Sunday, June 14, 2009 Alaska

Ketchikan was the last port of call on our Alaska cruise. With a year-round population of about 15,000 residents, Ketchikan is surrounded by vast wilderness areas and mountains, without road or rail connections to the rest of North America. But there is a thriving quilt community here, with a guild of about 90 members that meets monthly, and a fabulous quilt shop, The Silver Thimble, owned by Beatriz Torres. “The shop has been in business 25 years,” says Beatriz, “and we’ve expanded from one space to two in the building.” One of the newest fabric arrivals at The Silver Thimble is the Hoffman California Glacier Lights line designed by Ryan McKenna. These beautiful border-style organic prints come in multiple colorways—I bought only one but really wanted more. If you love beads and yarn, don’t miss Mission Street Arts & Fibers just a few blocks away, featuring the works of Alaskan artist Terry Pyles.

Tomorrow we’ll be cruising the magnificent Inside Passage all day on the last leg of our voyage. What a privilege it has been to see our country’s last frontier up close and personal, enriched by meeting lots of friendly quilters and visiting well-stocked shops in every port—isn’t that a perfect vacation?

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