Posted by Donette Backlund on

I enjoy reading in the evenings to relax before I go to sleep. My daughter brought me a book a couple of months ago to read. It sat on the table for a few weeks and she kept asking me if I had read it. Finally, I finished a book I was reading and decided to pick up my daughter’s book and read it. It turned out to be a fabulous read. I thoroughly enjoyed it.

It was about family traditions & recipes. The bond forged between the women of generations through these passed down recipes. It reminded me of other family traditions and the importance they have in family bonds and relationships. I thought about quilting and the bond it forms between women. Of course, the traditions have changed and metamorphosed over the generations. Hardly anybody “hand pieces” quilt tops together any more. And “hand quilting” is all but a dying art form. There are advantages to the machine pieced and quilted quilts of today. They hold up better to wear and tear. Some of us have cherished old quilts that our ancestors made that we have tucked away in a chest or closet. But it’s the bond created thru that quilting process, much like cooking and baking that lasts the longest.

I learned to “hand quilt” with my paternal grandmother. She had a big frame set up in her “bonus” room over the garage. It always had a quilt on it for somebody. She did “whole cloth” quilts where we traced the design onto the fabric and then quilted the design out on the plain fabric. I remember her being so excited when they came out with 120” wide nylon tricot !!!! 😜 She didn’t have to piece any of it. LOL ! 😂 We did several of those quilts. I spent many hours sitting at the quilting frame poking my fingers with the needle and talking to my grandma. It was a wonderful bonding time.

I am trying to pass the same type of traditions on to my girls and grandgirls. Time spent with them is so precious forming deep bonds, even though today, I don’t have a big quilting frame set up for hand quilting. I spend time with them in my sewing room (and kitchen). Teaching them how to make whatever interest them. My oldest daughter is completely buried in finishing up her nursing degree at the moment. But she loves to make costumes. My youngest daughter is really getting into and enjoying quilting and sewing. She has made a good number of quilts now. Even my son picked up sewing and takes care of all his families sewing needs. My oldest granddaughter has made several quilts and is interested in sewing other things too. Over the summer, I helped her make a bag to tote all her supplies around school. My other 2 granddaughters are still a bit young to be interested in more than cutting up fabric, crafts and playing with my pattern weights and pin cushions. LOL. But, it’s still time spent together, sharing and bonding. Sewing is a practical skill as well as a rewarding skill and pastime. I hope y’all are able to enjoy these kinds of experiences with your families. 😀

As the year is very quickly coming to the holiday season, our thoughts are turning to gift ideas and decorations. I recently made up a set of placemats to show how easy it is to create beautiful gifts from the heart. I used a panel I cut up and stripped out some coordinating fabrics, some from my stash and a few scraps.  Each one is different and unique. They make great gifts. The ever popular coaster/wine charm is always a hit, as are the bowl buddies. Both are free patterns here at the shop and great stash busters too.



Mug rugs are always well received and these fun quilt-as-you-go kits make it easy to give a cherished gift. 4 different themes to choose from.



We have new items here at the shop that are perfect for gift giving if you don’t have time to make something.

A beautiful new array of rayon Batik scarves, 11” x 72”.

Jigsaw puzzles, coloring books, a world of notions along with hand made quilts, place mats, table runners and embroidered tea towels to mention a few.

Speaking of the holidays; don’t forget that the deadline for having your quilt quilted in time for Christmas is OCT 15, 2019. Your quilt top must be in the queue by this date in order for me to guarantee you will have it back by the middle of December.


Creative Stitcher’s Club meeting in October is Friday the 11th. This month you will be exploring Blackwork, learning & practicing a few of the basic stitches.  Please bring your basic embroidery supplies and black floss. (needles, scissors, needle threader, thimble, hoop, a pencil, and if needed a desk type light and magnifying glasses.) Mary will bring 14 count Aida cloth for you. ☺️

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


Warriors Heart Quilt project.

Please continue to bring in your lovely and generous quilts and/or pillowcases to support this worthy cause. It is an ongoing, continuous project. If you are looking for a project with meaning, feel free to contribute. (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.  www.WarriorsHeart.com

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

As always, we receive new and exciting fabrics and notions every month. Too many to list in this letter. We now have over 150 panels to choose from and tons of ideas on how to use them. We love to see and hear about what you are doing and are always happy to share our knowledge and info. Come on in for a visit and see what we have in store.

Keep on Sewing, see you soon,

Valuable Info


In the shop, almost every day, I hear quilters and sewists say, “I’m not good at picking colors”. A quilt, or any sewing project, is a substantial investment and you want to make sure the end result is pleasing to the eye, very scary for some. In this article I want to focus on ways to choose the right fabrics for each project. There are some simple rules that help and there are lots of resources that provide you with direction.

I have written up a Color Reference Sheet that you can print out and study and refer to when it comes time to pick colors. I have also included a color wheel template for you to make. Print out the color wheel and find fabrics in your scrap bin to fill in each color section. Cut out the shapes and glue them onto the wheel. You may want to laminate it when you are finished so you can tote it around with you. A color wheel in fabrics makes it a bit easier to visualize a project color palette than a purchased solid color wheel.

The number 3 is pleasing to the human eye and brain. Keep in mind sets of 3 when you are planning your project. Believe it or not, we think in mathematical terms, even though we may not realize it. I like to pick a common denominator, or a divisible number for my quilts. That number then becomes the measurement key for the blocks, borders, sashing, etc. (For example, if I have 6” blocks, sashing and/or borders will be 2”, 3”, 12”.)

Don’t be afraid of color. Jury fabrics up against each other and go with your initial “gut feel”. That’s usually the best choice. Use available resources to get you started on the process. Trust your instincts and don’t doubt yourself. You will be surprised at what you can do. ☺️


Color Reference Sheet

  • Primary Colors = Red ~ Yellow ~ Blue

               These 3 basic colors make up every other color

  • Secondary Colors = any 2 Primary colors mixed together

                   ie: orange, purple, green

  • Complimentary Colors = opposites on the color wheel ie: blue/orange, yellow/purple, red/green. These colors need each other for eye appeal (opposites always attract)
  • Split Complimentary colors = 2 colors touching on either side of a complimentary color on the color wheel.
  • Analogous colors = any colors that are touching on the color Analogous colors are always pleasing to the eye together.  Use at least 2 to 5 in any one project.
  • Warm Colors = Reds, Yellows, Oranges
  • Cool Colors = Blues, Purples, Greens
  • Tint = any color mixed with white
  • Tone = any color mixed with grey
  • Shade = any color mixed with black
  • Black & White are the controllers of color. Use as a divider to avoid clashing and/or a unifier of a group of colors
  • Groups of three or divisions of thirds are always pleasing to the human eye.
  • Contrast creates movement and excitement (pop).
  • Grey is the most neutral of all colors. It is an excellent back drop for other colors. It also “tames” a very bold palette.  
  • Value = the light to dark of a color. (also called a Gray Scale)
  • You need 3 different Values of color in a project; light, medium, dark. They can be monochromatic or complementary.
  • Good places to find ideas and color combinations:


            Paint chips with at least 3 variations of the same color

            Paint “booklets” suggesting color combinations


            Color wheel or Color Tool

            Books on color theory and patterns

            Strip Packs & Jelly Rolls (pre cuts are always put together in “color ways” with all the ingredients for an eye pleasing collection)


  Compliments of Little Cottage Quilt Shop
14076 State Hwy 16    Medina, Texas,  (830) 589-2502
littlecottagequiltshop.com (website)
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If you have difficulty printing this out from this newsletter, email me and I will send you a copy to print




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