January 21, 2010

A Quilt Shop in Every Port

For those of us who love fabric, we recognize that fabric is a perfect souvenir. When we completed the Alaska cruise this summer I said to Richard, "I have never been on a trip where it was more convenient to stop, shop and buy fabric." Even better, each shop had a slightly different focus. So to benefit all of you who may take an Alaska cruise, I say "be prepared to buy fabric!"

I mentioned Changing Tides in Juneau in a previous post. My favorite part of that store was the Barbara Lavallee designs, but they also feature some other unique Alaska artists' designs as well as being a complete quilt shop and offering cross stitch and yarn.

In Sitka, Abby's Reflection had special fabric just with Sitka designs. A must if you are doing an Alaska memory quilt. There was one non-Alaska fabric I was particularly searching for and even though Abby's Reflection was the smallest of the shops we visited, she was also the one that had the fabric I really needed - and it was on sale! That is why you have to go to every quilt shop on the trip!

Totem poles have always fascinated me and we saw the best ones in Sitka on this trip. Here are Stacy, Jeff and me at a totem pole photo op!'

We did a search to find more totem poles for anyone who would like to see more of them. They're amazing! Check out "Alaska in Pictures".

All of the shops were easy to get to, but The Silver Thimble in Ketchikan was the closest to the dock. Here is a picture looking from the deck to the small shopping mall that houses The Silver Thimble.

During the cruise season they double their store space and house a huge selection of Alaska friendly fabrics. The store is owned by Betty and Bill Gale. Ten years ago when I taught on my first Alaska cruise, we arrived in Ketchikan very early and they kindly opened early for us. Furthermore, one of the local quilters was also a reporter for the local TV station and she came to the shop and interviewed me - what fun! Betty and the crew at the Silver Thimble also specialize in kits of Alaska memory type quilts. If you think the people accompanying you may balk at visiting a quilt shop in every port, but you want one souvenir quilt, this would be the shop that has made it the easiest to buy and buy quickly!

Our ship made one last stop in Victoria, BC. Satin Moon is not as easy to get to as the others, but worth the visit. The store and the Website are both very tourist friendly.

My recommendation is to visit all of the Websites and be prepared for how you are going to include your favorite place to shop at every port on the cruise. Also, the order in which I mentioned shops is from the north going south. Some cruises will stop in the reverse order.

On our previous trip to Alaska, we also toured on land. If you are fortunate enough to get to do the same, there are wonderful quilt shops in Anchorage, Fairbanks and a couple of towns in between! It is a great state for quilt shops as well as unbelievable scenery!

P.S. Does having my name on Beyonce's Website put me one degree away from her name or one degree away from her? Scroll down that page to find Eleanor Levie's book Skinny Quilts and Table Runners. I guess if it's skinny, Beyonce knows about it! :)

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