Sew Portland

We are so glad we were able to check Portland Oregon off our bucket list. We visited in May 2017.
We ate great meals, visited amazing brewery's, and hit the local quilt shops!

That pretty much sums up our trip!  

We wanted to break from the day to day of Los Angeles, so we packed up and went to Portland.  The flight was only 2.5 hours from LAX but boy did it seem different!  
For one, it rained everyday on us!  Everything was sooooooo green and lush, quite the opposite the dry conditions of Southern California.

The people seem very different as well.  Life seems to be slower and simpler.  Grunge is still pretty strong in Portland.  Pink, purple, or green colored hair, tattoo's or/and a piercing seems to be the norm.  And Subaru's rule like Prius's in Cali.  To make the most of our short trip, we used Yelp to help guide us to local hot spots.  We also used AirBnB for our lodging.  I really wanted to find a location that would provide us with the vibe of the city.  Our booking turned out perfect.  We were 20 mins away from most locations that we wanted to visit.

We started our mornings (yes that's plural) with Pine State Biscuits.  These honestly were the best biscuits I have ever had. I chose the "make your own" with egg, bacon and cheese!  Mmmmmm yes please!
Then we headed over to Powell's, the largest privately owned bookstore in the States.  We actually had a lot of fun checking out all the different rooms and levels.  We then decided to wander the streets.  This is the Peal District, it's great for window shopping.   We stumbled upon Deshutes Brewery and tried some flights.  The bartender gave us some recommendations, which is always fun.  We try to leave vacation planning pretty loose, that way we can let the trip be somewhat spontaneous.  Listening to the advise of the locals seems to pan out for us!

In trying to make the most of every day, we rushed over to the Wool Mill Pendleton shop where I only had 15 mins to shop before they closed - and they let me know it when I walked in!  Of course I wanted an hour an 15 mins, but I was happy to get what I could.  My friend Cat said to hit the scrap bin, and that's exactly what I did!  13mins later I was at the register with my bag of wool scraps! Now I need to find some wool tape to put it all together but we can save that for another blog!

We then headed to Cool Cottons.   They had a wonderful selection of great focal fabric's, and the staff was super nice.  All in all a pleasure to visit!  Don't miss it if can!

We did leave Portland and visited Astoria, OR.  Boy was that pretty!  The drive was relaxing minus the logging trucks.  The architecture was amazing.  Did you know some of Goonies was filmed there?
Driving around the area I could totally see it!  And of course when in Rome...we hit the local quilt shop Homespun Quilts & Yarn.  The owner said they keep very busy especially because of the weather.  It had been rainier than previous years so everyone stays in and Quilts.  I'm all for that!

We finished our afternoon at The Buoy Brewery overlooking the ocean with delicious fish and chips and clam chowder.  It was a perfect break before the next destination, Cannon Beach!
Driving into town we couldn't help notice the huge rock formations...(One eyed Willy was murmured by both of us.....Goonies reference) Isn't it magical?

We of course stopped into Center Dimond, the local quilt shop!  Sit on down for this fact..she has over 3k bolts!  My husband said while getting out of the car, "take your time Honey, I'll just wait for you in the car"....little did he know how long I could visit!  He got a really good nap out of my visit, and I got a few goodies to add to the stash.  He was well rested for our 2 hour drive back to Portland.
On the way we came across this great Lumber Museum.  Totally worth the stop so many cool things to see!

Back in Portland we received a tip to hit a Tiki Bar called Hale Pele, another really cool location.  The food looked great, but we held out for Screen Door.  The wait can be a few hours to get into this Southern cuisine hot spot.   We lucked out and only waited one hour, but it allowed us time to walk around the neighborhood.

The other hot spots that we'd recommend:
The Commons Brewery - try the Farm to Table Seasonal beers and the charcuterie plate.  Super Yummmm!
Pay Dirt - Cool Whisky Bar, if you're into that.  Reside in a super cool shared space with other restaurants.
Salt N Straw- Best Salted Carmel Ice Cream we've ever had!

As you can tell we ate, drank and shopped our way through town.
It really was the perfect trip for us!

Stay weird Portland.  We'll be back!

Jackpot in Vegas

Every year for work we head out to a huge convention in Las Vegas.  Every year we drive.  The employees that go change a little from year to year, but we always drive.  This year I decided to bring my sewing machine, the Janome 6600 and of course that meant I needed to bring a few projects…and of course since I’m visiting, well, I gotta check out the local Quilt stores that I’ve never been to!  
Keep in mind we arrive Sunday evening and we head out mid Wednesday.  I had big plans - I always do!  I also needed to fit in some work! 
We stayed at the Monte Carlo, which was nice.  It’s at the end of the strip.  Here's the view!

This was my room set up! I wasn't  missing a thing! 

You can even see my laptop there among the fabric.'s closed but incase I need to work, it was right there ready to be cracked open! 

The nice staff member who brought me room service (come on!  It’s Vegas, you gotta get breakfast room service! Lobby beer, too, while on the topic of musts!!)  wanted me to make them a quilt…I’ll just add them to “the list”!  HA!

So Monday morning’ish (again it’s Vegas...) I hit the taxi line at 11am to head to the first shop, Christmas Goose Quilt Shop!  $65 dollars later…ouch!  Should have caught an Uber.  I heard you couldn’t Uber out of the Vegas Strip hotels, but you can - you just need to go to a special spot!  Livin and learning!  They have an interesting shop, and a must stop if in the area.
Next up was Sew Yeah Quilting.  They have over 3 thousand bolts!  I was in paradise!  Was this my oasis mirage in the middle of this desert?  No!  It’s real, and the staff was very nice and helpful and greeted me warmly as I walked in!  Just the experience you’d want when walking into a Quilt store for the first time!  The sun was setting, and I Uber’ed on back to the hotel ($14. should have Uber'ed the first trip!).  I found so many goodies! 

I love the experience of finding a new Quilt store and being welcomed like an old friend.  Isn’t that what it’s all about?  We are able to buy fabric anywhere, even never leaving the house.  But when you do go out of your way to shop a Quilt Store, it's so nice find a shop that appreciates it!  Building a relationship with your customers is huge and you bet I’ll be back every time I return to Vegas because of it!  For those marking your calendar that will be next year! :)

Did I accomplish all of my goals, no.  Seems I never do because there's just never enough time! I did finish this backing to one of my quilts, so I'm pretty happy with that!

Tuesday I worked my tail off (for my my actual job) then Wednesday came in a blink of an eye, and it was time to head home.  Packing up and heading out! Traveling with my sewing room was a little tough, but totally worth it!
I got to go on my own Quilt run, sew, work, and visit with some of my favorite clients and coworkers.  I hit the jackpot!  I feel very lucky without ever taking a spin on roulette!

 Sew on my friends!  Whether at home or on the road! Always bet on red!  :)