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Monday, December 13, 2010

January Silk Pincushion

To celebrate the New Year, Mary Jo Hiney designed this beautiful Globe Pincushion and a new silk packet too. She continues to astound us with her new creation each month. Isn't it beautiful. Although, she made it in both silk and cotton, she is known for her use of silk. Really, with her helpful hints anyone could work with silk. Her secret is to back the silk with a lightweight fusible.

For more information on the Globe Pincushion and the Pincushions On Parade Club, Click here.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Pincushion on Parade - Victorian Boot

Here is the second of Mary Jo Hiney's Pincushions on Parade Club mailings. The Victorian boot is done both in silk and cotton and called Travelin Boot and uses the Sweet Silk Packet or fabrics from the July/August, 2010 Issue of The Cotton Club. If you join the club now you would receive the current mailing.

When we introduced Mary Jo's Silk Club, she designed a new project for every month. We expected it to be some little project to give you ideas on how to use silk, but instead, they were these fabulous projects: scarves, purses, pincushions, pillows, eyeglass holders and more. We are so excited about the pincushion club, because it gives us a chance to see another new design from her every month for another 12 months. Mary Jo will choose a theme for each month and if you sign up now, you will receive the first shipment now. The next one will be sent in October. These are keepsake pincushions and will be treasured for years to come!

Also, when you sign up for the silk club, we will enclose an information sheet on how to work with silk and some facts about it. Mary Jo backs hers with a lightweight Fusible Interfacing which we have available. From her Silk Fun Facts, did you know that according to legend, in 2640 BCE, Chinese Prinsess Xi Ling Shi was the first to reel silk from a cocoon that had dropped into her cut of tea, so they say. It could have been her bath water... Silk farming, harvesting and weaving processes became a closely guarded secret for the next 3000 years, known only to the Chinese.

For more information on Pincushions on Parade, Click here and scroll down to see the entire Silk Catogory.

To see all of our clubs, Click here.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

1/16" Round Hole Punch

We have been selling this tool since 1984. We ran it in our first display ad in Quilter's Newsletter Magazine. At that time, we thought it was extravagantly expensive at $16.95, but, we were all making our own templates, drawing around them, cutting them out and "marking the intersections" so we could hand piece. We loved to get it just right and this tool allowed us to punch a hole in the intersection of template plastic, the exact size we needed it. Every year the tool goes up in price, a little and now, in 2010, it is $39.95. When you consider that cars and houses are 10 times more expensive than they were then, I guess it isn't too bad.

Sally Collins, of miniature quilt fame, still recommends this notion and Debra Wagner recommended it too. The truth is, even now it is one of those tools that is always there when I need it. Recently, I had finished 8 wedges that had to be sewn together in a 360 degree circle and it came in very handy. I made a template of my triangle with the 1/4" seam allowance added then punched the intersections. I laid it on my wedges, marked the intersections, then drew sewing lines to connect the dots. I then was able to sew them together with confidence. I used a method I learned from Marsha McClosky years ago, when we first started piecing on the machine which she called, Precision Machine Piecing. I just sewed from dot to dot, leaving the 1/4" free at the ends, so they could be ironed any direction. It was her pinning method along the drawn lines and those dots that made it go together so easily.

To go to the 1/16" Round Hole Punch in our Online Catalog, Click here.

We carry a very extensive collection of notions and supplies. All of our favorites and the new ones as they prove themselves as useful.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Attention Astrology Lovers - Sun Signs of the Zodiac Fabric

At The Cotton Club we are excited about the arrival of a new fabric line - New Dawn. It just arrived on Friday and 2 of us are already working on quilts. The line features all 12 of the Zodiac signs along with a panel and 5 overall designs. We have so many ideas for using it.

From a Fat Quarter pack, we quickly made the small (57" x 44")top shown, featuring all 12 zodiac sun sign fabrics and the panel. With the remaining Sun Sign Fat Quarter pack, we cut out 4 1/2" squares - about 60 of them. We are going to add an inside border of black, then the squares, another black border and a dark binding. We are going to back it with the Tarot card like fabric, that actually says something about the characteristics attached to each of the sun signs.

We think, whoever did the art work on this fabric, really knew a lot about the zodia signs, the animals and other associations attributed to each of the sun signs. It looks serious enough for those who know a great deal about Astrology. Each fabric has a 24" repeat. The art work is intricate and sophisticated.

Even as a baby quilt, we think it would be wonderful. The fabric is serious enough to carry one through life. And, as other things change, our sun sign stays the same. I would like to take my sign and combine it with my husbands sign for a quilt. That lead me to think how doing the same would make it a fun wedding or anniversary quilt. The possibilities seem endless.

When I get the border added, I will post another photo but even this is big enough for a lap quilt. If you want to see the whole line, Click here.

Cheryl Little and other Fabric Slaves at The Cotton Club

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Cornucopia - Pincushion on Parade Club

The Cotton Club's newest club is a Pincushion of the Month Club - Pincushions on Parade. Mary Jo Hiney is the designer. She is known for her beautiful work in silk. The first pincushion is for fall - a Cornucopia. She has made it both in Silk, using the Gracious Silk Packet (7 - 7 1/2" x 10 1/2" pieces of silk) and in cotton. For the cotton version she used the fabrics from the July/August Issue of The Cotton Club. Both are yummy. So much so, that we decided to make the club available in 3 ways. The Pattern and a Silk Packet, the Pattern and a Cotton Packet or just the Pattern. We like to make it fun for us and fun for you.

When we introduced Mary Jo's Silk Club, she designed a new project for every month. We expected it to be some little project to give you ideas on how to use silk, but instead, they were these fabulous projects: scarves, purses, pincushions, pillows, eyeglass holders and more. We are so excited about the pincushion club, because it gives us a chance to see another new design from her every month for another 12 months. Mary Jo will choose a theme for each month and if you sign up now, you will receive the first shipment now. The next one will be sent in September and has a Christmas/Holiday theme - three lovely designs for the price of one. These are keepsake pincushions and will be treasured for years to come!

Also, when you sign up for the club, we will enclose an information sheet on how to work with silk and some facts about it. Mary Jo backs hers with a lightweight Fusible Interfacing which we have available.

For more information on Pincushions on Parade, Click here.

For information on the Silk Club, Click here.

To see all of our clubs, Click here.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Aunt Grace Circle of Friends

In honor of the 100th birthday of Aunt Grace, Judie Rothermel has created a special collection of fabrics and Vicki Bellino of Bloom Creek created a wonderful 7 month Block of the Month Quilt - BOM - Aunt Grace Circle of Friends. It starts in September. The quilt design represents many Aunt Grace favorites, including pinwhels, the Dresden plate, and her local county fair and cake sales. The quilt also incorporates the use of solids, which Aunt Grace often used in her quilts.

Even though, we are usually drawn to more contemporary quilts, we love this traditional 82" x 82" quilt. If you want to use your stash of Aunt Grace fabrics the pattern is available seperately.

The fabrics are also available Open Stock. The backing is this wonderful "I Love Grace" fabric.

For more information, Click here.

To see all our Block of the Month Programs, Click here.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Batik Cascades Arrived!

Even though we just returned from Spring Quilt Market in Minneapolis, before we share a market report, we have some really good news! The Batik Cascades fabric has arrived. We have always been lovers of gradated fabrics, but this line is the best selling one we have ever had. We have loads of backorders to fill and once they are filled we hope to have fabric remaining for current orders. If not, the next delivery is July, with 6 new colors expected in June. When we buy a new line like this and it has this many colors and you want them all, we are happy to break up the shipments to fit your needs.

If you want to see all the colors individually, Click here and scroll down.

Now, what we love about these gradations is how they look in quilts, whether it is piecing, inside or outside borders or applique. I think we are basically lazy because they do the work of many fabrics and we love that. They add a glow that is hard to get any other way.

We currently carry all of the Gradations by Caryl Bryer Fallert for Benartex and what is still being printed in the Silent Inspirations by McKenna Ryan for Hoffman California Fabrics. From McKenna Ryan, we have a wonderful new line arriving soon, but if you have not bought the previous line, now is the time to grab those. We even have a wonderful piece from a graded line with dots. To see The Cotton Club Gradations Category, Click here.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Fossil Fern Fabric by Benartex is still available - 120 colors

At the same class with Master Machine Quilter, Diane Gaudynski, we heard Fossil Fern Fabric by Benartex was no longer available. We know it is still available, because we still carry all 120 colors. Diane listed Fossil Fern and Gradations fabrics on her supply list as well as Aurifil 50W-2ply Cotton Thread and we carry all three.

A few years ago, now, Benartex did reduce the number of colors from 160 to 100. At that time they produced a 5" square packet of the 100 which is still available. Then they added back 19 colors which they needed for their color story program. We even have a club where you can receive 10 colors each month until you have all the colors in the size of your choice - minimum 1/4 yard.

When you need a Fossil Fern Fabric, we are your best source. We are rarely out of a color and when we are it is rarely more than two weeks before it is back in stock. If you are trying to match a color, experience has taught us, with 120 colors, it is best, if you send us a sample. We will return it too!

Over 14 years we have proven that Fossil Fern fabrics are very useful. After taking Diane's class, we realized how their light weight proves to be an advantage for whole cloth quilts and backings, especially when you are machine quilting. Much less weight to manipulate through the machine. Add a lightweight batting, such as wool and lightweight thread, such as our 140 weight, Fine Cotton Thread or 50 Weight Aurifil or 100 weight Silk (heavenly, and you will love the difference it makes in guiding it through the machine.

We love using many different, even odd fabrics in a quilt, so the idea of making a quilt out of one line of fabric wouldn't normally enter our head. With the Fossil Fern line, it did. With 160 colors from which to choose and all the variation in each piece, we thought it could make a fabulous quilt if we just had the right pattern. Simple Gifts by Mary Sorenson turned out to be the right pattern. While Patty Henry and Joyce Cambron made it, we offered it as a Block of the Month (and still do). As it turned out it has won a lot of ribbons, including Best of Show, Applique and First in its division locally and because the fabric is still available so is the kit.

After we finished Simple Gifts, Kate White was anxious to do Sunday Blues by Dinah Jeffries and it too turned out to prove the Fossil Fern yielded fabulous results. If you click below be sure to scroll down to see all the blocks from our version individually.

To see the Simple Gifts quilt, Click here.

To see the Sunday Blues quilt, Click here.

To see the Fossil Fern Category, Click here.

To check out our Fine Thread, Click here.

Friday, April 2, 2010

Microfiber Microbrushes

The microfiber world has come to our sewing machines. As we all know, anytime we are sewing, having good quality thread and needle and keeping our machines clean is a high priority. We clean our sewing machines, everytime we change the bobbin or every 3 hours of sewing, whichever comes first.

Rencently, at a Diane Gaudynski machine quilting class, we were introduced to these wonderful microfiber microbrushes for cleaning the little hard to reach areas. These will replace the Q-Tip we have used in the past. And now, we are more confident we are attracting the debris to the brush rather than pushing it deeper. When co-worker Patty Henry used hers for the first time, she could not believe all the dust and threads she removed. Then, after sewing for a while, she tried it again and once again, removed a lot of dust. (We wish she had saved it so we could show you a photo.) If you go to Diane Gaudyski's Blog, she has some wonderful close-ups of the brush.

The Cotton Club has added the brushes to our inventory. They are 25 for $3.99. That is right! You actually receive 25 of these little jewels for $3.99. To go there,Click here.

More soon,

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Four Seasons BOM - Free Pattern

The Four Seasons Block of the Month features the Rock Candy Collection designed by Mark Hordyszynski for Blank Quilting. Like us, you may already be familiar with his name as he was the designer of the very popular Fairy Frost fabric for Michael Miller Fabrics. This collection is similar but a larger scale and we find it more interesting. It is also softer, so whatever gives it texture, there is less of it.

There are over 40 different colors of the Rock Candy in the 54" x 69" finished quilt.

The day we were looking at the fabrics and pattern, 2 co-workers and 3 customers wanted to make it, so, we thought we better offer it. It is more reasonable than most BOMs, because the pattern is FREE with the Block of the Month.

Whether done by hand or machine the result is gorgeous. Definitely an heirloom piece. About hand-applique, if you fear it, all it takes is emmersing oneself in a project like this to become totally comfortable. On the other hand, if you fear machine applique, the same can be said. We have two really good DVD's to learn either or both. The first is Hand and Machne Applique the Karen Kay Buckley Way and the second, by Sharon Pederson is Machine Applique for the Terrified Quilter.

Here at The Cotton Club, Kate studied with Karen and then watched the video and she said the DVD was as good as taking the class.

To see the BOM Online, Click Here.

To see the DVDs mentioned above, Click Here.

This next week I will be taking a Machine Quilting class. I, Cheryl, am a wannabe machine quilter, so I am going to emmerse myself for a week and see what I can do. I will post again when I return!

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Paula Nadelstern introduces limited edition Kaleidoscope Giclee art prints of her work.

From Paula Nadelstern's art show at the American Museum of Folk Art, this is one of 12 art prints she is offering in signed limited editions. Isn't it a fabulous way to be able to see her work. Here are what some of the people who have made purchases have to say:

This is beautiful art! And I love being able to look at Paula Nadelstern's handiwork in these prints "up close" and seeing how the design blends so skillfully across seam after seam. I'm a beginner at learning her techniques, working my way through the 'Puzzle Quilt' book right now, and many of the pictures I've seen of her kaleidoscopes can look so intimidating. These prints are a fantastic learning experience that let me see more clearly what she is teaching in her books, and they give me more confidence that, while I will not likely attain anything close to this level of mastery, my learning journey is being guided by a superb artist. These prints with their breathtaking detail are far more beautiful than any book or internet pictures of her work can possibly convey. -- P.B., Texas

We have two of these prints hanging prominently in our living room - they are stunning and draw the attention of everyone who visits. For a quilter, this is an ideal way to disply the artistry of the craft. -- J Ewing, Providence, RI

Paula Nadelstern's quilts are stunning. The colors and design sing a song to you. Having watched her quilts for years, it gives me great joy to look at one of her quilts everyday by having one of her giclee prints on my wall. The colors are so true and the medium is a good fit for the complexity of the quilt. --C Cunningham, Long island City, NY

To revisit the prints, Click Here.

By the way, we do not profit from the sale of these prints, but we do plan to own one in this lifetime!! And we think you might want one too.

Also, from this collection of blocks, we still have a good stock of the beautiful notecards, Click Here.

And Paula's newest fabric line - Nuance, Click Here.

As well as, previous fabric lines books, patterns and supplies, Click Here.

To visit our Kaleidoscope Category, Click Here.

We keep a Scope News Email Roster especially for people who are kaleidoscope enthusiasts. If you would like to be added just email us at and ask to be added to the Scope News Email Roster.

The Cotton Club

Friday, February 12, 2010

Marking Fabric - Sewline vs. Bohin Mechanical Chalk

We recently received the following question from a customer: "I was wondering which fabric marker is better, the Bohin Mechanical Chalk or the Sewline?" It is hard to answer as to best. We think it depends on what you are doing and how much money you are willing to invest.

The chalk in the Bohin pencil is softer and flows without much pressure, but it does have to be sharpened. If a consistent width of line is important, it won't be as consistent. Jami, as a long-arm quilter loves it as she is using it after the quilt is sandwiched. As a hand-quilter (who rarely hand-quilts anymore) I would also love it for marking after the quilt was sandwiched and in the frame. I don't think the Sewline would work well for either of these uses, but I would prefer the Sewline if I was marking the quilt before it was sandwiched, as I could do so on a hard surface.

Because the Sewline pencil advances with a click and is always the same width, it gives a consistent line. With 5 colors, one always works. There is an additional investment. Although some people are happy to have one pencil and change the lead, after I was sold on it, I bought all 5 colors and I have to admit, it is nice to be able to reach for the one you need when you need it.

I found, I LOVED the Sewline when I was putting my Ruth McDowell style Jar quilt together with curves. It is a freezer paper method. In order to sew the curves freezer paper has to be removed. So, each piece must be traced around before removing, leaving a sewing line and hatch marks. Although I have all sorts of markers, it wasn't until I took a white Sewline home for the dark pieces that I really started having fun putting that piece together. The next day I came down and bought all the colors. They have a top on them the color of the lead and I love knowing exactly which one to grab.

Bottomline: If I could afford the Bohin and all the colors of the Sewline, that would be my first choice. Having the Bohin and one color of the Sewline could work too. If only one Sewline, buy the color you use in fabric the least. For instance, if you never use pink, buy a pink one and it will show on anything else. As far as the Bohin is concerned, at the price of $12.09, everyone should have the vesatility it allows.

If you want to see to the Bohin,
Click Here.

For more information on the Sewlines,
Click Here.

Friday, January 15, 2010

American Beauty BOM

Where does the time go. It can't be since October that we have posted. Shame on us. We work every day and this is a business, but it seems there are just never enough hours in the day. On the other hand, if ALL we had to do was work, we could certainly get more done.

Anyway, enough whining about not having enough time and on to our most current project - American Beauty BOM. It looks like lots of local shops are doing it, but if yours isn't, we have it! You even have a choice of the Light or Dark Version. You can start anytime. It is a beautiful quilt. People seem to be drawn more to the Light Version, but the Dark is actually selling better. That seems odd.

If you want more information Click Here.

And, if you want to check out our other BOM programs, Click Here and scroll down.

It feels good to be back posting again. Watch for weekly updates!