Tips for Combining Machine + Hand Quilting

Today we are thrilled to have a post from our talented Aurifil Artisan, Jessica Skultety of Quilty Habit! She created a beautiful quilt using  Anna Maria Horner‘s new 12wt thread collection, Stitch Gallery. It is available as a Limited Edition in the super fabulous wooden box you’ll see below, and also in our standard cardboard packaging. She has kindly shared some of her favorite tips for how she combines hand quilting and machine quilting! Take it away Jessica!


Hi! I’m Jessica Skultety of Quilty Habit, and I teach, lecture, blog, and quilt obsessively. As an Aurifil Artisan, I’d love to share some quilting ideas with you today. Combining machine and hand work isn’t a new idea, but it’s an option that can add another special detail to your quilt. You don’t have to add a lot of either one to make a huge impact!

First, I’d like to introduce you to my latest passion project, “Bouquet,” and explain the process behind quilting it. Then, I’ll share 5 tips and more inspiration!

Quilting is my favorite part of the quilt-making process. It didn’t start out that way, but as soon as I started to free motion quilt on my home machine, I caught the bug. This is not to say that I don’t quilt with my walking foot – because I do!

One of my main goals for a quilt is to showcase or emphasize its design with the quilting itself. This is sometimes difficult to figure out, but it gets easier over time. It’s like deciding how to decorate a room: how will you accentuate its features? Often, for me, this means creating movement with waves and spirals.

I’m also a huge, longtime fan of Anna Maria Horner’s saturated, colorful fabrics, so I quickly began to dream up a wall quilt with her older fabrics and newest line, Floral Retrospective (which, luckily, contains some reprinted fabrics in brand spanking new colorways), plus her new special edition 12 weight Aurifil thread collection. Aren’t they so beautiful (and that box!!)? Since orange peel quilts are my favorites to make, I used petals as a starting point, much like my first orange peel quilt, Scatter.

After making the petals and adhering them with fusible and raw edge applique, I machine quilted in a circle from the bottom left to emphasize the circular, spreading out motion of the orange peels/flower petals. I quilted with 50 weight Aurifil 2600 (Dove Gray, my favorite) so that it would somewhat blend in the background but show on the petals.

My walking foot was a big help here; I marked the first couple of circles with my hera marker, starting at the bottom left corner, and then followed the lines roughly. You can use the guide on your walking foot to follow previous circles, but I chose to make them imprecise (imprecision in quilting is my favorite).

I’m admittedly a novice hand quilter, and I wanted to keep it simple but striking. First, I chose the Anna Maria Horner 12 weight threads that matched the quilt’s colors (leaving out just orange and yellow). The colors I used: 2566 (Wisteria), 4020 (Fuchsia), 2026 (Chalk), 1125 (Medium Teal), 4662 (Spotted, variegated green), 1248 (Grey Blue), 2845 (Light Juniper), and 3660 (Bubblegum, variegated pink). Can I just say how much I’ve fallen in love with using variegated threads for hand-quilting?

I marked my lines with a blue water soluble marker and ruler, right over the machine quilting. Then, I blissfully sat on my couch for a few hours with an audiobook in hand, stitching away. I’ve tried a few different hand stitching threads, and admittedly I love Aurifil because of the huge variety of colors and smoothness of the thread gliding through three layers. The thread doesn’t split easily. I wore my thimble but barely needed it!

Originally, I hand-quilted one line extending from almost every petal and between, but on second thought I decided to add another line of contrasting thread next to it. The quilting shows even more now! I love how it shows up on the back, too:

We took Bouquet for a walk down a (usually crowded) alley in Easton, PA. It was simply too windy to take more pictures, but this one will do! I’m really pleased that the hand-quilting shows up from far away. Again, another element added to my quilt.

5 Tips for Combining Machine + Hand Quilting

  • Machine quilt first, then hand quilt.
  • Use a frame or don’t – find what works for you. I’ve only hand-quilted small quilts and projects so far (see below) so a frame hasn’t felt necessary.
  • If you want to achieve consistency with your hand stitches and you’re new like me, try sashiko stitching first. If you buy a premarked fabric, you can practice making a beautiful design. Aurifil 12 weight threads can be used for this, too!
  • Get yourself a needle minder. Mine are magnetized and stick onto my project, so I never lose anything!
  • Be open to imperfection. It’s impossible for every single stitch to be perfectly straight, every time. Let loose and embrace the notion that you’re making a beautiful handmade piece of art

More Examples

  • I love how my friend Chawne Kimber (@cauchycomplete) regularly combines hand and machine quilting. Check out the details she added to her Cotton Sophisticate quilt.
  • Within the last year, I’ve been combining lots of machine quilting with hand stitching. Here are some other samples with links to their blog posts:

Clockwise from top left: “Starlight,” Fall Table Topper, Sashiko Flower Pillow, “Fractured Cathedral Window.”

And, if you’ve read all the way to the end, thank you! And thanks to Aurifil for providing the threads for this project. Let me know – have you tried combining hand and machine? If not, what’s holding you up?


Thank you so much Jessica! The quilt is beautiful and the tips and tricks are certainly a wonderful resource for anyone looking to try out this technique. You can find more details about all three of the Anna Maria Horner limited edition collections HERE. And stay tuned to the Auribuzz blog for the official collection announcement!

Sew Many Colors T-Shirt!

Once upon a time, a designer named Sheri (Cifaldi-Morrill of Whole Circle Studio) had a brilliant idea. She was working on a mini quilt for entry into the annual Quilt Alliance Contest. The theme was ‘playing favorites’. Sheri decided to arrange some of her favorite 50wt spools in her signature circular layout as a tribute to her favorite brand of thread, Aurifil, using her favorite fabric solids, Kona by Robert Kaufman. The spools were realized in actual size and were brought to life via Sheri’s favorite piecing technique — foundation paper piecing.

So Many Colors by Sheri Cifaldi-Morrill

The fine folks here at Aurifil spotted this magnificent mini right away. It was eye-catching and a fine showcase of one of our absolute favorite things… thread! We contacted Sheri and a beautiful partnership was born.

A few months later, we debuted Sew Many Colors, a new pattern created and developed by Sheri, based on her original mini, featuring 10 lovely spools. Sheri chose the number 10 as a secondary tribute to Aurifil USA’s 10th Anniversary! The pattern was offered for free on Sheri’s website and also on ours as a call to action for quilters around the world to create a showcase of their own top 10 spools of thread. We watched with joy as the submissions came in and we got to witness so many different versions of this fabulous pattern. It was one of the highlights of our year and we are forever grateful to Sheri for making it possible.

A few of the mini submissions for your viewing pleasure: 

Fast forward a few more months, to today… Today marks the launch Sew Many Colors: The T-Shirt!

Sheri worked with the incredible team at Patchwork Threads to turn her mini quilt design into a wearable work of art. The V-Neck Tees are available in Black & White Heather and are 20% off  from now through Monday, so if you want to walk around wearing a delightful wheel of your favorite threads, head here to check it out!

And, wearing our super comfy t-shirts, we all lived within happiness, joy, and super fabulous color!

A huge THANK YOU to Sheri Cifaldi-Morrill for being such a creative and wonderful partner in all of this!  ❤

** Aurifil does not profit from this post. We just think that a t-shirt featuring our 50wt threads is particularly fabulous and we couldn’t help but share!

 

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Weekend Quilting & Giveaway!

Aurifil Artisan Jemima Flendt of Tied with a Ribbon has just released Weekend Quilting, her debut book with Fons & Porter. The book is a gorgeous representation of a wide variety of techniques, presenting the opportunity to build your quilting skills. We had a chance to chat with Jemima about the book and are thrilled to share that interview with you here today. And… there’s a giveaway because who doesn’t love a good giveaway?

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Tips for Cutting & Using An Aurifil Color Card

Today, we are honored to introduce you to Aurifil Artisans Yvonne Fuchs and Kitty Wilkin of the design collaborative, Quilt Theory. We recently sent out Aurifil Color Cards to all seven designers involved with Quilt Theory and Yvonne and Kitty graciously offered to share their tips for using the color cards more effectively as well as some great storage ideas. Here’s hoping you feel just as inspired as we do!


Quilt Theory launched its second collection of patterns on Friday, May 12th!

Seven modern quilters have teamed up to create a new line of gorgeous modern quilt patterns that anyone can make. Printed on 4×6 cards (perfect for a quilty gift!), or handy one-page PDFs ready for printing, these lap-sized quilt patterns are sure to inspire.

Quilt Theory began in February 2016, when a group of quilters connected to share successes, answer questions, and support one another as they navigated the business side of the quilting industry. What started as a way to collect real-time insight and expertise quickly evolved into an opportunity to collaborate…and Quilt Theory was born!

Where can your quilts take you?

 

Quilt Theory Designers (L to R): Cheryl Brickey, Daisy Aschehoug, Kitty Wilkin, Yvonne Fuchs, Lorinda Davis, Stephanie Palmer, and Michelle Bartholomew

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Aurifil 2017 May Designer of the Month – Mathew Boudreaux

2017 Aurifil DOM May Mathew Boudreaux collage

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.

Spinning around the color wheel we land on RED this month. Not only my personal favorite color but it’s also Mathew  Boudreaux favorite, that made this a perfect month for him!

 

If you are not on instgram yet, you’ll want to sign up just to be inspired and entertained by Mathew’s work!

One day I got an email asking if I’d seen the ‘woven projects’ by Mister Domestic yet? And If not, hurry up and look.

From there on out I was checking to see what fun new things Mathew was sewing up!

Mathew is also sewing along with all the designers each month and his blocks are fantastic! I LOVE the January Kittie block.. a kitting sitting in the center of doggies.. too fun!

CLICK TO see his Blocks

Aurifil 2017 Designers of the month fabrics

Each designer is sending me a photo of fabric with their thread color so I can build a fun collage of the color wheel with them.

Missed a month?

CLICK FOR PRIOR DESIGNER interviews

Remember we have a Challenge portion of our Designer of the Month interview.

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 Mathew!

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Welcome Aurifil Artisans!

Today is a very exciting day in Aurifil’s world… it’s the day we get to announce our 2017 Aurifil Artisans! We are beyond excited about this incredible lineup of quilters, sewists, and makers. They come to us from all over the world from India, to the UK, to the US. They are quilters, pattern designers, fabric designers, bag-makers, long arm quilters, crafters, and tailors. They love to create and love to work with Aurifil thread! You’ll be learning more about this wonderful team throughout the year, and will be seeing more of their work both here on Auribuzz & on our social media accounts.

Aurifil Artisans

Row1: Renee – Quilts of a Feather, Pamela – Pamela’s Quilts, Sandy – Hissyfitz Designs, Richy Jr – Spazzy Cat Designs — Row2: Shannon – Eva Blakes Makery, Shruti – 13 Woodhouse Rd, Taunja – Carried Away Quilting, Sheri – Whole Circle Studio — Row3:  Sharon – Pine Valley Quilts, Wendy – Wendy’s Quilts and More — Row4: Lisa – In the Boondocks, Yvonne – Quilting Jetgirl, Sedef – Down Grapevine Lane, Jessica – Desert Bloom Quilting

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Row1: Afton – Quilting Mod, Alyce – Blossom Heart Quilts, Ange – A Little Patchwork, Blair – Wise Craft Handmade — Row2: Casey – Casey Taylor Threads, Connie – Freemotion by the River, Cheryl – Meadow Mist Designs, Erin – Quilts by Starlight — Row3: Faith – Sarana Ave, Erin – Sew at Home Mummy, Gillian – Gillian Travis Textile Art, Jayne – Twiggy & Opal — Row4: Geta – Getas Quilting Studio, Jessica – Quilty Habit, Jemima – Tied With a Ribbon, Jess – Elven Garden Quilts

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Row1: Karin – Karin Jordan Studio, Karen – Lady K Quilts, Kim – Persimon Dreams, Kitty – Night Quilter — Row2: Lauren – Molly and Mama, Laura – Slice of Pi Quilts, Laura – Sonic Stitches Quilts, Leslie – Seasoned Homemaker — Row3: Lee – May Chappell, Laurie – Neon Kitty Quilts, Lori – The Inbox Jaunt, Lisa – Sew What You Love — Row4: Mary – Mary Menzer Designs, Mel – Piece, Love & Happiness, Maryellen – Mary Mack Made Mine, Paige – Quilted Blooms

Congratulations again to the entire team!

Aurifil Artisans

 

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You know Aurifil as your favorite thread on the market… The thread with incredible strength and sheen… the thread made with 100% Egyptian Mako Cotton by a dedicated team working for a small family company based in Italy. We stand by the quality and do our best every day to ensure that our product is one that makes us proud, one that makes our hearts sing. But at the end of the day… Aurifil is nothing without you — the creatives, the visionaries, the designers, the artists… You do amazing things with our thread, always pushing the boundaries, trying new things, wowing us with your innovations and your artistry.

With that in mind, we’ve revamped our Blogger/Artist program and are proud to introduce our Aurifil Artisan Program! The program offers a wonderful collaborative opportunity… a way for us to partner to herald the work that you do and spread the Aurifil love.

We have a limited number of spots available for the first year and have developed an application which can be reviewed, filled out, and submitted below. Applications will be accepted until Friday, April 7. Our Aurifil Artisans will be contacted by April 14 and introduced here on our blog shortly thereafter.