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Quilt Lovers' Hangout

Faraway influences encourage both owners and customers of this Florida quilt shop to expand their horizons.

Cultural Experience

Debbie Olive, one of the owners of Quilt Lovers’ Hangout in North Fort Myers, Florida, lived a few years in Barbados and it shows in the shop inventory, which includes floral, Western, and animal-theme art quilts from Bigfork Bay Co.

Meet the Staff

Front row, from left: Gayle Cowdin (co-owner) and Debbie Olive (co-owner); back row: Sandra Minarcine, Barbara Selph, and Pam Strohmeier; not pictured: the late Daina Clifford.


After two years in business, the quilt shop expanded into a larger building. In doing so co-owners Gayle Cowdin and Debbie Olive were able to triple the amount of fabric they carry, which meant they could appeal to an even wider audience. They now offer batiks, brights, homespuns, Civil War, reproduction, and hand-dyed wool (a rarity in sunny Florida).

A Good Cause

The Snippets of Spring pillow by New Leaf Stitches is composed of wool and cotton. Last year, with the help of customers and staff, the store donated 475 pillowcases to the Tampa Shiners Hospital.

A New Spin

Staff member Jean Smith designed A New Spin for Quilt Sampler® Fall/Winter 2011 magazine.

Machine-Quilting Details

Owner Gayle Cowdin machine-quilted curls and open feather designs across the quilt top. A double-edge border includes similar colors in different patterns to bring the piece together.

A New Spin Color Option

Quilt tester Laura Boehnke made A New Spin pretty in pink. To alter the design slightly, she chose a different print for the small triangles and center square in each of four blocks. Her fabrics are from the Whirlwind Romance collection by Jenni Calo for Connecting Threads.

For more information about Quilt Lovers’ Hangout, visit


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