And just like that it’s the middle of August!! WOW ! Everything seems to be out of whack. The weather is crazy all over the country. Time seems to be flying faster than I ever remember. And confusion seems to be running rampant in the country. I thought that going to 1 day a week would help get more things done, and it has to a point, but we just keep running into situations that have to be resolved. And then the weather keeps getting in the way as well. Some days it feels like we are getting deeper into the hole, not out of it. We had a rip snorting storm hit us. Lightening and thunder like I have never seen. Along with hurricane force winds and torrential rains, bringing a tree down onto the back of the shop. We were lucky, it could have been a whole lot worse for sure and we are mighty grateful for small favors. We are still accessing the possible damage, but so far it looks like we got off easy. The tree was far enough away from the building that only the top of the tree landed on the roof. It was an all day job to take it down. Because Christer is an engineer, he was able to figure out how to take it down by himself, but not without tweaking his back. (he’s still complaining) We still have to clean up the mess.
Then there is the ant invasion of the buildings at the ranch! (We are keeping our bug guy very busy).
In the meantime, there’s more trouble at the shop. The computer on my long arm machine is apparently a dinosaur in computer years. It’s been acting up for awhile, but I have been able to baby it along and continue to get quilts done for y’all. Then the dreaded update came along. I was hopeful that it would fix some of the issues I was having. But oh no! It got worse! No amount of phone calls and emails back and forth could solve the problem. In the end, much to my chagrin, we had to purchase a new computer! Soooooooo frustrating!!! I have quilts lined up to quilt and I have to have it working. So bite the bullet and bow to technology. Don’t you just love it?!?!! The new computer came, we installed it and I did a test quilt (mine) to make sure it was running right. It seems to be much more cooperative now. But I would much rather have spent that money on fabric!! Sometimes I wonder about the benefits of being at the mercy of the big business of technology. Hmmmmm Life is always full of the unexpected. It would be boring without it I guess. But you know, I could do with a bit less excitement. Then, to top it all off, I will be 70 this month.
You know the old saying, “the best laid plans……………….” ? We have had another unexpected event thrown into the works. Our youngest daughter and her family moved to England. Unable to take their family dog with them, we got custody of him. He’s a sweet, young and over friendly little guy. So living with a couple of geriatrics, seems to be too boring for him. He has run away several time seeking fun and excitement.
Problem is, we live off of a pretty busy (70 mph) highway. The danger is real !!! All our plans had to be put on hold while we constructed a fenced in area for his safety. He’s a bit too smart for his own good and managed to be out in a few minutes the first time we put him in there. Grrrrrrrrr ! A bit of sleuthing to discover the weak points was needed. Success!! So far it’s holding. LOL, at least for now until he figures out another way out. Needless to say, the cat house, which was coming close to completion has been put on hold. Progress should resume after the fallen tree is taken care of. AAAAACCCCCKKKKK!!!!
We just received a shipment of 90” wide Cuddle in a couple of new colors along with the favorite colors. We have an order of blenders and prints arriving soon and we are working on an order of new holiday prints for all the holidays coming up. It’s been a struggle this past year and a half getting fabrics. Fingers crossed it all comes thru for us. It’s that time of year again when we start thinking about Holiday gifts and fall celebrations. It will be nice to have a new infusion of fabrics to choose from. The 90” wide Cuddle is perfect for snuggly quilt backs, for all ages. Then there is the quick and easy 4 yard Cuddle throws and the Spa Cuddle that you just bind and done. I’ll let you know when the new fabrics & Holiday prints arrive! YAY !! Can’t wait. (check FB for that)
I am busy in the sewing studio with custom order quilts and trying to keep up with making samples for the shop. I’m trying to get a new quilt for our bed squeezed in between everything else. I made this pattern as a sample for the shop a few years ago. I want to make it again in a king size. I really love this pattern and the fabrics are so light and airy and beautiful. Maybe I can get it done by next spring. LOL!
I’ll keep you posted on that progress.
Just a reminder. All our AMB solids are on close out priced at 30% off. We have some remaining. They are going fast so don’t miss out.
The shop is Open Wednesdays only from 10 am to 4 pm but you can always shop the website. littlecottagequiltshop.com
Tip of the Month
August 2021 Tip:
Warriors Heart Quilt project. As we approach the Holiday season, our hearts go out to those suffering. Some of them in silence. If you can, please consider giving to those who are lost and alone. Warriors Heart has a constant revolving census and are in continual need of more quilts. We so appreciate y’all who have contributed to this amazing cause. 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.
Battings and Backings -Lesson 3
If you did your homework from last month, you are ready to start. So let’s go.
If you have read the instructions on your pattern, you will know what is required for the quilt pattern you picked out to start on. Follow the directions. Read and re-read if necessary.
Cut your chosen fabric and get to piecing. It’s fun and easy really. The more you do the better you will feel about it. Don’t be afraid to dive in.
While you are piecing your pattern together, start thinking about the backing and batting choices.
Depending on the size of the pattern top, you may want to look at 108” wide backings or 90” or 60” wide Cuddle. Another option is to piece 45” fabric together for the larger backing. Remember to keep the seams all running horizontal side to side. (not top to bottom) I reccomend completing the top before you decide on the backing. Often time you will change your mind about what you originally picked. Quilt tops seem to take on a life of their own and dictate what they need.
And don’t forget to follow the “August Tip of Month”, press, press, press!
Here is an article I wrote in 2018 describing the different battings and their properties:
I’m getting a constant stream of questions concerning battings. “What’s the best one?” “Which one is lightest in weight?” “Which one is the warmest” “Which one is best for babies?” And so on, the questions are many.
I thought that I would write about battings and give you the information for you to make an informed decision when it comes to the battings for your quilts, etc. Making a choice of batting depends a lot on personal preference and use. My first response when someone asks me which batting do I recommend, is a question back to them, “How is the quilt going to be used.”
I will identify each one & describe the benefits & common uses of each.
100% Cotton batting – manufactured in white or natural
100% cotton is not completely correct. Most cotton battings have anywhere from 8% - 10% polypropylene that is the “scrim”. The scrim holds the batting together in one piece. This does not interfere with the function of the batting in a quilt. In fact, it prevents bunching and lumping during use and laundering. It also allows for the quilting or tied up to 10” apart. Cotton is breathable & does not retain heat. Cotton is considered a “heavy” batting. Expect 3% - 5% shrinkage on the first wash, pre-washing is not necessary. Use 100% Cotton batting when you need a quilt for warmer weather, for an antique look or if you prefer a heavier weight in your quilt. It’s also good for table clothes and placemats.
True 100% Cotton batting – manufactured in natural
This batting is completely 100% cotton. It has been triple washed to remove all possible contaminates. It has the same characteristics as other cotton battings. But because it is truly 100% cotton & triple washed, it has the benefit of being safe for the microwave & persons with sever allergies. Used primarily for the microwave bowls & bags, and premature babies, etc.
100% Poly batting – manufactured in white
100% Polyester batting is a stable & durable batting. It is “needle punched” for stability & consistency, to hold all the fibers in place. It will sustain a lifetime of laundry cycles and rough treatment. (ie: kids dragging it around and loving it to death) It is light weight & retains warmth. It has a slight “tooth” to the surface so the fabrics “stick” to the batting making it easy for quilting. It can be quilted up to 10” apart. It comes in many lofts (thicknesses) allowing for more puffiness is desired. (including the luxurious "Puff Poly") There is virtually no shrinkage when laundered & pre-washing is not necessary. Use poly battings for kids quilts or when you need a bit of warmth or loft in the quilt.
100% Recycled batting – manufactured in green
This is basically a poly batting. It is manufactured with recycled plastic bottles. It has the same characteristics as other polyester battings. It is not suitable for light colored quilt tops because of the green color of the batting.
80/20 Cotton-Poly Blend Batting – manufactured in natural
A blend of 80% Cotton & 20% Polyester has an antique look. It is soft and pliable. It can be machine or hand quilted up to 10” apart. It has the cotton breathability and the poly durability. It is machine wash & dryable with a shrinkage of 1% - 5% on first wash. It weighs 4 ounces per square yard. It is stabilized with a needle punched scrim to prevent stretching and bunching. Use with any quilting application.
Silk batting – manufactured in natural
Silk batting is the cashmere of battings. It is blended with a small percentage of fine polyester fibers. It is carded & resin bonded to resist bearding. It is the lightest weight of all the battings. It is very warm & sustains an even temperature while having a natural ability to breath. It must be quilted no more than 4” apart. Shrinkage is 5% & some manufactures recommend pre-washing. Use silk batting when you want an airy, lightweight quilt. It also makes a good batting for embroidery work.
100% Wool batting – manufactured in natural
Wool batting is the warmest batting available. It is washed, carded, and resin bonded to resist bearding. It is a breathable fiber creating a comfortable temperature all year. It should be quilted no more than 4” apart. It is hand washable & should not shrink. (quality is everything here) Use when you need a warm quilt for cooler temperatures without weight.
Cotton-Wool blend batting – manufactured in natural
Cotton-Wool blend is 80% cotton & 20% washed wool. It was designed for hand quilting, but can also be used for all other quilting. Requires quilting no more than 4” apart. It is machine washable with 3% - 5% shrinkage. Use as recommended for hand quilting or when a blend with some warmth is desired. Slightly heavier than 100% wool
As with everything in the quilting industry, there are varying levels of quality. The batting in your quilt is the supporting structure for your hard work on the quilt top. You have spent hours of time and many dollars to this point. Don’t compromise with a cheap batting, you get a grossly inferior product. Buy a quality, reputable batting. You will be much happier with the end product.
There is another batting on the market that I do not recommend. It is bamboo. Bamboo is a fabulous, renewable resource for many applications. But because it is such a strong, hard fiber, it requires a large amount of acid treatment to break down those strong fibers to make them soft and pliable. The acid is so embedded in the fibers that it leaches out into the fabrics causing the fabrics to start to deteriorate in a short time span.
Any questions, please email (probably the quickest response) or call me and I will be happy to help you as much as I can. firstname.lastname@example.org 830-589-2502