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Portland, OR


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.

Blogger Archive

Filtering by Category: Cool Cottons

A new inspiration... PJs!!!

Linda Beth

For ages I've been meaning to make myself pajama bottoms from cute fabric. Ages, I tell you! Somehow there's nothing like visiting with friends to get the spark afire.

Sitting over morning coffee with a childhood friend whom I've known since we were about 10, both hanging in our respective PJs, we discuss what we want to do for the day. I ask her if there's anything special she would want to do or look for in her brief visit to Portland (we had already done our damage at Powell's the day before!). She says that if we should happen to pass a boutique that carries cute pajama bottoms, she's in the market.

Well, we didn't end up going shopping, but I offered to try my hand at making some myself. I went online to find a free pattern, but that is only relative... I found several free, downloadable patterns this one from Simplicity and this link from Martha Stewart, but apparently once you try printing out the pattern pieces it adds up!

I also found a couple of sites/articles that show instructions for drafting your own pattern based on an existing pair, such as this one. However that's no help if you want to make them for someone with a completely different body type, or for various folks.

So, after leaving work I headed to Fabric Depot and searched the BIG pattern books for something. And lo and behold I found the perfect pattern (or so it seems) for unisex adults from Simplicity - and for only $2.49! Less than it would have cost to print out 20 sheets of paper and then the tape and time to put them together!

Of course I have to test out the pattern before making something for anyone else, right? And this is the perfect excuse to allow myself to buy some organic fabric I've been eyeing since it arrived at Cool Cottons...

Aren't those raccoons freakin' adorable??? The yellow one with the raccoons is from Birch Fabric collection "Scamper". And the darker one with the little bunnies from Andover collection "The Red Thread" just came in in the last week or two and spoke to me LOUDLY. Apparently I'm on a critters kick. So, why make just one pair when I can double up and make two at the same time?? I'll post photos when I have something to show for my efforts. And this may just lead to inspiration for this year's holiday presents, too.

A short list of upcoming goals

Linda Beth

As I was saying to Heather of joy of all crafts just a little while ago at the quilt shop (Cool Cottons), I've been too long out of my routine and feel like today was my day to push the "RESET" button and get back on track.

This leaves me with a big ol' ZERO on accomplishments this past week, but a list of things I've put aside recently and am eager to get back to.

I have 2 friends who are each expecting their second child in the next month or so, and a couple of friends who are expecting their first later this fall! Inspiration has been slim, but I am sure that will change when these little guys (or rather, girls) start arriving!

Thankfully Chris deemed July as a "catch-up" month for the Bliss Circle of do.Good Stitches, which means I'm off the hook on that one.

Nicole asked us to have fun with some polaroid blocks. I've begun gathering some possible focus fabrics for the centers, but definitely have a few more to go, then getting the borders and settings down.

Design Camp [totb]
Leanne sent out some brilliant pinks and greens for July's block, using the Mod Mosaic tutorial from Elizabeth Hartman at Oh, Fransson. Of course, being on the off-schedule I've been on, that packet hasn't even made its way to my studio yet :-(

And it also occurred to me that next month is MY month to host Camp 2 of this improv bee. I've been gathering inspiration photos for the style of "blocks" I am aiming for in a Pinterest board, and just this week started pulling fabrics to play with.
August will be my first time hosting a bee where the host sends out fabric to the others, so this will be interesting!

There are definitely some other things I will be working on in the next couple of months, but don't know how much I'll be moving ahead until these items are ticked off the list.

Wish me luck!

WIP Wed - Some recaps

Linda Beth

This is getting to be an "every other week" thing for me (I guess one could say fortnightly, as opposed to weekly). But I was still over at Lee's blog Freshly Pieced last week checking out what other people had posted, and I suggest anyone here do the same! And today I will be linking up with the goings on.
WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced

New Projects
PMQG improv quilt
Well, new to me anyhow.
Blogged a bit more in this post.

PMQG-MM cotton couture block challenge
I'm still thinking about other possibilities, but have come to a bit more peace with this block than I maybe showed in this post (in no small part thanks to the lovely comments folks have made over on Flickr).

custom napkins
Working with someone to hopefully supply her wedding reception... fingers crossed it pans out!

more potholders
up on etsy!

table runner
I just don't have a table in my house clean enough to properly photograph! Going to try and do it while at work today at the quilt shop... Marie has those gorgeous wood cutting tables over at Cool Cottons!!

Almost Completed
Finished quilting my yellow scrappy yesterday, just have to select and apply binding. Thinking this might travel with me to Montana next week. (Can you see I've been craving sunshine lately??)

Some Progress
Nothing really new or exciting to write about.
backing for my Nubees sampler
Still haven't basted this puppy... heading into the studio after spending the previous afternoon weeding does not inspire one to spend another hour or two squatting on the ground. At least my back and legs felt that way!

borders on curved-piecing top
Both of these projects are blogged about a bit more here.

No Progress
Flannel Throw
Medallion quilt
Could be a Quilt...
Purple/Green Asian sampler
Seams Perfect Sampler
Batik Warm/Cool QAL
Lee & Glenn's quilt
red/brown/green I-Spy
girly hourglass
Judy Neimeyer double wedding ring
broken dishes
Trip Around the 9-Patch
Halloween Stack 'n Whack
leftover I-spys from Hopman quilt
tote bags
blue/green place mats

So, where does that leave me?
New - 4
Completed - 2
In Progress - 21 (yikes!)
Unquilted tops - I think about 14 (added one and took one off the pile since last post)

WIP Wednesday - starting from scratch

Linda Beth

I'm taking a new approach, after my cataloging of UFOs earlier this week, which I wrote about here. I came up with 17 already begun UFOs (spanning the last 5 or 6 years), not to mention 6 projects in the idea stage only (perhaps the fabric gathering stage, but not further than that).

Since one of my goals for this year is to chip away at that list of UFOs, I've decided to start my count there. I'll cut myself a *little* slack and not include the stacks of fabric waiting for action as WIPs!

Some Progress
So, the UFO I was able to strike off the list this past week (or rather, move to another list of completed quilt tops yet to be quilted) is the one mentioned in my previous post, resurrected from the pieces of a set of place mats that was just not to be!

I'm also finally making some headway with another project that's been lying in a basket off and on for the last couple of years...
I'm hoping to finish this top within the next week or so.

Now, I must admit I AM guilty of one new project! I've been lusting after one of the luscious AMH louLouthi flannels that Marie has at Cool Cottons, but since I rarely if ever work with flannel, I couldn't justify buying any. But sitting on my couch one evening, just dreaming up possible projects for this fabric, I figured why not make myself a flannel throw quilt?? Really, Lin, there's no reason you shouldn't treat yourself to a little gift, right?? So, today I picked up a lovely stack of flannels, which also happen to work with a few FQs I picked up a couple of years ago for burp cloths that never got made.
Can't wait to get started on these guys!! Y'all will probably see something soon!

Now, the bitter truth of starting my count where I am...
No Progress
(get ready for quite a list!)
Bliss November quilt
Purple/Green Asian sampler
Seams Perfect Sampler
Curved Piecing Aqua/Green
Batik Warm/Cool QAL
Lee & Glenn's quilt
red/brown/green I-Spy
girly hourglass
Medallion quilt
Judy Neimeyer double wedding ring
broken dishes
Trip Around the 9-Patch
Halloween Stack 'n Whack
leftover I-spys from Hopman quilt
tote bags
blue/green place mats

New - 1
Completed - 0
In progress - 18
Unquilted tops - I'm guessing at 15

Thank you, Lee, for providing us all a place to link up and share our endeavors! Please go visit the others at
WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced

Another top to the pile

Linda Beth

About 2 weeks ago I went into Cool Cottons while Marie was there, searching for background fabric for the blocks I got last fall in the Nubees block swap through Flickr.

I was trying to set these blocks, primarily in blue, aqua, yellow and grey, bordered by a blue and grey Aneela Hoey coordinate from her Sherbet Pips line.

After auditioning several possibilities, we landed on one of the Alexander Henry Heath bolts. And it is PERFECT!

Now it's just a matter of figuring out how best to quilt this puppy, and actually getting it done! One more quilt top on the pile of unquilteds.

FTLOS Swap gets rolling

Linda Beth

About a week ago partner assignments for the second For the Love of Solids modern sewing swap on Flickr were sent out out. They had been eagerly awaited by many, many crafty Flickr users, myself included!

One of the first steps to being a part of one of these virtual swaps is to make up an "inspiration mosaic": a composite of many other craft projects to point your swap partner in the right direction. My mosaic for this particular swap was:
The individual credits for each of these pictures can be found in my Flickr photostream, at this link.

There are apparently a couple of different sources for putting together these mosaics, but I've always had good luck using

When the partner assignments go out, the stalking begins! That's the fun part, don't you think?? Gleaning clues about your secret swap partner, their likes, dislikes, desires, what they write in their own blog if it's out there. And thankfully, my partner has plenty of info for me to work from! However, it took me a little while to really get rolling.

I had a couple of days of work in there, then a day with a very specific sewing goal followed by... close to 4 days of being wiped out by some stupid stomach bug!! Dumb flu messing with my fun, stalking design plans! That said, I'm a bit behind in the color gathering stage, but got a chance to pull some pencils together while gazing at my partner's mosaic
and work on a couple of sketches

Tomorrow I'll be back at my studio for the first time in nearly a week, play around with some of the fabrics in my stash, then fill out the palette from Marie's awesome selection of solids at Cool Cottons. That should also give my secret partner plenty of time to chime in on the discussion threads of the Flickr group (some of which she already has... so it *could* still be any of you!). I'll try to keep up on posting progress over the next month or so.

Post-holiday deadline post

Linda Beth

It feels as though I have hardly been in the sewing room at all in the last month, since returning home from my Thanksgiving travels, but I know that is not the case. However, my projects have been on short term, short turn-around time tables. Those projects are all now done.

The last week or so was dedicated to some presents, which are on their way to the recipients (if not already arrived). I'll post photos after Christmas ;-) But NOW I get to concentrate on new things! Yahoo! (of course there will always be UFOs hanging around, ready to be completed, but the new stuff is always more fun to think about!)

I've been eyeing this Alexander Henry fabric for months now... I finally succumbed today.

In 2012 I'll be participating in 2 new bees, continuing with one, plus I'm planning on taking part in Round 2 of the For the Love of Solids sewing swap on Flickr, hosted by my do.Good Stitches Bliss hive mates Megan and Elizabeth. With all of these great new adventures on the horizon, I've begun thinking about my inspirations for these various groups, and seem to have fallen in love with the color palette within that fabric. I've also started noticing other people's projects with those deep, wintery, somewhat earthy jewel tones (how's THAT for a contradiction in terms??). A couple of my favorites, found on Flickr are this quilt by Shelley Brooks and this one by rainyday*knitter.

I'm not sure yet how I hope to use this fabric, but while at work today (at the stellar Cool Cottons, of course!) I've been playing around with possible combinations...

Matched with Shot Cottons

Matched with Kona Solids

I decided to start out with a combination of the two, plus a couple of prints thrown in for good measure:

Oh, the possibilities!

I'm either crazy or stupid

Linda Beth

About 2 weeks ago a good friend of mine contacted me to ask if I would be interested in donating a set of place mats to the Rose Festival Auction happening in October. The Rose Festival is one of Portland's major annual events, with a year of fundraising and organization, and about 2 months of various attractions, events and festivities culminating in a fair, festival, parades and a crowning princess.

I have a few sets of place mats already made, and I just figured that I would use one of those, but by the time I got the donation form a few days ago, I still hadn't decided on a set to use. That says to me I wasn't prepared to fall back on ANY of the ones I already have in stock. Dagnabit! Oh, and I have to have them done in less than a week!

Soooo, I sat up for over an hour in the middle of the night on Thursday with fabric combinations and selections swimming in my head, trying to figure out HOW I would get all of this done. I already had in my possession a good amount of a Valori Wells print from her new line, Wrenly

And my solution: pick up some of the green color way in the same print, find coordinates for both, and go to it! So, after over-sleeping (due to my 3-4:30am interlude) I grabbed some coffee on the go and headed down to visit Marie at good ol' Cool Cottons. And boy-howdy, she worked her magic, put my fears at ease and helped me get psyched for this unapproachable prospect.

I started by pulling together close to 8 prints for each side (color combo):

These selections eventually got edited down to 6 fabrics per side:

One of the things that Marie and I had discussed was bringing in a grey fabric with the greens, but it had to be just the right grey... and I got back to my studio, auditioned just about every grey-green, green-grey, green-aqua, grey-white (you get the picture) I found on the shelf, but then there was the hidden gem of what remains of my Jay McCarroll Woodland Wonderland squares. And it must have been meant to be, because once I cut what I needed for the project, I was left with this:

Friday afternoon was dedicated to the laundering of the new fabric, planning and cutting. I got far enough to lay out 1 set of six reversible mats, which will be sewn to the batting tomorrow.

Yes, it WILL get done. And binding on Monday is the plan.

new accessories!

Linda Beth

So, with all of this prep work to get the sewing studio ready for actually moving in to, I've been thinking a lot about what I will be moving in to the space. I've already made two trips to IKEA just to check out table, shelving and office chair options, so that when I actually have the rental truck I know exactly what I'm going in for.

But, there will also be a couple of pieces of furniture I'll be moving from my house... my current sewing cabinet and cutting table, of course, but in addition I have an arm chair and coffee table that have outgrown my little craftsman bungalow. And what does an armchair need?? Maybe a throw pillow or two??

I'd been eyeing that Alexander Henry fabric for quite a while, and found that the Kaffe Shot Cottons work beautifully as accents. They will be excellent splashes of color in the studio space, and would just as easily work in my living room area at home if the time comes. Love the versatility!

Some Shot Cotton Love

Linda Beth

July's been a busy month for me, which has unfortunately taken away from some of my sewing obligations. I've done my best to stay on task with some precommits, but besides that, my sewing room has been more or less dormant. But that will be changing soon....

It never ceases to amaze me that no matter how little time we have, or how little we're getting done in that time, new projects and inspirations always pique the interest. Just over a week ago, I spotted a link to a new swap on Flickr: For the Love of Solids, introduced as a joint effort by Megan, at Canoe Ridge Creations (blog) and Elizabeth, at Don't Call me Betsy (blog). My heart quite literally went "pitter-pat" as I read the description and paged through a few of the members' inspiration mosaics. But then the logic side of my brain kicked in making it abundantly clear that in NO WAY do I have the time right now to commit to another swap. It's all I can do to get my "I *Heart* the '80s" package together and in the post by deadline (which is this coming Monday, by the way!). And next month I am going to be moving my sewing studio in to a new studio space, as well as finally coming through with the place mat commission that I've struggled with since May or maybe even April, plus concentrating on inventory for an upcoming craft fair. So, I would hate to short-change an unsuspecting swap partner... I'll have to wait until Round 2 gets under way, but that doesn't mean I can't ogle some of the current entries, while salivating over this amazing spectrum of Shot Cottons at Cool Cottons...