Sew Many Colors Winners!

In February, we introduced you to Sew Many Colors, a brand new pattern by Sheri Cifaldi-Morrill of Whole Circle Studio. We made the pattern available for FREE both on our site and on Sheri’s site and launched a contest, asking participants to create their ‘favorite 10’, using Aurifil Threads and Kona Solids from Robert Kaufman.

We had so much fun watching the entries roll in, admiring the colors, the different styles, and even the bits of humor thrown in. Entries were due at the end of March and we made everything available for a public vote for 2 weeks at the beginning of April. Quilters with the top 3 minis were promised both space to showcase the mini in our booth at Spring Quilt Market in St. Louis and a pretty fabulous prize package featuring items from Aurifil, Robert Kaufman, The Warm Company, and Whole Circle Studio.

Today, we’d first like to applaud all of our entrants. You are all amazing and we are so grateful that you played along and shared such beautiful works of art with us! Thank you, thank you:).

And now, to unveil our Top 3 Minis! These minis gained the most amount of public votes and we are thrilled to share them with you today! Drum roll please…

LAURA PILAND
Laura is a quilter, pattern designer, and homeschooling mom of two young boys. She is also an ex-math teacher and, with a last name like Piland, there’s a strong love of Pi in her house! She quilts because it keeps her sane and she loves that what she sews stays sewn at the end of the day, unlike laundry and dishes and… In real life, she creates in her home in southwest Missouri. However, she doesn’t have any local guilds or sewing friends, so the online quilting community her my tribe! You can follow along with her latest shenanigans on Instagram or Facebook, or read about her latest quilt finish on her blog.

Can you tell us about your mini and what inspired your lineup of colors?
When I first saw the “Sew Many Colors” pattern, I laughed because I use white 50wt Aurifil 99% of the time! I thought making the pattern with just white thread spools would look a little boring, so I wanted to add something else. When brainstorming what to add, I decided that since the challenge was all about Aurifil thread, I should make the thread be the star of the show! The circular arrangement of the spools inspired the mandala style quilting. And surprise – I used white 50wt Aurifil!

NICOLE BUCKLEY
Nicole Buckley has been quilting for less than 4 years, but sewing since she was eight. She falls on the artistic side of quilting and prefers to add her “spin” on projects.  Her quilting skills are best displayed when she hand quilts. She prefers paper piecing, but is trying to push herself outside of her box by adding improv and design to her skill set.  While Nicole does have a blog, she rarely uses it. She finds herself drawn to Instagram and is deeply inspired by many there. That is where you’ll find her, posting obsessively about her quilting, art, and swimming in the sea.  She has two cats, Percy and Hermione, who are both featured under the hashtag #catsonquilts on Instagram.

“I Need More Aurifil” – a mini by Nicole

Can you tell us about your mini and what inspired your lineup of colors?
I decided to be artistic, which represents my style. I decided to go simple, I piece with simple white Aurifil. I kept the spool the same color that my thread is wound onto. I decided to use the gray Kona to pop against the white and orange, because gray is the new black, lol. The empty spool with embroidered thread represents that I can always use (and need) more thread. Lastly, I made it mini-er. Why do it just like the pattern?  I shrunk to 50%. She measures in at 7.5 x 8.25 inches. She’s tiny!

JENNY NAULT MEEKER
Jenny’s love of quilting began with self-drafting traditional style quilts and hand quilting them to give as gifts. After a six year hiatus, she returned with a renewed love for the craft of designing and making quilts, favoring a more modern approach. With the explosion of modern quilting techniques and tools, as well as countless suppliers of quality fabrics, threads, and notions, she now finds it to be much easier to nurture her creative side. Jenny’s Connecticut town is home to a handful of great local quilt shops, all heartily supported by the sewing community. Many offer classes for developing new skills and regularly introduce new notions, feeding Jenny’s need to make more and more modern quilts and sewing projects.  Her growing crafting knowledge in partner with knowledge gained from her existing day job has allowed her to start properly drafting patterns of her own, a goal she is hoping to reach before the end of the year. Jenny  works by day as an executive assistant, quilts at night, and spends as much time as possible with her husband and young daughter. You can find Jenny on her blog, on Facebook, and on Instagram

Can you tell us about your mini and what inspired your lineup of colors?
I love testing patterns for designers as I always learn something new and the making process often moves me out of my comfort zone.  So for this mini, I branched away from the typical bright rainbow colors as I wanted to include more colors that are usually forgotten when doing color oriented quilts, hence the inclusion of the cream and gray.  Also, I tend to like contrasting thread against patterned fabric for most projects so I wasn’t sure how much I was going to like the tone-on-tone thread painting idea over the matching solid Kona I had for this mini–but I ended up loving the end results!  The comfort zone also was pushed a lot when I decided to hand embroider the Aurifil logo in the center of the mini–a skill I had not attempted before, but really felt this mini needed to feel complete.


Interested in creating your own top 10 mini? You can grab the pattern here on our website. Thanks so much for joining us and make sure to follow along with us on Facebook & Instagram to see these minis in action at Spring Market!

Aurifil 2017 March Designer of the Month – Melissa Corry

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

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

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

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

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

And the Challenge part continues as each month we select one random winner to receive a 12 spool BOX of Aurifil thread for just making the challenge block and sharing it at my website! (details at the end plus last month’s winner!)

Let’s get to know Melissa!

Continue reading

QuiltCon 2017 — Savannah, GA

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

270 Colors by Sheri Cifaldi-Morrill

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

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

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

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

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

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

Until next time!

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— Kristi, Bradley, Erin, and Alex

The Quilts of Savannah QuiltCon 2017: Piecing Category

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

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

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

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

The Aurifil Sponsored Piecing Category Winners 

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

Second Place: Miriam Coffey, “Finding the One”

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Third Place: Elaine Poplin, “Vertigo”

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

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

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

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


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

Sew Many Colors: Pattern Launch & Contest

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]

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

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

Aurifil 2017 January Designer of the Month – Janet Clare

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Welcome to Year number 7 of our Monthly Designer Challenge & Interview!

I’m Designer, Author, Talk Show host Pat Sloan. We are starting the new year right with our wonderfully talented friend Janet Clare. She is a Moda fabric designer and I personally hoard all her fabric lines!

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

You can listen to Janet chat with me  on my Talk Show  about her design work.

And the Challenge part continues as each month we select one random winner to receive a 12 spool BOX of Aurifil thread for just making the challenge block and sharing it at my website! (details at the end plus last month’s winner!)

Let’s get to know Janet!

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Aurifil 2016 December Designer of the Month Amanda Herring

aurifil-2016-design-team-dec-amanda-herring-collageI’m Designer, Author, Radio show host Pat Sloan.. Our December Designer bringing us the 12th gorgeous blocks is the super talented and witty Amanda Herring of The Quilted Fish.. get it.. Herring… Fish? See.. I told you she is witty!

Amanda Inspires me personally, when we meet it was like we’d known each other forever. She champions the amazing industry we work in and is a constant source of creativity. She puts out 1,000% for every project.

You can listen to Amanda chat with me  on my Talk Show Nov 23, 2015 about her inspiration for her  fabric lines.

Let’s get to know Amanda!!

Where do you live Amanda?

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I live in a suburb of Salt Lake City, Utah and I love where I live!  I especially love the mountains and find great peace when I spend time there.  I have lived here my whole life, but have traveled the world.  I am always happy to call this home!  I live about 25 minutes from 5 or 6 canyons, so I be in nature any time I need to recharge.

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For a complete change of scenery, I only need to drive 2-3 hours and I can be in the gorgeous red rock part of my state.   One of my favorite destinations is Moab.  I always feel inspired after a visit here.

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What was your first quilt sighting? Did that start you quilting? 

{My wedding quilt from my grandma!}

My first quilt sighting was at my grandma’s house.  She was an avid hand quilter and I remember her working on quilts in a giant hoop.  She made a quilt for each grandchild when they got married.  My wedding quilt was one of the last she made before she passed away and it will be a treasure forever!

Seeing my grandma quilt didn’t inspire me to start, but what did was a dose of massive depression.  I started quilting as a way of finding some relief and it was wonderful!  I made 11 quilts in my first three months of quilting.  I gave away almost all of my first quilts, which also gave me great joy.  My first quilt was made from a pattern called Just Can’t Cut it by All Washed Up and I gave it as a gift to that same grandma.

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What is your background prior to designing fabric?

{Selected fabrics from collections I have designed for Riley Blake Designs…all in my fave blue, turquoise!}

Before I started my life in the quilting industry I tried lots of things.  I went to school in both interior design and fashion design.  I worked in retail for 10 years and then was an interior designer for a short period before becoming a mother.  Besides designing fabric and patterns, I also design custom rugs.  Between design and family, my life is very full!

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We all have ‘one thing’ that is kind of hits us.. what is yours?

My recent “light bulb” moment was when I used silk pins for the first time!  I couldn’t believe how much more enjoyable my pinning experience was.  I have always just used the cheapest pins I could find, and I won’t be doing that anymore!  I also have started using my seam ripper as an awl, and I am loving that, too!

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 Where do you work? would you change anything?

I am so fortunate to have two fabulous places to sew.

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One is my cottage, which is a little house that was built in 1938 and is the center of operations for all of my creative exploits.

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We purchased it about 4 years ago and completely renovated it.  It is full of joyful feelings and happy little bits and pieces that make me smile.  It is big enough that my staff can join me here, and small enough that it is intimate and cozy.

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At the cottage I sew on my turquoise featherweight (which I LOVE)! This was custom painted for me by Jeff McAllister (@OldOval) and it is a dream!

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I also sew at home, but right now it is in my unfinished basement, and it isn’t pretty at all.  So I try to save my sewing for the cottage.

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Do you have a super storage tip?

I don’t consider myself to be very organized, but I do have one thing that keeps me pretty neat while I am sewing.  It is a tiered stand I purchased from the kitchen/dining section at Pier One a couple of years ago.  I love it for my pins, cutting tools, seam rippers, extra blades….anything I like to have close.  I love that I can pick it up and move it to wherever I am.  Plus, it’s big enough that I can sometimes toss things in.

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The hard question.. favorite color of Aurifil thread!

My favorite Aurifil colors are white (2024) and then these beautiful turquoise colors (1148, 4093).  Truly, turquoise is my favorite color!  Close behind is pink, though, so I thought I would throw them in for fun.Turquoise collage-01

What about blue inspired your block?

I love blue.  I find myself gravitating towards it in design and decor.  For me, nothing is complete without some touch of blue.  My home is filled with blue, my cottage is filled with blue (you may have noticed the table, the cupboards, the walls…all turquoise) and every line I have ever designed has blue as a main part of one of the color ways.  Blue makes me feel calm and happy and I try to surround myself with it.

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DOWNLOAD Amanda’s Flower block

TIP – The seam allowance is included in the PP, so once units are ready to put together, cut ON the line and sew with a 1/4″ seam

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A few more things about me:

  • Right or left handed? I am right handed, and can’t do anything with my left!  I am the proud mom of a lefty, though!
  • Favorite  TV show? Favorite childhood TV show was “Today’s Special”.  I recently found it on DVD and ordered the entire collection!
  • Dog, cat? I am a dog person, although I love ALL animals.  This is my dog, Nuit, when she was a puppy.  She is a great dane, and my nearly constant companion.

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  • Favorite snacks? My fave snacks are nuts, especially if they are covered in chocolate!
  • All time favorite color? The color I have always loved is blue…no pink! No BLUE!Thread-2

Follow me:

instagram @amandaherringdesignsamanda-herring-paper-pieced-flower-block

Facebook https://www.facebook.com/QuiltedFish/

Website Thequiltedfish.com

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You now have 12 gorgeous blocks in your library. ALL will make excellent repeat block.. our design team did an outstanding job this year!

I pulled all their blocks & my version to see them together.

COME SEE ALL the Designer Blocks on my Design wall!

I will create a setting for the 12 blocks sometime in January. You can always use a prior setting we did .. the previous 5 years of Designer blocks are HERE, where we have 2 settings for 12″ blocks

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

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Our RANDOM picker this month selected Ev!  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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Aurifil 2016 November Designer of the Month Kim Niedzwiecki

I’m Designer, Author, Radio show host Pat Sloan.. Our November Designer is the incredible designer and a good friend of mine,  Kim Niedzwiecki. She write at Go Go Kim

Once you meet Kim, you’ve made a friend for life, you just know it will be that way! I first meet her at a trade show and she came swirling around the corner (as she NEVER goes slow) all bubbly and fun in the most amazing outfit she had sewn. We hit it off and.. well.. i think we chat now every day, you are going to LOVE Kim as much as I do.

Listen to Kim chat with me  on my Talk Show Aug 12, 2013 and learn how she got the name ‘Go Go’!

Let’s get to know Kim!

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Aurifil 2016 October Designer of the Month Kathy Brown

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I’m Designer, Author, Radio show host Pat Sloan.. Our September Designer is the wonderful and amazing Author, fabric designer and teacher Kathy Brown. Her company name is The Teachers Pet, and I imagine you have used her designs, rulers or fabric already!

The last time she was on my talk show was Feb 1, 2016  CLICK to Listen or subscribe by Itunes

Let’s get to know Kathy!

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