Quilt Shops in the Mountain States

music:  Santa Fe by Ottmar Liebert

From Moira …

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Santa Fe Quilting, Santa Fe, New Mexico

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The Santa Fe Quilting shop was very large.  It took a bit of time to explore all the shop as it had three rooms.

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An employee wearing a quilted garment.

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The shop’s Block of the Month quilt, done in the Southwest colours you would expect in New Mexico.

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The Museum of Fine Arts in Santa Fe, a Pueblo Revival-style constructed in 1917.

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St. Francis Cathedral, which is Santa Fe’s grandest and probably most photographed structure.

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Taos Adobe Quilting in Taos, New Mexico, is tucked away on a little lane behind the Taos Plaza.

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This is a smaller store, crammed full of fabrics, patterns and notions.

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Hard-to-resist fabrics!

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Utah scenery

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The Arches National Park just outside Moab, Utah.  The pictures don’t do it justice.  It is bigger than big.

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My Girlfriend’s Quilt Shoppe, in Midway, Utah.

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A lovely quilt shop … and, of course, I found some more fabric I couldn’t live without.

(header photo:  Sangre de Cristo Mountains, New Mexico)

Travels with Diane – Southern California

Diane sends us this message from Chula Vista, California.

“Just sending photos of some outdoor quilting I’ve been working on.   Two lazy days work produced 4 qayg (quilt as you go) quilt squares.  Looking forward to going to Rosie’s Quilt Shop next week in San Diego.  I met another quilter in the park who belongs to Willow Woods Quilt Guild.  She said the place is amazing.”

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A Textile Tour to Morocco

map-of-morocco-worldtlasWe started off our quilting year with a presentation by three of our members.

Bev D, Ilse and Isabelle J went to Morocco last fall on a textile tour.  We were taken into another world.  Their photos, videos, stories and souvenirs introduced us to the crafts and fabrics of Morocco, as well as its culture and landscapes.  We saw images of silk thread from the agave plant, the pouring ritual of mint tea, craft cooperatives and marketplaces, the street life, and the exotic architecture of this North African country.

Thanks to these three adventurous travellers for their presentation and to Bev D for sharing the beautiful photographs below and the text to go with them in this post.

(music: Olodum by Jesse Cook)


The Hassan II Mosque in Casablanca.  It is the second largest in the world.


The Riad Salam where we stayed in Fez.


One of the narrow walkways in the Fez Medina.  The donkey is used to transport hides to the tannery inside the Medina.


Our camel ride to our night on the desert.


The Assalam Cooperative where the women make rugs, embroider and do many crafts to support themselves.


A quilter’s dream, wall to wall fabrics – silk and cotton.


Lunch at the home of our hosts at the Cooperative.


Ait Ben Haddou is a very old village perched on a large hill.  Originally inhabited by Jews and Berbers.  Now only ten families left.


One of the many looms we saw making beautiful carpets, bed coverings, pillow covers, etc.


Walking through the Essaquira medina.  Beautiful silk items which were hard to resist.

Travels with Diane – Whakatane, New Zealand

Diane sends us this quilty note from Whakatane on the North Island of New Zealand, where she is presumably soaking up some sunshine.  For Vancouverites currently dealing with the grey skies and rainy deluges of this fall season, yes, there is still sunlight somewhere.

“Whakatane Quilt Shop  –  Pins to Patches

“I was so excited to see this store on our walk late Saturday night.  On Sunday morning we went there and of course being a small town it was closed on Sundays.   Looked in the window and saw the price for name brand material and figured it was just as well it was closed.”

header image:  http://www.whakatane.com/whakatane

Quilt Stories from the Road

This month my husband and I explored a bit of central B.C.  Besides enjoying the mountains, ranch lands, canyons, lakes and waterfalls, I managed to do a bit of quilt spotting.  That’s my department.

Dancing Quilts   In 100 Mile House I visited a quilt shop called Dancing Quilts.  There were lovely quilts on the walls, lots of bags on display, popular with customers, and tempting fabric.  Faith, the owner, and her staff were very welcoming.  There are several guilds in the area, and I can imagine quilt making being an enjoyable activity during the cold and snowy Cariboo winter.

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This quilt-as-you-go quilt was made by Faith and is one of her most popular classes.


Barkerville   We visited the historic town of Barkerville, in the mountains east of Quesnel.  In 1862 Billy Barker struck gold there, setting off a massive gold rush.  The town had 2,000 residents at one point.  Barkerville today is a living history museum with old wooden buildings full of artifacts and street performers bringing the past to life again.


Quilts and old sewing machines were in some of the buildings.


In a small museum devoted to the arts, crafts and tools of Barkerville residents, I read the following:

“Sewing circles and quilting bees played important roles in the community.  They allowed busy women to meet socially and produce useful articles.  These get-togethers provided opportunities for women to plan weddings and other events, to exchange news of births, deaths and marriages; to learn about fashion trends; to share successes and problems; and to discuss community issues.

The handicrafts that have been created through women’s meticulous labour, though never fully appreciated in the past, are slowly being recognized as works of art.”

When the sun set behind the hills around the town and the air chilled, it was easy to imagine that the residents of old time Barkerville would have valued a cozy quilt.


The Turtle Valley Donkey Refuge   In the town of Chase we learned about a donkey refuge in the area.  The Turtle Valley Donkey Refuge is a haven for abused, neglected and abandoned donkeys where they can live out their lives in a caring and protective environment.

Nineteen years ago, Rob and Shirley became the owners of their first two donkeys.  Today, the refuge they built is home to more than 100 donkeys.  A small team of people care for the animals and are working hard to make the refuge sustainable into the future through various fund-raising endeavours.


In the Donkey Shoppe, I spied some quilted items for sale and learned that they had been donated by a North Vancouver quilter and a local quilt guild.

Thank you for the hot tea, Shirley, and to you and Rob for all the interesting and moving stories about the donkeys that live at the Turtle Valley Donkey Refuge.


Desert Guilds Quilt Show, California

Moira S. recently attended the Desert Guilds Quilt Show in Palm Springs, California.  The show is a biennial fundraising event for three local guilds — the Coachella Valley Desert Guild, the Cactus Sew-ables from Yucca Valley and the Pass Patchers from the Banning/Beaumont area.

“There were many beautiful quilts and I took a few pictures while I was there.”

Thanks, Moira, for sending these photos for our blog.


Quilting in Alaska

Abby's Reflection Apparel & Quiltworks
Abby’s Reflection Apparel & Quiltworks in Sitka, Alaska

Moira S. visited a quilt shop and attended a quilt show in Sitka, Alaska recently, when she was returning from Japan on a cruise ship.  Sitka is a city of about 9,000 people located on Baranof Island on the outer coast of Alaska’s panhandle.

With some time ashore, Moira discovered the Ocean Waves Quilt Guild Annual Show in the Harrigan Centennial Hall, which is located right where tourists get off the tender from the ship.  She also visited an excellent quilt shop in Sitka called Abby’s Reflection Apparel & Quiltworks.

What a lovely opportunity to learn about another quilting community.  Thanks for this story and the photos, Moira.

Hearst Castle, California – A Quilting Connection

Casa Grande

Who knew I would be talking quilting during a visit to Hearst Castle!  This opulent mansion, high in the hills overlooking the Central California Coast, was built by William Randolph Hearst (1863-1951), an American newspaper magnate.  He was one of the wealthiest men of his time, and actress Marion Davies (1897-1961) was his long-time partner.  They invited many of the rich and famous to extravagant parties at their castle during the golden days of Hollywood.

The architecture, gardens, and vistas at Hearst Castle are stunning.  One of the attractions is the Indoor Roman Pool.  As I was admiring the beautiful tiles there, and comparing their designs to quilt blocks, a guide nearby overheard me.  He told me that Marion Davies was a quilter, and that she had a sewing room near her bedroom in the castle.  I learned later that she designed her own quilts and in 1941 had won awards for them at a Los Angeles County Fair, where, of course, they received much attention.

This personal story about Marion Davies revealed another side to a woman surrounded by money and glamour, and gave me an interesting and unexpected memory about Hearst Castle.

A Quilt Museum in a Heritage Mansion

What a perfect pairing – a quilt museum in a beautifully restored Victorian home.  The La Conner Quilt & Textile Museum has been located in the Gaches Mansion in La Conner, Washington, since 1997.  La Conner is a small, picturesque town in northern Washington, with its main street bordering a natural canal and the broad farmlands of the Skagit Valley at its back.

Vintage quilts from the Museum’s Permanent Collection are displayed in high-ceilinged rooms among period furnishings.  Travelling exhibits of contemporary quilts and fabric art are also shown at the Museum.

The Museum is home to various quilting and fabric arts groups who meet and conduct workshops there.  There is a lovely turret on the top floor and a small, but interesting, gift shop.

I enjoyed some other attractions in the area.  Across the street from the Museum is the La Conner Civic Garden Club building.  What garden club wouldn’t want a building like this to gather in!

There were brilliant displays of tulips and daffodils on nearby bulb farms, all part of the annual Skagit Valley Tulip Festival.

Roxanne’s, A Wish and a Dream – California Quilt Shop Dazzles

In the small coastal town of Carpinteria, California, south of Santa Barbara, is a quilt shop you won’t want to miss if you are in the area.  Step through the periwinkle-coloured doors into Roxanne’s world of colour and imaginative displays and you won’t want to leave.

Visit this inspiring quilt shop online at http://www.roxannequilts.com/.