Brilliant by Sue Marsh

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Days of Yore Quilt by Sue Marsh

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

THE GIVEAWAY

To enter-to-win 1 Large Brilliant Thread Collection and one FQ Bundle of Geekery by Sue Marsh for RJR Fabrics, click here to head to the Rafflecopter entry page, or simply click on the image above. You do not have to complete all the options to be entered but the more options you choose, the more entries you have!  Entries will be accepted from now through 11:59pm Eastern Time on Tuesday, March 28! Winner will be randomly selected and announced here on Wednesday, March 29. Good luck!

ABOUT SUE
WebsiteBlogFacebookPinterest

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

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

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

 

Project: Sew Very Happy by Susan Emory

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


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

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

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

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

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

Flower Power

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

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DOWNLOAD Sew Very Happy by Susan Emory
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I used a pencil to lightly trace the design onto solid white Cotton Couture from Michael Miller Fabrics.

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

 

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

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

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


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

 

 

 

Pssssst. Something fun coming soon!!

One Room Schoolhouse by Brenda Ratliff

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

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

oneroomschoolhouse

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

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

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

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

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

Gate Keeper Quilt by AnneMarie Chany

Gate Keeper Quilt by AnneMarie Chany

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

Sparkling Cider Quilt by All Washed Up Quilts

Sparkling Cider Quilt by All Washed Up Quilts

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

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

Lovestruck Quilt by Schlosser Designs

Lovestruck Quilt by Schlosser Designs

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

Grab Some Grub by ByAnnie

Grab Some Grub by ByAnnie

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

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

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

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

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

Sunset Strips Quilt by Brenda Ratliff

Sunset Strips Quilt by Brenda Ratliff

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

Tipsy Quilt by Sharon McConnell

Tipsy Quilt by Sharon McConnell

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

brendaratliff-oneroomschoolhouse-inside-copy

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

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

The Perception Quilt by Nydia Kehnle

The Perception Quilt by Nydia Kehnle

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

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

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

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

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

THE GIVEAWAY

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To enter-to-win 1 Large One Room Schoolhouse Thread Collection and one FQ Bundle of One Room Schoolhouse by Brenda Ratliff for RJR Fabrics, click here to head to the Rafflecopter entry page, or simply click on the image above. You do not have to complete all the options to be entered but the more options you choose, the more entries you have!  Entries will be accepted from now through 11:59pm Eastern Time on Friday, March 10! Winner will be randomly selected and announced here on Saturday, March 11. Good luck!

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

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

 

Splash of Color by Jackie Kunkel

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

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

jackiekunkel-splashofcolor

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

Seeing Spots by Jackie Kunkel

Seeing Spots by Jackie Kunkel

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

Dreaming of Pyramids by Jackie Kunkel

Dreaming of Pyramids by Jackie Kunkel

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

Hip to be Square by Jackie Kunkel

Hip to be Square by Jackie Kunkel

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

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

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

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

Proud Mary by Jackie Kunkel

Proud Mary by Jackie Kunkel

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

Climbing Mountains by Jackie Kunkel

Climbing Mountains by Jackie Kunkel

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

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

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

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

Lava Lamps by Jackie Kunkel

Lava Lamps by Jackie Kunkel

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

splashofcolorrow

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

THE BOOK

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

THE GIVEAWAY

splashofcolorgiveaway

To enter-to-win 1 Small Splash of Color Thread Collection and one Splash of Color book by Jackie Kunkel for Martingale, click here to head to the Rafflecopter entry page, or simply click on the image above. You do not have to complete all the options to be entered but the more options you choose, the more entries you have!  Entries will be accepted from now through 11:59pm Eastern Time on Monday, March 6! Winner will be randomly selected and announced here on Tuesday, March 7. Good luck!

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

[Images & biographical text courtesy of Jackie Kunkel]

Sew Many Colors: Pattern Launch, Contest, & Giveaway!

270 Colors by Sheri Cifaldi-Morrill

270 Colors by Sheri Cifaldi-Morrill

On Thursday, we introduced you to Aurifil’s new hero quilt, 270 Colors by Sheri Cifaldi-Morrill of Whole Circle Studio. The quilt is a celebration of Aurifil USA’s 10th year and is a remarkable presentation of all 270 of our available vibrant colors. The quilt will was on display in our booth this past weekend at QuiltCon East in Savannah, GA, and will travel with us to both Spring & Fall Quilt Markets this year.

Many of you have asked about a pattern, eager to make something of your own. With that in mind, we are absolutely thrilled to introduce Sew Many Colors, a brand new mini quilt pattern drafted by Sheri that features 10 life-size Aurifil Spools in Sheri’s signature circle style.

THE PATTERN
Sew Many Colors is offered as a downloadable PDF pattern both on Aurifil’s website and on Whole Circle Studio. You may also download a copy by clicking on the image below.

Sew Many Colors Pattern Image

THE CONTEST
What to do with such an amazing pattern? Get involved with the Sew Many Colors Contest + Giveaway! Create your “favorite 10” with the Sew Many Colors pattern by Whole Circle Studio, available here.

Share your progress on Instagram using the tags below to encourage and support fellow quilters!

#sewmanycolors   #aurifil   #wholecirclestudio   #robertkaufman   #konacotton

Then enter your finished mini via the Linky Party below by 11:59pm on March 31, 2017. Voting runs from April 1 – April 15, 2017. Our top three winners will be announced on April 20, 2017.

Finished minis must use Aurifil threads and Kona® Cotton by Robert Kaufman to be eligible to win. We’d love to hear all about the colors that you use! The top 3 Minis will be showcased here on our blog. Winners will receive a fabulous prize package including goodies from Aurifil, Robert Kaufman, The Warm Company and Whole Circle Studio, and will be given the opportunity to showcase their mini in the Aurifil booth at Spring Market.

THE INTERVIEW
We were thrilled to have a chat with Sheri, to learn a bit more about her and how she felt about the process of creating this epic quilt!

Can you tell us a little about yourself and how you got started in this fabulous industry of ours?
Design and making have always been a part of my life, even as a kid. I went on to college and received my BFA with a concentration in graphic design and have twenty years of experience leading creative teams to create award-winning identities, products, and environments. I’ve worked in small design studios, a dot com and the exhibit department at a children’s museum. I’ve been an admirer of quilts for a while, and collected books about them, but didn’t make my first quilt until the summer of 2012. The first few quilts I made from patterns and gave away as gifts. I soon realized that with my graphic design skills and computer software knowledge, I could create my own patterns and design.

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Who or what has been your greatest creative inspiration?
It’s impossible to pick one! I’m often inspired by what’s around me. When I was an undergraduate, one of my graphic design professors drilled a specific mantra into his students. It sticks with me today and I often recite it, especially if I’m feeling a stuck: “What do you like? What do you love? What do you care about?” It so simple, but I find it really helps drive my thought and decision process.

How did you first discover Aurifil thread and what do you love most about it?
I learned about Aurifil thread from other friends who are quilters and members of my quilt guild mentioned it during meetings. I love how consistent the color is and how it glides through my Juki while piecing and quilting.

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How did the idea for your original mini quilt, So Many Colors, come about?
Each year the Quilt Alliance announces a theme and asks quilters to make a mini quilt as a donation. They then auction off the quilts and all proceeds support the important work that they do. The theme in 2016 was “playing favorites.” I designed and donated a few mini quilts, including the original “Sew Many Colors” (originally named “So Many Colors”). The mini quilt was a tribute to my favorite brand of thread, shown at actual size and proportions, using one of my favorite piecing techniques–foundation paper piecing.

The original design had 12 spools. When I discovered that Aurifil was celebrating their 10th anniversary in the US this year, it made sense to update the design to feature 10 spools.

So Many Colors by Sheri Cifaldi-Morrill

So Many Colors by Sheri Cifaldi-Morrill

How did you develop the idea for 270 Colors and what did you love most about pulling that project together?
When I found out that 2017 was a big milestone for Aurifil and that they wanted to celebrate it in a big way, I thought about the how the threads are presented. Whether it’s at a conference or trade show or in a local quilt shop,  the spools are always arranged beautifully. The arrangement of colors and the texture of the thread wound on the spool draws quilters in. I thought it would be really fun for makers to see all 270 colors at the same time.

It was a lot of fun to literally work with EVERY Aurifil color. Of course this means that I wound all 270 colors of thread on bobbins. I wonder how many other quilters can say that?

Quilting both 270 Colors and Sew Many Colors were also skill building experiences for me. I typically only use my walking foot while quilting. This project was a great way for me to push my boundaries and get over my free motion quilting anxiety!

Lastly, it was wonderful working with the Aurifil team. They were extremely supportive and trusted my design and creation process.

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What excites you most about the release of Sew Many Colors?
I hope that quilters get really excited about customizing the pattern with colors that appeals to them. I also hope that those who have never tried (or those who are challenged by foundation paper piecing) dive in and give it a try. While I don’t give basic paper piecing instructions in the pattern, I do give lots of tips. With all of my patterns I give lots of diagrams and break down the steps. I strive to make complicated looking patterns easy to make.

What first drew you to work with Kona® Solids from Robert Kaufman?
As is the case with Aurifil, I love how many colors Robert Kaufman offers. I often work with solids in my quilt designs and I love having lots of options. When I designed and created the 270 Colors quilt, this was especially important as I wanted all 270 colors of Aurifil thread to match the fabric background perfectly! I carried those matching thread and fabric selections to my Sew Many Colors mini quilt samples.

If you had to select your Top Ten colors for Aurifil and Robert Kaufman, what would they be?
My number one go-to for thread is color 2024 and Kona White. I’m a big fan of white backgrounds! After that, it’s tough to pick.  My favorites change from project to project! At this moment, I’ll go with what I used for the rainbow version of the Sew Many Colors: Aurifil thread: 2250, 1154, 1135, 1147, 2870, 1148, 2810, 2725, 2520, 2479, 2024 and Kona® Solids: Red, Tangerine, Corn Yellow, Lime, Grasshopper, Breakers, Lagoon, Blue Jay, Crocus, Blush Pink.

What do you love most about working with Warm & Natural batting?
I love the weight (not too thick, not too thin), the feel and the fact that  I’ve never had a problem with it. It works well on my machine. I’m a big believer in if it’s not broken, stick with it!

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What are your hopes for presenting the pattern in this way, with an accompanying contest?
In the pattern, I call out what materials I used, but I love to see how makers who use my patterns make the pattern their own. I always think it’s interesting to see how makers put their own spin on the same pattern. For this reason, I really enjoyed seeing all of the variations of my pattern testers as they came in. I’m excited to see what everyone makes! Be sure to use those hashtags and don’t be shy. The prizes are awesome… you can’t win if you don’t try!

Can you offer any tips for participants who are new to paper-piecing?
Have your seam ripper and tape close by. You will use it! Even the most experienced paper piecers will make mistakes. Don’t get frustrated. If you find yourself making a lot of mistakes,  it’s time to step away and take a break!

Any final words of encouragement to makers just getting started on their Sew Many Colors journey?
Play with color and have fun! This is a great pattern to treat as a color study. Play with color combinations that you’ve never worked with before!

SEW MANY COLORS — TESTER MINIS
In talking with Sheri about the process of pulling this all together, she raved about her testers and we thought it would be fun to share their minis here. Pattern testing is such an incredibly important part of pattern release process and we are ever grateful! Also, look at these gorgeous minis!!

Laura McDowell Hopper
WebsiteInstagram
The “Sew Many Colors” mini quilt was so fun to make. Like all of Whole Circle Studio’s patterns, it is well designed with clear instructions. The quilt was a fast make and is the perfect addition to my craft room Aurifil storage! Thanks to Sheri! I loved making her pattern, and boy does it look cool in my quilt room with this new Aurifil shelf!

Sew Many Colors as sewn by Laura McDowell Hopper

Sew Many Colors as sewn by Laura McDowell Hopper

Wendy Birmingham
Instagram
I had so much fun making this Sew Many Colors mini quilt!  Such a great pattern that all fit together perfectly!  I chose to make this with the orange spools that I love, using Alison Glass Insignia fabric that matches all the beautiful Aurifil threads!  Happy Anniversary Aurifil!

Alex Fox
Instagram
The design, with its feature Aurifil spools, is definitely a winner – who wouldn’t want this beautiful mini on the wall of their sewing room? This is the second of Sheri’s patterns that I’ve made and it didn’t disappoint. The draughtsmanship of the pattern is excellent, with all the pieces fitting perfectly and that makes assembling your pieced segments a pleasure rather than a chore.  The instructions are easy to follow and she provides good planning tools to help you keep track of your fabric choices and positioning whilst you paper-piece.

Sew Many Colors as sewn by Alex Fox

Sew Many Colors as sewn by Alex Fox

Joanne Harris
WebsiteInstagram
I loved making this quilt first of all because the designer is such a talented designer. When I saw the design I thought it would be a good colour exercise. I wanted to show a gradation in one colour. I think I captured it for blue.

Jenny Nault Meeker
WebsiteInstagram
Having only done one foundation paper piecing quilting project prior to testing the “Sew Many Colors” pattern, I was extremely very grateful that the pattern included multiple tips to help less experienced foundation paper piecers navigate working with smaller piecing components.  Also, the pattern instructions were so well laid out and clear that it was virtually impossible to do any of the steps incorrectly or out of order–along with the reassurances in the pattern that even highly experienced foundation paper piecing quilters still make mistakes, making the whole process incredibly enjoyable.  My favorite inclusions, however, were the diagrams that showed the finished mini’s front and the back, which made it easy to audition/select colors and make sure they correlated to the correct spool location when the mini was completed.

Rebecca Makas
WebsiteInstagram
I loved that this pattern challenged my paper piecing skills, using small pieces along with much larger pieces.  It was a lot of fun making such a familiar shape and using prints for the colors to make it “my own”.

Tiffany Horn, Village Bound Quilts
WebsiteInstagram
This pattern, as with all of Sheri’s patterns, was well written and easy to follow. I really enjoyed learning a new skill (as this was my first FPP project), and ended up making it a second time, resulting in this moon phase pillow. The biggest takeaway as a rookie FPP would be to take your time – go slow and enjoy the process!

ABOUT SHERI
Website — Blog — Facebook — Instagram — Pinterest — Twitter

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photo courtesy of Craftsy

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

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

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

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

[Images courtesy of Sheri Cifaldi-Morrill with exception to tester mini images]

Stitch the 2012 DOM Reboot: February

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

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Original 2012 Designer of the Month Quilt Setting

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

270 Colors Quilt: From Start to Finish

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

— Sheri Cifaldi-Morrill
www.wholecirclestudio.com


Find Sheri Online
WebsiteBlogFacebookInstagramPinterestTwitter

sheri-fellowship-designer_quilt-market-houston-2016_dsc_7900b

photo courtesy of Craftsy

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

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

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

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

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

Bringing Tips & Tricks to Life!!

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


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

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

Kristi's daughter Remy with her first quilt!

Kristi’s daughter Remy with her first quilt!

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

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

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

The Betsy Travel Bag (pattern available on Craftsy)

The Betsy Travel Bag (pattern available on Craftsy)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

BLOG INSTAGRAMFACEBOOKPINTEREST — TWITTER


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

The Splendid Sampler — Block 100 Celebration!!

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

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

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

The Splendid Sampler Banner

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

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

Block #92 – Double Bees  by Beth Bradley

Block #93 – Tiny Miracles by April Rosenthal

Block #94 – Skyscrapers by Stacey Lowe

Block #95 – Sunshine by Kim Niedzwiecki

Block #96 – In the Sunshine by Cheryl Arkison

Block #97 – First Purse by Di Mill

Block #98 – Fleur de Lei by Lynn Harris

Block #99 – Four Corner Spinwheel by Kimberly Einmo

Block #100 – Centered by Kate Spain

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

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

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

THE GIVEAWAY

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

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

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

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

@zenchicmoda

@zenchicmoda

@yardgrl60

@yardgrl60

@the_tattooed_quilter

@the_tattooed_quilter

@thatcraftaddict

@thatcraftaddict

@sls_fabricshop

@sls_fabricshop

@quiltyhabit

@quiltyhabit

@quiltingjetgirl

@quiltingjetgirl

@quiltbystarlight

@quiltbystarlight

@quiltachusetts

@quiltachusetts

@purlverde

@purlverde

@nq1yearofstitches

@nq1yearofstitches

@mybearpaw

@mybearpaw

@mrssophie2

@mrssophie2

@kareepickett

@kareepickett

@julieschloemer

@julieschloemer

@ivory_spring

@ivory_spring

@itssewscottsdale

@itssewscottsdale

@freebirdquiltingdesigns

@freebirdquiltingdesigns

@colorgirlquilts

@colorgirlquilts

@ablossomedchaos

@ablossomedchaos

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

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