Craft Quest: Seattle

comments (3) May 4th, 2009     

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Jen_W Jennifer Worick, contributor
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Its not just the Space Needle that people visit in Seattle. Craft opportunities abound.
A former school, Wallingford Center is home to a Wednesday farmers market and a host of cute shops.
Wallingford Center is home to Bad Woman Yarn. Owners Lee and Judd Burrow are lovely folks.
Creative displays at Bad Woman Yarn inspire customers.
Need a snack? Seattlites rave about Trophy Cupcakes. I fancy the red velvet one.
Trophy Cupcakes stocks a large assortment of cupcake toppers, perfect for your next birthday party.
Bouncing Wall is home to loads of handmade items from local artists and designers.
Bouncing Walls walls are adorned with original artwork.
Pick up a baby gift at Queen Annes Bouncing Wall.
Queen Annes Nancys Sewing Basket is a destination for seamstresses, tailors, quilters, designers, and milliners.
Nancys is one of the few shops to stock an extensive selection of French lace.
Nancys is known for its fancy fabrics.
Nancys has a huge selection of buttons, many of them vintage.
Pick up colorful oilcloth at Nancys Sewing Basket.
Nancys ribbon room is legendary, featuring ribbon beyond your wildest dreams, along with vintage milliners trimmings and silk and ribbon flowers.
Hilltop Yarn is nestled in a lovely Craftsman house on top of Queen Anne.
Hilltop Yarn has trunk shows and special events, and regularly features unusual yarns, like these stainless steel yarns from Habu.
Hilltop staffers knit up inspirational samples to get your creative juices flowing.
The Quilting Loft is home to loads of fabrics, notions, and classes.
The Quilting Loft has a whole wall of exotic batik fabrics.
Velouria is a little jewel of an indie designer boutique on Ballards Market St.
Velouria features lovely dresses, accessories, and jewelry by independent designers, like this dress by Donna Lou.
Venue features more than 25 Seattle designers and artists.
Caitlin Dundon creates her one-of-a-kind calligraphied boxes and artwork out of a Venue artist studio.
Venues airy space is chock full of intriguing art, jewelry, and handicrafts.
Let Pike Place Markets flowers inspire your craft.
Strolling through Pike Place Market is always inspiring.
Its not just the Space Needle that people visit in Seattle. Craft opportunities abound.

It's not just the Space Needle that people visit in Seattle. Craft opportunities abound.

Photo: Jennifer Worick

I live and craft in Seattle and am always exploring my favorite neighborhoods, with an eye peeled for cool craft shops and indie boutiques. Here are a few of my favorite ‘hoods and haunts.

Wallingford
I am lucky to live in Wallingford, home to Dave Matthews and some charming shops and restaurants. I like to peruse the Wallingford Farmer’s Market on Wednesdays in the parking lot of the Wallingford Center, a former schoolhouse. I can usually find a few great craft booths tucked in between stands of local produce, seafood, breads, and flowers. Inside Wallingford Center, I hang out at Bad Woman Yarn, a tiny but well-stocked shop on the main level. If I need sustenance, I savor a red velvet cupcake at Trophy Cupcakes. Believe me, it’s worth the $2.99 price tag. I love to walk down Stone Way N. to Fusion Beads, my favorite bead store of all time (and not because I used to work there part-time). The class offerings, website, and retail space are extensive, and the staff extremely knowledgeable. This is a destination for any jewelry-maker visiting Seattle.

Queen Anne
My favorite yarn shop is nestled in a charming block on top of Queen Anne hill. Located in a Craftsman home, Hilltop Yarn is chockablock with luscious yarns, and the lovely staff churns out original patterns with crazy regularity. Almost directly across Queen Anne Ave. N is Nancy’s Sewing Basket, a high-end fabric shop with a jewel box of a ribbon room in the back. Now that I’ve started sewing, this store is lethal to my bank account. They stock traditional tailor's and milliner's materials, along with French lace and fancy-pants fabrics that you can't help but stroke. To check out what other local craftanistas are creating, I love popping into Bouncing Wall, “a retail boutique and gallery” that features the work of more than 90 local artists and designers. Last time I was there, I picked up a new wallet by randL. It’s so cool; I wish I had made it. I was giddy from my purchase, so I treated myself to a latte at Eat Local, a wonderful store that features a coffee bar, a huge selection of prepared foods from Washington farmers, and lovely prints by Olympia artist Nikki McClure.

Ballard
Speaking of cool and lovely, Ballard continues to be the “it” neighborhood. Naturally, being cool and all, I spend a lot of time there. The Sunday Farmer’s Market has become a weekly tradition; I can pick up organic essential oils from Ballard Organics, buy sustainable clothing from Texture, and look at handmade jewelry. Oh yeah, there’s loads of local farm stands, artisan cheeses, raw honey, fresh sausages, and bouquets as well.

The rest of the week I can be found fingering the fabrics at The Quilting Loft or trying on Una clothing at Velouria (I bought this dress for my birthday dinner. Sweet, no?). Bouncing Wall’s Ballard counterpart is Venue, a space that features artists’ work studios and a boutique. I dig Caitlin Dundon’s pieces: boxes, mirrors, and cards adorned with free-form calligraphy (I bought a coffee table from her about 10 years ago that features quotes from a 1940s book of charm; it’s still my prized piece of furniture).

Belltown and Pike Place Market
Belltown is generally known for its nightclubs, restaurants, and spendy boutiques. It’s also become a destination for crafters. I start at So Much Yarn, where the lovely and vast yarn offerings are surpassed only by its lovely staff. I meander down First Ave. toward Pike Place Market and pop into World Beads. Not the biggest or cheapest store, it’s still a bead store and I’ve never met one I didn’t like in some way. I love poking around Pike Place Market; the stores below the main level feature a variety of strange and wondrous goodies, but I confess I love looking at the fresh flowers, flying fish, and artists’ wares. My friends Kimberly Sun and Wendy Sloneker both have nabbed coveted spots to sell fabulous embossed leather goods and knitted items, respectively. When I plan ahead, I make a lunch reservation at the recently renovated and insider favorite Matt's in the Market. After a long day crafting, I figure a peppered turkey and cambozola sandwich is just the snacklet I need before going home and pulling an all-night craft bender with my new goodies.

In the future, you can find me at my website or blogs, Things I Want to Punch in the Face and Prairie Tales. My new book, Backcountry Betty: Crafting with Style, is in stores now.

posted in: travel, seattle

Comments (3)

itsforfun writes: I love this post. Having lived here all my life I sometimes forget about the hidden treasures. My son recently moved to Ballard. So one day I went to visit. I stopped at Archie McPhee's and discovered the quilting Loft. Love it. They had so many new and funky fabrics. Not just the same old. Thanks for reminding me. Heading over to check out your blog.
Renee
Posted: 9:33 pm on June 8th
sathya writes: about Pike Place Market...why not visit the bead store on the 3rd level? they have an eclectic mix of beads, handmade jewelry from local artists and local fused glass...pendants, beads etc.Also a collection of antique trade beads and silver.
Friendly to pets and kids, NOT your normal bead store, but full of odd treasures!
Posted: 2:10 pm on February 15th
eebudee writes: awesome post! i'm visiting seattle in mid august and was researching all the "crafty" places to go. this is really helpful.
Posted: 5:22 am on July 25th
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