Every year my family likes to take off on a new travel adventure. The past two years we have loaded up the kids in a borrowed van or motorhome (thanks Mom and Dad!) and headed to one of our great National Parks. This year, as soon as kindergarten was out for summer break, we hit the road in a 31 foot class C motorhome for another epic road trip.
After last year's visits to Zion, Bryce, Death Valley and Great Basin National Parks, I was excited to see a completely different type of scenery this year as we explored Olympic National Park in Washington. We began our road trip in Northern California and headed north through Portland and up to stay with family for a few days in Seattle.
I know I missed out on visiting so many great quilting spots along our initial drive north. About 5 years ago I was able to spend more time exploring Portland and it was torture not being able to return to some of my favorite fabric shops. If you get the chance, I highly recommend Cool Cottons (found some great old Heather Ross at this converted old house), Fabric Depot (the largest shop by far with something for everyone and great deals), Josephine's Dry Goods (beautiful selection of Liberty), Bolt (a wonderfully curated selection of the latest popular designers) and Modern Domestic (beautiful fabrics, classes and machines). In fact, just set aside an entire day for a quilt shop hop. You won't regret it.
If you find yourself in Seattle, I would also recommend Drygoods Design. I found some great apparel fabric there in the past (back when I went through my phase of sewing clothes!) Unfortunately, I just learned that another favorite shop, Circa 15 is no longer operating a brick and mortar location, so you'll have to shop them online.
After a fun visit with family, we loaded back up into the RV and took the ferry(!) across Puget Sound to the Olympic Peninsula. On our way to our first site, we stopped in at Quilted Strait in Port Gamble, Washington. I was pleasantly surprised to spot this shop by the two barn quilts on the side of the building. Inside I spotted some Carolyn Friedlander Gleaned fabric and picked up a few fat quarters. I should mention that in my travels I like to work on a small hand sewing project. Over the past few years I've been slowly stitching away at a "Smitten" quilt using CF fabrics, so the Gleaned addition was a fun way to include this year's trip.
Another quilt shop that caught my eye with a barn quilt was Sleepy Valley Quilt Co in Port Angeles, Washington.
Sleepy Valley was very friendly and appeared to be having a class or sew-in taking place in a detached room.
I spotted a few cute items from the Moda "Fun Stuff" line that were impossible to resist and also stocked up on some of my favorite Frixion fabric pens.
Of course it wasn't all just fabric shopping on this vacation. One of the beautiful places that we visited was Lake Crescent. We stopped in one afternoon at the Lake Crescent Lodge where we played some croquet and badminton, I sipped a glorious mojito, and the family rented a kayak. The weather was perfect and we couldn't have asked for a better day.
If anyone else is thinking about taking a similar road trip, here are the places that we stayed. I was very happy with each of our stops and we (my husband) had no issues with maneuvering the 31 foot RV in at each location.
I've mentioned before that my family gets pretty excited about our barn blocks so my husband decided to sneak a few of our minis in along for the ride. At a few stops along the way, he snuck away with the kids and captured these fun shots. We found quite a few picture perfect locales in Washington and Oregon that were great for our young kids.
If you'd like to check out some of these beautiful spots for yourself, here are just a few of the places we visited through our trip.
I'll leave you with this glamorous (not staged at all) photo of me in my wonky shirt. I'm working on my Carolyn Friedlander Everglade project here that I started last July. After this trip, I now have 4 completed 10 inch squares after nearly 1 year, so this project should be completed in approximately 10 years.
Check back again for part 2 of my road trip recap where we hit one of my favorite West Coast barn quilt trails...
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