Amy Butler Fat Quarters

It seems I can find any number of activities that keep me from my sewing. Sick kids, appointments, dirty laundry, making meals. You get the drift. Today’s distraction was a visit to a small town outside of my big town in search of some good home-cooking for breakfast after a visit to the bank. Well the home-cooking wasn’t anything to write home about so I won’t go into those details but I did find a wonderful fabric shop located just across the road. It was a mecca of colour and texture. Lots of wonderful quilting fabric with a wall of gorgeous yarn to boot. I’ll leave the knitting for another day. Much as I like a lovely knitted sweater they take far too long for this novice to complete. I’ll stick to the speed of a sewing machine for now.

The find of the day was some beautiful Amy Butler fabric that I’d been ogling over on the internet. There was more than enough to choose from and I had to keep my purchases down to a dull roar so in the end I picked up some fat quarters to whet my appetite. But now that I know where that little shop lives I’ll be back. Here is a sampling of my meager purchase of the day. Now, what to do with it? Any ideas?


Well, I finally got to cutting out the pieces for the Broadturn Bag. I managed to squeeze out enough pieces to make two bags. Here you’ll see two fronts, two backs, two bottoms (an inside and an outside) and two straps. I tend to over-analyse most things in my life and this was no exception. This is really just a simple unlined bag that could have been completed by now but as usual I wanted it to be perfect. After much contemplation I decided the pattern on the fabric was a little busy so I would add a little interest with some trim on the bottoms of the bags. Not only that I could turn that trim into a small pocket for keys or a cellphone. Once I made that decision I spent much deliberation in my stash until I found some pieces that would work. I also cut out a bottom to match each of the trim pieces. That way the outside bottom will be the same as the trim and the inside bottom will match the bag fabric.

I’m ready to sew!

A Starting Point

There are so many projects that I would like to begin and yet for each one I can’t find just the perfect fabric in my stash. I think my stash needs a serious overhaul. My tastes have changed considerably since I last pulled from it. Or perhaps I’m just being too picky. So in light of the fact that I didn’t want to go out and purchase any fabric for this first project I have pulled out a fairly large piece that, although I am not in love with it, it will do in a pinch. I have decided to make a very simple sling-type market bag. The pattern I have chosen to use is from a lovely book called ‘Handmade Home’ written by Amanda Blake Soule. She calls this the Broadturn Bag whose namesake comes from the Community Farm where she supports her local farmers.

The fabric I’ll be using:

Here are a few pictures from the book:

Stay tuned…


'Blogging for Bliss' by Tara Frey

Serendipity dropped this beautiful book Blogging for Bliss by Tara Frey into my hands today. Since I am so new to blogging and can use all the help I can get this was a particularly fortunate find on the shelves of my bookstore. The book features 50 different blogs and has plenty of inspiring pictures and ideas to incorporate into my own blog. Prepare for some changes over the next few days as I digest the pages.


I picked up this gorgeous sailcloth today for just $20. There are two sails in the bundle. Aren’t the colours beautiful?

I’ve long thought about making grocery totes with sailcloth so now I have some to experiment with. I stopped in at the local fabric store and picked up some heavy duty thread for the project. There seems to be a little staining on the cloth so I’ll probably give it a good scrub with some bleach and water before I start.

So before you ask, no, I haven’t chosen my ‘first project’ yet. Lots of pondering, lots of searching through that messy sewing room, and life getting in the way.  My sister would love something special for her youngest daughter Bronwyn. And in fact she was the first recipient I thought of for the first venture. Back to the pondering.

The birth of ‘Cotton and Linen’!

The feeling of cotton and linen between my fingers elicits nothing short of bliss. I can walk into a fabric store and do nothing but walk around between the bolts of eye candy and rub the cloth between my fingers. I tend to stay away from the man-made fabrics. Instead I am drawn to the bolts and bolts of natural fibres. Thus the name for this new blog.

I have decided that in order to “follow my bliss” and spend my precious time working with fibre (something I have sadly neglected for far too many years) I need some medium to force me to focus on projects and bring them to completion. And so my blog is born. It is mostly for myself but I find joy in folowing other seamstresses ongoing pursuits so I hope that mine provides some joy for you as well.

So, what will my first project be? I have so many in mind. Something simple. Something fast. The satisfaction of a completed project to get the momentum going. This will take a trip to my sewing room to root through the stash. That in itself will be a feat.

My messy sewing room 😦

Here are some books that I’ve been perusing of late…

And now for some of the projects that look interesting as a starting point…

From ‘French General Home Sewn’ by Kaari Meng:

A Lavender Heart Pillow

Something to go along with my homemade bread, A Bread-Warming Seed Bag. The bottom is filled with flax seed that warms in the oven or microwave and keeps your bread warm at the table. How clever!

The Party Garland. I can imagine this done up in all sorts of colourways. For kids, for girly girls, and for adult parties too!

The Butcher’s Apron. Everyone needs a good utilitarian apron and this one fits the bill perfectly.

And the Farmer’s Market Tote. I love all kinds of bags:

From a lovely book I just discovered yesterday. ‘Carefree Clothes for Girls’ by Junko Okawa.

An Apron and Babushka Scarf:

This is simply beautiful. A Dress with a Quilted Bodice:

So adorable:

A Treasure Bag:

My aunt Caroline in Saskatoon is an avid quilter. She imparted a love of all things quilted in me. From ‘Pretty Little Patchwork’ from Lark Books, these are  Lavender Eye Pillows by Belinda Andresson:

Imagine all the wonderful things you could store in a multitude of these pretty Soft Boxes:

And last but not least, a City Satchel from ‘Sew What! Bags’ by Lexie Barnes: