Thread Journey: The Finish!

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We’ve so enjoyed following along with Wendy Sheppard‘s Thread Journey. It’s hard to believe the end is here! Ever since the beginning, back in June, we’ve anxiously awaited each post, anticipating the next round of instruction and grabbing sneak peeks at Wendy’s stunning quilting. Today, it’s all about the big reveal! This post is full of so much quilty goodness, we’re simply brimming with excitement. Also, we’re pretty sure that Wendy has some quilty super powers. We’d like to thank Wendy for her kind collaboration, for sharing her expertise with us, and for helping us to push the boundaries of our own quilting practices.

We’re so excited to see your finished quilts, so  don’t forget to tag us when you share your photos —  Wendy (@ivory_spring), Aurifil (@aurifilthread)and #threadjourneyquiltalong.

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Hello Quilting Friends, I hope you have been well.  Today’s post is my last post on our Thread Journey Quilt-Along.  All in all, I put in about 52 hours on just the quilting portion of the quilt.  It’s been fun and therapeutic for me to work on this quilt.  I personally like the step of quilting the best in the entire process of making a quilt – because I like how quilting adds personality to a quilt.

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Thread Journey, before quilting

Thread Journey, after quilting

Thread Journey, after quilting

I used the different colors from my Subtle Strings thread collection for constructing, quilting and finishing the quilt.  Hopefully you will be able to see the additional subtle coloring on the quilt from using a variety of thread colors to quilt the quilt.

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These pictures were taken after I completed the quilting, but not binding.  But the time of day was right for me to take some outdoor pictures to highlight the quilting.

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All the quilting you see is free-hand and free-motion quilted on my Bernina home machine.  My own machine quilting journey actually started with learning feather quilting before I went back and learned the different background motifs.  It was the desire to be able to quilt feathers that started me on my machine quilting journey.

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I absolutely love this next picture because it show three of the Subtle Strings colors coming together.

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When I first started quilting feathers, I actually drew out every single feather on the quilt.  After quilting many, many, many feathers, I eventually was able to quilt my feathers free-hand.  Nowadays, I might mark where I roughly want my feather spine to be if I am unsure, but I rarely follow the line exactly.  You can sort of see what I mean in the following picture.

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Here are a few more pictures.

One huge reason I like quilting is because quilting is an ongoing learning process in that I can look back and track my growth, so to speak.  Looking at the feathers from one of my first feather pieces back in 2008, and compare them to the ones I just quilted on Thread Journey, I feel like my feathers now look like they aren’t too afraid to branch out and be adventurous.🙂

Lastly, you have seen the front pictures… how about a couple of pictures of the quilt back showing the Subtle Strings colors coming through?

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That’s it, Friends!  I hope you have enjoyed our Journey together…. till next time! A big shout out to Aurifil, Windham Fabrics and Hobbs Batting for making my Thread Journey Quilt happen!

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FULL SCHEDULE:
June 2: Thread Journey: Quilt Along with Wendy Sheppard
June 16: Thread Journey: Quilt Construction, Part 1
June 30: Thread Journey: Quilt Construction, Part 2
July 14: Thread Journey: Quilt Construction, Part 3
July 28: Batting & Thread
August 11: Process of Quilting, Part 1
August 18: Process of Quilting, Part 2
August 25: Process of Quilting, Part 3
September 8: Process of Quilting, Part 4
September 15: The Finish! (Today!)

ABOUT WENDY:
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Originally from Southeast Asia, Wendy came to the US for her tertiary education.  After her degrees in Chemical Engineering, she worked in research in a wind tunnel for a spell.  Nowadays, she is a stay/work-at-home Mom to a 7 year old.  Wendy’s designs have been featured in major quilting publications, both home and abroad.  She is also an author for Landauer Publishing, as well as an online quilting instructor.  She is passionate about encouraging quilters to enjoy their quilting journey.  During her free time, she loves to read history, and indulges in hand needlework.

ABOUT SUBTLE STRINGS: (Wendy’s 2015 Aurifil Thread Collection)
WendySheppard-SubtleStrings

12 Large Spools of 100% Aurifil Cotton, 50wt
Colors included:
2310 – 2847 – 4060 – 2130 – 2715 – 5021
2210 – 2510 – 2886 – 2326 – 2423 – 5014

Aurifil 2016 September Designer of the Month Katarina Roccella

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I’m Designer, Author, Radio show host Pat Sloan.. Our September Designer is the super talented Katarina Roccella, fabric designer for Art Gallery, see all her collections.

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We have had an instant connection from the first time I walked in her booth. It is the highlight of my day anytime I can stop and have a chat with her!

This May we talked for my show..Listen to my June 6, 2016  talk show CLICK to Listen or subscribe by Itunes

Let’s get to know  Katarina!

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Where do you live and what is your favorite spot there?

I live in downtown Belgrade, the capital of the Republic of Serbia.  Belgrade is situated in South-Eastern Europe, on the Balkan Peninsula. It lies at the confluence of the Sava and Danube Rivers in North Central Serbia, where the Pannonian Plain meets the Balkan Peninsula. Belgrade is one of the oldest cities in Europe and since ancient times it has been an important traffic focal point, an intersection of the roads of Eastern and Western Europe. Its history goes back 7,000 years. The area around two great rivers, the Sava and the Danube has been inhabited since the paleolithic period.

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The hill overlooking the Sava and Danube confluence is called Kalemegdan and it’s Belgrade’s central park and my favorite place, just a short walking distance from my house. It is home to several galleries and museums, restaurants, kid’s playgrounds, sports courts and the Belgrade Zoo.

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From there you can easily reach Knez Mihailova street, the main walking street and center of Belgrade. As the epicenter of culture and history, Knez Mihailova was named one of the most beautiful pedestrian streets in Eastern Europe.

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When was your FIRST quilt sighting? 

Not counting the many amazing quilts I was able to see online via Flickr, my first quilt sighting was a beautiful vintage French quilt (made by hand in the early 1900’s) that served as a prop for the film “In Secret”, that was filmed in Belgrade in 2012.  I was lucky enough to work on art props for the film and it absolutely got me thinking about the idea of making some quilts myself.  I have enjoyed sewing kids clothes since the arrival of my first daughter, 15 years ago, but my love for quilts is a more recent passion.

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 Did you have a career prior this, what was it? 

I was a freelance graphic designer, printmaker and painter (doing mainly linocut prints, calligraphy, illustrations and paintings).

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After getting my Master’s degree in Arts, I also worked as a teaching assistant for the Drawing and Painting department at the Faculty for Philology and Arts in Kragujevac (a city near Belgrade) for ten years.

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I am currently working towards my PhD in Applied Arts and Design and my goal is to combine printmaking and painting with textile and quilt design.  I am dreaming about making a huge exhibition (hopefully next year) with installations that would integrate these fields of art and design.

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Have you had a ‘light bulb’ moment in making 

The first quilt I made was in 2013. It was made with some of my fabrics (printed through Spoonflower) in combination with some other designer fabrics I had in my stash. I tried to draw some ideas on paper and to develop them further on my computer to get better idea about the shades and colors.

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Since I didn’t know much about the proper quilt making and quilting techniques I pieced it entirely on my serger (lol)!  I was also naive enough to think that Drunkard’s Path is a great beginner unit, ha!

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Well, the final result wasn’t so bad, considering the fact that I pretty much didn’t know what I was doing. Of course, I learned a lot from those mistakes, but I still didn’t realize that the serger is not a proper way to piece quilts.

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So, it was only after making my first quilt with Indelible fabrics for my first booth at Quilt Market and meeting Cristy Fincher (who was kind enough to point out to me that little mistake and tell me about the Quilt Police too, haha), that I understood that a serger isn’t used for quilts. That was probably my “light bulb” moment in quilt making, together with learning all the fabric preparations prior to piecing, like good starching and ironing.

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What does your studio look like, and what would you change in it? 
We have a small house with a beautiful garden in the countryside hills, called Fruska Gora, near Belgrade, where I have a tiny studio where I paint, draw and have my printing press.

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In our home in Belgrade, I don’t have a proper sewing room or a table that is all just mine (except the for small one that has my computer on it), so any corner of our home can easily become my work space: it can be a couch, the floor or a table.

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I love creating in the open air, so the porch of our countryside house is one of the most inspiring places for my creativity, being surrounded by the sounds of the nature and the happy voices of my kids playing nearby.

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Both of my parents and my sister are also artists (my father is a painter, my mother is a pottery artist, while my sister is a production designer), so having a home that works partly or entirely as a studio as well, is a way of life for me (ask my husband what he thinks about that though, the fabrics jumping out from every closet and the mess in the house, haha).

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Of course, I would love to have a bigger space where all my creative work could be gathered and accomplished, so I dream about that option. My husband does too.😉

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Do you have a GREAT storage, organization, or label making tip?

I love my Ikea magnetic rack & tin jars that are used for handling my sewing labels.

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What are your 3 favorite colors of Aurifil thread?

Although the1148 (2BH) would possibly be my all time favorite Aurifil color, and the most beautiful shade of teal blue, I am equally in love with the 1240 (2LC) (deep plum).

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It was included in both of my Aurifil thread boxes: Indelible and Voluminous. Besides those colors, my absolute must haves are 2021 (2DQ) and 5004 (1MP).

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Anything else you’d like to share?

I am so excited about what’s to come next in my fabric design area. I cannot share much about that yet, but I can say that the color blue will be a great part of it. Also, my AGF family never cease to amaze me with new, exciting projects and ideas, and I am looking forward to seeing them come to life.

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What is it about blue that inspires you? 

My favorite shade of blue is teal or turquoise. If I could, I would place it in each fabric collection, because I never get bored of it.

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It’s the most beautiful color of the sea and a color that looks so live, intense and refreshing.

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DOWNLOAD ‘Into the Blue’-Katarina Roccella

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•    Right handed or left handed.. And can you use the other at all? Right handed, only.

•    What is your Favorite childhood TV show? Little house on the Prairie. I enjoyed watching it, especially seeing the dresses that the girls were wearing.

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•    Are you a Dog or Cat person? We have a golden, named Noa who is a true family member. He’s my faithful helper, always putting his paws on whatever I create.😉 We also have a gecko lizard, two guinea pigs and two fish tanks. My son is dreaming about having a Zoo when he grows up, lol.

•    The snack you crave – Pistachios and all kind of dried fruits and nuts.

•    The Color you have always LOVED.…. Teal and purple.

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All the links that you want to share.

Visit Katarina at

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I am having so much fun with these blocks, using a totally different colorway. I am deciding on my colors. Should I do one shade like Katarina? or several?    click over to my site, which is where you enter YOUR block in our Monthly Challenge .. you could win a box of my thread next month!

ENTER YOUR Challenge BLOCK HERE

Are you on Facebook? I have a fantastic quilt group with the most incredible show and tell going on! You should see it! JOIN me HERE … I’d love to meet you!

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******* JOIN our Aurifil Family  *******

EACH MONTH we will pick one random winner that has made a block.. that person will receive a special Aurifil thread prize! Winners are all contacted email

For more Aurifil project photos visit our FLICKR PAGE  HERE

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Our RANDOM picker this month selected Kathy!  She has WON a BOX of Aurifil thread! Such gorgeous blocks entered .. see all the great versions HERE

REMEMBER – The Photo entry is moved to my website where more people can enter, right HERE

Showcase Sunday {9.11}

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Welcome back to Showcase Sunday, our forum to showcase the beautiful work that all of you do!  We can’t get enough of the beautiful 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!)

@ivory_spring

@ivory_spring

@colorgirlquilts

@colorgirlquilts

@sewbespokeandco

@sewbespokeandco

@freebirdquiltingdesigns

@freebirdquiltingdesigns

@richyjr16

@richyjr16

@ladykquilts

@ladykquilts

@jennrossotti

@jennrossotti

@kidgiddy

@kidgiddy

@iamlunasol

@iamlunasol

@janequiltsslowly

@janequiltsslowly

@quiltyhabit

@quiltyhabit

@beccibee

@beccibee

@jleblanc1951

@jleblanc1951

@mybearpaw

@mybearpaw

@stephskardal

@stephskardal

@yardgrl60

@yardgrl60

@mmphsbelle_quilts

@mmphsbelle_quilts

@allie-and-me-design

@allie-and-me-design

@jeliquilts

@jeliquilts

@laurensewcycle

@laurensewcycle

The High Voltage Collection by Rob Appell

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Textile artist and designer Rob Appell got his start in the quilting and sewing industry years ago when he landed a job in his Mother’s Quilt Shop, “The Cotton Ball” in Morro Bay, California. He worked as a sewing machine technician and was quickly drawn to the world of quilting. He learned by trial and error and brings a masculine touch to this age old tradition. The man in Man Sewing, Rob now brings an energy and enthusiasm to the business through his terrific YouTube tutorials. He is a longtime user and supporter of Aurifil, singing praises of quality, variety and versatility far and wide.

We were so thrilled to partner with Rob on The High Voltage Collection. Rob assembled 12 of his absolute favorite, can’t-live-without-them, use-them-day-after-day colors in his go-to 40wt.

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THREAD COLLECTION DETAILS
The High Voltage Collection
12 Large Spools – 100% Aurifil Cotton 40wt, 1094yds each
Colors included:
2024 – 2692 – 2615 – 2210 – 2350 – 2270 – 1133 – 1135 – 2730 – 2805 – 2865 – 5017

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To view this info on our website, click the images above. For purchasing, please click here to visit Missouri Star Quilt Co or contact your local Aurifil Dealer.

THE INTERVIEW
How did you first get started in the quilting industry?

My mother had purchased a well established quilt shop while I was in college. I came home and ended helping out around the shop while working nights in the restaurant business. So glad to have found this path.

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Do you remember the process of creating your first quilt and how you felt once it was finished?
I do, I was so excited to do my free motion machine quilting. That was why I made the quilt top, so super excited to give the FMQ a try. I was hooked in just a few stitches. I look back at those first stitches and just laugh at how poor they were, but I was having fun then, and still am now.

Rob's Man Sewing + Missouri Star Quilt, along with his dog, Winston

Rob’s Man Sewing + Missouri Star Quilt, along with his dog, Winston

How did you first connect with the Missouri Star Quilt Co.?
I was asked if I would like to try to make tutorials like Jenny Doan was doing. They did approach me with a job offer that quickly became an adoption into their fabulous family. Great people to work and create with!

Jenny Doan and Rob Appell

Jenny Doan and Rob Appell

Who or what has been your greatest creative inspiration?
The past two years have been the best years of my creative journey. Everyday I wake more excited than the day before. I feel so blessed to have the job that I have and to get to inspire people with my quilting and sewing. I pull from nature, friends and family, humor, to state a few when being inspired, but at this point the feeling of success in my studio is more motivating than anything I have experienced before.

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And the Flag Was Still There by Rob Appell

What do you love most about connecting with others via your show, Man Sewing?
I love that I get to be creative and create a wide variety of sewing and quilting related projects. The YouTube audience is so broad that I can enjoy presenting the craziest projects in the simplest of ways.

On the set of Man Sewing

On the set of Man Sewing

Do you have a technique that you favor?
I was very into fusible applique to create landscape quilts, but as I improve on my piecing I am enjoying doing more patchwork. The Applique quilts almost dictate the free motion process, where the patchwork quilts push me as a machine quilter too. I must try to be creative with the style, but it all shows up so much more.

When did you first discover Aurifil threads and what do you love most about them?
I use to sell the threads in my Mom’s quilt shop – everyone said it was the best. Then I met Alex while I displaying my Endangered Species Quilts, his booth was across from my quilts and we hit it off.

Do you have a favorite weight/color? 
I love the 40 wt as I do so much machine quilting. My favorite color is green, but to pick just one spool would not be fair.

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How did you go about selecting colors for this collection? 
I took the whole color card and put a highlighter on my favorite colors. Then I had to go through and pick just the best. I wanted the collection to be able to work with just about anything from my personal stash. So far so good, I love having the different color families to choose from, and of course the stuff quilts like a dream.

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Do you FMQ? Don’t forget to tag #FMQMania on Instagram!

THE GIVEAWAY

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To enter-to-win The High Voltage Collection by Rob Appell, 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 16! Winner will be randomly selected and announced here on Saturday, September 17. Good luck!

Update: This giveaway is now closed. Congratulations to our winner, Afton Warrick!! 

ABOUT ROB
WebsiteFacebookInstagram — Twitter — YouTubePinterest

ROB Headshot 2Rob Appell is the host of Man Sewing.  He’s a guy with boundless energy and enthusiasm for life and creativity.  He loves God, his wife, son and daughter. He enjoys waking up excited each day to see what lies ahead. He’s happiest when he’s outside or in my studio. He has been told that he inspires others and for that he feels very blessed.

What is Man Sewing?  Well, Rob is a man who loves to sew and he’s proud of it.  He is passionate about sewing and creativity and has a desire to teach, so he wants to share his passion with you.  Is Man Sewing just for men?  Absolutely not.  Rob is just a man who sews.  Join him every Monday for a new tutorial where you’ll use your hands, get covered in thread and create something completely new.  It’s high voltage edu-tainment at its finest.  Where creativity meets caffeine.  It’s Man Sewing.

[For more, please visit the Rob’s Website]

** Images and all biographical text are courtesy of Rob Appell and Man Sewing.

The Heritage Collection by Jenny Doan

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Veteran quilter Jenny Doan has become a household name thanks to her popular YouTube tutorials for the Missouri Star Quilt Co., a company founded by her family back in 2008. A former costume designer, mother of 7 children and 21 grandchildren, Jenny is beloved worldwide for her approachable demeanor and contagious enthusiasm for quilting. She works tirelessly to create patterns and tutorials that help to convey the shop’s personality and has truly become the heart of the business. Partner that with the innovation and business savvy of a few of her children, and the Missouri Star Quilt Co. has quickly turned into one of the most well known Quilt Shops in the world. 

We were so thrilled to partner with Jenny on her debut Aurifil Thread Collection, The Heritage Collection. She hand-selected the colors to represent her traditional meets modern quilting sensibilities and the resulting range is absolutely perfect.

THREAD COLLECTION DETAILS
The Heritage Collection
12 Large Spools – 100% Aurifil Cotton 50wt, 1422yds each
Colors included:
5002 – 1103 – 2145 – 1135 – 2730 – 1148 – 1320 – 2865 – 2835 – 2026 – 2310 – 2610

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To view this info on our website, click the images above. For purchasing, please click here to visit Missouri Star Quilt Co or contact your local Aurifil Dealer.

THE INTERVIEW
How did you first get started in the quilting industry?

My background is in musical theatre and costuming and when we moved to Missouri, no one really needed a costumer. But someone suggested that I take a quilting class and from the moment that I took that first class, I was hooked! 

Autumn Stars, an MSQC tutorial

Autumn Stars, an MSQC tutorial

Do you remember the process of creating your first quilt and how you felt once it was finished?
In my first class we made a log cabin quilt. The thing that amazed me the most was what happened when you turned those blocks—a whole new pattern would appear! I truly couldn’t believe I did it. I was a seamstress and made clothing; I thought quilting was too hard for me.

Butterfly Blossom Quilt, an MSQC tutorial

Butterfly Blossom Quilt, an MSQC tutorial

What do you love most about running the Missouri Star Quilt Co?
What I love most is that I don’t run it! My children own the company and I get to talk and sew. But hands down, what I love the most is the people! Quilters are awesome and every quilter and quilt has a story!

The Missouri Star Quilt Co.

The Missouri Star Quilt Co.

Who or what has been your greatest creative inspiration?  
My greatest inspiration has to be antique quilts. It amazes me what quilters could do without all the tools and helps we have today!

Inside the Missouri Star Quilt Co.

Inside the Missouri Star Quilt Co.

When did you first discover Aurifil threads and what do you love most about them?
I discovered Aurifil thread once I started quilting and I love all the colors! There’s so many choices! It’s really wonderful, high quality thread to work with.

Jenny showcases The Heritage Collection

Jenny showcases The Heritage Collection

Do you have a favorite color/weight?  
I use both light and dark thread in 50wt when I am piecing, so any of the beiges or grays are great, but for top stitching, all the colors!

Jenny with Alex Veronelli, CBDO of Aurifil, at Spring Quilt Market 2016

Jenny with Alex Veronelli, CBDO of Aurifil, at Spring Quilt Market 2016

How did you go about selecting thread for this collection?
Since I don’t have a fabric line, I thought about what makes me choose fabrics for my home. I am Swedish and tend to decorate in that style, so I decided to make my thread a heritage pack. They are all the colors I regularly decorate with and come from the colors on my cherished Swedish Dala horses.

THE GIVEAWAY

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To enter-to-win The Heritage Collection by Jenny Doan, 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 Thursday, September 15! Winner will be randomly selected and announced here on Friday, September 16. Good luck!

Update: This giveaway is now closed. Congratulations to Laura Deleski!

ABOUT MSQC
WebsiteFacebookInstagram — Twitter — YouTubePinterest

When the Doan family moved from California to Missouri over 20 years ago, they never imagined that they’d start and build a successful business there. In November of 2008, on a shoestring budget, they bought a building in Hamilton and started the Missouri Star Quilt Company, selling a few quilting supplies and primarily offering machine quilting services. It soon became apparent that in a town of 1500 people it would be difficult to produce enough revenue to make a decent profit. This was the impetus behind growing the business online.

Spending very little on advertising in the first few years, the company relied entirely on its creativity to grow. They started a YouTube channel with Jenny (aka “Momma Doan”), as the instructor, teaching quilting techniques and ideas to beginner and advanced quilters alike. Jenny, who had a background in theatre, had always wanted to be a star. It wasn’t long before Missouri Star became the biggest quilting YouTube channel and she became a quilting celebrity. She has also taken part in a series of professional tutorials from another company and is now working with Fons & Porter Magazine as well. They also developed the Quilter’s Daily Deal, a constant flat-rate shipping, and made the excellent decision to offer pre-cut fabrics. Missouri Star has grown to offer the largest selection of pre-cut fabrics in the world, pretty cool for a tiny company in rural Caldwell County, Missouri.

The company now ships thousands of packages every single day to customers all over the globe. Due to our popularity on YouTube, the brick and mortar shop has become a quilting destination attracting quilters from all over America and around the world to the small town of Hamilton, Missouri. The company now employs more than 150 people, which is the largest employer in Caldwell County, including single and retired mothers, students, and others. What started off as a family business has now grown to include an entire community, and even though not everyone who works for Missouri Star is related, they consider each other family.

MSQC IN THE NEWS
Missouri Star Quilt Co. has a wonderful and inspiring success story. While it began as a way to help a family, it grew to help a whole community… a whole county, really. The story has been picked up by many a news site and we couldn’t help but share a few. Keep up the amazing work, MSQC! The quilting community applauds you;).

Content Marketing Institute – February 25, 2015
Yahoo News
– April 8, 2015
Business Insider
– May 15, 2015
NPR
– May 21, 2015
Help Scout – July 16, 2015
Diary of a Quilter – May 2, 2016
KMBC – July 31, 2016

Want to plan your own visit to the MSQC? Check out this fabulous site for more info!

[For more, please visit the MSQC website]

** Images and all biographical text are courtesy of Jenny Doan and MSQC.

Thread Journey: Process of Quilting, Part 4

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We are quickly approaching the end of our Thread Journey Quilt Along with Wendy Sheppard. It has been an amazing process thus far and we’ve been so impressed with the progress you’ve all been making. We’re so excited to see your finished quilts, so  don’t forget to tag us when you share your photos —  Wendy (@ivory_spring), Aurifil (@aurifilthread)and #threadjourneyquiltalong. As always, we are so grateful for Wendy’s instruction and kind collaboration.

Have fun and happy stitching!

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Hello Quilting Friends, I hope you have been well.  We are nearing the end of our Thready Journey Quilt Along together.  I hope you have enjoyed the journey, as I have mine.  I have used this quilt to practice in taking the time and being more careful when I quilt.  My daughter’s violin teacher has always admonished her to play sloppy.  So I have used my Thread Journey quilt as a personal challenge to not quilt sloppy.

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With that, let’s move on to quilting the outer border, shall we?

OUTER BORDER
a.  How I am going to quilt mine

Applique Portion:
As in quilting the quilt center, I used the tree branch as the “spine” for my feather plumes, and I would occasionally add more branches with my quilting.

Here is my chicken-scratched schematic showing what’s going on.

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And here is how they are stitched out in real life.  You will notice that instead of pebbles, I am echoing around the feathers. I have also used different color threads from my Subtle Strings collection to quilt various areas of the outer border.

 

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I learned a few important things from quilting this quilt:

— feathers + pebbles = feathers don’t stand out as much
— feathers + tightly quilted echos = feathers POP!

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feathers with pebbles

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Feathers with tightly quilted echoes

For this quilt, I challenged myself to quilt the echoes really tight.  These echoes are about 1/16″ each apart, sometimes less, most likely because the pebbles I had quilted weren’t teeny-tiny.  I suspect the same popping effect would be apparent if the pebbles were quilted 1/16″ across too.🙂 This next photo shows an add-on I quilted coming off one of the feather plumes with tight echoing.

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The Rest of the Border:
Now, there is a lot of empty space in the border!  I mulled over many options.  I decided to keep the feather quilting theme, except this time instead of plumes, I am confining the feathers to randomly placed wreaths.

Here is a quick schematic.

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Here you see I am using my dishes to mark two differently sized circles.

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Here is the feather wreath quilted out.  I am quilting REALLY tiny pebbles to see if the feathers will pop as much as when echoes are used as background quilting.

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b.  Other options: You may definitely use some of the ideas suggested for quilting the quilt center for the border, as previously discussed.

1.  Nifty little “S” – This is my interpretation of McTavishing using a domestic machine.  Click here to see my stitching path.

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2.  Pebbles – I like to mix in different sizes of pebbles (circles) — the visual effect is always striking when pebbles are quilted.  Click here to see what I mean.  I do want to note that the circles do not all have to be perfectly round.  In fact, for me it’s impossible to quilt circles free-motion perfectly round.  So I find pebbling is a really forgiving motif to quilt.

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3.  Sand dunes – I like sand dunes because it is echoing without the stress of keeping the distance even, and I can quilt the dunes far apart for a quick finish.  Click here to see how to quilt sand dunes.

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4.  What I think might be really cute is to quilt random circles on the rest of the border.  Click here for a method you can use to mark your circles without actually marking it.

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5.  How about quilting Ohio Star on the rest of the border?  I think that would be so visually striking as well.

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***

That’s all I have for today!  I was shooting to have my quilt completely finished with the binding and hanging sleeve sewn on and everything, but unfortunately I didn’t get that far ahead.  I have a few areas on the outer border left to cover.  I will be showing you pictures of the completed quilt VERY soon, so stay tuned!

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FULL SCHEDULE:
June 2: Thread Journey: Quilt Along with Wendy Sheppard
June 16: Thread Journey: Quilt Construction, Part 1
June 30: Thread Journey: Quilt Construction, Part 2
July 14: Thread Journey: Quilt Construction, Part 3
July 28: Batting & Thread
August 11: Process of Quilting, Part 1
August 18: Process of Quilting, Part 2
August 25: Process of Quilting, Part 3
September 8: Process of Quilting, Part 4
September 15: The Finish!

ABOUT WENDY:
QBV03_PieceBlock_12_crop_smallWebsite — Instagram
Originally from Southeast Asia, Wendy came to the US for her tertiary education.  After her degrees in Chemical Engineering, she worked in research in a wind tunnel for a spell.  Nowadays, she is a stay/work-at-home Mom to a 7 year old.  Wendy’s designs have been featured in major quilting publications, both home and abroad.  She is also an author for Landauer Publishing, as well as an online quilting instructor.  She is passionate about encouraging quilters to enjoy their quilting journey.  During her free time, she loves to read history, and indulges in hand needlework.

ABOUT SUBTLE STRINGS: (Wendy’s 2015 Aurifil Thread Collection)
WendySheppard-SubtleStrings

12 Large Spools of 100% Aurifil Cotton, 50wt
Colors included:
2310 – 2847 – 4060 – 2130 – 2715 – 5021
2210 – 2510 – 2886 – 2326 – 2423 – 5014

Aurifil 28wt for Machine Appliqué

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In July of this year, we presented Amanda Murphy’s debut Aurifil thread collectionsPiecing and Quilting and Appliqué, which were selected to coincide with both Sewing Room and Feathers & Flourishes, her two most recent collections for Benartex. We’ve loved learning more about how Amanda uses those threads to take her projects to the next level, particularly with her use of our 28wt thread for machine appliqué. We’re thrilled, today, to introduce you to Amanda for a very special guest post/tutorial sharing her tips and techniques for using heavier weight threads to add texture and dimension to appliqué.

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Hi everyone! My name is Amanda Murphy and I’m a BERNINA Quilting and Longarm Spokesperson, pattern and fabric designer with Benartex Fabrics, and author with C&T Publishing. Some of you may have seen my recently-released Aurifil Piecing and Quilting  and Appliqué Thread Collections popping up in stores.  In support, Aurifil invited me to pop in and share some of my tips for appliquéing with their heavier weight threads with you all.  I love to help people discover new tools to add to their quilting arsenal, so I’m happy to oblige!

Aurifil 28 wt threads are my absolute favorite when doing machine appliqué.  In my mind, machine appliqué has a different look than hand appliqué, and it has a beauty all its own.  I love to really highlight the stitching by using slightly heavier weight threads – it creates a little ridge around the appliqué and adds texture and dimension to the piece.  I used my new Appliqué Collection in two recent patterns for my lines for Benartex – “Flourishes”, featuring Feathers & Flourishes, and “S is for Sew”, featuring Sewing Room.

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Flourishes minis/pillows on navy. This pattern also comes with an SVG file option.

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Flourishes minis/pillows on white.

S is for Sew comes with a free download of applique-in-the-hoop files for embroidery enthusiasts!

S is for Sew comes with a free download of applique-in-the-hoop files for embroidery enthusiasts!

For those of you looking to try out this technique on your sewing machine, here are the steps:

1. Trace your motifs onto the smooth side of paper-backed fusible web.  I like Shades SoftFuse when cutting out shapes with scissors or Heat-N-Bond Lite when cutting with a digital fabric cutter, like the Silhouette Cameo.  (For fusible appliqué, it is important that you cut all of your shapes reversed from the way they will appear in the finished piece.)  The example shown is from my “S is for Sew” pattern.

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2. Rough cut your shapes apart and fuse to the wrong side of your fabrics.  If you are tracing by hand, “window” your fusible if desired by cutting away the excess fusible in the center of the larger shapes.  Read the instructions that come with your fusible – pressing times vary and many fusibles work better with a dry iron.  Save some of the scraps to make an audition piece.

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3. Cut out the appliqué shapes on the traced lines.

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4. Back your background fabric with a tear-away stabilizer or soak the background in 50% liquid starch and 50% water and let it dry overnight, pressing it in the morning.  (If your fabric feels like paper, you won’t need stabilizer!)

5. Load a neutral 50wt Aurifil thread in your bobbin.

6. Audition various colors of 28wt Aurifil thread on top of your shapes.  If you are a beginner, match the threads to cover up any mistakes, but as you gain more experience, don’t be afraid to make bold choices!

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7. Fuse a few of the fabric scraps you saved from Step 2 to some leftover background squares to try out your stitching by making an audition piece.  Use the opportunity of making this piece to set your stitch tension just right.  You’ll probably need to lower the upper tension a bit so that your bobbin thread doesn’t pop up.  If your top thread pops a little through to the back that is ok.

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8. Fuse each piece of your appliqué to the fabric and use a blanket stitch to secure.  I like stitch #1329 on my BERNINA, set at a 2.1 stitch width and a 2.4 stitch length.  To start your stitching, bring your bobbin thread to the top.  Leave both threads at least 4’’ long and hold them to the side as you begin to stitch.

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9. To end your threads.  stop and clip them so they are at least 4’’.  Use a chenille needle to bring the top thread to the back.  Tie a knot near the base of the fabric by doing an overhand loop and pulling the threads through, holding your finger close to the fabric to keep the knot towards the bottom of the thread as you would when making a french knot.

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10. Sometimes you can appliqué a few of pieces at once, color by color, but with overlapping shapes it is easier to work from the bottom-most object up to the top, burying threads as you go.  This minimizes thread stops and starts since you can travel behind a piece with your stitches.

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11. Don’t be afraid to make changes along the way and explore new color possibilities!

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12. When your stitching is complete, stop and remove the stabilizer.  You can score the edge of the stabilizer near your stitching to help make this easier.

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13. The threads add so much to the finished piece!

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14. Quilt as desired with Aurifil 50 wt or monofilament and bind to finish!

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This method of doing appliqué produces such a great look…  I never tire of it!  Here are some close-ups:

 

Sometimes I also use 50 wt threads to appliqué in my pieces, particularly if I’m doing it in-the-hoop and I am stitching out embroidered details such as the ones on this machine.

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S is for Sew appliquéd machine, with machine-embroidered buttons and details in 50 wt. thread.

I also use 50 wt thread and a zig-zag stitch for really tiny motifs, like little circles or the blades on these scissors. (You can find 50 wt. in my Piecing and Quilting Collection.)

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50 wt. thread used to appliqué narrow scissors blades.

Then there is Aurifil’s 12 wt thread.  It works amazingly well for hand embroidery but you can also mimic that look by loading it into the top of your machine with 50 wt in the bobbin and doing a triple stitch!  I love using this technique for stems! (There are 2 spools of 50 wt and 8 spools of 28 wt in my Appliqué collection.)

If you like these designs you can find more about my work here.

I hope these tips help to inspire your next appliqué project!  Share your work on instagram and tag @aurifilthread or #Aurifil.  (If you used my thread collection please tag me at @amandamurphydesign so I don’t miss it!)

Happy quilting!
— Amanda

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ABOUT AMANDA
Website — Blog — Facebook — Instagram — Pinterest — Twitter  YouTube

Amanda and her BERNINA Q24

Amanda and her BERNINA Q24

Always attracted to color, texture, and pattern, Amanda Murphy has been designing, drawing, and sewing since she was a child. She graduated from Carnegie Mellon University with a bachelor of fine arts degree and worked as a graphic designer and art director in Alexandria, Virginia, and New York City. After moving to North Carolina with her family Amanda discovered quilting, an art that marries her passion for design with her enthusiasm for handwork. As she gradually expanded her knowledge of sewing and quilting techniques and combined them with the ideas she had been sketching over the years, Amanda Murphy Design was born.

Amanda markets her own full-color pattern line under the Amanda Murphy Design label and has designed several fabric collections.  Her fourth collection with Benartex will debut in Summer 2016.

ABOUT AMANDA’S AURIFIL THREAD COLLECTIONS
Amanda Murphy’s Piecing and Quilting Collection
100% Aurifil Cotton, 50wt (1422yds each, 11 colors, Large Spools):
2250 – 5017 – 2886 – 1128 – 5006 – 5007 – 2440 – 2225 – 2785 – 2600 – 2021
Clear Monofilament (1094yds, 1 Large Spool)

AmandaMurphyCollection-LG

Amanda Murphy’s Appliqué Collection
100% Aurifil Cotton, 12wt (54yds each, 2 colors, Small Spools): 1114 – 2021
100% Aurifil Cotton, 28wt (109yds each, 8 colors, Small Spools):
5005 – 2425 – 2225 – 2720 – 2250 – 5017 – 2620 – 2785

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** Images and all biographical text are courtesy of Amanda Murphy.

Quilters Take Manhattan

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We are so honored to be a part of the Quilters Take Manhattan Blog Hop! Each day this week, a handful of blogs will be giving the Quilt Alliance a giant shout-out, sharing all sorts of info to help educate the masses about this wonderful organization and its fabulous annual event.

Aurifil has supported the Quilt Alliance for years and we truly believe in their mission. We hope you’ll take a moment to learn a bit more about them, how they continue to grow and change and are forever in support of our vibrant quilting community.

ABOUT THE QUILT ALLIANCE

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The Quilt Alliance is a nonprofit 501c3 organization established in 1993  with a mission to document, preserve, and share the stories of quilts and their makers. A few of their core projects include:

To learn more about the organization, its history and ongoing events please click here.

 ABOUT QUILTERS TAKE MANHATTAN

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This annual fundraising event, now in it’s 6th year in the Big Apple, is a hybrid, weekend-long series featuring a full-day event at FIT and evening cocktail party on Saturday, as well as Friday and Sunday tours of the Garment District, area museums, workshops and a Broadway outing.

The Main Event at FIT includes a full day of lectures, interviews, vendors, an exhibition of quilts, trunk shows, and the Quilt Match Manhattan quilt design challenge. Quilters Take Manhattan 2016 will be held September 23-25 with featured speakers Kaffe Fassett, Dr. Carolyn L. Mazloomi, and Mark Lipinski and emcee Mary Fons.

Past QTM speakers include:
2011: Marianne Fons and Jay McCarroll
2012: Denyse Schmidt and Jennifer Chiaverini
2013: Hollis Chatelain
2014: Amy Butler and Mark Dunn
2015: Ricky Tims and Victoria Findlay Wolfe

THE GIVEAWAY

With each post comes a QTM Home Ticket giveaway, a chance for those who can’t make it to the event in the Big Apple to experience their own home slice of the event. Ticket winners will receive an awesome goody bag chock full of sponsor-donated treats + email links to footage of the Sunday with Sponsors event, the Quilt Match Manhattan challenge, and more. Click here or on the image above to enter-to-win.

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 9! Winner will be randomly selected and announced here on Saturday, September 10. Good luck!

Click here if you’d like to directly purchase a QTM Home Ticket.

BLOG HOP SCHEDULE

We would encourage you to visit all stops along the blog hop to learn more about participating companies and designers.

Monday, September 5
Chris Dodsley at made by ChrissieD
Pat Sloan
AccuQuilt

Tuesday, September 6
Victoria Findlay Wolfe at VFW Quilts
Aurifil at Auribuzz
Freespirit Fabric

Wednesday, September 7
Moda Fabrics at Moda Cutting Table
Denyse Schmidt on Instagram @dsquilts
Debbie Jeske at A Quilter’s Table

Thursday, September 8
Jacquie Gering at tallgrass prairie studio
Jessica Skultety at Quilty Habit
Gotham Quilts @Fabric Nerd

Friday, September 9
Kim Niedzwiecki at my go-go life
Leslie Tucker Jenison
John Kubiniec at Big Rig Quilting

Sew Illustrated Blog Tour

Sew Illustrated blog tour banner

We are thrilled to present Sew Illustrated, by Minki Kim & Kristin Esser. Have you been following along with the blog tour? We’ve loved seeing all of the gorgeous projects, reading reviews and learning more about how Minki and Kristin have inspired other designers to push the boundaries and create new works of art:). Isn’t creative inspiration the best??

Today, we have the opportunity to share all sorts of goodies with you — bits of this gorgeous new book, some of Minki & Kristin’s thoughts and inspirations via a lovely interview, Minki’s brand new Aurifil thread collection AND a fabulous little giveaway!

THE BOOK
Sew Illustrated

THE THREAD COLLECTION
Minki Kim (aka @Zeriano) is a sewing illustrator and crafter known for her sweet and whimsical thread art. Minki selected her most used colors and thread weights for her debut Aurifil thread collection, Sew Illustrated. In her words, “Threads are like brushes. You need different sized brushes when you paint.” This collection is perfect for both beginner and seasoned sewing illustrators!

Sew Illustrated
Large, 100% Aurifil Cotton
2000 – 5008 – 2620 – 6735 – 5024 (50wt, 1422yds)
2692 – 3817 (40wt, 1094yds), 2630 – 1130 (28wt, 820yds)
2605 – 3817 (12wt, 356yds), 8692 (WOOL 12wt, 383yds)

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Small
2000 – 5008 – 2620 – 5024 (50wt, 220yds) 2692 – 3817 (40wt, 164yds)
2630 – 1130 (28wt, 109yds ) 2605 (12wt, 54yds) 8692 (WOOL 12wt, 54yds)

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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
What first drew you to this amazing creative world of sewing and textiles?
I’ve loved playing with a needle and thread ever since I was a little girl. My mother would give me bits of fabric and I would hand sew dresses for my dolls. When I became a mother myself I found that I had some hours to fill during the day. I went back to my roots of drawing and painting, but with little children around, I couldn’t leave all those materials around our small apartment. So I started hand embroidering my drawings and my children’s drawings. I enjoy hand work, but I felt that hand embroidery just took too long. One day my husband brought home a sewing machine for me and I wondered if I could achieve the same look by machine. I was thrilled to find out that I could! I felt that I had found the perfect marriage of drawing and sewing in sewing illustration.

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Vignette by Minki Kim

Who or what has been your greatest creative inspiration?
Without a doubt—my three girls. When they were very little, we would walk to the park or to school and I found myself wanting to capture those everyday scenes. Sometimes I would snap a picture with my phone, and sometimes I would quickly create a sketch as soon as I returned home. These scenes became my first sewing illustrations are still among my most treasured.

Sewing Illustrations by Minki Kim

Sewing Illustrations by Minki Kim

I am also inspired by everyday items and scenes—if I am baking bread, I want to draw that, if I’m making jam-I will sketch that. Piles of my girls shoes, rain boots—really anything to do with rain—cameras, my sewing space—everything around me. It is all inspiration for my drawings.

Notions Basket by Minki Kim

Notions Basket by Minki Kim

What do you love most about the process of creating?
What I love most is that you have a tangible result of your efforts to enjoy. The tea mat under your tea cup, the needle case you store your favorite needles in, the cushion on your daughter’s bed that she enjoys every day. I love to both see and use the items I create around my home. They are, in fact, what makes it a home to me. You can spend all day cleaning your house, and five minutes after your kids come home it is all undone—but that handmade coaster is always there for you to enjoy:).

How did the idea for Sew Illustrated first come about and what did you love most about the process of putting the book together?
The full story behind how Sew Illustrated came to be is all in this blog post. But the part that we like the most is that we were just two regular women who had a crazy idea to write a book. And if we’ve learned anything through this whole process, is that you just have to be brave enough to try, to take that next step. We wrote up that book proposal, completely expecting it to be rejected. But it wasn’t and here we are!

We didn’t really know for sure that other sewists would embrace this technique and aesthetic, but based on the response we have had from the book—our instincts paid off and many people are trying a new technique and finding out that it not difficult—and they absolutely enjoy it!

House Zipper Pouch by Minki Kim

House Zipper Pouch by Minki Kim

What was it like to work on the book collaboratively?
Working on the book together was so much fun. We met over countless cups of coffee and tea to plan out every detail. We have very complementary skill sets, so dividing up who did what was very easy—Minki was the designer and Kristin did the writing. Some people ask us if we are still friends after it was all done, and we are pleased to report that yes! We are still dear friends.

Do you have a favorite project from the book and why?
It’s a bit like choosing your favorite child—but I think the long-handled bag with the typewriter motif is my favorite. I love the typewriter design and it is a useful bag that I reach for over and over. I also love all of the projects for the table—coasters, tea mats, and dessert mats—for the same reason. They are useful projects that I enjoy seeing and using every day.

When did you first discover Aurifil threads and what do you love most about them? Actually, it was Kristin that first introduced me to Aurifil. Up until then I was using whatever thread was on sale at Joann’s. In fact, I really didn’t understand what difference a thread could make. But she lent me a spool and I was immediately hooked! It was eye-opening what a difference great quality thread can make! And then I was introduced to all the different thread weights available from Aurifil. This was something else that I had no idea about!

Once I began experimenting with different thread weights—it began to change my process. I think of sewing illustration as simply drawing with thread. The different weights of thread represent the different thicknesses of the pen or pencil you draw with. I can really change the look of the piece by simply using a different thread weight. I can use a very heavy 12 weight to mimic a hand embroidered look, but I also completely love the thin line that 50 weight gives a drawing.

Do you have a favorite weight/color?
As I said, I love them all for different reasons. Most of my sewing illustrations have used a dark brown (5024 and 1130 are my favorites) in the past—but recently I have completely fallen in love with dark gray (2630) 28 weight.

Sew Illustrated by Minki Kim

Sew Illustrated by Minki Kim

How did you go about selecting colors for this collection?
I wanted to introduce people to new thread weights. I think that most people have the usual 50 weight thread in their drawer and I wanted to open up a whole new world to them. So I selected a variety of weights that can easily achieve different looks, in the selection of colors that I find myself reaching for over and over.

Sew Illustrated by Minki Kim

Sew Illustrated by Minki Kim

THE GIVEAWAY

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Click here to enter-to-win 1 Large Sew Illustrated Aurifil Thread Collection and one copy of Sew Illustrated by Minki Kim & Kristin Esser for C&T Publishing. 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 9! Winner will be randomly selected and announced here on Saturday, September 10. If located in the US, the winner will receive a physical copy of the book. If outside the US, the winner will receive an e-copy of the book. This giveaway is open to all of our international friends!

Update: This giveaway is now closed. Congratulations to our winner, Rochelle Summers!

THE BLOG TOUR
Just because the tour is almost over doesn’t mean the fun has to end! We would encourage you to visit all of the stops along the way to check out projects, tips, and more!

August 15: C&T Publications
August 16: Amy at nanaCompany
August 17: Wynn at Zakka Art
August 18: Sedef at Down Grapevine Lane
August 19: Lisa at A Spoonful of Sugar
August 20: Amy at chick chick sewing
August 21: Stacy at Stacy Olson
August 22: Debbie happy little cottage
August 23: Generation Q Magazine
August 24: Faith at Sarana Ave
August 25: Ayda at  cafenohut
August 26: Melissa at Oh, how sweet
August 27: Jemima at Tied with a Ribbon
August 28: Veronica at Vivid Felicity
August 29: Sharon at Lilabelle Lane Creations
August 30: Nadra at ellis & higgs
August 31: Kristyne at pretty by hand
September 1: Elnora on Instagram
September 2: Jennie at Clover and Violet
September 3: Auribuzz (You are HERE!)
September 4: Minki at Minki’s Work Table and Kristin at They Grow Up Too Fast

ABOUT MINKI
Website — Instagram — Pinterest Pattern Shop
Minki Kim is a formally trained artist and self-taught sewist. She discovered sewing as a creative outlet when her children were small and she wanted to capture the beauty of ordinary moments, first with hand embroidery and later recreating them with her sewing machine and fabric—literally drawing with thread. Originally from Korea, Minki now calls Southern California home, where she lives with her husband and three young daughters. On any given day you can find her in her sewing room creating projects to share on her blog, in her pattern shop,  and on Instagram.

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ABOUT KRISTIN
Website — Facebook — Instagram — Pinterest
Kristin Esser has been surrounded by sewing and crafting since childhood. She dabbled in apparel sewing but eventually found her passion in quilting, craft sewing, and knitting. She lives just down the street from Minki, where she has written Minki’s patterns and tutorials for publication in industry magazines. She writes about her creative pursuits and her life with her husband and three teenage children at kristinesser.com. 

** Images and all biographical text are courtesy of Minki Kim, Kristin Esser and C&T Publishing.

Showcase Sunday {8.28}

SHOWCASESUNDAY8.28

Welcome back to Showcase Sunday, our forum to showcase the beautiful work that all of you do!  We can’t get enough of the beautiful 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!)

@charmaboutyou

@charmaboutyou

@laurelpoppyandpine

@laurelpoppyandpine

@modernmakersretreat

@modernmakersretreat

@faithessenburg

@faithessenburg

@littlejennawren

@littlejennawren

@ivory_spring

@ivory_spring

@nightquilter & @duringquiettime

@nightquilter & @duringquiettime

@molliejohanson

@molliejohanson

@t.s.westy

@t.s.westy

@_beckyo_

@_beckyo_

@marymenzerdesigns

@marymenzerdesigns

@jennynaultmeeker

@jennynaultmeeker

@laundrybasketquilts

@laundrybasketquilts

@wtodd141

@wtodd141

@mariarosarianolabonaccorsi

@mariarosarianolabonaccorsi

@campbell_soup_diary

@campbell_soup_diary

@meadowmistdesigns

@meadowmistdesigns

@katespain

@katespain

@quiltyhabit

@quiltyhabit