Front Yard Photo Hop


We are thrilled to be a stop on the Photo Hop in celebration of Front Yard, Sandra Clemons’ debut collection for Michael Miller Fabrics. The collection was inspired by the landscape and movement of things in the front yard of her house. Front Yard features a lovely lineup of prints in two color ways, blueberry and blackberry. A range of purples & blues are offset by pops of green, pink and yellow. It’s a collection that is sure to inspire. Sandra’s coordinating thread collection offers a gorgeous range of colors in our 50wt thread.

Aurifil’s very own Hilary Jordan (also of Young Texan Mama) had some fun with Front Yard. We absolutely adore these stunning train cases that she whipped up using the Kismet Trinket Box pattern by Sara Lawson of Sew Sweetness. The blue case uses Bunny Tracks in the blueberry color way  along with Aurifil 50wt thread in #1125. The pink case uses Broken Hexie in the blueberry color way along with Aurifil 50wt in #2530. We particularly love that she quilted the Broken Hexie case following the pattern of the fabric!


Front Yard
12 Large Spools, 50wt (1422yds/spool), 100% Cotton
2630 – 2600 – 2021 – 2530 – 2423 – 2214
5017 – 2710 – 1125 – 2783 – 2540 – 2479


10 Small Spools, 50wt (220yds/spool), 100% Cotton
2630 – 2600 – 2021 – 2423 – 2214
5017 – 2710 – 1125 – 2783 – 2540


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

What first drew you to the world of sewing and quilting?
Two women. My mom introduced me to sewing. She has a sewing business. In my youth she custom designed just about anything that needed to be sewn. It was mostly clothes for people, but I do remember a lot of doll clothes as well. As society shifted, people noticed that buying clothing was cheaper than making it. This change led to my mom shifting her work to tailoring and alterations. She now also does a lot of work for the military where she makes alternations and sews military patches, which is quite a meticulous process that needs the upmost attention to detail, something which she did with ease.

Bolts of Front Yard

Bolts of Front Yard

The other women is someone I don’t personally know, but her quilts introduced me to quilting. She is my husband’s great-grandmother. My first trip to ‘meet-the-parents’, I noticed these beautiful quilts laying around the house. I wanted to learn more about them and quickly. I purchased a quilting book for beginners and signed up for a quilting class at my local quilt shop. Now that I’ve quit my day job to take Make It Blossom (MIB) full time, I’m learning and researching our quilt history and how our history has inspired quilting in the modern era. I’m sharing my research on my blog, check it out by heading over to

Do you remember the process of creating your first quilt and how you felt once it was finished?
I do. It was a log cabin quilt from a discounted Debbie Mumm book for $4.95. It was sized at 120” x 120”. I made the entire thing. It has all my firsts. The first time I selected all the fabric for a quilt, the first time I cut with a rotary cutter. It was also first time I pieced, and then ripped, and pieced again, as well as the first time I spray basted and machine quilted. I meandered the entire quilt through 4-1/2” of throat space on an old PFAFF. I’m very determined and sometimes naive. In hindsight, I didn’t understand what I was getting into, but I did finish the quilt before moving on to the next project.

[Check out all quilt patterns at Michael Miller Fabrics and Make it Blossom]

Front Yard debuted at Fall Quilt Market in Houston. Can you tell us a bit more about the line and what inspired its creation?
The Front Yard collection is inspired by my small moments in the front yard of our house with my daughter. This collection is about what she sees outside, a bird in the tree, bunnies hiding in the flowers, the distant city lights. The collection is illustrated with bright colors from my flowerbeds. Front Yard invites all to enjoy the small things outside and treasure the radiant color of summer. Join me on social media by finding me on instagram (sandra.clemons) and facebook (makeitblossom) where I share my creative process and the latest news on MIB. I also publish patterns and books, many of them showcase FRONT YARD. Head over to my website to find out more.

When did you first discover Aurifil threads and what do you love most about them? Do you have a favorite color/weight?
I knew about Aurifil when I first started quilting. Aurifil was very prominent at my favorite quilt shop. I knew about lint building up in sewing machines. Lint was a concern for me because I’m lazy when it comes to cleaning out my machine. I’d rather be stitching instead of taking a timeout to clean my machine. When the lady at the shop was pitching the Aurifil thread to a group of us, one of the benefits was that it produced less lint compared to other brands. When she said that, I was sold. Ever since, I hadn’t had any desire to try any other brands of threads. Why try something new when what you have is working wonderfully. I normally use the 50wt cotton.

How did you go about selecting threads for your latest Aurifil collection?
I knew I wanted a rainbow of colors with some neutrals. I used the Aurifil 50wt color card to audition colors to match the FRONT YARD collection. Then, I decided I wanted to make sure I had a variety of lights and darks of color. Soon, I was able to narrow it down to 12 colors for the large box and 10 for the small box.




To enter-to-win 1 Large Front Yard Thread Collection by Sandra Clemons for Aurifil, 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 Monday, January 2! Winner will be randomly selected and announced here on Tuesday, January 3. Good luck!

UPDATE: This giveaway is now closed. Congratulations to our winner, Vicki Hill!

To enter-to-win one FQ Bundle of Front Yard, make sure to follow @sandra.clemons and @michaelmillerfabrics. Repost the photo hop image at the top of this post using the following tags: #makeitblossom, #frontyardfabric, and #michaelmillerfabrics. Drawing occurs at the end of the Photo Hop. You can learn more about the hop by visiting Sandra’s blog for details.


sandra-profileSandra Clemons is a quilter, book author, fabric designer, quilt designer, and instructor. She began quilting in 2005 when she and her husband were dating. He took her to his family’s home and there she observed the quilts made by his grandmother and great-grandmother. She grew up understanding sewing garments and woodworking from her parents and believes that quilting is a nice mix between sewing and woodworking. Quilting is now Sandra’s passion…  the thing she loves to do when she’s not with her family. She considers her quilting style to be neo-classic, where she makes use of the old to make something new. She does all her own cutting, piecing, and quilting on her BERNINA 820 sewing machine.

Sandra lives in Denver, Colorado along with her husband and daughter and when she’s not quilting, enjoys running, hybrid workouts, yoga, photography, tennis, hiking, travel and sports.

[Most images + all interview answers and biographical information courtesy of Sandra Clemons.]


Marmalade Meadows by Wendy Sheppard


Wendy Sheppard is one of our all time favorite people. She is thoughtful and kind, creative and talented, and truly a master quilter. We are in awe of her work and adore her style. If you’ve been following along with us at Auribuzz for a while, you may be familiar with her Thread Journey Quilt Along from earlier this year. It was a true delight to be involved in such a fabulous project and we’re excited now to have a new project to promote!

Marmalade Meadows is Wendy’s second Aurifil collection (her first was Subtle Strings). It is a gorgeous selection of 10 small spools of our Aurifloss. The colors are bright and cheery, designed to coordinate with the sweet florals of Bleecker Street, a new collection with Quilting Treasures.

Marmalade Meadows
10 Small Spools of Aurifloss, 100% 6-strand embroidery floss, 18yds/spool
5002 – 5006 – 2865 – 2330 – 2530
2135 – 2860 – 1320 – 5017 – 2225


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

Can you tell us a bit about yourself and how you first got started in the world of sewing and quilting?
I am a self-proclaimed “happen-stance” quilter! Sewing/Quilting was never on my radar screen, and I had never touched a sewing machine until I was around 30. I was encouraged by my friend Barbara (who eventually became my quilting mentor) to try quilting. I will always been grateful to Barbara for getting me started in quilting.

Did you have another career prior to this one and how did one lead to the other?
Yes, I did. I actually have a Masters in Chemical Engineering, and worked in research for a few years. After being home for a few months, I ventured out to see if I could do something in the quilting industry. Believe it or not, I have been able to use what I learned in engineering for my quilting work. 🙂

The first two images show a certain wind flow pattern (lab, and real life in Madeira island). And you see how they “flow” into my quilting style?

Do you remember the process of creating your first quilt and how you felt once it was finished?
Haha, yes! I didn’t want to make the beginner’s quilt Barbara normally taught her students. I found a quilt in a book from the local library that is a pieced and applique quilt that I liked! I asked if Barbara would teach me quilting by making “that” quilt. She did — it was a scrappy quilt. I didn’t have any scraps, so I had the grandest time buying fabrics from quilt shops to build up my “scrap stash”. I knew quilting was going to be stay and be a part of life as soon as that first quilt was completed!


What is your favorite thing to make? Do you prefer quilting over creating other projects like embroidery samplers or apparel items?
I cannot sew apparel items to save my life! I have tried, but somehow the garment construction instructions and I don’t get along. It’s a toss-up between quilting and handwork/embroidery samplers. Since quilting makes up a large part of my work life, needlework is currently my refuge from work.

How did you first connect with Quilting Treasures and what inspired the creation of Marmalade Meadows to coordinate with their Bleecker Street collection?
I actually started working with Quilting Treausres to design projects to support their fabric lines back in 2010, and I have worked with Quilting Treasures extensively over the years.


When I was asked to design something with the Bleecker Street fabrics, I knew I wanted to design a quilt that involves hand embroidery. That resulted in a collage quilt design called Spring on Bleecker Street. The hand embroidery portion is done with floss from Marmalade Meadows.


The Bleecker Street fabrics are just now shipping to shops, and quilters can check with their local quilt shops to see if they will have the quilt kits available. Marmalade Meadows is due to ship soon as well. A sew-along of that quilt is forthcoming on my blog next year. You may download the pattern instructions by clicking here.

What did you like most about the process of creating a collection in partner with Quilting Treasures?
What I like the most about creating an embroidery floss collection with Quilting Treasures is that I was able to bring together beautiful fabrics and threads! Quilters generally associate me with quilt designs and domestic machine quilting, some might not know I am equally passionate about handwork. So it was nice to be able to express my love for handwork through Marmalade Meadows.

How did you go about selecting the colors?
I based my colors based on how they complement the fabrics. Once I had a group of about 20 colors, I narrowed down my selection by seeing how versatile each color is individually. I wanted to have a collection that goes beyond Bleecker Street.


For example, I also made sure the final colors that made it to the final selection can work for seasonal projects as well. In this case, a cross-stitch ornament.

I just finished smocking an insert that is going into a dress for my daughter using one of the blues in the collection.


Marmalade’s Merriment is a free pattern that you created for the release of this new thread collection and, in fact, it is featured on the label. What inspired this piece?
This is based on one of my daughter’s drawings. We gave the pot-belly bunny she drew the name Marmalade. I adapted it for embroidery.


[note: Marmalade’s Merriment is a free pattern that comes with the purchase of any box of Marmalade Meadows!]

Do you have any tips for those looking to make the pattern with the floss in your collection?Trace the embroidery with fine pen. I actually starch press my piece before stitching. The stiff fabric surface (from the starch) helps me keep my stitches more even.


What do you like most about Aurifloss? Have you used the threads for other projects?
The best thing I like about Aurifloss is the best thing I like about the other threads Aurifil produces — low lint! I was surprised how crips my stitches look when stitching with Aurifloss. I also like the fact that I don’t have to condition my floss when I stitch with more than 2 strands. Here are some projects I have stitched with Aurifloss:

1 – strand stitching for a fine needlework sampler

2 – strand stitching for all-purpose stitching

3 – strand stitching for smocking

You are a huge champion for Aurifil threads. When did you first discover them and what do you love most about using them?
I first discovered Aurifil threads in Spring 2006. I was looking for an alternative to the fine 100 silk thread I had been using for domestic machine quilting. The queen of domestic machine quilting Diane Gaudyneski mentioned the 50wt in one of her books. I decided to try out the thread — and the rest is history. I firmly believe the superior quality of Aurifil’s thread is the reason I have enjoyed making many projects in my fiber journey!


Any final thoughts?
Thank you for having me to share about Marmalade Meadows. I hope to share many more projects using Marmalade Meadows in the near future.



To enter-to-win 1 Fat Quarter Bundle of Bleecker Street by Quilting Treasures and 1 Small Marmalade Meadows Thread Collection by Wendy Sheppard for Aurifil, 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, December 28! Winner will be randomly selected and announced here on Thursday, December 29. Good luck!

UPDATE: This giveaway is now closed. Congratulations to Diane Beavers!

[we’ll also be hosting another giveaway on our Instagram account, so make sure you follow us there!)

QBV03_PieceBlock_12_crop_smallWebsite — Instagram
Originally from Southeast Asia, Wendy came to the US for her tertiary education.  After her degrees in Chemical Engineering, she worked in research in a wind tunnel for a spell.  Nowadays, she is a stay/work-at-home Mom to a 7 year old.  Wendy’s designs have been featured in major quilting publications, both home and abroad.  She is also an author for Landauer Publishing, as well as an online quilting instructor.  She is passionate about encouraging quilters to enjoy their quilting journey.  During her free time, she loves to read history, and indulges in hand needlework.

Moda Mondays: Kate Spain


We are so excited to kick off Moda Mondays with the amazing Kate Spain. We have a slew of stunning thread collections from Moda designers that we just can’t wait to share with you. Check in here every Monday to learn more!


Kate Spain hand-selected a gorgeous range of 40wt and 50wt threads for her latest release, Merry Merry. The colors represent the best of the holidays — rich reds, cool greens, silver & gold, and a bit pale pink &  candy cane stripes for some super sweet accents. The collection comes in both large and small spool boxes and would perfectly complement any holiday sewing, coordinating particularly well with Kate’s Christmas collections for Moda.

The threads are shown here with Kate’s quilt pattern, Felicity, now available (and on sale!) on her website.

Merry Merry
12 Large Spools, 50wt (1422yds/spool) & 40wt (1094yds/spool)
2260 – 2265 – 2423 – 2830 – 2882 – 2915 – 4661 – 6724 (50WT)
2311 – 2800 – 3320 – 4668 (40WT)


10 Small Spools, 50wt (220yds/spool)
2260 – 2265 – 2800 – 2830 – 2882
2915 – 3320 – 4661 – 4668 – 6724


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

For a gorgeous display of Holiday wonder, including both sizes of Merry Merry, take a peek at Kate Spain’s website. Many items are currently on sale for the holiday!!



We’re hosting a giveaway on our Instagram account! To enter-to-win 1 Small Merry Merry collection by Kate Spain for Aurifil, click here to visit us on Instagram, or simply click on the image above.  Entries will be accepted from now through 11:59pm Eastern Time on Wednesday, December 21! Winner will be randomly selected and announced here and on Instagram on Thursday, December 22. Good luck!

WebsiteBlogFacebookInstagramPinterestLinkedIn — Houzz — Google+

screen-shot-2016-12-18-at-9-21-15-pmKate Spain is a graduate of the Rhode Island School of Design and has been in the design and product development field for over 20 years. Her career began designing media tie-in books while working at Simon and Schuster Publishing in New York City. Her passion for art and design eventually led her to start her namesake business in 2008.

Her design collections aspire to bring the vitality of the outdoors into our homes to enrich and enliven them. Her style radiates with natural balance and freshness in palettes that offer a unique, sophisticated and widely appealing mix of
harmonious colors.  The KD Spain® brand extends a bouquet of nature- inspired, quality products that celebrate and enhance our everyday.

[Bio and images courtesy of Kate Spain, LLC ]

Curious Dream by Angela Pingel


We are so thrilled to be one of the stops on Angela Pingel’s Curious Dream Blog Hop! It’s been so fun to see all of the posts so far. From pillows to mini quilts to zippy pouches… there are already so many fabulous projects! Make sure to check out all of the stops along the way. Each day offers a brand new chance to win a FQ bundle! We’ve got lots of great stuff for you today — info about Angela’s new thread collections, an interview with Angela to uncover some of the inspiration behind Curious Dream, and a tutorial! That’s right… a super sweet, super simple, Toddler Tote Tutorial. So settle in and have fun!


Jump down the rabbit hole with Angela Pingel‘s debut collection, Curious Dream. Inspired by the whimsy of Alice’s adventures through Wonderland and the Looking Glass, this collection calls to the dreamer in all of us. The subtle theme is perfect for any true lover of the fantastical world, but is also perfect for staples to your stash. You will find yourself smiling over the soft rainbow of colors and the details of the design. Angela’s accompanying Aurifil Thread Collection is a sweet lineup of large spools in both 50wt and 12wt — perfect for all your project needs!

[click here or on the image above to check out the lookbook!]

Curious Dream
12 Large Spools, 50wt (1422yds/spool)
2024 – 2615 – 2610 – 2805 – 5005 – 2783 – 2420 – 6729 – 2105 (50wt)
2105 – 2024 – 2860 (12wt)


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

Can you tell us a bit about yourself and how you first got started in the world of sewing and quilting?
I was born and raised in South Bend, IN (Go Irish!) and I’m a midwest girl who loves to create.  I’ve been sewing for as long as I can remember and I started with garment sewing.  My mom did a bit of sewing for me and knew enough to teach me how to read a basic pattern.  I took that information and ran with it.  I’m completely self taught…so in some ways I feel like I have sooo much to learn.  But I’ve dabbled in pretty much everything.

I was introduced to quilting in particular in high school and made my very first project (a twin size quilt) from an Eleanor Burns book.  It was for my college dorm bed.  And I still have that quilt today.  I’ve been quilting away ever since!  I have degrees in mathematics and interior design, so it seems that fabric and quilt design were always in my future even though I didn’t know it.


Did you always know that you’d be in a creative field, or did you take other career stops along the way?
LOL! No!  I knew that I would always be creative but I assumed that it would be a hobby like it is for most people.  It’s a lovely hobby to be creative and create with pressure actually.  I thought long and hard about turning it into a career because it can be easy to lose the joy you once had under the demands of the field.  But my path seems to have been leading me here in spite of myself.  I actually always thought that I would be in academics.  I LOVE school and learning as well.  In fact I was going to pursue a masters in library science but ended up getting a second degree in Interior Design instead.  But first I taught Pre-Algebra, Algebra, Geometry, Precalculus and Chemistry.


Do you remember the process of creating your first quilt and how you felt once it was finished?
Oh Yes! Remember, I’m totally self taught, so I needed a book that taught me how to use a rotary cutter!  I’m dating myself, but there were certainly no online tutorials or you tube videos for me to watch.  It was all about reading and paying attention to details.  I still remember that I miscut or mis–sewed a bunch of the pieces and had to unpick them and redo them.  I was working a desk job over the summer and was able to use my down time to become friends with my seam ripper.  I had to buy new sashing for the quilt too because I had miscut that as well.  Oh good times. lol  But I loved that quilt and was SO proud of myself for making the entire quilt from start to finish.  I did stitch in the ditch quilting and am proud to say that the quilt is still in amazing condition.

What is your favorite thing to make? Do you prefer quilting over creating smaller projects like home accessories or handbags, or vice versa?
I’ve learned the hard way that making bags is not my favorite thing to do.  I certainly CAN make them and can even design them quite well. But I finally gave myself permission to say that they are just not my favorite thing to make.  As for quilts vs small projects, I am convinced that for me personally I need to have a healthy balance of the two.  In an ideal world, I would have just two projects going at a time and one would be a larger quilt and the other would always be a smaller project.  I love the joy of accomplishing something monumental like a quilt, but it can be necessary for my moral to have smaller projects finished more frequently.  Plus that way you can dabble with more fabrics!  Always a plus!

How did you first connect with Windham Fabrics and what do you love most about working with them?
I connected with Windham fabrics at Quilt Market and intiroduced myself to them via the standard channels of approaching a company.  I actually did this with a bunch of companies and did what I like to call speed dating at that market.  I had meetings with the creative directors for the companies and showed them my portfolio.  I had a long list of interview questions that I had for each company because not only did I want to design fabric, but I wanted to do it with the company that would be the best fit for me.  I immediately felt a connection with Windham because of their small yet big presence.  They have a plethora of talent among their designers but treat us all like we are equally important.  I loved their openness to my concepts and designs and really appreciate the freedom I have to design what I am interested in.  Communication has been great which is an essential part of working with a company for me.  Actually there is really nothing I can say that I dislike about them!  So I think we are a great fit.

Curious Dream is your debut collection with Windham. Can you tell us a bit more about the line and what inspired its creation?
It’s been a dream of mine to design fabric for a long time, but I was anxious about breaking into this new aspect of the quilting world.  I knew that I needed a design based off of something that I adored to give me the confidence to push through.  So Alice in Wonderland came to me.  At the time I thought that it was completely original to do this concept, but the stars aligned so that many people thought this was a good idea as well. lol  So now you can find a number of glorious lines about Alice.  But what I love about true design is that even with the same inspiration, we all ended up with vastly different lines from each other.  My personal goal in design is to marry whimsy with practicality.  In fact it’s almost my personal motto for life.  I really wanted to explore the character of Alice in such a way that the line felt whimsical but not novelty.  It’s a tough balance.  Using a children’s story with existing illustrations can be difficult to break free from and create another unique version.  For me, it was important to go back to the text and read the book with a highlighter; taking note of anything that caught my design eye.  I was interested in the FEEL of the book rather than recreating any exact moment.

The lookbook for Curious Dream is absolutely fabulous. What was it like to pull all of the props together for that photoshoot? Did you actually make that amazing moss chair?
Oh thank you so much!  I really appreciate that.  The look book was a labor of love.  I knew that I was tackling more props than I probably needed to, but creating wonderland is not something you get to do every day.  I wanted the back drop to support the idea of the story but in no way overshadow the fabric and its story.  Thankfully I had a wonderful photographer and I wasn’t the one trying to both run the shoot and be in charge of all the props and outfits and be a model AND then also take the photographs.

And that moss chair!!  Yes!! I did make it.  I actually have a tutorial for how to make one yourself on my website.  Because sometimes you just need a moss chair  😉


Your daughter plays the role of Alice in the lookbook — was it fun to create projects with her in mind for this collection? 
Isn’t she just the cutest?!  It was so very fun to design the projects with her in mind.  I even took her with me to find the chair I used for the moss chair because I wanted to make sure that she looked a bit dwarfed in it.  And then designing the Alice look for her was one of the most fun fabric combos I got to do.  Because once again, how often do you get to design an Alice costume…and with your own fabrics no less?! Oh and she insisted on having some real liquid in that tea party scene.  She’s a very method model.  lol


When did you first discover Aurifil threads and what do you love most about them? Do you have a favorite color/weight?
I’ve been using Aurifil for years now!!  They generously supplied the thread for my book, A Quilter’s Mixology, and numerous other projects I’ve been a part of.  I think what I love most about them is that they are available in so many different weights.  There is literally a thread for all of your needs.  I probably use the 40 or 50 weight the most often but the 12 weight is awesome for thick quilting lines.  And I am anxious to try the new 80 weight!  I think that would be amazing for EPP.  And who wouldn’t love the floss on wooden spools?  Those get me every time!


How did you go about selecting threads for your latest Aurifil collection?
Again, I wanted practicality and whimsy.  So I matched threads to my collection colors of course, but I wanted more than just that.  I made sure that I included the kind of colors that are truly USEFUL.  So there are plenty of neutrals, blues and corals…all colors that pretty hot right now in general.  So whether you are using them for my collection or with other fabrics you own, they are universally on point.  Also, I wanted to make sure that there were some different weight threads in the box.  If you will be buying an entire box of thread, I want you to get the most bang for your buck. (There’s my practical side kicking in).  So I included another weight other than a piecing weight.  I included the 3 spools of 12 weight thread in colors that will pop for the opportunity to do some special heavy weight machine quilting.  I actually have a blog post about quilting with that as well!



1. Cut: two 9” x 11” rectangles each of outer fabric, lining fabric and fusible fleece, two 20” x 3” strips of strap fabric, two 19” x 1-1/5” strips of fusible fleece, one 4” x 5” rectangle  each of white fabric and EZ-STeam II and one 3″ x 3” square each of appliqué fabric and EZ-Steam II.

2. Fuse the 9” x 11” rectangles of Fusible Fleece to the wrong sides of the outer fabric rectangles. Set aside.

3. Remove the plain paper backing of the 4″ x 5″ EZ-Steam II rectangle and press the sticky side to the wrong side of the white fabric. Press with a hot dry iron. Let cool. Cut along all 4 edges with pinking shears. Set aside.

4. Trace child’s initial onto the gridded side of 3″ x 3″  EZ-Steam II square. Make sure the letter is traced in reverse.


5. Remove the plain paper backing from the EZ-Steam II and finger press sticky side to the wrong side of the applique fabric. Press with a hot dry iron. Let cool. Cut letter out.

6. Remove gridded paper backing from the white rectangle, center within the top 2/3 of one outer fabric rectangle and finger press to secure.

7. Remove gridded paper backing from the letter and center within the white fabric rectangle. Fuse.


8. Top stitch around letter and rectangle to secure and embellish as desired.

9. Mark and cut out a 1” notch on the bottom left & right hand corners or outer and lining rectangles.

10. Place outer rectangles right sides together and pin along both sides and bottom. Stitch using a ¼” seam allowance along both sides and bottom.

11. Open up the left corner notch and press together, aligning raw edges and seam. Pin and sew. Repeat with the right corner notch.


12. Repeat steps 10 & 11 with the lining rectangles, making sure to leave a 3” gap along the bottom seam for turning.

13. Turn outer bag right side out.

14. To make the straps, center the Fusible Fleece strips on the wrong sides of the strap fabric strips and fuse. Fold short ends in over the edge of the Fusible Fleece and press. Fold strips in half lengthwise and press. Open and fold long edges in to meet the center crease. Press. Re-fold center crease and topstitch around all four sides.

15. Place outer bag inside lining, with right sides together and match seams. Pin on either side of seams to secure.

16. Tuck one strap in between exterior and lining, with raw edges aligned, so that the outside edges of the straps are 1” in from the side seams of the bag. Repeat with second strap.


17. Pin around the entire opening and sew, reinforcing seams over all 4 strap ends.


18. Turn bag right side out through the gap. Stitch gap closed and push lining into bag.

19. Straighten lining and pin top seam to prevent shifting. Topstitch.




The Curious Dream Giveaway is closed. Congratulations to our winner Dorie Esquivel!

Monday, December 12th — Windham Fabrics
Tuesday , December 13th — Kelly Bowser, Kelby Sews
Wednesday, December 14th — Brooke Sellmann, Silly Mama Quilts
Thursday, December 15th — Wendy Sheppard, Ivory Spring
Friday, December 16th — Rebecca Bryan, Bryan House Quilts
Saturday, December 17th —  Chris Dodsley, Made by ChrissieD
Sunday December 18th — Aurifil (YOU ARE HERE!)
Monday, December 19th — Jennie, Clover & Violet
Tuesday, December 20th — Stephanie Kendron, Modern Sewciety
Wednesday, December 21st — Joanne, The Fat Quarter Gypsy
Thursday, December 22nd — Heidi Staples, Fabric Mutt
Friday, December 23rd — Round up post at Windham Fabrics


angela-headshots-2-550x825Angela is a 30’s something wife and mom, winding her way between family life and fabric. She’s been sewing for as long as she can remember, and even did various super cool things such as making her prom dress, a quilt for her college dorm room and her flower girl dresses. Well, those things *might* be cool now, but they definitely weren’t then.

Angela is the author of the book A Quilter’s Mixology, on quilting using variations of the Drunkard’s Path Block. She has filmed a DVD on sewing curves available through Quilting Arts and also has a class on Craftsy using precuts to make disappearing blocks.  She has been published in numerous magazines and books including 99 Modern Blocks, Sweet Celebrations, 101 Patchwork Projects, Modern Patchwork, Quilt Scene, Playful Little Paper Pieced Projects, Quiltmaker’s 100 blocks, and more.

[collection images and bio courtesy of Angela Pingel]

Meadow Sweets by Jill Finley


Jill Finley of Jillily Studio debuted Meadow Sweets, her first collection as a designer for Penny Rose Fabrics (a division of Riley Blake) at Spring Quilt Market. The fabrics are in stores now, available alongside her coordinating Large and Small Aurifil Thread Collections. We just love the range of colors and have simply fallen for the feature quilts!

Meadow Sweets
12 Large Spools, 50wt (1422yds/spool)
2425 – 2265 – 1103 – 1135 – 2140 – 1147
2887 – 6720 – 2775 – 2710 – 2024 – 2692


10 Small Spools, 50wt (220yds/spool)
2425 – 2265 – 1135 – 2140 – 1147
2887 – 6720 – 2775 – 2024 – 2692


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

Can you tell us a bit about yourself and how you first got started in the world of sewing and quilting?
I was always a sewer, and mostly did garment and home dec sewing. Then about 20 years ago I was asked to teach a quilting class at my church. I said OK. (How hard could that be?) So, long story short—I learned a lot and then fell in love with quilting!

Meadow Weaver

Meadow Weaver in Midnight

Do you remember the process of making your first quilt and how you felt once it was complete?
It was awesome! I loved the idea of doing something old–that women had been doing for centuries. It was something that was important to keep in the tradition of things, and to use my own creativity.

Spring Fling

Spring Fling

Who or what has been your greatest creative inspiration?
I think that life in general has been an inspiration to me creatively. When I have an experience or see something beautiful, I want to create to share that.

How did you first connect with the lovely folks at Riley Blake and what have you loved most about the process of creating this latest fabric collection?
I have known many of the people a Riley Blake for many years. When I finally decided to make the move over to the Penny Rose company, it was like coming home. I love working with these people—we are on the same wave-length!

Cabin Fever

Cabin Fever

Meadow Sweets is your latest collection, available in stores now. Can you tell us a bit more about what inspired the line and what excites you most about it?
I live near the mountains and in a matter of minutes I can be up one of our beautiful canyons enjoying nature. In the spring and summer these mountain canyons are filled with colorful wildflowers—it looks like a candy store—with so many colors and textures!

Do you have a favorite project made with the collection? 
Oh, I have made so many—and there are more coming, too. But one of my favorites has to be the Meadow Weaver quilt because the piecing is so unusual and intricate. And I love that it comes in 2 colorways. I can say that I LOVED piecing that, and watching it come together. The applique was so much fun to do—very simple shapes with big impact!

Meadow Weaver in Midday

Meadow Weaver in Midday

What is your favorite thing to make? Do you prefer quilting over creating smaller projects like home accessories or handbags, or vice versa? 
I think I probably prefer quilt-making, but it sure is fun to whip up a small project like a bag or pin cushion for a change of scenery!

Strawberry Tart

Strawberry Tart

When did you first discover Aurifil threads and what do you love most about them?
I always tell Alex and Elena that I am their oldest US customer! The first Market that they came to—to introduce Aurifil threads to the US market, my booth was across from them. They didn’t speak much English, and I didn’t speak Italian, but we managed to get some thread to take home and try. Of course, after using it, I became a fan for life. I ran out and had to call Italy to get more because when I went back to my previous thread, I felt like I was sewing with string! At the time they didn’t have a US distributor, so it was hard to get but worth it!   I have not sewn with anything else since!


Do you have a favorite color/weight and why?
I love the 50 wt for all my piecing, by machine or by hand. I also use 50 wt. for my hand applique. On my machine I use a neutral color as I am piecing, but when I applique, I like to match the thread color to my applique piece. So, I have TONS of colors, and love them all!

I also use the 28 wt for making yo-yos, some hand stitching, etc. I have all the weights, too. You never know what you are going to need.


How did you go about selecting threads for your latest Aurifil collection?
That’s easy. I just picked colors that matched the fabrics in the collection so I can applique and top-stitch with confidence that the thread will be perfect.





To enter-to-win 1 Fat Quarter Bundle of Meadow Sweets by Jill Finley for Penny Rose Fabrics, a division of Riley Blake AND 1 Large Meadow Sweets Thread Collection by Jill Finely for Aurifil, 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, December 22! Winner will be randomly selected and announced here on Friday, December 23. Good luck!

UPDATE: This giveaway is now closed. Congratulations to Judy Rianprakaisang!


jillfinleyprofileJill Finley is the owner and designer behind Jillily Studio. She has been designing quilt patterns for over 15 years and currently designs and sells quilt fabric, patterns, kits and notions. Her quilt designs show off her fresh style using high contrast fabrics and usually have a bit of applique to soften and finish each design. Jillily Studio produces the popular notions, Appli-Glue and Poke-A-Dots, along with numerous kits and patterns. Jill is the author of several books on quilting; Home Sweet Quilt and Stitched Together.

She is a Master Designer for Aurifil Threads and is also a BERNINA Ambassador. Her designs have been featured in several magazines including American Patchwork and Quilting, Quilter’s Home and McCall’s Quilting. Jill stays busy traveling and teaching about her quilt designs and applique methods. Jill designs fabric with Penny Rose fabrics, part of Riley Blake designs. Creating fabric collections for quilting has been one of Jill’s favorite projects. Jill loves to spend time with her family; eating, reading, gardening, sewing, cooking, and learning. She and her husband Randy live in Herriman, Utah and are the parents of seven children and eleven grandchildren.

Aurifil 2016 December Designer of the Month Amanda Herring

aurifil-2016-design-team-dec-amanda-herring-collageI’m Designer, Author, Radio show host Pat Sloan.. Our December Designer bringing us the 12th gorgeous blocks is the super talented and witty Amanda Herring of The Quilted Fish.. get it.. Herring… Fish? See.. I told you she is witty!

Amanda Inspires me personally, when we meet it was like we’d known each other forever. She champions the amazing industry we work in and is a constant source of creativity. She puts out 1,000% for every project.

You can listen to Amanda chat with me  on my Talk Show Nov 23, 2015 about her inspiration for her  fabric lines.

Let’s get to know Amanda!!

Where do you live Amanda?

1 amanda.png

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

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

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

{My wedding quilt from my grandma!}

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

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

4 ama.png

What is your background prior to designing fabric?

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

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


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

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


 Where do you work? would you change anything?

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


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


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

5 amanda.jpg

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


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

6 amanda.jpg

Do you have a super storage tip?

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

9 thread.jpg

The hard question.. favorite color of Aurifil thread!

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

What about blue inspired your block?

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



DOWNLOAD Amanda’s Flower block

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



A few more things about me:

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


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

Follow me:

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




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

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

COME SEE ALL the Designer Blocks on my Design wall!

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

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

1 Watermak-Needle-Black

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

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


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

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











Top Ten Tuesday {Christmas}


If you’re like us, you are a sucker for a great Christmas project and get a little giddy thinking about going handmade for the Holidays! We are so fortunate to have access to so many amazing Christmas projects — from quilts to pillows, ornaments to tree skirts, there truly is a little something for everyone. What’s on your to-sew list for the holiday?

1. Ho Ho Farmhouse Pillow — The Crafty Quilter


2. Fabric Pinecone Tutorial — Mister Domestic


3. Scrap Batting Ornaments and Garland — Sandra Clemons of Make it Blossom


4. Mini Christmas Tree Skirt — Bryan House Quilts


5. Poinsettia Pillow Tutorial — Simple Simon and Company


6. Pixelated Present Quilt Block — Clover & Violet


7. Merry and Bright Cushion Cover — Nana Company


8. Tiny Trees Bunting — S.O.T.A.K. handmade


9. A Series of Christmas Pillows — The Red Pistachio


10. Circle Tree Quilt — Gayle Schliemann for We All Sew, Bernina


Find more free patterns, tips, tutorials and inspiration by following  on PinterestFacebook, and Instagram. All are updated regularly 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

Seventy Six by Alison Glass


Inspired by words like Harmony, Renewal, and Goodness, the idea for the patterns in Alison Glass‘ Seventy Six for Andover Fabrics was born. Seventy Six is a versatile collection of thirty fabrics. Ten of them are especially useful neutrals ranging from white to dark grey in a perfect scale for quilting. Images of birds and bees mix with stars, flowers, and pretty line-work in lovely harmony. The colors, saturated and complex, represent a more controlled AG palette, sure to make for beautiful patchwork. Alison’s coordinating thread collections offer a wonderful range for sewists and quilters. The Large collection features a mix of colors in 50wt. The Small collections are broken out into Warm, Cool and Neutral tones, each with 5 colors in both 50wt and 28wt.

Read on for all sorts of thread info, an interview with Alison, info about her fabric and embroidery designs and of course… a GIVEAWAY!


Seventy Six Large Collection
12 Large Spools, 50wt (1422yds/spool)
4030 – 2588 – 4020 – 5002 – 2235 – 5015
5022 – 2910 – 2815 – 2525 – 6722 – 6736alisonglass-sevetysixlg

Seventy Six Small Collection, Warm Palette
Small, 50wt (220yds/spool) & 28wt (109yds/spool)
4030 – 2588 – 4020 – 5002 – 2235 (50wt) 4030 – 2588 – 4020 – 5002 – 2235 (28wt)alisonglass-seventysixwarmsm

Seventy Six Small Collection, Cool Palette
Small, 50wt (220yds/spool) & 28wt (109yds/spool)
5015 – 5022 – 2910 – 2815 – 2525 (50wt) 5015 – 5022 – 2910 – 2815 – 2525 (28wt)alisonglass-sevetysixcool-sm

Seventy Six Small Collection, Neutral Palette 
Small, 50wt (220yds/spool) & 28wt (109yds/spool)
6722 – 6736 – 2021 – 2615 – 2784 (50wt) 6722 – 6736 – 2021 – 2615 – 2784 (28wt)alisonglass-seventysixneutralsm

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

How did you background in home décor inspire and guide your journey in textile design?
About 8 years ago, I started a business doing organization and decorating for clients. I dropped the organization component after about a year to focus on space remodels. I began using fabrics from the quilting industry in client’s homes because the fabric was more in line with what I was looking for, interesting design with bolder colors, and overall just different from a lot of the home dec fabric available. Through working with these fabrics, I became very interested in the idea of designing fabric and eventually did design my first line that ended up being produced by Andover Fabrics.


Do you come from a creative background and how did that influence your path?
My mother’s mother sewed beautifully, really truly very talented, but I didn’t know her well, so anything from her would be in the genetic category. My mother also was very, very talented at a lot of things, including sewing and color. I do remember sitting by her and watching her sew and I remember her telling me things about how to use the machine, etc., but she passed away when I was nine, so to say that she taught me to sew wouldn’t be true. I’m sure she would have, we just didn’t get to it. She still is one of my greatest influences though, in immeasurable ways. I did take a class when I was around twelve, which was mainly useful in learning how to thread my sewing machine (a Bernina that had belonged to my mom that is still the main machine around here), and from there I just kind of sewed and figured it out.

[Matchstick Quilt Straight line quilting by Mary Menzer.]

How you first got started in the world of sewing and quilting?
I guess like both my mum and her mum, a lot of the sewing I started out doing was out of a practical desire of wanting things for my home, and because I could. I mainly sewed home décor items such as pillows and slip covers. Then when I started having kids I made nursery things. From there, I started to create things for other people which helped to grow my business. I also sew because I love fabric and always have. It is strange to think back and see a path leading to fabric design, but it all makes sense.

Bungalow Quilt

Bungalow Quilt

How did you first connect with Andover Fabrics and what do you love most about working with them?
Working with Andover is very collaborative and I love that. They are great at listening and and we really do work together to grow in ways that are best for the whole. Andover is also extremely committed to quality in everything they produce, as am I, so that works out well for all of us and for the people who end up using the fabrics. They are also kind, nice and a lot of fun! We have a good time and it feels like a positive group project where everyone contributes.

Seventy-Six and Insignia are your latest collections with Andover. What inspired these lines and what do you love most about how the two coordinate?
Seventy Six is inspired by historic celebrations and focuses on themes of renewal, goodness and harmony. It’s a very personal line and for sure a favorite of mine. I love how the colors work together and I think it represents and important shift in my thought process as a fabric designer. Insignia fills a need for solid fabrics that coordinate with my prints. The saturation of the colors is amazing. The mill did such  great work with the printing and the texture of the fabric shows so beautifully. I love how Insignia works with Seventy Six, and really all of the fabrics, to give some needed space to the busy. Both of these lines are for sure favorites of mine.


Cobblestone Quilt

You work with an amazing and diverse group of makers to showcase your fabrics. What is it like to see your fabrics come to life in the hands of these talented women & men?
That’s true, everyone that helps by making is amazing. I’m extremely lucky to have a large group of tallented people interested in the work and willing to make things with it. It’s not something I take lightly or for granted at all. Every person that helps to show what can be done with the fabric is immensely important to getting the work out and seen so that others can continue in their own making. I appreciate every piece and truly love being in the position to make a raw good that others can use to create their own heirlooms. I have a certain capacity for imagining uses, but it’s so small compared to what others choose. It’s truly a favorite part of the job.

When did you first discover Aurifil threads and what do you love most about them? Do you have a favorite color/weight?
Aurifil first is a super group of hard working people making a superior product. I simply first discovered Aurifil at my first or second Quilt Market by walking past their booth and seeing a wall of amazing brilliant color. That is what drew me in, then learning about the quality sealed the deal. I have tons of colors I love, but one that stands out is 5022, it’s a personal favorite that has ended up in multiple AG collections. It’s a beautiful chartreuse color that I’m personally very drawn to. I love the matte finish of the threads and again the wide range of gorgeous colors.

How did you go about selecting threads for your latest Aurifil collection, and how would you want to present them to all of the makers out there?
The collections fall into two categories. The three small boxes (Warm, Cool and Neutral) each have five colors in two weights. I chose the two weights so that people would have colors that work well with the fabrics, but also choices for uses. The 50wt is great for piecing while the 28 is super for visible colorful quilting, a concept I love and am hoping to share with other through these collections as well as some of our newer patterns. The Neutral box is particularly  useful. Each of the five weights/colors would cover the majority of needs. While the colors are chosen to work well with Seventy Six and Insignia, the reality is that they blend beautifully with the majority of my fabrics (and others). The large box is 12 useful colors that go great with the fabrics, but are also chosen to use with my machine embroidery collections for Bernina and OESD. I have a new (really fun!) machine embroidery collection and these threads are chosen specifically to make for a great outcome for those designs.

[Attacus Linework Moth & Attacus  Linework Crewel Style Moth by Nydia Kehnle.]

Alison Glass isn’t just a designer, a quilter, or an artist… she is a story-teller. With each collection release, she tells a new story, adding to her rich history. Seventy Six isn’t just a group of thread collections or a new fabric line (partnered with Insignia) for Andover… It isn’t just a new set of embroidery designs with OESD or a set of fabulous temporary tattoos. It is the works of art that come from it all, the new projects that are thoughtfully created by so many talented makers. Alison inspires people to dig deeper into their own creative instincts and the results are always stunning. We couldn’t help but share a few examples here.

Seventy Six & Insignia by Alison Glass for Andover Fabrics

Seventy Six Embroidery Designs by Alison Glass for OESD
{all designs were stitched using Aurifil 50wt. Thread color chart is available on disc}screen-shot-2016-12-09-at-12-29-11-pm

To enter-to-win 1 Fat Quarter Bundle of Seventy Six by Alison Glass for Andover Fabrics, 1 Large Seventy Six Thread Collection by Alison Glass for Aurifil and one Embroidery Designs disc by Alison Glass for OESD, 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 Friday, December 16! Winner will be randomly selected and announced here on Saturday, December 17. Good luck!

UPDATE: This giveaway is now closed. Congratulations to Emily C!

Also, don’t miss out on this AMAZING giveaway going on now over at Andover Fabrics! Click here or on the image below for more information. Giveaway runs through Tuesday, December 15th at 5pmEST.screen-shot-2016-12-09-at-12-33-40-pm

Alison Glass is a surface designer living in Virginia with her husband, daughter, and son. Aspiring to create a career for herself, Alison started a design business in 2007 focusing on space remodels and custom home decor pieces. Her love of color and shape and the combination of the two eventually lead to making the decision to step back from the local design business and work toward her goal of creating artwork for surfaces. She is thrilled for the opportunity to design fabric for Andover.

Alison is inspired by the multitude of details in the world, both natural and those made by artisans, particularly in urban architecture. She is passionate about the ideas of making choices that are consistent with who a person is, being increasingly comfortable with ambiguity, and continuing to move forward and live in the new. She loves to talk about these ideas, as well as art, design, architecture, color, kids, okay, pretty much anything, with anyone who cares to talk! She is incredibly grateful to her husband and kids, for who they are, and for their enthusiasm and support of her work, as well as the amazing varied and interesting friends she is meeting along the way who are a constant source of inspiration and new possibilities.

[bio & photos courtesy of Alison Glass. Many photos by Love Knot Photo. Feature showcase photos by Nichole VogelsingerKarie JewellJamie Swanson, Kate BastiWendy Bermingham, SARIELLA Studios, Kitty Wilkin, and Kristy Sachs.]

Sew Mama Sew Giveaway Day!!

Sew Mama Sew‘s Giveaway Day brings bloggers, designers and brands together for one giant collaborative giveaway event. It’s a tremendous time for new product discoveries, fun connections with your favorite blogs, introductions to a wide range of brand new blogs AND it allows all of us to have a bit of fun with all of you! It’s an exciting time and we’re thrilled to be a part of it for another year.


This year, Aurifil has not one, but TWO fabulous giveaways. One is open to US-participants ONLY and one is open Internationally. These bundles feature two extremely talented designers with recent Aurifil thread collection releases and we couldn’t be more thrilled to have a new opportunity to showcase them today!

DOMESTIC/US ONLY GIVEAWAYamandamurphy-sewmamasew

The threads for Amanda Murphy‘s debut Aurifil collections were selected to coincide with her Benartex fabric collections Sewing Room and Feathers & Flourishes The large box features a variety of 50wt threads in addition to Aurifil’s clear monofilament thread, Amanda’s choices for both piecing and quilting. The small box features her top choices in both 12wt & 28wt, making it an excellent  sampler for anyone looking to try appliqué with heavier weight threads.

This giveaway is for 1 Large Thread Box, 1 Small Thread Box and 1 Fat Quarter Bundle of Sewing room by Amanda Murphy for Benartex. Click here or on the image above to access the Rafflecopter entry for this giveaway. 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 Saturday, July 30! Winner will be randomly selected and announced here on Sunday, July 31. Good luck!

UPDATE: This giveaway is now closed. Congratulations to our winner Julane Williams!

To learn more about Amanda’s collections, please click here.


Minki Kim (aka @Zeriano) is a sewing illustrator and crafter known for her sweet and whimsical thread art. Minki selected her most used colors and thread weights for her debut Aurifil thread collection, Sew Illustrated. In her words, “Threads are like brushes. You need different sized brushes when you paint.” This collection is perfect for both beginner and seasoned sewing illustrators!

This giveaway is for 1 Large Thread Box, 1 Small Thread Box and 1 copy of Sew Illustrated by Minki Kim and Kristin Esser for Stash Books/C&T Publishing. Click here or on the image above to access the Rafflecopter entry for this giveaway. 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 8:00pm EST on Sunday, December 11! Winner will be randomly selected and announced here on Wednesday, December 14. Good luck!

UPDATE: This giveaway is closed. Congratulations to our winner Mania Hatziioannidi! 

To learn more about Minki’s collections, please click here.


Don’t forget to head on over to Sew Mama Sew to check out all of the amazing giveaways featured on some other great blogs and make some new friends!

Good luck and happy stitching!!

Deep Gems by Paula Nadelstern


Paula Nadelstern‘s Deep Gems collection for Aurifil was prepared as a representation of the vibrant and rich colors typically present within her kaleidoscopic fabric designs. Oranges, reds and pink offset the cool blue and green tones, creating a truly fantastic range. Though these colors work particularly well in partner with Paula’s unique quilting style, they would also be the perfect complement to a variety of quilt projects. The collection features 12 unique colors of the highly versatile 50wt thread.

Deep Gems
12 Large Spools, 50 wt, 1422yds/each
2145 – 2150 – 2270 – 2260 – 4020 – 2545
5022 – 1147 – 2870 – 2810 – 2735 – 1200


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

Can you tell us a bit about yourself and how you first got started in the world of quilting and textiles?
I’m a New Yorker wrapped up in the fabric of city life. In fact, I make my quilts on the same block in the Bronx where I grew up. I settled into full time quilt making by way of the playground park bench. That’s where moms on hiatus from previous lives (I was an Occupational Therapist) hang out and share ideas—like organizing total non-sewists and quilt novices into making a raffle quilt for the local cooperative nursery school, the same one I’d gone to as a toddler. One good group quilt led to another and another. By the time I gave up my place on that bench to the next generation of moms, I had the expertise and repertoire for a comprehensive book on group quilts (Quilting Together, Crown Publishers 1988) and was stitching my way toward a new career. And to this day, over 40 years later, the Nursery moms make an annual raffle quilt.

Who or what has been your greatest creative inspiration?
My interest in things kaleidoscopic began in 1987 when I was struck by a bolt of fabric–a sumptuous, sinfully-expensive, bilaterally symmetrical Liberty of London cotton. Little did I know that purchasing a quarter yard would change my life forever, leading me three years and four quilts later to purchase my first actual state-of-the-art kaleidoscope and join the Brewster Kaleidoscope Society, The BKS is a society of artists who design and create kaleidoscopes, galleries and shops who sell kaleidoscopes and collectors and museums who appreciate and enjoy them.

The amazing first bolt of Liberty of London fabric

The amazing first bolt of Liberty of London fabric

The insight from this anecdote is obvious: buy that piece of fabric no matter how expensive it is. As I peer through the many incredible kaleidoscopes I have garnered over the years, like a sleuth searching for clues, I discover my design inspiration all over again. Who knows what the next turn of the scope will reveal to me or to you?

With hindsight I’ve realized that another factor played strongly in the development of my personal design and technique strategies. Historians have suggested that the block-style method of making quilts evolved in response to the cramped quarters of early American life. My family’s living arrangements in an urban environment created similar considerations that, unwittingly, I resolved in much the same way.

When I started making kaleidoscope quilts, my workspace in our two-bedroom apartment was the forty-inch round kitchen table. (I’m the only person I know who taught her family to eat in front of the TV). I think the reality of limited space helped shape my idiosyncratic style. Instead of the traditional square-shaped-block, my block-style method is based on a triangle because a kaleidoscope is a circular design composed of identical triangular wedges that radiate from a center point. Throughout the design stage, I’m working on a single full-size triangle that is drafted on graph paper and patched from fabric using templates. Whatever I do to one triangle, I simultaneously do to all 6 or 8 or 16. I don’t see the final gestalt until the last seam is sewn.

Do you remember the process of creating your first quilt and how you felt once it was finished?
Lots of teachers on the circuit will tell you about the important female in their early lives who taught them to how to sew, insisting (kindly or not) that all imperfection be repaired. I grew up with a mom who prided herself on not being “fussy”, mended a lot (a habit left over from the Depression) and generously appraised every attempt of mine as either great or good enough. I am not complaining. When, as a young teen, I borrowed her much revered but temperamental second-hand, brand-name sewing machine, the bobbin would jam within minutes. Although this led me to suspect I wasn’t very good at sewing, I returned to it again and again because there is something optimistic about a palette of colorful, tactile fabric.

My matriarchal aunt’s gift to sixteen-year-old me of a steadfast Singer Featherweight©, purchased for $25 at a yard sale and fitted with a single hole throat plate, changed all that. (I used to call it an old machine until I learned it was a year younger than I am.) Together we made my first quilt (a comforter cover really) in 1968 in my college dorm, ripping up my old clothes into 10” squares and sewing them together. I was exceptionally proud of it and so was my mom. Today I work in a 15-by-10-foot studio revamped from my daughter’s former bedroom. Picture ceiling high cupboards stuffed with fabric, drawers overflowing with the paraphernalia quilters collect, 6 feet of design wall, and a Bernina poised for action on a 4-by-6-foot counter.

Paula's prized first quilt

Paula’s prized first quilt

Your book, Fabracadabra, was just released with C&T Publishing. Can you tell us a bit about that process and what you loved most about it?
I’ve been told that I write books pretty much the same way that I make quilts. Fabric by fabric. Choice by choice. In a word, slowly.

The truth is, I’d rather be working on a quilt than writing about it. But it’s not until you write about something that you understand it really well. Breaking down your own creative act, first by identifying your personal strategies, and then by dividing them into a sequence of steps, forces you to reflect on what things aren’t as well as what they are. This exploration steers you in lots of valuable directions. It leads you to the vocabulary needed to articulate your private visual language. It helps you recognize the kinds of mistakes students are likely to make and head them off in class. And sometimes, when you are very lucky, it awakens new ideas, pushing you, the artist, further along your creative path.


The book demonstrates how quilts made of simple shapes can be transformed into complex-looking quilts that are easy to piece using gorgeous, intricate fabric. Some, but not all, of the quilts are traditional patterns, gift-wrapped with charismatic fabrics.

Do you have a favorite project from the book?
One of my favorite quilts from my new book FABRICADABRA, Simple Quilts, Complex Fabric is the quilt called An Agreement of Butterflies.

I was waiting to give my lecture to the Prairie Quilt Guild in Wichita, KS when a traditional butterfly quilt held up during Show & Tell captured my attention. In a flash, I recognized a kindred pattern capable of showcasing a gazillion symmetrical prints all at once. Choosing the fabrics bewitched me into a flow state, the name for those glorious moments when you’re so energized by the task at hand that time seems immaterial. I made many more 5” x 5” squares than needed.

Closeup of An Agreement of Butterflies by Paula Nadelstern

Closeup of An Agreement of Butterflies by Paula Nadelstern

The collective nouns for various groups of animals and birds amuse me. A shrewdness of apes. A murder of crows. I assumed there’d be one for butterflies but when I couldn’t find it, I made one up. Assembled from forty-nine different fabrics (plus a common butterfly belly and black background equals fifty-one) from my first thirteen fabric collections for Benartex, these diverse colors and prints seem to be in accord — that’s why I called it An Agreement of Butterflies. So, color me speechless when a second internet search, six months after the first one, revealed labels for a multitude of butterflies. A rabble of butterflies. A flutter of butterflies. An equally appealing quilt title, a rainbow of butterflies. But the perfect coincidence, the goose bump laden karmic moment was the phrase: a kaleidoscope of butterflies. It must be true, I Googled it.

An Agreement of Butterflies by Paula Nadelstern

An Agreement of Butterflies by Paula Nadelstern

In your work, you herald the kaleidoscope, a word you say promises ‘surprise and magic, change and chance’. How has this informed your quilting style?
For almost forty years, the kaleidoscope has not only been my design inspiration, it’s also been my classroom. Analyzing not only what a scope is but also what it isn’t has steered me in lots of valuable directions, including toward the fundamental principles of design. I’ve learned to manipulate physical properties like focal point, rhythm and line to inject a feeling of motion into an otherwise static image. But it is the unique qualities synonymous with the kaleidoscope personality that I’m always trying to get to know better. Surprise. Magic. Change. Chance. I’ve learned that to conjure an instant of luminous and fleeting spontaneity, I’ve got to trust in symmetry, rely on detail, commit both random and staged acts of color and understand that the whole will always be greater than the sum of its parts. No matter what my quilts look like in the future, this personal design vocabulary, gleaned through the eyepiece of a kaleidoscope, will take the journey with me.

When did you first discover Aurifil threads and what do you love most about them? Do you have a favorite color/weight?
I’ve been using Aurifil 50 weight for years for piecing. My larger quilts can end up with thousands of seams. I like that I can rely on the combination of delicacy with strength because it helps keep the multitude of seams thin and not bulky.

I’ve used Aurifil 12 in many of the beautiful colors for embroidery and for a big stitch echoing a hand quilting stitch.

Paula at 2013 Quilt Market in Houston

Paula at 2013 Quilt Market in Houston

KALEIDOSCOPIC XXXVIII: Millifiori, 82“x 82“, is my first quilt using only fabric from collections I’ve designed for Benartex and the first one quilted by me on a long arm machine courtesy of APQS. In 2013, I spent Houston Quilt Market in the APQS booth, quilting this extremely patterned piece, mentored by the delightful, generous staff. I think the choice of an olive Aurifil thread was brilliant. I’m fascinated by the effect, the impression that the thread changes colors, chameleon-like, against the multitude of hues in the quilt: golden, green, dark, light.

KALEIDOSCOPIC XXXVIII: Millifiori, 82“x 82“, Paula Nadelstern (2013)

KALEIDOSCOPIC XXXVIII: Millifiori, 82“x 82“, Paula Nadelstern (2013)

How did you go about selecting threads for your Aurifil collection and what excites you most about the range that you are presenting?
My intent when selecting the colors for my Aurifil collection was like my goal when I design fabric for Benartex. I want to offer beautiful stuff that can be used in a myriad of ways for anyone’s piecing adventure, not just to be used to make kaleidoscopic designs. I welcome color and motif inspiration whenever I’m lucky enough to notice it: an elevator door, a set of Italian dishes, a painting at the Met, the arabesque patterns in the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque on a teaching trip to Abu Dhabi.


These charismatic and luminous jewel tones tickle my imagination. In fact, I plan to use DEEP GEMS as the inspiration for one of the colorways in my next fabric collection. I can’t wait to see what happens.



To enter-to-win 1 Large Deep Gems by Paula Nadelstern for Aurifil Thread Collection + 1 copy of Fabracadabra by Paula Nadelstern for C& T Publishing and 2 bundles of Kismet by Paula Nadelstern for Benartex , 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, December 14! Winner will be randomly selected and announced here on Thursday, December 15. Good luck!

Update: This giveaway is now closed. Congratulations to our winner, Niraja Lorenz!

paula-profilePaula’s quilts have achieved international recognition for the innovative and complex designs inspired by the bilateral symmetry of kaleidoscopic images. Honored by inclusion in the Twentieth Century’s 100 Best American Quilts, her designs have inspired products including the vast carpet in the Hilton Americas hotel in Houston, TX and were showcased in the American Folk Art Museum’s first one person exhibition highlighting the work of a contemporary quilt artist (2009). In addition to numerous awards, Paula was a recipient of fellowships from the New York Foundation for the Arts and The Bronx Council on the Arts. She is the author of FABRACADABRA, Simple Quilts, Complex Fabric, Kaleidoscopes & Quilts, Snowflakes & Quilts, Puzzle Quilts: Simple Blocks, Complex Fabric, Paula Nadelstern’s Kaleidoscope Quilts: An Artist’s Journey Continues, and Kaleidoscope Quilts: The Workbook. She designs textile prints exclusively for Benartex, Inc. and lives in New York City with her husband, Eric. her daughter, Ariel, lives a block away. 

Learn more about Paula on her website —