Usually we go somewhere during the summer. The last couple years we have gone to the wonderful islands of Hawaii. However this summer, with the birth of our girl we decided that this year wasn’t our best year to go.
Instead, we thought that if we did want to go somewhere we would take a smaller trip – somewhere we could drive so we could take our time travelling. Kalispell, Montana was our chosen destination. I’ve wanted to travel there for quite a long time, the ladies in my guild often travel there with a tour company and say the quilt stores are terrific.
So off we went. We left on a Saturday morning at about 9, after dropping off Molly at my friend Paula’s house (where she is spoiled with treats, food, play dates, walks galore and trips to the puppy park). Our route took us via the Crowsnest Pass right through the Frank Slide site. Neither of us has ever been so we stopped in and walked around the interpretive centre. It is a terrific centre and well worth the price of admission.
After a brief stop for lunch in Fernie we were on our way to Kalispell. It had been a long day travelling so when we finally arrived at our condo (we rented Element 54 on Vacation Rentals by Owner – it was perfect for us. More on that in a moment) we unpacked and relaxed there – Miss E had been in her car seat for a very long time.
The condo we stayed at, Element 54, was in a strange location. It is tucked away in behind an Ashley Furniture and we nearly missed the turn into it. Anyways, it has 3 bedrooms, a full kitchen, laundry, an ensuite and full bathroom. It had a nice seating room, and came with all dishes and linens. It was great and in a location where everything was pretty close.
While we were there we shopped. We looked for children’s clothes for Miss E, some hunting gear for Nate and some quilting stuff for me. Nate took me to some very interesting hunting/outdoor stores. I’ve never quite seen anything like them – not in a bad way at all, just interesting and unique. We also found some wonderful clothes for Miss E – things I haven’t been able to find here in Canada.
But lets get onto the quilt shops. Our first stop was Jo-Ann’s. We loaded up the truck and headed out, only to discover that it was a block away – boy did we feel silly. It was like our Michael’s but with fabric. They had some nice lines and their fat quarters were only $2.00. A pretty good deal if you ask me. I found some great solids in fat quarters – again something I can’t find here. I was hoping to find solid fabrics and for them to be in a fat quarter form – this was perfect.
I also found a couple magazines and those great micron pens that I like to use with my hand embroidery (another great deal – $4/pen, here they are anywhere from $7-12)
I enjoyed shopping there – though I was afraid to get fabric cut because I didn’t know how that whole thing worked. I kept hearing them announce numbers and that they were ready to cut.
Our next stop was Quilt Gallery. It was a lovely shop with lovely shop keepers. I wandered through the rows a few times marvelling at the selection they had and admiring the sample quilts on the wall. Their fabrics seem to be arranged in more of a color pattern – so if you are looking for red there is a whole section for it. though they do separate the holiday fabric and solids. They had some spectacular quilts on display and you were able to peruse through many more that were hanging on racks. It seems to me that the Quilt Gallery specializes in the Ruth McDowell technique. And boy is it a neat technique. They offer classes on it too and some lovely ladies who were working on quilts shared with me how the process worked. I ended up getting the books and a kit to try my hand at it. I can’t wait.
The store also had quite a few patterns and books. Especially if you are looking for Quiltworx – Judy Niemeyer patterns and kits.
We also went to Glacier Quilts. It is located in Hutton Ranch Plaza. It too is a lovely store and the shop keepers are also wonderful. They even offered to watch Miss E while I shopped – but this time I didn’t need that, Nate was there with me. Glacier Quilts has their fabric arranged in a color order as well. But they have a separate section for batiks, flannel, children’s and Christmas fabric. They had quilts hanging from the racks with the patterns close by and in some cases kits too. I was able to find a book I had been looking for and a jelly roll.
Could I have come out with more? Um…yes. But I just couldn’t make up my mind in some instances so I left it.
It was a wonderful trip and we a nice time as a family going about. If you are in Kalispell, check out the Glacier Quilts or Quilt Gallery – you won’t be disappointed.