The Sewing Gnome by Sue O’Very

Sue O’Very is a machine emroidery genius. We have long admired her in the hoop embroidery designs and have been educated and entertained by her effervescent instructional videos for years. She works on projects ranging from stand alone embroidery designs to applique, simple zippies to intricate sewing room accessories & jewelry.

We love her style and we are completely enamored with her latest in the hoop projects featuring her brand new Aurifil thread collection!

Sue’s debut Aurifil thread collection is The Sewing Gnome. It features a gorgeous range of bright colors and handy neutrals in Sue’s go-to 50wt. It is a wonderful starter set for anyone who thought machien embroidery couldn’t be done with 100% Cotton thread! Sue is ready to prove you wrong and change the way you think about machine embroidery!

The Sewing Gnome
100% Aurifil Cotton, 12 Large Spools, 50wt (1422yds/spool)
Colors included:
1231 – 1148 – 2250 – 2120 – 2105 – 1104
4020 – 2540 – 2024 – 2620 – 1318 – 2692

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

Sue has introduced three super fab new in the hoop patterns — a tape measure cover, a scissors case, and a mushroom home pin cushion. Check out the lookbook here (or click on the image below) and then head to Sue’s website to grab the free patterns, along with links to Sue’s signature videos and some handy tips. (pro tip: don’t miss the awesome little embroidered Aurifil spools!)

What first drew you to to the world of sewing and quilting?

When I was very young my father told me his mother was a fashion designer in the 40’s in NYC. I began sewing at around 5, made all my own clothing in High School, went to college for fashion design and have been in the sewing industry my entire career.

Who or what has been your greatest creative inspiration?
My greatest inspiration is my daughter Heidi. It was because of her I started my business and now that she is older she helps me create things, choose colors, design and she is my best brainstorming companion.

When did you first discover Aurifil threads and what do you love most about them?
First time I was introduced to the Aurifil thread was at a quilt shop where my friend was a manager at. She showed me how she used the thread to stitch one of my Enchanted Paris designs. I bought a bunch of colors and fell in love. It was so nice to have thread which could be used to sew and embroider with.

How did you go about selecting colors for The Sewing Gnome and what excites you most about releasing the collection to the world?
Color is a very personal thing but for me I love bright, happy and cheerful colors. Most all my fabric and projects are made with fuchsia, teal and lime green. My logo even has those colors. The Sewing Gnome needed some good basics, black, white, red, because it just fit perfect with lady bugs. Next was adding those fun bright colors, orange, purple, yellow. The Sewing Gnome collection will fit into any sewing room.

Can you tell us about the projects that you created, that we can see featured in the e-booklet?
There are three machine embroidery In the Hoop projects. In the hoop is a term used which means the projects are created entirely inside the embroidery hoop. I began with the Lady Bug tape measure cover. I have always wanted one and this was the perfect time to create it. The Mushroom Sewing Studio was an obvious choice for our Sewing Gnome and of course every sewist needs a scissor case.

Do you have any tips for working with Aurifil 50wt for machine embroidery?
Absolutely!! My first tip would be to use an upright vertical thread stand. I prefer a metal one or some machines have them on the back of the machine. When stitching at such high speeds the thread works best when gliding off the top of the spool. Second tip would be to use a Universal sewing needle size 80/12. For some reason, this just worked the best. I know it might sound silly but it works.


To enter-to-win in our fabulous giveaway, click here to head to the Rafflecopter entry page, or simply click on the image above.

FIRST PRIZE – Sue’s The Sewing Gnome thread collection + a $50 Gift Card to Sue’s Shop
SECOND PRIZE – a $25 Gift Card to Sue’s Shop
THIRD PRIZE – a $10 Gift Card to Sue’s Shop

You do not have to complete all the options to be entered but the more options you choose, the more entries you have!  Entries will be accepted from now through 11:59pm Eastern Time on Friday, December 15! Winner will be randomly selected and announced here on Saturday, December 16. Good luck!


Sue is an artist, pattern and embroidery designer. Her background in costume and fashion design shines through when creating a new collection. Sue loves to bring fast, fun and adorable projects to her friends and sharing tips and tricks along the way. She is full of sewing knowledge and a few jokes too. You will always find Sue with a mechanical pencil and sketchpad.


** Images, biographical text and interview text by Sue O’Very

Solstice by Fourth and Sixth Designs

Solstice is the gorgeous new collection by Barbara and Mary of Fourth and Sixth Designs for Island Batik. It was introduced at Spring Quilt Market earlier this year and is just now shipping to stores. We’ve been entranced since the introduction, largely due to the magnificent Block of the Month that was launched to feature the collection. The program is available to shops and Barbara and Mary have created a fantastic series of videos to help participants with new techniques along the way.

Solstice Block of the Month by Fourth and Sixth Designs

Beyond the projects created with these stunning batiks, we’re fairly smitten with the color palette. A good part of our US team is moving swiftly into Winter, rapidly approaching Winter Solstice. These colors speak of Winter walks in the woods, nights by the fire, clean and crisp evergreens, and woodland animals. It makes us feel festive and cozy, everything we want right around this time of year!

We were thrilled to partner with Barbara and Mary on a thread collection to coordinate with the fabrics. They selected 12 gorgeous spools of 40wt thread, the exact colors that they used for the piecing, appliqué, and quilting on their gorgeous quilts.

100% Aurifil Cotton, 12 Large Spools, 40wt (1094yds/spool)
Colors included:
2260, 2692, 2630, 2625, 2021, 5024
4012, 2975, 2335, 1158, 6726, 2370

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

What first drew you to the world of sewing and quilting? 

Our mother was our first teacher. We are from a family with six children, five girls and one boy. We were each taught to use the sewing machine when we turned ten. Our mother made all of our clothing back then and she was always sewing. If she wasn’t sewing for us she was sewing for an event at school. It has always been in our lives.

Spiced Pears by Fourth and Sixth Designs

Who or what has been your greatest creative inspiration? 
Nature and beautiful bright batik fabrics.

Night Owl by Teri Tope of Tope Creative

When did you first start working together and was it exciting to have the opportunity to collaborate as sisters?
Mary was the owner of a quilt shop and in need of someone to sew shop samples. Barbara didn’t so much as volunteer as she was coerced into the job! The rule was that she could make anything she wanted but she only had a week to complete the project. Customers began requesting the instructions for the things we were making so Mary began jotting down some directions. In a very short time we realized that we were a pattern company. Our name reflects our birth order, Fourth (Barbara) & Sixth ( Mary) Designs.

Snowfall by Fourth and Sixth Designs

What would you say are your individual strengths within the business – have you settled into particular roles? 
We both design. Each one of us may start a project but it’s never truly complete without collaboration. Barbara is the exclusive longarm quilter. Mary is the technical writer. She is also the shipping department because Barbara still quilts for clients full time. We both answer email but phone calls go to Barbara. Piecing projects falls on whomever has the most time in their schedule.

Mod Owl by Sew Kind of Wonderful

Tell us about Solstice. What inspired the designs? 
Living in the Northern hemisphere, Winter solstice marks the shortest day and the longest night of the year. Winter is officially upon us and snow will soon follow. It means outdoor activities like sledding, skiing and snow tubing.

How did the Solstice BOM come together? 
It is based on photographs taken in Barbara’s back yard. The quilt was designed by both  of us.

Do you have a favorite block in the BOM? 
Probably the Geese block because it was the first to be finished and had been an image we wanted to make a quilt out of for a long time.

What do you love most about the design? 
The final composition — we often go through many variations before feeling like we “got it right”. Also, being able to design the batiks for this project made it possible to get exactly the look we wanted.

Barbara with the Solstice BOM quilt in Aurifil’s booth at Houston Quilt Market 2017

Do you have any tips for participants looking to get started? 
Watch our YouTube videos. We show you exactly how to use our appliqué technique and how to do the edge coloring with the Aurifil thread. It is a technique that any quilter can do.

(stay tuned for a series of posts talking about these videos and how to ultilize them — coming in January 2018.)

How did you go about selecting colors for the coordinating Solstice thread collection and what excites you most about releasing the collection to the world? 
All of the thread in this collection was chosen because the colors matched the fabrics perfectly and each thread is used for the appliqué and quilting of this quilt.  One of the many things we love about Aurifil is that you can always find the exact color you need.  We choose a 40wt thread for how beautifully it layers and covers the edges of the appliqué.


To enter-to-win Fourth & Sixth Design’s Solstice thread collection, a bundle of Solstice Fabric by Fourth & Sixth Designs for Island Batik, and a Solstice BOM pattern, click here to head to the Rafflecopter entry page. You do not have to complete all the options to be entered but the more options you choose, the more entries you have!  Entries will be accepted from now through 11:59pm Eastern Time on Thursday, December 14! Winner will be randomly selected and announced here on Friday, December 15. Good luck!

Website — Blog — Facebook — YouTube — Pinterest
Barbara_Mary1-300x199Barbara and Mary are award winning quilt artists and their quilts have been published in many quilting magazines and have been featured in Keepsake Quilting and Clotilde. They were born the fourth and sixth children in a close knit family in south Jersey. Their mother taught these Jersey girls garment sewing at the young age of ten. Skilled in all areas of sewing, Barbara began quilting in 1983 during the long New England winters while her husband attended the University of New Hampshire. She moved to Pennsylvania in 1990 and continued quilting as a hobby. In 2000 she left the corporate world to start her long arm quilting business, Quilted Heirlooms. Mary began quilting in 1992 when she moved to upstate New York. As a stay at home mom, she needed a creative outlet and immediately knew quilting was the answer she was looking for. She began teaching quilting classes in 1993 and eventually opened a quilt shop in 1999. Despite living 300 miles apart, Barbara and Mary began collaborating shortly after the start of their own businesses. This collaboration quickly became a partnership which has grown into the pattern and design company, Fourth & Sixth Designs. In 2008, C&T Publishing released their first book, StrataVarious Quilts. And in 2013 became fabric designers for Island Batik.

Website — Blog — Facebook — Pinterest — Twitter — Instagram
Island Batik is a manufacturer, importer and distributor of cotton batik, rayon batik and hand-printed cotton from Indonesia. Originally established in 1997, Island Batik’s mission is to share the ancient cultural art of batik and hand-dyed fabric with our many valued customers around the world.

*Photos courtesy of Island Batik.

Trade Winds Pillow by Amy Friend

We love the modern lines + the bold and neutral colors of Amy Friend’s Improv collection. Released in partner with Benartex/Comtempo at International Quilt Market this past Spring, Improv was Amy’s debut collection and she hit it out of the park. She has been posting inspiring projects showcasing both the fabric and the thread all year and we love each new one more than the last.

If you’d like to learn more about the collection, don’t miss our Summer announcement. If you’re interested in purchasing Amy’s fabrics or her coordinating Aurifil thread collection, please check in with your local quilt shop.

We’re so thrilled to have Amy as a guest here on Auribuzz today. She is sharing a brand new FREE project, perfect to stitch up as a holiday gift for a loved one. Thank you, Amy!!


I wanted to design a simple project that showed off this bow print from my Improv fabric collection.  I drafted a simple paper pieced template and used my Wafer lightbox to position the fabric just so within each triangle so each triangle was identical. I love little details like this in an otherwise simple project!

I quilted the pillow with lines that echo the center row of triangles but extend to the outer edges of the pillow, about a half inch apart.  Within the triangles, I quilted more densely.  The directionality of the triangles in this project suggest wind to me so I am calling this pillow Trade Winds.

This pillow is a great project to accompany my Paper Trail quilt.  The pattern for the quilt can be found in my book, Improv Paper Piecing.

Of course both projects are pieced and quilted with Aurifil 50 weight thread from my designer collection.

I hope you enjoy this free pattern!


WebsiteBlogFacebookInstagramTwitter — Shop

Amy Friend is a former museum collections curator turned designer and modern quilter. She has authored two books published by Lucky Spool Media: Intentional Piecing and Improv Paper Piecing. Improv is her first fabric collection, newly released with Contempo, a division of Benartex. Amy enjoys lecturing and teaching in hopes of spreading her love of paper piecing and modern quilt design!



100% Aurifil Cotton, 12 Large Spools, 50wt (1422yds/spool)
Colors included:
1147 – 2455 – 2452 – 6723 – 2420 – 2600
2610 – 1246 – 2125 – 2021 – 2315 – 4060

Frolic by Tamara Kate

We were introduced to the gorgeous designs of Tamara Kate earlier this year, shortly before the release of her debut Aurifil collection, Frolic. We instantly fell in love with her style and have been coveting her fabrics ever since. Frolic was inspired by a Mexican Fiesta, featuring hand-painted critters cavorting in a whimsical flower garden. The designs are  sweet, bright, and playful and we could think of about 100 different things that we’d like to make with them! The collection features 19 Cottons + 9 Knits — so much possibility!

Tamara’s coordinating thread collection is a beautiful and bright display of 50wt threads. Versatile and classic, the threads ensure you’ll have everything you need to make any project that your heart desires. There are even TWO spools of our classic white (#2024) for all of your piecing needs!

100% Aurifil Cotton, 12 Large Spools, 50wt (1422yds/spool)
Colors included:
4020 – 2805 – 6737 – 2865 – 2024 – 2479
2150 – 2277 – 3770 – 2730 – 2780 – 2024

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

What first drew you to to the world of sewing and quilting? 
I learned to sew at a very young age as I grew up with a mom who made most of our clothes. I would love sitting in her room while she sewed, looking through the patterned fabrics or ribbons or button box she kept in her sewing table. She had a collection of vintage lace from my grandmother and great aunts whose designs enthralled me as a child. She dabbled from time to time in most of the needle arts, so I was exposed to embroidery, quilting, needlepoint, applique, etc. throughout my childhood. I was always a pretty creative kid, so I naturally picked up on her passions. It’s a hereditary thing in our family, as my mom learned from her mom and my children, in their turn have both shown an interest in sewing.

Who or what has been your greatest creative inspiration?
While I could list loads of names of creatives from multiple disciplines, I would say that what gets my juices flowing the most is Mother Nature. My eyes are always alert to little details in my surroundings when outdoors… the shapes of leaves, the particular blends of colors in flowers, the fanciful wings of butterflies & plumage of birds. While my memory is pretty poor for most things, I can recall loads of specific details of my natural environment during childhood in Trinidad, from the multitude of types of fern leaves, to the vibrantly colored birds and flowers, to the beautiful (and dangerous) particular hue of pinky-purple of a portuguese man of war washed up on the beach. So many of those younger memories influence what I design today. Especially insects. For whatever reason, I have a thing with bugs.

How did you first connect with Michael Miller and what do you love most about working with them?
I had been designing fabric on Spoonflower for a year when I entered their annual contest to win a contract with a fabric house. I placed third in the contest, but that was enough to have attention drawn to my work (the power of the internet at play) and I received an email from Kathy Miller the following week asking if I’d like to design for them. Michael Miller Fabrics is a dream company to work with. They are very supportive of their licensed designers, are open to our ideas, both from a creative and a business perspective, and they give us the flexibility to produce collections through them as frequently or infrequently as we are able. There is definitely a feeling of family and connectedness there that I love.

Tell us about Frolic. What inspired the designs? 
Frolic was inspired by a Mexican fiesta. I wanted to create a whimsical collection that is sweet, bright, happy and playful. Frolic’s main feature, I think, is its saturated colors. The bluest of blues are paired with clear oranges, pinks and greens and are all balanced with a fair dose of clean white that adds lots of fresh air to the mix. Hand-painted critters cavort in a fantasy flower garden where blossoms replace the spines on the back of a hedgehog, where the air is full of petals and where love abounds. The collection includes 19 cottons (including a double border print) and my first lovely, soft knits, 9 in total.

Do you have a favorite project or projects made with the collection? 
This is always a tough question for me. I get attached to most projects I sew pretty easily. If I had to choose, I would say it would be the most colorful Frolic project I created, the Over the Mountain Quilt. While it is a very simple, straightforward sew, I love the dynamic visual element created by the use of color and the simple, yet strong inverted “V” formation in the layout. It also made for some fun fussy cutting, highlighting lots of cute creatures.

When did you first discover Aurifil threads and what do you love most about them? 
In all honesty, I had never used Aurifil threads before my Frolic collection. All my quilting friends swear by them, but I am almost always sewing to a deadline and need to get projects done in such a short timespan that I usually just run to the closest fabric store and grab a few spools of the appropriate color of whatever polyester thread they have on hand. I really always thought thread was just thread and could not conceive of how a company could do anything to make it better than another. That has all changed. Hands-down, I am a convert. The lustre that Aurifil threads have that I’ve not seen elsewhere is just gorgeous. Even though it is cotton, it looks and feels a bit like silk. I think my favorite quality though is the fact that when I am hand stitching my quilt bindings, the thread does not get twisted and knotted like all that other thread always did. It is truly a lovely product to work with and will always be on my machine from here on in.

How did you go about selecting colors for Frolic and what excites you most about releasing the collection to the world? 
Choosing thread colors for Frolic was a no-brainer. I just went with all the rich grounds in the fabric collection, so there are the deepest of blues, through lighter tones to juicy citrus oranges, leafy greens and floral pinks. One variegated softer blue spool adds a little something extra-special and I added 2 spools of white to the collection as there are lots of prints on white grounds in the group and they are an obvious basic that will be quickly used. While the colors are, of course, specific to the Frolic fabric collection, they are also basic colors that will be used frequently by all those who love sewing with full-on color.

What’s next for you? 
I am excited to have 2 additional fabric collections for 2017. Words of Wisdom, a small but special collection, largely highlights colors that are used in the Frolic collection, so my thread kit plays double duty. Joy debuted at Fall Quilt Market and will ship to shops in February. This all means I spent most of the year happily sewing away in my studio, something that will continue through the New Year and beyond! You can keep track of my creative happenings on on my blog and on Instagram.


To enter-to-win Tamara’s Frolic thread collection, a bundle of Frolic fabrics by Tamara Kate for Michael Miller, 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 Tuesday, December 12! Winner will be randomly selected and announced here on Wednesday, December 13. Good luck!


Tamara is a quilter, surface designer, illustrator and licensed fabric designer, residing in Montreal. Having spent her youth in the Caribbean plays a large part in Tamara’s design aesthetic. She is greatly inspired by nature, color and pattern and plays on a combination of her children’s current fascinations and her own childhood memories to tell stories through design. She creates work that is fresh, joyous and youthful with a touch of whimsy. Tamara enjoys teaching sewing and design projects, large and small, through both online sources and in-person workshops.

Visit to see her work and latest projects.

** Images, biographical text and interview text by Tamara Serrao

Meadow Dance

Meadow Dance is a wonderful new collection by Aurifil Designer Amanda Murphy for Contempo/Benartex. The collection features a lovely range of colors to choose from including soft aqua with cool accents of red and green, lilac, and blue. Large scale and richly colored florals are offset by smaller scale prints and textures. Amanda has also included a learning panel designed for rulerwork on domestic or longarm machines. We can’t wait to see what you all make with this collection!!

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Stitch the 2012 DOM Reboot: November

Welcome to Month 11 of our Stitch the 2012 DOM Reboot! If you are just joining us, we’ve presenting a brand new version of one of our 2012 blocks on the last Thursday of every month over the course of the year. We’ve been loving the opportunity to work on our hand-stitching, particularly because it’s a fabulous on-the-go activity, particularly while traveling around the holidays! Where is your favorite spot to hand-stitch?

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Flutter by Kari Carr

Today, we are thrilled to hand Auribuzz over to Aurifil Designer Kari Carr of New Leaf Stitches! Kari’s debut collection, All a Twitter, released at Spring Quilt Market earlier this year and we introduced it here last month. Kari has created a sweet little free project, Flutter, that pairs her threads with fabrics from her coordinating All a Twitter fabric collection with Hoffman Fabrics. Thank you, Kari!

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Stitch the 2012 DOM Reboot: October

Welcome to Month 10 of our Stitch the 2012 DOM Reboot! If you are just joining us, we’re presenting a brand new version of one of our 2012 blocks on the last Thursday of every month. We’ve been loving the opportunity to work on our hand-stitching, particularly because it’s a fabulous on-the-go activity, particularly while traveling around the holidays (and for International Quilt Market)! Where is your favorite spot to hand-stitch?

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The Subtle Sampler

We adore Karen of Redbird Quilt Co. She is kind, caring, and often hilarious. ❤ She is incredibly talented in her home machine quilting skills, something that she shares far and wide across this great country of ours. She has long been a friend to Aurifil and we keep a close eye on her social media accounts, always anxious to see the next piece of art that furthers her glorious quilty journey.

We jumped at the chance to collaborate on a collection with her, to accompany her lectures and classes, to showcase her super quilting style… The Subtle Sampler is just that — a sampler of Aurifil thread weights in fabulously subtle colors (with a few pops here and there). This box could just be the go-to for new Aurifil users looking to try everything out, or even for loyal Aurifil users eager to branch out from their normal 50wt go-tos. With 50wt, 40wt, 28wt, 12wt AND our two shades of monofilament, this box has everything a quilter could possibly need!

Karen has been kind enough to share some of her inspirations with us, including a few fabulous showcase pieces to illustrate how to use multiple thread weights within one piece.

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East-Meets-West Quilts

When Patricia Belyea of Okan Arts first approached us about a collaboration, we were honored. We’d worked with her on a number of giveaways and had always admired her designs with Yukata Cottons. She shared news of her book deal and we started to hatch a plan. It’s been a long time coming and we are now delighted to share news of Patricia’s book in partner with Abrams, East-Meets-West Quilts.

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