Michelle Fascina has been sewing ever since she can remember, a fact obvious to anyone who walks in to her store, Rainbow's End Quilt Shoppe. The store she co-owns with her mother and aunt has just about anything a quilter, sewer or textile crafter could need, filling up three huge rooms of a corner house in downtown Dunedin.
The inventory has been refined over 30 years, always adjusting to the customers' needs. What started as a craft consignment shop grew to include sewing classes, and eventually the demand for quilting supplies was overwhelming. Now, quilts made by five different employees take over the space: the walls, hanging from the ceiling, behind the counter and on top of shelves. The places that don't have accessories for the trade like safety pins ($5.25 for a pack of 150), water-erasable marking pens ($5.75) and over 700 tutorial books like "S is for Scraps" ($27.85). The store also carries the most essential of items: fabric, 30 thousand bolts of it to be exact. Averaging at $11 per yard, all of that 100-percent cotton is enough to cover most of Florida if laid out.
It is that immense variety of patterns and styles that brings in most customers, who find out about them in large part through word of mouth in sewing groups, and also through social media, where the daily new arrivals are posted.
For those just getting into the hobby, Rainbow's End offers beginner-level classes ($60 for six weeks of two-hour classes) and once a month, for the veterans, a Mystery Quilt Night, in which quilters work from 6 p.m. to midnight on a Saturday and only find out what they're making when it's done.