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new fireplace quilt by Linda

The latest quilt hanging above our fireplace was not only pieced and quilted by Linda Nussbaum, but she wrote the pattern too!  "Lock n Bolt" is easy enough for a beginner, and fun for the more experienced quilter.  The color possibilities are endless and it truly looks different each time I've seen it made up.  Great job Linda!  

a bobbin tension trick you may not know

bobbin tension test

Did you know that your bobbin case has its own tensioner?  Many sewers don't.  If you're experiencing difficulty with tensioning your machine, it might be that your bobbin tension is too loose (or, less frequently, too tight).  To test your bobbin tension, remove the bobbin case and bobbin from your machine and hold the end of your bobbin thread.  Swiftly pull up on the thread.  The thread should unwind just slightly and the bobbin case should drop an inch or two.  If the thread unwinds without resistance and the case slips to the floor, your bobbin tension is too loose.  If the bobbin case doesn't budge, your bobbin tension is too tight.  To tighten your bobbin tension, turn the tiny screw on the bobbin case a smidgen clockwise.  To loosen bobbin tension, turn the screw counterclockwise.  A quarter turn or less is a good place to start.

bobbin tension adjustment

fixing bobbin tension

We can't ship Row by Row until November 1st but...

you can purchase both our kit and pattern for Row by Row online. The KIT includes the pattern, custom printed text and graphics ( calendar segments, measurement bar & graph title) and fabric for the graph (Kona White for the background and Kona Water for the bars).  There is also a PATTERN ONLY option if you are feeling confident in your fabric printing skills or want to customize your graph with embroidery or calligraphy.   Both options include shipping and will be mailed out no earlier than November 1st.  ( shipping charges will be adjusted at the time the order is filled )

If you are purchasing License Plates or other fabric at the same time please indicate to us if you want to split the delivery times or if you want everything to ship together in November.   

Thank you to everyone who has participated in Row by Row. It has been a great experience for us and we can't wait to see the theme for next year!

We've got a winner!

Yea!!! cool cottons has a Row X Row winner! Lydia Dahlen brought in her quilt this morning. She not only used our row (Annual Precipitation, Portland Or.) but rows from Speckled Hen, Craft Warehouse, Mill End, Fabric Depot, Tea Time Calicos, Every Thread Counts and Quilting Delights. Lydia won the 25 fat quarter stack and a $20 gift certificate for including our row in her quilt. Congratulations, Great job!


Jody's first quilt, thanks for bringing it in !

poo poo polka dot shirt !!!!!!!

My favorite model came in today wearing his new poo poo polka dot shirt.  Why is it called poo poo polka dot?  Look closely :-)

see all the Oregon Row by Row shops, rows & license plates in one place!

new book !!!

I am so excited about the new book "Pieces of Portland" by our good neighbors Marie Deatherage and Joyce Brekke. The ladies take "an inside look at America's weirdest city" and decorate it in quilts. ( page 140, "facing the crowd" may be my favorite) If you like books, quilts, Portland or any combination of the three this is for you. The text by Marie is quirky/witty/smart ( just like Portland) and the photos by Joyce are inspired/gorgeous ( again, just like Portland). We've got copies for sale at the shop so check it out and show your local love. Congratulations ladies, well done!


BEFORE:  a fun drawstring bag came in to cool cottons today

AFTER:  A little fabric glue and voila.  #customizeyourbag

no animals were harmed in the making of this bag :-)

We're ready for the 2015 Row by Row shop hop, are you?

The shop hop runs from June 21st through September 8th.  Each participating shop has designed a row around the theme of WATER and will provide you a FREE PATTERN to make their row when you show up in person at their shop.  Many shops will also have kits available to purchase that will make assembling their rows that much easier.  Patterns and kits are only available June 21-September 8th at the shop itself,  no mail, phone or internet orders are allowed.  There are over 75 shops in Oregon alone that are participating, and over 2500 nationwide and Canada! You can go to to check out the local Oregon shops or to map out your out of state route check 

Here is our row.

Also, check out our personal row by row page here

We look forward to seeing all the shop hoppers this summer.  Safe travels everyone!

show & tell, bring it in, wear it in

Thanks Jackie for bringing in your latest quilt, nice job!

and thanks Kirsten for wearing in what is possibly my most favorite skirt of all time.  She sequined the cat eyes!!!

Thanks Rachel Kerley for "Cups and Shahlo Bowls"

In celebration of her 2nd place ribbon for "The Dishes Can Wait" in the applique category at QUILTCON Rachel made the quilt currently hanging over our fireplace.  "Cups and Shahlo Bowls" is fabulous, Thanks Rachel.  Follow Rachel @2ndavestudio on Instagram to see what else she is up to.

The next time you see these fabrics together...

they will be made into the Broken Herringbone quilt pattern by Violet Craft.  Have fun at the Portland Modern Quilt Guild retreat ladies!

Feels like Spring

It looks like spring too, Rachel in her Charley Harper Dress.  Great job!

Alexander Henry hunky construction workers meet Briar Rose strawberries by Heather Ross

I love this!

Another great quilt by Anne Whiting, thanks Anne!

Just look what's hanging over our fireplace!

crosses quilt

15 minute coasters

This easy coaster pattern is a great beginner project, a perfect way to use up your scrap, or an easy we're-leaving-in-20-minutes-for-a-dinner-party-and-I-want-to-bring-a-hostess-gift gift.  I was first introduced to this patter a few years ago when a friend of my housemate gifted a set of these coasters to our house.  We stared at them for a long while trying to figure out the secret to their construction.  No top stitching at all? How is that possible?  Here, we share the secret with you.

First, a shot of the finished product:

easy 15 minute coasters

The trick? The top of the coaster is just like a cardboard box top, with overlapping rectangles and a tiny hole in the middle.  Here's what you'll need:

Four fabrics for the coaster top
One fabric for the coaster back
A scrap of quilt batting, or heavy interfacing

pick fabric for your coasters

Cut your six pieces of fabric to 4 1/2" square.  (With a 1/4" seam allowance on all four sides of the coaster, your finished coaster will be 4" square.)

In a real hurry?  Stack your fabrics on top of each other and cut through all six layers at once.  You'll need a very sharp rotary blade, but four cuts and you're done!

Fold your four front fabrics in half and press them to set the crease.

Next we layer the four top pieces just like a cardboard box top.  The fold of each piece should point toward the center of the coaster.

laying out fabrics for your coasters

cardboard box top layout for coasters

Now, take your bottom fabric and place it wrong side up on your coaster top:

Then place your quilt batting or interfacing on top of that:

sandwich your quilt layers

Sew all the way around with a 1/4" seam allowance:

stitch 1/4 inch all the way around

Clip your corners:

clip your corners

And turn the whole thing inside out from the center:

turn it inside out

simple coasters in no time

Press and you're done:

15 minute coaster tutorial

Now, time for coffee!

easy coaster or pot holder