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!

Thursday, December 16, 2010


There's nothing like a little insomnia to help you get caught up! As for a lot of you, I imagine, the holidays have just snuck up on me and I have found myself so far behind! I always wanted to be one of those people that gets by on just four or five hours of sleep a night, but that has never been me. However, I am in one of those insomnia spells right now. Instead of opening up a book in the middle of the night, I have been getting up and doing other things. It feels good! I'm not going to fight it... I know that when it's over, I'll have some catching up on sleep to do, but in the meantime, it just feels good to be getting some things done.

One thing I really wanted to do was make my grandson a Christmas stocking. I know, it doesn't seem like a big deal. But of course, I waited too long to start it, and I started thinking it just wasn't going to get done. I kept telling myself that he really wouldn't know, and I'd be sure and get it done for next year. (I know, bad Grandma....) Anyway, here's where the insomnia comes in! In the wee hours of the morning I was able to finish this up....

The applique patterns are from a pattern by Tammy DeYoung of Plum Creek Collectibles. They had the cutest booth at Quilt Market just around the corner from us. The pattern is for a banner, door hanger, purse, and pillow. But when I saw it, I knew it was what I wanted for Parker's stocking.

I actually have never made a stocking before and didn't have a pattern, so it took a little fiddling around to get the whole lining thing right. The font is in my Microsoft Office and is called Kristen ITC.

Thursday, October 21, 2010


Do you need a quick-t0-make gift for a baby shower or a new arrival? Check out www.mayawrap.com for instructions on how to make this baby sling. (You can buy them on this site also.)

I made this one last weekend. It was the second one I made. It literally takes ten minutes to make. It took longer to press the fabric than it did to sew this. I didn't have a baby handy, so here it is on my newel post with a sack of potatoes in it.

Here's little Parker in the first one I made. The poor little guy had a very "immature belly", (translation: colic), and really had a hard time his first few months. Being in the sling really comforted him and helped preserve his parents' sanity.

Fast forward a couple of months and you can see that he is still very comfortable in it, and of course, it's great for momma and poppa to have both hands free for other things.

What I really love about this company (www.mayawrap.com) is that even though they sell the slings, they shared instructions on how to make them. There is a video on the site that explains different ways to wear it for different ages.

Monday, October 18, 2010


I spent some time yesterday working on this Blooming Nine Patch quilt for a very special baby that is scheduled to arrive in December. The baby is going to be a girl, but the momma didn't want anything too "girly or baby". I took that to mean no bright pink and purple, and no juvenile prints. Soooo, what to do? Well, I just love this Moda collection, Martinique. It's just plain pretty. Since the big picture isn't very clear, scroll down to get a closer view of the fabrics.

I am going to add a narrow border of the large print shown below...that's what I used for the setting triangles, so it will just carry that design out a bit. Or....now that I'm thinking about it, maybe a scalloped border....hmmm....

This is one of my all time favorite patterns from one of my favorite all time books, Tradition With A Twist by Blanche Young and Dalene Young Stone. This is one of those patterns that looks good in any type of fabrics....I have done it in Cherrywoods, batiks, and just regular cottons like here. If you visit Webshots (http://www.webshots.com/) and search for Blooming Nine Patch Quilts, you will see oodles of pictures of different BNP quilts.
It is my personal opinion that this book should be in every quilter's library. I probably make at least one Bloomin' Nine Patch a year, but there are also some other great patterns in this book, including classics like Irish Chains and Trip Around The Worlds. The instructions are so clear and concise....very well written. And some of the patterns are good stash busters! These quilts go together FAST!

If you don't have this book, BUY IT NOW!!! It's actually been out a long time....at least ten years, but it is still being reprinted, so I guess I am not the only one that feels this way.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010


We are so excited to introduce our newest artist, J Blake! It has been so much fun interpreting his wonderful, whimsical style in fabric.....and I never, in my wildest dreams, imagined that classic cottons, batiks, and wool would play together so nicely!
Three Wise Guys

Good St. Nick

Identity Crisis

Poppy Love

Beach Baaa-be

Tuesday, September 14, 2010


We have redesigned our popular pattern, 4 Ever Friends by Toni Whitney. This was one of our very first patterns, and is still a favorite. Most of the original fabrics are no longer available, so we have redesigned it in current fabrics. Hope you like it! Pattern covers are being printed and we will be ready to ship in no time!

Thursday, September 9, 2010


These are the fabrics in our Bella Rosa kit. I am nearly done piecing the blocks. There are three different star blocks, pinwheel blocks, and four patch/half square triangle blocks. I just love how it is turning out. Because there are so many prints, many of the blocks have a "blended" look, but some have more contrast. I still have to stitch around the applique. Then I can start putting the blocks together. I CAN'T WAIT!! Instead of piecing the outer border, we have decided to use the large Moda floral print. I'll get my camera up to the sewing room and get pictures of some of the blocks soon.......

Wednesday, September 1, 2010


I'm just getting started on my next Miss Rosie's Quilt Co pattern.....Bella Rosa! Although I love the soft colors on the cover, I've chosen darker colors; reds, greens, and browns, and darker backgrounds. I will post pictures of the fabrics tomorrow, and show you my first blocks, but in the meantime, I thought I would tease you with the pattern. One fun thing about this one is the applique! You don't see that very often in Miss Rosie's patterns.....

Monday, August 23, 2010


I've been doing some more tracing, cutting, and ironing....

Tuesday, August 17, 2010


Normally I wouldn't post our new designs for fall Quilt Market so early, but we are so excited about these new designs from Debi Hubbs! They are both near the end of the "pattern development cycle", meaning we are almost done with them! We are waiting for pattern covers to be printed and proofing the patterns. We are taking preorders now, but may not be actually shipping until next month. Patterns will cost $14, Fabric kits will cost $58. Thread kits will be available but I don't have a price on them yet.

Debi's artwork is so much fun....it always brings a smile to my face! Peruse her website at http://www.artblooms.net/ . It is so much fun! If you see a painting that you think would make a great pattern, let me know....we're always open to suggestions!

The Swing
24" X 28"
(As you can see, Romancing Red is still courting Chicken a la Carte!)

" The Hunter"
24" X 28"

Thursday, August 5, 2010


Some of you know that we have a new design team, Woolin Rouge.... I love their tag line: "A Cabaret of Folk Art Designs So Simple Anyone Can-Can do them! Anyway, their first design, Star Light, Snow Bright has been a huge hit! We sell out of them at every show!

We are awaiting a wool order so that we can put fabric kits together. BUT, we have had many requests for a non-wool kit, so we have put a batik kit together, and it is really cute!

The next offering from Woolin Rouge was Hippie Birdie, a tablerunner/placemat/napkin ring pattern made up of cottons and wools.

At Quilt Market these designs attracted the eye of Marianne Byrne-Goarin, an amazing French designer, whose book, Cinnamon Inspirations, is full of wonderful wool felt designs. She invited Woolin Rouge to design for her magazine, and the result is Holly Birdie:

Next up will be a fall version with Chickadees! I can't wait!!

Tuesday, July 27, 2010


This is Anja Dahlin, with her beautiful version of our Mystery #2. Isn't it lovely? Those of you who worked on this mystery know that there was a lot of piecing in this quilt. Our next mystery will start soon. I promise there won't be as much piecing in this new one! Details will be coming soon. I am heading out of town to visit a special little man in Wisconsin, but I'll be back in a week and get working on separating the pattern I am using into steps for the mystery!

Thursday, July 22, 2010


Here are my first few blocks. I love Daiwabo fabrics and have been collecting them for a few years now. It was going to be either Daiwabos or Cherrywoods (my other obsession). I decided to go with the Daiwabos, obviously. Now the decision is to stitch around the applique with a blanket stitch or a tiny zigzag. I'm leaning towards the zigzag for a couple of reasons....the main reason being that all the stitching is on the applique, rather than on the background. This is important because then the applique/fusible/background provides enough stability that I don't need a stabilizer underneath and I won't get any puckering. Plus, the zigzag is more forgiving if i wander a bit...since the thread will match the applique piece, if I wander on the background it will really show. Of course I will be using AURIFIL 50 wt thread....there is nothing better. Period. Plus, I love their wide range of colors. I think that sometimes I will try to match the applique, but sometimes I might use a shade or two lighter or darker, or use the color next door, to add a little depth.

Did I tell you that there are 25 blocks, PLUS 25 border blocks? Yikes. If I had nothing else going on, I would try and get this done by December, when I have a spot reserved with an amazing longarm quilter. I'm going to give it a shot, but I know it is a really, really long shot. All that stitching is going to take a long time.....

By the way, I am using a new fusible. Well, it's not really new, just new to me....
SOFT FUSE, by Stacey Michell is wonderful. It is the best fusible I have used. We now have it on the bolt, and it is 36" wide! At $9 a yard, at that width, that's a bargain! Give it a try if you see it...I think you're going to like it!

Wednesday, July 21, 2010


Shocking, I know. It's so not like me. My husband knows all about it and seems okay with it...he's just concerned about the amount of time it will take away from "us".

Those who know me know that I'm pretty traditional....it's basically squares, rectangles, and triangles for me.

But then my friend Sylvia came up to me at Quilt Market and waved something in my face, and, well, what can I say? It's what I have been looking for, without knowing it, for a long time!

I always thought that I would have one Baltimore Album quilt in me. I have all those books, and every so often I would get them out and pore over the different blocks, imagining how I would make mine. Then I went through a Pat Campbell, Jacobean quilt phase. Remember, I am not really interested in applique. I am a happy piecer. I have done a couple of projects with applique, but nothing this ambitious.

Before I mislead you, I love my Janome, and it will be working just as hard as I will be in creating this quilt. My hand work is limited to English Paper Piecing and binding.

In case you can't read the fine print, this beautiful pattern is by Edyta Sitar of Laundry Basket Quilts.

And by the way, Sylvia is making a version also. Mine will be made with traditional cottons, but hers will be made with WOOL! I hope she will post her blocks also...her blog is excessivecompulsivesewing.blogspot.com .

I have a lot of the tracing done, and some blocks fused. I'll post a few tomorrow.....

Wednesday, July 7, 2010


It's done! Karri is going to quilt it tomorrow, then I'll finish it off with red binding. Can't wait!

Tuesday, July 6, 2010


This is really easy stuff. For this quilt I purchased three bear panels and backing fabric. Here's how to get started: Lay your backing fabric down right side down. Lay three (or more) layers of your feature fabric right side up . Pin all four (or more) layers together. Pin very carefully...as I place each pin through each layer I check to make sure the pin is entering each layer at the same place in the design. I use the same amount of pins as I would use if I were pin basting to quilt....placing pins about a hands width apart.

Take your longest ruler and draw a line across the quilt top near the center at a 45 degree angle. You only have to mark this one line! Stitch on this line. Then, using a seam guide, stitch parallel lines across the complete quilt top. Remove pins as you come to them. Instead of using a seam guide, you can also use the edge of your presser foot. Move your needle to the left until the distance from the needle to the edge of the presser foot is your desired width. You can determine for yourself how close you want these lines. For this quilt, my stitching lines are approximately 1/2" apart.

Here it is with all the stitching done!

It really helps to start your cuts ahead of time with scissors. Be very careful not to cut through the bottom layer and the backing. In this case, since there are only three layers, I just cut through the top two layers.

Place the guide through all but the bottom layer. Be really careful about this! (You will notice that I didn't start the cuts here with scissors. That is because I didn't figure that out yet...it took trying to start the cuts along the selvedge edges to realize that there is a better way!)

Use your nonslicing hand to hold the fabric firmly. When slicing gets harder, you simply rotate your blade to a new, sharp setting. I think I rotated it about three times for this quilt.

You can see here that I have sliced through about half of the quilt. Just keep going until you have sliced through all the channels you have sewn.

Every so often (more often when working with flannel) you will want to open up the chenille cutter and "defuzz". This is really easy to do! (You open it up the same way to change the blade.) To do this, turn the cutter over....

Slide out the black thingy.

The back of the cutter lifts off easily now. Try very hard not to rotate the blade as you lift it out to remove the fuzz....that way you keep your blade settings where they should be.

After all the slicing is done, I trim and square up the quilt and bind as if it were a normal quilt. Then I wash and dry it. You'll want to check the lint screen in your dryer several times during the drying cycle. The more often this quilt is washed, the softer it will get!

You can use any large print to make a throw rug as shown here, or placemats.

Here is a detail of the rug.......