I couldn’t go to Sisters without visiting local quilt shops. It’s what I do.
The second one we visited was BJ’s Quilt Basket in Bend. Don’t worry, I’ll get to the Stitchin’ Post.
The shops in the area are LARGE and have a lot of fabric. BJ’s was no exception. The shops in the area were benefiting from the Sisters Outdoor Quilt Show and all the related events, so they had extra staff and specials going on. They also had a cooler out front full of free water, which was nice. It was fairly warm, so it was a nice gesture.
I am not used to such large shops, so it felt a bit overwhelming. BJ’s had a section of repro fabrics, a section of 1930s prints, a few aisles of batiks, blenders (tone-on-tone) plus a lot of new stuff right up front. It was kind of shocking to see so much fabric in one place. Delightful also.
I was pleased to see a lot of batiks in the area. Near me, people eschew batiks even though they are lovely. BJ’s was no exception. The shop had tons.
I saw the Tula Pink dots and stripes at The Stitchin’ Post, but I didn’t buy them. I couldn’t resist a few bits at BJ’s.
They also had lots of Kaffe prints. I bought a few at each of the shops at which we stopped.
Julie and I did not have classes on Thursday. I highly recommend taking a day off from the intensity of learning when you are at an event like Sisters/Quilter’s Affair.
We got up at our normal 6:30 because of that crazy window, but had a leisurely breakfast, sat around a bit and then got ready before we left at 10:30 to go to some quilt shops.
First stop was the Stitchin’ Post. It is a 7-8 minute drive from where we were staying. I would be thrilled if I had a quilt shop that close to my house. I’d be in trouble, but thrilled nonetheless.
Okay, the Stitchin’ Post is actually in Sisters, not in Bend, but I am calling this series of posts the Bend Shop Hop regardless. Bend “Area” is too long (take a look at that URL already!).
We went into the Stitchin’ Post at least twice, but the Thursday visit was the day we planned to look around at everything. I think we might have been there closer to 4 times, but who’s counting?
It is a gorgeous shop. Huge! High ceilings, bright paint, plenty of staff, lots of great fabric and samples. Prices were ‘normal’ – $12-13/yard. The stock was depleted early in the week and by Thursday, our shop hop day, it was hard to find things. Not horrific. It wasn’t like the shop was empty, but a lot of notions were sold out and their fat quarters were a bit thin on the ground. Still, I found plenty to buy.
The Stitchin’ Post had a gorgeous Kaffe corner. I bought a lot of Kaffe on the trip, though not as much as I could have. I will use one of the pieces to make a nightshirt.
This was the first shop at which I saw the Tula Pink Dots and Stripes. They are gorgeous. Nice sized dots and stripes and interesting colors. I really wanted all of them, but the lines for cutting were daunting at times when there was enough to cut 24 half yards. You can see them in the photo above behind the dress.
There was so much to look at in that shop! they had a lot of different fabrics, some of which I hadn’t seen before. I saw lots of batiks, which we don’t see here anymore very much.
There was a small section of household gifts – soaps, tea, mugs and some interesting pincushions. I wanted to get one for Julie, but I couldn’t while she was there and when I came back to get it, someone else had beaten me to it.
I looked at the yarn a lot on Sunday and, as mentioned, bought a couple of skeins to make another scarf. Since I didn’t bring needles with me, I had to buy needles as well.
This shop is absolutely worth a visit. I had a great time. If you are in the area, head to Sisters and visit The Stitchin’ Post.
The Stitchin’ Post is located at:
311 W. Cascade St. (Hwy 20/126)
in Sisters, Oregon
P.O. Box 280, Sisters OR 97759 Phone: (541) 549-6061 eMail:firstname.lastname@example.org Store Hours:
Monday – Saturday 9-5 (9 – 6 in the summer)
Saturday July 16 was the Sisters Outdoor Quilt Show. The show starts early in the morning with teams of volunteers, including the local fire department, hanging quilts from everywhere.
Oregon State Highway 20 is the main road that goes through town and that road, much to my amazement, was closed except for cross traffic in some places.
We packed the car (Julie did most of the work!) and parked near downtown at about 8:30 in the morning. This was a day for a lot of amazement. This time I was shocked and thrilled that we could find a parking place within a block of the first quilts available to look at. After that, we just wandered around looking at quilts, going where our feet took us.
The Stitchin’ Post was decked out in all of its glory. The quilts on the front were just a taste of what was inside and on the side.
We couldn’t resist taking photos of ourselves in front of the display on the side of the shop.
When I said the quilts were everywhere, I meant almost everywhere. They were hanging from buildings, awnings, sides of buildings, backs of buildings. There was other art on display as well. I’ve seen a robot like that before somewhere and may have even posted it here. I am a sucker for leaded glass and these were great. I also love public clocks and think there aren’t enough of them.
Sadly I only took pictures of individual quilts not the entire displays on walls. I’ll know better if I go again. People on Instagram posted a lot of photos, so take a look at the hashtag for a better view.
Construction again. I drew out some letters and started cutting them out of fabric on fusible.
I am pretty happy with the letters. I started out with a ‘J’ I found on the web. I wanted all of the letters of my name to be beautiful. I didn’t have an entire alphabet, so I extrapolated out from that one ‘J’. I used the slant and thickness of the letters to make up the other letters. I also used the stem of the ‘J’ to make one stem of the A. I don’t know if they are beautiful, but I think they are beautiful.
I wanted some, not all, of the letters on the overall piece to be beautiful.
I started working on the letters. And also the placement. The last day was much slower than the other two days. I made good progress, but the pieces were smaller and more detailed. I worked on the placement of the Jaye and the Anne. I thought my names would be the first two lines, then I realized that I was my mother’s daughter before I was anyone else’s anything.
I used fusible, ribbon and some zig zaggy trim for the various letters. Each group of letters required at least one ‘rewrite’.
I got the background done pretty sharpish when I got to class Tuesday.
Yes, this is the background. It is the essence of who I am. I guess. I am not exactly sure why this is the background.
The biggest problem with art quilts is construction. To achieve the design goal, the construction can be challenging. the background you see was pretty basic piecing except for the spot where the top of the M comes together at an angle.
For the moment, I am leaving the -v- for later. Rosalie said that she couldn’t see it, so I decided not to worry about it right at the moment.
The next step was to get the ‘ladder’/grid motif appliqued on. I tried strips of fabric, but eventually landed on some ribbon that I have been saving for …something. This is the something. I laid out the ribbon where I thought they should go and looked. I moved them around and looked some more.
Again construction was an issue. The first piece, a piece of thick ribbon that looked like mosaic tile, went on like a dream. The next piece, which was much thinner would not go on. It bunched up, slid around and was generally a pain. I finally put batting on the back and sewed through the ribbon, the background and the batting. This is not ideal, because I have to worry about when to put a backing on and how to quilt it all again. Still, I was in class and had to make do.
The grid, which is kind of like a second background, came out ok. The ribbons aren’t perfect, but they fit with my design.
I got back to my schedule and finished the ribbons by the end of day two. Next up: letters.
Monday started in bright and early with class. Julie, Kathleen and I all took the Rosalie Dace class. I signed up when Kathleen and Julie did because I was OBE. I really had no expectations.
This was a three day class with the title “Word for Word.” I brought some text fabrics and threw in some greys and a large piece of a dot print as well as some embellishments, ribbon and some fancy sewing machine feet.
This was one of the best classes I have ever taken.
First, we talked. Rosalie showed us slides of art that included words. There were quilts (think about the Temperance movement), graffiti, one piece that depicted the words escaping a box and many others. She talked about creating and design. The talk went on for awhile, but the most helpful thing to me for my design was when the students introduced themselves. We had to say why we were in the class in one sentence. People talked about their names as well, but I can’t remember if that was part of the question or just evolved. One fellow student talked about how she had many names – nicknames, names she called herself or wanted to be called, names others called her. She has a long and girly name, so the permutations are endless.
This got me to thinking about my name. My name has no nicknames. None. That made me think about my roles. Even if I have no nicknames, I have roles. I decided to use my roles as a basis for my piece.
This idea gelled into place so quickly that it was frightening. Because of the speed, i was really unsure of the whole concept. I talked with Rosalie about it and she loved the idea, so I went for it. Every staged gelled, so I just kept working.
I don’t agonize over my pieces constantly. Yes, I do agonize a bit , but in this case, I kept asking for a bit of feedback from Rosalie and moving forward.
I got the background almost done on Monday. My goal was to get the background done On Monday. I know that if I get a lot done I can continue when the class is over. I needed momentum.
I had only two more seams to go on Tuesday to finish the background.
We made stops at Granzella’s in Williams (mob scene with a great taco salad) and Dunsmuir (yummy lemonade), ending up in Klamath Falls for the night. We saw haze, but other than that we weren’t affected by the fires raging throughout California. If we had left a day earlier, we would have been stopped at the border by a fire that jumped the freeway after a girl with firecrackers started it. DH encouraged me to drive the entire way in one one long day, but that is too much sitting in the car for both of us.
We had a good night’s sleep and set off again. After a few errands, including having to wash the car (tons of ash), we got on the road. The car wash was hilarious. It was one of those U-Wash-It type places and we wash and rinsed the car with giants wands. We decided to make a detour to Crater Lake. It was on the way and we had plenty of time.
Julie had been there before, but I hadn’t as an adult. I might have been there as a kid. I don’t remember. Being summer, the place was pretty busy. We were still able to enjoy the amazing view. AMAZING.
We spent a good hour or more as t Crater Lake then stopped at a small diner in Chemult for lunch. No amazing taco salads and kind of a flare when I asked about gluten free buns.
We wanted to stop at some quilt shops on Bend, but time was short so went straight to the Stitchin’ Post to checkin for classes and get our packets. We did look around the shop, which is gorgeous!
Yes, I bought some yarn, needles and some yardage of a Philip Jacob’s print. It was getting late and we were tired. Our housemates were waiting and we still had a stop to make at the grocery store, so we left with our few purchase. We plan to go back and really inspect everything later.
Kathleen had dinner ready for the whole gang when we arrived, which was fabulous. The house is great-comfy and plenty of space. It isn’t too far from town or too far from the classes. We can walk to both. I looked forward to the week.
Well, as you read this, I will be getting back to real life.
Yesterday was class day. A lot of people were done with the conference – tired, ready to go home, out of money, etc. I was ready to sew, so a class was just what I needed.
We got up at, what felt like, the crack of dawn and hustled over to the classroom. We wanted to get there a little early because we wanted seats that we wanted. There were two different Janome machines to use. We both chose the 6700 models (I think there were letters after them, but I forget what they were.
Libs Elliott is a lovely person and a great teacher. The content was sufficient to complete in the class and she was available and supportive during the entire class. The class was Dynamic Stripes. If you want more than that, take the class. 🙂
We made stripes from solids and semi solids and then cut them up. There were several options. The strip sets I made were two of the options. One was the regular set and the other Libs called Biggie Smalls. I decided to go with the easiest options so I could get the jist of the technique.
Once I cut up the strip sets, I was able to put the blocks on the design wall and look at them. The triangles don’t all go together, because the fabrics were slightly different. Still, I was pretty happy with my first version.
I moved the units around and then started sewing. I came away from the class with a small finished quilt top and I am pleased. I need to press it a lot better, but I am happy with it.
I added in the solid HSTs to fill in where I was two blocks short. I think this is an ok piece. I think the technique is interesting, but my piece is definitely a practice piece. I’d like to try the technique with actual striped fabric (smaller blocks) to see what I could make. I am not sure I will use this technique in general, but I am glad to know it and I am really glad I took the class.
We are starting to get tired. walking on concrete all day for several days is difficult. The show and the ancillary events are super fun, but also tiring. We went to the main hall to finish looking at the quilts and finish looking at the vendors. Today was also class day for both of us.
Other people are also getting tired, I think because even though people were friendly, they were not as gregarious.
Probably the most important event of the day was the Sarah Fielke class I took. This was a fabulous class on Big Stitch. I was concerned that it wouldn’t be what I needed. I started to obsess about the class being a hand quilting class when I wanted to learn any special techniques to use Perle Cotton. My fears were unfounded. It was a great class. It was, basically a hand quilting class, but Sarah built on my existing store of hand quilting knowledge and refined it so I could wield a needle with Perle Cotton like a pro.
The instruction lasted about 10 minutes, once the introduction was finished and a lot of techniques and information came together in my mind. I finally understand the rocking motion that is so critical to good hand quilting. Not only do I understand it, but I can do it with confidence. YAY! As an added bonus, I got to try out the many spools of Aurifil and Sue Spargo Perle Cotton I have been collecting. But wait! There’s more! It was fun. I enjoyed sitting there and practicing the stitching. The class was totally worth the time and money.
Julie took an Angela Walters class while I was in Big Stitch. We have another class tomorrow with Libs Elliott.
I was pleased to see a SAQA exhibit, Modern Inspirations; Art Quilts From the 1970s through Today, in the back of the hall near the demo station. It was filled with ‘modern’ quilts made over the past 30 years. Some looked like they would fit right in with the quilts in QuiltCon’s 2018 exhibit.
Waves by Etsuko Takahashi, 1998 was one of my favorites in this exhibit. It is made from Pointillist Palette fabric and is such a fantastic use of the fabric that it takes my breath away. Though the fabric is already ombre, the gradation between fabrics is incredible. All of the quilts fit right into the QuiltCon exhibition.
Early in the day, we heard the Keynote Carolyn Friedlander. She spoke about her inspiration, her various fabric lines and a book. One thing she does is make quilts over and over exploring different options in each iteration. I was interested in her talk and thought she did a great job. Many people walked out, grumbling that the keynote wasn’t what they expected. ??? I was confused about that, because I got what I thought I was going to get and thought Carolyn did a great job. People are weird.
The keynote was right at noon, which made lunching difficult, so, perhaps, people were cranky?
I think the vendors were tired as well. They were perfectly friendly and helpful, but not as perky. Early in the day we walked around the hall a little. I bought an interesting template handle. It is much smaller than others I have seen, but I thought it might be useful for my smaller rulers as well.
I also bought a Daylight lamp. It is a small, portable clip on lamp that I hope will illuminate my work surface even more.
We skipped the QuiltCon Happy Hour. Julie went back to the hotel and I went to dinner with Tim and Cyndi at an Italian restaurant. The waiter was fabulous and my pizza was delicious. The restaurant was far away so it took me awhile to get my food. 😉 It was worth the wait.
Day 3 was just as good as Days 1 & 2, but I don’t feel like I saw as much. We stayed mostly in the vendor hall, which also has quilts. All of the winners are in the hall with the vendors and we decided it was time to look at them. I saw so many of them posted on social media that I didn’t think it would be worthwhile to see them in person, but it is such a different experience. Social media is awesome if you can’t be there in person, but I see the quilts differently in person.
We spent the first part of the day looking at the quilts. The winners were pretty amazing in some manner. The secondary winners (challenges, etc) were interesting as well. Once quilt I really liked was Clambake by Heather Black. I liked it when I saw it, but liked it even more after reviewing photos on my phone.
It is a simple design, but not boring.The background red is an interesting shade.
I also really liked the Heart of Gold quilt by Beth Chinderie.
I like it that the pieces that make up the heart are not pieced or appliqued, that they are fused (possibly), then quilted down.
This endeavor migrated to looking at vendors after about 5 rows of quilts.
Michael Miller is collecting charity blocks to make quilts. We got some free charm packs to make blocks for the quilts. After QuiltCon 2017, they made 9 quilts out of donated blocks to donate to kids with cancer. I have a charm pack of 12 charms and I am thinking about how I can use it to make the most 6.5×6.5 blocks possible. I might make some checkerboard blocks just to maximize the number of quilts I can make.
In the Michael Miller booth, as an added bonus, I got to meet HollyAnne, a Twilter, who is the CEO of Quilts for a Cure. She is a lovely person, which made the meeting fabulous. She turned us on to a little giveaway game. We went around to different booths and got punches, chatting with people as we went. In the course of getting punches, I found out that my rotary cutter, which broke recently, has a lifetime warranty! I have to call the customer service number and see what they can do for me.
We also checked out the Daylight Lighting company and I am sorely tempted to buy multiple products. We’ll see what I actually do buy. I plan to to at least buy one of the clip on, portable lights, but may buy a larger one as well.
I did buy some things .There is so much available and I have my limits in terms of space and time. Some of the things shown in the photo (right) were freebies as well.
I found a bag pattern that I had to buy. It is a tool tote with an interesting design and a super cute look. I have a the Oslo Tote by Sew Sweetness, which I think is similar. Of course, the fabric helps to make it appealing. It is a tester for a project on which I might be working (far left, top) and it is called the Tool Tote. It has a frame to keep it wide open (see photos below). I have tried a pattern with a frame, though I have another pattern that calls for one. I am kind of excited about trying out a pattern with a frame. To go with that pattern, I bought Bosall and a zipper. The Bosall is like Soft & Stable, but is fusible. My Organizer Club by Crafy Gemini calls for this product. I thought it was a Soft & Stable knockoff until I talked to the lady at the Elkhorn Quilts booth (great company, fab bag patterns and supplies, BTW). I didn’t realize the Bosall was fusible. Not only does the Organizer Club call for this, but this tool tote does as well. I am not sure *I* would use a bag like this, but I might and the design is so fabulous.
Gretchen has been talking about the Jelly Roll Rug. I saw a pattern and bought it on impulse. I got a brief lesson on the making of it in the Moda booth and can visualize how it is done in my mind now. I am not sure where I would put one, but may make one anyway.
I bought a few pieces of fabric. I couldn’t find any Northcott charm packs in white, but I did find some by Paintbrush Studios, so I bought those to have on hand when I need to make more donation blocks. These were the one thing I planned on buying. I bought a great red and a text fabric. I am still trying to be restrained.
Not all of the booths were there to sell things. Some were promotional only. I stopped by the Moda booth while Julie was ont he phone and talked with Vanessa Christensen about her new Confetti (metallic dots) Ombre Line. It is Moda, but I love the designs.
Vanessa Christensen was in the booth showing the ins and outs of her ombre/metallic dot fabric. I am particularly fond of the heart quilt. I am not much of a heart person, but this quilt is really great.
We spent time in another lecture today. Today’s lecture was with Pamela Wiley. If you haven’t seen her quilting, it is amazing. She talked about finding your own stitch identity/style. Her talk was about getting inspiration from her surroundings and using the inspiration for her work – what she sees, how she thinking about it, how she tries to translate into something I could read.
Happy was spent at Porto Alegro. We started out there with Tim and Cyndi. When we left, Anna L, Mary C, Amy M, Christina T and Christy were all there as well. We had some drinks, talked about whate we liked and disliked about quiltmaking and the world and generally had a rowdy time.
ColorPlay and the Creative Spark will return soon!
Day 2 of QuiltCon 2018 started out slowly. We didn’t have any classes and our lecture wasn’t until late, so we lazed around a little bit in the hotel. It may not have been the wisest move, because I poured hot water all over my hand and had to stand letting cold water run over it for several minutes. It was painful all day, but after many applications of cream and some Argan oil, I don’t have a blister and it doesn’t hurt anymore.
Once we got to the show, we went straight into the hall that just had quilts. (The other hall has vendors and quilts). It was a nice viewing experience. There was good light and it wasn’t super crowded.
Overall impressions: solids, improv
My favorite quilt, Singularity by Jenn Nevitt of Fort Worth, TX, was almost the first one we saw it was made up of half square triangles. This quilt does not have any improv, which is an added bonus for me. I like the precision, the distribution of color and the varied sizes of blocks. It shows the power of a single block and the impact that one block can have if a design is executed thoughtfully
I thought I would feel resentful at all of the solids, but I didn’t. Some quilts I didn’t care for, but the ones I liked I thought were really well done – good fabric choices, interesting designs. I do know why the Carpenter’s Wheel didn’t get in this year. It wasn’t made of solids.
Canvas Fabric, Day 1 QuiltCon
We haven’t gone through the entire vendor hall, but there seem to be more vendors that last time. We have gone through about a row and a half of vendors and I bought one yard of fabric. It is canvas and I plan to use it for a bag, perhaps the Rockstar bag by Sew Sweetness. Perhaps something else. We will see. I am determined to make something out of it soon and now allow it to lay around.
The FreeSpirit fabrics are flying off the shelves. I saw bolts that had just been cut in almost all of the booths we visited. I am sure the designers, if not FreeSpirit itself, will be snapped up quickly and things will continue, mostly, as before. Still, I guess the smart move is to get your fabrics while the getting is good. 😉
I saw a lot of fabric and supplies I liked, but didn’t want to commit to buying yet. Beyond the Reef had a lot of great fabrics, but I restrained myself from buying the Palm Country Layer Cake and random other yards of fabric from them for the moment. I did want a few of them, but don’t have an immediate use. I may go back and buy some things later, but want to see if I am still thinking about them tomorrow or the next day.
Brooklyn Haberdashery was there and they had a knitting needle case that I covet. It was $95, however, and that is just not happening, especially since I just bought needlecases with some Christmas money.
One thing I may buy is a binding buddy. They are about $17 and slightly too cutesy for me, but they seem really useful. Shari Butler was showing how they work. You roll your binding around the body of the binding buddy, When you are ready to bind a quilt, you put the Binding Buddy on the thread holder, which allows the binding to roll of the buddy either from the back or the front depending on the way it is originally rolled on to the binding buddy. The nice part is that you have somewhere to store your binding while finishing the quilt.
As mentioned we had a lecture yesterday. The speaker was Christopher Tomlinson (IG: the_tattooed_quilter). He spoke about using prints in quilts.
He comes from the fashion industry so is influenced by the work they do when creating fashion lines and color ranges that support those lines. Surprisingly, he uses the focus fabric method (that I describe in one of my tutorials)! Chris, like me, also considers scale while selecting colors. In the process, he uses terms that are more fun than mine. Instead of focus fabric he calls it a Hero print. Large Marge is a large scale print, Tiny Dancer is a small scale print, etc. Perhaps I’ll be up there presenting if I had better terms and was more entertaining. 😉
He admitted to not knowing the technical terms for color theory, so there was some confusion when he was talking about shades and tones, but I ended up getting the jist.
The lecture wasn’t a revelation to me but it also wasn’t boring and was definitely entertaining. The slides were really well done.
Today was also a day of visiting with friends. We ran into a number people from the guild, had dinner with Tim while Cyndi took a class. We ran into Annie Smith in the vendor hall as well.
We were also able to have some coffee with Luana, the owner of eQuilter. We had about 45 minutes to chat and the location was pleasant since we were surrounded by charity quilts.
We chatted briefly with Zina (IG: zanymouse) about dinner.
At one point, Julie wanted to sit down , so I went into the vendor hall. Almost immediately ran into the fabulous Christa Watson (IG: christaquilts). I chatted with her for 10 minutes or so until I had to leave to meet up with Julie. We talked about her new line of fabric and I helped her rearrange her display of quilt samples and books. She told me about her fabric and that she will be coming out with a new line as well. It was great to catch up with her. She is just as positive in person as she is online.
We went to Tokyo Wako, a restaurant across from the convention center for dinner with Tim (IG: timnrwc). It is. The food was really good and the whole experience was fun!! They were very attentive to my #glutenfree needs, which was great.
The chef came over and put on a little show while he cooked on the grill in front of us. He was nice and was able to cook the food exactly to our liking.
It was a great day, though tiring. I look forward to a good day today as well.
We are already having a good time. I drove down to Julie’s house Tuesday and spent the night. I had dinner with her family and looked at all of her quilt stuff before we left. We set off for SoCal on Wednesday.
The drive was not bad. I mean we were in the car for several hours, which isn’t that great, but there was limited traffic. Julie was able to drive the whole way, probably because we needed to stop every two hours or so.
We made it to Pasadena by 3 or so. We checked into our hotel room and got settled a little bit. Sadly, my ladies maid was sick, so I had to do most of the settling myself.
At about 4:40 we headed over the Convention Center to get our badges and enjoy happy hour sponsored by Culcita Fabrics. The line was LONG.
It was fine. We saw some people we knew so we could chat while we waited. They started checking people in a few minutes after 5pm. Julie and I both received goodie bags, which were moderate this time, but had some useful stuff. We met Tim and Cyndi as well as Kathleen and Sarah. The drinks for the happy hour were really expensive, so popped over to the Sheraton and took advantage of their happy hour prices.
We checked out the Culcita Fabrics booth, which was right outside the registration area. They have a modern fabric subscription. They send out bundles of fabric every month or two months. They have specials for QuiltCon. The fat quarter bundles seem reasonably priced, but I thought the half yard options were a little on the pricey side. Of course I am tempted, but 1) space in my fabric closet is at a premium, 2) I have plenty of fabric. They have bundles from past months for sale and I might buy one of those. We’ll see.
Kathleen rushed us off to dinner and it turned out to be a group of 7 – Julie and me, Kathleen, two Canadians, Marianne and Susan, and two ladies from Sacramento, Angelina and Judy. It was great to chat with them. It was a very intelligent group of women.
We gorged ourselves on Brazillian style skewered meat served at the table by cutting off slices. There was also a buffet of a variety of salads. I ate a really nice beet salad, some rice, fruit and cheese.
We had a lot to talk about so the conversation was free flowing the whole time. There were definite opinions about a lot of things (me and improv!).
All this and guess what? The actual show doesn’t start until tomorrow!
Boermas was the last quilt shop we visited and it was amazing. It isn’t exactly in Portland. It is about an hour and a half away in a quaint town called McMinnville. That day it was pouring rain and I had Mom drop me off at the metro station. I took the metro to the end of the line so Amanda didn’t have to drive all the way into the city to fetch me. It is a quiet and clean system and it was easy to take some time to write while I was riding.
It was probably the largest shop we entered, though Pioneer Quilts was close if not the same size. I think it used to be a downtown department store at a time when all the major shops were on the main street to make shopping more convenient.
The store was three stories. The upper story seemed to be offices and staff areas. We didn’t go up there. The basement floor was all sale fabric. They had quite a lot, though their minimum was a yard, so I only bought a piece or two.
The street level floor was full of fabric. The aisles were narrow and full, but the place was scrupulously clean and did not seem disorganized. I could have bought a lot more than I did, but I made quite a dent in their stock. They had a wide selection of fabric styles – from Cotton and Steel to Civil War, etc repros. They had a large novelty fabric section, organized by theme, as well as about two aisles of batiks.
We had lunch at an American diner sort of place that uses historic buildings to house their eateries. The food is diner style and the building is historic. We also visited a yarn shop. I didn’t buy anything there though I sort of regret a couple skeins of a grey yarn variegated with turquoise. It was a fun day.
The Portland region has an amazing number of quilt shops. I thought Pioneer Quilt shop looked creepy from the outside. From the outside, I kept imagining an old lady held captive and mute in the upper floors of the tower. The inside, however, was filled with GREAT fabrics and fun employees. I think, despite the creepy Grandma prisoner in the tower 😉 , this was our favorite shop.
The inside did not give me the creeps at all. The shop was an old farmhouse that had been transformed into an event center at one point. There is a disco ball still hanging over, what was once, the dance floor in the main shop. The building had all the trappings of an old house: kitchen, dining room, etc.
I believe they used the dining rooms (perhaps one used to be an old parlor?) for retreats and classes, but there was nothing going on the day we were there.
We went right when we went in a saw no people, just the rooms above and the sale fabric. We dutifully looked through it all and must have not appeared in the actual shop for so long that one of the employees came looking for us.
We were kind of disappointed with just the sale fabric, but that was quickly remedied when we got into the actual shop. The shop was bright and airy, well organized, had high ceilings and had fabric for everyone. They had a lot of fabric, a lot of which I had never seen. Bright and cheerful, Civil War repros, solids, a lot of different things. Ann, our friend from BAM who now lives in Lake Oswego, was talking about Marcia Durst fabric and we saw some here.
One thing I liked was the wool felt. They had a ton of it. They teach classes, have really fine spools of embroidery floss and would allow me to switch out colors for brighter ones if I took a class. I checked out their website to look at their classes and they do something really interesting. They have sort of mini classes that teach just a few complicated stitches. One class includes Cast on stitches, Bullion, Drizzle and Double Cast on. These classes appear to focus on improving skills and really learning these complicated stitches. I would imagine students would have to take some sort of beginner class first. I’d like to see about taking a 1 day class there next time I visit.
I also found Renaissance Ribbons there. I bought a few yards to go with the pattern I bought at A Common Thread, Crafty Carriers. In stead of making a strap, I will use the Renaissance Ribbons instead. I had never seen these ribbons on spools in a shop before.
I would love to have a shop like this near where I live.
Pioneer Quilt Shop
3101 SE Courtney
Portland, OR 97222
The third shop we visited was the Pine Needle Quilt Shop is in Lake Oswego, Oregon. The shop can be found in downtown Lake Oswego in what looks like a nice area in which to walk and shop. It is a large shop and had a lot of interesting fabric. It is also near Kyra’s Bakery, a completely gluten free bakery at which I could order ANYTHING off the menu without asking if it was gluten free. Fabulous!
The Pine Needle Quilt Shop is a large shop with lots of fabric. They could have crammed more in if they had tried even a little. I do know that inventory costs money. I was pleased to see a lot of fabric I hadn’t seen before. There were some large non-Philip Jacobs prints (see the blue watercolor print hanging up on the right of the photo?) that I really liked but restrained myself from buying.
Pine Needle also had a very large selection of batiks, which I hadn’t seen in a shop in a long time. (I really think the MQG has done a disservice to batiks) There were a LOT of sample quilts. Not so many small projects, such as bags and gifts.
The sample quilts were interesting. There were a variety of styles including easy, hard, different styles and colors. I thought the shop was a little dark, potentially from the chocolate wall behind the cash register, but there were a wide variety of colors of fabric. Yes, they had some of those Civil War repros, but a lot of other colors as well.
I did see that they were having a tuffet class and I liked their example very much. The bottom of this tuffet uses a border print. I still want to make covers for my tuffets to change the look at different times of the year. This tuffet gives me an idea. I have to get back to that project – so many projects so little time.
The one thing I thought was a waste was the two large tables in front of the cash registers. They had half yards and FQs laid out very neatly next to each other. I thought more fabric could have been displayed there, but I am sure they know best. It was very easy to see the choices.
I was glad to go there and probably would visit again.