A Few Things to Love About Maine

We are winding up our summer vacation in Maine. The boys left yesterday so they could be ready to get back to their work routines on Monday. We stayed for another couple of days and fly back tomorrow. I feel like we got a good taste of Maine while we were here. We saw a great deal of the southern coastline, spent time in Portland which was very pretty and today we walked Ocean Avenue in Kennebunkport. Luckily we took our walk nice and early before the traffic got to be an issue. While walking the coastal road in Kennebunkport we passed St. Anne’s Chapel. It was  just breathtaking. (We also saw the Bush compound which was pretty, but not as much as the Chapel.)


Tonight we plan to finish up the trip seeing the Finding Nemo sequel, Finding Dory. Julia and I feel this is an appropriate choice considering we are on a beach vacation.

While we made our way up and down the costal highways I noticed a couple of things that one doesn’t see in California. 

  1. First of all, there are many road signs along the highway advertising what are fairly small businesses at the upcoming exits. We saw signs for little antique shops, one sign that advertised ‘used bookshop, next exit’, tons of signs advertising small art studios (especially pottery studios) along the way. California is huge and even when touring back roads and smaller towns, one doesn’t find signs like these. It felt welcoming to me – more personal.  
  2. Several times as we drove through neighborhoods, we saw signs that said ‘Deaf Person Area’ and one that said ‘Autism Child Area’. This was really interesting. I haven’t ever seen signs like this anywhere else. It certainly makes sense to let drivers know. (Do any of you have this sort of signage in your area?)
  3. Another difference with highway travel here, as compared to California, is that the signs on the highway showed the distance to the next exit in miles and kilometers. No need for that on the west coast as we don’t really know what a kilometer equals in distance. 😊 
  4. A warning sign for ‘Moose Crossing’ made me smile. I only saw the one and I was driving at the time so I didn’t get a picture of it. I wish a moose would have peeked out from the trees though. That would have been a treat. 
  5. Driving along the highway, some speed limit signs showed both the maximum limit and a minimum. That struck me as odd. ‘Speed limit of 70 mph and minimum speed of 45 mph.’ 
  6. There were a few times that we drove through areas where road work was being done. In California there would be a bajillion orange cones delineating the work area, starting far from the actual work area. When one approaches the area, there would be guys managing the traffic with walkies, letting cars go through very systematically. It b comes such a production. Much the opposite here, there might be a sign saying road work ahead with a few cones nearby. It seemed so loosely managed (and maybe not quite as safe?) Where California goes overboard, the road work areas in Maine might be too far to the other extreme.

During our travels I had the good fortune to visit a couple of quilt shops. The personality of one shop was quite different from the next. I mentioned the Portsmouth Quilt shop in last week’s post. After that, I went to Whipper Snappers in Hallowell, Maine with my quilty friend Mari but I still haven’t taken pictures of the treasures that I picked up there so I will save that for another post. The third shop was called Attic Heirlooms, located in Damariscotta. This shop was exquisite. I thoroughly enjoyed visiting with the owner and the woman she worked with. The emphasis was wool; for quilting,  needle punch, knitting, felting, and embroidery. With regard to quilting, her expertise is with appliqué. She dyes quite a bit of the wool and felts it before putting it in the shop for sale.


Did you notice the ceiling? It was so pretty. Also, that amazing selection of buttons. Yikes! I have not done any qulting with wool before but I felt like something with an Americana look would be a fun project to remind me of our trip to Maine. I didn’t want to do a full quilt using wool appliqué but then I saw this shop’s Row by Row project for this summer. (It was actually the third Row by Row project I had seen during our trip and, as with the quilt shops, each row had a very different feel to it.)  I bought the pattern and kit for the Attic Heirlooms row which I will use as a runner or a small wall quilt for the winter months. (I don’t think I have ever bought a kit before. It was sort of fun to have everything picked out and put together for me.)


The fabrics are very traditional. I love the log cabin blocks that flank the appliqued house in the center. My very first quilt was a log cabin and I haven’t made one since then. This project will be a quick one to piece but I do plan to spend a bit of time doing some hand work on it. I took advantage of an amazing selection of Perle cotton and bought a few that work with this project. Aren’t these gorgeous?


While I was there I saw a selection of Christmas ornament kits. We almost always buy an ornament for our tree when we travel. This year I will make our souvenir ornament.

The owner of Attic Heirlooms has an ornament of the month kit that can be purchased in the shop or online. She had a handful of leftover kits from previous months in 2015 that could be purchased. This one was from May, 2015. The bird looks like a nuthatch which we see on our feeders at home quite frequently so I chose him. (I made a tiny art quilt featuring a nuthatch some time ago.) This project will have a very rustic feel to it and, luckily, the Pearle cottons I bought will work on this as well as the row by row project.
Finally, I want to share these amazing miniatures that were for sale in the shop. Made by a local woman, they are paper pieced and measure about 1.5 inches finished. My jaw dropped when I looked at them.

Check out the pattern on the back.

I can’t even imagine. They were very, very small and ever so precise. Judging by the many on display in this shop, the artist is quite prolific.

Let’s leave the talk about the other two quilt shops for another post.  I don’t want to overwhelm you with quilt shop excitement! 😉 As much as I have enjoyed our vacation, it will be good to head back to California tomorrow to our home sweet home!

Linking to a few of my usuals. Please check out some of the links found at the top of the page, under Link Ups!

26 thoughts on “A Few Things to Love About Maine

  1. Gloria

    We have signs like the ones you mention here in North Carolina. Road constructin signage depends on the traffic of the area. ON backroads it is as you describe in Maine but on interstates it is more like you are used to in CA. Intersting differences. I’m glad you had such a good vacation!

    Reply
    1. Bernie Post author

      It has been so interesting comparing customs here in Maine, compared to home in California. And the food, lots of fun differences in the food. But I am weary of eating in restaurants and look forward to cooking at home! Thanks for stopping by.😊

      Reply
  2. Stephanie

    I’ve always wanted to see Maine… Thanks for sharing your trip…. We have moose all over Colorado and they can be mean… Especially when momma has a baby with her. That Christmas ornament will be a great reminder!

    Reply
    1. Bernie Post author

      That is interesting. My sister lives in CO also and while we have jackrabbits on our property, the rabbits she has are much cuter. Cottontails? Ours are not cute. Not at all.
      Maine was a lot of fun and very pretty. Have a nice day Stephanie!

      Reply
  3. Tish

    We have signage at our exits letting you know about different small businesses and eateries located in that area. Thankfully no moose to look out for, but deer crossing signs are everywhere. Looks like you have had a fabulous trip. I have to say I have enjoyed seeing your beautiful photos and look forward to hearing about the other two shops.

    Reply
    1. Bernie Post author

      Thank you! So glad you enjoyed it. We have deer everywhere and they are in our yard constantly. Our veggie garden and roses are within a fenced area or they would be devoured within a few days. Where are you? I can’t remember! But yes, lots of dear, jack rabbits, raccoons, and gophers that we compete with in our garden. Have a nice day Tish.

      Reply
  4. Sandra Richardson

    I live in Maine not too far from the Kennebunkport area that you visited. So glad you enjoyed our state. I was a little surprised that you mentioned about the signs posted. I supposed all highways were pretty much marked the same with signs. I haven’t traveled too much west of the Mississippi so aren’t familiar with other areas. Your various comparisons were interesting. Yes, we have to be very careful about the moose, they do a lot of damage to cars, more so in the northern part of the state.
    Glad you enjoyed the quilt shops along the way, we have some nice ones.

    Sandra

    Reply
    1. Bernie Post author

      We stayed overnight in Biddeford and spent some time on the beaches here. Lots of gorgeous neighborhoods and pretty coastline. The coastline here is extremely calm as compared to the Pacific Ocean. It seemed like there were hardly any waves here. I remember when I was out here about twenty years ago thinking the same thing. I also enjoyed the different foods on the menus when we ate out. Such a fun trip! Thanks for stopping by. 😊

      Reply
  5. Sandra

    Lots to nod my head about in your post Bernie. LOVE that shop! The ‘coton perlé’ is so rich, and hope you love working with wools as I know I sure do. Although I have never been to Maine, I hope to one day. It is WAY up there, further north than parts of Quebec and very much like Quebec in many ways. I love that the signage is in both miles and kilometres; a true cosmopolitan feel wrapped in a warm woolen rural blanket! The majority of the world is in metric, right? In Florida there is a minimum, 55 and maximum, 70 on the Interstates. Here in Ontario as well as in Alberta where I spent the majority of my life, and also across the river in Michigan, just a maximum speed. The radio stations in Detroit often give the temperature in both Fahrenheit and Celsius, which I find a nice nod to their Canadian neighbours here in Windsor. We also have Deaf Child Area and Autistic Child Area signs and you will find signage indicating antique shops, wineries (which abound here in Essex County) as well as many other small family-run businesses like orchards and a lavender farm, teahouses, B&B’s to name a few. Road work signs are about in the middle here in Canada, not too far warning, yet enough. As for moose crossing signs, in Alberta, oh yes, especially as you get to the central and northern parts of the province. Here in southwestern Ontario, nope, not a one, not even deer crossing signs. I could send you photos of moose in my backyard when we lived in Alberta…

    Reply
    1. Bernie Post author

      What fun to read thru your experiences. I do love to get a feel for the cultural and climatic differences when we visit places. At the moment though we are just waiting to board… 6.5 hour flight home. At least we were fortunate enough to book a direct flight. Take care Sandra!

      Reply
  6. Diana @ Red Delicious Life

    Sounds like you’ve been having a wonderful time! I’ve seen signs for when a deaf person lives in a neighborhood but never one for an autistic person. Too bad you didn’t see a moose up close. They are one of my favorite animals. We’re heading to Alaska this summer and I hope I get to see some.

    Reply
    1. Bernie Post author

      Oh my gosh- Alaska is going to be a long trek for you. We took a cruise up around Alaska about ten years ago and it was so gorgeous. We saw bear (and whales!) but no moose. Where are you going?

      Reply
    1. Bernie Post author

      Thanks Lucy. I am enjoying adding bits of Perle cotton to my stash here and there. When I get just a few colors at a time it doesn’t seem terribly expensive. 😊

      Reply
  7. Kathy in WV

    What a delightful post…sounds like a wonderful and a memorable vacation. I’ve never been to Maine but we are planning a trip there this fall as we have family in Ogunquit and Perkin’s Cove. I’ll be sure to watch for the road signs you mentioned. Road construction there seems pretty much like it is here in WV—with perhaps a bit more supervision when necessary….and as it is an election year I expect everyone is seeing more roadwork….lol! At least that’s how it is here—-we actually had the Department of Highways grade, re-gravel and clean out ditches on our lane today….totally unexpected!

    Reply
  8. Nancy

    Bernie I love the stories in this post and the opportunity to visit the quilt stores via the internet. I have been to Maine quite a few times and as a Canadian I really appreciate the signs with kilometres as that is the system we use in Canada. A kilometre is 5/8 of a mile. Last year I was in your neck of the woods – Nevada City. A beautiful place – it is great to do like Piglet in Winnie the Pooh – go on a great explore. We have a wonderful continent with so much to see.

    Reply
    1. Bernie Post author

      How did you happen to visit Nevada City? I hope if you come again you’ll let me know. I’ll take you to our little quilt shop! Thank you for your note. 😊

      Reply
  9. Wendy

    I so enjoyed reading about your trek through parts of Maine, and appreciate your little tours through the quilt shops you visited. You might enjoy one of my favorite authors, who is from Maine (Damariscotta, actually). His name is Van Reid, and he writes delightful historical fiction books around the history of Maine. Portsmouth, Hallowell, and Damariscotta are often center stage for his stories. I believe the author himself often frequents the Maine Coast Book Shop. His books’ central characters are the Moosepath League. I’ll pique your curiousity with that and let you take it from there, if you so desire. 🙂 I have read his books several times and find them absolutely delightful each time. I’ve not been to Maine, but it is on our bucket list, so I’m taking note of your stops!

    Reply
    1. Bernie Post author

      Wendy:
      Thanks so much for the info about Van Reid. I had not heard about him but he is on my list to check out. I am always up for another author. How fun to know that he is writing about the areas we just visited!

      Reply
  10. Beth @ Cooking Up Quilts

    I’m loving these posts Bernie! I feel like I’m on vacation on with you. It was interesting to read your take on the road signs and road construction. That is the way it is here in WV so it doesn’t sound strange to me at all. 🙂 California is a state I would love to visit, oh heck, there are so many places to see! 🙂

    Reply
  11. Mary

    When another blogger mentioned Maine, I had to read your post. My brother and s-i-l live in Kennebunk and I’ve visited them a couple times but not recently. I love the lighthouses there. I found the coast there and at a couple other lighthouse locations to be stony and hazardous. I was amazed on one visit to see the remnants of where the tide had gone over the walls up into the yards. I’d love to visit the area in December and see the tree set up in the center of Kennebunkport. Although I grew up in western NY, I live in southern CA now. I do miss the greenery and rolling hills of upstate NY. Thanks for sharing about your trip.

    Reply
    1. Bernie Post author

      Hi Mary, We just loved our time in Maine. It was absolutely gorgeous and we lucked out with the weather. I am glad you enjoyed reading about our trip. How did you end up in So Cal??

      Reply

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