Wednesday, February 23, 2011

A Little Taste of Vashon!

Vashon Island was named in 1792 by George Vancouver after his friend James Vashon of the Royal Navy, only 3 years after the French Revolution. I can see Vashon from my house! I have watched, many times since moving down here, the ferry crossing the 15 mn waterway. So after my friend Bonnie Bucknam got three of her quilts accepted for the CQA exhibit at the Blue Heron Gallery this month it was the perfect excuse to go for a visit.
I was to meet three friends in the town of Vashon for lunch and shop for few hours. The weather to start with was beautiful and I got to admire the scenery with all the lights on! Then when I got to my first stop the sky was already menacing. But I had not come for the weather.

That first stop ended up my favorite: The Island Quilt Store. What welcomes you first in this fabulous boutique is the bright crisps colors of the Kaffe Fasset's fabric. Entering in the shop you are amongst a rainbow, you feel part of it. The bolts of fabric arranged very cleverly in gradation and it is one color melding into another. Rows after rows from floor to ceiling in a bright and well lit space that I would like to call "gallery" as every chosen fabric seems to be a piece of art. I also like the arranged notions at the front door and books. Just convenient if you are just looking for something quickly and on the run. There are also b-e-a-u-t-i-f-u-l skeins of yarn. As I am now a sock knitter (half of my socks are now completed! Thank you very much) I look at yarn as potential feet cover!!! I like those covers to be soft in interesting color combinations. I can tell you that this place qualifies for carrying the most interesting yarn. After striking a conversation with one of the owner present (who happen to have strong roots in the island by the way) I found out that Kaffe Fasset and Brandon Mably have been in the shop to teach and visit more than once all the way from England. The largest display of his fabrics must have been quite a thrill for Kaffe. So in the meantime my friends arrived. They marveled at everything as much as I had done and I got my fabric cut (small selection of twig fabric for another series of "Outsider" quilts) and two balls of soft yarn in luscious colors. Well our host (I am very sorry, I didn't learn his name) graced us with a coupon for 10% off at the Hardware Store, the restaurant across the street. It really used to be the Hardware store servicing the Island before it became an eatery. So after peeling ourselves out of the rainbow we were to shop some more. The weather turned on us rather quickly and a hail storm overtook the street. A bit of fun seeing people going for cover under the awnings. The Vashon Bookshop was also a favorite of mine. The store next door to it's right had interesting items from around the world for everyone and everyroom in your house. I ended up buying a little vert de gris bat hanging upside down on a chain. ( I saw it and then came back later for it...). Everyone was so charming in each store it was a pleasure to shop. The flower shop "Blooms and Things" also has some interesting gifts and furniture pieces. The owner has amazing Ikebana arrangements. I got three matching wrought iron candle sticks with green candles ( I love them!). They have a little story attached to them but I will have to tell you in person. So finally lunch was served at the Hardware Store by a beautiful island maiden with tasteful colorful tattoos on her arms. I had the "Garbanzo Bean Ragout". Nice flavorful curry base ragout over a bed of brown fragrant basmati and a mixed green salad with pita bread slices. All that for $10. A green tea to wash it down. They had lovely wines on the menu but ferry traveling is not historically conducive to drinking for me.
Finally we took the road to visit the Blue Heron Gallery. Great space and lighting for showcasing the fiber art display. Bonnie's pieces were worth the trip. Her hand dyed fabric look like suede to me and her stitching hit me in the guts. I love her work. Abstract work should be a visceral feeling to me in order to be remembered. Anyway it was time to say goodbyes to my friends and to the island. I am planning on coming back to check out the nurseries. One has a catchy name "DIG". I like that.

Until then I have more projects to attend to, more nesting to do, and more local places to explore.

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