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2136 NE Alberta St
Portland, OR 97211

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Entries in Books (12)

Just In: Shot cottons, Books, Pattern, Tulip Needles, & More!

by Adrianna

We have had quite the adventure rearranging the store, and figuring out new ways to display and arrange items. We got in a whole lot of new inventory, and downsized our store fixtures! That was a nice puzzle to figure out ;). So stop on in and check out all the leg room, and highly efficient and organized new layout.

As far as fabric goes this week we have several new items and replenishments of others. Just in on Wednesday we got in a fabulous order from Kaffe Fasset, Martha Negley, and Parson Gray.

We are now fully stocked on all shot cottons!:

Martha Negley didn’t fail to deliver, with her new line inspired by the seasons:

We are suckers for all things flamingo here, so we couldn’t pass up this mini collection:

New from Parson Gray, this collection is inspired by Shaman of the South West:

To get you in the mood for love, here is a new collection from Airmail by Comstocks for Moda:

A new book we got in is this gem from Karen Lewis on how to screen print your own fabric:

A fantastic notion that you wonderful customers highly suggested we carry are Tulip Needles, from Japan. These bad boys are a far surperior needle than the rest. They are made with the highest grade materials, don’t rust, and pierce fabric like butter. I definitely want some of these in my stocking this year!

Last but not least, we are glad to now be carrying these darling patterns by Christine Haynes. These patterns are inspired by vintage sewing patterns, but made for the modern day gal. I’m all for the Marianne if I may say so myself.

See you soon and enjoy the rain!


Gift Ideas for Beginning Sewers

by Cameron

Do you have someone on your list who wants to learn how to use that sewing machine taking up space in the closet? A friend who’s been quietly hoarding fabric waiting for the perfect moment  to start that quilt they’ve been dreaming of? The holidays can be a great time to give them a jumpstart with a good book, starter project, or kit.

For the Young Sewer

We have some great kits and books for the young and young at heart.

Sewing School and Sewing School 2, by Amie Petronis Plumley and Andria Lisle, have great projects for kids itchin’ to get stitchin’. I especially like that they have projects that appeal to girls and boys.

For kids not quite ready to take on a sewing machine, we have some sweet kits. We carry several different Heidi Boyd kits that come with all of the materials you need to make an small toy or embroided felt wall hanging like the fox above. We also have several fun sock animal kits available in a variety of colors.

These finger puppet patterns are a great gift for a little maker with a theatrical side.

Apparel Sewing

For people interested in sewing their own clothes, a good instructional book is invaluable. We have a couple in the store that are great introductions to creating your own wardrobe.

Sew Everything Workshop, by Diana Rupp, is a good reference book and comes with staple patterns to get you started.

The Beginner’s Guide to Dressmaking, by Wendy Ward, is another great choice. It’s got good information on apparel sewing and timeless, wearable patterns that would be so easy to modify for a different fit or style once you have a few makes under your belt. We got the book in a few weeks ago and we all spent some time ohh-ing and ahh-ing over the pattens and styling.

Gateway Crafts

For the maker in hiding, the right book or tools can be just what they need to get started creating.

Embroidery can be a great gateway craft. You don’t need many tools or much experience to get started, but the opportunities for creative expression and learning are limitless. Every time I look at Embroider Everything Workshop, by Diana Rupp (the lady writes some good beginner books!), I’m inspired. Just like the Sew Everything Workshop there’s lots of basic instructions to get you going and lots of ideas to keep you stitching for a good long while.

Made by Hand, compiled by Lena Corwin, is a gorgeous starter guide to fiber crafts from knitting to printmaking to dyeing. Even the most tentative maker can find something here to get them started.

Classes and Supplies

Some skills are easier to learn in person. In Portland we have an abundance of great sewing and crafting schools to choose from. A class and a Bolt gift certificate for class materials would be a dynamite gift for a beginner. Check our list of local classes for some ideas.

We also carry a great range of basic supplies and tool boxes to help outfit your new sewer. 

Come by the store and we can help you put together some supplies for your beginning sewer!




Gift Ideas - Ornaments

by Cameron

In my house, and I’m sure in many of yours, ornaments become repositories of family history. Each one holding a distinct memory - the clay bell bought on a trip to New Mexico or the Sugar Plum Fairy who sacrificed a leg to the great cat attack of ‘08. This is just one of the reasons it’s so satisfying to give handmade ornaments - you become part of your friend’s and family’s holiday stories.

The other, less romatic reasons that I enjoy making ornaments? They’re speedy little makes and they finally give me a way to use the felt that I’ve been admiring for weeks and weeks. We have three different types of felt: a wool/rayon blend on the bolt, 12”x18” sheets of wool/rayon blend, and dreamy 100% wool felt. (Just the wool/rayon on the bolt and a small selection of the wool felt is pictured below.) In between the three types, we carry a huge, beautiful array of colors. Organizing and restocking the felt is one of my favorite tasks - so many colors! So many possibilities!

I tend to like funky ornaments that you could keep up all year round. I’ve been eyeing Grainline Studio’s free narwahl pattern since she released it a couple of years ago. She’s since come out with an owl pattern, too.

I used two sheets of wool/rayon blend felt in shades of grey and black embroidery thread for the eyes.  I took some liberties with my narwhal’s colors and omitted the sequins simply because I didn’t have any on hand. Even though I printed the pattern page slightly smaller than I should have, it was still a quick, satisfying make and a charming ornament. I’m planning some more colorful narwahls in wool felt next!

For people that prefer more seasonally appropriate ornaments, we have you covered! We have several books with some great ideas for ornaments and other holiday decorations.

Countdown Calendars has patterns for advent calendars that span the year in addition to their Christmas-themed offerings. My favorite is the “Sophisticated Christmas” below. It would be a great way to use up those small scraps you love too much to throw away. 


 Stitched Whimsy, by Heidi Boyd, has lots of great ideas for seasonal, as well as less seasonal, ornaments. I especially like the gnome and matroshka doll toys.


Scandinavian Stiches, by Kajsa Wikman, features sweet embroidery and toy patterns with a Nordic flair - perfect for the winter season!

Handmade Home, by Amanda Blake Soule, has lots of great ideas for repurposing materials to make useful and decorative items for the home. I think her fiber garland would be beautiful on a tree or displayed bunting style in a room.

 We have a few more ideas on the blog.

Heart-felt Holidays, by Amy

Solstice Ornaments, by April

Gingerbread Ornaments

We’d love to hear about your holiday crafting plans. Come by the store, drop us a note, or leave a comment telling us what festive projects you’re working on!