Moda + Aurifil: Interviews + Pro Tips

Thank you so much for joining us for our two weeks of Moda love! Welcome to week two:). Today, we’re turning to Moda’s very own Lissa Alexander (also of Moda Lissa) to learn a little more about Moda AND we’ll hear from a handful of our treasured Moda designers for some excellent tips & tricks to keep you inspired!

A lineup of Moda All-Stars helmed by Lissa Alexander on the left! — via Martingale

Can you tell us a bit of background about Moda?
United Notions was established in 1975 when Mark Dunn came to Dallas, Texas to start a notion distributorship. Mark previously worked for his father in Atlanta, GA in the notions industry and had decided to go out on his own. Dallas was the perfect place being centrally located and several of the major notions brands were also located there. Mark Dunn along with Vice President of Design, Cheryl Freydberg created Moda Fabrics in 1990. First creating in house lines and now working with over 50 of the top creatives in the quilting and graphic industry, Moda has always prided itself on top quality, beautiful designs, while selling to the independent quilt and specialty retailers. United Notions/Moda is very much a family business as some of the 3rd and 4th generation family members have joined the company.

Cheryl Freydburg, Mark Dunn, Lissa Alexander, and Holly Hickman — via Moda

What do you love most about working in this industry?
Having a job that centers around my hobby is the best gig there is.  Working with creative people in every step from product development to seeing the final fabrics and quilts on the store shelves is incredible. I love exploring trends, playing with color and studying the history of patchwork gives me goosebumps, but overall building relationships with like minded people that I am able to call my friends has got to the most rewarding part of working in the industry.

What other industry gives of their time and talent like quilters. The most recent example is the storms that have affected the Texas and Florida areas. Where there is a need, quilters are the first to respond using their skills to make, share and comfort those in need. That is greatness!!

Fat Quarter Shop took Lissa with them to visit Moda Designers at Spring Market 2016 — via Fat Quarter Shop, Jolly Jabber

When did Aurifil and Moda first connect and how has the relationship developed over the years? 
United Notions was distributing Aurifil threads, so we already had a business relationship with the brand. Aurifil was still fairly new to the quilting industry. You had to be living under a rock to not notice the social media vibe that was happening thanks to Alex Veronelli, CBDO of Aurifil. I was intrigued mainly because Alex reminds me a lot of the president of Moda. They both thrive on listening and watching and then responding to the needs and wants of their customers. They both are very quick to be able to answer these needs not in product but also in their flexibility to react. The moda designers have loved working with Aurifil to combine thread sets that match their fabric lines. Whether picking fabric or threads, color is always the hardest thing to decide on. The thread sets have taken the thinking out of the equation.

Mark and Cheryl with Moda Designers — via Moda

Why do you love working with Aurifil? 
I had used Aurifil threads fairly regularly, but it was not until I took my machine in to be serviced that I realized how special this thread was. The machine tech had noticed the Aurifil spool on my machine and told me he could really tell the difference with the thread I was using when he was cleaning my machine. When I took my machine home I began to pay closer attention to what the tech said, I had little to no lint as I was sewing or in my bobbin case. The stitches laid into the fabric nicely eliminating even the slightest bulk that certain threads can cause.  I do ALOT of sewing on all different colors so I like the naturals but also use some of the colors as a neutral color 2000, 2310, 2312. The medium colors such as pink color 2437, grey color 2615, country blue color 2612 work wonderfully when using a big range of fabrics, they are not too dark, not too light, just perfect.

Aurifil Spools from ‘It Always Comes Back to Weight’ — via Moda

I asked around the office and polled some of my quilting friends and here is what they had to say about Aurifil.

  • Variety and options!
  • I like the different weights and the different looks you can get from them – from the 80wt on machine quilting to the 12wt for big-stitch quilting.
  • Threads colors consistent across the sizes so that I can mix machine quilting with hand quilting.
  • I use their variegated threads for quilting because the change of colors is very subtle which adds texture without glaring color differences.
  • Spool sizes. Small spools so I can lots of colors to the big cones for machine piecing.
  • Easy identifiable colored spools to distinguish thread weights.
  • Bobbins hold lots of thread.

And believe it or not I even got one comment  –  it doesn’t hurt that Alex smells good. 🙂

Thanks SO much to Lissa!!


PRO TIPS!
In talking with our Moda & Aurifil designers, we asked for tips… both for working with Aurifil threads and with Moda fabrics. We’ll admit we’re feeling insanely inspired after reading all of these!

Brigitte at Houston Quilt Market 2016

Brigitte Heitland
My favorite weight of thread is the 50wt – I use it nearly for everything in my work: for piecing, for doing EPP, for quilting. My tip would be: get a box of neutrals like the MODERN BACKGROUND PAPER and INK box: They are filled with whites, greys, beiges, blacks. Those colors will be used again and again and again. Even in a colorful quilt with lots of pieces I stick with a medium grey or beige thread, which matches all colors. Such a box will be a good companion for a long time and can be refilled with spools if one runs out.

For Moda Fabrics my tip is: stock your inventory with some precuts like a Layer Cake, a Jelly Roll or a Charm Pack. There are many – even free – patterns out (like my free Jelly Roll pattern here), and the little precut packages are perfect for a quick project without wasting any fabric. So you have always something handy if you are in the mood to make for a weekend project.

Barb & Mary of Me & My Sister Designs

Barb Groves of Me & My Sister Designs
I always match my thread color to my binding. When using precuts, always use the top of the pinked edge when measuring!

Lynne Hagmeier of Kansas Troubles Quilters

Lynne Hagmeier
I love Aurifil 50wt. thread for topstitching with my Layered Patchwork technique and for piecing seams. I suggest a size #70/10 needle for finer thread so your stitch line is perfectly straight. I’ve found many quilters use a size #80 needle for ease in threading, but have a bit of wobble in their stitching. Matching your thread size to your needle size is key to perfectly straight topstitching.

Laurie Simpson of Minick & Simpson — via Pat Sloan

Laurie Simpson of Minick & Simpson
I’m sure almost everyone knows, but if you cut your thread with sharp scissors at an angle – it makes it much easier to thread your needles.

Pat Sloan
The best way to select the perfect matching Aurifil thread color for your favorite piece of Moda fabric is to pull one stand off the thread spool.  My tip is that there are often several colors that will work well. When you have cool tones, try different gray threads. When you have warm tone fabrics, use shades of brown and tan. You’ll be surprised at what till work!

Kate Spain
When I use my home sewing machine for free-motion quilting, I like to use Aurifil’s 60wt bobbin thread. It goes a long way … which means I don’t have to stop to change the bobbin thread as frequently and for anyone who has quilted a queen-sized quilt on a home sewing machine, you know how much time that will save!


SCHEDULE
MODA + AURIFIL SCHEDULE
Monday, 9/18 — Moda + Aurifil
Tuesday, 9/19 — Moda + Aurifil: The Interviews
Wednesday, 9/20 — Moda + Aurifil: Stacy Iest Hsu
Thursday, 9/21 — Moda + Aurifil: BasicGrey
Friday, 9/22 — Moda + Aurifil: Kate Spain + Brigitte Heitland

Monday, 9/25 — Moda + Aurifil: Interviews + Pro Tips
Tuesday, 9/26 — Moda + Aurifil: Pat Sloan + Me & My Sister Designs
Wednesday, 9/27 — Moda + Aurifil: Lynne Hagmeier + Minnick & Simpson
Thursday, 9/28 — Moda + Aurifil: Joanna Figueroa
Friday, 9/29 — Moda + Aurifil: Fall Sneak Peeks + Contest/Giveaway!

Thanks for following along & Happy Stitching!

Moda + Aurifil: Kate Spain & Brigitte Heitland

We’re on day 5 of  Moda + Aurifil and couldn’t be more excited! ❤ Moda Fabrics has been a treasured and dedicated partner, a creative leader, and, above all, an inspiration for years. We so value the collaboration and relish the opportunity to work with such a wonderful team to promote a top-notch list of designers. Today, we’re please to highlight two amazing Moda & Aurifil Designers, Kate Spain & Brigitte Heitland.

KATE SPAIN
We absolutely adore working with Kate! If you’ve met her, you know that she is not just an amazing design talent, she’s also incredibly sweet, gracious, and caring. She is one who makes us feel lucky that we get to work in this fabulous industry of ours! Kate’s designs are always magnificent and range from sweet florals, to dreamy batiks, to perfectly illustrated holiday prints. She has two active collections with Aurifil — Merry Merry & Elements.

Merry Merry is available as a Large box of 12 Large Spools — 8 in 50wt and 4 in 40wt — and a Small box of 10 Small Spools of 50wt thread. You can learn more about Merry Merry right here.

Aurifil 3320 from Kate’s Merry Merry box goes perfectly with this print from her Latitude Batiks! — @katespain

Kate’s Elements Collections are also available as a Large box of 12 Large Spools — 8 in 50wt and 4 in 40wt — and a Small box of 10 Small Spools of 50wt thread. The color palette is perfect and works so well with a range of her collections, including Early Bird, Canyon, and Voyage.

Kate was kind enough to chat with us about why she loves working with both Moda & Aurifil so much:). Thank you Kate!

What do you love most about working with Aurifil Threads?
There’s a whole lot I love about Aurifil threads. Most of all is the quality. The threads are strong, smooth and almost lint-free. I also love the range of beautiful colors and the variety of weights. I use 50wt for piecing quilts and because it’s not so bulky, my piecing is more accurate and the thread nestles into the seams perfectly.

Why do you love Moda Fabrics?
I love…everything! Not only are they wonderful people to work with (lucky me!), they also make beautiful fabrics with quality cotton and vibrant colors that will last. I also love the wide variety of fabrics they offer. Not everyone is familiar with Moda’s batiks, crossweaves, denims and linens so I always encourage people to try them out in quilting projects to add texture and depth.

I guess you could narrow down why I love Aurifil and Moda to two things: quality…and so many options!

ABOUT KATE
WebsiteBlogFacebookInstagramPinterest

Kate Spain is a graduate of the Rhode Island School of Design and has been in the design and product development field for over 20 years. Her career began designing media tie-in books while working at Simon and Schuster Publishing in New York City. Her passion for art and design eventually led her to start her namesake business in 2008.

Her design collections aspire to bring the vitality of the outdoors into our homes to enrich and enliven them. Her style radiates with natural balance and freshness in palettes that offer a unique, sophisticated and widely appealing mix of
harmonious colors.  The KD Spain® brand extends a bouquet of nature- inspired, quality products that celebrate and enhance our everyday.

[Bio and images courtesy of Kate Spain, LLC]


BRIGITTE HEITLAND / ZEN CHIC
We have been working with Brigitte for years and truly adore her. She has impeccable style, with cool colors, clean lines, and modern accents. She is an absolute sweetheart, hard-working, dedicated, and we pretty much just want to have her redesign our lives;). Brigitte has 3 active collections with us: True Blue, Paper & Ink, and Flow.

Brigitte at Houston Quilt Market 2016

These 3 collections are almost all you need to complete any possible project. True Blue was inspired by traditional blue jeans and features shades of blue and white with the perfect yellow and gold hues thrown in. To check out the fabric collection with Moda, head here.

Paper & Ink is a wonderful box of greys, creams, white & black and it is consistently one of our top-sellers.  It was designed to coordinate with Brigitte’s Modern Background collections for Moda — Paper & Ink.

Flow is a collection of sweet colors, perfectly matched to Brigitte’s more colorful fabric collections, including, of course… Flow!

Brigitte shared her love of Aurifil Threads and Moda with us — thank you Brigitte!

What do you love most about working with Aurifil Threads?
I love the quality and also the reliability of these wonderful threads. They are fine, and they have a certain shimmer, which looks wonderful on the quilted surface.

I love the wide color range to choose from, and those colors are just yummy. So in each case, I can find a matching vibrant color for my project. I also love the fact that I can get four different thread weights in each color. It means I can do top-stitching with a heavier thread in the same color as my seams are sewn.

For quilting itself, I love the variegated options: nice color schemes in a rhythm of color change which looks very well on a solid backing of my quilt and makes that backside like the front of a whole cloth quilt.

Why do you love Moda Fabrics?
Again here: for their quality. If I compare a Moda fabric with any other brand, Moda is far ahead in terms of drape, in terms of the perfect thickness for quilts, quality fibers used, color durability. And I said this before I even worked for Moda. I am a shop owner, and have carried a couple of brands and Moda was always best to piece with. That’s what my quilt buddies are telling me too.

And second: For their wide range of collections! There is something for everybody. When I teach a class and I gather 25 people for a workshop, I see all kinds of tastes: Batik lovers, country style, bright sunny colors, muted and traditional fabrics – all these styles can be served by Moda. Not to forget that I have a couple of my favorite designers as my colleagues – like Vanessa Christenson or Sweetwater, whose style pairs well with mine.

ABOUT BRIGITTE
WebsiteBlogFacebookInstagramPinterest — YouTube — Twitter

Brigitte Heitland was born in Germany and grew up with her three siblings. They were a funny “gang” and her grandma sewed a lot of clothes for the children. Brigitte often sat down next to her old PFAFF and felt so comfortable. Her grandma once told her: When you are tall enough to get your feet down to the pedal, I’ll teach you sewing too. It was, perhaps, one of the best things that anyone could have given her.

Brigitte started sewing at the age of six, mostly clothes, and loved to have unique things to wear. When it was time to choose a profession, she knew it would be something creative.  She decided upon Interior Design but was drawn to all of the students in the room next to her working with needles and thread and so she ended up as a student of Textile Design.

In her mid age, it happened that she stumbled upon a wonderful pictured quilting book and was hooked at once. She had to try it herself and became hopelessly addicted to patchwork. Of course, she needed fabrics, lots and lots of different fabrics to dive in. She started her own little online shop with quilting fabrics and eventually worked to create her own collection. It led to her roots in Interior Design: when developing a fabric or even a design for a quilt the entire impression of a room was considered. She sees the light, the furniture, the color concept, the style and her quilts become a natural element of this scene, fitting in harmoniously. Brigitte loves having clarity in a room, an environment of simplicity where you are surrounded by only the things you really need and love, where you can relax, find your inner peace and balance. Her quilts are a take on this concept, reduced, pure, and clear.


MODA + AURIFIL SCHEDULE
Monday, 9/18 — Moda + Aurifil
Tuesday, 9/19 — Moda + Aurifil: The Interviews
Wednesday, 9/20 — Moda + Aurifil: Stacy Iest Hsu
Thursday, 9/21 — Moda + Aurifil: BasicGrey
Friday, 9/22 — Moda + Aurifil: Kate Spain + Brigitte Heitland (YOU ARE HERE)

Monday, 9/25 — Moda + Aurifil: Designer Tips
Tuesday, 9/26 — Moda + Aurifil: Pat Sloan + Me & My Sister Designs
Wednesday, 9/27 — Moda + Aurifil: Lynne Hagmeier + Minnick & Simpson
Thursday, 9/28 — Moda + Aurifil: Joanna Figueroa
Friday, 9/29 — Moda + Aurifil: Fall Sneak Peeks + Contest/Giveaway!

Thanks for following along & Happy Stitching!

Moda + Aurifil: BasicGrey

We’re back for day 4 of  Moda + Aurifil. ❤ Moda Fabrics has been a treasured and dedicated partner, a creative leader, and, above all, an inspiration for years. We so value the collaboration and relish the opportunity to work with such a wonderful team to promote a top-notch list of designers. Today, we’re please to present another fabulous designer with a brand new collection — BasicGrey.

BasicGrey’s Rachel Brenchley at Quilt Market in 2016

BasicGrey’s principal designer, Rachel Brenchley is the creative mind behind a slew of stunning fabric collections for Moda. One of her biggest hits has been Moda Grunge, a series of gorgeous solids that offer texture and dimension. We’ve seen some pretty amazing quilty masterpieces created with these fabrics!

We were overjoyed by the chance to work with Rachel on a curated Grunge Thread Collection, representing her top-selling colors. A Spring Market launch was the perfect timing as it coincided with the release of Grunge Hits the Spot, a remix of Rachel’s fabulous grunge prints with perfectly-sized polkadot overlays.


THREAD COLLECTION DETAILS
Thread Up With Grunge
100% Aurifil Cotton, 10 Small Spools, 50wt (220yds/spool)
Colors included:
2024 – 2310 – 2326 – 2620 – 2692
2230 – 1147 – 4182 – 5006 – 2783

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

THE INTERVIEW
What first drew you to to the world of sewing and quilting?
Growing up my mom and four aunties sewed everything from pieced quilts and hand-braided rugs to cross stitch samplers and vintage button collecting . . . they do it all and with such skill! I guess you could say it’s in my blood.

Grunge Solids in action — Photo by @richyjr16

Who or what has been your greatest creative inspiration?
Definitely my mom and my aunts. There are a lot of artist that I admire and follow, but truly, my creative side was built and nurtured by my mom, grandma and aunts throughout my life. They encouraged me to use my talents and not apologize for anything. They gave me courage and were great examples.

Due South — Pattern by Carrie Nelson, Quilt by Richy Lainsson Jr., Fabric by BasicGrey (photo courtesy of Richy!)

How did you first connect with Moda and what do you love most about working with them?
I started working with Moda in 2007. I had a very unique and successful paper crafting collection and Cheryl saw the potential for what I was doing to be translated to fabric. The “grunge” look took a minute to catch on with fabric, but now that it has, we are so thrilled with the reception. I love working with the people at Moda, they are the very best and kindest people.

Rachel with Moda’s Mark Dunn

Tell us about your Grunge collection. What inspired the designs?
Grunge was born out of my desire to have backgrounds and textures that were forgiving and variegated. I was tired of the solid flat colors and wanted a more depth and dimension. Grunge was born and I found myself preferring that always to flat solid colors. I’m so happy to see so many agree with me!

Photo by @richyjr16

Do you have a favorite project or projects made with the collection?
Oh goodness! That’s a tough question. It seems everyday I see awesome things created using grunge, I don’t think I could choose one.

Katy Perry Portrait on display at Spring Market 2016 — made by Holly of @thisiswhatido using Moda Grunge fabrics

What is next for you? Where else can we find you this year?
This year is super busy! I will continue to design collections for Moda. I have four kids so they keep me super busy too. We are building a new home in Utah and I plan to invest a lot of my time and attention there. Lastly, I started a new little design software company and that has me quite consumed. Between all of these things, I hardly have time to breathe.

THE GIVEAWAY

To enter-to-win BasicGrey’s Thread Up With Grunge thread collection AND a FQ bundle of Hits the Spotby BasicGrey for Moda 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, September 29! Winner will be randomly selected and announced here on Monday, October 2. Good luck!

ABOUT BASICGREY
WebsiteBlog — FacebookInstagramPinterest 

For BasicGrey’s principal designer Rachel Brenchley, invention and inspiration are all about family, friends, and full-on FUN!

Rachel launched BasicGrey over fourteen years ago as a surface design company, and as it’s owner, she knows a thing or two about pushing the ticket rather than simply following a trend. Inspired by her crazy, hectic and colorful life, her sweet husband and four fabulous children, Rachel loves to mix things up with unique color palettes applied to bold prints and patterns – eclectic representations of her eclectic world.

What does she think is the best part of her design work? Seeing her designs become YOUR amazing creations!

[Bio courtesy of Moda — thanks Moda!]


MODA + AURIFIL SCHEDULE
Monday, 9/18 — Moda + Aurifil
Tuesday, 9/19 — Moda + Aurifil: The Interviews
Wednesday, 9/20 — Moda + Aurifil: Stacy Iest Hsu
Thursday, 9/21 — Moda + Aurifil: BasicGrey (YOU ARE HERE)
Friday, 9/22 — Moda + Aurifil: Kate Spain + Brigitte Heitland

Monday, 9/25 — Moda + Aurifil: Designer Tips
Tuesday, 9/26 — Moda + Aurifil: Pat Sloan + Me & My Sister Designs
Wednesday, 9/27 — Moda + Aurifil: Lynne Hagmeier + Minnick & Simpson
Thursday, 9/28 — Moda + Aurifil: Joanna Figueroa
Friday, 9/29 — Moda + Aurifil: Fall Sneak Peeks + Contest/Giveaway!

Thanks for following along & Happy Stitching!

Moda + Aurifil: Stacey Iest Hsu

We’re back for day 3 of our love letter to Moda. ❤ Moda Fabrics has been a treasured and dedicated partner, a creative leader, and, above all, an inspiration for years. We so value the collaboration and relish the opportunity to work with such a wonderful team to promote a top-notch list of designers. Today, we’re taking a moment to kick off a parade of those fabulous designers with a brand new collection by Moda & Aurifil Designer and top-notch illustrator, Stacy Iest Hsu.

Stacy’s Woof Woof Meow debuted at Spring Market and we simply can’t get enough of the adorable little prints in those fabulously rich and lovely colorways! We love them all so much, it’s hard to pick a favorite. Are you a cat person or a dog person or both? Stacy made sure there is a little something for us all! She showcased the new line with a series of awesome new projects, including a few pieces made from her signature panel prints. Fabric hits stores on Nov. 1 and the coordinating thread collection is available now!


THREAD COLLECTION DETAILS
Woof Woof Meow
100% Aurifil Cotton, 12 Large Spools, 50wt (1422yds/spool)
Colors included:
2465 – 2460 – 2440 – 2435 – 2310 – 2311
2785 – 1158 – 2847 – 5007 – 2340 – 2318

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

THE INTERVIEW
What first drew you to the world of sewing and quilting?

When I was young I always wanted to be a fashion designer so I knew I needed to learn to sew.  There was always a machine and lots of fabric so with the help of 4 H and my mom I learned how to sew.  It wasn’t until  I started working with Moda 25 years later,  that I started sewing again and learned how to quilt.  I felt like if I was going to be good at fabric designing, I needed to learn how to quilt.  It has been a huge learning curve but I can honestly say my love of sewing has been sparked again and I love quilting.  I get so excited when I design a new collection because I can’t wait to sew and create something cute with it.

Who or what has been your greatest creative inspiration?
I would have to say my kids have been my greatest inspiration.  Watching them play and seeing what they create and like to play with has inspired many of my collections.  When they were little, I used to read a lot of books to them and those stories also inspired some of my collections.  I once took a children’s book writing class and in the first class, the teacher said when getting started the best place to find inspiration is from something personal or the things closest to you.  My love of dolls as a little girl and my children now provide me with the most inspiration of all.

How did you connect with Moda and what does it mean to you to be a Moda designer?
I submitted a collection to Moda but they actually did not accept it the first time around.  They gave me some great feedback and I went back to the drawing board.  Three kids and seven years later I submitted a new collection including the cut and sew concept and it was accepted.  It means so much to me to be a part of the Moda family.  They are the best in the industry and I feel so lucky that they chose me.

Stacy Iest Hsu (photo courtesy of Moda)

Tell us about Woof Woof Meow.  What inspired the designs?
I am so excited about the Woof Woof Meow collection.  I love cats and dogs so it was so much fun to design this collection.  My two cats were used as inspiration for the cat portion of the collection, but for the dog portion of the collection, I was inspired by the dog show I went to in San Francisco with my family.  It was so much fun to see all the breeds of dogs. The hard part was choosing which breeds to feature in the collection.  I fell in love with the “Toy Group” which inspired the “Small but Mighty” print.  I tried to include as many of the dogs as I could, but unfortunately, there were some that did not make the cut.

We are super fans of your panels — can you tell us more about the panels for this particular collection?
I am really excited about these particular panels because I designed them a little differently.  I made them larger so they would be easy to sew for young or new sewers.  Also another wonderful feature about the panels is that I put the dogs and cats on separate panels.  If you are a dog lover you can get the dog panel and if you love cats you can get the cat panel.

Do you have a favorite project or projects made with the collection?
I love all the projects I made with the Woof Woof Meow collection, but if I had to pick my favorite, I have two.  I had so much fun making the I love cat tote.  The colors make me so happy and I just love that little kitty head.  It was my first time making a tote and I just love how it turned out.  I see more toes in my future!

The All Wrapped Up quilt is also one of my favorite projects.  I really love the whimsical take on the beloved dachshund and again the colors are so fun and make me so happy.  Also, it was a super quick and easy quilt to make.

When did you first discover Aurifil threads and what do you love most about them?
I first discovered Aurifil threads at my first market about a year ago.  All my fellow designers raved about it so I had to try it.  I was hooked right away.  I love the way Aurifil sews and the colors are so beautiful.

How did you go about selecting colors for Woof Woof Meow and what excites you most about releasing the colors to the world?
When picking colors for my Aurifil thread collection, I wanted to make sure to include as many of the colors found in the fabric collection as I could.  It was important to have several shades of blues and pinks and I really like the cream and gold as neutrals.  They are so beautiful as a collection but also so versatile if used individually on different projects.  Whether it is piecing low volume fabrics with the creams and golds to adding a pop of color to your quilting with the bright and dark colors, this collection has it all.

THE GIVEAWAY

To enter-to-win Stacy’s Woof Woof Meow thread collection AND a FQ bundle of Woof Woof Meow by Stacy Iest Hsu for Moda 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, September 29! Winner will be randomly selected and announced here on Monday, Ocotber 2. Good luck!

ABOUT STACY
WebsiteBlog — FacebookInstagramPinterest 

Stacy lives in the San Francisco Bay Area with her husband and three children. She has been a textile and product designer for over ten years and has designed for such retailers as Janie and Jack, GapKids, Target, and Tiny Prints, among others. Recently she decided to branch out independently to market her own line of original creations. For Stacy it has been a dream come true to work with Moda and Aurifil and she can’t wait to share her exclusively designed collections with the quilt and crafting community.


MODA + AURIFIL SCHEDULE
Monday, 9/18 — Moda + Aurifil
Tuesday, 9/19 — Moda + Aurifil: The Interviews
Wednesday, 9/20 — Moda + Aurifil: Stacy Iest Hsu (YOU ARE HERE)
Thursday, 9/21 — Moda + Aurifil: BasicGrey
Friday, 9/22 — Moda + Aurifil: Kate Spain + Brigitte Heitland

Monday, 9/25 — Moda + Aurifil: Designer Tips
Tuesday, 9/26 — Moda + Aurifil: Pat Sloan + Me & My Sister Designs
Wednesday, 9/27 — Moda + Aurifil: Lynne Hagmeier + Minnick & Simpson
Thursday, 9/28 — Moda + Aurifil: Joanna Figueroa
Friday, 9/29 — Moda + Aurifil: Fall Sneak Peeks + Contest/Giveaway!

Thanks for following along & Happy Stitching!

Moda + Aurifil: Interviews

Thank you so much for joining us for our two weeks of Moda love! Today, we’re turning to Aurifil’s fearless leaders, Alex Veronelli & Elena Gregotti, to learn a little more about Aurifil and how this lovely partnership with Moda came to be.

Aurifil’s CEO, Elena Gregotti

Can you tell us a bit of background about Aurifil?
Elena — Aurifil was founded in 1983 by my father Angelo and his school friend Adolfo Veronelli,  to give a better service to his customers that were buying Tajima multi heads embroidery machines from his Company Studio Auriga. Angelo and Adolfo selected the best Egyptian long staple cotton thread to supply the best cotton thread on the market.

L to R: Anna (Alex’s sister), Alex, Elena, and in front, Chiara (Elena’s sister) on location in Egypt.

When I join the Company after finishing University, I was looking for new markets and I found out the Quilt Industry, a world completely new for us and really fascinating. We started in year 2000 to discover this market and in 2007 Aurifil USA born.

The market appreciated our products and thanks to a very well orchestrated Social Media Campaign by Alex Veronelli, we started to gain more and more market share.

Chicago, Aurifil US home base! (photo by Elena Gregotti)

Last year in September I moved to Chicago to develop our office and now I can say that we have a great Young Team ready to follow up the Market and to develop new projects for 2018 and the years ahead.

What do you love most about working in this industry?
Elena — I love the fact that by using my product people develop their creativity. Thread is the ‘tool’ which allows artists to create masterpieces, holding everything together.I am always amazed at the unlimited ways threads are used each time to create a unique piece of art.

The beauty of our industry is that it’s a labour of love.

Aurifil’s CBDO, Alex Veronelli

When did Aurifil and Moda first connect and how has the relationship developed over the years? 
Alex — I can date Spring Quilt Market in Pittsburgh, 2009 as a milestone about the relationships between Aurifil and Moda. United Notions was already distributing as Wholesaler the Aurifil threads, but the real moment when we moved the first steps towards a cooperation orientated for example in developing thread collections with the Moda’s Designers matching their fabrics definitively must be linked to that Spring Market. Then as the time go by the relationships have intensified with the cooperation in marketing’s initiatives, with the development of products in collaboration, and with always a more deep support to the mutual designers.

Why do you love working with Moda
Alex — Moda is so Italian! Starting from the name “moda” that in Italian means “fashion”, then it is a family company with an able second generation on board, furthermore is a company with class and style, all this by my point of view gives to Moda definitively an Italian soul.

Mark Dunn & Family (photo courtesy of Moda)

Aside from my romantic considerations just mentioned, as connoisseur of the Quilt Industry and of the brand positioning’s dynamics I appreciate how the Moda’s brand had been able to climb the leadership not just in its category but in the entire industry.

Moda is also an example for how they care and mind about their dealers and for the profuse commitment in preserving the quilts history.

(photo courtesy of Moda)

On the practical side Moda’s Head and Crew are prepared, professional, creative and enthusiast and this makes really not just easy but also enjoyable to collaborate with them.

On a personal side I have to say that I learnt a lot about the Quilt Industry and how to stay in this business thanks to the friendship and guide of Moda’s people.

The Moda team at Quilt Market (photo courtesy of Moda)

Thanks SO much to Alex and Elena 🙂 — We’ll have the low-down from Moda next week!


SCHEDULE
Monday, 9/18 — Moda + Aurifil
Tuesday, 9/19 — Moda + Aurifil: The Interviews (YOU ARE HERE)
Wednesday, 9/20 — Moda + Aurifil: Stacy Iest Hsu
Thursday, 9/21 — Moda + Aurifil: BasicGrey
Friday, 9/22 — Moda + Aurifil: Kate Spain + Brigitte Heitland

Monday, 9/25 — Moda + Aurifil: Designer Tips
Tuesday, 9/26 — Moda + Aurifil: Pat Sloan + Me & My Sister Designs
Wednesday, 9/27 — Moda + Aurifil: Lynne Hagmeier + Minnick & Simpson
Thursday, 9/28 — Moda + Aurifil: Joanna Figueroa
Friday, 9/29 — Moda + Aurifil: Fall Sneak Peeks + Contest/Giveaway!

Thanks for following along & Happy Stitching!

Moda + Aurifil

Moda Fabrics has been a treasured and dedicated partner, a creative leader, and, above all, an inspiration for years. We so value the collaboration and relish the opportunity to work with such a wonderful team to promote a top-notch list of designers. We’re taking some time over the next two weeks to celebrate the collaboration… to share some stories, introduce a few new collections, herald some of our amazing designers, highlight a few great tips, give a few sneak peeks, and finally to launch a super fab giveaway! We’ll have a new post ready for your viewing every afternoon, so grab a snack, a cup of coffee/tea/hot chocolate, and join us for a bit of Moda love!

Alex Veronelli, Mark Dunn, and Elena Gregotti

To kick things off… a little background about our two fabulous companies. ❤

MODA

The official word: United Notions, Moda Fabrics and Moda Home is a multi-line fabric, notions and finished product manufacturer and distributor selling to the trade. They offer a wide range of fabrics, notions, patterns, books, quilting supplies and finished product in their Dallas warehouse. They have been in the quilting and fabric industry since 1975 and are constantly striving to bring the latest and greatest in both their fabrics and other quilting and home products. Moda currently has independent designers as well as an in-house design staff bringing some of the hottest new lines of fabrics and home product available in the industry.

Quilt-Market-Minneapolis-2015-Group

The fun stuff: This is part of the Moda Crew, circa May 2015. We absolutely adore that they always take such fabulous photos. (Note to Aurifil… more group photos!)

This part of the Moda crew attends Quilt Market and it includes Directors, Vice Presidents, the Sales representatives and folks from Moda Fabrics and United Notions. There is an equal number of very important people who don’t go to Market, they’re too busy keeping everything running back home in Dallas.

United Notions is the company founded in 1975 by the amazing Mark Dunn, whose philosophy is to “…find your passion and enjoy what you do. Don’t spend your whole life wishing you’d done something different.” Wise words!

To clarify, United Notions and Moda Fabrics are two companies in one. United Notions is essentially everything that isn’t fabric on-a-bolt, a pre-cut or a quilt kit. If it’s something you’d use for any kind of sewing, they probably have it. From every kind of cutting implement to thousands of different threads, they’ve got storage bins and marking tools, pins and needles, patterns and books and so on.

Moda Fabrics? Well, from outstanding basics like Bella Solids and Grunge to collections designed by internationally-known quilters and artists, they have a style of fabric and color palette to suit everyone.

We are in LOVE!

All credits to Moda for the above text! To learn more about Moda, head here and to learn more about Mark Dunn and how this all started, click here

AURIFIL

The official word:
Aurifil is an accomplished, family-owned, Italian company based near Milan, specializing in the production of 100% Cotton threads from the MAKO region. The threads have achieved worldwide success thanks to a dedicated tribe of quilters, sewists, and textile artists who herald the thread for its versatility, its strength, and the fact that it produces virtually no lint.

The fun stuff:
Alex Veronelli and Elena Gregotti are what we like to call our super-power duo;). Keen business skills partnered with innovative thought, creative exploration, and masterful social media skills… The two have truly taken Aurifil to the next level with their amazing leadership.

The company’s history goes all the way back to 1957 when Elena’s father, Angelo Gregotti, founded Studio Auriga to produce designs for a multi-head mechanical embroidery machine. It was the first and only company to undertake this type of work in Italy. In 1972, Angelo traveled to Japan and discovered Tajima, starting the company on a new and amazing path featuring the highest level of technology available. In 1983, Angelo recruited his school friend Adolfo Veronelli to join his project and start a new adventure producing thread. Their vision was to source the best Egyptian Cotton and to create the finest thread on the market. And so Aurifil was born.

In 1995, Elena discovered world of quilting. She was immensely fascinated by what can only be described as works of art… masterpieces in fact. Even though it was completely different than their typical target, Elena urged her father to approach the quilt market. It was obvious that the quilters knew quality when they saw it. The attention that Aurifil thread received when presented for the first time at the European Quilt Show in Strasbourg was astonishing. Alex & Elena worked hard to improve the product further and began to sell in the US through an importer. In 2007, after increased success, Aurifil USA was born.

And now, in 2017, we celebrate our 10th anniversary as Aurifil USA. We have a diverse and amazing team based in offices just outside Milan, Italy and in Chicago, IL. We also have a handful of team-members spread out across the US — our ‘remote’ division;). We are a team of passionate folk… we love our product, we love our industry, we love what we do… and we hope it shows!

SCHEDULE
Monday, 9/18 — Moda + Aurifil (YOU ARE HERE)
Tuesday, 9/19 — Moda + Aurifil: The Interviews (Alex Veronelli, Elena Gregotti, & Lissa Alexander!)
Wednesday, 9/20 — Moda + Aurifil: Stacy Iest Hsu
Thursday, 9/21 — Moda + Aurifil: BasicGrey
Friday, 9/22 — Moda + Aurifil: Kate Spain + Brigitte Heitland

Monday, 9/25 — Moda + Aurifil: Designer Tips
Tuesday, 9/26 — Moda + Aurifil: Pat Sloan + Me & My Sister Designs
Wednesday, 9/27 — Moda + Aurifil: Lynne Hagmeier + Minnick & Simpson
Thursday, 9/28 — Moda + Aurifil: Joanna Figueroa
Friday, 9/29 — Moda + Aurifil: Fall Sneak Peeks + Contest/Giveaway!

Thanks for following along & Happy Stitching!

All About Aurifil, Part 3

Welcome to the third installment of our All About Aurifil series. Today we are going to learn about some of Aurifil’s new and/or specialty threads: 80wt, Cotton Floss, and Wool. But first, a continuation of our threaducation! Let’s talk about mercerized and long staple cotton. These two things go hand-in-hand so it makes sense to discuss them in the same conversation. Let’s get started!

Continue reading

Garnet Pillow Cover by Amy Friend

We are absolutely smitten with Amy Friend of During Quiet Time‘s debut collection with Contempo/Benartex. Improv was released at International Quilt Market this past Spring and we’ve been keeping a close eye on Amy’s social media ever since, ooh-ing and aah-ing at every new project. If you’re interested in purchasing Amy’s fabrics or her coordinating Aurifil thread collection, please check in with your local quilt shop.

We’re so thrilled to have Amy as a guest here on Auribuzz today. She is sharing a brand new project using some of our favorite fabrics & threads from her Improv collections. Thank you, Amy!!


I hope you enjoy this free pillow cover project that I have designed for you!  I am calling it Garnet and it finishes at 16″. This project is foundation pieced but suitable for someone with only a little paper piecing experience.  It’s not too difficult!  You will be enjoying it on your couch in no time.

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DOWNLOAD THE GARNET PILLOW COVER
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When I designed my Improv fabric collection for Contempo (a division of Benartex), I wanted to include a gradient in prints. I love using gradients in my work and it is challenging to pull a good gradient together. As you can see, the grays in this collection provide you with a ready to go gradient, softened by the simple, modern prints.  The shades of rose and wine give it a pop of color.

I love using Aurifil 50 weight thread for my paper piecing because it is fine and doesn’t add to the bulk of the seams. I also use it for quilting because it blends in and lets my piecing take center stage.  In my Improv Designer Collection, I chose a gradient of grays to coordinate with my prints and used them to quilt this pillow, along with the two shades of rose.

I hope you will enjoy this project! If you do an you’d like to keep going, the pillow coordinates well with Caged, a quilt pattern I released earlier this year. It is pictured in the feature images above and can also be seen below. The pattern is available here on my website.

Thank you and have fun!


ABOUT AMY
WebsiteBlogFacebookInstagramTwitter — Shop

Amy Friend is a former museum collections curator turned designer and modern quilter. She has authored two books published by Lucky Spool Media: Intentional Piecing and Improv Paper Piecing. Improv is her first fabric collection, newly released with Contempo, a division of Benartex. Amy enjoys lecturing and teaching in hopes of spreading her love of paper piecing and modern quilt design!

 

 

ABOUT IMPROV
100% Aurifil Cotton, 12 Large Spools, 50wt (1422yds/spool)
Colors included:
1147 – 2455 – 2452 – 6723 – 2420 – 2600
2610 – 1246 – 2125 – 2021 – 2315 – 4060

Sariella’s Butterfly Charm Blocks

Is there any better way to kick off a weekend of creativity than with a brand new pattern? Certainly not! Enter the FREE Butterfly Charm Block pattern by Sariella — the super power design team of Nicole Young of Lillyella and Sarah Thomas of Sariditty.

The Butterfly Charm Block originated as a set of paper-piecing patterns that Nicole created, as shown here and below. Cricket, Gidget, and Pepper burst onto the scene in 2015 in a flurry of loveliness, fully representing Nicole’s signature style.

This new pattern release is the Sariella-ized version of these blocks — in other words, 3 new versions of the original butterflies all done up in Sarah’s signature style. Meet Cleo, Ginger, and Peggy!

We just love that these stunning butterflies can now be paper-pieced OR appliqued. Think of the possibilities — a full quilt, a wall hanging, or maybe even a dress or skirt? Or how about a handbag? Nicole incorporated all 6 blocks into her Sewing Date Traveler Bag, a free pattern from Robert Kaufman (available here). She used her original butterfly charm blocks on one pocket…

and the new applique versions on the other side.

The featured fabrics are True Colors by Tula Pink for Free Spirit Fabrics and the threads are from Sariella’s debut Aurifil thread collection. Perfection!

To learn more and to grab the free pattern for these butterfly beauties, follow the link below.

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BUTTERFLY CHARM BLOCKS by SARIELLA
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To get you started with making your own butterflies, we’ve teamed up with Nicole & Sarah to offer a fabulous giveaway. Stitch up one of the Butterfly Charm Blocks for a chance to win the new SARIELLA thread collection! Use whatever fabrics you’d like + your favorite Aurifil threads and enter in 1 of 2 ways:

Entries will be accepted until 11:55pm on Friday, October 6. We will select one random winner and announce on both our Instagram & Auribuzz. This giveaway is open worldwide! Happy Stitching and have fun!