A QUILTER’S PARADISE – Quilt and craft enthusiasts alike gathered at the Pacific Northwest Quilt & Fiber Arts Museum on Second Street to browse bins of textiles, sewing notions and craft supplies as part of the museum’s annual porch sale. By 10 a.m. July 29, there was already a crowd.              – Photo by Marissa Conklin
A QUILTER’S PARADISE – Quilt and craft enthusiasts alike gathered at the Pacific Northwest Quilt & Fiber Arts Museum on Second Street to browse bins of textiles, sewing notions and craft supplies as part of the museum’s annual porch sale. By 10 a.m. July 29, there was already a crowd. – Photo by Marissa Conklin

For a quarter-century it has been a primary thread binding together the social and cultural fabric of La Conner.

Located at historic Gaches Mansion on Second Street, the Pacific Northwest Quilt & Fiber Arts Museum is now in its 25th year of exhibitions and educational programs designed to both celebrate traditions in the fiber arts and inspire the creative spirit going forward.

Since opening in August 1997 as the La Conner Quilt Museum under the direction of the late Rita Hupy, it has displayed the works of top quilters and fiber artists from near and as far as Japan.

And one of the museum’s most popular in-house traditions – its three-day annual summer porch sale – was last weekend, July 29-31.

Fans of the museum arrived early Friday in search of gems among an array of fabric, yarn, patterns, fiber arts tools and more, including quilts of various ages and wear. Nearly two dozen shoppers were browsing for bargains within a half hour of the sale’s start.

“I always need more fabric,” one of those shoppers, Karen Crowder, of Arlington, told the Weekly News.

Crowder said she had signed up for a class at the museum and learned about the sale from its newsletter.

La Conner resident Janelle Turner quickly filled two baskets with fabrics and sewing notions.

“On a scale of one to 10, this is definitely a 10,” said Turner, a first-time porch sale participant. 

That speaks well of the leadership provided by Executive Director Amy Green, at the helm since 2013. Prior to that Green served six years as director of operations at the famed Georgia O’Keeffe Museum in Santa Fe, New Mexico.

The porch sale is an opportunity for staff and the museum’s corps of volunteers to connect directly with the Pacific Northwest region’s quilters and fiber artists.

The event is akin to a beloved quilt with diverse parts standing out on its respective merits but also seamlessly blending into the whole.

Sewing machines were displayed for sale by the museum entrance. Two canopies offering shade during a searing heat wave provided cover for bins of fabric, textiles, knitting supplies and sewing accessories. 

Quilts lined the fence outside the museum. Across the street, at the Civic Garden Club, vendor tables sported various arts and crafts products and supplies.

There truly was something for everyone embracing the fiber arts – from one-of-a-kind fabrics for quilts to vintage textiles.

Above all, this event was an expression of the museum’s service-oriented calling, dating to Hupy’s original vision of creating a space in La Conner to meet the needs of the area’s ever-growing community of quilters.