On The Road Portland, ME

Beth Bradley

Join us on a journey to the charming, sophisticated city of Portland, ME. Greater Portland and the surrounding Casco Bay area offer an array of enjoyable natural, historical and cultural experiences, as well as an amazing variety of activities and destinations to delight any sewer.



Beth Bradley 

Located on Maine's ruggedly beautiful seacoast, Portland is one of America's oldest and last remaining working waterfronts. You'll notice picturesque Victorian architecture and cobblestone streets alongside contemporary high-rise office buildings, a juxtaposition that speaks to Portland's captivating blend of history and modernity. As you meander through the quaint, artistic neighborhoods replete with wonderful shops, studios, museums and galleries to explore, you'll also pick up on Maine's rich tradition and love of all things textile.

Get all the information you need at the Maine Fiberarts Visitor Center located in the town of Topsham, a quick drive north of Portland. Maine Fiberarts is a non-profit organization that supports Maine's textile arts and crafts community. The Visitor Center has an onsite gallery, and you can also pick up the handy, free Maine Fiberarts Tour Map for the lowdown on the region's best fabric shops and artists' studios. If you want to go straight to the fiber source, find out how to tour one of Maine's sheep, goat, or alpaca farms and take home naturally dyed wool roving for your next needle-felting endeavor.
In Portland, be sure to hit the cool Downtown Arts District, with Congress Street at the center of the action.

Visit the Portland Fiber Gallery and Weaving Studio to find handmade gifts created by local artisans, or make time for a class on shibori fabric dyeing or traditional rug hooking.

Grab a warm drink, a sweet treat and supplies for a special scarf at the Knit Wit Yarn Shop & Coffee Bar next door. If you don't already knit, browsing through Knit Wit's extensive selection of lovely yarn, buttons and supplies might just convert you.

Make a stop at the nearby museum at the Maine Historical Society to see inspiring exhibits of historical handmade garments and quilts. Or drop by the Maine College of Art to see the latest from up-and-coming artists of the current day.

Along the waterfront is the Old Port neighborhood, a revitalized warehouse district well worth checking out for its great shopping and dining possibilities. The salty air and the sounds of seagulls and foghorns are an added bonus. If you want to take home a truly unique and truly Portland sewing souvenir, drop by the Sea Bags studio in Old Port. The owners of the company have been sewing fashionable, functional, one-of-a-kind tote bags from recycled sails since 1999.

Finally, if you haven't gotten your fill of the delicious lobster at Portland's restaurants, venture up the coast to On Board Fabrics in Edgecomb. This store features fabrics printed with very Maine motifs-lobsters included! You can also pick up useful outdoor fabrics, Marimekko prints, and other assorted nautical-themed quilting cottons.


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