We mainly stayed in Whitefish Montana during our vacation in September. When we were there several years ago I had found an awesome shop called the Back Door General Store. They have a ton of cute things, and - most important to me - a section for quilters. They carry patterns by McKenna Ryan, a local Montana artist and I loved her quilt designs. They are mainly inspired by the outdoors - animals and moutain scenes from Montana and I picked up three applique quilt kits on my last trip.
However, as often happens, when I got home, life took over and these awesome quilt kits just sat in my "some day" craft pile. On our most recent trip however, I dropped back in to Back Door General Store and found out they have classes on applique quilting and use McKenna Ryan patterns in the instruction. I was down for this in a big way, so in between fishing - I scheduled a class.
We used a simple pattern - the applique was made up of just a few pieces. The instructor is the owners daughter. She was very patient and fun. On the day I took the class it was just the two of us, but I think she gets more students once the tourist season lightens up.
I just finished quilting and framing this piece last week - it's a nice souvenir.
And while my main purpose in taking the class was to get skilled at applique so I could complete the McKenna Ryan kits I'd already bought, they had just stocked her line of Christmas patterns, so I didn't leave empty handed:
It's Bears in Santa hats - I had to get it.
Despite spending most of my craft time (and dollars) in the Backdoor General Store - I did manage to find some spare moments to check out a very cool yarn store in Whitefish. The Knit n Needle Yarn Shoppe has a great selection of beautiful yarns and some of the most helpful staff I've met. I told them I was just shopping without any project in mind, but after finding some beautiful yarn for socks, they gave me a beginner sock pattern and some basic instruction. They would have sent this to my Ravelry account if I'd had one, but I don't. Although this made me think I could use one.
I haven't had a chance to start on this, but the winter months after Christmas are perfect for knitting - so I'm all set.
It's always nice when my outdoor side and my indoor crafty side can coexist on vacation. Whitefish was a perfect location for both and I can't wait to get back.