Aurifil Artisans

 

Cropped

You know Aurifil as your favorite thread on the market… The thread with incredible strength and sheen… the thread made with 100% Egyptian Mako Cotton by a dedicated team working for a small family company based in Italy. We stand by the quality and do our best every day to ensure that our product is one that makes us proud, one that makes our hearts sing. But at the end of the day… Aurifil is nothing without you — the creatives, the visionaries, the designers, the artists… You do amazing things with our thread, always pushing the boundaries, trying new things, wowing us with your innovations and your artistry.

With that in mind, we’ve revamped our Blogger/Artist program and are proud to introduce our Aurifil Artisan Program! The program offers a wonderful collaborative opportunity… a way for us to partner to herald the work that you do and spread the Aurifil love.

We have a limited number of spots available for the first year and have developed an application which can be reviewed, filled out, and submitted below. Applications will be accepted until Friday, April 7. Our Aurifil Artisans will be contacted by April 14 and introduced here on our blog shortly thereafter.

Brilliant by Sue Marsh

Whistlepig Creek Productions founder Sue Marsh is known for her hand-drawn illustrations that reflect a sense of youthfulness, whimsy and fun. She has been creating and sketching characters since 1997 and partnered with RJR Fabrics to give her characters new life. Her fun, lighthearted collections of novelty prints appeal to both kids and the young-at-heart! Her debut Aurifil thread collection, Brilliant, is available in both large and small boxes and coordinates particularly well with Geekery  and Monster Trucks.

THREAD COLLECTION DETAILS
Brilliant
12 Large Spools, 50wt (1422yds/spool), 100% Aurifil Cotton
2120 – 1104 – 2250 – 2479 – 2288 – 2540
5017 – 2870 – 1148 – 5005 – 1320 – 2735

10 Small Spools, 50wt (220yds/spool), 100% Aurifil Cotton
2120 – 1104 – 2250 – 2288 – 2540
5017 – 2870 – 5005 – 1320 – 2735

THE INTERVIEW
Can you tell us a bit about yourself and how you first got started in the world of sewing and quilting?
I’ve been sewing since I was twelve. I found it to be my medium and the way to express my creativity. I can’t remember not being drawn to it. It was how I celebrated my accomplishments and dealt with life’s lows.

I grew up in Wyoming and moved to Colorado shortly after I graduated from college. I graduated with a degree in Petroleum Engineering about the time the industry took a nosedive. I started sewing and selling items at craft shows to pay my rent. This is when I found that I could make a little money with my skills. There has always been “the next step, the next step, the next step” to come to the point where I am now. It’s been an evolution.

I am married to the most wonderful man on the planet and we have a very happy life in Colorado.

Do you remember your first quilt and how you felt once it was complete?
I clearly remember my first quilt – and I actually finished it!! It was probably the only project I have ever done start to finish with nothing in between.

It was a scrappy variable star. I used muslin for the background fabric, a high loft batting, a brown sheet for the backing and I tied it with yarn. I am quite sure the muslin was the very cheapest I could get and the concept of all cotton was a foreign concept. This was in the days before rotary cutters so I hand cut every piece of that queen size quilt! And, as with many of us, I made this as a gift!!

Who or what has been your greatest creative inspiration?
I am going to say Eleanor Burns. I bought her Log Cabin book, a rotary cutter and mat and actually did a king size quilt in a day. I was forever hooked.

Can you tell us a bit about your style and what inspires your fabric collections for RJR?
I’m going to categorize my style as “silly”. I love bright colors and characters that are a little left of center. What inspires me? Everyday life! I might see a dog riding in the back of a car and wonder to myself “hmm… I think that dog could drive that car” and the next thing you know… dogs driving cars might show up on fabric. Or a documentary on Polar Bears might beg the question… “I wonder what they would look like in sweaters and lederhosen”. It just goes on like that.

What collections are you currently working on and do you have any favorites?
I just wrapped up a collection of Llamas that will show in the fall and another collection for this spring market that is more trendy tribal inspired. Not whimsical, but still in the bright color range. If I look back on all my collections I would have to pick Days of Yore as my favorite. Mostly because of the little soft story book that goes with the line.

Days of Yore Quilt by Sue Marsh

What is your favorite thing to sew or quilt?
Gosh…I don’t think I have a favorite thing. My favorite project is always “the next one”.

Your debut Aurifil thread collection was developed to coordinate with a handful of your fabric collections, including Geekery and Monster Trucks. Do you find that you favor a particular color palette to support your illustrations?
Most certainly! You will find that Brilliant goes really well with the next three lines. Happy Owl O Ween, Pow Wow Wow and Llama Llama Bo Bama!

Do you have a favorite project made with your recent collections that you’d like to share?
You’ll see images of some of the projects made with the recent lines throughout this post. We also have a free pattern made with Monster Trucks for everyone.

Check out all of Sue’s free patterns by clicking here.

When did you first discover Aurifil threads and what do you love most about them? 
I watch the industry closely. I was always seeing Aurifil associated with my favorite fabrics and my favorite designers. I tried it for myself and found the quality as advertised!

Do you have a favorite color/weight and why?
I use an awful lot of Black 50 wt. I love the way the black makes applique pop using a button hole stitch. Many of my fabric lines have black backgrounds with bright color motifs. I love the way black makes the color sing.

If I had to narrow down the colors … Hot Pink 2588, Lime Green 5017, Cyan 5005, and Purple 2540!

How did you go about putting this collection together?
That was easy! I pulled out a couple pieces of fabric and picked the colors that match. I was a wonderful surprise to find out how perfectly they match and how this color collection goes with pretty much all my fabrics.

Can you tell us about the illustrations on your stunning collection labels?
All those characters have been featured in fabric. I did a lottery and the winners got to be on the label!

What top thread tip would you want to share with our readers? 
I keep bobbins loaded with the colors in the thread box. I always use matching thread top and bottom. They are ready to go when I am ready to sew!

What’s coming up for you and where can we find you this year?
I have four lines of fabric coming out this year!! Monster Trucks has shipped and Happy Owl O Ween will ship soon. Followed by Pow Wow Wow and Llama Llama Bo Bama.

Hubby has retired and I am mostly hanging out with him. Happy at home drawing my silly little critters.

THE GIVEAWAY

To enter-to-win 1 Large Brilliant Thread Collection and one FQ Bundle of Geekery by Sue Marsh for RJR 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 Tuesday, March 28! Winner will be randomly selected and announced here on Wednesday, March 29. Good luck!

ABOUT SUE
WebsiteBlogFacebookPinterest

Though you wouldn’t expect it from the fun, quirky illustrations she is known for, Sue Marsh possesses a background in software engineering. This highly technical background provided her with the ideal skill-set for quilt and pattern design. She decided to make her passionate hobby a full time venture and launched Whistlepig Creek Productions, her pattern design company. Whistlepig Creek has found great success in its 10-year history, with an extensive website and thriving mail-order business. “I use math – especially trigonometry and geometry – more in quilting than in Software Engineering!” Since she was a child, Sue Marsh has always been drawing characters.

Her hand-drawn illustrations reflect a sense of youthfulness, whimsy, and fun. Sue has a background in fabric design, having created two lines of fabric for Marcus Brothers over a period of two years. Sue’s fun, lighthearted collections of novelty prints appeal to both kids and the young-at-heart!

[Bio courtesy of RJR Fabrics, photos courtesy of Sue Marsh and Whistlepig Creek Productions]

 

Top Ten Tuesday {Sewing for Babies}

There is something about Springtime that has us thinking about babies!  Whether you’re expecting a new family member or need a gift for a friend, we’ve rounded up some quick and easy makes. There are bibs, burp cloths, & bows, as well as some cute makes for the nursery. Grab your Aurifil thread and fabrics, and get to stitching!

Top TenTuesdays

1 – A Bow Keeper by Lisa Calle at the Moda Bake Shop.

VMQ-bow-keeper-cover-550x825

2 – Candy Flower hair bow by Keera Job at the Moda Bake Shop.

CandyFlowerBlue

3 – Easiest Burp Cloths by Amy Smart of Diary of a Quilter.

sewing-with-sisters-burp-2-e1472347935962

4 –Bigger Better Bib by Mary Martha Mama.

the-bigger-and-better-bib-pattern-printable

5 – Quilted Patchwork Bib by Sew She Sews.

00

6 – Bandanna Bib Pattern by  White & Bright.

img_1032

7 – Ruffle Edge Baby Blanket by Sew4Home.

2360-Ruffled-Baby-Blanket-4_0

8 – Crib Sheet DIY by The Ribbon Retreat.

how-to-make-a-crib-sheet-1

9 – Changing Pad Cover DIY by View From the Fridge.

e_cpc_text

10 –Nursing Cover by Sew4Home.

0712-nursing_cover-1

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 March Designer of the Month – Melissa Corry

2017 Aurifil DOM Mar Melissa Corry collage.jpg

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

color-wheel-2.png

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

You might have thought we’d select colors by month, the but color wheel isn’t that co-operative! And we HAD to give Melissa Corry Purple… you’ll see why when you meet her!

When I first had a chance to see Melissa in person she was as bubbly and warm and MEGA talented as her writing at her website. And this girls can SEW .. like the WIND! She creates amazing things and if you are new to Melissa’s work.. get yourself signed up for her article notices ASAP…. whew.. now we can go on!

You can listen to Melissa and I talk about her being part of the Splendid Sampler and other projects she was working  on at 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 Melissa!

Continue reading

Project: Sew Very Happy by Susan Emory

Today, we’re handing the blog over to Aurifil Designer Susan Emory of Swirly Girls Design. Susan has a wonderful pattern to share, along with some excellent tips — all using her Summer Lovin’ thread collection, released last year. This project is absolutely perfect to get us prepared for warmer weather ahead! Now excuse us while we daydream about the bright Summer sun;).


My introduction to Aurifil Thread came several years ago when I picked up a spool of 12 wt thread for hand embroidery. I immediately loved that I no longer had to separate strands before I began stitching! Since then, I have discovered the lint-free beauty of Aurifil 40wt and 50wt to use on the machine. I switched to Aurifil and never looked back.

When I approached Aurifil to create a designer thread collection to coordinate Summer Lovin’, my  fabric line with Michael Miller Fabrics, I was THRILLED when they said yes!

I love hand embroidery and I love appliqué so we combined the best of both and produced a box with six 12wt spools and six 50wt spools.

This box is the perfect fit for the Sweet Summertime Block of the Month quilt featuring hand embroidered blocks each month.

The 50wt is ideal for machine appliqué and matches the fabrics perfectly!

Flower Power

Have you had a chance to hand stitch with 12wt yet? I designed a simple hand embroidery project to give you that chance and to help get you started!

– – – – – – – – – – – – – – –
DOWNLOAD Sew Very Happy by Susan Emory
– – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

I used a pencil to lightly trace the design onto solid white Cotton Couture from Michael Miller Fabrics.

I combined back-stitching and french knots for stitching the design.

 

I then added borders and quilted the mini quilt. After quilting, I decided to add some fussy-cut floral motifs from Summer Lovin’. I stitched the appliqués down with matching 50wt thread. Next, I added a row of big stitch quilting with the 12wt in red.

I used the yellow and green Picnic Plaid print for bias binding.

Enjoy!! I can’t wait to see your minis!!


ABOUT SUSAN
WebsiteBlogFacebookInstagramTwitter
Susan Emory is a licensed designer with Michael Miller Fabrics and a quilt designer under the Swirly Girls Design logo. Summer Lovin’ by Susan Emory/Swirly Girls Design for Michael Miller Fabrics and the Summer Lovin’ Designer Thread Collection are in stores now.

 

 

 

Pssssst. Something fun coming soon!!

QuiltCon 2017 — Savannah, GA

We’re just getting back and settled in from a spectacular five days in beautiful, historic, and fascinating Savannah, Georgia.  There is a certain perceived expectation when you think of “The South”, particularly when you think of Savannah.  Nothing about this city disappointed me. Not even the weather- especially because I arrived the day after it stopped raining. What luck!

Savannah is the oldest city in Georgia and one of the only surviving cities left after the Civil War.  Some of the houses date back to the 1700s, which is pretty incredible.

IMG_8926

Just imagine the quilts that were made inside those walls!  That certainly brings a whole new level of appreciation for Civil War reproduction fabrics, don’t you think?

Savannah is a very picturesque city, full of manicured lawns, immaculately kept homes and ornate details everywhere you look.  Just walking a few blocks to breakfast took us nearly an hour because we kept stopping to admire the view, take pictures or read the plaques of the various fountains and statues in the squares.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

The Savannah River divides the city from the World Trade Center, where QuiltCon 2017 was held.  There was only one hotel on that side, and if you weren’t staying in it, you had to travel across the river via ferry.  On the first night, the ferry was packed full of quilters and only a few locals.  I doubt they had ever seen so many handmade bags and quilt related t-shirts in one place before!

IMG_8601

We had a great time playing a game with our QuiltCon guests.  The idea was to see who, amongst the three players, could put a puzzle together the fastest.  The fastest got to take home a large spool of thread of their choice; the remaining two took home a small spool of their choice.  Everyone was a winner!

All players were challenged to beat the ‘best time’, which kept getting faster and faster throughout the event. On Sunday morning, we had our fastest participant EVER, not just for QuiltCon. Karen Brown completed the Aurifil Spool puzzle in just 2 minutes & 36 seconds. We were all in awe! Congratulations again to Karen, who is now the excited recipient of a Tula Pink Ultimate Collection — 45 small spools of lucious and colorful thread!

To help celebrate 270 Colors, the incredible quilt by Sheri Cifaldi-Morrill of Whole Circle Studio, we hosted an ongoing social media contest.  Participants had to take a “Selfie” in front of the quilt and post it to Instagram using the hashtag “#270ColorsGiveaway“.  We had over 190 entries and our winners were:

We did also share a daily at-home giveaway so that no one would be excluded!! Thank you again to all who played along!

270 Colors by Sheri Cifaldi-Morrill

Even though we weren’t able to sell our thread in our booth, there was still plenty to be found throughout the show including the booths for: Craft South, Crimson Tate, Andover, Victoria Findlay Wolfe, Marcus FabricsRiley Blake, and more!!

We also loved having a chance to visit with some of our amazing fabric partners. Many of them had interactive booths, giving visitors a chance to design quilt blocks, collect supplies to work on collaborative quilting projects, and more!

Of course, one of my favorite aspects of community events like this, is all of the quilts.  I’m amazed at the diversity on display.  Just when I think I’ve seen it all, when I’ve defined my own personal style, I turn a corner and see something that changes my whole perspective, something that makes me stop and think and admire.  Below are some of my favorites from this year’s show.

And of course, Best In Show, “Bling” by Katherine Jones:

IMG_2174

IMG_8753

I’m pretty sure she said it took her over 160 hours to complete the quilt top.  It is ENTIRELY paper-pieced!  Can you imagine??

All-in-all, a great time was had by all.  People left feeling inspired, satisfied, knowledgable.  I think those are the best things to come away with.  And, even though it’s maybe a little sad to leave and go back home to reality, the memories live on and we get to look forward to the next time we can fill our minds with new techniques and skills. We get to fill our hearts with the fun times had with friends that we may have only previous known online.  That’s the beauty of it, really.

Until next time!

IMG_8852

— Kristi, Bradley, Erin, and Alex

Top Ten Tuesday {Easter Bunnies}

Welcome to Aurifil Top Ten Tuesday! Springtime is upon us and we couldn’t be more excited about stitching up a few adorable Easter projects! Whether they’re for your home, your children & grandchildren, or just for yourself, these projects are sure to bring springtime cheer to your life. Plus, who doesn’t love cute little bunnies 😉 Grab your Aurifil and stitch up a darling project today!

Top Ten Tuesday

1 – Bunny Bags by Just Jude

24941699623_cb249c48b6_z

2 – Spring Flowers Wreath by PolkaDot Chair

Spring-Flowers-Easter-Wreath-1

3 – Fabric Easter Eggs by Retro Mama

tn_EasterEggs1

4 – Scrappy Easter Bunny Head Tie by Wife-Made

EASTER-2

5 – DIY Stuffed Bunny by Alice & Lois

stuffed-bunny-main-7

6 – Bunny Bunting {Tutorial} by Samelias Mum

Bunny Bunting tutorial

7 – Ruffle Bunnies: Fun Appliqué Kitchen Towels by Sew4Home

2371-Ruffle-Bunnies-2

8 – Bunny Hop Quilt Pattern {Free} by Jedi Craft Girl

bunny-hop-cover-800x693

9 – Flip & Sew Carrot Table Runner by All People Quilt

img_carrotstickslg_1

10 – Easter Bunny Bunting by Crafts Beautiful

Easter_Bunny_Bunting_520_296_int_c1

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.

The Quilts of Savannah QuiltCon 2017: Piecing Category

piecingwinners

This past weekend, Aurifil traveled to Savannah, the oldest city in Georgia, for QuiltCon, the largest modern quilting show of its kind, presented by the Modern Quilt Guild. We were there to help celebrate 42 remarkable modern quilters with unique and colorful entries in the Piecing Category, a category we’ve proudly sponsored for the last several years.  Personal taste in fabric, color, and design style allows this category to stay completely varied and different.

Alex Veronelli with the First Place Quilt (see below for more info)

Alex Veronelli with the First Place Quilt (see below for more info)

I took photos of every quilt in the category and put together a slideshow to illustrate just how interpretive piecing can be:

The Aurifil Sponsored Piecing Category Winners 

First Place: Marilyn Farquhard, “Ode de Yoshiko”img_2171

Second Place: Miriam Coffey, “Finding the One”

img_2227

Third Place: Elaine Poplin, “Vertigo”

img_2224

And, my personal favorite: Sarah Sharp, “Folksy Fish”img_2341

After looking at the sheer number of seams in some of these quilts, especially “Folksy Fish”, you can see how important your choice of thread is!  Aurifil 50wt thread is perfect for piecing because it is thin enough to reduce bulky seams (ensuring a more flat quilt top), yet strong enough to ensure that your stitches will stay together.  Even if it’s not an heirloom piece, it will last like it is.

Aurifil would like to congratulate all the entrants in this year’s QuiltCon quilt show! We are so inspired by the work that you do!

To find out more about our different thread weights and how they should be used, please visit our website.


Stay tuned for a full recap of our QuiltCon experience on Monday, March 6! We had so much fun and can’t wait to share it all!

One Room Schoolhouse by Brenda Ratliff

ors-fieldshot

As Spring days draw near, we find ourselves thinking more and more about bright colors, blooming flowers, and days filled with sunshine, punctuated with blue skies and warm breezes. Can’t you just picture it? One Room Schoolhouse by Brenda Ratliff for RJR Fabrics brings this image to mind. It is a collection that heralds the shift to Spring, featuring a lovely combination of bright blenders, florals, and text prints. Brenda’s coordinating thread collection features 12 stunning colors of our 50wt, selected for perfect piecing, binding, quilting, and appliqué. One Room Schoolhouse has us simply buzzing with project possibilities!

THREAD COLLECTION DETAILS
One Room Schoolhouse
12 Large Spools, 50wt (1422yds/spool), 100% Aurifil Cotton
1135 – 1147 – 1148 – 2135 – 2220 – 2225
2615 – 2625 – 2630 – 2887 – 4093 – 5006

oneroomschoolhouse

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 am definitely one of those lucky people who grew up with a sewing machine in my house.  My mom made clothes for us when we were little and I was always around “crafty” things.  I didn’t start sewing for myself until I was much older but I loved to cross stitch and my grandma taught me how to knit.  After my son was born I had no job for the first time since I was 16.  I dusted off my sewing machine and decided I was going to finally learn how to really sew.  I was never really interested in quilting until I saw a friend of mine post her first quilt on Facebook.  I was like, “wow!  I’ve never seen a quilt like that before!  It’s so cool!”  It was modern and geometric.  So different than the quilts I saw in antique shops or at our house that were all vintage.  I learned everything I could about modern quilting after that!

Chevron Quilt by Brenda Ratliff - Featured in the Fall 2016 edition of Modern Patchwork

Chevron Quilt by Brenda Ratliff – Featured in the Fall 2016 edition of Modern Patchwork

Did you have another career prior to this one?
Before my quilting career I was in sales.  I studied Sociology and Marketing in college.  I worked a lot of waitressing jobs in school and then helped a friend run his small business.  I learned a lot about how tough it is to own your own business and that sometimes even a good business doesn’t work out.   I did mortgages for a while after that before being accepted into a business incubator in Detroit.  I think I’ve always wanted to be an entrepreneur.  I spent a few years in the incubator working on some other businesses.  But the things I learned there helped me to start a fabric store.  I really wanted those modern fabrics that I saw in the quilts online but couldn’t find them locally or very easily at the time.

Gate Keeper Quilt by AnneMarie Chany

Gate Keeper Quilt by AnneMarie Chany

Do you remember the process of making your first quilt and how you felt once it was complete?
I’m sure I had no idea what I was doing when I made my first quilt.  My seams were definitely not all 1/4” !  I started with a baby quilt and it ended up being more of a trapezoid than a rectangle.  I was already addicted to quilting before the end.  I’m pretty sure I had 2 more quilts ready to start at that point.

Sparkling Cider Quilt by All Washed Up Quilts

Sparkling Cider Quilt by All Washed Up Quilts

Who or what has been your greatest creative inspiration?
SO many people have inspired me over the years.  The first designer that I loved was Tula Pink.  I know I’m not the only one who loves Tula’s fabric.  It’s just so cool.  I love the hidden designs that she draws into the prints.  And she just knows what to design.  She knows it will work in a quilt because she has that same passion.  And I think that translates into her fabrics.  Back in the days of Google Reader I had over 200 quilting blogs that I read regularly. Now Instagram and Pinterest feed my inspiration these days.  I also love everything that Carolyn Friedlander and Alison Glass have done.  They are so talented!

How long have you been running Pink Castle Fabrics?
I can’t believe it’s been 6 years now that we have had Pink Castle.  It really doesn’t seem like that long ago!

Lovestruck Quilt by Schlosser Designs

Lovestruck Quilt by Schlosser Designs

What do you love most about being an online shop owner?
I really love buying!  Seeing all the fabrics and machines and threads and notions and then I get to pick what to carry in the shop.  I can see things to make out of the fabric when I look at it.  If I had unlimited sewing time…  It’s really cool when I love a fabric and then my customers love it too.

Grab Some Grub by ByAnnie

Grab Some Grub by ByAnnie

How does your role as shop owner help to direct you within other areas, like designing, hosting retreats, etc.?
Being a shop owner really helps with designing fabric.  I know what sells well in my shop and what doesn’t.  I also hear what the customers who walk into the shop are asking for frequently.  So if there’s something that folks ask for that just isn’t on the market, I can design something to fill that need.  I’ve also learned a lot about the way fabric is designed and printed so it helps me as a shop owner to educate my customers.

It’s sort of the same with hosting the retreats.  I can hear from customers what they liked and didn’t like about another retreat that they went to.  Then I can customize our Stitchalot retreats to give the attendees the best experience!  It also helps that I can supply kits and notions to the attendees as a shop owner.  I can have a pop up shop with things like thread and extra needles to make it easy on the campers who might have used theirs up or forgotten them.

Pattern design too. It’s really invaluable to get that direct one on one feedback from the customer.  As much as I might love something, it doesn’t mean that it’s going to sell or that customers are looking for it!  Business is all about filling a need and I’m hoping to do that for my customers.

What inspired the creation of One Room Schoolhouse and what did you love most about putting the collection together?
Maybe the cold here in Michigan was getting to me when I was thinking about One Room Schoolhouse.  I kept thinking about late Spring when choosing colors.  I have a collection of vintage fabrics and I use them for a lot of inspiration for my fabrics.  I love modern fabrics and colors but I also grew up learning to love the vintage quilts.  The quilts from the 1930s and 1940s are so great, especially the quilts made with a lot of scrap fabrics.  I draw a lot of inspiration from those designs when I’m thinking about the size of the prints.  Like,  “What would go well in this type of quilt pattern?”  I want to take those vintage ideas and bring them up to date with new colors.  I am always thinking about my collections try to make sure that the prints are ones that can be used with other fabrics.  Really stash workhorse prints.  It’s nice to have customers like your fabrics but it’s even better to see them using the fabrics and liking the way they work in the project.

Do you have a favorite project made with the fabrics & threads?
I use Aurifil 50wt in color #2024 for all my piecing.  Every once in a while I mix it up and use color #2600 or #2021.  The thread is thin and strong and I love having really flat quilt blocks.  I really loved the Sunset Strip quilt that I made with the One Room Schoolhouse collection.  It’s a really simple pattern and quick to put together but it looks so nice.  It’s scrappy but the blue strips in between calm everything down.

Sunset Strips Quilt by Brenda Ratliff

Sunset Strips Quilt by Brenda Ratliff

What is your favorite quilting technique and why?
I love strip piecing.    Anything that saves me time!  I have to make quilts sometimes on a tight deadline so I am always trying to find the most efficient way to make a quilt.  I’ve got quite a collection of Accuquilt dies to help make piecing faster as well.  With strip piecing you do all the sewing in long lines and then subcut your blocks.  It’s fast.  Much faster and much less tedious than cutting out smaller pieces.

Tipsy Quilt by Sharon McConnell

Tipsy Quilt by Sharon McConnell

When did you first discover Aurifil threads and what do you love most about them
When I first started to get into quilting I went into a local quilt shop.  They handed me a spool of Aurifil 50 wt and explained a little bit about the quality of the thread and why it matters.  I really loved it.  I was still a beginner but I could see that it was making a difference in my sewing.  The blocks were laying more flat when I pressed and the thread wasn’t linting up my machine as much.  Over the years I’ve learned about the different weights and when to use them and I’ve learned a lot more about the process of making thread and what things like “mercerization” mean.   It really solidified my love for Aurifil.  I know the care and quality put into the threads are going to help my quilts stay together over time.

brendaratliff-oneroomschoolhouse-inside-copy

Do you have a favorite color/weight and why?
#2024 50 wt!   I have it on all the Janome machines on the floor at Pink Castle too!  It just blends right in!  I’ve even used the white color when I’m hand binding a quilt and you can barely see it.   Even if the fabric color is really dark!  I use the same color and weight for English Paper Piecing as well.  I buy it in packs of 6 for my sewing room!

How did you go about selecting threads for your latest Aurifil collection?
I wanted to choose colors of threads that would blend in best for any hand binding, applique or quilting.  The Aurifil color card is really handy for this.  The colors from the collection blend in flawlessly!

The Perception Quilt by Nydia Kehnle

The Perception Quilt by Nydia Kehnle

What’s in store for 2017? Where can we find you throughout year?
Lots of new projects for this year!  We have two Stitchalot retreats already scheduled (you can get tickets and info at Stitchalot.com), one in June and one in November.  Those are always a highlight for me!  I have a new black and white text fabric collection called Fine Print that will be shown at Spring Quilt Market in May (in shops July 2017) and I’m finishing up another collection for RJR that you can see hopefully this Fall!

I’m also a  part of the Aurifil Design Team this year!  I’m really excited about my block.  I’m hoping to quilt along and make the whole rainbow of blocks.  My month is August!

I’m working on another Sew Pro convention with my friend Sara Lawson and we hope to be announcing that in a few months.  We had such a good time last year at our inaugural event!

Personally, I have a reading goal of one book a month.  So far I’m ahead of my goal.  I love to read and I’m glad that I’m making more time for it.  I’ve also started taking Karate lessons this year.  It’s something I’ve always wanted to do and I’m glad that I found a great Dojo in town.  I’m feeling a lot better about myself now that I’m scheduling time to work out.

It’s a lot of great stuff but I love being busy!  I’m sure I will make time for sewing too !  You can find me most days at Pink Castle Fabrics or on social media!

THE GIVEAWAY

ors-giveawayimage

To enter-to-win 1 Large One Room Schoolhouse Thread Collection and one FQ Bundle of One Room Schoolhouse by Brenda Ratliff for RJR 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 Friday, March 10! Winner will be randomly selected and announced here on Saturday, March 11. Good luck!

ABOUT BRENDA
Pink Castle Fabrics Just a Bit Frayed — InstagramInstagram, Pink Castle — Facebook, Pink Castle — Newsletter

brendaratliff-profileBrenda Ratliff is the proud owner of Pink Castle Fabrics (www.pinkcastlefabrics.com).  She also coordinates the popular Camp Stitchalot retreats (stitchalot.com), Sew Pro (sewproconvention.com) and designs fabrics for RJR.  Keep up to date with Brenda at her blog www.justabitfrayed.com.

 

Splash of Color by Jackie Kunkel

unknown

Jackie Kunkel is a Designer, an Educator, an Online Shop-Owner (Canton Village Quilt Works), and an Author. Her enthusiasm for quilting is infectious and we always love to see what she is up to! Her debut Aurifil thread collection, Splash of Color, was released this past September and follows in the footsteps of her 2015 Martingale release.  The book heralds the use of black & white and instructs readers how to combine a rainbow of bright, saturated colors with crisp black & white prints to make amazing quilts. Her thread collection is a range of 50wt threads that are simply perfect to get you started on your very own splash of color quilt! We have been so inspired by Jackie and hope that you are too!

THREAD COLLECTION DETAILS
Splash of Color
10 Small Spools, 50wt (220yds/spool), 100% Aurifil Cotton
1104 – 2250 – 2535 – 1243 – 2740
2120 – 2870 – 1320 – 4652 – 2024

jackiekunkel-splashofcolor

THE INTERVIEW
How did you first get started in the world of sewing and quilting?
I actually began sewing in 6 grade Home Economics class back in the early 70s.  I sewed mainly garments, but did make my first patchwork pillow that I still have.  I was also very crafty and loved embroidery.  If I had a pair of jeans or a jean jacket it was like a blank canvas to me… it got embroidered.  But I really didn’t pick up sewing again until I was pregnant with my first child in early 1993.  I took out the sewing machine and began making baby clothes.  Then my hubby prompted me to “get a hobby” so I took a quilting class and it was history!

Seeing Spots by Jackie Kunkel

Seeing Spots by Jackie Kunkel

What inspired Splash of Color, your Fall 2015 release with Martingale Books?
The true inspiration for this book is my love of black and white fabrics paired with bright bold colorful fabrics.  Paired with black and white fabrics, colors just POP!!!  I have always had a love of this combo from early on in my quilting career.  I have quite the stash of black and white fabric as well as bold colors too!!!

Dreaming of Pyramids by Jackie Kunkel

Dreaming of Pyramids by Jackie Kunkel

How did you go about choosing fabrics for your Splash of Color quilts?  
Fabric for each quilt was selected based on my quilt design.  I hand selected each one for each project.  Dependent on the design and the elements that I wanted to highlight.  Some got a scrappier look than others, some not.  The scale of the print cam into play a lot based on the size of the blocks too.  Black vs. White, White vs. Black…. etc.  Every quilt featured a rainbow of colors though.  This was a common theme throughout the book.

Hip to be Square by Jackie Kunkel

Hip to be Square by Jackie Kunkel

Do you sew from your stash, or do you shop for specific prints and colors?
For the book, most of the fabric was from my stash!!  I has some new fabrics sent to me from manufacturers and it was great!  Also I am constantly finding new black and whites that I love and of course add them to my stash when I can.

Jackie's interpretation of a pattern by Alison Harris of Cluck Cluck Sew

Jackie’s interpretation of a pattern by Alison Harris of Cluck Cluck Sew

Do you have a favorite quilt from the book and why?
Boy is that a loaded question!  LOL!   I really love them all but if I had to pick one, it is a toss up between Proud Mary and Lava Lamps.  These two quilts are a fave of mine because there are curves in them.  They were also the first two that I created for the book. So they are special to me.  I love them both and I really love teaching them too!

Proud Mary by Jackie Kunkel

Proud Mary by Jackie Kunkel

Which project from Splash of Color would you recommend to a beginner quilter and why?
Climbing Mountains is a great beginner quilt.  It is done out of 2.5 inch strips and is super simple to put together.  It is a great one for any beginner to start with!!!  But there are a lot of other projects in the book that they can start on too!

Climbing Mountains by Jackie Kunkel

Climbing Mountains by Jackie Kunkel

How did you first discover Aurifil threads?
I remember a friend of mine introducing them to me for piecing. She showed me that little spool and told me to give it a try.  I was all in at that point I love Aurifil’s 50 weight for piecing and for quilting too!

Jackie and her students displaying Proud Mary blocks at Road to CA

Jackie and her students displaying Proud Mary blocks at Road to CA

Do you have a favorite color or weight?The one that I use the absolute most of is 2600  Dove for piecing.  However, I switch between that and 2311 Muslin.  They are both neutrals and are great for any kind of quilting or piecing.  But really you can give me any color and I can find something to do with it!!! So worth it!! Treat yourself right and get some Aurifil in your thread stash!

Lava Lamps by Jackie Kunkel

Lava Lamps by Jackie Kunkel

How did you go about selecting the colors for your thread collection?
That was a lot of fun to say the least.  All the colors that I selected were based on colors that were used in the quilts and would compliment the quilts created well when people make them.  They can use them to piece the quilt tops AND to quilt them.  The colors just speak to me and I love working with them and hope everyone else does too!

splashofcolorrow

How would you recommend using the various colors within a single quilt? Do you piece or quilt with contrasting colors, or do you prefer to match your threads to the fabric?
Those are great questions.  So sometimes it boils down to a matter of personal preference.  Some people like the colors to blend and there for would use a blue fabric with a blue thread.  While others like contrast, and might choose from one of the other colors to give them contrast and stand out. For me, it depends on the mood that I am in.  But for the most part, I tend to be a blender.  So much fun just using color it is fantastic!!!  I hope everyone else enjoys the book and quilts and uses the threads to the max.

THE BOOK

For more information about Jackie’s Splash of Color, please visit Martingale or Canton Village Quilt Works.

THE GIVEAWAY

splashofcolorgiveaway

To enter-to-win 1 Small Splash of Color Thread Collection and one Splash of Color book by Jackie Kunkel for Martingale, 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 Monday, March 6! Winner will be randomly selected and announced here on Tuesday, March 7. Good luck!

ABOUT JACKIE
Website — Blog — Facebook — Pinterest — YouTube — Flickr — Instagram 
head-shotJackie has been a quilter since 1993 and has owned her own business, Canton Village Quilt Works since 2000. Beginning her business as a long arm quilter and then in 2009 adding an online quilt fabric shop! She has also been a quilt designer for magazines and fabric companies since 2009, a quilting Podcaster – Jackie‘s Quilting Chronicles, and a Certified Quiltworx.com (Judy Niemeyer) instructor and shop. Jackie travels throughout the country to lecture, do workshops and trunk shows. Her first book was published in September 2015 by Martingale & Co-titled Splash of Color: A Rainbow of Brilliant Black and White Quilts. Jackie is also a Craftsy Instructor with two online classes, one is a Quiltworx exclusive and the other is her own!  Also, Jackie has her own line of published patterns.

[Images & biographical text courtesy of Jackie Kunkel]