These colorful shops may inspire you to make a few gifts this year

Conveniently clustered downtown are six specialty shops known collectively as the Fiber Arts District.

Crafty or not, you’ll love discovering bolts of the world’s finest fabrics, miles of rolled ribbon, and drawers stuffed with jewel-like beads.


Take the MAX Light Rail system or the downtown streetcar (from $1.75; 503/238-7433) to avoid the hassle of city parking.


Fabric in the City Such gorgeous quilts, you’ll want to go home and sew a few of your own. Find ribbon-tied packets of squares arranged in every possible shade. A good selection of fabric by the yard too. INFO: Closed Sun; 1034 S.W. Taylor St.; 503/224-0320.

The Button Emporium & Ribbonry Drawers and vials brim with buttons, including whimsical ladybugs, glassy pinup girls, and bright red stop signs. INFO: Closed Sun-Mon; 914 S.W. 11th Ave.; 503/228-6372.

Josephine’s Dry Goods The 31-year-old institution carries a great selection of cottons, lace, silks, and wool. INFO: 521 S.W. 11th Ave.; 503/224-4202.

Knit Purl Cubbies crammed with some of the top yarns on the market, plus beautiful completed projects, patterns, kits, and books. INFO: 1101 S.W. Alder St.; 503/227-2999.

The Playful Needle An ode to all things embroidery. Find floss, hand-painted needlepoint canvases, and cross-stitch charts of all shapes and sizes. INFO: Closed Mon; 1103 S.W. Alder St.; 503/235-1636.

Let It Bead An impressive assortment of glass, semiprecious stone, and vintage beads, as well as artisanal jewelry. INFO: At presstime, the store was moving; see or call 503/228-1882 for new location.


Southpark Seafood Grill & Wine Bar A perfect spot on a drizzly winter day. Cozy up to the wine bar for oysters and bubbly, or settle into an oversize booth for Mediterranean-inspired seafood made with local ingredients. INFO: $$; 901 S.W. Salmon St.; 503/326-1300.


The eye-catching exterior of the Central Library (801 S.W. 10th Ave.; 503/988-5123), a 1913 Georgian revival whose friezes are engraved with the names of notable authors, playwrights, and architects. Inside, browse 17 miles of bookshelves spread over three light-filled floors, each connected by a grand, artfully carved granite staircase. The Collins Gallery hosts rotating art exhibits, while the children’s section is distinguished by an intricate, 14-foot-high bronze tree.



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