A few weeks ago, Captain Cavedweller and I were able to get away for a few days. We spent one day exploring Tillamook, Oregon.
That turned out to be a yummy decision. We had THE BEST Hawaiian food ever at a food truck for lunch. Later, while I experienced ice cream bliss at the Tillamook Creamery, Captain Cavedweller found his own nirvana with fried cheese curds. (They were so good!)
When we weren’t feeding our faces with delicious treats, we walked around downtown, visiting shops (where I found so many things I had to have).
We also went to the Latimer Quilt and Textile Center. That stop was amazing and turned into a bit of a treasure hunt (more about that below).
The center is a living, working museum with a mission to “preserve, promote, display, and facilitate the creation of and provide education about the textile arts.”
The Latimer Quilt and Textile Center, located in an old school building, has rotating exhibits with vintage textiles, fiber and textile arts, an on-site research library, a gift shop, and friendly, knowledgeable staff. They have a repository with conservatorial lighting, hermetic temperature control and museum space-saving storage fittings. Everything about its design is calculated to minimize the degradation of textiles. Collections are stored in acid free boxes. The repository has its own computer system and the Past Perfect data base program is used to catalogue Latimer collections. It is not open to the public but can be viewed by appointment.
The quilts they have span everything from mid-nineteenth century gems to present day creations.
In 1892, James and Permelia Latimer donated land for a school. A one-room building was hauled to the site to serve as the school. In 1900, an L-shaped two-room structure was built and called Maple Leaf School. In the 1930sm a new structure with two classrooms and an auditorium was built. The last class was held there in 1959. The Latimer heirs donated the land and building to the Tillamook County Pioneer Museum Foundation in memory of James and Permelia Latimer in 1985 and the Latimer Quilt and Textile Center opened in 1991.
Before you even set foot inside, the outside has an old school (bad pun intended) vibe that makes you anticipate what you are about to explore.
Inside, you know you are in an old school with wooden floors and great architecture.
The West Room is full of looms where people can come work on projects, and take lessons. There are even some spinning wheels in the room.
Some of the finished projects hung on the walls.
A few of the looms had the patterns on display so you could bet a better idea of what is being created.
Isn’t this beautiful? Love the navy and white color scheme.
This tapestry makes me think of something you might see in a castle!
A hallway runs down to the auditorium where they had some fantastic fiber arts pieces on display that we couldn’t take photos of because they were about to be auctioned off. I wish I could have because my gracious, but there were some neat things there.
Across the hall from the West Room is the East Room where the quilts are displayed and gift items are available for purchase.
I loved seeing the variety of patterns on display.
And appreciated the amount of work that went into these fabric works of art.
Of course, this pink pattern caught my eye.
And I loved this rose bud block that was on display.
There was even a great vintage display that showed how cloth is made.
Here’s where things turned into a treasure hunt. Throughout the East room there were baskets, bins, and tubs filled with bags of material . . . for $2 a bag. (No, that isn’t a typo!) None of the pieces are bigger than a half a yard, but there were several pieces in each bag. I even asked the very nice staff person if I was reading the price correctly. She laughed and assured me I was. So Captain Cavedweller started digging through all the bags of fabric, unearthing colors and patterns he thought I might like (have I mentioned what a great guy he is?).
Then I found a bin full of vintage handkerchiefs for sale, and one with old lace. And there was even one that had hand-made baby sweaters and booties from the 1940s. Goodness only knows what I’ll do with all the fabric, lace, hankies, and baby stuff I brought home, but it was sure fun finding it!
If you are ever in Tillamook, I highly recommend stopping by the Latimer Quilt and Textile Center. If you quilt, you are going to feel like you’ve found your a little slice of heaven!