The Mountain Thread Company

While at the quilt show in Hickory I came across a new company and product I’d like to share with you.

I’ve made some of those rope baskets that have been popular off-and-on for several years now.

I used clothesline as advised in the instructions and lined the baskets, also as instructed.

However, The Mountain Thread Company folks have developed a new type of cord for this process and they have it manufactured right here in North Carolina. Katherine Lile, the owner, explained to me that the rope is 100% cotton and is a solid braid rather than the wrapped cord of clothesline. She emphasized that, because the new braided cord is sturdy, it’s important to use a denim needle with it.

Katherine holding her book. The headband in her hair is made with the company’s cord.

Indeed, I could feel the difference both in the cord and in the baskets made from it. The cord is about the size of clothesline, but both the cord and the baskets made from it are sturdier.

Katherine has written a book with projects using the cord. The surface of the cord is nicer than the clothesline I was using, so the baskets don’t need to be lined (thank you!).

A variety of small baskets made with the special cord. Notice that only part of the cord is wrapped. The spools in the background are a way to buy the cord in bulk.

Photo credit: The Mountain Thread Company

The cord also takes dye well. Look at the basket on the front of Katherine’s book, shown above. It appears that half the basket was dipped in dye! I love that idea since it reminds me of the way we used to glaze pots (in a former lifetime, I guess).

And look at this interesting basket made with a wide zigzag and no cloth wrap for the cord.

Naturally I had to buy some of Katherine’s cord to try. I came right home and made this little bowl.

My first bowl made with The Mountain Thread Company cord

I found the cord very easy to work with. Because it is solid, it looks good unwrapped, so I followed Katherine’s example of intermittent wrapping for interest rather than wrapping the whole thing as I had done with previous projects. I also used her idea of making a cute little loop at the top of the bowl.

If you’re interested, you can visit The Mountain Thread Company here. If you’ve never made a rope basket, check out the video tutorials, which can be accessed from the main menu at the top of The Mountain Thread Company’s home page. I watched all of them before I made my little bowl and found them useful.

Here are some of the kits

And if you want a little extra help, they sell kits with everything you need (even a denim needle) so you don’t have to guess how much cord to buy or hunt for supplies.

The Mountain Thread Company link

Let me know what you think!

As always, these opinions are my own and I received no incentive or compensation for this review. However, I am always happy to write about products I use, especially if they are local, so let me know if you have something that might interest my readers and me.


A Quilt Show–In Person At Last!!!

I’ve thought for years that quilt shows should be held simultaneously with woodworking shows, and many of you know exactly why!

Happily, I found that the Catawba Valley Quilters’ Guild in Hickory, NC, holds their show concurrently with Klingspor’s woodworking show! My husband and I attended this past Friday and were so happy to be able to do so.

Here are just a few of the quilts that were on display.

This beautiful quilt was at the door. It had no label, and the nearby greeter knew only that it was “last year’s first place winner”. I loved it!

Here are pics of a few of the blocks (are they still blocks if they’re round?)

Some of the quilt labels had no information on the design source for the quilts, though I recognized some of the patterns. Where information was given about the design source, I’m listing it.

Made by Ann Becker in a class with Margaret Solomon Gunn

“Escher’s Christmas”, made by Teena McRary, based on designs by M. C. Escher

“Garden Jewels” made by Pat Carson and Pam Bowman. The label indicated the pattern is from the book Kaffe Quilts Again

Connected Places” by Dianne Johnston and Julie Wilson

“Fun With Pinwheels” by Libby Sigmon and Rebecca Mullins

Arizona Friends” by Cindy Konarski. Pattern is “Happy Together” by Sew Kind of Wonderful.

“Happy Trails” by Maryann McCormick and Rebecca Mullins. The smallest squares finish 1/2 inch!

“My Mountains” by Gigi Miller

Of course there were many more beautiful quilts, but this gives you some idea. I hope we can all go back to “in person” quilt shows soon!

Orphan Blocks–A New Use!

Most of us have a good pile of orphan blocks left over from various projects. Here’s the box withย most of mine–there are a few in other locations ๐Ÿ˜€

Typically, I use mine for donation quilts. I’ve used the Circle of Nine idea.

Sometimes Iย  have just arranged them on the design wall then filled in around them with background fabric.

Splendid Stars, 51″ x 53″

Sometimes I’ve even cut them into circles to applique onto a quilted background.

Donation Quilts for Ronald McDonald House

But still, there’s a big box full of them.

Then my friend Jerri told me she had made some of her orphan blocks into a quilt back! Great idea!

The next time I had a quilt needing a back, I took the blocks from the top of the pile and sewed them together. Then I surrounded them with pieces of quilt backing left from other projects.

Quilt back with a center of orphan blocks

Voila! It may be more “interesting” than beautiful, but it used up a lot of orphans and scraps. And it’s done!

Tula Stack

A “stacked” quilt, with the blocks arranged so they look like they’re overlapped on top of each other, has been on my bucket list for years. So recently when I got a “stack” of Tula Pink10″ squares I decided it was time.

There were even a few blocks left for the back.

I love the lime green thread for the quilting! And just so you know, there are stacked bears on the back ๐Ÿ˜€

Quilt Stats

Name: Tula Stack

Design based on many similar quilts I’ve seen

Finished size: 52″ x 69″

Quilted by: Linda


A Great Little Shop!

I love to visit quilt shops when we travel. Different shops are a great source of ideas and, of course, fabric ๐Ÿ˜€

We recently travelled through Northern Maine, where we lived early in our careers, and were very pleasantly surprised to find the Majestic Touch Quilt Shop in St. Agatha. The owner, Sandra Bosse, agreed to let me her picture.

Sandra Bosse with one of her long-arm machines

Sandra told me she made her first quilt about 20 years ago. She was unhappy with the quilting done on it by someone else, so she bought a long-arm machine and learned to use it–just like that! I was amazed to hear this for reasons most of you probably understand. Clearly this lady is willing to take on a challenge!

Sandra’s business has changed over the years. She now does quilting for others and sells both long-arm machines and fabric. Her quilting is very much in demand and she is currently scheduling about 3 months out!

We talked about running a quilt shop 4 hours from the nearest “city” (Bangor, Maine, with a population of under 32,000). On the plus side, hers is the only quilt shop for miles around AND she is close to the Canadian border, so customers come a fair distance to shop and take classes. St. Agatha had a population of 730 in the 2020 census, but people in Northern Maine are accustomed to driving to little shops in little towns when they want something.

On the minus side, it’s expensive to get merchandise shipped to her and the fabric reps won’t come that far from the city! Sandra says they send her catalogs, and that’s the way she has to order.

In the photo above you can see just a bit of Sandra’s fabric shop. She has a lovely selection of batiks, and says they are especially popular with her Canadian customers. She also has so many beautiful printed fabrics from the major companies that I had a hard time sticking to my budget ๐Ÿ™‚

Here are a couple of fabrics I was “forced” to buy. I haven’t seen them anywhere else, though maybe I just don’t visit enough shops ๐Ÿ˜‰ย  She had both prints in many colors, with coordinating fabrics as well, and I had a difficult time choosing!

Sandra doesn’t have an online shop, but you can find her on Facebook here.ย  (The internet tells me that 6-8 yards of fabric can fit in a USPS flat rate envelope, and I expect Sandra would send you pictures if you want to shop with her.) BTW, her prices were lower than those in the bit city.

PS: Hurricane Ian came this far into North Carolina, so I am writing this with the generator powering the house and my computer. We had a neighbor’s tree come down in the yard. It took out our weather station, but that was the only real damage. Steve has left for the hardware store to get supplies for the chain saw, and I am getting geared up to use some beautiful fabric!

I hope all of you are safe and stitching along happily!