March 2020 Happy St Patrick's Day

Posted by Donette on

Life is short and to me, family is the most important part of our lives. Our connections with those people who are our “family”, are the ones that sustain us and see us thru the good and bad. My sister and her hubby come to spend time with us every winter and I cherish those weeks. She is a quilter/sewist too and we enjoy working together in the sewing room when we can. Unfortunately, I only get to have her here a couple of months in the winter while they are escaping the cold grip of northern weather. But we so enjoy that time together. I often have sister pairs and groups come into the shop. It’s so lovely to see the companionship and love between them. I love the fact that they are close and go on “fabric rode trips” together. I remember a quote from a movie (I can’t remember what movie) that describes the depth of the sibling connection, “siblings are the only people in your life that are with you from cradle to grave”. Powerful thought. Send your sibling a text or card or call just to say how much you care. Priceless.

February has been another very busy month for us at the Cottage. Christer has started working at the shop in the mornings now to help me out. The plan is for him to then leave after lunch and work at the ranch on the house and various projects. But some days he hasn’t left until 3 pm! LOL! It’s been busy.

We have scheduled new fabric deliveries every month. Lots of new and exciting panels, wide backings, prints and blenders are arriving. A couple of weeks ago a wonderful collection arrived. Fantasy & Fiction, Steampunk by QT. Cute and fun and fanciful. (look at that dapper armadillo on the scooter) There was also a pattern designed for this collection, looks like fun to me!


Just this last week another collection along the same lines arrived. Library of Rarities by Robert Kaufman. Check this one out, I love it.

Starting this month, the new Christmas fabrics start arriving. There are some really great ones this year so we are expanding our Holiday section. You won’t want to miss the fabulous, luxurious, irresistible Cuddle that is all but taking over the shop!! We have a big shipment arriving this month. We are having to build new racks to display them on. They are amazing. There is a big movement on the rise, to make the “Kimberbear” from Shannon Cuddle and Lux Furs. You can find out more about this event at There is a video & a free pattern download for both sewing machine and in the hoop construction.

We have decided to change our open days for the summer, May thru August. Summers are slower at the Cottage and we need the time here at the ranch. Please take note of these for your summer travels. Starting in May, we will be open Wed thru Sat 10am to 4pm. (Same hours but closed Sun, Mon, Tues.) Then we are back to Tues thru Sat starting in September.

Thanks everyone for your interest in our new house construction. The progress is slow at this stage. It always takes longer than you think (or want) to get all the infrastructure in place. We are getting there, step by slow step. Weather has reeked havoc with the trenching for the new water and power lines from the well and new power meter stand,to the house. The power company can’t make the final hook up until all the lines to the house are complete. Still waiting for the trenches to be dug so we can lay the lines in. Fingers crossed for this month. In the mean time, I am struggling to get projects done in my very cramped, current sewing space. Begging for good weather!!

Keep Sewing & See you soon


Tip of the Month
This is a new feature to my newsletter/blog this year. Watch for it every month.
March 2020 Tip:

Clean your bobbin casing area every time you sew the equivalent of a full bobbin of thread. You will be thanking yourself for a smoother running machine.


Creative Stitcher’s Club : Friday Mar 13th This month we will continue to learn new stitches - Feather and Chain stitch, Raised Daisy stitch and the Colonial Knot stitch.  Bring your normal embroidery supplies - hoop, needles, scissors, thimble, floss, perle cotton, magnifying glasses and a desktop light if you need one.

Remember, anything you purchase during the meeting that pertains to your project is 20% off, including books


Warriors Heart Quilt project. If you are looking for a project with meaning, feel free to contribute to our Warriors Heart Quilt Project. (Please remember these quilts and pillowcases are for adults) We have kits available for your convenience at wholesale prices or you can use up your stash if you choose. If you need the instruction sheet, let me know and I will email you a copy. You can check out Warriors Heart on their website.

We are also a drop off point if you are participating in the Million Pillowcase Challenge.


Valuable Info

Loading Thread

Because we have a fantastic sewing machine technician, we see all kinds of sewing machines and sewing machine problems come in the door. One that seems to be rather prevalent this past few weeks is thread breakage. Not always the machines fault. Did you know that thread is wound on the spools in 2 different ways? This makes a huge difference in the proper application of the thread spools on the machine. I found an article on Heirloom Creations website that explains it very well. I also took a couple of pictures to help explain it.

You will see a big difference in the performance of your machines when the thread is correctly put on your machine.

“Thread is wound onto spools in one of two ways –

Stacked thread or cross wound thread.

Stacked thread is when the thread lays parallel to itself around the spool.

 Cross wound thread  forms an X around the spool. So what is the big deal you ask?

There are a couple things to know about how to position the spool on the sewing machine to achieve the best results.

Stacked thread typically comes off the spool best if it is placed on a vertical spool pin. This will result in the spool needing to twist or spin to release the thread. This allows the thread to come off the spool in the smoothest manor. Placing stacked threads properly on a vertical spool pin will also allow the thread to not get caught in those pesky thread holder grooves carved into the ends of some spools.

Cross-wound thread unwinds best if it is placed on a horizontal spool pin making the thread pull away from the thread core smoothly as each X is unwound.

Spool caps are designed to hold cross-wound spools in place on the horizontal spool pin. Match up the correct spool cap size with the spool cone end. Spool caps need to be positioned so that no thread can sneak between the cap and the spool and tangle. This will result usually with a broken needle or snapped thread as it becomes super tight.

There are a few times when it is best to place a stacked spool on a horizontal spool pin. Some stacked slippery decorative threads such as rayon or polyesters sometimes what to puddle or fall off the spool resulting is a tangled mess while the spool is spinning. Again this tangling will lead to a broken needle or snapped thread. Change these unruly spools to a horizontal spool pin with the proper spool cap.

Thread stands are a wonderful addition to anyone’s sewing room. These stands allow users to use the larger cones of thread. Most larger thread cones are cross-wound. When placing this cone on a thread stand, the thread will travel upward to the guide at the top of the stand and over to the first guide on the sewing machine. Though this looks like it is on a vertical spool pin, the thread is actually still unwinding in the same way as it would on a horizontal spool pin. The thread is still being pulled off the spool releasing each of the cross-wound x’s very smoothly.

Thread stands are also good for fussy threads like metallics and nylon monofilaments. By placing these types of threads on a thread stand, it allows time for the thread to relax before it enters the first guide of the sewing machine.”

Yes, thread stands are a great tool. You can put any shape or size of spool on a thread stand. Because of the physics of the thread being drawn up thru the “hook” at the top of the stand and then into your machine, it acts as both the horizontal and vertical release styles. If you have an older machine that does not have a horizontal spindle with caps, use a thread stand.

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