Road Trip: On the Fabric Trail in Portlandia!

To my surprise this particular pink box is a conversation starter--I can't tell you how many people asked to share its contents.

To my surprise this particular pink box of artisanal doughnuts from Portland, OR is a conversation starter–I can’t tell you how many people asked to share its contents.

Hello all! I’ve just had a fab-u-lous weekend up in Portland, Oregon and I was even able to fit in stops at a couple of quilt shops. Mind you, I had two-thirds of my males in tow so I had to finesse my timing carefully. They didn’t fall for the comfy seating and issues of Field and Stream awaiting them on the front porch at Cool Cottons, but I made do, scoped out two fun shops, and purchased an errant yard or two, without straining their patience.

First stop:  Bolt in Portland’s Augusta neighborhood. I think that one-word store name reveals the aesthetic. Bolt is spare, modern, and very hip, which is appropriate for an urban shop in a cool town.

Bolt, a fabric boutique in Portland's Augusta neighborhood.

Bolt, a fabric boutique in Portland’s Augusta neighborhood.

It’s an easy browse through the bolts, which are lined up by designer, style, and color on the shelves—not too much stooping or rifling through oddball displays. I liked Bolt a lot and found perfect prints for a project I’m working on with my blogging sisters. (A little teaser here!)

Dates & Places-J:  Portals of Bolt Fabric Portland OR

Bolt’s setting is perfect as well for exploring an abundance of other little shops and delicious food stops within walking distance.

Heirloom tomato pincushions sold at Bolt--aren't they darling?

Heirloom tomato pincushions sold at Bolt–aren’t they darling?

Next stop:  Cool Cottons in Southeast Portland is housed in a classic older home on busy Hawthorne Boulevard. I loved the atmosphere because I’m a sucker for Craftsman-style architecture. What could be better?  Fabric + a vintage setting.

Dates & Places-J:  Cool Cottons Portland OR

Like Bolt, Cool Cottons favors the contemporary quilter.  The store is well stocked with fabric temptations and there’s also an abundance of finished projects displayed for inspiration.

Dates & Places-J:  Cool Cottons Portland OR

I especially liked the shelves of fabric bolts arranged in color order.  It’s a nice courtesy for shoppers on the hunt for specific hues who want to peruse a range of designers or patterns in the same colorway.

Dates & Places-J:  Cool Cottons Portland OR

Family jaunts are all about compromise and so I went along with the guys’ hiking plans, especially as they didn’t complain about fabric shopping. Oregon has an abundance of stunning waterfalls and Multnomah Falls is an easy drive from downtown Portland and offers a very pretty view from the top. Pant . . . pant . . . pant, yes, very pretty . . . pant . . .

My guys persuaded me that climbing Multnomah Falls would be a good idea after breakfast . . . it was work.

My guys persuaded me that climbing Multnomah Falls would be a good idea.

Parting thoughts about Portland:  I can’t say VooDoo Doughnuts are recommended fare after hiking, but they sure are delicious. Waiting lines typically extend out the door everyday, which is nothing for the true doughnut aficionado. I did hear my mother’s classic doughnut admonishment in my head as I waited. Imagine a woman’s voice with a British/Caribbean lilt:  “Jennifah, doughnuts have NO nutritive value!” I got them anyway–my inner teen took over.

All told, I highly recommend Portland for a tourist stop.  There’s lots to see and do, but bring an umbrella just in case.  Also, do not miss Powell’s Books–an incredible store for the bibliophile.

I traversed Portland's TSA security lines, braved the overhead compartment crush, and suffered plaintive pleas for tastes from passersby in order to deliver these startlingly delicious doughnuts to my office.  Gotta say:  Voodoo doughnuts are worth the effort!  (Don't you just love that oddball Voodoo doll?)

I traversed Portland’s TSA security lines, braved the overhead compartment crush, and suffered plaintive pleas for tastes from passersby in order to deliver these startlingly delicious doughnuts to my office. Don’t you just love that oddball Voodoo doll? And yes, that’s a maple bacon doughnut next to it.

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5 Responses to Road Trip: On the Fabric Trail in Portlandia!

  1. Pingback: Quilts & Cookies in the Garden: Join Laura Nownes and Diana McClun for a Quilts!Quilts!!Quilts!!! Book Signing! |

  2. Kathy Smith says:

    Hi Jennifer … fun to read about your visit to Portland. Next time you MUST drive ~ 20 minutes southwest to Lake Oswego and ‘The Pine Needle’. BEST quilt shop in PDX! :)

  3. Jennifer says:

    Hello Margie, It’s so nice when you stop by and leave a hello. Yes, Portland was fun and seeing Max was even better. How was your hike? Not as vertical as mine! Did you have fun at Parent’s Weekend at a school with a real BIG football program–so not Hoya-ville!

  4. Margie Connors says:

    Jennifer, sure looks like you had fun visiting Max in Portland. It’s great when you can combine pleasure and business! I’m particularly impressed with the hike you all did. Hope to see you next time we’re in California!

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