Cool Cottons {Portland, OR}

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:

Cool Cottons
2417 SE Hawthorne Blvd
Portland, OR 97214

Today! It’s I Love My LQS Day!

It’s here! It’s finally here!

Awesome logo made by the one and only Crissy Roth

It seems like pretty much forever ago that we started toying with the idea of making ‘I Love My Local Quilt Shop Day‘ into more than just a holiday marked on calendar. I don’t even remember what company made the calendar, but the day wasn’t highly promoted and FabShop figured it should be. Months later, it really got rolling and stores, quilters and bloggers climbed on board. Now’s it off the hook! Everyone seems to be shouting about it and it’s pretty awesome.

Today I’ll be visiting quilt shops in Vancouver with the FabShop work crew, then trying to cram in a few Portland visits on a circuitous route home.

If you are in the Portland area, you should definitely check out these shops (whether it’s today, this weekend or next month, just do it.)


Cool Cottons: 2417 S.E. Hawthorne
Hands-down this is my favorite store to shop for quilting cottons because:
1. It’s just over a mile from my house. I can (and do) walk there.
2. Marie remembered my name after the first visit and greets me every time.
3. The fabrics are arranged by color and she has a great selection of Kokka.

Bolt Neighborhood Fabric Boutique (their photo)
Bolt Neighborhood Fabric Boutique: 2136 N.E. Alberta
A cute little shop down the way from Modern Domestic, they have a wide selection of fabric types, including a variety of apparel fabrics (voile, linens, chambray, etc.). They also have an excellent selection of various hardwares that you need for purse/bag making. In fact, they had bits there that I couldn’t find at Fabric Depot. Color me impressed.

SewPo (their photo of me and Crissy visiting Kate's shop)
SewPo: 830 N. Failing
Tucked away in one of the hipster neighborhoods, the ladies at SewPo are delightfully down to earth and super kind. I don’t get over there often enough as it’s at the complete opposite side of town, but I can vouch for the fact the the sewists and quilters who live in that ‘hood are lucky to have the shop there.

There are a few others that I’ve stopped by in the Pacific Northwest
Pine Needles Quilt Shop: 429 1st St Lake Oswego, OR 97034
Boersma’s: 203 NE 3rd St, McMinnville, OR 97128
West Seattle Fabric Company: 2210 California Ave SW, Seattle, WA 98116
Island Quilter: 17639 Vashon Hwy SW, Vashon, WA 98070
Drygoods Design: 5308 Ballard Avenue NW, Studio One, Seattle, WA 98107

Where do you shop for fabric and why?