A needle and thread, a little material, some time on your hands and perhaps a story that comes together with the patching. Colors and stripes, bolds and pastels and the neutral offset. A blend of old and contemporary stitched by hand or by machine, all to create something meant to warm a bed, hang on a wall, wear on your back or maybe set out for display at the Farm Festival and Quilt Show Feb. 4-5 at the Pioneer Florida Museum and Village in Dade City.
The annual event, now in its 22nd year, promises to offer plenty for all, said board member Jim Dennison, 69, a volunteer docent and avid quilter who has been at it since he was about 9 and his grandmother got him cutting patterns "just to keep me still."
A big draw will be a selection of quilts from the prestigious Hoffman Traveling Quilt Challenge, Dennisen said, as well as up to 200 works of local quilters. Don't expect a juried show, though. "Everybody that comes can vote for their favorite," he said.
There will also be an antique tractor parade featuring some old John Deeres and a Fordson tractor or two meant to meet any terrain, whether it be sugar sand or Palmetto stump. Additional events include a Belgium Draft Horse Pulling Competition, traditional demonstrations like grinding sugarcane, making syrup, arts and crafts, entertainment and food.
Those who go are also welcome to bring a picnic and tour the village that was patched together itself with buildings that once served the locals. Among them: a one-room schoolhouse and the general store from Lacoochee, the principal's house from Locke Street in Dade City and the Methodist Church from a place once known as Enterprise.
"We get a lot of quilters but the place fills up with old farmers, too. A lot of them snowbird farmers like to check out the old equipment and the only place you can see the old draft horses anymore is a place like this."
Michele Miller can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or (727) 869-6251.