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.

wholecirclestudio_blog_020617_19

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.

screen-shot-2017-02-26-at-12-09-45-am

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.

screen-shot-2017-02-26-at-12-08-46-am

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!

screen-shot-2017-02-26-at-12-09-24-am

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

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 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.

screen-shot-2017-02-14-at-2-00-46-pm

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.

wholecirclestudio_270colors_03_initialdesign

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.

wholecirclestudio_270colors_41_quiltingtest

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).

wholecirclestudio_270colors_full

wholecirclestudio_270colors_35_finishedshot

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]

Aurifil 2017 January Designer of the Month – Janet Clare

2017-jan-aurifil-designer-janet-clare

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!

Continue reading

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?

1 amanda.png

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.

2 amanda.png

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.

3 amanda.png

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.

4 ama.png

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!

B7c7645a-684d-456b-95b2-72472533191a_1.3bc27a77b2e51a733f8d211a51586bf1

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!

DSC_8037

 Where do you work? would you change anything?

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

DSC_8013

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.

DSC_8060

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.

5 amanda.jpg

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!

DSC_8048

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.

6 amanda.jpg

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.

9 thread.jpg

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.

FullSizeRender.jpg-1

*********************************

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

*********************************

FullSizeRender.jpg-5

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.

1796450_10203403273789309_502166063_n

  • 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

pat-sloan-2016-aurifil-dom-all-blocks-peek

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!

1 Watermak-Needle-Black

******* 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

dec-ev

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!

Continue reading

Aurifil 2016 October Designer of the Month Kathy Brown

aurifil-2016-design-team-oct-kathy-brown-collage

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!

Continue reading

Thread Journey: The Finish!

banner1

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

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

————————————————

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

July13i

Thread Journey, before quilting

Thread Journey, after quilting

Thread Journey, after quilting

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

subtle1-1

subtle2

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

sept15a

sept15b

sept15c

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

sept15d

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

sept15e

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

sept15f

Here are a few more pictures.

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

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

sept15n

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

– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

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

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

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

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

Aurifil 2016 September Designer of the Month Katarina Roccella

Aurifil 2016 Design Team Sept Katarina Roccella collage.jpg

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

d71_8620

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

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

Let’s get to know  Katarina!

Continue reading

The High Voltage Collection by Rob Appell

rob-thread-wall

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

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

the_hight_voltage_collection_thread_100x628

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

thehighvoltagecollection

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

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

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

screen-shot-2016-09-09-at-10-55-24-pm

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

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

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

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

Jenny Doan and Rob Appell

Jenny Doan and Rob Appell

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

screen-shot-2016-09-09-at-10-26-23-pm

And the Flag Was Still There by Rob Appell

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

On the set of Man Sewing

On the set of Man Sewing

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

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

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

the_high_voltage_collection_1200x628

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

mansewing-thread-insta

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

THE GIVEAWAY

robappell-rafflecopter

To enter-to-win The High Voltage Collection by Rob Appell, click here to head to the Rafflecopter entry page, or simply click on the image above. You do not have to complete all the options to be entered but the more options you choose, the more entries you have!  Entries will be accepted from now through 11:59pm Eastern Time on Friday, September 16! Winner will be randomly selected and announced here on Saturday, September 17. Good luck!

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

ABOUT ROB
WebsiteFacebookInstagram — Twitter — YouTubePinterest

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

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

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

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

The Heritage Collection by Jenny Doan

unknown-4

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

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

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

heritagecollection

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

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

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

Autumn Stars, an MSQC tutorial

Autumn Stars, an MSQC tutorial

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

Butterfly Blossom Quilt, an MSQC tutorial

Butterfly Blossom Quilt, an MSQC tutorial

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

The Missouri Star Quilt Co.

The Missouri Star Quilt Co.

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

Inside the Missouri Star Quilt Co.

Inside the Missouri Star Quilt Co.

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

Jenny showcases The Heritage Collection

Jenny showcases The Heritage Collection

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

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

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

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

THE GIVEAWAY

jennydoan-rafflecopter

To enter-to-win The Heritage Collection by Jenny Doan, click here to head to the Rafflecopter entry page, or simply click on the image above. You do not have to complete all the options to be entered but the more options you choose, the more entries you have!  Entries will be accepted from now through 11:59pm Eastern Time on Thursday, September 15! Winner will be randomly selected and announced here on Friday, September 16. Good luck!

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

ABOUT MSQC
WebsiteFacebookInstagram — Twitter — YouTubePinterest

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

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

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

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

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

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

[For more, please visit the MSQC website]

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