Stitch the 2012 DOM Reboot: February

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Welcome to month 2 of Stitch the 2012 DOM Reboot! On the last Thursday of every month, we’ll bring you a brand new version of one of our 2012 blocks. This month is particularly special as it’s National Embroidery Month! What a great excuse to slow things down a bit and work on our hand-stitching. It’s a perfect way to refocus at the end of a long day. Plus, it doesn’t hurt that Aurifil offers 270 stunning colors of Aurifloss, our 100% Cotton 6-strand floss, but… we digress.

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Original 2012 Designer of the Month Quilt Setting

These blocks were originally made with Aurifil 12wt. Would you believe that our floss hadn’t yet been introduced in 2012? We love that this reboot gives us the opportunity to try the blocks out with a new thread, share blocks in a new colorway (hello B&W!) and reconnect with some of our beloved Designers of the Month! So without further pause, let’s check out February’s block!

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Sherri Falls of This and That Patterns shared her Snow Much Love block in February of 2012. She designed this particular block because…

“I was born and raised in Minnesota and I look forward to every winter snowfall. This year, we have had very little snow and no snowmen have been built in the yard….which is something I look forward to every year. We haven’t even had enough snow to make a snow ball. So I thought if I can’t build snowmen from snow, I might just have to stitch some.”

Depending on where you live, we’re thinking that more than a few of you have made your very own snowmen this year! Sherri used our 12wt in a range of 7 colors: 2692, 5006, 1318, 1147, 5002, 2372, and 2145. Learn more about Sherri and her block in the original post, right here.

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We were lucky to again work with the lovely Hilary Jordan, Aurifil’s Social Media Coordinator, also of  Young Texan Mama. Hilary used our Aurifloss to complete this block and we love how she added her own personal touches to change the feel of Sherri’s original block. Hilary’s featured colors are: 1147, 1100, 2145, 2430, 5006, 5024, & 2340.

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DOWNLOAD the SNOW BIRD Pattern
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What colors will you choose for your own block? Will you keep a B&W frame or opt for something else entirely? We can’t wait to see what you make!

To keep things exciting, we’ve got a special giveaway. Stitch up the block and upload it via the linky party below. Each month, we’ll randomly select a winner to win one small Designer Aurifloss Collection. Who doesn’t love free thread (especially when partnered with such delightful free block patterns?)

So, in the words of our DOM Queen, Pat Sloan… Let’s Go Sew!!

LINKY PARTY
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Stitch up your very own version of Snow Much Love and upload a photo of your block to our linky party. We’ll randomly select one winner per month to receive a small box of our 100% Cotton 6-strand Aurifloss. Simply click on the button below to head to our link party page to add your block image. Entries will be accepted until 11:55pm on March 22. Winner will be chosen and announced here on March 23, the date of our next block!

HANDY LINKS
Original February 2012 DOM Post
Snow Much Love Pattern
Aurifil Patterns Page

STITCH the 2012 DOM REBOOT SCHEDULE
January — Roseann Kermes/Rosebud’s Cottage
February — Sherri Falls/This and That Patterns
March — Victoria Findlay Wolfe
April — Gail Pan
May — Thimbleanna
June — Pam Kitty Morning
July — Sarah Fielke
August — Bari J.
September — Amy Ellis
October — Amanda Woodward-Jennings/The Frosted Pumpkin Stitchery
November — Emily Cier/Caroline Patchworks
December — Lizzie B Cre8ive

ABOUT THE AURIFIL DOM PROGRAM
Run by industry darling, Pat Sloan, the Aurifil Designer of the Month Program has been a mainstay of the Auribuzz blog since 2011. Each year, Pat brings together a new team of top-notch Designers, featuring one per month throughout the year. Posts generally share an interview, some fabulous images of projects made, studio spaces and more, a FREE block + a chance to win Aurifil thread. At the end of every year, Pat shares a suggested quilt setting. It is a great way to get to know new designers, to try new techniques, to share in a quilt along experience, and to do some collaborative quilting!

To find all of our DOM patterns, please visit: http://www.aurifil.com/patterns

270 Colors Quilt: From Start to Finish

We first met Sheri Cifaldi-Morrill of Whole Circle Studio in the Spring of last year, just after Quilt Market. Hilary Jordan (our social media coordinator) and I spotted a fabulous mini quilt that she’d made featuring none other than Aurifil’s iconic 50wt spools on Instagram. With a rainbow of colors against a stark white background, the mini was striking and it’s no surprise that it caught our attention.

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Sheri’s original mini quilt, So Many Colors, April 2016.

Sheri and Hilary connected on Instagram, which led to an email exchange with me.  We learned that Sheri designed the “So Many Colors” mini quilt as a donation to the Quilt Alliance annual fundraiser in early 2016. The theme was “Playing Favorites” and the mini quilt incorporated her favorite brand of thread, Aurifil, using one of her favorite piecing techniques—foundation paper piecing.

Initially, we weren’t quite sure how we were going to work together, but we knew we wanted to do something fun and impactful in honor of Aurifil’s upcoming 10th Anniversary. After a series of conversations, a whole bunch of exchanged emails and some internal planning, a decision was made. We have absolutely LOVED working with Sheri over the past 8 months. She is creative, thoughtful, incredibly professional, and we couldn’t be happier with the quilt that she created.

We’re thrilled, today, to introduce Sheri to you and to let her debut her quilt in her own words, with a series of stunning process photos to give you all a closer look at how this fabulous masterpiece came together. Thank you Sheri!!


I am so excited to share the process of creating the 270 Colors quilt I created for Aurifil to commemorate and celebrate their tenth anniversary this year. The quilt features all 270 current colors of Aurifil’s 50wt thread!

After playing with different layouts in Adobe Illustrator and then presenting them to the Aurifil team, we decided to proceed with the layout shown below. The placement of colors mimics the arrangement of how the spools are displayed when the drawers are pulled out in the Full Selection Collection Box.

wholecirclestudio_270colors_01_initialdesignI started drafting the pattern and testing while I was waiting for materials from AurifilRobert Kaufman, and The Warm Company to arrive. It was important to me for the spools to be shown at actual size and proportions once all of the pieces were sewn together. Measuring, making diagrams, and sewing prototypes (and then re-testing) helped achieve this.

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Organization was key while making this quilt! I needed to match all 270 colors of thread to corresponding Robert Kaufman Kona® Solids. As soon as the big, beautiful box of Aurifil thread arrived in my studio, I created a spreadsheet in Excel. The color numbers in the spreadsheet are arranged in the same configuration as the thread is in the drawers. Having this tool allowed me to mix and match the thread to the fabric but still be able to return it to its correct location in the box.

Once I was organized, it was time to get down to business — cutting and piecing! Even the scraps were beautiful.

After a very busy month of piecing, I moved on to basting. I used Warm and Natural batting from The Warm Company and LOTS of pins. I tend to use a lot of pins. The process of basting can be tough of my fingers, but using so many pins ensures that all of the layers remain smooth. I rarely have puckers or shifting while quilting.

The piecing and quilting was done on my Juki 2010, with Aurifil 50wt. I used my walking foot to quilt the orange spools (color: 1104) and the background (color: 2024). I free motion quilted the “thread” portions of all 270 using the cross wound pattern found on the actual Aurifil spools as inspiration. Instead of marking, I positioned pins as a guide for each spool. The spreadsheet I had set up also helped me keep on track while quilting. I highlighted each number as it was quilted. It also helped to create some test strips so I could practice my free motion quilting before digging in.

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Check out this video clip demonstrating the free motion quilting process:

After a month of quilting, I was in the home stretch. It was down to burying threads, squaring up the quilt, binding, and sewing on a sleeve.

The final quilt measures approximately 70″ x 85″. The spools are the actual size of a large 50wt Aurifil spool and are spaced 2″ apart. The quilt is finished with a binding that matches Aurifil’s iconic orange spool (using Robert Kaufman Kona® Tangerine) and the back matches the blue in Aurifil’s logo (Kona® Water).

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Happy 10th Anniversary Aurifil USA! I am honored to have had the opportunity to design and produce this quilt to help you commemorate this big milestone.

Be sure to check out the quilt as it travels to QuiltCon, 2017 Quilt Markets and with Alex when he visits a local quilt shop near you.

— Sheri Cifaldi-Morrill
www.wholecirclestudio.com


Find Sheri Online
WebsiteBlogFacebookInstagramPinterestTwitter

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photo courtesy of Craftsy

Sheri Cifaldi-Morrill is a designer, maker and self-taught modern quilter. Sheri graduated from the University of Connecticut with a BFA in Graphic Design. She has twenty years of experience leading creative teams to create award winning identities, products and environments. She has worked in small design studios, a dot com and the exhibit department at a children’s museum.

Sheri’s quilts have gained national recognition including awards from QuiltCon, Quilt Week/Paducah and the Quilt Alliance. They have been featured at art centers and galleries across the country. In addition to publishing her patterns, her quilts have been featured in national publications such as Modern Patchwork. She also teaches quilting techniques.

Sheri was awarded the first annual Craftsy Quilt Designer Fellowship in 2016. This fellowship enabled her to debut Whole Circle Studio’s first booth at International Quilt Market in Houston, Texas in October 2016.

Sheri works from her home studio in the suburbs of New Haven, Connecticut—a hop, skip and jump away from New York City. She loves to chat about design and quilts. Contact her at sheri@wholecirclestudio.com.

[Images, biography & guest post text courtesy of Sheri Cifaldi-Morrill]

Bringing Tips & Tricks to Life!!

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Last week, we welcomed Kristi McDonough (also of Schnitzel & Boo) to the Aurifil family and we’re thrilled to have the opportunity to introduce you to her here! As our Technical Creative Specialist, Kristi will wear a LOT of hats! From being the voice of tips & tricks, to posting tips and answering questions via Thread Matters (a monthly blog series on Auribuzz), to filming live demo videos, to working with us for shows throughout the year, and more, Kristi will be an active part of our Marketing team. We wanted to take a moment to get to know her a bit better, learn about her background and expertise, and give you all the outlets to reach her when needed!


Yay Kristi! Welcome to the Aurifil team! To kick things off, can you tell us a little about yourself and how you got started in this fabulous industry of ours?
Thank you!  It’s a pretty “pinch-me” thing to be a part of Aurifil!  I’m thrilled to join such a well-respected and loved company.  I got started in this industry by learning how to sew when I was five years old.  I can remember being fascinated by the balance wheel (now called a handwheel) on my Mom’s old Singer.  It was so shiny and I liked to reach out and stop it when she was sewing.  She put a stop to that pretty quickly and asked if I wanted to learn how to sew.  Of course, I told her yes, so she had me sit on the opposite side of the table as her (far out of reach of that glorious, shiny, spinning wheel) and said I was allowed to pull the pins out of her fabric.  (That just goes to show you we’ve always been sewing over our pins, right?)  Eventually she taught me how to sew for real, and I grew up taking apart my clothes so I could figure out how to put them back together.  I went to college for fashion design and eventually found my way to pattern design.  I was lucky enough to work with a fabric designer on a collection of patterns, which helped put my name out there.  The patterns were never released, but I do have just over 30 of them ready to go at any given moment!

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Who or what has been your greatest creative inspiration?
This is a challenging question to answer.  So many things pop into my head: color, my daughter, Vincent Van Gogh, my mother, nature, my sister, other sewists and quilters. Katy Jones is a huge inspiration to me.  She’s actually responsible for my crossover from garments to quilting…I guess there isn’t any one particular greatest inspiration, I find that everything presents itself differently, so my creativity is challenged in it’s own way every time.

Kristi's daughter Remy with her first quilt!

Kristi’s daughter Remy with her first quilt!

You are part of a pretty creative family with a quilting mom and a daughter, whom you taught to sew when she was three. What do you love most about creating as a family?
I am quite lucky in that aspect!  My daughter and I are finally at a stage where I don’t have to hover over her and watch her every move.  I can sit at my sewing machine, and she can sit at hers, and we can both work independently.  I think that’s pretty cool, especially because she’s only eight years old.  Mom and I are known for calling each other during a sewing project and leaving each other on speaker.  Sometimes we talk, sometimes we don’t.  Sometimes we’ll watch the same movie while we’re sewing and “talking”.  Sometimes we’ll just bounce ideas off each other or ask advice.  I especially love those kinds of sewing sessions, it’s the next best thing to being able to sew in the same room!  It’s nice when everyone “gets it”.  Now that he’s a woodworker, even my husband understands when I say “Honey, I need to go to the fabric store! I don’t have the right fabric for this project!”  I can’t tell you how many times he’s come up from the wood shop and said “I have to go to Home Depot, I don’t have the right color stain!” I just smile and nod.

What is the very first thing that you remember sewing? Do you still have it?
I wish I could remember!  I can tell you one of my earliest sewing-related memories, though. (Aside from pulling pins, I mean.)  I had a little bright red polyester jumper that fit my favorite stuffed animal (a monkey).  The jumper had a blue plastic puffy bunny sticker on it, right in the middle of the chest.  My mom was sewing and had the ironing board set up.  I had been playing in the room while she was working and I thought that little jumper needed to be ironed, too.  So, I placed it on the board and set the iron right on top of the sticker; just in time for my mom to turn around and watch me place that hot iron onto the plastic.  When she pulled the iron away, a millisecond later,  the bunny was melted to the iron and there were strings of the plastic connecting the iron to the jumper.  It was so sad for both of us.  Not only had I ruined my monkey’s outfit, but I had also ruined her iron! I definitely learned how to use an iron properly after that!

What is your favorite thing to sew now?
I love really, really love quilting, foundation paper-piecing, bags and anything challenging.

The Betsy Travel Bag (pattern available on Craftsy)

The Betsy Travel Bag (pattern available on Craftsy)

How did you first discover Aurifil thread and what do you love most about it?
I heard the buzz on Instagram several years ago but didn’t catch on until I received a few spools in some retreat goody bags.  I love that it comes in so many different colors and options from wool to 80wt and that it is such a high quality product.  I’m a perfectionist when I sew, and I’m a total quality snob.  If I’m going to take the time to make something, and I’m going to spend my money on supplies for a project, then I’m going to get the best.  If you want a beautiful result, you use beautiful products!

If you could be one spool of Aurifil thread, what would you be?
I’d be 50wt in color number 6723 on an iconic orange spool because I’m a rule breaker and that’s my neutral! (6723 is a pretty shell pink, by the way.)

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What are you most excited about in the coming year?
I’m really looking forward to traveling, both for work and with my family.  I’m excited to see how my role with Aurifil develops, and where it will take me.  I have a few other exciting things that I’m working on, but can’t really say what they are.  I told myself that this would be the year that I would finally start accomplishing my goals, and so far it’s been successful!

Sweatshirt made by Kristi with Priory Square fabric by Katy Jones for Art Gallery Fabrics

Sweatshirt made by Kristi with Priory Square fabric by Katy Jones for Art Gallery Fabrics

Where will we see you out and about in the quilty world?
I will be at QuiltCon this coming weekend, possibly the Chicago Quilt Festival in April, Quilt Market in St. Louis in May, maybe teaching in Seattle in June, Houston in October and hopefully some other places in between.

If our followers have a question for you, what is the best way to contact you?
I can be reached via email at kristi@aurifilusa.com. For Aurifil questions, problems or concerns, you can find me at tipsandtricks@aurifil.com. If you’re on Instagram and need to ask a quick question, you can tag #askaurifil and I’ll be there!!

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Any top tips to share?
When garment or toy sewing, instead of clipping notches wherever your pattern indicates, use a pair of pinking shears to cut the seam in half.  You will reduce bulk in the seam and produce a more professional result in the process.

And, to draw inspiration from our Aurifil DOM Queen, Pat Sloan, a few fun questions to round things out — 

What is your favorite…
Book? “Coming Home” by Rosamunde Pilcher and the entire “Outlander” series by Diana Gabaldon.
Band? Jonny Lang, Lynrd Skynrd, Eric Church, Notorious B.I.G., Alt-J, Zero 7.  My taste in music is all over the place!
Drink? Homemade lemonade, and cheater moonshine-but only if I’m with a few certain friends.
Place to Visit? England. I haven’t been there yet, but it’s still my favorite!  Otherwise Italy and wherever my mom is.

If you’d like to follow along with Kristi’s adventures, you can find her in the following places:

BLOG INSTAGRAMFACEBOOKPINTEREST — TWITTER


Thanks so much Kristi! We are thrilled to have you on our team and are looking forward to the coming year:).

Top Ten Tuesday {Embroidery}

We love whipping up projects quickly with our sewing machines, but sometimes sitting down and doing some slow stitching is exactly what we need. February is National Embroidery Month and to celebrate we have rounded up a few of our favorite patterns and tutorials for you to enjoy. Grab your Aurifil 12 weight thread or Aurifloss and stitch up one of these fun projects today!

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1 – Love Everyone Embroidery Template by Wild Olive

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2 – Learning About Hand Embroidery from The Seasoned Homemaker

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3 – Heart and Home Embroidery by Flamingo Toes

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4 – The 2012 Aurifil DOM Reboot – a new block comes out this Thursday!

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5 – Do Small Things Embroidery Pattern by Nana Company

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6 – Sewing Sayings Embroidery by imagine gnats for Sew Mama Sew

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7 – Hand Embroidery: Lettering and Text

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8 – How to transfer embroidery patterns by Shiny Happy World

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9 – Embroidered Bouquet by Down Grapevine Lane

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10 – Creating a Craft Station by Stitch People

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Find more free patterns, tips, tutorials and inspiration by following on PinterestFacebook, and Instagram. All are updated regularly to provide you with the best the sewing world has to offer!

For more information about Aurifil products, including thread weights, Designer Collections, and where to purchase from your local quilt shop or select online shops, please visit Aurifil.com.

Aurifil 2017 February Designer of the Month – Maureen Cracknell

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Welcome to Year number 7 of our Monthly Designer Challenge & Interview!

I’m Designer, Author, Talk Show host Pat Sloan.

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This year we are celebrating the rainbow of colors in our color wheel. Each designer is assigned a certain color to create their block in.

February is a perfect month for the talented Maureen Cracknell’s to visit with us. Her gorgeous Art Gallery fabrics and her expert eye for color always has her matching just the right Aurifil threads. Her color is Blue-Purple, you are going to love meeting her and sewing her block!

You can listen to Maureen and I talk about her freemotion stitching  on my Talk Show  

And the Challenge part continues as each month we select one random winner to receive a 12 spool BOX of Aurifil thread for just making the challenge block and sharing it at my website! (details at the end plus last month’s winner!)

Let’s get to know Maureen!

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The Splendid Sampler — Block 100 Celebration!!

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Happy Valentine’s Day! What an amazing year it has been! We’ve absolutely adored the unveiling of each and every new block for the Splendid Sampler week after week. It’s hard to believe that we’ve already hit block #100! Though the blocks have all been revealed, this is by no means the end of the journey. We know that many are just getting started and we hope that you will continue flooding our feed with the stunning renditions of the blocks that we’ve come to know and love.

This magnificent Sew Along has been presented by Pat Sloan and Jane Davidson, and we are endlessly grateful. They’ve inspired thousands of quilters, worldwide, to step outside of comfort zones, experiment with new techniques, collaborate and share with new friends, and contribute to something that is both inspiring and educational. We can’t wait to see the book and just know that thousands more will be inspired by this terrific year-long event!

Today, we’re thrilled to showcase your blocks — from #91 – #100. There are so many more to admire, so don’t forget to check in on #TheSplendidSampler on Instagram and visit the photo gallery in the Facebook group for more. And, once you’re done ooooh-ing and ahhhh-ing over all of the block beauty, don’t miss your chance to enter-to-win some amazing prizes!

The Splendid Sampler Banner

THE GALLERY
[note: Mouse over each image for the image source. An @ symbol means the image is from Instagram, a name means the image was taken from our Facebook gallery]

Block #91 – Gran’s Button Jar by Lynette Anderson

Block #92 – Double Bees  by Beth Bradley

Block #93 – Tiny Miracles by April Rosenthal

Block #94 – Skyscrapers by Stacey Lowe

Block #95 – Sunshine by Kim Niedzwiecki

Block #96 – In the Sunshine by Cheryl Arkison

Block #97 – First Purse by Di Mill

Block #98 – Fleur de Lei by Lynn Harris

Block #99 – Four Corner Spinwheel by Kimberly Einmo

Block #100 – Centered by Kate Spain

OUR SPLENDID POSTS
Introductory Post for The Splendid Sampler
Sewing Along with the Splendid Sampler
Showcase Sunday: The Splendid Sampler Edition {6.19}
Splendid Sampler – Block 50 Celebration!

KEY LINKS
The Splendid Sampler Website
FAQ
Blocks & Bonus Projects
Fabric & Tools
Meet the Splendid Designers — Part 1Part 2Part 3Part 4Part 5 (there are 83!!)

GET INVOLVED
— Tag #TheSplendidSampler on photos that you share
— Join the Facebook Group to meet other participants, ask questions, get sewing support and make new friends
— Add the blog button to your site – grab it here

THE GIVEAWAY

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There will be not one, but MANY giveaways today on the Splendid Sampler site! Prizes include fabric, Aurifil thread, quilting books and MORE! All you have to do is head here, add a photo of your blocks and share what this journey has meant to you. It’s the perfect giveaway to finish up this fabulous event! Good luck and Happy Stitching!!

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[Head HERE to enter the giveaway!]
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Showcase Sunday {2.12}

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Welcome back to Showcase Sunday! We are already so inspired by all of the new things you’ve been creating so far this year! We love having a forum to showcase the beautiful work that all of you do and can’t get enough of the lovely things that you’re making, so keep tagging us and sharing your work and we’ll feature some of our favorites here every other Sunday. Don’t forget to check in on Facebook & Instagram to see more! Happy Stitching:).

(Click on any image below to visit the artist’s Instagram account for more!)

@zenchicmoda

@zenchicmoda

@yardgrl60

@yardgrl60

@the_tattooed_quilter

@the_tattooed_quilter

@thatcraftaddict

@thatcraftaddict

@sls_fabricshop

@sls_fabricshop

@quiltyhabit

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@quiltingjetgirl

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@quiltbystarlight

@quiltbystarlight

@quiltachusetts

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@purlverde

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@nq1yearofstitches

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@mybearpaw

@mybearpaw

@mrssophie2

@mrssophie2

@kareepickett

@kareepickett

@julieschloemer

@julieschloemer

@ivory_spring

@ivory_spring

@itssewscottsdale

@itssewscottsdale

@freebirdquiltingdesigns

@freebirdquiltingdesigns

@colorgirlquilts

@colorgirlquilts

@ablossomedchaos

@ablossomedchaos

Find free patterns, tips, tutorials, and inspiration by following Aurifil on PinterestFacebook, and Instagram. All are updated regularly to provide you with the best the sewing world has to offer!

For more information about Aurifil products, including thread weights, Designer Collections, and where to purchase from your local quilt shop or select online shops, please visit Aurifil.com.

Enchanted by Dodi Poulsen

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We are thrilled to be a stop on the Enchanted Blog Tour with Dodi Poulsen of Two Sisters at Squirrel Hollow & Riley Blake! The last few weeks have been a gorgeous showcase of Dodi’s latest line, including some adorable girls dresses, bags, quilts, and more! We’ve loved following along and hope you have too!

Today, we have the pleasure of introducing you to Dodi’s debut thread collection for Aurifil, hand-picked to coordinate with the magical prints found in Enchanted.  A lovely showcase of navy, pink, mint, and teal with a little pop of yellow & green, the collection brings to mind the delightful fairytales of our youth. It is available in both LG and SM boxes featuring our highly versatile 50wt thread.

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THREAD COLLECTION DETAILS
Enchanted
12 Large Spools, 50wt (1422yds/spool), 100% Aurifil Cotton
2784 – 5007 – 2425 – 1148 – 5002 – 5006
2423 – 1135 – 2882 – 2588 – 4093 – 2515

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10 Small Spools, 50wt (220yds/spool), 100% Aurifil Cotton
2784 – 5007 – 2425 – 1148 – 5002
5006 – 1135 – 2882 – 2588 – 2515

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To view this info on our website, click the images above. For purchasing, please contact your local Aurifil Dealer.

THE INTERVIEW
Can you tell us a bit about yourself and how you first got started in the world of sewing and quilting?
I grew up in Northern California with a close-knit family. My love of fabric and the art of the needle came quite honestly and naturally to me. One of my favorite memories was sitting on my Grandmother’s lap as a child while I helped Nana push fabric through her treadle sewing machine. At the age of ten, with my mother’s gentle guidance, I created my first sewn garment.  It didn’t take me long to realize the sewing machine and I were destined to become lifelong partners.

I started quilting over 40 years ago, while in college, when I needed a textile project. I taught myself to quilt and it has become my passion. In 2006, I launched my pattern company, Two Sisters at Squirrel Hollow and later added a children’s division, Little Londyn, which I ran with my daughter, Megan Miles.

Enchanted project by Little Londyn

Enchanted project by Little Londyn

Did you have another career prior to this one? 
I received a BFA degree in Interior Design and freelanced for many years in my own company, In the Beginning Creations. Right out of college worked for an Aerospace company as a drafting engineer. I drew large templates for nuclear weapons to sit in and then sent them to Seattle for manufacturing. Once they even let me attend the nuclear testing site in Las Vegas and I watched these weapons blow up. I was 24 and I thought that was pretty fascinating and very “cool”. Later I traded jobs within the company and was brought on board to help design the Bangor Base offices in Washington. I was also a planning analyst for an Airline company and I have been a substitute teacher for K-12.

My best and forever favorite job is and will forever be a mother to 2 fabulous children, a son and a daughter, and grandmother to 8 little munchkins.

Do you remember the process of making your first quilt and how you felt once it was complete?
Ahh—you really want to know about the biggest quilting blunder in my life? I needed a textile project for a fiber arts class in college. I went a bought all types of fabric; Jean, poly cotton, cotton, rayon, linen etc. having no idea that they really shouldn’t be mixed. Imagine trying to sew these all together in a quilt…not a pretty sight!  I still have this beauty in my hope chest out in the garage. It’s a reminder that I came from humble beginnings in the quilting world, much like all of us. It reminds me not to take anything for granted and that life is a gift. It’s up to you to find your way on your own life journey. Finding a passion was never my intention at that point. I just needed a good grade!

Actually, the quilt isn’t all that bad, but it uses thick batting and yarn ties, and the piecing is pretty wonky. This was way before the time of rotary cutters and wonderful tools– We’ve come a long way baby, and who knew that this experiment in the quilting world would later become my passion in life.

Who or what has been your greatest creative inspiration?
Nature always inspires me. Nature makes no mistakes and I like to take my cues for color from the world around me. I live in the Northwest, just a ferry ride from Seattle, and the beauty here is unheralded. Out my studio windows each day I am inspired by this grand world and its amazing colors. It’s an incredible backdrop for creating.

Preppy Plaid Tote Bag by Jedi Craft Girl

Preppy Plaid Tote Bag by Jedi Craft Girl

What inspired the creation of Enchanted and what did you love most about putting the collection together?
I would be lying if I did not suggest that Enchanted was inspired by my six adorable granddaughters. I often design fabric around them. I like to envision them wearing the fabrics and what that would look like in apparel. This blog tour has had an abundance of girly appeal. I can just see my littles running around in Enchanted fabrics and that gives me great joy.

I do a great deal of quilting for them and others as well so I design my fabrics for the quilter and the sewist alike.

Projects by Tie Dye Diva

Projects by Tie Dye Diva

Do you have a favorite project made with the new fabrics & threads?
I would have to say the 2 quilts that I made for Fons and Porter magazines. They will appear in Love of Quilting and Easy Cut issues this Spring and Fall.  It will have to be a secret until then!!

I also have loved using the new Aurifloss that was sent to match my threads. They are amazing to work with and my Mama Said project, on the tour today, was really fun to create. I can’t wait to hang it in my studio.

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Mama Said Sew — a new pattern available via Sash Gals!

When did you first discover Aurifil threads and what do you love most about them? 
I discovered Aurifil about 6 or 7 years ago; my sister and I like to compare notes on products and she suggested I try them. After that I was hooked. They sew like butter and the feel of them is incredible.

The threads give a soft luster to each project and I love the way the threads enhance a project. Whether it’s applique, embroidery or quilting, there is an Aurifil thread for you.

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Do you have a favorite color/weight and why?
My favorite is Aurifil 50-weight. It’s my go-to thread for piecing. Some say that it’s too thin, but I disagree. I love the way my pieced blocks lie flatter with thinner thread and it will be just as durable as a 40 -weight thread.  My favorite color? Well that’s like asking which is your favorite grandchild…I love them ALL.

Enchanted colors in Aurifloss!

Enchanted colors in Aurifloss!

How did you go about selecting threads for your latest Aurifil collection? 
I am all about saturated color and many of the colors in my collection reflect that. When I open my box of threads I can’t help but SMILE each time! They are just simply beautiful. I choose them to go with the Enchanted fabric colors and their values are working out fantastically.

Samples of the Enchanted fabrics

Samples of the Enchanted fabrics

What’s in store for 2017? Where can we find you this year?
Whew… I think the question is: Where won’t you find me this year?

2016 was my craziest and busiest year ever as I taught classes around the world and in the states. I leave for the Caribbean at the end of the month to teach on my final Quilt Camp at Sea cruise after 9 years of teaching with them.  After this, I am going to come home and take a breath.  It’s been a terrific experience, but this little woman is tired.

You will find me happily creating in my studio at home and visiting family; Taking time to smell the roses and refilling my cup so I can create more lovely things ahead.

GIVEAWAY

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To enter-to-win 1 Large Enchanted Thread Collection and one bundle of assorted Enchated fabrics, click here to head to the Rafflecopter entry page, or simply click on the image above. You do not have to complete all the options to be entered but the more options you choose, the more entries you have!  Entries will be accepted from now through 11:59pm Eastern Time on Sunday, February 12. Winner will be randomly selected and announced here on Monday, February 13. Giveaway is open to our international friends! Good luck!

*Please note that Enchanted fabrics received may be different than those shown.

UPDATE: This giveaway is now closed. Congratulations to our winner, Kelly Thibeault!

In addition to our giveaway, you could also win a bundle of Enchanted fabric by visiting Dodi’s blog, Loose Threads (www.sashgals.com) and leaving a comment. One entry per blog post, per day of the Blog Tour, right there on Loose Threads! Enter every day to increase your chance of winning!!!

BLOG HOP SCHEDULE
Love the projects showcased above? Don’t miss a single post! Check out the posts, both past and upcoming via the schedule below:)

Monday, Jan 23rd – Little Londyn
Tuesday, Jan 24th – Jedi Craft Girl
Wednesday, Jan 25th –  Loose Threads
Thursday, Jan 26th – Meags and Me
Friday, Jan 27th – Pretty by Hand
Monday, Jan 30th – Tie Dye Diva
Tuesday, Jan 31st – Two Sisters as Squirrel Hallow
Wednesday, Feb 1st – Striped Swallow Designs
Thursday, Feb 2nd – Izzy and Ivy
Friday, Feb 3rd – Ellis and Higgs
Monday, Feb 6th – Aurifil (YOU ARE HERE!)
Tuesday, Feb 7th – The Crafty Quilter
Wednesday, Feb 8th – Two Sisters at Squirrel Hallow
Thursday, Feb 9th – Jina Barney Designz
Friday, Feb 10th – Riley Blake

ABOUT DODI
BlogInstagramPinterest

dodiaurifilpicDodi Lee Poulsen designs and creates wonderful patterns to be enjoyed by quilters of all skill levels. Her patterns and designs have been featured in numerous Quilting magazines. She currently designs fabric for Riley Blake Designs.  She has been a quilt instructor for over twenty five years and she teaches and lectures throughout the country. Together with her sister, Heidi Fisher, Dodi launched her pattern company, Two Sisters at Squirrel Hollow in 2006. Dodi added their children’s division, Little Londyn Patterns, with her daughter Megan Miles. Dodi is the author of 5 books. She and her husband live in the state of Washington and are the proud grandparents of 8 grandchildren.

Getting to Know Hue by Nancy Rink

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We are incredibly thrilled to introduce Nancy Rink of Nancy Rink Designs, our newest Aurifil Designer. Getting to Know Hue is her latest collection with Marcus Fabrics. Nancy’s goal was to craft a collection that featured small motifs in a variety of blendable colors. In approaching the color palette, she pulled out her collection of Kaffe Fassett prints, because she is always on the lookout for blenders that work with his prints. In the end, the group was narrowed down to 28 colors, 9 neutrals, and two 60″ wide multi-prints. Everything you could possibly need to make a stunning quilt!

But Nancy didn’t stop there… she reached out to us to put together a coordinating thread collection. A Large box of 50wt threads and a small box of 28wt thread – Nancy’s go-tos for piecing, quilting, and appliqué.

And then… She made a GORGEOUS quilt and turned it into a BOM, currently being offered by your favorite local quilt shop! My goodness we’re feeling inspired!

[learn more about Nancy’s inspiration here]

THREAD COLLECTION DETAILS
Getting to Know Hue
12 Large Spools, 50wt (1422yds/spool), 100% Aurifil Cotton
2026 – 2140 – 2150 – 2265 – 2535 – 2540
2625 – 2630 – 2810 – 5016 – 5018 – 6738

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10 Small Spools, 28wt (54yds/spool), 100% Aurifil Cotton
1148 – 2134 – 2440 – 2540 – 2588
2810 – 2815 – 2892 – 5016 – 5018

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To view this info on our website, click the images above. For purchasing, please contact your local Aurifil Dealer.

THE INTERVIEW
Can you tell us a bit about yourself and how you first got started in the world of sewing and quilting?
I live in Bakersfield, which is in the central valley of California. Many people know Bakersfield because it is the home of “the Bakersfield Sound” a gritty, twangy, honky-tonk country music style made popular by Buck Owens and Merle Haggard.  NASCAR driver, Kevin Harvick hails from Bakersfield—in fact, he was one of my junior high students back in the day!

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My grandmother taught me to sew when I was little. For many years I only did garment sewing, and while I was in college I made and altered a lot of costumes for the university’s theater productions.

In 2010 I began designing patterns to feature Marcus Fabric’s new collections. In 2011, Amish With A Twist, my first Marcus BOM debuted in my first ever Quilt Market booth. Geez, was I nervous about it, wondering if anyone would like it enough to buy the pattern.  Apparently, the folks at Marcus were happy because they invited back to do Amish with a Twist II and Amish with a Twist III. Lately, I’ve had a few customers asking me when Amish IV would be coming out!

Here I am with Amish With a Twist at Quilt Market.

Here I am with Amish With a Twist at Quilt Market.

Since then, I have designed roughly one BOM each year for Marcus Fabrics. In 2012, “Tweet for Two”, my first fabric collection hit the shelves. That was definitely a “pinch me” moment.

Did you have another career prior to this one?
I taught Junior High and High School English and Math for over 20 years.

Do you remember the process of making your first quilt and how you felt once it was complete?
What inspired me to start quilting was an article in a magazine that I purchased while checking out at the grocery store. I read it and thought “I can do that!” Up to that point I had done a lot of garment sewing and just figured if I could set in a sleeve or line a jacket, I should be able to make a quilt. That first quilt had a lot of 5/8” seams! Also, I used an old sheet as the backing.  Needless to say, hand quilting it was a bear, and my stitches were huge! There are so, so many things wrong with that quilt—but ignorance was bliss. Somewhere along the way, I checked out a book from the library on how to quilt. What an epiphany!

Here is my first quilt--hand appliquéd and hand quilted.

Here is my first quilt–hand appliquéd and hand quilted.

Who or what has been your greatest creative inspiration?
Inspiration seems to be everywhere and thanks to the internet we can see more quilts than ever. I    personally spend far too much time on Instagram looking at art that people are making. But perhaps the tool that transformed me from maker to designer is Electric Quilt. Early on, I got on board with EQ, spending hours “making” quilts. When I am designing a fabric collection I work back and forth between Photoshop and EQ, tweaking my fabrics until they look just right in the EQ quilt I’ve designed to accompany the collection.

New from Nancy — @nancyrink , that is! Getting to Know Hue….. #makeitwithmarcusfabrics #sewstudio37 #studio37fabrics

A post shared by Marcus Fabrics (@marcusfabrics) on

Can you tell us a bit more about Getting to know Hue and what inspired the collection?
Getting to Know Hue is my newest fabric collection for Marcus Fabrics’ Studio 37 division. It is a basics collection of tonal prints in 28 colors, 9 neutrals, and two 60″-wide prints. When developing the color palette for the collection, I referred to my collection of Kaffe Fassett prints and florals because I wanted some tonals that I could use with them.  Also important was making sure there was a light, medium, and dark in each color I chose. Here are some swatches from GTKH on the right with some of Kaffe’s swatches on the left. I cannot wait to have time to play with all of these!

We absolutely love the Getting to know Hue quilt — how did you go about pulling that together for the BOM and what excites you most about the program?
When I was developing the GTKH fabric collection I knew I was going to also be designing a BOM to go with it. That was where Electric Quilt proved invaluable.  My initial set of swatches numbered well over 50.  I imported all of them into EQ and through trial and error was able to trim the collection down to a reasonable number of pieces. It’s also worth noting that my first BOM concept was NOTHING like the final quilt. What excites me most about the program is that there are so many options. There are three different background options: light, medium, and dark. And there are three different center star options: lone star, Improv star, and Strippy Star.

Here is an EQ image of the Improv Star option:

Here is an EQ image of the Improv Star option

And here is the medium background quilt with the Lone Star center option coming off the longarm:

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Do you have other favorite projects that have been made with the collection?
Currently, I am working on three different quilts using a 2 1/2″-wide strip pack that will preview at Spring Quilt Market in the Studio 37 booth. The strip pack will consist of 20 prints from the GTKH collection, and all three of the quilts will be available in a single pattern called “Strip It Three Ways: Series 4”.

What is your favorite quilting technique and why?
Appliqué is my absolute favorite! If I had all the time in the world, I would do nothing but hand applique’. Since that’s not the case, I do a lot of machine applique’ and have gotten pretty adept at both prepared edge machine applique’ and raw edge applique’. GTKH features a touch of applique which I edge finished with Aurifil 28 wt thread.  All the thread colors I used on my quilt are included in my new Aurifil GTKH 28 wt thread set.

Here’s a shot of the how fantastic the 28 wt thread looks on the quilt!

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By the way, all the quilting was done with colors from the GTKH 50wt thread box.

When did you first discover Aurifil threads and what do you love most about them?
I have been using Aurifil thread for quite a long while now, and have been singing its praises to anyone who will listen.  I love that the 50wt thread is strong enough to use on my longarm and fine enough to be used for hand appliqué. To me it is the finest all around thread on the market, hands down.  The fact that it is an incredibly low-lint thread is an added plus.

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Do you have a favorite color/weight and why?
Numbers 2000, 2014, and 2600 have been my go-to colors for piecing for years. Recently, I have been using a lot of 6725 and 6730. For machine quilting I’ve found that 2130, a soft yellow, 2886, a pistachio green, and 2310, a neutral beige are my go-to colors for all over quilting.

What’s in store for 2017? Where can we find you this year?
In addition to “Getting to Know Hue”, I have another fabric collection called “Remember Red” in the works. Red is my favorite color so I am eager for this line to come out–hopefully in time so I can show samples in the Studio 37 booth at Spring Quilt Market. I am also already hard at work on my 2018 BOM–yes, it takes that long–about a year from start to finish to bring a BOM to life.

Because my husband Oliver retired and our daughter just had our first grandchild, this year I am staying close to home.  I am visiting a few guilds for trunk shows and workshops, but for the most part, I’ll be in my studio creating or at home enjoying the grandbaby.

THE GIVEAWAY

gettingtoknowhuegiveaway

To enter-to-win 1 Large Getting to Know Hue Thread Collection and one Getting to Know Hue Fat Quarter Bundle by Nancy Rink for Marcus Fabrics, click here to head to the Rafflecopter entry page, or simply click on the image above. You do not have to complete all the options to be entered but the more options you choose, the more entries you have!  Entries will be accepted from now through 11:59pm Eastern Time on Saturday, February 11. Winner will be randomly selected and announced here on Sunday, February 12. Giveaway is open to our international friends! Good luck!

UPDATE: This giveaway is now closed – Congratulations to our winner, Cinda Dickson Thompson!

ABOUT NANCY
WebsiteBlogFacebookInstagram — Pinterest

nancy-rink-photo-osIn April 2004 Nancy was the featured artist at the Best of the Valley Quilt Show in Tulare, California. Bobbie Moore, the show’s organizer was quoted in the Bakersfield Californian, saying “Rink’s work is especially unusual. She’s an appliqué artist and her stitches are almost invisible, they’re exquisite. She makes beautiful use of color and motion in her work.”

Nancy has won several awards for her quilting. At the 2004 Houston International Quilt Festival, Remembrance of Nanny and Desert Star were both given Honorable Mentions. Also in 2004, Dogtooth Violets earned one of the top awards in the Kaufman Quilt Quest. Most recently, Emerald Spring won a first place in Mixed Techniques at Road to California. She has won awards at other national shows including the Pacific International Quilt Festival, the Pennsylvania National Quilt Extravaganza, the Mid-Atlantic Quilt Festival, and the Indiana Heritage Quilt Show. And Desert Star, the first place winner in the 2002 From the Mills Contest, was on display at the American Textile History Museum.

Nancy’s quilts have been featured in magazines such as Quilter’s Newsletter MagazineQuiltmaker, and Quilt. Other quilts have appeared in calendars and books and on websites. “Quilting has been an incredible journey,” says Nancy, “and I can’t wait to see where it takes me next!” (more here)

[Images and text courtesy of Nancy Rink Designs and Marcus Fabrics]

Coastal Mist Blog Hop

Welcome to the final day for the Coastal Mist Blog Hop! We are so thrilled that Tammy Silvers of Tamarinis asked us to join in on the fun. We’ve loved seeing all of the gorgeous projects by a truly lovely lineup of designers!  Today, we’re pleased to share a fun project & a fabulous little giveaway!

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Coastal Mist was designed by Kathy Engle for Tamarinis with Island Batik. Tammy has been doing some beautiful work with the gorgeous purple, green and magenta hues. She selected threads to coordinate perfectly with the fabrics. The large collection features both 50wt and 12wt threads, perfect for piecing and big stitch quilting. The small collection features 10 stunning colors of our Aurifloss for adding perfect little stitched details. We did a collection announcement for Tammy as a part of Island Batik week back in January. To take a peek, check out some beautiful quilts and learn a bit more about Tammy, click here.

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When Tammy asked us to do a small project for this blog hop, she mentioned that she would love something small, perhaps something embroidered. I instantly thought of the sweet style of Minki Kim‘s patterns. The combination of applique with stitched details felt perfect and I knew that it would create a lovely little showcase for the colors in the Coastal Mist collection. In looking through Minki’s patterns, I spotted a little girl holding a basket of flowers. The girl reminded me of my 3-year old daughter, so I knew right away that I’d found my project!

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Tammy sent me 4 Fat Quarters from the Coastal Mist collection, absolutely perfect for creating this tiny little work of art. I knew I’d be hand-stitching the details, rather than machine illustrating as with Minki’s preferred technique. Luckily, I had a box of Tammy’s floss on hand!

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I followed Minki’s fabulous tutorial for all of the appliqué — check it out if you’re new to this technique.

After prep, I worked on putting all of those tiny little pieces in place and suddenly, my little gal came to life!

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Now, all it needed was the addition of some sweet embroidery! I picked out a range of colors, which of course changed as I went along, but still… don’t all of those spools look just scrumptious together?

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I set to work with the hand-stitching. I may not be the most skilled at embroidery, but I always enjoy it. There is something about the simple act of stitching something by hand that can be incredibly calming… especially as a mom of two toddlers! It’s like a glorious break at the end of the day. Plus, I’m a huge advocate of stepping outside of your comfort zone, trying new things and of course… practice, practice, practice!

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I do love how this little gal turned out and have decided that she will be a gift for my daughter! I’m so grateful to Tammy for including Aurifil in this blog hop! If you’re just learning about the hop with this post, be sure to check out the schedule below and check in with the other participants!

GIVEAWAYtammysilvers-coastalmistsm

To enter-to-win your very own Coastal Mist floss collection, click here or on the image above to head to the Rafflecopter entry page. You do not have to complete all the options to be entered but the more options you choose, the more entries you have!  Entries will be accepted from now through 11:59pm Eastern Time on Friday, February 10! Winner will be randomly selected and announced here on Saturday, February 11. This giveaway is open to our international friends! Good luck!

UPDATE: This giveaway is now closed. Congratulations to our winner, Djoekie Witteveen!

SCHEDULE
January 24 – Jessica Stewart, Izzy & Ivy Designs
January 25 – Susan Emory, Swirly Girls Design
January 26 – Connie Campbell, Freemotion by the River
January 27 – Katie Laughridge, Live Originally
January 28 – Julie Stocker, Pink Doxies
January 29 – Linda Pearl, One Quilting Circle
January 30 – Laura Conowitch, LC’s Cottage
January 31 – Cheryl Schenck, Unspooled
February 1 – Marian Pena, Seams to Be Sew
February 2 – Vanessa Fromm, Fabric Confetti
February 3 – Ebony Love, Love Bug Studio
February 4 – Erin Sampson, Aurifil (YOU ARE HERE!)

THREAD COLLECTION DETAILS
Coastal Mist
12 Large Spools – 50wt (1422yds/spool) & 12wt (356yds/spool), 100% Aurifil Cotton
1148 – 2562 – 2568 – 2600 – 2455 – 2845 (50wt)
4225 – 2405 – 2420 – 4026 – 4030 – 4093 (12wt)

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10 Small Spools – Floss (18yds/spool), 100% Aurifil Cotton
2540 – 1135 – 2311 – 2562 – 4182 – 2455 – 2845 – 4026 – 4030 – 5003

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To view this info on our website, click the images above. For purchasing, please contact your local Aurifil Dealer.