About Me

My photo
Bigfork, Montana, USA
Bigfork Bay Cotton Company is a full service, brick and mortar quilt shop, as well as a retail/wholesale pattern business. You can view our pattern line on our website, but on a more personal level, we'd like to invite you into our shop and share with you the joy of quilting in our corner of the world!

Monday, June 4, 2012

Appliqué Beginner Tutorial

Dear reader - View the full blog entry, including a downloadable .pdf of this tutorial, on our new blog! Click here!

Do you find yourself wanting to start putting together an appliqué pattern quilt, but are not sure where to start? This is for you! We've put together a step-by-step guide to help you along with putting together your first quilt that we hope you find informational and entertaining. We've also put a quick shopping list together at the bottom of the post to help guide you toward success!

Step One - Trace

Trace the pattern pieces onto the fusible web. When everything has been traced, cut around the tracings and press them onto the "wrong" side of your fabric (you may not be able to tell which side of the fabric is the "wrong" side, and if that's the case, either side will do). Fusible web

Step Two - Cut

Cut your tracings out directly on the line. Take note to also cut out the dashed lines! This is where other pieces of fabric will lay on top. When everything is cut out, place your appliqué pressing sheet on top of the full size layout guide. Match up the numbers and letters, and tap them into place with a hot iron. Traced fusible web Match 'em up!

Step Three - Place

Eventually, everything will be pressed together on the appliqué pressing sheet and will start to take a recognizable shape. This is when you'll lift the entire design off of the pressing sheet. Appliqué pattern Appliqué pattern

Step Four - Iron

With the entire pattern design in hand, it's ready to be pressed onto your background fabric! When you've got it placed where you'd like it, sew on your inner and outer borders. Then, make a "sandwich" with your top, batting, and backing.
Appliqué pattern on background

Step Five - Finalize!

Sew one straight stitch around the raw edge, and finally, finish it off by adding your own binding. Wah-la, you've successfully put together your own appliqué quilt! Finished appliqué quilt

Shopping List

To help you get off to a good start, we've compiled a list of the most important tools you'll need to get you going. Most of the items are linked to online retail sites, including our own, for your convenience. Now get out there and start creating!
  1. 1. Appliqué Pattern
  2. 2. Fabric
  3. 3. Appliqué Pressing Sheet
  4. 4. Sharp Scissors
  5. 5. Pentel Mechanical Pencil .5
  6. 6. Fusible Web
  7. 7. Sharpie
  8. 8. Aurifil Thread
  9. 9. Exacto Knife
  10. 10. Baggies (in all different sizes)
  11. 11. Long Tweezers
  12. 12. Iron
  13. 13. Light Box
  14. 14. 75/11 Quilting Needle

Coming Up Next...

Stay tuned to our blog, where we'll be talking about the most important tools you can have while putting together appliqué patterns (hint: it looks a lot like the shopping list above!), we'll be having a conversation about Aurifil Thread, plus some artist interviews!

Beautiful AQS Quilt Show Submissions

The gang here at Bigfork Bay Cotton Company were delighted recently to recieve an email from the American Quilter’s Society, sharing with us two quilts that had been submitted to the 2012 AQS Quilt Show & Contest in Paducah, Kentucky (April 25–28). We had been listed as the design inspiration or pattern source for the quilts and they will be appearing in the 2012 CD and Catalogue of Show Quilts (which will be for sale during and after the show).
We thought these quilts were so impressive we just had to share them with you. Make sure to click on the pictures for larger images.

“Spirit Landing” by Diane Phillips incorporates the pattern “Spirit” by Toni Whitney. This is what Diane told us about the quilt:

“I met Toni Whitney several years ago when she came to Ennis to promote her animal patterns. I fell in love with her designs and have made several of them. The eagle was one of my favorites. I had to come up with something to show him off.

Spirit Landing placed 1st in the Art Quilt category at Helena’s Quilt Show last year and placed 3rd in the Innovative Custom Freehand category at the Northwest Quilting Expo in Portland, Oregon, last September. Just to have it accepted as a semi-finalist at Paducah is an honor.”

“Return Home” by Beverly Raptis incorporates the pattern “Autumn Eyes” by Toni Whitney. Here is what Beverly let us know about her quilt:

"I began this project at a retreat, and just as soon as I got the nose done I added the eyes, and from that point on the ladies fell in love. He became a “sweet” bear as opposed to a mean one."

When we complimented her fish she also let us know that:

"The fish actually came from a project that I was making that did not work out. It had originally been living in the ocean beautiful, silver and happy It was sitting in a drawer waiting for a new scene. I found red/green fabric and turned it into a spawning, rather tattered and not so happy salmon."

We thank both of the artists and AQS for sharing these quilts with us. For more information about the AQS show where these quilts will be shown visit http://aqsshows.com/AQSPaducah/

Click Here for More Quilts by Toni Whitney from Bigfork Bay Cotton Company.

Watch Autumn Lady Come To Life

Laura Krasinski is an amazing quilter and teacher in Wisconsin….how many of you are aware of her? She has a couple of blogs…I suggest you start getting to know her by clicking HERE. She has created a wonderful slideshow of our “Autumn Lady” coming to life. Click HERE to view her slideshow. Laura has managed, without words, to show the steps taken to recreate this stunning Carl Brenders design. I sometimes wonder how many people shy away from our wildlife designs because the appear too complicated? The reality is, whether the design you want to create is a simple daisy or wildlife such as this, the steps are the same; trace, cut, and iron! The difference is simply the number of pieces. A good pattern will guide you through laying out the pieces so all goes together nicely to create your finished quilt top. Stay tuned, soon I will post about what to look for in a applique pattern. They are not all created equal!

Pat Sloan's Girls in the Garden Series

Yes it’s true! Pat Sloan, the voice of quilting, is working with us to create the “Girls in the Garden Series” This four pattern set reflects Pat’s unique style with flowers, birds, houses in all four seasons! BBCC is releasing these patterns in late November. Each wall hanging is 22″ by 45″ and is visually stunning. You can pre-order these patterns by clicking here. Fabric kits with the original batik fabrics chosen by Pat will also be available at that time. We are planning on offering how to make all four into one large unique wall hanging – once time permits us to work on the details! This is the beginning of a wonderful relationship with Pat and we are so looking forward to what is coming! Stay with us so you can reap the benefits of this partnership. Click on an image to see it in our shopping cart:

Nicole's Autumn Pumpkin Patch

Ava's Winter Flurries

Amelia's Spring Delight

Chelsea's Summer Garden


Those of you that follow this blog may have noticed that there haven't been many new posts lately....
We are nearing the end of the long process of creating a new website. We will have a new blog associated with that website, and will no longer be posting here. We will certainly let all of you know when that happens....should be very soon!
Thanks for your patience....

UPDATE: New site is up and running!

New blog:

Check them out!

Wednesday, October 5, 2011


This is it! Just the last two borders and this one will be ready for quilting!
Make sure your quilt top is pressed very well!
Cut two of the 1 1/2 inch strips in half. Sew one half to each of the remaining four full strips. Lay two stripS across the center of the quilt top. Trim edges even with the quilt top. Sew to opposite sides of the quilt top, easing the quilt top into border, if necessary. Press towards border.
Repeat for the remaining two strips.
Add the four focus fabric border pieces in the same manner.

Here is a closeup...I just thought you might like to see how cute this border fabric is! I have had it in my stash for awhile, just waiting for the right project and the right baby..... I am anxious to get this one to the quilter. With white batting, the shadows of the seam allowances will disappear, and I think the contrast between the light and the light/medium fabric will show up more.

Here is another version of the quilt, with a Michael Miller Christmas fabric and Fairy Frosts. As you can see, in this quilt there is much more contrast between the light and the light/medium. This just came back from the quilter yesterday, so I haven't added binding yet.

To finish it up, layer and quilt as desired. (Or do like I do....send it off to the quilter...)
To bind it, join the seven 2 1/2 inch strips of DARK fabric, end to end, to form a long binding strip. Attach to quilt in your preferred method!

Tuesday, October 4, 2011


This beautiful new design by artist Brenda Yirsa needs a name! Do you have a suggestion? If so, please email the name (and yours!) to traci@bigforkbaycottonco.com by midnight, October 15th. You must email your name....we won't be checking comments here. After we have accumulated all of your suggestions, we will send them to Brenda and she will choose a name.
The first person to submit the winning name will receive a free fabric kit with pattern. Anyone else who submits the winning name will receive a free pattern!
You can enter as many times as you'd like!