Shot Cottons on Windham Wednesday

Shot cottons? Do we need some gun laws enforced in our sewing rooms? Who would possibly shoot some of my defenseless cotton fabrics? Hurry! Hide under my sewing machine!

OK. Now I'm serious. Shot cottons are beautiful fabrics that, on first look, appear to be solids. But then as you look a little closer, you see that there are two different colors of threads that are woven together. These are NOT surface dyed.

Artisan Cottons from Windham Fabrics
As you can see with that amazing magenta fabric on the right, there are RED threads in there. Holy cow! I think that proves it.

But, I know what you're thinking: just let me SEE what you've done with these. I'm so glad you asked. One that recently came to mind (because I'm gifting it) is my Strips and Shots (there it is again: shots!) This is a simple Rail Fence block using a cream fabric in the two outside strips and the Artisan Cotton in the center.

Shots and Strips: 38" x 44"
Just a bunch of 2-1/2" strips with a lot of white/cream. Blocks arranged so they flip flop. Five blocks wide by six blocks high. The Rail Fence blocks finish to 6". The inner border is another 2-1/2" strip. The outer border is more 2-1/2" cuts: 2-1/2" squares of the Artisan Cottons and 2-1/2" x 4-1/2" rectangles of cream. Simple. Easy. Done.

Here's a digital image for those of you wanting to try this in your own studio. Remember, no shooting allowed!

These are the skus you will see at the Windham website:

Lovely little squares of Artisan Cottons
Now let's see a few more projects. The first is my South Carolina Star stitched in 2015.

South Carolina Star
And let's see how well they play with other bold prints. This is one of my Winding Ways blocks (stitched the old fashioned way) with a lovely floral fabric.

10" Winding Ways block
 And a LOT of blocks using 10 different Artisan Cotton colors.

10 blocks
Artisan Cotton Winding Ways wedges (see all those colored threads?)
See how nicely these "solids" play with just about any print? Gotta love 'em!
Winding Ways parts

And let's see that green fabric up close (it's the same one, just different lights in my sewing room)

Yes, yellow threads run through that green fabric!
Now for some of my 10" Paper Pieced Palm blocks.Yes, these are from 2015 but they remain timeless. I loved stitching them with 3 colors and the cream background. This way I was able to use 12 skus from the Artisan Cotton.

Four 10" paper pieced Palm blocks
Here's one of them closeup from the wrong side. Paper's removed. You can see that because I trim BEFORE I add the next patch, it leaves a perfect 1/4" seam and if you didn't know any better you would think I sewed these using precut triangles. Not at all!

Single Palm block from the wrong side
This still remains one of my most popular workshops. Here are 8 of the blocks arranged on point.

8 Block Palm Quilt: 42" x 56"
As you can see, shot cottons are a lovely way to use solids in your work. They bring that extra "shine" to otherwise flat colors. So, the next time you think you need a "solid" to go with your prints, check out the Artisan Cottons for a bit more shimmer to make your quilt shine!


  1. I love working with shot cottons. Your Winding Ways blocks are stunning, and a great way to incorporate those large scale florals.

  2. Hi Debby! I have been wanting to make a Buffalo plaid-type of quilt and think that a shot cotton would be perfect for one of the fabrics. Do you find that they ravel more easily or are hard to work with? I love all the projects you've shared. ~smile~ Roseanne
    P.S. I made a quilt top with the fabrics I won from you. I'm not sure if you've seen it or not, but I did link back to your website.

  3. I haven't tried shot cottons yet. These colors make me want to. Thanks for showing the graphic of the layout of the rail fence quilt.


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