bustling train station packed with Victorian travelers. Having a quilting shop in this particular location is not only charming but fitting. Such a fabric-crafting paradise would be out of place in a modern shopping mall but it simply makes sense to see it nestled in the midst of a 19th century time-warp.
Linda, our gracious hostess, led the way up the ramp and through the doors of Rachel’s Quilt Patch. Colorful quilts graced the exposed rafters of the building. The walls were lined with fabric-laden shelves matching the wide-planked wooden floors. Linda, Katy, and I quickly divided and began buzzing about like honey bees in a field of wildflowers.
There were many contented sighs, delighted gasps, and exclamations like “Oh my, the colors!” or “I think this is my favorite!” which were not directed toward anyone in particular. Perhaps only Katy was able to stay focused and that is only because she met Patches, the resident shop cat, who quickly claimed Katy. Katy, in turn, declared Patches her favorite aspect of the quilt shop and that is really saying something since we were surrounded by a smörgåsbord of creativity.
Meanwhile, Linda and I found a darling handmade zippered bag and immediately decided that Katy needed a keepsake to remember the trip. What better souvenir than a winsome floral fabric pouch?
We drove back to Bridgewater from Staunton as the sun slipped beneath the hills and so ended our second day of the trip.