2017 was a big year for Aurifil. Aurifil USA celebrated 10 years of existence. Ten years on an amazing journey… one that has brought together a diverse and amazing team and has enlisted the support of some of the most creative and talented designers, artists, authors, educators, pattern-writers, quilters,  and sewists worldwide. We are proud of what we’ve built together, and have so much gratitude for all of the joy that we’ve shared over the years.

Aurifil’s company history goes all the way back to 1957 when 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.

**Photo by Gregg Sloan**

In 1995, Elena Gregotti (Angelo’s daughter) 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 Veronelli & 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.

A big part of our Aurifil Family — Butti, the Gregottis (including Elena!), Becky, and Alex

We celebrated our 10th Anniversary with a pretty remarkable party in Houston, Texas during Fall International Quilt Market. Elena’s family made the trek from Italy to join us in the celebration, made even more special by Angelo Gregotti’s 80th birthday.

Speeches were made, toasts were given, a very special quilt was presented (more on that below!) and Elena’s son, Jacopo, delighted us all with a fantastic DJ set! Thank you to all who were able to join us!

And to all of you… those reading, following along with us, and using Aurifil day after day… we couldn’t possibly be where we are today without your dedication and support. Thank you. Thank you for the tops and bottoms of our hearts. ❤

Did you have your photo taken with Elena & Alex at the party? Click here for a full gallery of images. Find yours and download!


THE TRIBUTE QUILT

Since we are in the thread business and we work with a wonderful network of quilters, we felt that one of the most natural ways to honor both Aurifil USA’s 10th Anniversary AND Angelo’s 80th birthday was with a quilt. We enlisted the help of a few of our treasured Aurifil Designers, requesting a 12″ block featuring ‘Aurifil Blue’ from each of them. Admittedly, we were a bit last minute, but these remarkable quilters jumped to the challenge, sent blocks in from far and wide, and even gave us a little insight about the origin of their blocks.

Edyta Sitar (first row, left)
When I created this block, I was thinking about the first time I found an Aurifil thread in our local quilt store back in Pennsylvania.  The number was 2370 and it was love at first touch.  It became one of my favorite go to threads, especially when I do a little applique.  Over the years my quilting has changed.  I have gotten new fabrics and tools but the 2370 can still found in my quilting basket.

Pat Sloan (first row, middle)
My involvement with Aurifil began from the moment I got a message from Alex asking me if he could ‘send me some thread to try’, and it led me to present this quilt to Angelo Gregotti on behalf of the entire Quilting community that loves Aurifil — I knew my block had to be a star. Elena, Alex and the entire Aurifil team are stars of our industry. They shine a glorious light on quilting and have a passion for not only providing the best quality thread, but also for highlighting each person, and each company, and recognizing the amazing work done.  I did a split star for a night and day effect, because they really do work around the clock and around the world!  Thank you Alex for asking me if I wanted to try some thread, and thank you Elena for believing in my ideas and continuing to support my work. I look forward to many more anniversaries!

Kate Spain (first row, right)
It was such an honor to contribute a block to Angelo’s 80th Birthday quilt! When I started to poke around in my stash for blue fabrics, I looked for shades that would be as rich and luminous as Auriful threads. The prints I ended up using were from my Voyage and Horizon collections which seemed like a perfect fit for both a company having reached its 10th Anniversary and a life having reached his 80th year. As far as the block itself, I focused the design around an hourglass shape…because, well, time flies! From there, I added “compass” arrows in all directions and a print that looks like waves to signify Aurifil’s international/global reach. The corner print, with leaves and flowers represents new growth, which Aurifil will surely continue to do. A big congratulations to all the passionate and dedicated people who contribute their talents and efforts to this wonderful company and a heartfelt Happy Birthday to Angelo!

Alison Glass (second row, middle)
I thought a blue and white log cabin block would be fun and classic. The fabrics are from Diving Board, my latest collection with Andover Fabrics, which features a lot of blues. I think it worked really well!

 

 

 

Hilary Jordan on behalf of  Alex Veronelli (second row, right)
For my block, I created a little quilt shop to represent Alex Veronelli and his passion for supporting local quilt shops. The block pattern is a tutorial by Heidi Staples of Fabric Mutt.

 

 

Victoria Findlay Wolfe (third row, left)

I often look at old blocks to come up with a new way to either update them, give them a new look, or change them somehow to see what options I have…  Sometimes I take blocks, quilt tops, left over projects, and cut them up a second or third time to see what I will get… What does it look like when I cut it into a different shape, or scale? The block I made for Mr. Gregotti is no different!

I used my Sizzix Victoria Findlay Wolfe Pies and Points die, to make my block.  The block finishes larger than what I needed, so I took my 12.5″ template and laid it on the block and  cut it down to the size I needed. I like how the white corners now blend into the circle; now, I have adapted it into an original block.  Sometimes the obvious first choice doesn’t have to be only vision.  It’s nice to have sharp objects ( scissors, rotary cutters)  to change things up a bit! haha!

I did want a block that was bold and striking. Blue and white quilts are probably my favorite two color quilt, so it was really nice to play in the Aurifil blue color palette.

Jill Finley with her new collection Quilter’s Palette

Jill Finley (third row, middle)
I wanted my block to feature Aurifil blue, but I didn’t have much of that color in my stash!  In my own fabrics, I usually use more of a periwinkle blue, so I mixed the two!  Of course I wanted to do appliqué, and flowers are my thing, so a simple floral design was created. I stitched by hand using 50wt Aurifil cotton. Thanks for letting me be part of this special event!  I am honored to be associated with Aurifil.

 

 

Kate Brennan on behalf of Elena Gregotti (third row, right)
My block is inspired by Aurifil USA’s hometown of Chicago!  I was asked to do a block for Elena Gregotti and decided to represent her “Home away from Home” in the skyline of my beautiful city.  Three of Chicago’s most famous buildings are visable from the Aurifil USA office; the Willis Tower (formerly know as the Sears Tower) was the world’s tallest building until 1996, the John Hancock Center building which offers stunning 360 degree views of the city from the restaurant on the 95th floor, and the Crain Communication Building with its distinctive slanted diamond shape façade.  I used needle-turn applique to create a block that could only be recognized as Sweet Home Chicago. {Note: Kate also made a block on behalf of Tula Pink, one of Aurifil’s original designers. The block can be seen in the second row on the right.}

 

Carolyn Friedlander

Carolyn Friedlander (fourth row, left)
I had a great time making my block for this quilt! Blue and white make for a classic and calming color palette. I decided to pair that with a mixture of triangular shapes. I liked being able to play with a variety of my own fabrics, while stacking the shapes in different ways.

 

 

 

Brigitte at Houston Quilt Market 2016

Brigitte Heitland (fourth row, middle)
Zen Chic stands for classic minimalism and to make a signature block I’ve chosen a very simple modern Plus Block showcasing the fabrics used, my collection True Blue with its typical abstract graphic florals. But most important: The white rectangles gave me the possibility to enhance the block with decorative  stitches. I used a 12wt blue Aurifil thread for my topstitches to connect piecing and stitching in one block.


Wendy Sheppard
(fourth row, right)
I chose to do an applique block of the map of Italy to pay tribute to the country that is the home of Aurifil. I hand-embroidered  the signature Aurifil thread spool on the “map” where Milan is to pay tribute to Angelo’s hometown and the headquarters of Aurifil. The background fabric is white Dimity.  The fabric is originally from Italy.   It is a scrap piece from the fabric I used to make my daughter’s first Christmas dress.

Blocks were collected and assembled in our Chicago office and then pieced by one of our resident quilt geniuses, Kate Brennan. Find her FREE pattern to this gorgeous setting right here or visit the free patterns page on our website . The quilt was sent off to one of our favorite Chicago-based long arm quilters, Becky Chandler of Second City Quilts for a custom quilt job.

We’d think that the finished quilt is a show-stopper! Sure, we may be a little biased, but the blocks all look wonderful together and the setting takes the quilt above and beyond. Aurifil Designer and quilt-industry darling Pat Sloan made the quilt presentation at the party — a natural fit since Pat has been with Aurifil USA from day 1! Thank you, Pat!

This beauty now lives in Italy, at Angelo’s home.


Thank you ALL for a beautiful year. We look forward to all that 2018 has to offer! ❤

4 Comments

  1. Congratulations! Here’s to another 10 years of success! Aurifil is the thread that holds my quilts together and is the common thread among so many of us!

  2. Thank you Aurifil for coming to America! I’ve loved every spool, every weight , every color since I discovered you a few years ago. Beautiful stuff. Congratulations on your 10th Anniversary in the USA.

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