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

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

270 Colors by Sheri Cifaldi-Morrill

270 Colors by Sheri Cifaldi-Morrill

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

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

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

Sew Many Colors Pattern Image

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

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

#sewmanycolors   #aurifil   #wholecirclestudio   #robertkaufman   #konacotton

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

So Many Colors by Sheri Cifaldi-Morrill

So Many Colors by Sheri Cifaldi-Morrill

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Sew Many Colors as sewn by Laura McDowell Hopper

Sew Many Colors as sewn by Laura McDowell Hopper

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

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

Sew Many Colors as sewn by Alex Fox

Sew Many Colors as sewn by Alex Fox

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

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

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

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

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

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photo courtesy of Craftsy

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

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

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

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

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

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]

Bringing Tips & Tricks to Life!!

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


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

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

Kristi's daughter Remy with her first quilt!

Kristi’s daughter Remy with her first quilt!

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

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

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

The Betsy Travel Bag (pattern available on Craftsy)

The Betsy Travel Bag (pattern available on Craftsy)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

BLOG INSTAGRAMFACEBOOKPINTEREST — TWITTER


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

Quilt Market, Part 1

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It’s hard to believe that another International Quilt Market & Festival in Houston, Texas has come and gone. With so much prep and anticipation, the event itself always seems to pass in the blink of an eye. We had such an amazing time — reconnecting with industry friends, greeting our treasured shop owners and distributors, getting those fabulous sneak previews of all the new and wonderful things to come. Fabric launches, new tool introductions, book signings, and, of course, so much glorious thread! We debuted a record number of collections this time around and we’re excited to showcase each and every one over the coming months. But for now, a peek at our booth and our schoolhouses with a bit of sample spree love thrown in for good measure. Thanks Houston, it was a blast!!

SCHOOLHOUSES
We were so honored and excited to present the premier schoolhouse this year.

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The premier event is presented as the very first schoolhouse of the day and gives the opportunity to reach all registrants at once in a giant room!

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Elena Gregotti kicked the event off with an introduction to Aurifil and its history, including photos of she and Alex as children in Egypt, traveling to find the best Cotton with their fathers. Alex Veronelli gave a condensed version of his famous lectures, delighting attendees with the process of how Aurifil threads are made. Designer Anne Sutton of Bunny Hill Designs and shop owner Jill Reicks of Sew Inspired both spoke about their experiences with Aurifil’s new 80wt thread, and Pat Sloan closed with a few fabulous Aurifil shout-outs and a handful of giveaways.

We were lucky to share the experience with over 1100 quilters, shop owners, designers and industry professionals. It was truly magical and we had an absolute blast! Stay tuned for more info on our brand new 80wt thread!

Our second schoolhouse of the day was in support of the Kennel Quilts Program benefitting the Petfinder Foundation. Piece for Shelter Pets was launched in October by a wonderful lineup of industry partners. You can learn more about it here.

THE BOOTH
For our booth, we swapped our Auricar decal for an array of iconic 50wt thread spools. Skeins of thread in a rainbow of hues hung along the outside walls.

Alex Veronelli took to the scooter to zip down the aisles at Market. What a fabulous way to get around!

Quilt Market is a big place -- best to get around quickly on a fab scooter!

Our thread displays showcased small and large spools in various weights in addition to a range of home and designer collections.

The Colors of Moda is a new, custom-designed box showcasing small spools of Aurifil’s 50wt thread in a wonderful variety colors. The threads coordinate with a range of Moda‘s Bella Solids.

A few of our new releases on display.

The Quilter’s Patch Quilt by Edyta Sitar of Laundry Basket Quilts. Stunning!

Quilter's Patch Quilt by Edyta Sitar of Laundry Basket Quilts

Quilter’s Patch Quilt by Edyta Sitar of Laundry Basket Quilts

Our brand new 80wt thread was the big hit of Market. We’ll be sharing all sorts of info on the 80wt with you tomorrow, so stay tuned! Aren’t those little wooden spools just darling?

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A rich display of Aurifil 80wt threads. The sample shown was created for us by Aurifil Designer and master quilter Sheena Norquay. She wanted to showcase the 80wt thread used in a variety of different techniques.

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Pat Sloan showcases the 2015 Aurifil DOM quilt. 2015 Designers were challenged to make a mini. For this quilt, Pat recreated each mini and incorporated them all into one quilt. We absolutely adore it! All fabrics used are her own and she used Aurifil 50wt thread. We’ll have more information for you on this quilt soon! If you’re looking for the patterns, check out our patterns page.

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This is Marmalade’s Merriment by Wendy Sheppard of Ivory Spring. This darling pattern will be available as a free pattern with purchase of Wendy’s brand new thread collection, Marmalade Meadows. The collection was created to coordinate with Bleecker Street from Quilting Treasures.

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Aurifil Designer Christa Watson showcases her two debut thread collections for Aurifil thread.  The quilt shown is ‘Choosing Colors’ from her book The Ultimate Guide to Machine Quilting. Christa used 9 different colors of Aurifil thread to complete the quilt.

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Alex Veronelli showcases a gorgeous sample made for us by Susan of @yardgrl60 using our Aurifloss.

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One of our favorite parts about Market is having the opportunity to meet up with our amazingly talented designers.

SAMPLE SPREE
What would Market be without Sample Spree? The frenzy and the excitement… the walking away with 10 boxes of thread and 10 new Fat Quarter bundles;). We’ve always loved seeing photos of the loot after the fact and love the buzz of energy that rolls through the room. We brought a mix of both house and designer collections.

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Aurifil House Collections

That’s all for now! We’ll be back tomorrow with everything you want to know about our new 80wt thread!!

 

2015 Fall Quilt Market Houston Welcome

There was a flurry of activity and a hurricane to boot during the 2015 International Quilt Market at the George R. Brown Convention Center in Houston, Texas!  The weather did not put a damper on the mood and fun atmosphere of the fantastic companies, shop owners, or designers that were in attendance during the show.  Quilters know how to brighten everything!

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Welcome to the new Aurifil booth! The design was completely new this year!  Loads of bright color with actual skeins of the freshly dyed cottons displayed for everyone to come see and feel the quality of premium materials used in every spool of thread Aurifil produces!

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Elena Gregotti, Aurifil CEO, was very pleased with the explosion of Aurifil colors inviting everyone to come and enjoy the new look.

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The booth was filled with quilting artworks like this stunning beauty created by Rita  Frizzera, vintage sewing machines, and other special touches.

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Alexander Winton, Sales Manager, and Bradley Mitchell, Marketing Director, were pleased as punch with the new look of the booth and had an outstanding time helping everyone find the perfect display, thread color or Aurifil Designer Collection for their local quilt shop!

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The Aurifiat was absolutely adorable!

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All of the newest collections were displayed with fat quarter bundles or fabric rolls for shops to be able to see first hand how perfectly the collections are matched.

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The Aurifil Firewall Display was a showstopper with the most comprehensive selection of Aurifil products. If you have this display in your shop, your customers will be awestruck!

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Many thanks for all of the wonderful visitors to the booth taking photos during Market! We love your support and being part of the excitement! If you are sharing your photos in your social media please hashtag #Aurifil.  We would love to see your photos!

Tomorrow will be even more exciting photos from the Market floor!

Happy 85th Anniversary Jaftex and Giveaway!

Happy 85th Anniversary Jaftex!

Linda Lum DeBono is a fantastic designer and one of Aurifil’s biggest cheerleaders! When she sent out the call for many friends to come celebrate the Jaftex Corp. 85th anniversary, we could not wait to join in on the fun!

Part of the blog hop was the option to showcase the gorgeous fabrics by the fabric houses of Jaftex Corporation in a project of the blogger’s choice.  Henry Glass & Co., Inc.  provided me a rainbow fat quarter bundle with 20 fabrics full of potential!  For my project, I chose to make a Log Cabin cushion cover.  The log cabin is the symbol of home and I could not think of a better block to celebrate a family’s successful 85 years of business!

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For a little Jaftex Corp. company history, the company was founded in the 1930’s when Jacob A. Fortunoff started selling fabric on the streets of New York. At that time, the mainstay of the business was women’s sleepwear and lingerie.

In the 80’s, Jacob’s grandson, Robert, dramatically changed the business of the company.

The business focus was transferred to the over the counter quilt industry when Robert purchased companies like A.E. Nathan, Henry Glass, Stylemaker, Chanteclaire, Fabric Editions/Studioe and more recently The Blank Quilting Corp. Robert is now joined by his two sons, Scott and Greg.  Scott currently is the President of Studioe Fabrics, The Blank Quilting Corp. & A.E. Nathan Co., Inc.  Greg just joined the business in late 2014 and has successfully spearheaded the company’s foray in to precut fabrics among other contributions.

Congratulations Jaftex on the many years of growth and success and to many more years of a great business!

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There is still time to visit all of the fabulous guests in the blog hop to share in many inspiring projects and giveaways!
September 1 – Kim Diehl guest posting @ American Patchwork & Quilting
September 2 – Pepper @ Pepper at the Quilt Studio
September 3 – Anjeanette @ Anjeanette Klinder
September 4 – Leanne @ The Whole Country Caboodle
September 5 – Mark @ Mark Lipinski’s Blog
September 6 – Heather @ Heather Kojan Quilts
September 7 – Heather @ Trends and Traditions
September 7 – Martha @ Wagons West Designs
September 8 – Linda @ Linda Lum DeBono
September 9 – Heidi @ Red Letter Quilts
September 10 – Jill @ Jillily Studios
September 10 – Dana @ My Lazy Daisy
September 11 – Penny @ Sew Simple Designs
September 12 – Ida @ Cowtown Quilts
September 13 – Liz and Beth @ Lizzie B Cre8ive
September 14 – Melissa @ Sew Bitter Sweet Designs
September 15 – Yvonne @ Quilting Jetgirl
September 16 – Amy @ Kati Cupcake
September 16 – Barbara @ QuiltSoup2
September 17 – Erica @ Kitchen Table Quilting
September 18 – Leona @ Leona’s Quilting Adventure
September 19 – Margot @ The Pattern Basket
September 20 – Sylvia @ Flying Parrot Quilts
September 21 – Lorna @ Sew Fresh Quilts
September 22 – Kim @ Aurifil Threads
September 23 – Rebekah @ Don’t Call Me Becky
September 24 – Julie @ The Crafty Quilter
September 25 – Mary Ellen @ Little Quilts
September 25 – Mary Jane @ Holly Hill Designs
September 26 – Daisy @ Ants to Sugar
September 27 – Melissa @ Happy Quilting
September 28 – Janet @ One S1ster
September 29 – Jenny @ Martingale& Co.
September 30 – Teresa @ Third Floor Quilts

In addition to the GRAND PRIZE being offered on the Henry Glass Blog ( get over and enter for your chance to win that FABULOUS prize package!) we are having additional giveaway!

Henry Glass & Co. sent another fat quarter bundle for us to share with you!  Aurifil is adding in SIX large spools of 40wt and 50wt ( three of each) to sweeten the already wonderful prize!  This giveaway is open to all of our international friends and closes on 27 Sept 2015. A random winner will be announced on or about 29 Sept 2015.

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Please enter for you chance to WIN the prize by following the instructions on    Rafflecopter 

We Would Love to Know!

Aurifil is a company that loves to inspire, support and educate the wonderful quilters and sewers that use our products!  There are so many ways to connect through local quilt shops, local quilt guilds,  and literally thousands of online sources that making sure that Aurifil is there for you is our number one priority.  We would love to know more about what you like and where you like to be for your inspirations!  We hope you will take a few minutes to fill out this brief survey to help us to be of better service to you now and in the future.

For extra incentive, for filling out the survey we will be offering the chance to win an Aurifil house collection! By filling out the survey, you are automatically entered for the chance to win one of these FABULOUS collections! There will be TEN winners chosen from the submitted surveys.  The survey will close 06 July 2015  and the winners will be contacted via email on or about 09 July 2015.

Thank you so much for your support! 

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Spring Market 2015 : It’s a Wrap!

The quilting industry is filled with extraordinarily creative people from a variety of backgrounds and origins.   They all come to International Quilt Market to share what they have to offer the shops and distributors but also to connect to each other.  This connection is very real since Market is sometimes the only face to face exposure the businesses, consumers and designers get to make throughout the year.  For this reason, the best part about Market is the people!  Seeing the people we talk to daily online and having the ability to chat, face to face, finding out what is important not only the customers and shops but also the designers is priceless!  The exchange of ideas for color, design, future patterns or just saying hello and giving a hug ( and sometimes a business card) is very necessary for everyone on the Market floor. Before sharing closing photographs of International Quilt Market, we would like to say thank you to all of our friends for coming by the booth, stopping us on the floor to say hello and for inviting Aurifil be a part of your experience! We appreciate you!IMG_0142Starting the photos with a quilt seems fitting and this stunning quilt displayed in the Robert Kaufman booth was quite inspiring! IMG_0205 Look at the brilliant quilting! IMG_0206 Our dear friend Jill Finley, Jillily Studio owner, Henry Glass and Aurifil thread designer was a sight for sore eyes.  We were so very happy to see her getting about on her scooter spreading love wherever she went :o)  Be sure to check out her site for some new offerings!  Jill inspires all of us to always do more and embrace the good!IMG_0026 Color inspiration could be found everywhere but this clever display in the Strokes of Brilliance booth was completely eye catching! IMG_0104 IMG_0107 In the Valori Wells booth, Valori and Man Sewing Rob Appell were exchanging ideas and having a great time! IMG_0148 Kaye England, designer for Wilmington Prints and Aurifil caught up with Alex in the booth for a quick hello before she was dashing off again with her wonderful personality and laugh! Want to watch Alex brighten up?  Have Kaye walk in the booth! IMG_0257 Robert Kaufman had a fabulous booth filled with their fantastic chambray and denim ( and a great Aurifil wall display)! There have been more garments and bags appearing in the booths at Market and it is very exciting to see a array of beautiful sewing being displayed!  Many quilters started out as garment sewers and switched gears to include the art of quilting later on in life.   IMG_0204In the Cloud Nine booth, Bag and fabric designer Anna Graham from Noodlehead, had this lovely display including the new Aurifil floss! IMG_0167 The very dynamic Tula Pink was in the Free Spirit booth with her mom looking through all the lovely new fabric collections that will be in local quilt shops soon! IMG_0252 To wrap it up and make you (hopefully) feel as if you were there with us, here is what usually happens behind the scenes with Bradley, Alex, Elena and Alexander… IMG_0145 IMG_0144 It is like taking a family photo, lol! We are already deep into planning for Fall Market in Houston and are looking forward to bring to you more inspiration, continued commitment to the best product in the marketplace and our gratitude for your support.  Thank you!

What’s It All About Alex Veronelli?

Aurifil was started with the idea of connecting to and building relationships with customers. Through those relationships Aurifil has been able to provide the best product on the market today.  Aurifil is the only thread available exclusively through local quilt shops or select online shops. In this way, we hear directly from the shops and their customers what they love and what needs to be changed.  You cannot get better quality assurance! 10891764_10206686295099867_680196916765110011_n For the past year, Alex has been traveling the United States visiting Official Aurifil Quilt Shops to spend time with the shop owners and quilters themselves to share what makes Aurifil so wonderful!  He has designed a lecture that both educates and entertains the participants with behind the scenes video of the Aurifil manufacturing process from conception to the shelves in your local shop.  Also included in these sessions are Aurifil goodies and giveaways! Screen Shot 2015-04-29 at 11.37.45 AM Be the first to hear about Aurifil’s new products, innovations, promotions and much more! Receive tips on recommended thread weights and care instructions for all of your sewing projects. Enjoy an inspirational collection of artworks produced by world renowned designers using Aurifil threads.  And sometimes local Aurifil Designers ( Pat Sloan and Kimberly Einmo in Kelly Ann’s Quilting shown above) even show up just for fun! 11042298_10206595991962345_4829391766139609577_n People are loving the lectures and learning so much!  These are comments left from last week’s lecture in Florida at The Dragonfly Quilt Shop! “A very informative and interesting presentation by Alex Veronelli. Thanks so much had a wonderful time and what beautiful thread!!” ~ Debra in FL “Thanks Christina Fratcher for having Alex Veronelli to your shop. There was so much to learn and the presentation was awesome.” ~Rosemary Alex’s next lectures will be in May in Minnesota!  Make sure to call the shop to reserve your spotFriday May 8th Bear Patch Quilting Co. 2199 4th Street White Bear Lake, MN 55110 phone: 651-429-1039 info@bearpatchquilting.com http://www.bearpatchquilting.com/ 1st lecture 10:00 am to 11:30 am 2nd lecture 1:30 pm to 03:00 pm Saturday May 9th Pine Needles Quilt & Sew 1300 Salem Road SW Rochester, MN 55902 507-226-8480 http://www.pnqs.net/ info@pnqs.net 1st lecture 10:00 am to 11:30 am 2nd lecture 01:30 pm to 03:00 pm Monday May 11th Blue Bamboo 12865 Industrial Park Blvd Plymouth, Minnesota invisiliz@gmail.com 763-744-1105 or 800-323-1105 http://www.mybluebamboo.com/ 1st lecture 06:00 pm to 07:30 pm Tuesday May 12th QUILTER’S HAVEN 2930 146th Street Suite 108 Rosemount, MN 55068 Telephone: 651-322-7071 Email Us: quilthav@frontiernet.net http://www.quiltershavenmn.com/ 1st lecture 06:00 pm to 07:30 pm The next lectures are already being scheduled and posted in Arizona, Massachusetts and wherever the wind takes him! To keep tuned in to the event schedule please visit Alex Veronelli’s Events Page.