Stitch the 2012 DOM Reboot: March

We’ve made it to Month 3 of our Stitch the 2012 DOM Reboot! On the last Thursday of every month, we’re presenting a brand new version of one of our 2012 blocks. What a great excuse to slow things down a bit and work on our hand-stitching. We love the portability of a hand-stitched project. It’s just as easy to stitch on your couch as it would be at a friend’s house, on a trip, or even by the pool! (Can you telling we’re dreaming of Summer days?)

Aurifil offers 270 stunning colors of both our 100% Cotton 12wt thread and Aurifloss, our 100% Cotton 6-strand floss. This year long stitch-along is a wonderful excuse to give some of those colors a try. 😉

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Original 2012 Designer of the Month Quilt Setting

These blocks were originally made with Aurifil 12wt.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

Victoria Findlay Wolfe created her Spring if We’re Lucky block in March of 2012. She selected the image for this block because…

“I had to go with the shamrocks and flowers designing “Spring if We’re Lucky.” March used to mean “Spring”, so I added flowers to the shamrock. Although these days… it might be wise to start adding in some snowflakes.”

Amazing that her statement still rings true 5 years later. Depending on where you live, you may still have some snow kicking around in your own yard! Victoria used our 12wt in a range of 4 colors for this original block:

  • 2140 – Golden Yellow
  • 2865 – Dark Green
  • 2888 – Light Green
  • 4660 – Variegated pink

Learn more about Victoria and her block in the original post, right here.

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DOWNLOAD the Spring if We’re Lucky Pattern
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We were thrilled that Victoria stitched up this lovely new version of her block! Don’t you just love how the colors pop against the black and white? Victoria loves stitching with our 12wt thread and used 5 colors from her Fresh Modern & Timeless Collection to bring this beauty to life: 2975, 2520, 5017, 4020, 2430. The fabrics used are the Black Chevron and White Chevron prints from her Meadow Storm Collection. Perfection!

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

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

LINKY PARTY
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Stitch up your very own version of Spring if We’re Lucky and upload a photo of your block to our linky party. We’ll randomly select one winner per month to receive a small box of our 100% Cotton 6-strand Aurifloss. Simply click on the button below to head to our link party page to add your block image. Entries will be accepted until 11:55pm on April 26. Winner will be chosen and announced here on April 27, the date of our next block!

HANDY LINKS
Original March 2012 DOM Post
Spring if We’re Lucky Pattern
Aurifil Patterns Page

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

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

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

Aurifil 2017 March Designer of the Month – Melissa Corry

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

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

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

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

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

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

Let’s get to know Melissa!

Continue reading

Stitch the 2012 DOM Reboot: February

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

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Original 2012 Designer of the Month Quilt Setting

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Aurifil 2017 February Designer of the Month – Maureen Cracknell

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

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 certain color to create their block in.

February is a perfect month for the talented Maureen Cracknell’s to visit with us. Her gorgeous Art Gallery fabrics and her expert eye for color always has her matching just the right Aurifil threads. Her color is Blue-Purple, you are going to love meeting her and sewing her block!

You can listen to Maureen and I talk about her freemotion stitching  on my Talk Show  

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

Let’s get to know Maureen!

Continue reading

Stitch the 2012 DOM Reboot: January

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Welcome to Stitch the 2012 DOM Reboot! On the last Thursday of every month, we’ll bring you a brand new version of one of our 2012 blocks. We simply adore hand-stitching — the way that it slows us down, lets us focus on each and every simple stitch. It’s a glorious way to refocus at the end of a long day. Plus, it doesn’t hurt that Aurifil offers 270 stunning colors of Aurifloss, our 100% Cotton 6-strand floss, but… we digress.

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Original 2012 Designer of the Month Quilt Setting

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

Roseann Kermes of Rosebud’s Cottage first introduced her Snowbird block in January of 2012. It was a sweet red bird, a cardinal perhaps, accented in cool blues to signify the icy ways of Winter. She used the 12wt in a range of 7 colors: 2260 – red, 2692 – Black, 2975 – dark gold, 4182 – turquoise, 4663 – variegated turquoise, 4671 – variegated brown, and 5006 – light turquoise. Learn more about Roseann in the original post, right here.

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We absolutely love how a few key color changes partnered with an entirely different border can give the block such a different look. Our very own Hilary Jordan (also of Young Texan Mama) stitched this version using Roseann’s original block pattern. She used our Aurifloss in the following colors: 2888, 2024, 2250, 6010, 1320, 2630, 5006, 5024.

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

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

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

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

HANDY LINKS
Original January 2012 DOM Post
Snow Bird Pattern
Aurifil Patterns Page

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

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

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

 

Aurifil 2017 January Designer of the Month – Janet Clare

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

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

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

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

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

Let’s get to know Janet!

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?

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

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

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

{My wedding quilt from my grandma!}

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

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

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What is your background prior to designing fabric?

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

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

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

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

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 Where do you work? would you change anything?

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

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

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

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

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

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Do you have a super storage tip?

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

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The hard question.. favorite color of Aurifil thread!

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

What about blue inspired your block?

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

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DOWNLOAD Amanda’s Flower block

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

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A few more things about me:

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

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

Follow me:

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

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

Website Thequiltedfish.com

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

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

COME SEE ALL the Designer Blocks on my Design wall!

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

Are you on Facebook? I have a fantastic quilt group with the most incredible show and tell going on! You should see it! JOIN me HERE … I’d love to meet you!

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******* JOIN our Aurifil Family  *******

EACH MONTH we will pick one random winner that has made a block.. that person will receive a special Aurifil thread prize! Winners are all contacted email

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Our RANDOM picker this month selected Ev!  She has WON a BOX of Aurifil thread! Such gorgeous blocks entered .. see all the great versions HERE

REMEMBER – The Photo entry is moved to my website where more people can enter, right HERE

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Aurifil 2016 November Designer of the Month Kim Niedzwiecki

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

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

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

Let’s get to know Kim!

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Meet the 2017 Aurifil Design Team!

Hi I’m Pat Sloan, the host of Aurifil’s Designer of the Month program!  This is going to be an excellent year for sewing along with our AMAZING Designer team! We’ll meet one a month and they have a challenge block for you. Sew the block and You might win a BOX of thread, and NOT the small one.. wink!

Our project this year is a Block of the Month done in the colorwheel. Each designer is assigned a primary color on the wheel and will create a block using that color + white.  I’m really looking forward to working with this super talented group!

Let me introduce you to them!

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Group Photo Back – Alex, Heather Givens, Vanessa Goertzen,  Me, Janet Clare
Front –  Helen Stubbings, Amanda Murphy, Sarah Maxwell,  and Elena
  1. Jan – Blue – Janet Clare www.janetclare.co.uk/home.htm

  2. Feb – Blue-Purple – Maureen Cracknell maureencracknellhandmade.blogspot.com/

  3. Mar – Purple – Melissa Corry www.happyquiltingmelissa.com/

  4. Apr – Red-Purple – Sue Marsh – www.wpcreek.com/

  5. May – Red – Mathew Boudreaux misterdomestic.net/

  6. June – Red-Orange – Sarah Maxwell www.designsbysarahj.com/ and www.homesteadhearth.com/

  7. July – Orange – Shruti Dandekar shrutidandekar.com/

  8. August – Yellow-Orange – Brenda Ratliff www.pinkcastlefabrics.com/ and www.justabitfrayed.com/

  9. Sept – Yellow – Vanessa Goertzen lellaboutique.blogspot.com/

  10. Oct – Yellow-Green – Helen Stubbings www.hugsnkisses.net and www.facebook.com/helenshugsnkisses

  11. Nov – Green – Heather Givans – Crimson Tate www.crimsontate.com/  www.instagram.com/crimsontate  

  12. Dec – Blue-Green Amanda Murphy – blog.amandamurphydesign.com/

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Top –   Maureen Cracknell, Melissa Corry, Mathew Boudreaux

Bottom – Sue Marsh, Shruti Dandekar, and Brenda Ratliff with Alex & Elena

Hosted by – Pat Sloan blog.patsloan.com for  CBDO Alex Veronelli and CEO of Aurifil USA Elena Gregotti.

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Here I am, with Halloween Pony Tails in front of my version of the 2015 Block of the Month. If you followed along you may notice it doesn’t look like 12 mini quilts! I made each mini, or a portion of it, then assembled into one quilt. The fabric is all my mines from Moda!  The quilting is by award winning quilter Shelly Pagliai of Prairemoon Quilts

My quilt is going to do some traveling with Aurifil before it returns home to me.

Each Interview comes out about the 15th of the month. Interested in the FREE Patterns from Prior years, see our PATTERN PAGE.

Piece and Quilt by Christa Watson

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Christa Watson of Christa Quilts fell in love with quilting back in 1994 and never looked back! She is now known as an authority on machine quilting and has two recent book releases to support her passion, Machine Quilting with Style and The Ultimate Guide to Machine Quilting (co-authored with Angela Walters). Christa’s debut Aurifil thread collections pull from her go-to thread 50wt threads in Colors and Neutrals. These collections are the perfect companion for any quilting project!

[illustrations by Sabrina Vincent]

THREAD COLLECTION DETAILS
Piece and Quilt Collection: Colors

12 Large Spools, 50 wt, 1422yds/each
2250 – 1133 – 2920 – 2130 – 2884 – 2886 – 2783 – 2725 – 2520 – 1148 – 4020 – 2425

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Piece and Quilt Collection: Neutrals
12 Large Spools, 50 wt, 1422yds/each
2024 – 2311 – 2405 – 2315 – 2615 – 5007 – 2605 – 1246 – 2326 – 5021 – 2372 – 4241

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

THE INTERVIEW
Can you tell us a bit about yourself and how you first got started in the world of quilting?
Growing up, my mom was a very talented seamstress and I remember going to the fabric store to pick out funky prints which she would then sew into wild pants and mini skirts for me. (I was into the “mod” style back then – if anyone even remembers what that was!!) But she never made any quilts, so I hadn’t ever seen one before. She tried to get me involved in sewing but I was NOT interested at all. However, I do remember fondly sticking straight pins into the holes of her old Singer sewing machine, wondering where they went…

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Fast forward to my early twenties, and my quilting journey started when some church friends invited me to tie quilts for charity. Exploring the fabrics, and making each hand-tied stitch was the most fun, tactile thing I’d ever done. One of these friends invited me over to her house to make a quilted pillow a few weeks later, and I was hooked! It was love at first stitch. I clearly remember my friend showing me how to use her machine which was some brand I had never heard of before – a BERNINA. All these years later I am still a loyal BERNINA fan and I’m also a brand ambassador for the company.

Of course, what comes around goes around, as I discovered many years ago, when I found my young children gleefully sticking straight pins into the holes of my new sewing machine!

Do you remember the process of creating your first quilt and how you felt once it was finished?
My first quilt was made for my husband Jason – a simple nine patch made for his birthday during our first year of marriage. (That was 22 years ago!) I remember making one block at a time, with a sewing machine borrowed from my mom. I didn’t know anything about using quarter inch seams, so no two blocks were the same size. But I remember feeling so proud as each block came off of the machine, and he still uses that quilt to this day! I’m kind of embarrassed to share it, but it just goes to show I’ve come a loooong way in my quilting journey!

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First Quilt

Who or what has been your greatest creative inspiration?
I have to give my mom credit here for not punishing me for playing with her pins, buttons and scraps when I was younger. Although it took me awhile to finally find sewing, she was always encouraging me in my crafty endeavors growing up. We tried everything from potato stamp carving and candy making to ceramics and crochet but none of them ever stuck. When I finally found quilting, she was eager to be my first quilting student, which then led me down the path of making quilting my career. After all, if you can teach your mom to do something fun and rewarding, you can teach anyone, right??

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Christa’s Pile of Quilts

 What do you love most about the art of machine quilting?
I love seeing the hand of the maker in one’s art, and I enjoy the fact that I can give my quilts a final layer of texture and design, using my own hands. Moving the quilt under the machine is a very meditative process for me, and I don’t worry about perfection as I form each stitch. It all goes back to that tactile quality which I love so much.

 

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You released your first book, Machine Quilting with Style last year, and recently released your second quilting book, The Ultimate Guide to Machine Quilting, co-authored with Angela Walters. What was the process of writing those books like and what did you love most about them?
In both books, I’ve been able to include patterns for not only how to piece the quilts, but how to quilt them, too, so they are both like two books in one. From the start, when I began teaching quilting on a regular basis, I would take my students through the entire process of making a complete quilt, from start to finish.

Writing both of these books has allowed me to take the teaching process I developed over the years and put it into book form, with the enthusiasm and encouragement I offer in my live classes.

Working with Angela on the second book was a fabulous experience. She quilts on a long-arm while I quilt on a sit-down domestic machine, and we both agree that it’s so important for our readers to have fun and not stress while they discover the type of quilting that appeals to them the most.

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Facets

Do you have a favorite project from the book?
My favorite quilt from Machine Quilting with Style is Facets. It was the first quilt I designed for the book and once I came up with it, I knew I was onto something. It allows you to combine both walking foot quilting and free-motion quilting, which is my favorite way to quilt.

My favorite quilt from The Ultimate Guide to Machine Quilting is Swirling Butterflies because it’s the first time I made a wholecloth quilt. I really stretched my skills with that one, and I love that both books offer a wide variety of designs for all skill levels. Both quilts were entirely pieced and quilted with Aurifil thread, of course!!

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Swirling Butterflies

 If you could recommend one pattern that would be an excellent starting point for machine quilting beginners, what would it be and why?
I would recommend Little Man’s Fancy from Machine Quilting with Style, quilted with “shattered” straight lines. The one block quilt is fast and easy to make and the size is easy enough to handle under the machine for the first time out. Straight lines are quilted haphazardly allover the quilt so the process is super fun and fast and there’s literally no way to mess it up. Whenever I teach beginners I always like to start with walking foot quilting because it gives them the confidence that their quilts can look great with minimal practice and effort. Then, once I have them hooked, I ease them into gradually more complex designs.

 

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Little Man’s Fancy

 When did you first discover Aurifil threads and what do you love most about them? Do you have a favorite color/weight?
I’ve been using them since the summer of 2013 after I kept seeing the name pop everywhere on social media. In all my years of quilting I had never found the brand that was right for everything I wanted to do. When I noticed that all my friends and those I follow were raving about them on social media, I had to give them a try. Once I did, I quickly cleaned out my thread stash and got rid of everything else! In fact, I know the date because I wrote about them on my blog for the first time here.

Christa loves matching her threads to her fabrics!

Christa loves matching her threads to her fabrics!

I love all of the colors of the 50 weight cotton because I can use them for everything I do – piecing, quilting and binding. I like to use matching or blending threads when I machine quilt, so only storing one type of thread for everything really simplifies my quilting life. Plus, any leftover bobbins from machine quilting can be used when I piece or bind my next scrappy quilt. For me, that means no more wasted thread and tons more sewing efficiency!

How did you go about selecting threads for your Piece and Quilt Collection, and what excites you most about the range that you are presenting?
When I first set out to curate my collection, I took a good hard look at the colors I used the most in my own work. When I finally narrowed it down, I realized I had two collections – Colors and Neutrals. As the name implies, these 24 spools can help you make all of your quilts. The colored assortment includes the entire rainbow spectrum so there’s a color for everything. And you’d be surprised how well the colors will blend, even if it’s not an exact match.

Choosing Colors Quilt – Using Christa's favorite colors

Choosing Colors Quilt – Using Christa’s favorite colors

The neutrals include my favorite white and cream, my favorite “almost” black which shows up better on black fabric than pure black, three shades of gray (light, medium, dark), and a range of 6 other neutrals which fill in the gaps. I’ve been experimenting over the last few months, using only these colors from both collections and so far, they’ve been all I need. Like I said, I love simplicity and I hope you will, too!

AURIFIL DESIGNER OF THE MONTH
Christa was the Aurifil Designer of the Month for March 2016. Click on the image below to download her block pattern and learn more about the DOM program!

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BOOKS
 8b_Ultimate Guide to Machine Quilting     8a_Machine Quilting With Style

THE GIVEAWAY

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To enter-to-win 1 Large Piece and Quilt Aurifil Thread Collection + your choice of either Machine Quilting with Style or The Ultimate Guide to Machine Quilting, 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 Wednesday, October 26! Winner will be randomly selected and announced here on Thursday, October 27. Good luck!

Update: This Giveaway is now closed. Thank you to all who entered and Congratulations to our winner, Donna Cutting!!

ABOUT CHRISTA
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10-focal-pointChrista Watson is an award winning quilter, pattern designer, EQ artist and author who loves to teach others how to successfully quilt on a home sewing machine. She considers herself a cheerleader for the DIY modern aesthetic. She’s heavily involved in both modern and traditional quilt guilds and loves to encourage everyone to enjoy the style of quilting that appeals to them. Christa lives in Las Vegas, Nevada with her husband and three children who all think it’s normal to have a house full of fabric. Visit her at ChristaQuilts.com.

Get one of Christa’s free patterns here: http://eepurl.com/BZ3mL