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Thursday March 12, 2020

Hi all!

As I mentioned in my last eletter, Randy & I have just experienced a brief, yet fascinating & fun, 4-day Cuban tour, staying mainly in Havana.  Neither of us speak Spanish, and my phone was simply turned off, while Randy was getting small bits of news only as we passed through free wi-fi, which appeared in some city parks and squares.

Cubans love American visitors.

Cubans and Americans share a love of and respect for old American cars, no doubt!

This is the view as we exit the airport in Havana.

This is the view of the square, in front of one of the posh tourist hotels in Old Havana.

And this is the '58 Impala Oscar sent to pick us up for our "good-bye" party!  What a treat!! (See me in the back seat. Great sound system too! ;) )


We returned to the US and the harsh new reality of corona virus.

Our main lesson in Cuba, was an oft-used phrase by all Cubans, "It's complicated."

I feel like that just followed us home.

Before anything else I may say, let me caution you with an alert.  Hackers out to steal usernames and passwords are sending what appears to be a Johns Hopkins University interactive map of corona virus infections to bait victims into clicking.  So please, do not go looking for a map to see if the virus is in Cuba, or in Kansas for that matter! 

As far as I am aware, it is extremely rare in both places.

All of us here at the store feel great, and there are no symptoms (knock wood) of even the usual cold.

So as I write this, we are OPEN FOR BUSINESS as usual. :)

Before I went, we bundled fat quarters and a CLUB HAVANA quilt was made in my absence.  

It is so cute!  Love it!  But funny, the fruit prints next to the quilt actually speak more to my actual Cuban experience!

We had fresh pineapple, mango, guava and watermelon every morning for breakfast.  And maybe even Dragon Fruit, although I never saw it whole, and I didn't understand the name in Spanish but it was certainly that color!  It was awesome!

Art and artists are everywhere - on the street, in studios, in homes.  Check out WILD & FRUITY from QT Fabrics by clicking here.

Honestly though, my sense of Cuba was far less colorful, than I expected.  We drove west through rural Cuba to an organic farm in the Vinales Valley.  Some, but not many flowers.  Some pastel painted houses, but paint, like everything is in short supply.

These beautiful bushes are at a tobacco farm we visited.  Some bought cigars!  Not colorful! :)

In the early 20th century, Havana was known as "the Paris of the Caribbean".  There is still beautiful and interesting architecture, much in need of tender care and repair. The government has undertaken a huge restoration project, concentrating on the tourist district first, Old Havana.


The buildings are tasteful, neutral colors, even in need of paint. 


Yet there weren't many flowers in the downtown area.  The most colorful things were the tourists!


However, the bougainvillea were in full bloom in the neighborhoods, including surrounding our Casa Pariculares (local B&B), in a residential district known as Vedado. 

It was a treat coming and going and we look forward to our return to Cuba in support of the Cuban people!

​There's no place like home.


Home again, home again, jiggety, jig!

This is SECOND SATURDAY at Charlotte's!  March 14th is just as late as it can be! 

We'll have plenty of new, fun stuff to share, so be sure to come, even if you're not doing the blocks. 

All are welcome.  Click here for details.


The PANELS have arrived that I'm using to finish my VINTAGE GARDEN version of the MODERN SAMPLER.  Click here to see the digitally printed COUNTY CLARE PANEL.  Beautiful!

BTW - This Broderie Perse style was popular in the 18th century and would have been found in the highly fashionable city of Havana as well as Europe.






Charlotte's Sew Natural, Needle In A Haystack, Picket Fence and Hen Feathers band together to offer you a 2-day shop hop, with emphasis on the learning, unique quilt kits and FUN! Click here for details.

There will be:

BASICS of COLLAGE, demonstrations featuring the Laura Heine method with patterns & products, at Charlotte's Sew Natural from 10 to 3:30 daily.

"Graduation GIFTS" for those who pass all 4 classes (i.e., visit each shop for a different class & have your "report card" stamped)

BUNDLES of GRUNGE fat quarters to purchase at a special price

4 UNIQUE QUILTS to use for inspiration, or buy our kits.  You'll get the patterns upon "graduation". ;)


DISCOUNTED items in each store, with "lessons" offered from 10 - 3:30 each day

Brand new in the store now, BLACKWOOD COTTAGE from Kaye England for Wilmington Prints.  In many ways, this fabric line also reminds me of Havana. 

The old-world feel, the classic cream/grey/black palette, is very reminiscent of the old city. 

Maybe on a bed in a room, painted to capture the beautiful sky and water which laps at the malecon (sea wall).  ;)

Check out this awesome quilt, BLACK DIAMOND.  Kits available now.  CLICK HERE.

Click NEWEST ADDITIONS to see all our latest on the web. 

Be sure to check out the SALE FABRICS & KITS.

Find us on FACEBOOK, INSTAGRAM, and YOUTUBE (although that is the sew natural me, and I am not really cut out for TV).

And especially check it out, as with luck, we'll be posting my Second Saturday presentation on YouTube later that day.  If you go there, please subscribe, as it will really help us out!

And lastly, take nothing for granted.  Appreciate every day.

Have a great weekend.



Charlotte's Sew Natural 
710 N Main St.
Newton, KS  67114
(316) 284-2547

Store Hours

Monday - Friday 9:30 - 5:30
Thursday 9:30 - 6:30 
Saturday 9:30 - 5:00

Eau Lily Boutique
712 N Main St.
Newton, KS  67114
(316) 284-0390

Store Hours:
Monday - Friday 10:00 - 5:30
Thursday 10:00 - 6:30
Saturday 10:00 - 5:00