April 2021 Blog/newsletter

Posted by Donette littlecottagequilts@gmail.com on

Hello Spring…………….. I guess. For us it has been very weird. And I hear it’s like that in many other places as well. Cold one day and hot the next. Freak storms and wind, wind, and more wind for months now. :( It’s making it pretty hard to do anything outside. We are trying to find our equilibrium with our new schedule of only being open on Saturdays. Changing rhythms is always hard and we’ve had a bunch of interruptions and delays. Hoping that next week settles into a smoother flow. I have to say, in spite of our misgivings about it, it’s feeling really good to have the time to get other things done. I have my garden all set up and ready to plant. (I’m waiting for the fencing to go up so the critters  don’t undo all my work and take advantage of the delicious fare. Hoping to get that done tomorrow). I’m trying straw bale gardening this year while we build our big garden. It’s interesting and a bit scary. Wish me luck.

I’m also enjoying having more time to cook our meals from scratch and do more  baking! Yay for healthy foods. :) I have even managed to squeeze in a bit of piecing on a new spring quilt for display at the shop. It’s a  wonderful break to sit down and sew for a bit.


I’m even designing a  landscape quilt, a first for me. (pix is the inspiration)

And of course I am still quilting in the evenings on y’all’s beautiful quilt tops. I feel somewhat refreshed and rejuvenated having more time on the ranch. So a big THANK YOU for y’all being understanding of our reduced open hours and continuing to support us. 

We have made a bit of progress on the new house. We managed to get about half of the remaining concrete poured before our cement mixer quit turning. Luckily, even tho it’s old it’s a very good quality, and we can still get parts. In the meantime, we are working on other projects. The big freeze in February was the tipping point for us about enclosing our porch on the old farm house. The porch filled completely with snow including banking up against the door. We have been thinking about enclosing it for awhile now. Every time it rains, about half the porch and everything on it gets soaked, depending on the direction the storm is coming from. So we are turning it into a 4 Seasons porch. I am excited about the whole project. Of course it means the house project will be a bit delayed, but we are waiting on the cement mixer part anyway. Got to keep busy!! 

New fabrics have been slow to a trickle in, for several reasons. One, being we are only open 1 day a week now. Two, it’s been a struggle to get many fabrics. The pandemic really reeked havoc with the manufacturing and shipping industries so orders have been delayed and not delivered on schedule. We are getting new fabrics now and then and we are keeping the notions stocked as best we can. A big  plus, is that as we go thru the inventory, adding fabrics to the website ( littlecottagequiltshop.com ), we are discovering fabrics that have been “lost” in the shelves and kind of forgotten. It’s like a treasure hunt, discovering these gems! Like this wonderful sea panel:)

Hope y’all are having a nice spring and trying to restore some peace into your lives.
Stay safe, be smart and Keep sewing!

Tip of the Month 

April 2021 Tip:

Cone threads are a wonderful cost savings. “But they won’t fit on my machine”. No problem, use a thread stand. This wonderful sewing aid allows you to use any type of spool with your machine. Enjoy 😉

Please note that we are now open:

Saturdays only – 10 am to 4 pm


Safety protocols are still in effect, PLEASE, honor these:

Face masks must be worn at all times while you are in the shop

Hand sanitizer must be used before entering the shop (provided by door)

Social distancing - a minimum of 6 feet apart

If you don’t feel well, PLEASE stay home


FYI: we have received our first vaccine and are scheduled for our second the end of the month.


Thank you so much for your respect and cooperation.

for further information call 830-589-2502 

email : littlecottagequilts@gmail.com

web orders: littlecottagequiltshop.com

web shopping is available 24/7 and orders are filled daily

We are here to help you as much as we possibly can.


Warriors Heart Quilt project. 

They have a revolving census and are in continual need of more quilts. We so appreciate y’all who have contributed to this amazing cause.  Is your family all “quilted out” but you still want to make quilts? Please consider making a quilt to donate to this project, it is a truly fantastic cause. Use up some of your stash, or you can purchase a kit from the Cottage. Thank you so much for your participation.

“Warriors Heart” is a treatment center for physiologically wounded active military, veterans and 1st responders. Sometimes these wounds are the most long lasting because they are unseen. You can check out Warriors Heart on their website.  www.WarriorsHeart.com

It’s easy and simple to do. You may choose any pattern you wish. Quilts must be no smaller than 44” X 58” or larger than 60” X 72”. Each snuggle quilt must be finished completely, (quilted, bound & preferably have a label about the person who made it) and returned to Little Cottage Quilt Shop. Once turned in, all finished quilts become the property of Little Cottage Quilt Shop and will be donated to Warriors Heart in Bandera, Texas.

Valuable Info

Sewing with Double Gauze

 By Donette Backlund


 As summer approaches and the weather heats up, Double Gauze is a perfect fabric for  summer. It’s being used for all kinds of projects.  It’s cool and comfortable for clothing and it washes up beautifully, no ironing.  (Layered it is warm and cozy for winter too).  It’s being used for baby clothes and swaddling blankets.  It’s even being used in quilts and throws.  100% cotton, it breathes and is so comfortable and gets softer with use.  It’s a wonderful fabric, but, different to sew.  The following is a great introduction article from the June/July 2017 issue of Sew News magazine. You will love the results of sewing with double gauze. We have a large selection of Shannon’s Double Gauge at the shop.


Learning about the construction of a fabric type can help you understand it’s attributes, it’s uses and any special techniques that may be needed to work with that fabric.
To make gauze fabric, a Leno weave is used, created by twisting two warp yarns in a figure eight design around the weft yarns.  One of the warp yarns is slightly heavier that the other.  These twisted yarns grip tightly to the weft, preventing the threads from slipping and resulting in a loosely-woven fabric that is lightweight, yet durable.
Double gauze is exactly what the name implies – two layers of gauze fabric.  The layers are basted together at regular intervals with tiny stitches that are barely visible from the right side.  When these two layers preform as one, double gauze offers more coverage and is easier to work with than single-layer gauze, while maintaining it’s super-soft hand.


Because it is lightweight and breathable, double gauze is perfect for summer garments such as gorgeous dresses, tops, skirts and flowing pants. [I have made all of these plus pjs, with wonderful results] It is also soft and cozy, making it ideal for comfortable lounge ware for any season.  In addition to garments, consider double gauze for swaddle and baby blankets, scarves, wraps, pillow covers and quilts.
You can use double gauze for most clothing patterns that are designed for woven fabrics.  However, because of its softness and drape, it is better suited for softer, less structured styles than tailored looks.


Like other cotton fabrics, cotton double gauze will shrink slightly when laundered.  For best results, pre-wash the fabric.  Machine wash and dry as you would your finished product.
Laundering will add crinkling to the fabric – leave it this way or press it to create a smoother surface, depending on the look you want.  To press, use steam and a cotton setting.


The layers of double gauze can shift during cutting, making it slightly slippery to cut.  For best results, use sharp scissors or a rotary cutter with a new blade. [I use a rotary cutter with great success] If desired, spray the fabric lightly with spray starch and/or press it for ease of cutting and sewing.  Laundering the finished garment will remove the starch and restore the crinkly look.
The loose weave also snags easily, so pin securely with fine, sharp pins.
Mark notches, rather than cutting them, to ensure that they don’t get lost in the loose weave of the fabric.  Use tailor’s tacks, erasable pens or basting stitches for darts and other pattern markings.


Depending on the pattern and fit of the garment, you may want to interface the neckline, armholes and a portion of or all of the bodice.  Use a lightweight fusible interfacing that’s similar in weight to the fabric and closely matches the color.
Lining isn’t usually needed for double gauze fabrics, but some may be more transparent than others. [I have found that Shannon’s double Gauze is not transparent] If you do want to use a lining, choose lightweight lining and avoid heavy linings that will pull on the fabric. [using 2 layers of the double gauge is a good lining]


To set up your machine for sewing double gauze, use a new size 70/10 needle, 50 wt. thread and a longer stitch length, as a short stitch length may result in pulling and puckering.  A standard presser foot is fine for sewing layers of gauze together.  For projects that require you to sew double gauze to a different fabric, a walking foot will ensure even feeding of unlike fabrics and textures.  Follow these tips for construction:
         *Finish the fabric raw edges with serging or zigzag stitches to finish the seams to prevent raveling.          *Pin layers together using closely spaced pins to prevent the edges from shifting.
         *Use a light tension on the presser foot to keep the fabric from stretching as you sew.
         *Stitch slowly – gauze fabric isn’t suitable for speed stitching as it may result in puckering seams.  It can be tricky to remove stitches without catching the fabrics, so it’s best to be careful to begin with.
         *Stay stitch seam lines on necklines and along zipper openings to prevent stretching.

         *[I use at least a 5/8” seam allowance and sometimes 3/4” seam allowance]


Always finish the seams on double  gauze garments to prevent raveling and loosening of the seam line, using one of the following methods.
         *French seams are an attractive way to stitch seams on gauze and other very lightweight or sheer fabrics.  Not only does it give an extra line of stitching to prevent raveling, the raw edges are encased and hidden in the finished seam.  To make French seams:
                  1- Pin the layers with wrong sides together.  Stitch the seam, using a ¼” seam allowance.
                  2- Press the seam flat and trim.
                  3- Turn wrong side out and press the seam with right sides together.  Pin the layers together         along the seam line.
                  4- With right sides together, stitch the seam using a 3/8” seam allowance, encasing the raw edges.
                  5- Press the seam flat.
                  6- Turn right side out and press.

         *Serge or zigzag stitch raw edges to prevent raveling.  Depending on the finished look you want, you can either finish the raw edges of the cut pieces before sewing the seams or finish them together after the seams are stitched. [sometimes I serge around each piece before I start construction-depending on the pattern I am using]
 (For areas where pieces meet or overlap, this seam finish result in less bulk at the overlap.)



Pick the proper hemming technique based on the desired hem depth.  For a standard hem depth, press under ½”, then 1” and hem by hand or machine.
For a narrow double hem, press under ¼”, then press under ¼” again.  Top stitch or slip stitch in place.
For an easy shortcut to make a doubled ¼” hem, use ¼” wide lightweight, paper-backed fusible basting tape as follows:
         *Follow the manufactures instruction to apply the fusible basting tape along the edge to be hemmed, fusing it to the right side of the fabric.  Do not remove the paper backing.
         *Using the paper edge as a guide, press the edge under twice.  Let the tape cool and remove the paper backing.
         *Press to fuse the hem in place.  Top stitch or slip stitch in place.

Share this post

← Older Post Newer Post →