Or rather… the meetup that sort of… wasn’t. Reading about last year’s meetup, hosted by the Seattle MQG, I had high hopes for this year’s meetup, hosted by the Portland MQG. The itinerary for last weekend was socializing Friday night with a “mini mini” quilt swap, shop hopping, and a “sew in” on Saturday, and brunch in the park on Sunday. Unfortunately, we got hit with some really unpleasant (yeah, I’m a sissy) high temperatures, and had highs just over 100° both Friday and Saturday… and neither the socializing on Friday night or the sew in on Saturday were air-conditioned, or as well-attended as I had expected.
I did get a cute little “mini mini” quilt at the swap with some TINY piecing. Funnily enough, the quilter (Petra, @creativemompdx) who made the mini that I got, ended up with the one that I made! Unlike other quilt swaps I’ve done, we didn’t have pre-assigned partners for this one (that could be a fun idea!), but simply brought a wrapped mini quilt, and then got to line up and pick a different one from the pile on the table… which also meant that there was no worry about partners flaking out, like I’ve seen happen on some of the online swaps.
The mini-mini that I made was from the You’ve Got Mail foundation paper pieced pattern. I added a border to the envelope itself, and had fun using fabrics from the Tim Holtz lines.
We stayed at the Hotel Rose downtown on the river, and after the first night of alternating between sweating with the down comforter on me, or freezing with it off, I was very glad I’d thrown one of my quilts in my car on a whim. I kept telling myself that I didn’t have any reason to take it with me, but I was sure glad I did!
I shared a hotel room with one of the other girls from the Tacoma MQG, @modernnelsews, and the we met up with the other two from our guild on Saturday for some shop hopping in hopes of some air conditioning, after unanimously deciding to bail on the non-air conditioned sew-in due to a high temperature of 104° that day. We got to our first stop, The Pine Needle, before they opened, so we got to browse the Lake Oswego farmer’s market, and I bought a delicious marionberry turnover. If only I could live on berry pies!
They also had some pretty artichoke flowers that were a hit with the honey bees of the area. They were very pretty… but part of me tends to cringe when I see artichoke flowers, because a bloomed artichoke is a ruined artichoke – when it could have been eaten! (Can you tell I like artichokes?)
From Lake Oswego, we also shop hopped to Fabric Depot, Bolt, Modern Domestic, Josephine’s Dry Goods, and Cool Cottons. Fabric Depot was by far my favorite… for anybody my age or older, think Fabricland (before JoAnn’s bought them out and ruined it) on steroids. Quilting fabric, apparel fabric, ribbons, and buttons, and everything else! I found some excellent woven plaid shirting flannel that I plan to turn into new PJ bottoms before the quilting retreat in October. I also picked up a neat “tailor’s thimble” at Josephine’s that I’m looking forward to trying for some of my hand stitching.
Saturday night dinner was Mexican from a food truck near the hotel (surprisingly good), and across the street to the river to get some photos of the bridges. The area of Portland that we were in – downtown, with nice shops and obviously more set up for pedestrians than cars – had a shockingly high homeless and drug problem. It’s certainly not somewhere I would want to go out alone, or after dark, and we got hassled several times while we were out quilt shop hopping during the day.
Since we had bailed on the organized sew-in during the day (which I heard wasn’t terribly well attended due to the heat anyway) we had a mini sew-in in our hotel room that night. I didn’t sew much, but at least I unpacked my sewing machine once!
The brunch in the park on Sunday was fun – the weather was much cooler, which was a big bonus! We also got the chance to chat some more with a nice couple from Canada that we’d met on Friday night, and I look forward to meeting up with them again at Quiltcon in Savannah, Georgia next February! (Hi, @Trudys_person!)
I’m not sure if attending next year’s meetup will be an option – it’s Vancouver’s turn to host, but I’ll be a bit thin on vacation time (and vacation funds) after Quiltcon. I was a bit disappointed in the organization and turnout for this year. I know it must be a massive amount of work to arrange, but it would have been nice if some of the events had been at the hotel that we’d gotten the group rate for, or even a plan for everybody to meet up at the same location for dinner on Saturday after the sew-in. It would be fun to get a block of rooms at a hotel – preferably actually on the same floor – and then commandeer a conference room in the hotel all day for a sew in. After this small meetup of quilters, I’m very much looking forward to Quiltcon, and meeting more new people – and the lectures and classes!