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linda@surroundedbyscraps.com
Portland, OR

503-997-8958

Handmade quilts and home accessories by fiber artist Linda Nussbaum. See samples of past projects as well as pieces available for sale and inspirations for custom orders. To see what is currently available for sale, please visit my Etsy Shop.

Surrounded by Scraps

Filtering by Tag: cool cottons

Shot Cotton Love

Linda Nussbaum

Do I really need to say it? The Kaffe Fassett Shot Cottons produced by his manufacturing company Rowan are some of my favorite fabrics to work with, and certainly my favorite "solids".

What makes shot cottons so rich (besides the unique colors within Kaffe's own palette) is the combination of different colors used for the warp and weft threads in the woven fabrics. Meaning that when the cloth is woven the threads going vertically are dyed a different color than the threads going horizontally.

close-up of Rowan Shot Cotton - Blueberry

close-up of Rowan Shot Cotton - Blueberry

Plus they have a beautiful hand. Because of the looser weave and not going through a screen-printing process they have a softness and flow to them that most quilter's cottons do not (though the industry is changing!). 

When Cherie and I were first discussing the launch of The Creative Bungalow (even before it had a name) and deciding between potential fabric lines with which to plan projects there was a suggestion of finding something to do with shot cottons. It stayed on the back burner while we went ahead with our plans for the Art Gallery fabric combination we are so excited about, but after a visit to E.E. Schenck, a local quilting and sewing wholesale warehouse, we came across some inspiration.

As with so many other things that were put on hold this past month while I was tending the injured pup any pursuance of this project halted temporarily. But then I was able to step into my favorite fabric store again after being away for nearly a full month (this also being my job) with the exceptional selection of shot cottons that Marie carries at Cool Cottons on SE Hawthorne! My inspiration soared and I couldn't wait to put together a stunning array of colors to test with a very cool Carolyn Friedlander pattern we found, Sessoms.

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Now, I am still very much in the testing stage for this project, but so far we are thinking it has some serious potential! here are a few test blocks I did earlier this week:

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We'll likely be trying out another background color to compare the two, but for now this is what is going forward. Isn't that lovely?? I can't wait to see how more of the blocks turn out!

Quilt Market Recap

Linda Nussbaum

It's hard to know where to begin, so I feel I should just jump right in. As I've mentioned in previous posts, and I'm sure as many of you are already aware, the Spring 2013 International Quilt Market was held in Portland, OR this year. Marie generously registered me as an ambassador for Cool Cottons, for which I am truly grateful! Since she had actual appointments with fabric companies on both Friday and Saturday I was manning the store those days, but had set aside Sunday for wandering through the Oregon Convention Center. Another bonus of the event was all of the peripheral events attached. In addition to the class with Jacquie Gering (blogged here) at Modern Domestic, there was a Happy Hour event, dinner with a wonderful group of folks, some new acquaintances but all familiar from their blogs and/or design companies, and a special PMQG program for its monthly meeting. And a late-discovered plus is that I was joined by my friend Cherie, of Pieced by Cherie for the show itself!

So, on to the photos (not as many as I would like, but really one just gets caught up in the energy and spectacle of it all and forgets the camera hanging from her wrist).

A new design from an old favorite of mine.

A new design from an old favorite of mine.

A new discovery.

A new discovery.

A little corner of Anna Maria Horner's section of the Westminster Fabrics booth.

A little corner of Anna Maria Horner's section of the Westminster Fabrics booth.

Everyone seems to have been agog at Heather Bailey's booth - the scale embroidery on the wall really was something else!

Everyone seems to have been agog at Heather Bailey's booth - the scale embroidery on the wall really was something else!

Cherie and I were drawn in by their booth and designs.

Cherie and I were drawn in by their booth and designs.

Cherie got the information on these guys... it was a company I was not so familiar with, but we were intrigued. I'll add details if I find out :-)

Cherie got the information on these guys... it was a company I was not so familiar with, but we were intrigued. I'll add details if I find out :-)

Jeni Baker's (In Color Order) booth, debuting her second fabric collection with Art Gallery Fabrics, I believe. Beautiful work!

Jeni Baker's (In Color Order) booth, debuting her second fabric collection with Art Gallery Fabrics, I believe. Beautiful work!

A Quilter's Dream - a plethora of great patterns to choose from!

A Quilter's Dream - a plethora of great patterns to choose from!

A great booth put together by Busy Bee Quilt Designs, right here in the greater Portland area!

A great booth put together by Busy Bee Quilt Designs, right here in the greater Portland area!

And not to be left out, I had to get at least ONE photo of myself with someone exhibiting... and who better than someone I know and like as much as Michelle!?

And not to be left out, I had to get at least ONE photo of myself with someone exhibiting... and who better than someone I know and like as much as Michelle!?

It was a blast to wander around, bump into people I have gotten to know over the years in this industry, and just take in all of the eye candy and positive energy! I walked away with a bit of swag - a few new buttons, brochures and tear sheets for some great pattern designers and publishers, the germ of an idea for a new venture planted by someone else, a set of the first 5 issues of Modern Quilts Illustrated by Weeks Ringle and Bill Kerr (and we had an awesomely engaging chat with Mr. Kerr, what an interetsing guy!) and a GORGEOUS  collection of the BEST thread on the planet - at bargain wholesale price!

However, I can't believe that Cherie and I forgot to get our picture together at Market!! Maybe next time, right?

I also have to give a shout out to the lovely group of ladies who let me join them for dinner at Tin Shed Friday night - it was a pleasure spending time with you all, and getting to know new faces! Jenn, Jessica, Caroline, Latifah and Connie. I'm not yet active on Instagram, but maybe one day will join the 21st century and switch out my cell phone for one of those "smart" things!

Revving up for Market

Linda Nussbaum

Okay, maybe I'm just revving up for events throughout the next week surrounding Spring Quilt Market which is happening here in Portland this year! A friend who had helped with the set-up 5 years ago when Spring Market was last held here asked if I'd like to join her this time around - which includes a free pass to the trade show. Unfortunately it does not look like we got a shift this time around, but I have generously been granted credentials from Marie, so I'll hopefully be able to sneak a peek at some point next weekend when I am not helping out at Cool Cottons.

But there are really two things in particular that I am very much looking forward to. First off - getting the chance to take a class with Jacquie Gering of Tallgrass Prairie Studio, coauthor of the book Quilting Modern, and I believe one of the founding members of the KCMQG.  She will be a guest teacher at Modern Domestic while here in town, teaching her "Slice and Insert" improvisational quilting technique. This is the first quilting class I've signed up for in several years, not including the week long Jane Sassaman workshop I attended with my mom last summer in Greenville, NY. I find her work so inspiring, and am eager to get the chance to spend the day in this class! I've begun pulling some fabrics to use during the class, but may very well change my mind before next Wednesday...

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I'm thinking the navy will be background with the oranges and periwinkle as the slices and inserts. Any suggestions?

And part two of the weekend's fun surprises is that I get to meet someone who's become an online friend over the last few years. Jenn, a.k.a. Sunny, an amazingly creative and generous gal who pulled together an online quilting bee for modern quilters several years ago, one which I was SO fortunate to become involved with starting in 2011 and have continued to take part in the follow-up years. Granted, 2 of the 3 quilts I've gotten out of the deal are still in progress, but it's without a doubt been one of the most gratifying experiences I've had in the online quilting community to date.

From the 2011 Seams Perfect folks

From the 2011 Seams Perfect folks

2012's Friends + Fabric Bee results

2012's Friends + Fabric Bee results

I still have a way to go for this, but it's still 2013, so I'm not TOO far behind... and this round of F+F is still going on!

I still have a way to go for this, but it's still 2013, so I'm not TOO far behind... and this round of F+F is still going on!

Is anyone else out there headed to good ol' Stumptown for Spring Quilt Market? I know there's going to be a Happy Hour meet up at Modern Domestic on Friday evening, and I am sure other social events as well. It would be so cool to meet some other visitors to our fair city, either while I'm behind the counter at Cool Cottons on Friday and Saturday or at other events. Give a shout-out!

Exciting reveal, #1

Linda Nussbaum

March. A.K.A March Madness here in the PDX eastside fabric shops. Bolt Fabric Boutique and Cool Cottons have teamed up for a little customer appreciation and crossover fun. Gina and Marie have been looking for a way to honor the other's amazing store and our combined fabulous customers, and this month they are doing it big. Spend just $25 at either of these great shops and receive a coupon for 15% off your next purchase at the other one. All Month.

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And lucky me, I get to have my work featured in the prime "over the mantle" real estate at Cool Cottons this month!

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I've been leaving hints and teasers for well over a month about a "super-secret" wall hanging project. Well, here it is! Marie first approached me just before the start of the new year with an idea to feature some of the less-exposed, abundant talent of our local patrons and kindly asked if I'd make something for one of the months. I got out my sketchbook before the conversation was even over!

Now, of course part of the goal is to showcase some of her awesome fabric used in a new project. This gave me a great excuse to design something around a print I have been incredibly drawn to but had not yet found its way into my stash. The Jay McCarroll  "Midtown" from his Center City collection - Denver. 

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This guy has a truly unique style and always comes up with vibrant, dynamic designs. I love it!

So the next step was to find a few more prints to really highlight this treasure...

From left to right: Kaffe Fassett shot cotton in Scarlet, FolkHeart by Sara Trail for Fabri-Quilt, Lucky Penny by Alison Glass for Andover, Center City by Jay McCarroll for Free Spirit, Field Study-Mind's Eye by Anna Maria Horner for Free Spirit and Soul Blossom by Amy Butler for Rowan. Oh, and the background is Kona Bay Black.

From left to right: Kaffe Fassett shot cotton in Scarlet, FolkHeart by Sara Trail for Fabri-Quilt, Lucky Penny by Alison Glass for Andover, Center City by Jay McCarroll for Free Spirit, Field Study-Mind's Eye by Anna Maria Horner for Free Spirit and Soul Blossom by Amy Butler for Rowan. Oh, and the background is Kona Bay Black.

I am currently working on drafting an actual pattern for this puppy, but my technical writing skills could use a lot of work, not to mention my complete lack of InDesign skills. But I'm trying and will hopefully have something available either in print form or PDF soon. But in the mean time, here are a couple of close-ups of this little guy.

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Have I mentioned how much I LOVE how the Shot Cottons show off quilting??

Have I mentioned how much I LOVE how the Shot Cottons show off quilting??

Now, the choice to have my quilt hanging in March is related to another big reveal that I can't quite announce just yet, but hope to be able to spill the beans very very soon. I can say that it has something to do with my Lock 'n' Bolt quilt that I made last summer for the PMQG exhibit at Sisters, which did a little traveling during the fall before coming back to me to now hang in my studio. Please stay tuned...

I <3 my LQS - as you do, too, no doubt!

Linda Nussbaum

Okay, so I feel like this is a little unfair. Only because those of us in the greater Portland area are REALLY REALLY fortunate to have several wonderful fabric shops from which to choose... Bolt, Pioneer Quilts, SewPo, Hollyhill, The Pine Needle, and though it's questionable whether this falls into the appropriate category, there's always Fabric Depot.

BUT, none quite compares with my home away from home away from home - Cool Cottons - in its individuality and character. Probably because no other shop has Marie. Nor an entire inventory based on her unique tastes.

The Organics Alcove!

The Organics Alcove!

I was initially hesitant to share my endorsement with the event at the heart of this "Visit Your Local Quilt Shop Day" for fear of crossing a conflict of interest line (I'm one of those lucky gals who gets to work part-time at her favorite LQS), but in scouring their page and the photo contest rules we didn't find anything to deter employees of the individual shops from participating. So I decided to add my photo to their photo contest, open until 11:59 PST tonight, January 24.

Some of the friendly critters you might have the luck to meet on a visit to Cool Cottons... gathering to say "Goodnight!"

Some of the friendly critters you might have the luck to meet on a visit to Cool Cottons... gathering to say "Goodnight!"

I actually took over half a dozen photos trying to capture just the right image to share. I hope this one goes over well...

And as a little boon, she's been giving away some fun "free with purchase" fabric samples like these:

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The bag was dwindling by the time I hit the road this afternoon, but if you're in SE Portland there might be a few little gifties for the taking - and 4 more hours to shop and get photos to enter in the contest!! And even if you don't have a chance to enter, go and vote for your favorite photo, starting at midnight Jan. 25th! But most of all, keep the spirit of this throughout the coming months and patronize your favorite places so they can continue to be there for you! WE LOVE LOCAL!

WIP Wed. 1/23/13

Linda Nussbaum

Another week of sewing! Lots and lots of sewing. And a few other things in the wings. I feel I should mention the great positive commotion related to the upcoming Visit Your Local Quilt Shop Day... it's been fun to see all the props people are giving their favorite shops. I've stayed in the wings on this one not wanting to unleash a potential conflict of interest, since I am employed by my favorite LQS, but it's great to see that Marie and her shop got lots of love on the blog hop this past week! Let's keep our fingers crossed that the love carries over into tomorrow and becomes a big shopping day!

Getting right to it, thank you Lee for continuing to host WIP Wednesday!

WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced

New

A new monochromatic scrappy scrappy

A new monochromatic scrappy scrappy

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It's been a while since I've delved into my zipper bags of scraps to put one of THESE together. And doing it on my newest hand-me-down The Bernina Activa 240 - seems to be a little power house, let me tell you! And I have to admit it's kind of strange to be sewing in my basement again! I'm now spread out across half the city!

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HST quilt-to-be. I have had the yardage for these guys piled up and set aside for about 2 years now. A project that I have wanted to do for my unofficial in-laws that somehow always got pushed back. You all know what I'm talking about, right?? But 2013 is the year, I tell ya!

MQG Madrona Road Challenge

MQG Madrona Road Challenge

This will be changed around, I am certain. If I even continue to pursue it. I talked a bit about this challenge in my previous post here. It's getting down to the wire and I should have been working on it when I got home from work yesterday, but the inspiration just wasn't there. What can I say?

Some Progress

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Got this basted, but haven't begun quilting it. Which I need to do so that I can retrieve some of those pins in order to baste other projects!

I'm also nearly finished hand stitching the binding onto my warm/cool QAL wall hanging. I don't have any new photos of it, but I'll be sure to post a stellar one for next week's "Completed" category!

And that being said":

Completed

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Two more sets of pot holders. That's all, nothing so exciting. Which leaves...

No Progress/Quilt Tops awaiting quilting

If I could count, I could tell you how many more sets of pot holders are pieced and just need to be quilted and bound. I think 6.

Grey/blue Nubees quilt

Green/brown spiderweb quilt

Pink Elephants

Yellow/magenta Encapsulated

Russet 60/30 Diamonds

So, the final tally seems to be:

New: 3

Some Progress: 3

No Progress: 11

Completed: 2

Thanks again for sticking with me here! I'm excited to keep going and share some new things in the next couple of months - Stay Tuned!

My Last Completed Quilt of 2012...

Linda Nussbaum

or am I selling myself short? 

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I gathered these flannels some time in the middle of the summer, of all things! I had just spent too much time drooling over the absolutely gorgeous Westminster/Rowan/FreeSpirit flannels that Marie carries over at good ol' Cool Cottons. At the time I was feeling purely selfish and had no particular design or goal in mind besides a comfy, cozy throw quilt that in no way will match any of my current decor! But I just don't care! This one's not for company, but for my own enjoyment!

Though I got it pieced not TOO long after finding all of the fabrics, I wasn't feeling terribly rushed to quilt and finish this puppy up back in September. But now that we are most definitely into our winter season here and I have successfully gotten most of my Christmas gifts off to their proper recipients, I felt I could take some time on a personal project. Plus, it was a good project to get reacquainted with free-motion quilting.

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It has been a while since I have played around with some FMQ (free-motion quilting), and I think that definitely shows, but when better to get some practice in than while working on a little project for oneself?? I'm looking at this as a warm-up for the baby quilt that is next in the queue and will hopefully be hitting my Etsy shop at the beginning of the year.

That being said, I actually do have 2 more quilts basted and partially quilted, but not going to pressure myself to finish in the next day and a half (though I won't put aside the possibility of surprising myself!).

All in all it's been a productive year, I think. Still working on building bonds and growing the business side of this venture, but I can confidently say that's moving forward. I just have to learn how to be a better office manager!