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!

Tuesday, April 28, 2009


I made this quilt for my first "grand".....my nephew Jacob has a son, Wyatt. I haven't had the pleasure of meeting Wyatt yet, but I'm looking forward to it! I just have to add the binding and label and then I'll mail it off! (As soon as I write up instructions, I'll post them on the website as a free download....)

Friday, April 24, 2009


This is a raffle quilt!! The Elk City Sew Help Me Quilt Club made this beauty to raffle off during Elk City Days, early in August. As you can imagine, tickets are already selling...and the guys are loving it! We hope to hang it in our shop and sell tickets. We just have to coordinate schedules with the group. I just love seeing someone take a commercial pattern and turn it into a one-of-a-kind work of art! It is so inspiring!

Thursday, April 23, 2009


Thanks to Toni Whitney and OK Carol Rockwell, I had these wonderful treasures to give to my daughters when I was in Rosemont. My younger daughter, Amy, has the yellow lab, Buck, and the chihuahua, Midge. My older daughter, Katie, has the black pit mix, Buddy. They are the sweetest grandbabies! (Of course, I'm looking forward to the two-legged variety of grandchildren, but in the meantime, it's fun to spoil these!)

Wednesday, April 22, 2009


As some of you know, we took a trip to Rosemont, IL to participate in International Quilt Festival. Those wonderful people who put together the Houston show and Quilt Market also hold a spring show each year in Rosemont, just outside of Chicago. We made a last minute decision to vend at the show....our first big retail show. We have done many local quilt shows, but this was much bigger than anything we have ever done!

We made sure we had proper nutrition!

Here we are just beginning to set up our booth....a two day process!

Finished booth, view 1.

Finished booth, view 2.

Ready to go!

Traci giving a demo!
I wish I had more pictures of the actual show! We were very busy so there wasn't much time for escaping the booth. Check out Quilts, Inc website....I think they post photos of the show there. There was a wonderful Hmong needlework booth across from us. They don't usually wholesale their work, but they allowed us to purchase some small purses to sell in the shop. They are on their way back with John, so they probably won't get here for about a week. (He's going to stop and do some shooting....photography.....in the Badlands on the way back.) I'll post some photos when they get here. Their handwork is breathtaking!
It's good to be home! Now we will be preparing for Quilt Market in May!

Monday, April 13, 2009


As some of you know, we are vending this year at International Quilt Festival Chicago next weekend. It's our first BIG retail show! My husband left Saturday to drive there...three days from Montana.... He took the dogs, so it was just Rosie and me for Easter. I had a productive day in my sewing room. It started out a little frustrating. Rosie must really miss the dogs, because she was really bothering me. It's alot to expect of your feed dogs to move fabric through the machine when there's a cat sitting on it!

After a while she got tired of my pushing her off, so she crawled up on a shelf and snuggled up with some of my antique quilts.....


People often ask "What are your favorite gadgets or tools?" Well, this one is at the top of my list! It's called "Easy Cut" and it's a small thread cutter. I imagine it was originally designed for machines that don't have built in thread cutters. Well, most machines nowadays do have built in thread cutters which are located in the most convenient place for cutting threads. This one comes with sticky tape to place anywhere you want. As you can see, I place it on the front of my machine..... Works great for separating pieces when chain piecing. I place mine up higher so that when I lower my machine down into the cabinet I still have access to the cutter. But a friend of mine placed hers lower on the base of the machine....that way she doesn't have to raise her arms up as high when cutting apart the pieces. These are inexpensive, so I have one on all my machines!
Thanks to Judy Hasheider for introducing me to this notion a few years ago.....!

Wednesday, April 8, 2009


Zack is a senior at Bigfork High School, and is making his first quilt for his senior English project! No one in his family quilts. He came into our store and explained that he wanted to make a quilt, and with a little encouragement, but no formal training, you can see how well he's doing. The pattern is Lickety Split, by Mackie. Zack chose his own fabrics, with a little help from Sandi in the shop. He is on spring break right now and is spending the week in our classroom. He is working independently, but we are here for any questions or problems. What a bright kid! Plus, I think it's wonderful that he felt confident enough to walk into the shop by himself, declare his intentions, and carry them through!

Tuesday, April 7, 2009


This is the king-sized version of Rock Star.

The pattern for this lap-sized version of Rock Star is available now as a free download on our website, www.bigforkbaycottonco.com. I am reworking it to make it king-sized right now. It will be available on our website soon!

Monday, April 6, 2009


Karen made the adorable "Birdie Sling" (pattern by Amy Butler) at a recent guild retreat. M-E (short for Midnight Express) barely cooperated with being stuffed in the bag!...can't say that I blame her.

Karen's mystery quilt.....

Detail of the prairie points.....Isn't this a sweet quilt? The pretty black floral and the light are Marti Michell's design.....the red is Moda.

Hidden Nine Patch by the other Karen

Pastel Baby Quilt by Karen #2

Bright version of the same quilt

Beckys baby quilt (I know I have this pattern buried somewhere in my sewing room....this makes me want to get going on it.....)

Becky's English Paper Piecing-we're all addicted to paper piecing at our shop....but I stick with the bigger pieces.....these are 1/2 inch hexagons!

Saturday, April 4, 2009



Here are the "nominees" for the Northwest Montana Shop Hop April Fool's Challenge. Aren't they great? Please stop in to the shop and vote on your favorite! Viewer's Choice "Oscar" will be announced on May 1st.

Friday, April 3, 2009


Is there a little one in your life who needs a quilt? This sweet quilt was made by Mo Harrah. We love it so much we made up kits in the shop. You can see the simple piecing...nine patches and half square triangles. It goes together FAST! The kit includes the book PS I Love You Four by Possibilities. This wonderful book contains many quilts and projects for babies and small children. Of course, if you already have this book, you can buy just the fabrics...

Thursday, April 2, 2009


I love piecing, and I usually choose very "piecing intensive" projects....but sometimes it's nice to just whip something up really quick! This is a one day project....under eight hours from walking in the door with pattern and fabric in bag to finished top!

Aren't these fabrics just plain pretty! These really aren't my colors....but I was drawn to these. The main floral is an older Moda from the Decadent Victorian collection and I just pulled from the shop for the others.....

This is about 1/4 of a "chain-y" quilt I'm working on. All of the blocks are done...just have to put them together! No name for this pattern yet. We will offer it as a free download on our website when it is done.

Here is a close up of the fabrics.....all come from my favorite batik company, Batik Textiles!

Wednesday, April 1, 2009


Coach Carlson's English Paper Pieced Tablerunner

Coach Carlson's Baby Quilt

Chris Vance's Chevron Colorwash

Eleanor Carlson hand quilted antique quilt top

Eleanor Carlson's Batik

Eleanor Carlson's Chicken a la Carte

Eleanor Carlson's Baby Quilt

Amy Thomas' Baby Quilt
Amy is my daughter....she introduced me to quilting when she was just nine years old! She received quilting lessons from a neighbor as payment for babysitting......and came home and taught me!

Karen's Take 5 Teacher's Pet

Chris Schroeder (hiding behind her quilt)