Posted by Donette littlecottagequilts@gmail.com on

I apologize for the radio silence for the last 2 months. 😏 Life has been really crazy for me. It’s been difficult adjusting to a new schedule. It is rough sometimes, trying to get your equilibrium. As strange as that sounds, having the shop open 1 day a week, has been a complete rearrangement of my schedule and routine. So writing the blog/newsletter kind of fell thru the cracks. Sorry. I hope I haven’t lost y’all in the process. But it is starting to come together, slowly. We have had to make some major adjustments to our plans. The price of lumber skyrocketing has really put the kibosh to building our new house. The footers, growing weeds are waiting for saner times. ☹️ Not that there isn’t a long list of projects to be dealt with but I am sad to have to put the house off, once again. It’s OK for now, I don't really have a choice. I’m looking forward and focusing on other projects that are needed while we wait. When you have a ranch, even a small one, there is never a shortage of projects that need attention. My garden is helping me to feel accomplished and the quilting for y’all gives me some grounding.

In the mean time, we have been asked a lot about being open only 1 day a week. I realize that it is a bit of an inconvenience for many of you and I apologize for that. We had to strike a balance in our lives, and reducing the shop hours has really helped us do that. Thank you!
We have been asked by many customers if we could change the day we are open to a day other than Saturdays. So we considered your requests and checked our stats for the best day. We decided that Wednesday would be a good balance for all of us.

Starting Wednesday, July 7, 2021, we will be open on Wednesdays ONLY (not Saturdays) for the foreseeable future. We really appreciate your cooperation and continued support in this crazy schedule rearranging and changes to our business. Please make note and pass the info on to your friends and fellow quilters. Thanks so much!! ❤️

I have also been asked by many customers if we teach beginning quilting classes. I am thrilled that so many people are rekindling the interest in quilting. Unfortunately, with my very busy schedule and the shop filled with inventory, there is no way I can teach classes anymore. However, I think that I might be able to help y’all out by giving you info and ideas with this blog/newsletter. I am going to do lessons in the “Valuable Info” article each time and challenge you to get started. (Don’t forget to scroll down to the article)

Even tho our stream of new fabrics has slowed to a trickle, we are still getting basics and the occasional new novelty print in. Plus, we have a shop filled with approximately 8000 bolts of top quality, wonderful fabrics for your quilting pleasure. You can always find a treasure hiding on one of the shelves! Like these 2 summer beauties.









We also have an enormous selection of notions and gadgets to help you with your projects. We plan to continue being fully stocked with beautiful fabrics and helpful delights. You will also find more of these fabrics being added to our website daily. We have added a new category to the website of “Specialty Fabrics”; faux suede, silk, double gauze, knits, denims, linens, etc. It’s a huge job to get items onto the website and ready for your browsing, therefore, it’s taking us much longer than planned. Just keep checking the website for new fabrics, finished products and notions. We fill and mail orders Mondays thru Fridays. The great thing about the website is it’s available 24/7 with the same fabrics that are here in the shop, and, you can shop in your jammies! littlecottagequiltshop.com

We look forward to seeing and hearing from y’all and hope that your summer plans will include stopping by and saying hello. (and maybe finding 1 of those treasures).

Stay safe, be smart and Keep sewing!

Tip of the Month
June 2021 Tip:
If you are having trouble balancing the color scheme on your project, check out paint chips leaflets. They are well coordinated and balance and can really help if you are having difficulty with your colors. Enjoy 😉

Please note that as of July 7th 2021, we are open:
Wednesdays 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
Please use the hand sanitizer 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 are fully vaccinated, but many aren’t. Please respect the well being of others

Thank you so much for your respect and cooperation.
for further information call 830-589-2502
email : littlecottagequilts@gmail.com
web orders: littlecottagequiltshop.com
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 amazing and worthy 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
Getting Started-Lesson 1
By Donette Backlund

Learning to quilt can be an intimidating mountain to climb for many. BUT, quilting is a fabulous form of therapy in todays crazy world. Absorbing yourself in creativity melts the cares and stress of the world away. And it’s not as hard as you might think, if you start out with small, simple projects and work your way to bigger things as your confidence grows. You will be successful. I am always recharged when I get to work in my sewing room on a great project. So lets get started with the basics.

#1 Set yourself a place to work. It can be an extra room in your home, or maybe a corner of the family room. Even a converted closet with doors removed works. As long as you make a designated space. It’s very discouraging to have to pack up everything to set the table for dinner, or clear off the kitchen counter to prepare a meal. Find a place where you can work in relative peace and quiet. A place where you can get up and walk away and leave it all as you left it, ready to start again when you go back to it.

(As I have said many time, I have sewn since I was a little girl. Sewing was my refuge from the world. Every place we lived [and there were many, many, many] I always carved out a space to sew. A sanity saver!)

#2 Gather all your tools and supplies. Quilting has it’s own language and tools. There is a staggering plethora of choices. Keep it simple and basic to start and expand as your confidence grows. I can help guide you and explain these basics at the shop if you are in the area. I can also answer questions via email if it helps. Here is a list of the basics you will need to get started successfully:

a. sewing machine - get the best sewing machine your budget will allow. You will want a machine that is simple, reliable and easy to use. All you really need for quilting is a straight stitch. Frustrations with your machine, will result in abandonment of your project. I recommend a good reconditioned older machine for beginners. (When you get more confident and want a “fancier’ machine, your older machine will be a great back up machine.) The older machines (50-70 years old) are so well made they are still running well, because they are made of all metal. And they. Will cost a fraction of what a new machine will cost. But make sure it has been completely cleaned, serviced and reconditioned. Parts are still available for many of the old girls, so it can be complete. Many people love the little Featherweights. They are very popular and hard to find tho. In my opinion, Singer 401A or the Rocketeer are the best machines that Singer ever made. They are sturdy workhorses, easy to use and relatively easy to find. Later on, if you want a new machine, please don’t buy the cheaper new machines. They are made of plastic and won’t last very long and are fraught with problems. Basically they are disposable machines and are not repairable.

b. rotary cutter - there are many styles and sizes. Find one that fits your hand and feels comfortable for you.

c. cutting mat - you have to have a cutting mat to be able to use a rotary cutter. There are many sizes and styles to choose from. Pick one that will fit your work space. I recommend that you start with an 18” X 24” mat.

d. rulers - you will need an acrylic ruler to use your rotary cutter effectively. a 6” X 24” ruler is a basic and useful size for cutting out block pieces or strips. It fits the full width of the folded fabric. (FWOF). They are usually marked with many lines and measurements that are helpful. A small 1.5” or 2” X 6” ruler is very handy to have for quick measurements and small cuts. I also recommend a 12” square up ruler. Squaring up your blocks is critical to a smooth and evenly finished project. A 12” can be used with any block 12.5” or smaller block. There are many, many other rulers available and useful, but these 3 are the essential basics.

e. a good iron and ironing surface for pressing your seams and completed project.

g. thread - get a good quality thread. Please do not get “bargain” threads. They are hard on your machine and they will not last the lifetime of your project. Buy a top quality thread for your projects. I recommend a light or medium grey color, depending if you are sewing on light or dark fabrics. Grey is the most neutral color and disappears in the seams. Please do not sew dark colors with white thread! it shows badly and doesn’t look good. It is not necessary to match each color of fabric in your project, grey will do nicely with any color. Also, don’t use “grandma’s” thread you found. Nothing against “grandma” (I’m a grandma to 7) but old cotton thread will disintegrate as you use it. Thread that has been exposed to light over a long period of time weakens too much to use. So keep your threads stored in a dark place free of dust. I recommend a good quality poly thread for strength and ease of use.

h. pattern - pick a simple pattern to start with. Don’t start out with a king size bed quilt! Pick a smaller project, one that is easy. Like the 3 yard quilts in the Fabric Cafe’ books, or a simple table runner, or a panel quilt. (more about all of that in the next lesson)

i. fabric - the fun stuff!! Finding the fabric for your project is the fun and the most difficult part. Making the decisions on pattern and color can stop you in your tracks. But don’t let it, remember, it’s your first project, it’s your learning project. And you will learn lots from it, but isn’t that the point?

j. other helpful tools - so many tools, so confusing. Here are a few of the basics that are used constantly: seam ripper (yup! your going to need it-everybody does), small thread snips, fabric scissors, pins, erasable markers, stiletto.

Learning to quilt is a wondrous adventure. Don’t allow yourself to get discouraged when you see something done by another person, especially if that other person has been sewing/quilting for a while. Everyone moves at their own pace and everyone’s perspective of excellence is different. Compare yourself ONLY to yourself and your own progress and you will be surprised at what you can do! Happy sewing!

Compliments of Little Cottage Quilt Shop
14076 State Hwy 16 Medina, Texas (830)589-2502
littlecottagequilts@gmail.com (email) littlecottagequiltshop.com (website)
Follow Us on FaceBook Pintrest ~ (search - djbacklund)

Share this post

← Older Post Newer Post →