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2015 Quilt Away

Destination Las Vegas - Spring 2015

Early in the new year I booked a week at the Tahiti Village, Las Vegas in May. Because I took in a couple of quilt classes last year at the Christmas Goose, I decided to take my sewing machine this time. I've packed some projects I've been working on and also some quilts that need bindings. It will interesting to see if I actually do some sewing on this trip. Other than "destination Las Vegas" and of course a visit to Oatman, I have no real plans for the route I'll take. I just have to head south and arrive in Las Vegas May 8th.

Monday, May 4 - Calgary to Kelowna, B.C.
I took the Trans Canada route today to Kelowna - hwy 8 west, hwy 22 north, hwy 1 west, hwy 97A south at Sicamous and hwy 97 to Kelowna. Google Map
Traffic was relatively light. There were a few speed demons and many snow haired dawdlers. One young lady wanted to play leap frog with me but that game got old fast. I was getting really frustrated with her, so I pulled over for a couple of minutes and got some snacks out of the cooler. I didn't see her again.
It's amazing how you can go from spring to summer in the few short miles over the Rogers Pass Summit. The east side trees are barely budding and 10 miles later they are in full leaf. The west avalanches were nearly melted. The temperature went from 8° to 22°. Dandelions were in full bloom!!

Dutchman Dairy, Sicamous

As per ritual - I stopped at the D Dutchman Dairy in Sicamous for an ice cream cone. I've been stopping there on my way to Kelowna for over 35 years now. The ice cream is just as good now as it was the day they opened. I knew Jake Dewitt many years ago when he first came to Canada and lived in Okotoks before moving to Sicamous. D Dutchman Dairy

2015 Travel Quilt

I decided I was still going to visit quilt shops along the way but not buy a whole bunch of material. I have a plan to start with a panel and expand from there buying one fat quarter at each shop. That way, when I piece the quilt I'll have my 2015 Travel Quilt and a memory of the shops I visit.

Cottage Quilting &
Linda's Quilt Shoppe, Kelowna, B.C.

I went first to Cottage Quilting on Spall then Linda's Quilt Shoppe on McCurdy. I was having a hard time getting enthused but I ended up buying the base panel Bloomin' Fresh by Deb Strain for Moda. This is probably going to be hard to find coordinating fabrics but in the end I can still order jelly rolls and layer cakes online. There are also a red and green versions. If I find them along the way, I'll pick those panels up too. Bloomin' Fresh

Bloomin' Fresh Panel
Bloomin' Fresh Fabrics

Tuesday, May 5 - Kelowna to Coeur d'Alene, Idaho
It was an incredibly beautiful drive today. I took hwy 33 from Kelowna to Rock Creek, then hwy 3 west, hwy 395 south through Laurier-Cascade Border Crossing continuing on US hwy 395 south, and finally east on I-90 to Coeur d'Alene. Traffic today was really light, especially along hwy 33 and there were no delays at the Border Crossing. Google Map
Highway 33 is a 80 mile shortcut connecting Kelowna and Rock Creek on the Crowsnest Highway 3 (by-passing the slower Penticton-Osoyoos route). It partially follows the West Kettle River. The only community on Highway 33 is Beaverdell, 30 miles north of Rock Creek.

Kettle Valley Railroad

Highway 33 also follows the route of the Kettle Valley Railway. The Kettle Valley Railroad, a subsidiary of the Canadian Pacific Railway, was built out of necessity to service the growing mining demands in the Thompson-Okanagan region. It opened in 1915 and was abandoned in portions beginning in 1961, with the final segment falling into disuse in 1989. Many of the rail beds can still be seen from the highway.

Grand Forks

First stop of the day was the Borscht Bowl in Grand Forks. This is Doukhobor Borscht made from cabbage rather than beets and it is creamy rather than clear. I had my usual favourite - borscht and bread - and got another litre to go for my supper. I've tried making borscht and it turned out pretty good. It was the closest to Grand Forks I've tasted - but nothing beats the Borscht Bowl.

Heart N Sole Quilts, Grand Forks

This quaint shop was loaded with great fabrics. It was hard to stick to my resolve to hold my purchases to one fat quarter. I had a nice visit with the Cathy the owner. They are packing in preparation for the Heritage Park Quilt Show in Calgary. Heart N Sole Quilts

E-Z Knit Fabrics, Colville, Washington

Cathy directed me to this shop in Colville, Washington. The name confused me but the store didn't. It had a huge selection of quilting fabric along with everything else "sewing" including machines. I purchased my fat quarter and got myself out of the store before I became "inspired" and loaded up. E-Z Knit Fabrics

The Cozy Quilt, Spokane, Washington

This store is located in Spokane. The store is quite modern with lots of space for classroom and a sewing furniture showroom with a nice selection of Koala Studios furniture. There were racks and racks of fabrics and it didn't take me very long to find my fat quarter.

Coeur d'Alene

I booked into the Holiday Inn. My room is called "Feature Suite". It has a huge, separate king size bedroom, a jacuzzi tub, and a fireplace.

I toured around town and took the lake drive then headed back to the hotel for supper.

Wednesday, May 6 - Coeur d'Alene to Sisters, Oregon
Today was all about slow driving, twisting roads, and sight seeing. Highways were hwy 95 south, hwy 12 west, hwy 125 south, hwy 11, hwy 395, hwy 26 west, and hwy 126 to Sisters, Oregon. Google Map
There were very long stretches between civilization and there was very little traffic. At times it seemed a bit spooky being the only car on the road. I kept expecting Big Foot to jump out. At the top of the Battle Mountain Summit and then again for a long 20 mile stretch in the Ochoco National Forest, I ran into snow - blizzards to be more exact. Fortunately, the huge flakes were melting when they hit the road but the sides were pure white.

Bear Paw Quilting, Coeur d'Alene, Idaho

This store is one of my favourites. Named as one of Quilt Sampler’s top 10 shops, Bear Paw Quilting and Bernina is a northwestern quilter’s haven. With over 6000 bolts of fabric and 7200 square feet of pure inspiration, it was hard for me to pick my fat quarter and leave - and I didn't. I ended up buying yardage for the back of my travel quilt and also a ruler stand.

Stash, Walla Walla, Washington

Stash opened in 2009, with the hope of creating a friendly quilt shop where people could share in each other's creativity. They succeeded. It was chosen as a Top 10 Quilt Shop for the Better Homes and Gardens® Quilt Sampler® Magazine May 2014 issue and it isn't hard to figure out why. What a great shop. I purchased my fat quarter and headed on my way. Stash

Hwy 395 Oregon

I followed hwy 395 south from Pendleton to Mt. Vernon, Oregon. It was extremely scenic. I don't recall being on this portion of the highway before (doesn't mean I've never been on it - just that I don't recall). I went through a recent fire area so this may be the reason I wasn't on this road last year. Battle Mountain

Battle Mountain

Highland Quilts, Athena, Oregon

My book listed a shop in Athena so I left the highway for the 1/2 mile drive to main street. This shop is a gem and so is Elaine, it's owner. She told me she had to open a store because her stash got too big. Then she told me that "the quilter that dies with the most fabric wins". They sent me on my way with a belly full of laughs and one fat quarter. Highland Quilts

Hwy 26 Oregon -
Journey Through Time Scenic Byway

The Journey Through Time Scenic Byway was designated as an Oregon State Scenic Byway on February 19, 1997. The Journey Through Time Scenic Byway stretches 286 miles and meanders through ghost towns and small farming communities. The Wild and Scenic John Day River parallels much of the route.

Sisters, Oregon

I planned on staying in Redmond but the Best Western there was full so I had to continue on to Sisters which is where I was heading anyway. I'm staying at the Best Western Ponderosa where I've stayed before.

Thursday, May 7 - Sisters to Reno, Nevada
Today was a very relaxing and scenic drive. The weather had cleared by morning. Roads were dry but there was still lots of snow left unmelted on the ground. Highways today were hwy 20 out of Sisters, hwy 97 south to Klamath Falls, hwy 39, hwy 139, hwy 36 and hwy 395 to Reno. Google Map

Stitchin' Post, Sisters, Oregon

First stop this morning was at the Stitchin' Post. What a wonderful shop. In addition to quilting, they have lots of home decor, knickknacks and a separate room dedicated to knitting, crochet and embroidery. Fat quarter in hand, I was on my way. Stitchin' Post

Quilt Works, Bend, Oregon

The ladies at Sisters gave me a sheet with all the local quilts shops and driving directions. One of those shops was QuiltWorks in Bend. The owner, Marilyn, is from Nelson, B.C. We had a good chat about Grand Forks Doukhobor Borscht and compared our recipes. I'm sure only someone from the area would understand why I drive hundreds of miles out of my way just to have a bowl of borscht.

Tater Patch Quilts, Merrill, Oregon

There is no place more welcoming than a quilt shop. When you open that door you know you're home. The shop is right on main street so I just had to stop. I'm sure glad I did. From the instant I walked in, they made me feel special and important - even if I was only buying a fat quarter. Diane, one of the owners, told me they had been open 19 years now. On leaving she gave me a gift, their personal Fabric Plate from their participation in Row by Row Shop Hop. Tater Patch Quilts

Row by Row

Row by Row is a shop hop type event that runs between June and September each year. To play, you visit any of the participating shops and receive a free pattern for a row in a quilt. You then combine your rows in any way to create a unique quilt. Each shop has an exclusive fabric licence plate.

Highway 139 California

State Route 139 runs from Oregon Route 39 to State Route 36 in Susanville. It forms part of the shortest route between Klamath Falls, Oregon and Reno, Nevada. The portion of the highway that cuts through the Modoc National Forest is extremely scenic with several breathtaking mountain top vistas overlooking huge valleys. Most of the forest was covered by an immense lava flow millions of years ago. The long descent on the east side gives a panoramic view of the alkali flats.

Friday, May 8 - Reno to Las Vegas, Nevada
I took a direct route to Las Vegas. No extra stops along the way. Highways today were hwy 395 north, I-80 east, hwy 50 and hwy 95 south to Las Vegas. Google Map
I really think I'm jinxed. I ran into "snow" again at Goldfield. It was short lived but the weather continued to be cold - even in Vegas. It was warmer in British Columbia than it has been the rest of the trip. Most days temperatures are mid 40s. I'm still wearing a jacket and long pants.

Las Vegas

I arrived about 4:00 pm, checked in and spent an hour or so unpacking and setting up my sewing machine. They wouldn't bring me an extra table so I moved the patio table into the living room. Works for me. Once I was all settled I went to the Outback for supper and did some grocery shopping.

May 9 - 15 - Las Vegas

Let the Quilting Begin

I was full of good intentions when I went to bed. I was going to get up early, do some laundry and head to the Christmas Goose. Well, early started at 11:10 am when I finally opened my eyes. Coffee started at 11:12, laundry at 11:20, shower at 11:45, email at 12:15, and finally at 12:45 I was ready to head out the door.

Saturday, May 9th

The Christmas Goose

First on my list for today was the Christmas Goose where I picked out five more fat quarters. I also bought some Loralie Designs panels (Church Ladies, Carousel and Up and Away) and a wooden Singer Wall Rack. There are no classes scheduled this week that were not part of a 2 or 3 week class. The Christmas Goose


Next stop was Quiltique and that was my undoing. The great thing about this shop is their displays. Everything is totally inspiring. Then to make matters worse, they make kits for the patterns with a sample quilt to match - and - it's "fat quarter" heaven. I'm in, hook, line and sinker! No classes available here either. Quiltique

The highlight of my afternoon was running into into Vic at Quiltique. It was nice to visit with her again. She told me about some more shops at St. George, Utah. I'll have to make sure to stop there on my way home. Vic has created and published several quilt patterns. She told me last year that her passion is crafting, quilting and all things artsy - that someday she'll retire and live the dream. Zany Quilter
I stopped a Chili's for supper before calling is a day. I unloaded all my treasures and hauled them to my room to sort. I have enough fat quarters now to make the Travel Quilt but I'm going to wait until I get home. I still want to visit more shops on the way home.

Sunday, May 10th

Happy Mother's Day to all the moms and grannies out there. I often think of my mother when I quilt - not because she was a quilter but because I was NOT an enthusiastic sewer. My mother was an accomplished seamstress and she made a lot of my clothes as I was growing up. In grade nine mom actually finished my "silly" (as she described it) apron for me.

My Journey Alone

There was a point when I was a teenager my dad would not give me money to buy clothes - but would give me money to buy material - as much as I wanted as long as I made the clothes myself. Of course, the results were exactly what my parents wanted. I learned how to sew - fast. My mom helped me but as soon as I was working and could afford to buy clothes, my sewing days stopped. Forty five years later, I caught the quilting bug.

Quilting was on my bucket list. Somehow that bucket overflowed and flooded my life. Now, as I'm happily quilting away, I only wish my mom was still here so I could share my enjoyment with her. I know she would laugh at the irony of it. I wish I could show her my finished projects, my flops, and my UFO's. I wish we could go to shop hops, retreats and sew ins together. Who knows? Maybe she would take up quilting. I miss you mom, so very much.

Berenstain Bears - Beary Happy Birthday

I started the Berenstain Bears - Beary Happy Birthday by Moda quilt this morning. I'm using the pattern Quatrefoil that I found on Missouri Star Quilt Company. I ran short of the white polka dot material that I want to use for the sashing so had to order it online. It should arrive shortly after I get home. The blocks are finished and ready to go.

Monday, May 11th

This morning I visited Quiltique where I purchased the fabric for my Comedy Cats. I decided to do it also with the quatrefoil pattern using black, turquoise and pink. I then went to the Christmas Goose where I purchased two books, Laps from Fats and More Laps from Fats.

The rest of the day and evening was spent quilting. I finished the Berenstain Bears quilt and started the Comedy Cats. I also managed to finish the binding on one of the quilts I brought along.

Tuesday, May 12th

It's hard to believe my time here is half over. I did some grocery shopping this morning then back to quilting. I finished all the Comedy Cats blocks. Tomorrow I'll do the sashing.

Wednesday, May 13th

Today I never left the hotel. I finished the Comedy Cats quilt and also managed to finish the binding on another quilt that I brought along. I packed most of the material and quilts in preparation of leaving on Saturday. The next two days will be spent hand sewing and touring around Vegas.

After supper I went for a relaxing soak in the hot tub. It was after 8:00 pm and dark already. I was the only one in the tub. It is a 24 hour adult spa and very peaceful. Next time I go, I'll make sure it's later again.

Thursday, May 14th

I finished the binding on another quilt then decided to head to the quilt shops for one more visit. I found the white polka dot material at the Christmas Goose so now I have enough to finish the Berenstain Bears quilt. Then off to Quiltique where I finally broke down and bought a couple yards of Vegas material. It's hard not to get wrapped up in the theme when it's all around you.

Friday, May 15th

Today I actually went shopping - at the Premium Outlet. It has a Sketchers and I wanted to check out their shoes. I ended up buying some flip flops but most of the shoes were too wide for my foot. I was a bit disappointed. They look so comfortable in the advertisements. Lunch was at the IHOP for my usual stuffed French Toast with "extra" whipped cream.

Once back at the hotel, I packed up my sewing and hauled it along with my extra bags out to the car. This afternoon was spent doing laundry and getting ready to leave tomorrow morning.

Saturday, May 16th - Las Vegas to Sedona, AZ
Highways today were I-215, hwy 95 NV south, hwy 163 east, hwy 95 AZ south, Oatman Hwy (Boundary Cone County Road 153), Route 66 (hwy 10) to Kingman, I-40 to Flagstaff, I-17 south and hwy 89 to Sedona. Google Map

Fabrics Unlimited, Fort Mohave, AZ

First stop was the quilt shop in Fort Mohave. I'm surprised that I remembered where it was. It's tucked in behind some buildings in a group of shops and warehouses. I found my fat quarter and headed on my way. Fabrics Unlimited

Oatman, Arizona

Oatman was really busy today - probably the busiest I've ever seen it. Brenda was doing a booming business with her Kettle Korn. There were so many tourists feeding the donkeys they were stuffed and just ignoring the food. Jelly Bean never left the shade of Brenda's chuckwagon and wasn't even interested in the cubes the tourists tried to give her.

Brenda wasn't able to visit much so I wandered around town for a while and checked out the new stores. There are so many new donkeys I found it hard to figure them out. I recognized Peanut, Belle, Jelly Bean, Tornado and April but that was about it. I didn't see Duke at all.

As usual Brenda was camera shy - but really Brenda - hiding behind Jelly Bean's ear. You know, just because you covered your eyes doesn't mean that we can't see you!

Cool Springs

George was doing a good business today. There were about 20 motorbikes outside and all appeared to be having a cool drink. I didn't go in - just stopped long enough to take a picture. (I assume George is still there. I guess we will find out next time we pass through.) Cool Springs

Connie's Quilter's Hide-A-Way, Kingman, AZ

Next quilt shop today was Connie's on Beale Street in Kingman. I also purchased the material to go with the Fruit Ladies at the Beach Panel I bought last year. She had a whole bolt of it so I bought enough to use for the back of the quilt. Connie's Quilter's Hide-A-Way

Williams, Arizona

The quilt shop in Williams was already closed by the time I got there. They close at 4:00 on Saturdays. I stopped for dinner at Pancho McGillicuddy's - Fajitas, as usual, and just as good as always. I visited the gift shop and purchased the first dream weaver for my new car - red and black so that I'm colour coordinated. Then I gassed up and headed to Sedona.

Sunday, May 17th - Sedona to Bluff, AZ
Highways today were 89A, I-17, I-40, hwy 89, hwy 160 east, hwy 163 east, hwy 261 and Valley of the Gods scenic tour back to hwy 163 and finally hwy 191 to Bluff. Google Map

Sedona, Arizona

I realized (too late) that it was Sunday and the quilt shop in Sedona would not open until noon. Since I had already booked the hotel in Sedona I decided to stick with the original plan. This morning, I also realized that I was heading to Utah where there was a good chance no shops would be be open at all. I decided to go through Bluff instead of heading to Hurricane on I-15. I booked ahead for a room at the Desert Rose in Bluff so the delay getting out of Sedona wasn't a problem.

Son Silver West

Karen wanted me to pick up another turtle for her from Son Silver West so killing an hour or so was easy - and expensive. I bought some kitchen towels, a spoon holder and small bowl, and a small Mexican painted rooster. I'll call him "Sonny". Son Silver

Quilter's Store, Sedona, AZ

With Son Silver West shopping complete and turtle in tow, I headed to the Quilter's Store. I had about 15 minutes to kill so I gassed up and swung through McDonald's for coffee. I arrived just as they were opening. It didn't take me long to find a fat quarter plus a southwestern panel "Endeavour" (yes, spelled the Canadian way) by Saska K. Studio for EBI Fabrics. It's quite an interesting panel and I'm looking forward to seeing how it turns out. The Quilter's Store

Monument Valley

It doesn't matter how many times I travel through this area, it always takes my breath away. The monoliths start around Kayenta and then everything turns red. I rounded a bend and said out loud "here they come". I arrived late afternoon so the sun in the west behind me made everything a deep almost purple color. Monument Valley

Hwy 261 Utah

Gee, I wonder why I opted for this route. Hwy 261 is officially known as Moki Dugway, part of the Trail of the Ancients. Turning onto hwy 261 from hwy 163 makes my heart start to beat a little bit faster. I absolutely love this road. I love the rush it gives me. Hwy 261 isn't just a road - it's a feeling. For 14 years now, we have been trying to capture on camera what it feels like to be on this road - without success. Anyone travelling up or down it leaves with the same sense of bewilderment and awe. It is simply WOW! Highway 261 Utah

Trail of the Ancients

The Trail of the Ancients is a National Scenic Byway located in the states of Colorado and Utah. The route highlights the archaeological and cultural history of southwestern Native American peoples, and traverses the widely diverse geological landscape of the Four Corners region. It was the first National Scenic Byway that was designated solely for its archaeological sites. The entire route is approximately 480 miles long.

Valley of the Gods

It's been quite a few years since I've driven the 17 mile Valley of the Gods loop. I'd forgotten just how spectacular it is. Valley of the Gods is natural and unaltered by man. It seems impossible that there is anywhere left on earth not ruined by man but Valley of the Gods is it. There are no gimmicks, tacky gift shops, stores, signs, human inhabitants or tourist facilities. Valley of the Gods

The dirt road crosses several washes and is impassable when wet. There was a lot of water left from a recent rain. Many of the dips were still damp but the road was dry enough to drive the whole route. The only area I actually hit a puddle was the dip just before hwy 163.

I ran into a group of photographers taking pictures of the sunset from different locations on the route. They are from the group California Photography Workshops and will be in the area for the next four days taking pictures.

Bluff, Utah

I would not have thought the Desert Rose Inn could get any better but it has outdone itself. They have added a whole new building with 10 new rooms, a massive central lobby for guest use, a pool, hot tub and exercise room. The grounds around the new building are beautiful. They told me the new building was completed last August. Desert Rose Inn & Cabins

I got settled in my room, wandered around the grounds, checked out the new additions, then headed to town to gas up and have dinner at the Twin Rocks Cafe.

Monday, May 18th - Bluff to Layton, Utah
Highways today were hwy 191 to Moab, hwy 128 north, I-70 west, hwy 89, hwy 28 and I-15. Google Map

It's Sew Moab, Moab, Utah

First stop today was the quilt shop in Moab. I wasn't sure where the shop was but the waitress at McDonalds sent me in the right direction. As it turned out, it is right beside the ice cream shop where we've stopped before. I found my fat quarter in record time and was back on the road. It's Sew Moab

Hwy 128, Utah - Upper Colorado River Scenic Byway

I has been a while since I've driven this road so I decided to take the extra time today. Hwy 128 connects Hwy 191 at Moab to I-70 near Cisco. Travelling is slow but well worth the extra time. High walls of solid red cliffs run up both sides of the road as it runs alongside of the river. It is truly a beautiful sight.

The entire length of State Route 128 in Utah has been designated the Upper Colorado River Scenic Byway, as part of the Utah Scenic Byways program. This road also forms part of the Dinosaur Diamond Prehistoric Highway, a National Scenic Byway. The highway commonly known as The River Road, twists and turns along side the Colorado River. Parts of the road are very narrow, with blind corners and no shoulders.

Between Moab and Castle Valley, the Colorado River, and indirectly, Route 128, form the southern boundary of Arches National Park. Arches National Park is so named because of over 2000 natural arches inside park boundaries. While the highway does offer views of several features in the park, there is no park access along highway 128.

Layton, Utah

Now that I'm in "home" mode, I wanted to get to Pocatello, Idaho before stopping for the night but I hit traffic just south of Provo and nearly three hours later I was only at Layton. I had had enough so pulled off to spend the night. Hopefully the traffic will be lighter in the morning.

Tuesday, May 19th - Layton, Utah to Calgary
Highways today were mostly I-15 with a few side trips. I-15 north, hwy 20 ID to Rigby, hwy 48 to I-15, hwy 41, hwy 55 to Whitehall, hwy 69 to Boulder, back on I-15 to Canadian Border, then hwy 4, hwy 3, and hwy 2 to Calgary. Google Map

Abbott's Craft and Variety, Rigby, Idaho

I was thinking I wouldn't find a shop in Idaho but my book said there was one in Rigby so I did a loop and stopped at Abbott's to get my fat quarter. The store has a very large fabric shop within it complete with everything a quilter needs. I couldn't resist browsing around the rest of the store before heading back on the road.

The No. 1 Ladies Quilt Shop, Dillon, Montana

What a delightful shop this is right on main street Dillon, Montana. They describe themselves as "The best quilt shop on the block. The only quilt shop on the block. A FUN place to buy quilting fabric, books, patterns and notions!" I found my fat quarter but was reluctant to leave without checking out the store. This is definitely a shop to visit when I travel south on I-15.

Cozy Mountain Quilts, Whitehall, Montana

The lady in Dillion sent me up hwys 41 and 55 to Whitehall. She said this shop was worth visiting and she was right. I lost control and ended up buying several panels and several yards of backing material. I also picked up an appliqué pattern as a gift for my friend Carol - the Queen of Quilting. Cozy Mountain Quilts

Home Mode

I was back on I-15 and through to Great Falls by 7:00 pm so I decided to put in the five hours to get myself home. Even with the three side trips I had made pretty good time. I realized when I got to the border that other than a couple of vehicles I had passed no one was in front of me and no one had been behind me since Great Falls. I didn't even pick up traffic at Shelby. There was no line up at the border and I drove straight to the window. I cleared customs without a hitch and managed to get home just before midnight.

It will be interesting to see what the 2015 Travel Quilt looks like. I'll put it in here once it is finished.

2015 Quilt Away Quilt Shops


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