Inside the back room of the Sunset King RV Resort, sewing machines are lined up against the window, and ladies in front of them are diligently working — their colorful patterns strewn about the room with a little bit of chatter on top of the machine's hum.
Without a fancy club name or set schedule, ladies of the DeFuniak Springs RV resort meet regularly to create a plethora of fabric crafts. From little purses to sewing machine covers to blankets, the women spend hours inside the resort's sewing room to be creative and spend time amongst friends.
It all started three years ago.
"We had a lady that was staying at the resort for three months who was a quilter," said Sue Coppocky. "We asked if she would teach a bunch of us how to quilt, and she held classes once a week."
Sooner than later, the ladies were bitten by the sewing bug. With the OK from management, they moved out the pool table in the back room and set up their sewing studio.
"We put up the curtains, we mop and wax the floors, we keep it clean," Coppocky said. "It's our room."
It wasn't long after quilting blankets, bags and various crafts for their grandchildren that one resident thought to make good use of their surplus. Last year the group, which varies in size by the season, crafted 10 quilts. This year, they made 40.
"We had all of this leftover material, I thought why not make some quilts with it and deliver them to area nursing homes around the holidays," said Carol Swan. "I've brought the quilts and some cookies to some nursing home residents myself and they just cry because no one ever thinks of them."
The new tradition is a community effort around the RV resort. Material is regularly donated to the sewing circle and the resort even donated an extra sewing machine for guests to use. Some of their sewing has even spilled into the main clubhouse, where a table is full of purses available for purchase.
"They're in charge," said Scott Wilkins, a resident at Sunset King whom Coppocky credits for acquiring the sewing room.
Blankets aren't the only thing the RV resort donates during the holidays. For the past few years, residents at Sunset King have worked with Samaritan's Purse to send Christmas boxes to underprivileged children overseas. As a community, the park donates — whether it's toys or money to buy toys — and puts the boxes together according to gender and age to be shipped out to a different country each year.
Anyone at the resort is welcome to join in on the sewing fun. It's more about camaraderie than skill.
"When I first got here, everyone was so helpful," said Jean Monroe. "If a machine breaks, everyone jumps up to help. I just love it here. When we first visited, my husband wanted to stay here for the fishing and I loved the sewing room."
The main draw to the sewing club — and to life at Sunset King — is the people.
"We've got everything we need here," Coppocky said of the resort. "Only time we leave is to go to Wal-Mart to buy new material."
"We're all like family here," added Barbara Jordan. "I've lived everywhere and I've never found a place like this and made such good friends."