About Me

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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, June 30, 2009


Here are the newest designs from Brenda Yirsa. I just don't know how she does it! She is an amazing artist.

These, like the Tribal Beauties, won't be ready for several months. I know it is frustrating to wait so long, but these things take time! David, our graphic designer, really can't work any harder! And the proofing and testing process is tedious, but very important, as we want to do all we can to insure that you don't have any problems with the patterns when you are working on your own quilts.

By the way, it is important for you to know that we have a special area on our website devoted to pattern corrections. Simply click on the "customer service" button, and at the top you will see "pattern corrections". Click there to see if there are any corrections you need to know about. We have a policy of printing our patterns in relatively small batches. That way, if any corrections need to be made, we make them immediately, and don't have thousands of incorrect patterns floating around. However, we have no way of knowing when a particular pattern was printed, or how long it may have hung in a shop before it was sold. So it's a good idea to check and see if there are any pattern corrections before you begin your design!

Friday, June 26, 2009


These are the latest patterns in production from Toni Whitney! I just couldn't wait to show you! These haven't even been quilted yet....Imagine how they will come to life when that happens!

They are MONTHS away from being ready.....at least October.....so please don't call to order. (It just kills me to say that!) When we are further down the production road, we will be able to estimate pattern costs and start taking preorders.....You can be sure I'll let you know as soon as that happens.

Notice on the side view of the elephant that the trunk and perhaps the ears will be 3-D.

Up next from Toni.....a Giraffe momma and baby, and a lion.....


This is my newest project, and I'm feeling a bit obsessed about it! It's still in the early, infatuation stage, as I only have these two blocks completed. I have a lot of Daiwabo scraps. I'm going to keep the darker diamonds and jewel shapes the same fabric throughout. The centers will always be red, although not the same fabric. The large hexagons and the half hexagons will be different in each block. Jane made this block a couple of years ago, starting with a 1/2 inch hexagon in the center....her finished block measured four inches along the sides. I've double the size, starting with a 1 inch hexagon, so my block measures eight inches along the outer edges. I figure I will need about 45 to 50 blocks for a large bed quilt. Each block takes a couple of evenings.....and that's when I don't do anything else. It will be a while before it lands on my bed, but I sure am having fun playing with the Daiwabo scraps!


The lower image is the Fan Quilt pattern cover quilt from Paper Pieces. I have always loved fan quilts. I am making mine with my Cherrywood scraps (or you can use two of their grab bags...) and I'm going to put my fans on a black background. I've played around a little with the layout, but I still like their original layout the best!


Isn't this fun? I have to admit, I don't know how Jane was able to work on this one!!! (She must have worn sunglasses.....) Notice the added applique in the corner, made from different sizes of hexagons and leaf foundations, with a little added embroidery. I just love seeing traditional patterns made with contemporary fabrics! I just know our mothers and grandmothers would have had so much fun with our fabrics, don't you think?


This sample was made from a pattern that includes all the paper foundations. It is hard to see, but Jane has embellished this with beads and buttons.....


This piece is one of a Round Robin that three of us in the shop are doing. There are no rules, other than that you have to add at least six hexagons before you pass it on to the next person. We rotate whenever we meet for meetings in the shop. As you can see, we are leaning to batiks...I guess we all have a lot of batik scraps. No, we don't know how long we are going to do this....we are all in it for as long as it takes.....I would like a LARGE quilt, so my best guess is that we may be doing this for a few YEARS.......!!!


These bowls are made from pentagons and are reversible!


These cuties were made by Sandi Buttel. Depending on the size hexagons you use, they could be candle mats, placemats, potholders....

Wednesday, June 24, 2009


I was asked today about "Vindaloo".....about the "pieced setting triangles".....

There are no pieced setting triangles....there are no setting triangles at all.....

This is one block, one coloration only, and straight set!
Curious? Check it out at www.bigforkbaycottonco.com.

Oh yea, it's a FREE DOWNLOAD!!


Almost everyone in our shop is addicted to paper piecing! I'm talking about English Paper Piecing, not foundation piecing. It's almost becoming a sickness, with most of us having several different projects going on at once! (Strange phenomenon for quilters.....!!) Our Monday Group was having a mini workshop on paper piecing this week, so I took some photos of some of their work. Later this week I'll post some more samples from around the shop....
This first one is Mary's homespun stars....this will eventually be her bed quilt. Notice that this block is made with only diamonds....these same diamonds can be used to make a tumbling blocks quilt.

This is Coach's purple tablerunner. Although these are wonderful hand projects, they can be done by machine, as Coach did here.

This is where it all started. We had a couple of wonderful gals, Ann Kimball and Karen Winthur come to the shop and give a lesson....this pin cushion was the class project, absolutely perfect for beginners because it could be completed during the class.

This tablerunner uses half diamonds to square off the edges, unlike the purple one above, which is appliqued to the border.

Mary used a charm square pack to create this cutie made with Apple Core papers.

I'm putting together a slide show that will show the simple steps used to create a paper pieced block.

In the meantime, stay tuned....I will post more pictures tomorrow or Friday.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Karen's Oriental Beauty!

This beauty is an original! Karen used several different elements she has learned along the way to create this one-of-a-kind masterpiece! Bravo, Karen!!

Friday, June 19, 2009


Visit our website, www.bigforkbaycottonco.com to download this FREE pattern, Vindaloo!! This quilt hung in the Batik Textiles booth at International Quilt Market. All of these beautiful fabrics are theirs. You can see the fabric #'s on the pattern, or we will be offering a fabric kit!

I am also making up a version using beautiful Daiwabo fabrics from E.E. Schenck....I'll post it as soon as it is done!


Isn't this a great scrap quilt! I love it! And check out the cool back.......

Tuesday, June 16, 2009


Many of you know that we have been running a Mystery Quilt in the shop. Well, as of last Saturday, instructions for all of the pieced "parts" have been given. I issued a challenge to all the mystery quilters. Add some 3 1/2" focus fabric squares, and start moving the parts around. When you have a design you think works, send me photos! (You don't have to have the whole quilt laid out...but enough to see the design...perhaps 1/4 or so.) The first correct submission wins a $100 gift certificate to Bigfork Bay Cotton Company. Second place wins $50, third place, $25. The last step and the challenge were just issued on Saturday. When I came in on Monday, I already had the first submission from Bonita Richards!! Boy, she's FAST! Now, I'm not going to tell you if she's right or wrong.....there are three prizes up for grabs here....

Tuesday, June 9, 2009


We are inviting EVERYONE to submit a name suggestion for Toni Whitney's new eagle pattern! The winner will receive a FREE pattern and fabric kit! You can post a comment here with a name suggestion, or email me at the shop, lynn@bigforkbaycottonco.com. Good Luck!


Here is the finished quilt that I made the wedding label for. I based it on an Irish Chain. I wanted the two chains, blue and white, to be distinct, but interwoven, like the lives of two individuals joining together in matrimony. There are also smaller chains of the light green that represent their children, pets, and special people who help strengthen their chains.

I'm going to call this one "Cool Runnings". That has absolutely nothing to do with the wedding, but this quilt looks sort of Caribbean to me, hence the name. We will post it on our website as a free download....not sure when, though. (I have to write instructions, then pass it along to one of our graphic designers....)

It's a little hard to see from this picture, but Karri Schaper quilted this one for me and did an awesome job. My niece is an outdoorsy girl, and Karri quilted it with different leaves in the light blocks and border. Stephy is going to incorporate this quilt into the wedding ceremony, based on an American Indian tradition.

By the way, all of these beautiful fabrics are from my favorite Batik company, Batik Textiles!

Monday, June 8, 2009


We all know we should label our quilts, don't we? I'm a great one for preaching it, but I don't always follow my own advice. However, I ALWAYS make a label for a quilt that is a gift. This is the label for a quilt I made for my niece, Stephy, who is getting married outdoors in a field of wild daisies in southwest Montana this weekend.

The frame around the words is from Kim Churbuck's book, Make Your Own Quilt Labels, Volume II. (Of course, the words are from the Bible....) Kim has several wonderful books that make creating quilt labels FUN. I hope your local quilt shop carries them, but if not, give us a call, we can send you one. Her books are inexpensive, and loaded with designs for any and all occasions....holiday, baby, outdoors, sports, you name it. Plus, I've traced her designs for embroidery, and punchneedle. (She also makes punchneedle patterns.)