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, 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.......