A few mornings ago, I took my cup of tea out to the porch. ☕️ (It was a rare cooler morning, considering the horrendous heat wave that has us in it’s grips for most of the month of August). I sat on the bench and listened to the sounds of nature and the quiet. I watched the deer and the bunnies foraging across the property. I took a deep breath and reflected on my life. The past 6 months has given me the opportunity to slow down a bit and “smell the roses”. 🌹 It’s been an opportunity to reconnect with what’s important in my life. I sat on the porch and gazed at my future veggie garden and imagined it filled with healthy vegetables and fragrant flowers. I can’t wait to build my vision into reality.
Awww, yes, that’s another project on the list. LOL 😜 Isn’t that what life is tho, a long bucket list of goals, accomplishments and struggles? What would we do if we didn’t have something to look forward to? I guess some would call me a dreamer, and maybe I am, but I enjoy the art of design and the feeling of fulfillment completing a project brings, no matter what the project. Due to the oppressive heat the last month, I have spent a lot of time in the cool of my sewing room. I am very pleased to say, that I have completed 3 of my good-sized UFOs. YAY !! My goal is to have them quilted and bound and ready for the quilt show in October. Fingers crossed!
That’s not all I have been working on, I feel like a face mask production line. LOL, I can’t even count how many I have made. I know there are many of you out there that have done the same thing. You get tired of making the same thing over and over. I am not a very good “production” seamstress. So I have also been making up the new apron panel samples. Sew much fun! I love aprons and yes, I do wear them almost every day. Vintage Christmas apron & oven mitts panel by Northcott and Hot Cocoa Bar by Wilmington Prints. Great Christmas gift or for yourself. ☺️
I’m sad to say that our little Cottage has kind of slipped to the back burner for a bit. 😞 But, I think I have decided on a color for the front door. Thanks y’all for the suggestions and ideas. The votes ranged from charcoal grey to salmon pink. Very interesting. It was a fun exercise. Now I just have to get the paint and decide on the perfect shade. We settled on a deep turquoise/teal. It goes with the lake theme décor inside and looks really pretty against the dove grey walls. I’ll post pictures after I get it painted. Here is a swatch of the color we are aiming for;
We had been waiting for the octagon window to arrive. It finally did, along with the new cedar siding for the exterior wall around the new windows, is now on site. We will be back to working on the Cottage just as soon as this excessive heat breaks. Installing the new window and siding, painting, and hopefully the new porch railing in the next month. In the meantime, we have been working on the new electrical service to all the buildings. The power company called and they want to get our job off their docket. So, we have been pulling wires almost every day the last couple of weeks. A great work out for my upper body. (OH my aching back) A thousand plus feet of conduit, to all the buildings and back to the meter stand. One more long line to pull and we will be ready for the power company to move the meter and power it all up.
We have also been working on the website, adding more and more fabrics for your shopping convenience. We are adding the sale fabrics and the Cuddle. Our goal is to have everything in the shop available on the web, but it’s an enormous job.
We recently received a big order of beautiful Cuddle fabrics. We are heading into the cooler weather season.
Cuddle is such a fabulous snuggly fabric. I don’t know anybody that doesn’t love Cuddle. It comes such luscious colors and of course the feel is incredible. Shannon has started printing digitally on their Cuddle and we have a Texas Cuddle coming next week! The Holiday season is fast approaching. Infinity scarves are a big winner for Christmas gifts. So are throws. Both are quick and easy gifts to make, perfect for the busy holiday season.
Speaking of the holiday season, we have a new (to us) company, 3 Wishes Fabric. Look at their new, fun holiday prints.
And this magnificent lightening & horse Artworks panel by QT.
As I’m sure most of you know, due to the demand for camouflage fabrics for masks, there is a big shortage. We sold out of almost every color we had. I was luck enough to get some more, but in blues, (Airforce) and greys (Navy). It’s the best we can do for now.
I hope y’all are finding your silver lining in the cloud we have all been under.
Warriors Heart Quilt project
Last Monday we were able to finally delivered your beautiful quilts to Warriors Heart. It was very humbling to be able to contribute to this very worthy organization. Thank you for all your help in this. The work they are doing is so valuable to so many. Their census has doubled since we stated this project. So I am sending out a plea. They need another 30 quilts. If you are tired of making masks, and looking for a new project, please consider making a quilt to donate to this is a great project, for a fantastic cause. Use up some of your stash, or you can purchase a kit from the Cottage. Thank you so much for your participation in this cause.
“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
You may choose any pattern for this quilt 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.
Once again, a remainder that we are open for regular business with the protocols below in effect. Our new hours are:
Cut up all your smaller batting scraps into 1” strips and use them for stuffing pillows, pincushions, pet beds and stuffed animals. Great way to recycle them.
Creative Stitcher’s Club : We could no longer host the club at the Cottage due to several reasons. The club now meets at the Medina Library on the second Friday of each month at 10:30 am. They now call themselves “Hill Country Needlers”. Happy stitching y’all
With all the new Cuddle arriving and with Cuddle season soon upon us, I thought that this information from Shannon Fabrics (the producers of Cuddle) would be a good reference. My additional comments are in blue.
Don’t be afraid of sewing with Cuddle. It’s a bit different but far from impossible. A couple of tips that are not included in Shannon’s tip sheet are:
- Pins are suggested, take it seriously. Cuddle is a knit fabric. Combined with the “slick” texture of the nap, it can move around while you sew. Use LOTS of pins. I pin about every 3” down the seam line. Running pins parallel to the seam line instead of perpendicular seems to help too.
- If possible, reduce the pressure of your presser Not all machines have this capability, but if your does, use it. It will make it so much easier to move the thick Cuddle layers through your sewing machine.
Cuddle® 101: Tips for Sewing with Cuddle®
- Check nap BEFORE you cut each piece to be sure it is going in the right direction. (like a velvet or any other fabric with a strong nap, the nap must all run in the same direction)
- When cutting with a rotary cutter or scissors, you will get “Cuddle® Dust”; the longer the fibers, the more “dust.” To control this, after cutting remove from cutting surface and place in dryer with a damp wash cloth on low heat for about 10 minutes. After the initial shed is over, the Cuddle® will stop shedding completely.
- For less shed, use a scalpel-style seam ripper. Use along the edge of your ruler or draw the cutting line along wrong side first. Cut from the wrong side, then pull apart gently. (you can also do this with small sharp scissors)
- Keep a portable hand vacuum nearby. Vacuum along cutting lines before moving fabric, being careful not to suck up the fabric.
- Cuddle® does not fray because it is a knit. You can even use Cuddle® raw edge.
- When using pattern pieces, use pattern weights rather than pins for more accurate cuts.
- Use a press cloth if pressing is needed.
- Sew using at least a 3mm stitch length and use a 90/14 Stretch Needle.
- Be aware of nap, grain and stretch. Stitch stretchy sides together and non-stretchy sides together.
- Pin fabrics together well and sew slowly. Flat head pins are best because they are easy to see in the thickness of Cuddle®. Sewing fast will cause upper fabric to stretch.
- Use a Walking Foot or Even Feed Foot to prevent pleating and shifting of fabric.
- Engage the “needle down” feature on your machine. If you do not have this feature, turn the wheel on the right side of your machine to put the needle in the fabric when you stop to adjust the fabric, and continue stitching.
- Make sure that your presser foot tension is not too tight. This can cause the fabric to not feed through the machine evenly. Check your machine’s manual to learn how you can adjust it.
- For rugs or extra thick items, try a 100/16 needle.
- Quilts made with Cuddle® are easiest to sew when using basting spray. Be sure to ventilate area when spraying. We prefer 505® Spray and Fix by ODIF. (I don’t feel this step is necessary, it’s messy and usually doesn’t hold very well. Pins are a much better option)
- Use freezer paper, paper side up, to protect projects and surrounding area from over spray.
- For batting, we especially like Quilters Dream Puff™ Batting; it is light and lofty without adding too much extra weight. We also like Poly-Down® from Hobbs Bonded Fibers; it has a nice soft drape and is very light. (any good quality poly batting is the best to use with Cuddle)
- Wash in cool water. Tumble dry without heat. Do not over-dry. Do not use liquid fabric softener. (this is their recommendation, but I have had no problem washing in warm-hot water and drying with a low heat in the dryer)
- 90/14 Stretch Needles
- Walking Foot
- Basting Spray
- Flat Head Pins
- Freezer paper
Shannon Fabrics, Inc. 3131 South Alameda Street, Los Angeles, CA 90058 www.shannonfabrics.com firstname.lastname@example.org 866-624-5252