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.