My Local Quilt Shop Does Me a Kindness (So Be Sure to Visit Yours, Too!)

18 Jan 2013


Today, I'm participating in a blog tour for Visit Your Local Quilt Shop Day, which is January 24th worldwide. Portland is blessed with many fabric resources, but for my little contribution to this tour, I through I'd share a visit to one of my very favorites, Cool Cottons.

I first discovered this little store-within-an-old-house back in 2008. It's focus, as the name suggests, is high-quality cotton fabrics, both solids and prints. Marie, the shop owner, is a longtime quilter (in fact, she prefers hand sewing her quilts, which I find incredibly cool).


Marie's also a great curator of fabric, which means that when I visit Cool Cottons, I know I'll find beautiful combinations of color and pattern, with a slightly modern feel, but not one that alientates traditionally-minded quilters.

I also go to Cool Cottons because Marie's a fabric-combining wizard. I can make a reasonable analogous color scheme on my own, but when I want to combine a bunch of different fabrics successfully, I go visit Marie.


I'm working on a project right now that I can't tell you about (but I hope you'll send good thoughts for its eventual success). I needed seven fabrics that would come together to form an exciting mix. And I wanted this Alexander Henry floral to be the basis.


Marie went right to work, gazing contemplatively around the shop, then darting to this corner or that one, bringing bolt after bolt over for comparison. She always grabs things I would have never considered, but when you lay the fabrics side by side, the effect is amazing.


…And this is the collection she came up with! I love how these look together, and how the greens call back to one another. I asked Marie if she'd done anything special to hone her innate sense of color, pattern, and scale, and she shrugged her shoulders. "I just remember color," she says, "And I like to play with it."

I love Portland's big fabric stores as much as the next crafter, but for these kinds of personalized experiences, you can't beat a small, independent shop that's run by a talented and caring person. It may feel convenient to buy fabrics online, but shopping in places like this is just such a pleasure.


Here's how my project is coming along. I love, love, love how my fabrics are playing together!

Make some time to show your favorite local quilt shop some love next Thursday, won't you? Many participating shops will even be offering specials. Find out more through the website.


Ah, that's Bolt, I'll bet. That's also a beautifully-curated store. Enjoy!

That's right!

Loooove how that flower is looking. Such a fun collection of patterns. Good luck!

Love that set of fabrics! Yikes, wish I'd known about Cool Cottons when I was in Portland for my first - and so far, only - visit, a few years ago! It's on my list, guess I gotta go back! FUN!

Your pieced square is amazing! The fabrics/colors are all so fabulous & cheerful.

What a wonderful shop! I have a weakness for textiles, so I love me a good cloth/quilt shop too. ;o) Your gathering of fabrics for your project is AMAZING, Diane! Some of those prints I might never have though of to put together... but they work, don't they?! The peek at your work in progress is fun to see--love how those colors & prints are going. Hope you can share what's happening soon. Happy Days ((HUGS))

A new local discovery for me is Pioneer Quilts.
I don't know of any other place in town that carries the wool fabric for rug hookers.
They even have a great selection of hand dyed wool!

Ooh, have you been to the Pendleton Woolen Mill Store? They're also a great resource:

LOVE quilt shops. Indianapolis has a great variety of shops to choose from finally. I wish I could just go in and spend the day picking out fabric.

I love Cool Cottons! I came across it by accident the only time I've ever visited Portland, and I still dream about going back. :)

I love Cool Cottons SO MUCH! I love Marie, too. When I walk into Cool Cottons it's like the same experience as being 7 and going to Disneyland. It's magical.

Love your combination of fabrics, and I see you are doing some English paper piecing :-) I am absolutely addicted (!) to this type of piecing. I always have a little zipper bag full of fabric pieces, paper shapes, needles, and thread in my purse. Your litte flower shape is making me smile...can't wait to see it when it's finished!

Ah, nice to meet a fellow EPP addict! I love the technique so much! So perfect for portability, I agree.

Holy Moly I can't wait to see that project finished! And yup, Marie is awesome.

LOVE Cool Cottons! Yay for your beautiful flower taking shape!!!

oh, i love cool cottons! marie is great and oh so very helpful!

I love small fabric stores!! I will be in Portland in March... I'll have to hunt it down. There's one near my dads house in the Alberta area I want to go to as well.

Everything you have said about Marie is true!! Visiting her shop with you the day you selected these fabrics, gave me a first hand opportunity to see Marie in action!!! Marie's mind is like a giant computer - she does indeed remember color and she knows exactly where in the shop to find the shade or print she is looking for!!! And she understands color and what works and what doesn't and can help assemble a collection like this one for those of us who appreciate a little assistance from an expert.

Another thing I appreciate is that every bolt of fabric in the shop is of excellent quality. I happen to love the simple sensation of touching good fabrics. No disappointments on these shelves!!!

In many shops and big box stores, fabrics are displayed by company or fabric type or big prints/small prints , theme or some other mysterious plan. Marie has most of her fabrics arranged by color. Not only is it a visual pleasure to walk in the door but it is hugely helpful when getting down to the serious business of selecting a collection.

Thank you for sharing the day with me!!! Can you tell I had a great time!