Top Ten Tuesday {St. Patrick’s Day}

Top Ten Tuesday

With St. Patrick’s Day right around the corner, we’re thinking in green and rainbows. What if the pot at the end of the rainbow was actually full of Aurifil threads? That might just be better than gold!;)

This week, we’ve got a great lineup of projects that will get you ready for your well-crafted Irish celebrations.

1. Rainbow Ric Rac Skirt Tutorial — Crafting Chicks

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2. Irish Chain Quilt by Heather Jones for Missouri Quilt Co.

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3. DIY Rainbow Banner — Liz Stanley for SayYes and Momtastic

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4. Leprechaun Pant Treat Bag — Positively Splendid

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5. Rainbow Ruffle Dress — Housewives of Riverton

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6. Clover Quilt Block Tutorial — Piece N Quilt

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7. Rainbow Shamrock Brooch — Adventures in Making

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8. Luck of the Irish Table Topper — Margie Ullery for Moda Bake Shop

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9. Lucky Shamrock Pillow — Forth Worth Fabric Studio

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10. Fair Isle Baby Quilt — Leah Douglas for Moda Bake Shop

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Happy Sewing!

Top Ten Tuesday {Spring}

The sun is shining, the birds are chirping and all signs point to an early Spring. We’ve got bright florals on the brain and have added more than a few of the following tutorials to our ‘must-sew’ list. Whether it’s a quilt for a loved one, décor for your home, or easter baskets for your kids, we hope you’ll find something fabulous! Grab your favorite Aurifil threads and have fun!

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1. Tulip Time Quilt — Samelia’s Mum

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2. Easter Basket Liner — Polkadot Chair

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3. Felt Flower Collage — Crafts Unleashed

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4. Penny Rose Strawberry Jam Quilt — Jedi Craft Girl

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5. Color Play Holiday Mini Quilt — Sherri Noel for Moda Bakeshop

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6. Fabric Butterfly Shadow Box Tutorial — My Go-Go Life

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7. Garden Flag Tutorial — Handmade Boy for Peek-a-boo Pattern Shop

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8. Meadow — Bonjour Quilts

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9. Tulip Time — Inspired by Fabric

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10. Raindrop Pillow — The Aqua House for makeitloveit.com

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Happy Sewing!

Jinny Beyer – Hand & Machine Piecing Collections

Aurifil is pleased to introduce two brand new Designer Thread Collections from award-winning quilter, fabric designer, author, and educator, Jinny Beyer.

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COLLECTION DETAILS
Jinny Beyer Hand Piecing Collection
100% Aurifil Cotton, 28wt
Large – 820yds each, 12 Colors, Large Spools
Small –  109 yds each, 10 Colors, Small Spools

Jinny Beyer Machine Piecing Collection
100% Aurifil Cotton, 50wt
Large – 1422yds each, 12 Colors, Large Spools

For purchasing, please contact your local Aurifil Dealer or visit Jinny’s online shop.

THE INTERVIEW
How Jinny first came to love Aurifil is an interesting story. When she first started quilting, it was standard to use cream or white threads. She was working on a navy quilt and didn’t want to use those colors, but rather something that would blend. In her search for a wider range of colors, she discovered a brand of thicker thread that she grew to love for quilting and used for years. Eventually, the company was bought out and the quality went down, so Jinny went in search of something new with the same high quality she desired. Her search led her to Aurifil. The 28wt was exactly what she was looking for and as the threads are available in such a wide color range, she was always able to find the perfect hue.

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Jinny exclusively hand quilts and prefers the 28wt. Her staff uses 50wt for machine piecing, but still favor the 28wt for machine quilting. The colors featured in the Hand Piecing collection are the ones that she uses most in hand quilting. She tends to work more with darker colors… blacks, navys, burgundys and browns. She’ll work with a natural color for the lighter fabrics. To select colors for the Machine Piecing Collection, Jinny looked to her staff for the most go-to colors. The goal was to offer a range of what she felt were the most standard colors, colors that would be universal for people to use for any project. She loves that this would work well both for beginners and for experienced quilters.

JB-MachinePiecingJinny’s Tip for new Quilters:
Some people may think that the thicker thread is much harder to thread through the needle. Hold the thread tight between your hand and the spool. Cut the thread at an angle, moisten it and flatten it out… It should go right through the eye of the needle.

Jinny's Caliope Teal Quilt

Jinny’s Caliope Teal Quilt

Jinny’s Favorite Teaching Destination:
Recently I have been working with Sew Many Places, a travel company that brings me along as a teacher. Since the classes are travel based and we don’t have the use of sewing machine, I work with precut 6″ diamonds. I bring along handouts for the students in addition to a little bag with my favorite needle and a small spool of Aurifil thread. We focus on hand-piecing, which gives participants something to work on while on the tour bus or throughout other travel where we’d otherwise just be sitting. It’s a great lesson in what can be accomplished on the go!

2016 BOM - Jinny Beyer

2016 BOM – Jinny Beyer

THE GIVEAWAY
The best part about releasing a new collection is offering you the opportunity to use the threads in your own projects! We are excited to offer One Large Jinny Beyer Hand Piecing Collection and One Large Jinny Beyer Machine Piecing Collection to one lucky winner!

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To enter-to-win, simply 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 February 25th! Winner will be randomly selected and announced on Friday, February 26th. Good luck!

LEARN MORE ABOUT JINNY
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One of the pioneering women of quilting, Jinny Beyer was the first designer to create a line of fabric exclusively for quilters. She alone is responsible for setting the industry standard for quality and design for quilters all over the world. Jinny’s strength as a designer lies in her contemporary, sophisticated styling and in her remarkable sense of color and shading, a skill which she honed while living in India and making her first quilt. Jinny pieces and quilts by hand. An award-wining quilter, Jinny is best known for her color shading technique used to create dimensional designs that stretch the imaginations of quilters, challenging them to go one step beyond and expand their skill levels.

Jinny designs three major collections a year for RJR and several groupings of basics to support her collections. She is best known for her signature fabric, the border stripe, which she showcases in every major collection. Her most successful basics line, The Jinny Beyer Palette, features 150 tonal and multiscreen tonal designs set in a complete spectrum of color. The Palette fabrics are gradually shaded to educate quilters on how to blend colors and create effective color combinations in quilts.

In addition to the Palette, Jinny has created an amazing line of batik fabrics called Malam Batiks. In Indonesian and Malay, Malam means “night” or “evening”. However in Javanese malam means “wax”. Batiks were originally printed on the Island of Java, which is why Jinny selected  “Malam” for the name of her line of batiks. The Malam Batik collections, 142 styles in total, offer a more sophisticated spin on traditional Indonesian batik cap designs. Jinny wanted to be able to create shaded effects as she does in her traditionally printed fabrics, so she challenged herself to find the types of designs that could produce a more subtle blending of color. The Batiks are printed on the finest quality base cloth with a construction of 50 x 50 yarns and 110 x 90 thread count. Shares Jinny, “In creating this line of batiks, I drew from my past experience, following the same approach I take with all my collections, to create a mix of designs, values and colors so that the prints can work and shade together in a project.

Jinny Beyer began her first quilt while living in India, using Indian fabrics in colors of deep red and dark blue. The darker hues became a hallmark of her future quilts. In 1978, Ray of Light won first place among 10,000 entries in Good Housekeeping’s Great American Quilt Contest. Jinny’s Bicentennial Quilt was awarded first place in the 1979 Quilter’s Newsletter Magazine contest. In 1984, Jinny was inducted into The Quilters Hall of Fame, a non-profit organization dedicated to honoring those who have made outstanding contributions to the world of quilting. Jinny received the Silver Star Award at the International Quilt Festival in 1995, given annually to living persons who have made a lasting and positive impact on the field of quilting and textile art over their careers. She received the Michael Kile Award of Achievement in 1996. Created in honor of the late Michael Kile, publisher of The Quilt Digest Press, the Michael Kile Award is given to people in the industry who share Michael’s commitment to excellence and have made contributions that will have a long-lasting effect on the quilting industry. Jinny’s quilt Ray of Light was chosen as one of the 100 Best American Quilts of the 20th Century in 1999, published by Quilter’s Newsletter Magazine.

Jinny Beyer lectures all over the world. For 29 years, until 2009, Quilters learned about her techniques at her annual Jinny Beyer Seminar at Hilton Head. She has published more than a dozen books and hundreds of quilt patterns.

Aurifil 2016 February Designer of the Month Kari Carr

Aurifil 2016 Design Team February Kari Carr

By the end of the year you will have 12 blocks and I’ll have a setting for you!  I’m Designer/Radio show host PatSloan. February is my favorite winter month, and this year I have a chance to interview one of my favorite designers, Kari Carr of New Leaf Stitches!

I have known Kari for a few years and I loved hearing about where she lives and how that location has influenced what she creates, and it relates to our them of BLUE so well!  Plus she is a wealth of technical knowledge on sewing! When  I need to know something she is one of my go-to people. Her quilts are really fun to do with a range of styles to suit you, or you, or you!  I have chatted with Kari on my talk show.. —>  Kari was on 3/4/13 and 11/21/11, take a listen

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PLEASE READ — We are CHANGING something!!

Our Monthly quilt block share will now be at my website with a Photo sharing party! This will be much easier for everyone.  If you want to look first, It’s HERE

We LOVE our MONTHLY thread BOX giveaway (seriously folks… you could win a box of my thread which is over $120.00 value.. JUST for making a quilt block… you have to join in!). Each month we pick one random winner that has made a  block from our featured designer of the prior month. That person receives a FULL BOX of my Aurifil thread as the prize!

Let’s get to know Kari!

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The Splendid Sampler

The Splendid Sampler Banner

The Splendid Sampler, hosted by Pat Sloan and Jane Davidson, kicks off today! One year, 100 FREE quilt blocks and 83 designers… This one has all the makings of a truly epic quilt along.  Participants will learn countless new techniques, be exposed to new styles, get to know new designers, and will make new friends all over the world.

The Sampler is structured as a 100 Block Mystery Quilt. Two 6″ blocks will be released each week — every Sunday and Thursday EST. The blocks feature a range of styles from  pieced, to appliqué, to embroidery, to English Paper Piecing (EPP) and Paper piecing. There will be two Splendid colorways shown and a proposed layout will be shared as more blocks are revealed. All patterns will be available for FREE until March 2017 after which point, they will be collected and prepared for book release.

Imagine a giant quilty party with more than 18,000 of your closest friends. There will be tutorials, giveaways, linky parties, expert tips, and a whole heap of support and encouragement. It will truly be a Splendid year!

KEY LINKS
The Splendid Sampler Website
FAQ
Schedule of Blocks
Fabric & Tools
Bonus Block (by Pat Sloan)
Folding Block Station Tutorial (by Jane Davidson)
Meet the Splendid Designers — Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5 (there are 83!!)

GET INVOLVED
— Tag #TheSplendidSampler on photos that you share
— Join the Facebook Group to meet other participant, ask questions, get sewing support and make new friends
— Add the blog button to your site – grab it here

SPLENDID SAMPLER PARTNERS
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We are honored to be a part of such a wonderful event and have to say a huge THANK YOU to both Pat and Jane for including us!the-splendid-sampler-industry-banner-v1-1

PROJECTS WE LOVE
We’ve already seen a slew of wonderful bonus blocks and folding block stations from eager participants. We couldn’t help but share a few of our favorites! If you’re already signed up an sewing, keep sharing your images! YOU are incredibly inspiring and we just adore seeing each and every stitch.

Are you ready to get started? Make sure to pop on over to The Splendid Sampler for the very first block, posted today!

Top Ten Tuesday {Quilt Alongs}

Now that February is here and the bustle of the holiday season is behind us, it’s time to dig into some new projects! We’ve discovered a slew of fabulous Quilt Alongs, Clubs and Block of the Month opportunities for 2016 that will keep you sewing throughout the year. Find one (or a few!) that works for you, grab your fabrics and, of course, your Aurifil Threads and have fun!

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1. Modern HST Sampler QAL with Blossom Heart Quilts

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2. Bloom Sew Along with Lori Holt of Bee in My Bonnet & Riley Blake Designs

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3. Creativebug Block of the Month with Heather Jones, Anna Maria Horner and Carolyn Friedlander

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4. Craftsy Block of the Month with Lynette Jensen

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5. Crossroads Quilt Along with Fat Quarter Shop and Fig Tree Quilts, benefitting the March of Dimes

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6. The Sugar Block Club 3.0 with Stitchery Dikory Dock

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7. 2016 Block of the Month – Dear Daughter with Sherri Noel of Rebecca Mae Designs

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8. Breath of Spring Quilt – Block of the Month 2016 with Pine Valley Quilts

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9. The Splendid Sampler with Pat Sloan and Jane Davidson

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10. Project 48 Quilt

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Find 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, Designer Collections, and where to purchase from your local quilt shop or select online shops, please visit Aurifil.com.

Thread Matters: Binding with a Touch (Part 2)

We’re thrilled to welcome Aggy Burczyk back to the blog for

Binding with a Touch (Part 2) – Beautifying Your Binding.

Thanks so much, Aggy!
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And here we are again! As I had promised in my last post, here is the second part of “Binding with a Touch”.

I would like to show you another “beautifying” method – but also another way of how to finish your binding when your day just does not have enough hours to finish a project and binding by hand will just not fit into your time frame.

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First the “beautifying” part.

Prepare a classic quilter’s 2.5 inch binding (and please let me know in case some of you would like a little tutorial on this – I am just pretending everyone knows) and attach it with a 1/4″ seam allowance to the quilt.

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And then use pins… a lot of pins (!) – the bigger your quilt, the more pins you will need!

PINS: Let me put a little interlude into this blog. I am VERY picky about the pins I use for quilting – there is a reason for certain pins. The length of the pin, but most of all the thickness of the pin will determine it’s use. In the picture you can see the different kinds I use. From left to right:

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  • classic, blue flower-head pins with a good grip, a little shorter than the yellow ones, but MUCH thinner, absolutely great for pinning seam intersections that have to match perfectly when piecing
  • classic, yellow flower-head pins with a good grip, very long, rather fine – a must-have for every quilter and great for almost any piecing and pinning need
  • generic, rather short pins with a “button”head, giving a great grip for pulling out while sewing, a little shorter and thicker than the yellow flower-head pins, good for a lot of piecing situations
  • very sturdy (thick) and long pins I use for pinning fabric to the leaders on my longarm
  • special, very fine and very short pins for appliqué work

Let’s get back to the binding. For this method put the pins (I used yellow flower-head pins this time) from the front into the ditch between the quilt and the binding. You will be stitching from the front, therefore the tip of the pin has to be towards the left, pinning clockwise and starting at the top left corner.

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On the back of the quilt the binding will be wider and the pin will show a good ⅛“ away from the border of the binding. The angles will fold smoothly and in a natural way, but in case you feel more comfortable, do use an additional pin here.

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Now you have to stitch a straight decorative line from the front. Yes, straight! Don’t worry; this is very, very easy using a foot with a guide blade in the middle that will glide along in the ditch. On my Bernina 790 I used the edgestitch foot # 10C.

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Since this foot has a wide opening, I was able to use one of the many decorative stitches of the machine – “beautifying” and finishing the binding at the same time! How cool is that!

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When it comes to the corners – don’t worry. Just lift the middle guide blade a bit and sew right up to the corner of the binding. With needle position down, lift the presser foot, turn your work, lower the presser foot and on you go. I prefer to stitch two or three straight stitches to the corner and away from the corner. Using a decorative stitch, this just looks much cleaner.

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This is the beautiful outcome from the front and from the back:

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And last not least just one more little tip in case you cannot or do not want to use a decorative stitch. Just use a straight stitch instead.

Two things to watch:

  1. Look at the tip of the guide blade when sewing – don’t look at the needle! You will have a wonderful straight stitching line.
  2. Push the guide blade slightly against the binding so the ditch is pushed open. The stitch line will vanish completely, when the binding moves back into position.

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For this method I would recommend two thread types:

  •  Aurifil 50wt in a matching color
  •  Aurifil’s clear invisible monofilament thread for light fabrics or the smoke invisible monofilament thread for darker fabrics

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In case you are using the monofilament, use normal cotton 50wt in the bobbin and do not forget to lower the top tension to prevent the monofilament from stretching while sewing.

For further tips on this thread type have a look here.

There is just one more thing to add:

Thread matters! 

Con un caro CIAO e a presto,
Aggy

Dryad Blog Hop

Dryad - Fabrics and Threads
Welcome to day four of the Dryad Blog Hop! We are so thrilled to introduce you to designer Shannon Brinkley, showcase her gorgeous new fabric collection and, of course, her coordinating Aurifil Designer Collection. Officially released by Paintbrush Studios/Fabri-Quilt this past Fall, Dryad is a combination of richly colored and low volume prints. She drew inspiration from both her raw-edge appliqué techniques and her eternal love of trees.
Shannon's booth at the International Quilt Market in Houston last Fall

Shannon’s booth at the International Quilt Market in Houston last Fall

We had a chance to chat with Shannon, to learn more about her collection, her design sensibility and her love of Aurifil threads.
Where did the name Dryad come from and how did it inspire your latest collection?
Dryads were ancient spirits of the trees — it was thought that if a tree died, it must have had a very neglectful dryad. I have always had a deep love of trees and get teased (lovingly) by friends for my insatiable fascination and excitement over trees. They are one of my keenest sources of inspiration, so when I began to sketch for my first line of fabric, naturally branches and leaves were the first things to emerge.

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How did you go about selecting the colors within the collection?
I chose colors I am most drawn to when quilting; I wanted to make fabric that I’d reach for during a fabric pull.

Do you have a favorite print in the collection?
That’s a difficult one… I love the branches print– especially in the blue colorway, but the cross section print that I made from a block print of a couple different tree cross-sections is certainly a favorite… I love the texture. I’m also a sucker for a text print, and this text being one of my favorite poems makes it all the more lovely.

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What do you love most about Aurifil Threads?
I love the vibrant color options and the incredible quality. It always performs smoothly and beautifully.

This particular collection includes 12 spools of Aurifil 50wt thread to coordinate with the fabrics. Is 50wt your go-to, or do you use different weights depending on the project at hand?
50wt is my go-to. I like it because it is perfect for piecing and quilting, but it also works great for machine embroidery– I almost always satin stitch around my appliqué pieces, and the 50 wt is lovely for it.

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How do you go about selecting which color to use for the finishing stitches on your appliqués? Do you prefer something to contrast or something to coordinate with the primary background color?
It completely depends on the project. If the appliqué piece already contrasts the background starkly, I typically will choose a thread that blends well with the appliqué piece. However, if there is not much contrast between the appliqué piece and the background (and I almost always want there to be, because I like the pieces to stand out), I will create the contrast with a thread that is darker or brighter than the majority of the piece. For example, in the scissors quilt, I chose the vibrant orangy/red (#1104) thread to help define the scissors since there was so much going on with the background and in the appliqué piece.

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Do you have any tips or tricks for machine appliqué with Aurifil’s 50wt thread that you’d like to share?
Every machine is different, but my golden range for a perfect satin stitch with the 50wt thread is 2.5-3mm width (however for very detailed work I will sometimes decrease it to 2.3mm) and 0.5-0.8mm length — the setting I use most frequently is 2.7 width and .7 length.

Thanks so much to Shannon for chatting with us!
And now… the GIVEAWAY!
For a chance to win a bundle of Dryad and the coordinating Aurifil Designer Thread Collection, please leave a comment on this post letting us know what you’d make with it! This giveaway is open through 11:59pmEST on 2/12. A winner will be randomly chosen and announced on 2/13. THIS GIVEAWAY IS NOW CLOSED. 
Congratulations to Karin, our big winner! Thank you to all who participated. We just loved hearing all about what you’d make with this gorgeous threads and fabrics.
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Be sure to visit all of the stops along the blog hop for more information AND more chances to win Shannon’s gorgeous fabric:
2/2 Shannon Brinkley @ Bottle Tree
2/4 Angela Walters @ Quilting Is My Therapy
2/5 Aurifil
2/8 Casey York @ Studiolo 
2/10 Rebecca Bryan @ Bryan House Quilts
2/11 Stacey Day @ Stacey in Stitches
2/12 Kristi Schroeder @ Initial K Studio

Aurifil 2016 January Designer of the Month Heather Valentine

Aurifil 2016 Design Team January Heather Valentine

It’s a bright shiny new year and we have a whole new team of designers for 2016! We are making a block a month and I asked each designer to create a blue and white block. They are going to share their inspiration and tell us about themselves in my interviews on the 15th of each month.

By the end of the year you will have 12 blocks and I’ll have a setting for you!  I’m Designer/Radio show host PatSloan, and I can’t wait for you to meet these 12 Designers this year and get to know them.

My January interview and quilt block is with Heather Valentine of The Sewing Loft.   I’ve been doing projects with Heather and really love what she shares at her website. She has so many great tips and tutorials, you need to sign up for her newsletter!  I also interviewed Heather on 8/11/14, take a listen

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We continue our MONTHLY thread BOX giveaway (seriously folks… you could win a box of my thread which is over $120.00 value.. JUST for making a quilt block… you have to join in!). We will pick one random winner that has made a  block from our 2014 designers and that random person receives a FULL BOX of my Aurifil thread as the prize! Winners are all contacted via Flickr email and posted at our FLICK GROUP HERE

Let’s get to know Heather!

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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!