Aurifil 2017 April Designer of the Month – Sue Marsh

2017 Aurifil DOM Apr Sue Marsh collage

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

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

Sue Marsh’s company name says it all, Whistlepig Creek, she designs fun and whimsical patchwork & applique.

Her signature color is Purple, so she wraps up the array with Red/Purple!

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 Sue!

Continue reading

Satin Stitching with Shannon Brinkley

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We are so thrilled to welcome designer Shannon Brinkley to Auribuzz! Shannon’s debut thread collection, Dryad, released last year. It is a gorgeous array of 12 colors of our 50wt thread, all selected to coordinate with her fabric line with Paintbrush Fabrics, a lovely combination of richly colored and low volume prints.

Shannon is well known for her Scrappy Applique technique and recently hosted a Scrappy Skyline Sew Along. We loved getting to see all of the different versions created and were particularly thrilled when Shannon chose to make a special skyline, just for Aurifil! So, without further pause, please join us in welcoming Shannon Brinkley!

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I am delighted to share my newest project with you as well as my pro tips for mastering my favorite appliqué stitch — the Satin Stitch!

First things first, let me introduce myself. My name is Shannon Brinkley, I am a quilt and fabric designer as well as an author and national speaker and teacher. I developed a fun and simple raw-edge appliqué technique I call Scrappy Appliqué. I teach this technique in my book, patterns, and in classes around the country. You can find out more about me and my work, here.

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I hear from a lot of people that appliqué is intimidating or that they’ve tried it in the past, hated it, and have avoided it since. One of my goals as a designer and teacher is to make appliqué fun and accessible. Scrappy Appliqué is quick and simple to pick up, yet allows for a lot of creative possibilities! I love the freedom that raw-edge appliqué allows — you can turn nearly any image into a quilt! And do so relatively easily.

One of my favorite appliqué designs to create are city skylines! I have over 125 different city skylines in my PDF Pattern shop, including my most recent collection of European and Canadian skylines! This quilt is of the Milan Skyline in honor of my favorite thread company’s home base. 🙂

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I used all Aurifil 50wt. cotton threads in this quilt, both for the quilting and the satin stitching. These fabulous threads are found in my Aurifil thread box for my recent fabric collection, Dryad. They are a dream to sew with.

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So let’s talk stitching. The satin stitch is my favorite appliqué stitch to use. I love the tidy/crisp finish it gives a project. It is especially ideal for detailed appliqué pieces, like these skylines. Satin stitching, like any skill, takes practice. Your first attempt at satin stitching will be far from perfect — AND THAT’S OKAY! I believe we need to give ourselves grace as craftsmen and women, and to not let fear of not being perfect scare us away from trying something new.

With that said, I do have a lot of pro tips that will help you achieve a much tidier and closer-to-perfect satin stitch!


Mastering the Satin Stitch

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Materials:

*I always use a stabilizer when I’m satin stitching, unless my background fabric is a very rigid fabric, like denim or canvas. If you don’t use a stabilizer, you will likely see “tunneling”, where the zig-zag stitch pinches the fabric and creates a tunnel between your appliqué piece and background fabric, as well as puckers. My favorite stabilizer to use with a satin stitch is a Tear-Away stabilizer, because after you’re finished, you simply tear it off.

Prep Work:

  • Make sure the appliqué piece and background are well pressed.
  • Pin or iron on the stabilizer to the back of your work (on the wrong side of your background fabric, behind the appliqué piece)
  • Select either a satin stitch or (if your machine doesn’t have one) the zig-zag stitch.
    • Adjust the stitch width to 2.5-3mm (my go-to is 2.7mm)
    • Adjust the stitch length to 0.5-0.8mm (my go-to is 0.7mm) — this will vary depending on the thread weight.
  • Test the stitch on scrap fabric.
    • if the stitch is not dense enough, decrease the length
    • if the stitch is so dense, it will hardly move forward, increase the length
    • if the stitch is too wide or narrow, adjust the width accordingly

Start Stitching:

Now you are ready to get stitching! Download my Master the Satin Stitch PDF for a complete guide on how to approach curves, corners, and points, to achieve a smooth and tidy stitch.

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I had a ball making beautiful Milan, Italy — this quilt makes me want to go jump on a plane! Check out my other 125 Scrappy Appliqué City Skyline Patterns to find your favorite city and get stitching!

Have you done much raw-edge appliqué? What has your experience been? Do you have a favorite stitch or thread to use?

ABOUT SHANNON
Website — BlogFacebookInstagramPinterest Twitter

screen-shot-2017-01-31-at-8-45-22-amShannon Brinkley is a teacher turned quilter and designer. She designs modern quilting patterns using her super fun and quick raw-edge applique techniques that she developed and wrote about in her book Scrappy Bits Applique. She just released her new line of Applique Patterns called Menagerie. They feature various sweet and whimsical animal templates, all made using her “scrappy applique” techniques.

She nests in the lovely Austin, Texas with her wonderful husband and son. She spends her time sewing, quilting, knitting, reading, writing, cooking, yoga-ing, teaching, and enjoying time with my favorite people.

THREAD COLLECTION DETAILS

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Dryad 
12 Large Spools, 50wt (1422yds/spool)
2725 – 6722 – 5002 – 5007 – 2140 – 6728
2850 – 2975 – 2615 – 2830 – 1104 – 2745

Island Batik Week: Dotalicious by Claudia Pfeil

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Welcome to day three of Island Batik week! We’re having a blast with these gorgeous collections this week. Of course we love seeing how the fabrics and threads are used and get a little giddy seeing our threads involved in such beautiful works of art, but really, we love learning about the designers. It’s fascinating to hear their back stories and to learn about what inspired the collections.

We’ll be featuring one Island Batik designer each day this week to showcase new fabric & coordinating Aurifil collections. Each post will offer a fabric + thread giveaway so make sure to come back daily to learn more about our talented designers to enter-to-win some gorgeous prizes!

ISLAND BATIK WEEK SCHEDULE 
1/10 – Coastal Mist by Tammy Silvers 
1/11 – Glowing Embers by Cheri Good Designs
1/12 – Dotalicious by Claudia Pfeil (YOU ARE HERE!)
1/13 – Surf and Sand by Fourth and Sixth Designs
1/14 – Fresh Catch by Jackie Kunkel

To learn about Island Batik and the batik process, please visit their website. For a peek at the full range of Fall/Winter 2016 releases, in-stores now, click here or on the image below to browse the catalog. To check in on Island Batik’s news, please visit their blog.

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Claudia Pfeil‘s latest collection with Island Batik is a absolute masterpiece! Designed by Kathy Engle and masterfully brought to life through Claudia’s expert quilting, Dotalicious features 60 different SKUs in 3 distinct color ways. Earth, Wind & Fire showcase a stunning display of rich batiks in a rainbow of colors.  The coordinating thread collection is truly a thing of beauty. 48 large spools of 50wt thread in one fabulous carrying case. These threads not only coordinate with the many hues of Dotalicious, they also provide an amazing stash of thread for beginners and experienced quilters alike. This is a piece to be coveted!

THREAD COLLECTION DETAILS
Dotalicious
48 Large Spools – 50wt (1422yds/spool), 100% Aurifil Cotton
1130 – 1135 – 1147 – 1154 – 1243 – 1246 – 2120 – 2145 – 2150 – 2155 – 2210  2230 – 2260 – 2265 – 2310 – 2311 – 2314 – 2324 – 2340 – 2360 – 2372 – 2430  2450 – 2460 –2468 – 2562 – 2582 – 2588 – 2610 – 2725 – 2745 – 2846 – 2860
2885 – 2888 – 2892 –2900 – 2910 – 4093 – 4140 – 4173 – 4182 – 4644 – 5005
5008 – 5017 – 5018 – 5022

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

THE INTERVIEW
How did you first get involved with this wonderful world of textiles?
Growing up in Hemer, a small town in the woods with 30,000 inhabitants, in a family of bankers (Mother, Father AND Brother), I was NOT involved or educated in handcrafts at all!  My teachers were a bit desperate about my future after school as I was not really a genius in mathematics, physics or latin language (normal classes in our German school system.) Handcrafting and arts were not on the teaching schedule, but I loved to draw and paint, and tried everything like pottery, silk painting, watercolour painting, and knotted carpets outside of school.

After school, I moved to Dortmund and started my apprenticeship as a display designer in a warehouse and discovered “Patchwork” in 1985 at a Creativa-Show.

Woven Connection by Claudia Pfeil Design

Woven Connection by Claudia Pfeil Design

Do you remember the first quilt that you ever made and how you felt once it was complete?
The quilt ‘Number One’ in 1985 came into being without the now common rotary cutter and rulers as such tools were unknown in Germany at the time. My basic sewing machine only had the use of securing the layers for hand quilting. There was much “trial and error” as I taught myself the tricks of making templates and seams to complete Number One.

That first quilt would hold it’s place as my only large sewing project. My move from Dortmund to Krefeld where I began studies at the University of Applied Sciences Niederrhein and my work as a textile designer drew my interests into different directions – I had the quilting fever – I just hadn’t fully discovered the wide world of quilting.

Satellite by Claudia Pfeil Design

Satellite by Claudia Pfeil Design

Who has been the most inspiring person within your creative career?
I am not able to name one special person as an inspiration, it was more an  collective absorbing. Ideas out of American magazines and books, learning the techniques – again trial and error, sharing ideas and thoughts with other German and European quilters.

How did you first get involved with Island Batik?
Roughly 3 years ago I published a picture of “Shadowplay”, a quilt I made for Quilt & Co, on Facebook/Social media. Quilters love to share and so do I! I received a message from Elizabeth at Island Batik asking whether I would be interested to publish this pattern. I received the fabrics and so everything started. Island Batik is a great company to work with and their fabrics are fabolous! 🙂

Meanwhile I designed about 10 original quilts for Island Batik and I am always eager and anxiously waiting to hold the new fabric lines in my hands to start the design and sewing process. I need to see and touch the fabrics/colors to get ideas for the new quilts/projects – I am not planning a quilt in advance.

Sentimental Scraps by Cindy Carter using Dotalicious Fabrics

Sentimental Scraps by Cindy Carter using Dotalicious Fabrics

What do you love most about Batik fabrics?
The points are:

  1. Haptic: feels good – it feels „crispy“
  2. Designs: Blending designs and colors, tons of variations
  3. Usage: nice and easy to sew and quilt, no fraying, solid-colored ( no left or right side
  4. Colors: brilliant, matching, soft transitions
  5. Handcraft : Individual and unique
Fractured by Freemotion by the River using Dotalicious Fabrics

Fractured by Freemotion by the River using Dotalicious Fabrics

How did you first discover Aurifil threads?
Aurifil is a European company (Italy), so for us Europeans it was logical to use their threads for sewing from the beginning. Also, Aurifil is very supportive and always developping new threads for the market. When I met Alex Veronelli the first time at Carrefour du Patchwork, a big and wonderful Quiltshow in France, he asked me to try a new thread on the Longarm.

What is your process for selecting the colors for the coordinating Aurifil thread collection?
That is a dream and a nightmare at the same time! Combining and  playing with the thread spools and fabrics on the one side… deciding between hundreds of  color options on the other side! The size of the box (number of spools) is the limit. But finally, you have to reduce it to the required number – that is the hard thing! I am always asking myself: What will I use?  If I am happy with that –  that is my final decision!

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THE GIVEAWAY

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This giveaway will have three lucky winners! Prizes are 1 FQ bundle of Dotalicious in the Earth colorway + coordinating Aurifil threads, 1 FQ bundle of Dotalicious in the Wind colorway + coordinating Aurifil threads, and 1 FQ bundle of Dotalicious in the Fire colorway + coordinating Aurifil threads. To enter-to-win,  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 January 17! Winner will be randomly selected and announced here on Wednesday, January 18. Good luck!

UPDATE: This giveaway is now closed. Congratulations to our winners, Karen Hootman, Judi Duncan, and Nancy A!

ABOUT CLAUDIA PFEIL
Website — Facebook
Claudia PfeilClaudia Pfeil has been sewing and piecing since she was a teen. She made her first quilt in 1985 but didn’t discover her absolute obsession with quilting until 1992. It was at that time that she began teaching and eventually opened a small shop in her home. By 1997, it was time to move the shop into a proper business space and Quilt and Co. was born. Claudia became the first European APQS dealer in 2005 and runs the entire European APQS showroom in Krefeld, Germany. In addition, she makes at least one show quilt a year, and recently took home first place prizes in two categories in addition to Best of Show and Best Long Arm Quilted at the International Quilt Show in Dubai.

ABOUT 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.

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.

IQSCM & The Preservation Collection

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Preservation 1830 – 1850 is a brand new thread box curated by Moda, benefitting the IQSCM. The threads were selected to accentuate a stunning reproduction quilt based on one of the historical quilts in Mark Dunn’s impressive collection, but stand just as well on their own.

THREAD COLLECTION DETAILS
Preservation 1830 – 1850
100% Aurifil 50wt Cotton, 12 Large Spools
2230 – 1103 – 2437 – 2310 – 2345 – 2314 – 2330 – 1285 – 2370 – 5013 – 4656 – 6726

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

FABRIC COLLECTION DETAILS
Dating to 1830, the original Medallion quilt from England that inspired this Preservation collection features a series of five different patchwork borders framing a unique, pre-printed panel that remains uncut. This is a classic style or Northumberland patchwork from the first half of the nineteenth century. The new fabric collection features 40 SKUs across 4 color ways.

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To learn more about the fabrics, precuts and patterns available, please click here or on the image above.

IQSCM
The International Quilt Study Center & Museum’s mission is to uncover the world through the cultural and artistic significance of quilts, and to research, acquire, and exhibit them in all their forms and expressions. The IQSCM is envisioned as a dynamic center of formal and informal learning and discovery for students, teachers, scholars, artists, quilters and others. The comprehensive and accessible collection of quilts, related textiles and documents form a primary text for study, insight and inspiration.

Quilt House October 2015 DY

To learn more about the IQSCM, view their online galleries and find out how to get involved, please click here or on the image above.

THE INTERVIEW
Can you tell us a bit about the history of the Medallion quilt that inspired the Preservation collection?
Medallion was made by an unknown maker, probably in Allendale region, England, circa 1830. The provenance on this quilt is largely unknown, however the style and fabrics tell us a lot about its origins.

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The original Medallion quilt, now on display at the IQSCM

Fiona Diaper, former manager of the Quilt Museum & Gallery in York, wrote:  “These visually pleasing Medallion quilts, which were particularly popular from 1800 to 1850, vary immensely in terms of design, construction and materials. Just as with different dialects and landscapes across the UK, quilts can sometimes show regional influences too. This lively version comes from the north of England.”

The reproduction Medallion Quilt -- for Preservation, Collection for a Cause

The reproduction Medallion Quilt — for Preservation, Collection for a Cause

Scholar Bridget Long agreed:  “The quilt’s center block is composed of four printed panels, that were manufactured to be cut apart and used in a variety of household furnishings. In addition, the quilt has quilting designs common in northern England in the period of 1800-1850.”

Can the public see this quilt on display?
The quilt was just shown in “Getting to Know You,” the inaugural exhibition in our newly expanded galleries, which opened in June 2015. Because of our strict protocols for caring for the collection, it will not show in our galleries in the near future. It may travel as a part of one of our featured exhibitions, which are shown throughout the world. For now, it can be seen on the online exhibition here and under Search the Collections on our site www.quiltstudy.org.

How did you go about selecting colors and thread weight for the coordinating thread collection?
Our director worked with our visitor services team—who happen to be quilters. We went with the 50-weight thread, because it is nice and fine for piecing. If you choose to use it for quilting, it enhances the three-dimensional texture without the thread being a focal point, which is true to the original piece. For the colors, we chose a variety that would blend and enhance the tones of the fabric.

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IQSCM-INSIDELO

Can you tell us more about the IQSCM and its mission?
The International Quilt Study Center & Museum at Quilt House is located on the University of Nebraska-Lincoln’s East Campus at 33rd and Holdrege streets. The museum has the world’s largest publicly held quilt collection, dating from the early 1700s to present and representing more than 45 countries. The IQSCM makes its academic home in the Department of Textiles, Merchandising & Fashion Design in the College of Education and Human Sciences. The International Quilt Study Center & Museum’s mission is to uncover the world through the cultural and artistic significance of quilts, and to research, acquire, and exhibit them in all their forms and expressions. For more information visit www.quiltstudy.org and find us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest and YouTube.

Moda fabric square copy

PRESERVATION/IQSCM RELEASE EVENT!
Thank you for visiting us for the the IQSCM/Preservation Release Event! The Preservation Collection benefitting IQSCM is a collaborative project involving Moda FabricsAurifil Threads and the IQSCM. To learn more about these companies, take a peek at collections & exhibits, and take part in a fabulous giveaway, make sure to follow along via the links below.

8/17: Aurifil (Today!)
8/18: Moda
8/19: IQSCM
THE GIVEAWAY
Preservation-Rafflecopter
To enter-to-win one Preservation Aurifil Thread Collection and one Fat Quarter Bundle of Preservation, Collection for a Cause by Moda Fabrics, click here to head to the Rafflecopter entry page, or simply click on the image above. You do not have to complete all the options to be entered but the more options you choose, the more entries you have!  Entries will be accepted from now through 11:59pm Eastern Time on Thursday, August 25! Winner will be randomly selected and announced here on Friday, August 26. Good luck!

Island Batik Week: Surf Squirt by Claudia Pfeil

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Are you having fun with Island Batik week? We’ve so enjoyed learning more about these amazing designers and are just smitten with the richly colored batiks. It’s been wonderful to partner with Island Batik and we of course love showcasing our latest thread collections. We have two more designers and three more collections for you this week which means three more giveaways! Make sure to come back daily to learn more about our talented designers to enter-to-win some gorgeous prizes!

ISLAND BATIK WEEK SCHEDULE
7/18 – Introduction to Island Batik
7/19 – Seashore by Tammy Silvers
7/20 – Equinox by 4th & 6th Designs
7/21 – Surf Squirt by Claudia Pfeil (Today)
7/22 – Tide Pools & Sand Dune by Kathy Engle

To learn more about Island Batik and the batik process, please visit their website. For a peek at the full range of Spring/Summer releases, click here or on the image below to browse the catalog.

IslandBatikCatalog

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The Surf Squirt collection by Claudia Pfeil Designs for Island Batik features colors from daisy yellows to coral reef greens to deep sea blues offering something for any sunny day fan. The coordinating Aurifil Thread Collection offers a gorgeous variety of both solid and variegated 40wt threads.

THREAD COLLECTION DETAILS
Surf Squirt
100% Aurifil Cotton
Large – 40wt, 1094yds each, 12 colors, Large Spools
4657 – 4660 – 3770 – 4654 – 3320 – 3817 – 6737 – 5005 – 2540 – 2135 – 2245 – 1320

SurfSquirt

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

THE INTERVIEW
How did you first get involved with this wonderful world of textiles?

Growing up in Hemer, a small town in the woods with 30,000 inhabitants, in a family of bankers (Mother, Father AND Brother), I was NOT involved or educated in handcrafts at all!  My teachers were a bit desperate about my future after school as I was not really a genius in mathematics, physics or latin language (normal classes in our German school system.) Handcrafting and arts were not on the teaching schedule, but I loved to draw and paint, and tried everything like pottery, silk painting, watercolour painting, and knotted carpets outside of school.

After school, I moved to Dortmund and started my apprenticeship as a display designer in a warehouse and discovered “Patchwork” in 1985 at a Creativa-Show.

Twist-It by Claudia Pfeil

Twist-It by Claudia Pfeil

Do you remember the first quilt that you ever made and how you felt once it was complete?
The quilt ‘Number One’ in 1985 came into being without the now common rotary cutter and rulers as such tools were unknown in Germany at the time. My basic sewing machine only had the use of securing the layers for hand quilting. There was much “trial and error” as I taught myself the tricks of making templates and seams to complete Number One.

That first quilt would hold it’s place as my only large sewing project. My move from Dortmund to Krefeld where I began studies at the University of Applied Sciences Niederrhein and my work as a textile designer drew my interests into different directions – I had the quilting fever – I just hadn’t fully discovered the wide world of quilting.

Georgina Runner by Fabric Confetti using fabrics from Surf Squirt

Georgina Runner by Fabric Confetti using fabrics from Surf Squirt

What inspired you to open up your quilt shop?
In 1992 my life changed with the birth of my first son, Julian. I decided that the work I  had done in the textile arena would now change into getting the “hoarded” treasures that I had been collecting all those years out from the drawers and bins. I found my handwoven fabric pieces, done while at university on a 16 shaft loom, and I remembered “Patchwork” to give those fabrics a new life in a quilt!

These 30x30cm (almost 12 inch) unique blocks offered themselves immediately to be made into a quilt. Not having the proper “yarn” for sewing, I went to the local sewing shop where I was introduced to my first rotary cutter, mat, and quilting ruler. Again I set about the perseverance to “learn by doing” and these experimental times gave me the courage to improvise! I was soooo happy and convinced about those new tools in a second. And… I got hooked ! 🙂

Showing this “quilt” in the sewing shop, the owners immediately asked if I would teach Patchwork for them… I said “Of Course!”  Today, looking back, I have to smile about my self confidence without having any clue! 😉

The classes were running well and the students were continuesly asking where to  find real Patchwork Fabrics? Remember, in 1992/1993 there weren’t many quilt shops in Germany/Europe. I started buying fabrics (I remember Debbie Mumm was the first fabric line I bought). I opened my little shop in the basement of my home, collecting more and more fabrics. In 1997 it was time to move the fabrics into a real shop location, still individual and unique in a historical 19th century house: Quilt & Co.

Who has been the most inspiring person within your creative career?
I am not able to name one special person as an inspiration, it was more an  collective absorbing. Ideas out of American magazines and books, learning the techniques – again trial and error, sharing ideas and thoughts with other German and European quilters .

What do you love most about quilting to show? Do you have a favorite quilt that has been completed?
I was a student of textile design in the 80s, an independent textile designer in the early 90s, a patchwork quilting teacher through the 90s, a quilt shop owner since 97, and a single mother of two strapping boys. But then, my world changed completely in the Fall of 2004: I attended  a quilt show, “Carrefour du Patchwork” in France as a vendor with my shop Quilt & Co and the booth next to us  was APQS. From the first day that I played on the Millennium quilting machine, I was hooked. I got my longarm machine in March 2005 and I had found a way to express myself through fabric and thread that was exciting, addictive, and fun.

Before falling in love with my APQS Millennium 11 years ago I quilted with my DSM. I wasn’t really happy with uneven stitches, limited space to move my (mostly) large quilts. It was only a little step for me, but a large step for my further life!

I am now spending my days running my quilt shop in Krefeld while furiously piecing my next show quilt at night. A busy schedule only allows me to make one show quilt per year with each quilt taking the best part of nine months to complete. I have been consistently creating original quilts that have taken the worldwide show floor center-stage since 2006.

To name my favorite show quilt: I can’t! At the stage of piecing and quilting and see it hanging at the shows – the newest one is always the closest to my heart – probably as the memories and the efforts are the freshest ones 😉 But they are ALL my “babies” !

Fern Rising by Claudia Pfeil

Fern Rising by Claudia Pfeil

What is your favorite quilting technique and why?
Using my APQS Freedom! It’s like flying like an eagle over the mountains… there is no quilting/space limitation! My favorites are for sure the freemotion and feather quilting, as thread and structures give the finish to a quilt. The quilt is always the base for playing with spaces and quilting designs. It’s not a quilt until it is quilted! The top changes completely while quilting! I am following the piecing, using it as a guide: creating spaces, working with contrasts and design elements.

My quilting  philosophy is to use simple and effective designs, but the size and the filling/high density of quilting and the combination of all elements upraises the quilting from daily quilting to show quilt format.

I am always working in quilting with contrasts as one of my design elements:

  • Size (Large/Small)
  • Density (Positive/Negative spaces)
  • Direction (Horizontal/Vertical)
  • Design (Round/Straight)
  • Style (Modern/Romantic)
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Claudia uses her Longarm even for machine appliqué! This is Fern Rising.

You recently had two majors wins for your quilts ‘Turtle Bay” and “The Magical Mermaid’s Castle” at the Dubai International Quilt Show. What inspired those quilts and about how long did each one take?
Turtle Bay  2012, Theme: Underwater  The inspiration for this quilt was my desire to pay tribute to that great creature of the sea, the sea turtle. This endangered creature is beautiful in its natural habitat. To capture the beauty of the sea, I combined silk and gauze fabrics, along with machine quilting, to give movement to the water, seaweed and corals. The shells and star fish are made from silks with hand painted designs using Stewart Gill acrylic colors and then were machine appliquéd. The waves in the water were created using a template that I created to give just the right ebb and flow. The coral reef was cut freehand and then machine quilted to give texture and movement. The sea turtles were made from hand-dyed and printed fabric and were hand appliquéd. The white seaweed is a net type fabric that had been painted with acrylic paint and then couched with Razzle Dazzle thread to make it shimmer. The net and the gauze give a mystical effect adding to the mystery of the sea.

Turtle Bay by Claudia Pfeil

Turtle Bay by Claudia Pfeil

The Magical Mermaid’s Castle 2011 Theme: Magic — Welcome to the  Mermaid’s Castle. It is a magical place filled with beauty and wonder.  Here, at the Magical Mermaid’s Castle, you will find the beauty of the corals, reminders of the Great Barrier Reef in Australia. Look closely to discover the bubbles, plant life and underwater wonder land. Watch as the Mermaids invite you in to visit this magical, underwater oasis.  Take a long look and discover the magic for yourself.

The Mermaids were printed on silk, and then stitched with filler stitches to give texture and bring the Mermaids to life. This process was a very spontaneous idea on one Saturday in the quilt shop.  With my friend Edith we were thinking how to add the mermaids, seahorses and fishes onto the quilt, though it wasn’t pieced yet. One possibility would have been repeating the drawings several times… mmmmh… I wasn´t  very happy with that idea, so we figured out how her office copy machine functioned, scanned the motifs, resized them, flipped them and printed them on transfer paper (usually used for t-shirt prints). The colors came out nearly original and we were really excited about the results. I transferred the motifs onto white silk, put a fusible web underneath and cut out the mermaids very carefully — cutting out all the tiny little open spaces was a real challenge!

The Magical Mermaid's Castle by Claudia Pfeil

The Magical Mermaid’s Castle by Claudia Pfeil

Now with the original size of the mermaids I could start the sewing process.  Beginning with the windows, the size was related to the size of the mermaids! Every step further in the sewing process was a logical development. My goal with every quilt is to have an extraordinary border.  I pieced an 11 yard long line of rectangles together, light and darker lime green silks, cut the tops with a 45° angle, sewed a silk backing onto the border and flipped it to the right side.

My challenges with adding the border to the inner part of the quilt took many attempts before I was satisfied with a square top as the silk “walks” as you sew it.

True to form, I am always trying to “stretch” the creativity with my “Show Quilts”.  This quilt features many couching and 3-D techniques. And I am always on the lookout for yarns, threads, beads and baubles that can be used in my quilts. These items are stored for quilts that have not been thought of yet. Threads used on this quilt were Superior Thread, Rainbows and Highlights. Embellished with Razzle Dazzle thread for couching and fancy yarns for the sea weed. Around 40,000 Swarovski Crystals were added onto the quilt. I pay individual attention to each crystal in it’s color and exact placement.  I spent about three weeks in my “Rhinestone Quarry” for this quilt.

Fire and Ice by Claudia Pfeil

Fire and Ice by Claudia Pfeil

How did you first get involved with Island Batik?
Roughly 3 years ago I published a picture of “Shadowplay”, a quilt I made for Quilt & Co, on Facebook/Social media. Quilters love to share and so do I! I received a message from Elizabeth at Island Batik asking whether I would be interested to publish this pattern. I received the fabrics and so everything started. Island Batik is a great company to work with and their fabrics are fabolous! 🙂

Meanwhile I designed about 10 original quilts for Island Batik and I am always eager and anxiously waiting to hold the new fabric lines in my hands to start the design and sewing process. I need to see and touch the fabrics/colors to get ideas for the new quilts/projects – I am not planning a quilt in advance.

Shadowplay by Claudia Pfeil

Shadowplay by Claudia Pfeil

What do you love most about Batik fabrics?
The points are:

  1. Haptic: feels good – it feels „crispy“
  2. Designs: Blending designs and colors, tons of variations
  3. Usage: nice and easy to sew and quilt, no fraying, solid-colored ( no left or right side
  4. Colors: brilliant, matching, soft transitions
  5. Handcraft : Individual and unique
Camden Bowls by Aunties Two Patterns using fabrics from Surf Squirt

Camden Bowls by Aunties Two Patterns using fabrics from Surf Squirt

Do you have a favorite project that you’ve made using the fabrics and threads of Surf Squirt?
Yes 🙂 “Square-It” and “Twist-It”, the new projects for Island Batik. “Twist-It” is based on the traditional twister pattern, with a watercolor effect. “Square-It” is a modern quilt with squares in different sizes, sewn blockwise with a white background. The Surf Squirt collection is outstanding in their color variation – the full rainbow, it is so much fun to work with!

Square-It by Claudia Pfeil

Square-It by Claudia Pfeil

How did you first discover Aurifil threads?
Aurifil is a European company (Italy), so for us Europeans it was logical to use their threads for sewing from the beginning. Also, Aurifil is very supportive and always developping new threads for the market. When I met Alex Veronelli the first time at Carrefour du Patchwork, a big and wonderful Quiltshow in France, he asked me to try a new thread on the Longarm.

What is your process for selecting the colors for the coordinating Aurifil thread collection?
That is a dream and a nightmare at the same time! Combining and  playing with the thread spools and fabrics on the one side… deciding between hundreds of  color options on the other side! The size of the box (number of spools) is the limit. But finally, you have to reduce it to the required number – that is the hard thing! I am always asking myself: What will I use?  If I am happy with that –  that is my final decision !

THE GIVEAWAY

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To enter-to-win 1 Large Surf Squirt Thread Collection and one Fat Quarter Bundle of Surf Squirt fabrics from Island Batik, 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, July 27! Winner will be randomly selected and announced here on Thursday, July 28. Good luck!

UPDATE: This giveaway is now closed. Congratulations to Colette LeFever!!

ABOUT CLAUDIA PFEIL
Website — Facebook
Claudia PfeilClaudia Pfeil has been sewing and piecing since she was a teen. She made her first quilt in 1985 but didn’t discover her absolute obsession with quilting until 1992. It was at that time that she began teaching and eventually opened a small shop in her home. By 1997, it was time to move the shop into a proper business space and Quilt and Co. was born. Claudia became the first European APQS dealer in 2005 and runs the entire European APQS showroom in Krefeld, Germany. In addition, she makes at least one show quilt a year, and recently took home first place prizes in two categories in addition to Best of Show and Best Long Arm Quilted at the International Quilt Show in Dubai. 

ABOUT 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.

Catherine Redford Modern Machine Quilting

Hello and welcome to Day Five for the Catherine Redford Modern Machine Quilting Blog Hop! Aurifil is so happy to be helping spread the good word about her incredible new instructional video that is perfect for every level of quilter.  This video has something for everyone!

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Catherine is an avid Aurifil quilter and has been teaching quilting for twelve years.  Her quilts are fabulous pieces of quilting art. If you are unfamiliar with her work, please enjoy these photo samples and visit her website to find out more.

More Than Twenty Three Hexagons

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Embroidered Orchid Quilt

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Ready to learn how you can create lovely free motion quilting with Catherine Redford?

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Catherine’s personal style of teaching quilting is now available on DVD.  This informative video is set up with easy to follow along instructions for every level of quilter.  Catherine offers advice on all the tools needed for successful quilting , special advice to help keep your breathing consistent while quilting ( this one was surprising to me and I will be trying it out), and how to get ready to successfully free motion quilt without marking!

This adorable example has a Hobbit’s eating schedule free motion quilted between wavy lines that were quilted using a walking foot.  Catherine points out where certain techniques ( the walking foot for the wavy lines)  are easier to use! This is very helpful for all quilters! Why stress when you do not have to…quilting is fun!

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Catherine goes through a variety of tracing design patterns to help you gain the confidence you need to take on clamshells, pebbles, flames, hearts and flowers.

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Then she takes you to the machine to show how you can apply those same designs that you practiced drawing and add them to your quilt following the same steps. Pictured here is the sweet clamshell design.

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In celebration of her new Modern Machine Quilting dvd release, Catherine is running a giveaway over on her blog. Simply go to her website and leave a comment. At the end of the blog hop (calendar listed below) , she will pick 2 DVD winners and 1 grand prize winner who will receive a Stella task lamp (winner’s choice of color!) and a DVD as well.

Don’t miss out on any of the insights for this fantastic video by visiting the following blog hop calendar!

Thursday January 7th – Catherine Redford
Friday January 8th – Fresh Lemons Quilts 
Saturday January 9th – Bonnie Hunter
Sunday January 10th – Svetlana Sotak
Monday January 11th – Kim Niedzwiecki (Aurifil)
Tuesday January 12th – Julia Wood
Wednesday January 13th – Susan Brubaker Knapp
Thursday January 14th – Jenny Lyon
Friday January 15th – Kathy Matthews
Saturday January 16th – Back to Catherine!

The beginning of a new year is a wonderful time to learn some new free motion quilting techniques or brush up on some old ones with new ideas!  Make Modern Machine Quilting part of your quilting library!

To add to the fun blog hop, Aurifil decided to offer a GIVEAWAY with some of Catherine’s favorite Aurifil threads!  One winner will receive three large spools of the most popular perfect piecing and quilting 50wt thread!  One solid #2600 and two of Catherine’s most favorite go to variegated, #4651 and #4060.

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To enter for your chance to win these threads visit and follow the easy Rafflecopter prompts!   All of the options are not a requirement to be entered for your chance to win!  You choose the ones you like! The giveaway will close on 16 January and the random winner will be announced on or about 18 January.  This giveaway is open to all of our international friends!

 

Thread Matters: Binding with a Touch

Aurifil is thrilled to introduce a once a month guest post by Aggy Burczyk! Aggy knows her way around a machine as a technical long arm expert for Bernina, she loves Aurifil threads and is also a talented quilter and designer. Aggy is one busy person! There is so much to know about the different Aurifil thread weights and Aggy is going to share her tips and tricks on how to use your Aurifil threads correctly and in ways that you may not have used them before. Please join us in welcoming Aggy!

Thread Matters!

Who would doubt that thread matters?
Often we just forget how MUCH thread can really influence our designs and how much the right thread can bring a touch of perfection to our little (or big) projects. This is equally valid for thread weight and thread color.

Welcome to the first issue of Aurifil’s new blog “Thread Matters” – I am beyond thrilled that I was asked to participate in this new adventure, trying to give to all present and future Aurifil lovers a variety of information around this wonderful thread: tips & tricks to improve your work.

“Binding with a Touch Part 1 – Beautifying your binding ” is the first little project I would like to share with you. Yes, part 1(!) – there is so much to tell, that it needs more than one blog issue to cover it all!
Did you ever think of “beautifying” your binding? Why not personalize the binding, especially when using a solid or a tone on tone fabric? Our sewing machines have many, many beautiful stitches we hardly use. This is a good opportunity to combine different thread weights and special embroidery stitches to show off in the binding.

For the first beautified binding I used an Aurifil cotton 28 wt, color 2810 with a 90/14 top stitch needle for the embroidery part and a fabric-matching Aurifil cotton 50wt, color 1100 with a 80/12 top stitch needle to attach the binding.

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I cut standard 2,5” strips, joined them, folded and ironed well in half wrong sides together and applied the embroidery to the folded strip, knowing that for the closure I would have to be a little bit more creative than usual.

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For the embroidery I used a lovely stitch from my Bernina 550 and let the strip flow along the 5/8” marking on the stitch plate. Taking care to have the wrong side of the embroidery up, I used a fabric-matching pink Aurifil 50wt and a 1⁄4” foot (#37) to attach the binding to my little sample piece.

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I knew I did not want to join the ends of the binding with just a straight seam, which would have ment to have to cope with a lot of unhappy bulk in that spot and thought the best way would be to hide the joining ends in one of the corners. The necessary folding for this came very close to origami, but turned out to be perfect for this purpose.

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The rest was then a piece of cake, because I just LOVE finishing my bindings by hand with an invisible whip stitch, this time using again the matching pink Aurifil 50wt cotton.

Yes, I cannot deny it – to some it is almost as bad as naming “Voldemort”, but I love the “H” word. But what if I came up with an idea for all of you who would like to have the “Non-H” alternative? So, let’s start from the beginning with new colors and using the Bernina flat felled foot (#71) to attach the binding.

This time I used a variegated Aurifil cotton 28 wt, color 4663 with a 90/14 top stitch needle for the embroidery part and a fabric-matching turquoise Aurifil cotton 50wt, color 5006 with a 80/12 top stitch needle to attach the binding. I decided to do the embroidery on a simple fabric layer in order to be able to do the standard binding closure. It needed some trials to find the right measures and positioning. To cut a long story short, here is what I did for a perfect outcome: I cut again 2,5” strips, joined them on the diagonal, folded and ironed well in half and applied some iron on light stabilizer (Pellon light, but I guess any other brand will do) to the wrong side of one half.

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This time I decided to use the seam guide attached to the back of the foot in order to be able to sew a perfect straight line in the middle of the stabilizer.

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As anticipated, the fabric shrank a little on the embroidered half. Since anyhow I needed a max. 2” strip for the flat felled foot (#71) I was going to use to attach the binding, I simply trimmed the folded binding to a perfect 1”.

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Now to the beauty of the BERNINA flat felled foot. I brought my needle completely to the left (-5 position) and attached the binding with the non embroidered side up with a perfect 1⁄4”.

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I closed the binding as usually on a diagonal without a binding tool, but you may want to use one if you feel safer. I then positioned the needle one position to the right (now -4) and attached the binding from the back with the help of the guide of this special foot. It magically always works.

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An excellent description of this Flat Fell Foot method was written by Lisa Yarost from A Woman A Day .

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You will get a perfect binding without the “H” word, just be aware that you should use binding strips not wider than 2” – 2 1⁄4 “.

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Enjoy some of your own beautified bindings, be creative and try your own Aurifil thread weight and motif combinations for special occasions (a new baby, kitchen utensils … ) and always remember …

Thread matters! Un abbraccio Aggy

 

 

Top Ten Tuesday {Sewing Humor}

Sewists and quilters have the best sense of humor!  This week Top Ten Tuesday is the best of sewing and quilting humor from bloggers and designers that just love to keep us in stitches!

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1.Fabracadabra found on The Sewing Rabbit 

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2.  Measure twice by The Sewing Loft

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3. I Love Lucy Classic found on Podunk Pretties

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4. Running out of bobbin thread found on Melly Sews

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5. Manslation by Jess Abbott

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6.  Expert opinion by FavCrafts

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7. What clean house?  found on Sewing Parts Online

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9. Can I borrow your fabric scissors by Right Sides Together

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10. Proquiltinating by Sew Sleepless

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Find more free patterns, tips, tutorials and inspiration by following the Aurifil Pinterest boards, the Aurifil Facebook page and on Aurifilthread Instagram! All are updated daily and throughout the day to provide you with the best the sewing world has to offer!

For more information about Aurifil products, including thread weights and Designer Collections, and where to purchase from your local quilt shop or select online shops, please visit Aurifil.com.