Thursday, February 23, 2012

A Quilters Guide to Mid-Coast Maine

For daytrips, weekends escapes, or “grab the gals” for a week away, Mid-coast Maine offers a great combination of off-highway scenic routes, coastal views, country roads, and quilt-related destinations worth stopping for. From May thru October, a wide variety of festivals and events make return visits very attractive (including the local fairs where quilters will sure to be found). Attractions will bring you closer to Maine culture, the arts, great music, and very delicious food!
What makes the Mid-coast of Maine a destination for people love to quilt? Ask Nancy Black in Belfast why, at age 70 with many years in the business, her fabric shop and quilting center is open 7 days a week, 365 days of the year? Her selection of standard prints, Maine specialty prints, and more make Nancy’s Sewing Center a “must see” as you wonder this amazing quilt region.
Ask the quilters in nearby Appleton whose vision led to this project: The Mildred Stevens Williams Memorial Library in Appleton raffled a Maine Authors signature quilt (shown above) for their new library capital campaign. This was the culmination of months of work by Susan Sherman (project organizer) and Molly Leigher (designer and assembler). Other contributors were Linda Upham who monogrammed the title and Darlene Starett who machine quilted the border.  The wall hanging (50"x54") featured the "broken cup" pattern and Maine authors signed 118 of the triangles. The signing authors represent many writing styles and live all across the state. Often the authors added messages or drawings with their signature. Included with the quilt was a scrapbook of the project and several of the author's books.
Then there are the “Quilt Divas”! You might be able to relate to this - two women met at a local fabric store and became friends. When the owner of that business retired, they said, "What now?" With the help of family and friends the dream to open their own shop became a reality for Deborah Rogers & Doris Forcier. Quilt Divas is located in Rockland at 607 Main Street with an incredible harbor view! "Everything you need to make your experience fun and rewarding." They offer quilting classes and special events. They also do long arm quilting and finish work.
Union is home to the “Come Spring Quilters” Guild which meets at the People’s United Methodist Church on the second and fourth  Thursdays from 7-9 p.m. (except in Nov, Dec, July, & Aug when they only meet on the 2nd Thursdays of the month). Newcomers are always welcome to this group.
Don’t miss the amazing Art Quilts of Sarah Ann Smith in Camden. Classes are offered and quilts are available for sale. These are incredible and stunning quilts. Just breathtaking! Sarah relishes the supportive environment for fiber art and art quilts in mid-coast Maine. Sarah has become a fervent art quilter and is selling her artwork as well as producing a line of quilting patterns that draw on quilting's traditions yet celebrate the artistic individuality of the quilt-maker. Sarah's extensive life-long travel and love for the diverse peoples and places in the world infuse her art, while an early fascination with Hawaiian quilting patterns has returned to become the source of inspiration for Sarah's first published patterns.
Quilt “Destinations” in Mid-coast Maine:
The Cotton Cupboard Quilt Shop
1213 Broadway
Bangor, ME 04401
Dockside Quilt Gallery
304 Stillwater Ave. 
Bangor, ME 04401
Nancy's Sewing Center
216 Belmont Ave, Route 3
West Belfast, ME 04915
Mariner's Compass Quilt Shop
190 Front Street
Bath, ME 04530

Boothbay Harbor
McKown Square Quilts
14 Boothbay House Hill Rd.
Boothbay Harbor, Maine 04538
207-633-2007, E-mail:

A Straight Stitch
401 North Main
Brewer, ME 04412


Fabric Den
124 Maine Street, Senter's Place
Brunswick, Maine 04011
On Board Fabrics
Route 27
Edgecomb, ME 04556
Cotton Weeds Quilt Shop
541 US Route 1, Suite #12
Freeport, ME 04096
Mystic Maine Quilts
287 Water Street
Gardiner, ME 04345
Alewives Fabric
10 Main Street
Nobleboro, ME 04555
Maine-ly Sewing
48 U.S. Highway One
Nobleboro, ME
Quilt Divas
607 Main Steet
Rockland, ME 04841
Sewing by the Sea
11 Periwinkle Lane, Route 3
Trenton, ME 04605
Yardgoods Center
60 West Concourse
Waterville,  ME  04901

An amazing coastal and inland journey! Special routes make the Mid-coast region a lot of fun no matter what your interests are. Take Coastal Route 1 for great water views and small towns filled with charming Victorian homes, shops, and restaurants (traffic is high from mid-July thru mid-August). Mid-coast Maine ranks #2 in New England for fall “leaf peeping.” There are cozy harbors and beaches all the way from Rockland to Bar Harbor. Peninsula drives are less crowded and afford bikers the opportunity to stop and chat with local lobstermen, lunch on freshly cooked seafood, and jump (with your bike) onto a ferry to one of the Penobscot Bay islands for a morning or afternoon look-see. This is well worth the diversion from Route 1: Head to Port Clyde on Rt. 131 from Rockland or Thomaston. Hop the ferry to Vinalhaven with your bike and enjoy Island riding, galleries, restaurants, and wind farms. From Lincolnville you can take the ferry to Islesboro – adventure to Dark Harbor or Pendleton Point passing homes of the rich and famous (John Travolta, Kristie Alley, J.P. Morgan, Parker Stevenson, etc.) .

Other routes sure to please: Winery to Winery (award-winning local wines), Brewery to Brewery (the “Beer Trail”), Artisan to Artisan (visit in-home studios in the countryside), Organic Farms & Specialty Foods (grown, made and sold by the farmer), Lake to Lake (whether scenic drives or fishing is the goal, Mid-coast Maine has wonderful lake drives that make for great cruising), Lighthouse to Lighthouse (with a large number of lighthouses, this makes for a perfect day or weekend), and Mountain Views of the coastline (drive to the top of Mt. Battie or Point Lookout to see as far as Cadillac Mountain at Acadia National Park).

June 2012
Maine Home & Design Show – Camden
Lighthouse Challenge - entire Penobscot Bay Region

July 2012
Festival of Independence  w/ Fireworks - Camden-Rockport
Strawberry Festival – Lincolnville
North American Blues Festival – Rockland
Arts in the Park – Belfast
Camden-Rockport Antiques Show and Sale – Camden-Rockport
Harbor Arts & Crafts Show – Camden
Maine Celtic Festival – Belfast

August 2012
Maine Lobster Festival – Rockland
Blueberry Wing Ding – Lincolnville
Maine Boats Home & Harbors – Rockland
American Folk Festival – Bangor
Union Fair - Union

September – October 2012
Windjammer Festival – Camden
Weiner Festival - Belfast
Country Roads Arts & Artisans Tour – Camden-Rockport-Lincolnville
Vinfest (Wine Festival) - Lincolnville
Harbor Arts & Crafts Show – Camden
Common Ground Fair – Unity

Small Towns with Big Options:

Waldoboro – Moody’s Diner & Morse’s Sauerkraut (restaurant, cheese & sausage shop)

Thomaston – Prison Craft Shop (items made by inmates at the nearby State Prison) & the Antique Toy Museum, Thomaston Cafe

Owl’s Head – Owl’s Head Transportation Museum, Owl’s Head Lighthouse, Marshall Point Lighthouse, great food at Port Clyde

Rockland – Farnsworth Museum, Puffin Museum, Lighthouse Museum, galleries, movie house, cafes, restaurants,  eclectic shopping, ferry to Vinalhaven

Camden – Harbor, shopping, dining, galleries, Belted Cows, Merryspring Gardens, Endless Summer Dahlia Farm, Camden Hills State Park & Mt. Battie

Lincolnville – Beach, winery, brewery, dining, shopping, galleries, artisans, ferry to Islesboro

Regional Great Food:

Moody’s Diner (Waldoboro)– New England traditional diner foods – one of Food Network’s “Dinner’s Drive-ins and Dives”
Morse’s (Waldoboro)– Traditional German food
Primo (Rockland)– 5-star Dining on home-grown/raised produce - Travel Channel’s Anthony Bordain recommends
Conte’s (Rockland) – Italian fresh seafood – Travel Channel’s Anthony Bordain recommends
Rockland Café (Rockland) – Maine fried seafood
The Compass (Rockland) – Winner of the “Best Lobster BLT” on Throwdown with Food Network’s Bobby Flay
Paulina’s Way (Camden) – Artisanal Pizza
Peter Otts (Camden) – Steak and salad bar
Cappy’s Chowder House (Camden) – Chowder
Boyton & McKay (Camden) – Extensive breakfast and lunch menu, home baked goods, voted “Best Blueberry Pancakes in Maine”
McLaughlin’s Seafood Shack (Lincolnville Beach) – Maine fried seafood with a great Penobscot Bay view
Whales Tooth Pub (Lincolnville Beach) – Extensive menu – try the fresh seafood of the day

Featured Lodging:

Bay Leaf Cottages & Bistro – just .5 miles from Lincolnville’s Beach and the Islesboro Ferry and 4 miles north of Camden harbor, this resort offers 11 designer-decorated cottages and 9 motel rooms … all the comfort and charm of a B&B without the cost! Extensive continental breakfast is included daily. Penobscot Bay views, WIFI, Wednesday cooking classes, and Saturday night $12.00 Maine Lobster Dinners! 207-505-0458

Don’t miss the 9th Annual Quilt Shop Hop (usually held in April) and join in the fun – each shop makes a different quilt from the same fabrics.

Maine Quilting Websites:  Pine Tree Quilters Guild Maine Fiberarts