Sunday, 22 July 2007

Craft spots in San Francisco

This is my last night in San Francisco - we are on the plane tomorrow afternoon at 16:30. I'm just having a quick check of my e-mail before we go for a swim in the hotel pool, if we can find it. We've had a fantastic three days here and been all over the city on the public transport - this is a great place and I have really enjoyed our visit. I've managed to add even more shopping to my suitcases, so tonight is going to be the big 'pack and weigh' to see if they are going to let me back on the plane tomorrow!

While it is fresh in my mind, I thought I would list some of the crafty places I have been to, in case anyone else is coming out this way and might be interested.

- Quilt & Textile Museum in San Jose - this was a huge disappointment. It was supposed to be the last stop on our tour and turned out to be a complete waste of time. It is just one big room, and they were mounting a special exhibit on textiles created in reaction to war/violence. There were only about 4 quilts: 2 crazy quilts, one vintage flag quilt, and a new flag quilt, and everything else was either tapestry, woven rugs or sort of mola-applique pictures. When you come in, you are greeted by an exhibit of knitted bombs hanging from the ceiling (I kid you not) and it just goes downhill from there. What a downer.

- Imagiknit - this is a fantastic knitting shop at 18th & Sanchez (I think that was the address). Two huge rooms stocked with wool floor to ceiling on every wall. I couldn't believe it - the two knitting shops I have been to in London are about the size of this shop's cash register area. I wandered around in a daze finding every yarn or notion I had ever read about in a knitting book or magazine, but eventually came away with two different sock yarns, some needle holders and a book of miniature sweater xmas ornaments. Too much choice!

- Needlepoint - this is a shop on the upper floor of a building just off Union Square (you can see their sign from Union Square) which specialises in pre-printed tapestry canvases. A feast of colour and lots of cool uses I hadn't seen before like handbags, boxes, stockings, and other 3-d creations. Very friendly.

- Britex Fabrics - near Union Square, four floors of all kinds of fabrics - not a lot of quilt fabric but there was some (and I bought a bit) but the big winner for me was the notions floor. Chock full of every notion imaginable, walls of buttons and ribbons, and lots of the neat stuff I've seen in Japanese quilt books like those metal 'bear trap' purse closures, and magnetic purse snaps etc.

- Stitch - this is a cross-stitch shop on Sacramento out near Fillmore, it seemed pretty big but again concentrating on pre-printed canvases although there were some charts and books. Unfortunately they were closed for inventory and only let me in for a quick look because I whined that I had come all the way from England :)

- Chinatown - loads of touristy tatty gift shops, but also some gems with gorgeous textiles made up into drawstring bags, pillows etc. One shop had the most gorgeous soft slippers all decorated with velvets and dyed silk ruched ribbon etc, very adorable in children's sizes but not so adorable in my big size 9 feet!

- Shellie's Miniature Mania - this is a dollhouse / gift shop down in San Carlos, it took me about two hours to get there on the train from Fisherman's Wharf as I had to change a couple of times, but it was a huge shop. They had a lot of Bespaq furniture, and some great 'Painted Ladies' Victorian dollhouses, and many artisan-made items including the finest crochet blankets with gorgeous ribbon threaded through them and 3-d flower clusters ($170!!!). It was mostly 1/12th scale but there was some Bespaq 1/24th scale and a very limited amount of laser-cut 1/48th scale kits.

- Japan Centre book store - they were selling several Japanese quilt books and other needlecraft magazines, and Quilts Tushin (I don't think I am spelling that right) magazine was only $14.95!! It is more like $24 in the UK, so I was quite pleased to buy an issue (I am too cheap to buy them back home).

- Magnet Kingdom - this is a really tacky shop in the Fisherman's Wharf area (near the Cannery) that only sells fridge magnets, but a lot of them are actually dollshouse miniatures like fridges, toilets, stoves, washer/dryers, filing cabinets etc. I bought about 12 of them, mostly for $3.95 each which is way cheaper than similar items would be at a dollhouse fair back home. Don't use your credit card here though, it looks like my card has been cloned since I came to SF and that shop is my most likely suspect although I have no firm evidence yet. My bank wants me to come and see them as soon as I get home (and the card has been cancelled).

I've had a great time here - what a great city! But I'm ready to go back home now - and I've taken loads of photos so I will have to post some of them when I get back.


Quilt crazy said...

Hope you have a great flight home. When you get settled, check out the next blog in the ring for pictures from Sisters!

swooze said...

Hope you have a safe trip home! Look forward to chatting soon.

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