Take a Peek at Portland's Vibrant Crafty Scenecomments (3) May 14th, 2008
Portland, Oregon, is a sweet, hilly, tree-stocked city with Craftsman-style houses tucked alongside a winding river—what better place for a crafting scene to thrive. Michaela Murphy and I headed there from Seattle (about 150 miles north) to meet up with hometowner Susan Beal—our jewelry-making expert blogger, author of Bead Simple (www.taunton.com), and crafty blogging queen (WestCoastCrafty.com)—and Diane Gilleland, (a.k.a Diane G.) of CraftyPod.com and Church of Craft, for an insider’s tour of Portland’s east side.
We hit town on a Monday—not high tide for crafting stores—but Knittn’ Kitten opened up just for us. It's filled with delectable vintage craft items—from fabric to patterns to notions—and we were beside ourselves, filling our arms with goodies. Michaela’s super-find: a pink and white crocheted apron. Plus, co-owner Rome Church awed us with her hyper-detailed embroidery and paintings—true works of art.
Next stop, Collage, (check out thier blog!) home to DIY Lounge, where Portland’s most enthusiastic crafties gather to buy supplies and create beautiful handmade items. Located on artsy Alberta Street, you’ll find a carefully culled selection of craft products in a homey, chatty setting and a readymade community of crafters at DIY Lounge classes.
After a tasty lunch at Bread and Ink, we moved on to coffee at the Daily Grind, where we met up with Portland’s craft impresario-esses, Torie Nguyen and Cathy Pitters. These two industrious women got together to create a new breed of craft show, Crafty Wonderland, held at the Doug Fir Lounge on the second Sunday of each month. With more than 40 booths and a cool community vibe, it’s quite the crafting scene.
Last stop of the day, Cool Cottons, one of the prettiest fabric stores ever. Step inside this immaculate Craftsman-style cottage, and you’ll find the most delectable quilting cottons around in a friendly, wood-trimmed environment. It's run by two former U.S. Air employees, who picked Portland as the place to do something they really love, and it shows!
So I'm ready to pick up and move to Portland—aren't you? We only had an afternoon, and there is so much more. To dig further into the Portland crafting scene, check out PDXSuperCrafty.com, a women's craft collective located in Portland, Oregon.