Bolt–Portland, Oregon

After we finished lunch at Grand Central Baking Company, and had visited Cool Cottons, we headed up into the Irvington district of Portland to a well-known quilt shop called Bolt.  I have read their blog for a while, so knew about the amount of creativity that just oozed out of this place, plus it was on Alberta Street–my sweet MIL’s name. So that’s two votes for heading up here, don’t you think?


My husband has Parking Karma, so we found a place to park right across the street, then headed over. It located at 2136 NE Alberta Street in Portland (97211) and the phone is 503-287-2658, with email at info@boltfabricboutique.com.  They are open every day, generally from 10-6, but different on Sat and Sunday, so check out their website for their hours.


Can I just say I’m crazy for dot-words?  In the front window of their store they had letters on large dots, spelling out the goodies inside, and I loved that interesting touch.


This store is just full of great ideas, great fabrics of all kinds and lots of ways to get you thinking about quilts and projects to make.  They carry a full range of Oliver and S Patterns, different kinds (substrates) of fabrics, from laminates to lightweight cottons, notions, threads and everything a sewist/sewer could want.


But like most quilters, I’m there for the fabric and ideas.  And they have lots of fabric to choose from.


This store is tiny but packs a lot in, so I spent some time looking.  I’m on a tight space allowance because of my suitcase, so that made it very hard to choose what I could take home.



And yes, that is the new Lizzie House Constellations line in the blues (on the left).  I also saw other lines of fabric (Madrona Road, for one), plus they have a good mix of modern, novelty and good lines for blending in a quilt layout.  You could spend all day here, I think.



Their tins of patterns–many to choose from.

And here’s a PS to our time in fabric shops: We also walked around some of Portland’s Art Galleries, where we saw a piece by Robert Rauschenberg, that only cost $70,000 (below). Makes the price of our quilt fabric look like a steal, doesn’t it?

Screen Shot 2013-01-09 at 9.03.16 PM

I was amazed that a simple quilt-like construction could cost that much to own, but hey, it is a Rauschenberg.  The intriguing thing was the voile overlay in the dotty and flowery sections in the picture above.  I studied it a long time, and if you are in Portland and want to go and see it, head over to the Elizabeth Leach gallery on 9th street, where they treat you with great respect even if you are carrying a drippy umbrella and are wearing walking shoes.  Which I was.

We quilters need our inspiration from many different kinds of places, and I’m grateful to both Bolt and Cool Cottons which allowed me to take snapshots of their shops.  Now go and visit, if you are in Portland.

6 thoughts on “Bolt–Portland, Oregon

  1. Its too bad you missed Boersma’s in historic downtown McMinnville it is “the” best quilt shop in western Oregon.

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