Portland, part 2: Fabric

There will not be a lot of words in this post.  It will just be pictures of the fabric that I bought in Portland, and at The Island Quilter on Vashon Island.  They have amazing, wonderful stores in Portland.  I am envious of people who live there and can shop at these lovely modern shops all the time.  The people who can see Heather Ross fabric in person more than once in their lives.

First up: Text fabric!
Portland fabric - textComma; Architextures; type-writer print; Chicken Soup recipe from Timeless Treasures

Japanese cotton/linen blends!
Portland fabric - JapaneseI don’t know the fabric lines these are from. Some of them are Kokka.

Portland fabricJust some lovely modern goodness. I particularly like the rainboots, apples, and bees.

Portland FabricMore fabric. There is some lovely low volumes (that dot to dot from American Jane is sooo cute!)

Portland fabricThis is the last one. All the FQs and my favourite print of all, a squirrel’s Map of Buried Treasure.

You can excuse me now.  I’m going to go pet some fabric.


Portland, Part 1

So, I promised a post about my recent trip to Portland.  I admit, I didn’t take a whole lot of pictures while I was there.  I had good intentions, and Mr. Apple Pie and I both had cameras, but we just kind of forgot.  I do have some, but none from actually in Portland itself, but from places around there, and also from our drive from Alberta to BC.

We are the kind of people who like to drive through the night when we go to BC.  It is about a 13 hour drive, and when the kids sleep through half of it, the trip doesn’t seem quite so long.  Mr. Apple goes to bed around 6 on the evening before we leave, so that he is rested enough to drive.  I stay up till we leave at midnight, and then sleep in the vehicle.  Because of all the flooding around Calgary, we had to take Highway 3, through southern BC, as Highway 1, our more often traveled road, was washed out completely near Canmore, AB.

Because we leave so early, we get to the Lower Mainland of BC in the early afternoon.  This time, we decided to stop at Othello Tunnels, near Hope, BC, to give the kids a bit of a break and stretch their legs a little.  It’s a very short, very easy little walk.  Our little trio bravely set out.

Othello Tunnels

After a very short walk, you get to the tunnels. There are 5 tunnels of varying length that you walk through. The power of the river through the little canyon is incredible, and the roar of the water is quite loud. The tunnels are often very dark, since they are carved right out the rock and there is no lighting. They are also a little dripping and ends, where the water from the wet climate has seeped through. So beware all the puddles! And bring a flashlight if you have little kids who don’t like the dark.

Othello Tunnels

There are also plenty of leaves and flowers to distract your little ones. Apparently buttercups are especially precious to little prairie children who don’t see them everywhere.

Othello Tunnels

This is at the end of the last tunnel. We decided to take a rare family photo! I’m only realizing now that Mr. Apple looks like his shirt, minus the giant hair.

Othello Tunnels

And another one! This really is unheard of. The last family photo was taken when Thing 3 was about 7 months old, and she’s 3 now. You can really see the cragginess of the rocks in this one. We are between 2 of the tunnels, on a bridge right over the river. You can see through the nearest tunnel into the next one, on the left side of the shot.

We stayed with Mr. Apple’s parents for a few days, and then left the kids there and headed south. We took a detour through Vashon Island, on which there is an amazing quilt shop called The Island Quilter. I of course took no photos in the shop. I was too busy petting fabric, I guess. We just missed the Island’s quilt show, which was the following weekend. Then we stopped at the Bike Tree, also on Vashon Island.

Bike tree, Vashon Island

There are a number of stories surrounding how this bike got trapped in the tree, and I’m not totally sure which ones are folklore and which ones are fact, but it is just a really cool thing to see. The bike is at least 6 feet off the ground at this point.

Jellyfish, Vashon Island

While we were waiting to take the ferry back to the mainland, we saw jellyfish in the water. We had never seen jellyfish in the wild before, and thought they were amazing, just bobbing along. There were a lot of them too! It’s a good thing we didn’t feel like swimming.

Stevenson Landing

We also took a mini tour of the Columbia River Gorge while we were in the area. This is me by the pier in the little town of Stevenson. And this is also the humidity having a field day with my hair. After a day I just gave up and let the humidity win.

Bonneville Dam spillway

We went to the Bonneville Dam, being geeks and all. That’s right. We are so exciting that when we take holidays we visit dams and go on tours of them, and then head back to our hotel after dinner and go to bed at 10. 🙂  We found it fascinating, the history of the dam, and really enjoyed actually hearing the entire tour and not being interrupted by hundreds of questions and being requests to go the bathroom.

Bonneville Dam

And you can find quilting inspiration everywhere! This is the walls and floor inside the turbine room. I find it rather indicative of the era when the dam was built in the mid to late thirties.

Multnomah Falls

This is getting to be rather a long post, so I’ll end with this, the last picture we took, on day 3 of our 5 day trip. I told you I was not good at remembering to take photos! This is Multnomah Falls, just east of Portland. That’s me in the middle, with the stripy green shirt and mile-wide hair. Ok, maybe it wasn’t that bad. 😉 The Columbia River Gorge is certainly a beautiful area. I can’t wait to go back there again.

I did buy lots of fabric in Portland, probably a surprise to no one, and I’ll post those in a day or two. I know this post has no fabric or sewing in it, but it’s getting long already, so I’ll save those for next time.  But the fabric stores are great there.  I saw Heather Ross fabric you guys.  In the wild!

Bugs in Paris

I finished the commissioned baby quilt before my holiday to Portland (which was completely awesome, and I’ll post about it soon).  I had meant to blog about this while I was away, but I was having too much fun and completely forgot.  So, I guess I’ll just blog about it now!


This quilt went together very quickly, as simple patchwork is wont to do. It’s the first time in awhile that I’ve added borders to anything, but they were requested, so on they went. I really like the pink and orange together, and the grey ground everything quite nicely.


I know my fence needs to be painted, but it makes a nice rustic backdrop for my quits in the meantime. And this shot will not be possible in a few months, when the corn that’s planted in front of it will hopefully be nice and high.


This fence, on the other side of our yard, is in better shape, but we have the back side of it facing our yard. But it’s a nice spot, under a cherry tree.


I quilted it with a meandering loop. It went very quickly, and the looping was easier than the last time I tried it. Another example of how my free-motion is getting better all the time!


The backing is a really nice and soft irregular pink stripe. The quilting shows up beautifully on it. I bound it in a solid grey, and then hand-stitched the binding. I know that when I hand-stitch something it takes much longer and really makes it not worth my time when the quilt is going to be sold, but I just find the hand-stitching so soothing and relaxing. so I do it anyway. I might change my tune if I end up getting more commissioned projects, but I’ll stick with it for now.


And the quilt in the ash tree. I love this tree.

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