Friday, October 28, 2011

Welcome to the USA

Sadly, our vacation had to end.  After an early lunch in Richmond, we headed back to Seattle.  I had to take a few more photos of the fall foliage as we don't really have any in Southern California.

Can you identify this plant? 

 It is called Living Lantern or Chinese Lantern. The red lanterns are like paper in texture and there is a bright red fruit ot bulb inside. Makes you want to squeeze and pop it like those packaging bubbles.

Took a few more pictures while we were waiting to cross the border.

I wish the colors were more vibrant but it was very gray and we encountered very strong rain on the way back to Seattle.

We made it back to Seattle in good time so I squeezed in one last quilt store before going to the airport.  This time, we stopped at Gathering Fabric Quilt Shop in Woodinville.  There are a lot of wineries in Woodinville so this store carries a lot of wine themed fabrics.

Goodbye Pacific Northwest.  It's been fun.  Hopefully, I'll be back in another year or two.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Beautiful Victoria

Day 9:  Arrived Richmond,Canada and took the ferry to Victoria BC with dad and our family friend.  Beautiful 57 degree weather without a drop of rain.  The ferry ride took approximately 1.5 hours but we had to get in line (or in queue as the British and its commonwealth would say) and then disembark from the ferry so in all, it took about 2.5 hours.

We drove down to Government St. to browse the stores, shop for souveniers and get a bite to eat.  While having lunch at Murchee's I looked up the ceiling and thought what a great quilting pattern the ceiling tile would make so I took a photo of it.

After lunch, we walked outside and happened to see a street artist working on a couple of pictures with chalk on the sidewalk.  He was very nice and allowed me to take photos of them.

This first one is a mushroom which if someone stepped on, look like they are standing on top of it.   Pretty cool, eh?  I think he should have painted tulips so we could tip toe through the tulips.  :)

Here are a couple more of his artwork. 

There is a quilt shop on Victoria Island and it is called Satin Moon.  Of course, I had to check it out.

It is just right across the street from Chinatown and the shopkeeper, Sarah was very warm and accomodating.  I put a link to her blog becuase it is quirky and fun.  Here she is with one of her adorable Halloween projects.

And here are some photos of the shop.

They had quite a few mini art quilts on display as there is an art quilting group which meets at the store.

The one thing which disappointed me about my trip to Canada is that I did not find any Canadian or British or Australian quilting/patchwork magazines.  I was looking for "exotic" and foreign magazines just to get inspiration and really did not find any. 

Satin Moon did carry patterns from local quilt artists.

I took this photo from a floral shop.  Great idea, don't you think?

Not a lot of color in the trees and we didn't really have time to visit Butchart Gardens.  I will have to make it a point to return again and visit the gardens.

However, we did pass a pumpkin patch so here it is.

Day 10:  Cold and rainy.  Considering we have not really encountered strong rain till our 10th day on the trip is pretty lucky.  Here is the view from our host's kitchen.  It is gray and wet but at least there are purple, red and gold leaves to enjoy.

We had super delicious dimsum for lunch and went to the mall to stroll around.  We went to this HUGE 2 storied store called Daiso, which is a Japanese dollar store.  Everything in the store was $2.00 Canadian and there was soooo much to see it was overwhelming.  Unfortunately, they do not allow photography in the store so I can't show you all the fun stuff they have in the store.

(Photo from the Internet)

They have office supplies, kitchenware, food/snack items, decor items, toys, bento boxes, etc.  I would have bought a boatload of stuff but I don't want my suitcase to be overweight and so I resisted and will have to come back with a half empty suitcase next time so I can load up on cutesy Japanese stuff.

Here is a round billboard or advertisement for the Richmond Public Art program.  Since it is quilt related, I decided to post it.

Monday, October 24, 2011

La Conner Quilt and Textile Museum

So here are some of the quilts on display at La Conner Quilt museum.  They recently held a quilt festival and on display were some of the winners.

Here is Caryl Bryer Fallert's "On the Wings of a Dream".  It won Best of Show.

Here's a close up of the magnificent quilting.

This is one of my favorites.  It is called "Baltimore Goes to Japan" by Georgia Pierce.  It won 1st Place in the Traditional Applique category.

Here are a couple of the blocks up close.

Here is the 2nd place winner of the Non-Traditional Pieced category.  It is "Spring Blossoms" by Terry Aske.

This is the Honorable Mention winner of the Non-Traditional Pieced category "Spring Encounter" by Ruth Powers. 

And here's the 2nd place winner of the Non-Traditional Mixed category called "Name Dropper" by Pat Kumicich.

And finally, here's one called Reconstruction 1 by Lorraine Torrence.

There was an exhibit of Ann Fahl's quilts.  I own a couple of her books and her quilts are gorgeous.  I wish I could have taken some pictures, especially close ups of her machine quilting but photography of her quilts were not allowed.  Check out Ann's website to see her work and some close up images of her quilting.

After La Conner, we drove on to Canada.  The clouds were really dark and I wanted to cross the border before the rain started pouring. 

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Crossing the (Northern) Border

Day 8:  On the road Vancouver, Canada!  First things first, gotta make a stop at my favorite quilt store in Washington, Keepsake Cottage Fabrics.  The store is located at Country Village in Bothell, Washington and has tons of Moda and Lecien fabrics, great magazines and patterns and just tons upon tons of quilt samples.  There are 5 rooms of yummy fabric to touch and check out.  I can spend hours at this store .

Check out the interior of this store.  They had quite a selection of Fig Tree fabrics in yardage and pre-cuts.  They also include some of the older collections so it is easy to mix and match.

Here is their selection of sale fabric and books.

And their staff is very friendly and helpful.  Speaking of staff, I am glad that Kay is working on the day of my visit.  I met Kay in Danville last year when she also attended Verna Mosquera's quilt retreat.  We were chitchatting and I asked her where she was from.  And when Kay said she was from Bothell, Washington, I exclaimed "Oh my God, have you been to Keepsake Cottage?  I love that store."  It so happens she works there.  Works there!  Holy cow.  How can she even take home a paycheck working at this store?

Anyhow, here I am with Kay.

Check out the sample behind us.  It will be their latest block of the month.  Isn't it gorgeous? 

Dad and I had tea at The Village Eatery and Tea Company before proceding on north bound.

Here's dad in their pumpkin patch.

Next stop is La Conner Quilt museum.  I have been to Skagit Valley before for the tulip festival.  But sadly, it is not as picturesque in the fall.  So, the skies were getting dark when we got to La Conner and the Gaches Mansion looks a bit scary.  In fact, there are having an event called Ghosts of Gaches Gala on October 29th.  Appropriate, don't you think?

Here are some photos of the interiors. 

And here's the spindle on the third floor.  I can just picture a ghost spinning here at night and the wheel just squeeking away.

I believe this is called a floor compass or floor compass medallion.  Notice how the wood flooring has a pineapple block pattern around the compass.

More about the quilt exhibit tomorrow.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Day 7:  Another beautiful, "sunshiny" day in Seattle.  After breakfast with my high school friend Joyce, dad and I took the ferry to Bainbridge Island.  First, we stopped at Poulsbo, a little Norwegian town.  The town had a couple of Scandinavian murals and also a very tempting bakery.

However, instead of baked goods, I gave in to the temptation of ice cream at Mora Iced Creamery.  They are a boutique ice cream shop with lots of unique and very delicious flavors.  It was definitely difficult to make a choice.  My favorites were the lemon tart and white chocolate. 

After our stroll around Poulsbo, we stopped at downtown Bainbriadge Island before taking the ferry back to Seattle.  I'm glad that Esther's Fabrics is still around.  They have moved to a new location but they still have a great selection of fabric.  Their selection is mostly modern.  Here is their sidewalk display of fat quarters enticing everyone to stop on in.

They also carry Marie Clair Idees magazine from France.  It is in French but the pictures are gorgeous.

After we got back to Seattle, dad and I spent some time around Pike Place market. Of course, we had to stop by the very first Starbucks Coffee shop. There were lots of tourists taking pictures.  I want to share some photos of the gorgeous produce, flowers and fish around the market.  It was close to 5:00 pm so the market was already winding down.

Can you identify this vegetable?

And check out this selection of mushrooms.

There is also a quilt store at the market called Undercover Quilts.  It is a small store but it is packed with lots of fabrics and patterns. 

Here are some of their unique quilts on display.

There are no patterns for these quilts as they were made by a local quilt artist.  Stunning!