It took me a few years to notice Cool Cottons, tucked into a Craftsman-style house on SE Hawthorne, but once I did there was no ignoring it. Owned by Marie, a no-nonsense woman with an amazing eye for color, Cool Cottons is filled with quilting cottons, cotton canvas and notions.
The shop occupies the first floor (the upper floor is a separate apartment) and is divided up by color. As a quilter, I love this so very much. I don’t particularly care who designed the fabric or who the manufacturer is most of the time, I want to know if it coordinates with the rest of my fabric pull. And if you aren’t sure which fabric will look best, just ask Marie–she is amazing at finding the perfect coordinates.
The front room has a great selection of novelty prints, canvas, linens and kantha fabrics. I have a soft spot for all the Alexander Henry fabrics and apparently Marie does too, so if you’re looking for the hunky firemen or hula girls, this is the place to go.
One of the (many) things I love about this shop is how Portland it is. There isn’t a huge pattern selections, but they are almost all Portland designers: Hunter’s Design Studio, Elizabeth Hartman, Then Came June, and Violet Craft.
I stopped by on my last day in Portland to grab the license plates she did for Row by Row. Self-described as Rip City (a Portland Trailblazers reference from 1971), this was the perfect play on sewing terms for their license plate. Of course, I bought one and the other one, and a bit of the newest Portland-themed fabric as well. I had to bring a little hometown back to LA with me.
You can shop online or at the SE Portland location:
2417 SE Hawthorne Blvd
Portland, OR 97214