Block 49: The Quilt Shop

Block 49 (final block!)
Block 49 contains a building close to all our hearts: the fabric shop!  It's co-owned by a pair of friends who have been sewing together for decades and is painted in their favourite colours.  When a pair of houses on the High Street went on the market for a knock-down price (if you'd seen the insides of them then you'd know why the price was so low!), they decided to club together and buy both of them.  The building on the left-hand side is the shop, with four studios above (rented out to local textile artists, one of whom is a longarm quilter) and the right-hand building is their retreat house.  They run day workshops, weekend and week-long retreats, as well as people being able to compile 'a la carte' retreats: they stay for as long as they wish and join in the workshops being run at the time or work on their own projects as they wish.  The enterprising duo have rented out both back gardens (they're right in the centre of town but they have a surprisingly substantial plot.  The age and size of the buildings suggests that they would have been merchants' houses and, as such, were prominent landmarks when they were built and so required room for stabling and such like.) to a local gardener/plantswoman and she has converted one side from a tired, overgrown space full of old bricks and rusted bikes into a wildlife haven which is full of flowers as well as a surprising number of fruit trees (dating back to the original garden on the site).  She uses the other side as her nursery and vegetable garden and she sells plants from it as well as holding regular classes, including 'Grow Your Own: From Patch To Plate' and 'Cut And Sniff: Flower Growing And Arranging For The Petrified'.  In fact, her classes have had such an impact that the local GP surgery has started sending patients (and staff!) there for 'classes on prescription' and there are plans to start their own flower garden in the grounds of the practice.  

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