Ragged & The Denim Studio

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With The Denim Studio by Art Gallery Fabrics, the quintessential American fabric has been reinvented so once more you can “Feel the Difference”. It is a new series of premium substrates, that brings a whole new approach to create your projects. Featuring an array of prints and textures on trendy colors, these fabrics are ideal for quilting, apparel, home decor and accessories. Ragged is the coordinating thread collection, hand-picked to suit all needs including 40wt, 28wt, 12wt, Linen, & Wool!

Denim Bundle_3

THREAD COLLECTION DETAILS
Ragged: The Denim Studio
10 Small Spools
Details:
2310 – 1248 (Cotton, 40 WT, 164yds/spool)
6722 – 2145 (Cotton, 28 WT, 109yds/spool)
2312 – 2610 (Cotton, 12 WT, 54yds/spool)
2920 (Linen, 22WT, 87yds/spool)
8092 – 8780 – 8333 (Wool, 12WT, 54yds/spool)

Denim

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

THE INTERVIEW
How did the idea to develop a line of specialty denim fabrics first come about? 

Denim is the quintessential American fabric. It’s an amazing substrate and was long neglected in our industry. At AGF, we always thought that denim had great potential and we wanted to launch a trendy line to be used in garment sewing but at the same time that could be brought into play for quilting. Quilting with denim is very fun!

Tell us a bit about the different types of denim available with this collection.
We have several types, which are different in texture and weight:

SMOOTH SOLIDS are the classic denim that are very thin and have the same weight of quilting fabric.

TEXTURED SOLIDS are thicker and more structured for sturdy projects.

CROSSHATCH TEXTURED DENIM consists of a beautiful woven pattern.

OUTLAND YARN DYES are lightweight with an attractive denim look.

LOVEY DOBBY super soft and great for many projects, especially garments.

PREMIUM LINEN BLEND a blend of linen and cotton with a soft touch.

STREAKED BLEND for unique for out of the box projects.

DENIM PRINTS are the stars of the group. They are super soft and lightweight denim, ideal for sewing and quilting with many creative designs printed on them.

[editor’s note: visit the website for a closer look at all offerings]

What inspired the designs for the denim prints?  
We really wanted the quilting community to start creating quilts with denim, so the idea of adding prints came as a no-brainer. Quilters can create a multitude of unique quilts with our variety of prints!

There is often a conception that denim is meant for apparel, but we’ve seen some incredibly inspiring non-apparel projects lately. What are your favorite non-apparel projects with these new fabrics?
Well, we have to admit that we love quilts, bed runners, totes, more totes, clutches and even toys just to name a few!

How were the threads for Ragged, the coordinating thread collection, selected? 
We love the quality of Aurifil threads and they come in several materials and weights to help create many different techniques when sewn on denim. The colors coordinate perfectly and that makes them ideal for sewing and quilting with our types of denim.

The collection includes a wonderful variety of thread weights, including 40wt, 28wt, 12wt, Linen and Wool. What tips would you share with consumers for how to use the various weights in their projects?
There are not many tips we can recommend since Aurifil threads have the best quality, so you can use them at will!! They resist breakage extremely well, so they can be used in bobbin work, hand embroidery and stitching, high-speed machine quilting, topstitching, hand quilting, and sashiko as well. Imagine the possibilities!

What do you love most about Aurifil threads and how it partners with your fabrics? 
We are incredibly honored to be partners with Aurifil! We share the same values and quality products are at the top of our lists. The color range is unbelievable and they come in every weight you can ask for. We love the luster and sheen of each of the cotton spools and how delicate the wool threads are. We even love how they barely produce lint which means that we have less lint to clean in our sewing machine hooks! What else can anyone ask for? Aurifil threads are perfection!

THE GIVEAWAY

DenimStudio-Rafflecopter
To enter-to-win,  click here to head to the Rafflecopter entry page, or simply click on the image above. You do not have to complete all the options to be entered but the more options you choose, the more entries you have!  Entries will be accepted from now through 11:59pm Eastern Time on Friday, July 22! Winner will be randomly selected and announced here on Saturday, July 23. Good luck!

UPDATE (7/23): This giveaway is now CLOSED. Congratulations to Stephanie Clark Basden!! 

ABOUT THE DENIM STUDIO

ABOUT ART GALLERY FABRICS
WebsiteBlogFacebookInstagramPinterestTwitter — YouTube — Flickr
Screen Shot 2016-07-15 at 12.47.30 PMCreativity, beauty and design are our passions here at AGF. When it comes to design, we love to create fabrics that fit a modern lifestyle with a chic, sophisticated touch. Enticing color palettes and artful, intricate prints are what make our collections one of a kind. We are often described as the most “trendsetting” fabric company these days for always keeping originality and uniqueness on the top of our list.

** All collection images courtesy of Art Gallery Fabrics.

 

 

Aurifil 2016 July Designer of the Month Wendy Sheppard

Aurifil 2016 Design Team July Wendy Sheppard collage

I’m Designer, Author, Radio show host Pat Sloan.. Our July Designer is Wendy Sheppard of Ivory Spring, as her motto says “Where treasures of past and present connect”. Wendy and I live in the same area and we discovered we have a love of Applique, quilts with great color, Aurifil thread, and  days without rain!!  We both noticed that when we had a regular Tuesday evening meeting.. it seemed to ALWAYS rain!

What I love is how Wendy’s patterns spam a great many techniques and styles. Besides her applique, my favorites are the pieced patterns that look amazing, but are very easy to do! Wendy is a master at that, which I think you’ll see today.

I have talked with my friend Wendy  2/15/16 on my talk show CLICK to Listen or subscribe by Itunes

Let’s get to know  Wendy!

Continue reading

Thread Journey: Quilt Construction, Part 3

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We’ve made it to Part 3 of Quilt Construction for Wendy Sheppard’s Thread Journey Quilt Along! We are so thrilled to be embarking on this journey with all of you and are have loved seeing the progress that so many of you have already made! If you’re sewing along and want to share your images on Instagram, please consider tagging Wendy (@ivory_spring), Aurifil (@aurifilthread)and #threadjourneyquiltalong so that we might share in your process! Have fun and happy stitching!

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Hello Friends, we are at the point of finishing up with the construction of our Thread Journey quilt top today! Pretty much, we will just be adding the final borders to what we have already constructed, and finally the applique pieces.

If you haven’t joined the quilt-along and would like to, please do so and jump right in. The links to the first and second parts of the instructions are here and here.

DISCLAIMER:

#1. I intend for YOU to have fun making this quilt. Therefore, you are free to change things around anytime, anyway, or anyhow! It is YOUR quilt.

Elizabeth Bennet in BBC’s Pride & Prejudice said it best, and I quote, “Maria, this is your trunk; these are your gowns. You may arrange them in any way you wish. (whisper) Lady Catherine will never know.”

#2. I understand that this sew-along will reach quilters of various skill levels. Considerable effort is made to present clearly the steps to make this quilt. Basic and common techniques are not presented in detailed, assuming quilters can look up information on the techniques for themselves to prevent this post from being too lengthy. However, if certain hurdles persist in attempting this project, I will do my best to assist you.

#3. Should you have additional questions or need assistance, I will be checking in on this post as often as I can. Please leave your questions in the comments and I will do my best to help you out! 

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PART 1: Inner border
1. Inner border #3. Cut from inner border #3 fabric, 2 (1 1/2″ x 36 1/2″) and 2 (1 1/2″ x 38 1/2″) strips. Sew 2 (1 1/2″ x 36 1/2″) strips to opposite sides of quilt center, followed by 2 (1 1/2″ x 38 1/2″) strips to the remaining opposite sides of quilt center.

WendySheppard-ThreadJourney1

When pinning the border strips to the quilt center, I make sure I have the back of the quilt center facing me — that way, I can see where my needle hits and do my best to make sure it hits “right” at the points of the stars, when I sew the pieces together. I am hoping you can see my needle is just about to meet that “point” from the picture.

WendySheppard-ThreadJourney2

And you can see by doing that, my star points show up nicely on the right side of the quilt.

WendySheppard-ThreadJourney3

2. Inner border #4.  Cut from inner border #4 fabric, two 2-1/2″ x 38-1/2″ and two 2-1/2″ x 42-1/2″ strips.  Sew two 2-1/2″ x 38-1/2″ strips to the opposite sides of quilt center, followed by 2-1/2″ x 42″-1/2″ strips.

WendySheppard-ThreadJourney4

PART 2: Outer border.
1. Cut from outer border fabric, two 6-1/2″ x 42-1/2″ and two 6-1/2″ x 54-1/2″ strips. Sew two 6-1/2″ x 42-1/2″ strips to the opposite sides of quilt center, followed by two 6-1/2″ x 54-1/2″ strips.

WendySheppard-ThreadJourney5

2. Adding applique. Basically we will follow the applique method of choice for the quilt center to add applique to the outer border. If you need a refresher, our first post has the information.

WendySheppard-ThreadJourney6

For the outer border applique: refer to page 3 of the PDF Packet for placement guide for applique pieces, and pages 8-10 for cutting and preparing actual applique pieces.

PLEASE NOTE that piece #33 is not reversed for fusible machine applique. Please do so before tracing the applique shape onto the paper-side of the fusible.

I used the pale pink (#2423) in my Subtle Strings collection to buttonhole stitch around the applique shapes.

WendySheppard-ThreadJourney7

One of the reasons the subtle shades are selected for the collection is because I actually use these shades as I would neutrals — in piecing, and in this case finshing around applique shapes. Though there is no doubt the thread is pink, but when it is used, it blends well with other fabrics, giving the illusion that it might even be white or gray or beige.   You can read more about the versatility of subtle shades here.

WendySheppard-ThreadJourney8

When I buttonhole-stitch around the applique shapes, I also use the same pink bobbin thread. That way, I don’t risk having a different color showing on my quilt top from the bobbin thread being pulled to the top during the stitching process.

Also, if you have a knee lift on your machine, use it by all means. It really helps while turning corners when going around those swirls.

***

There you have it, Friends! Our quilt top is finished!!! I will be back with suggestions on how to quilt your quilt. I hope you have enjoyed constructing our quilt top. Meanwhile, start thinking the threads you might want to use to quilt your quilt. I will be using different threads from my Subtle Strings!! See you next time.

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FULL SCHEDULE:
June 2: Thread Journey: Quilt Along with Wendy Sheppard
June 16: Thread Journey: Quilt Construction, Part 1
June 30: Thread Journey: Quilt Construction, Part 2
July 14: Thread Journey: Quilt Construction, Part 3 (Today)
July 28: Batting & Thread
August 11: Process of Quilting, Part 1
August 18: Process of Quilting, Part 2
August 25: Process of Quilting, Part 3

ABOUT WENDY:
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.

ABOUT SUBTLE STRINGS: (Wendy’s 2015 Aurifil Thread Collection)
WendySheppard-SubtleStrings

12 Large Spools of 100% Aurifil Cotton, 50wt
Colors included:
2310 – 2847 – 4060 – 2130 – 2715 – 5021
2210 – 2510 – 2886 – 2326 – 2423 – 5014

 

Top Ten Tuesday {Christmas in July}

Top Ten

Merry Christmas in July! We just love seeing all of the Christmas in July sew alongs, quilt alongs and new projects. With the rising heat, it’s the perfect time to think about cooler days and get a head start on your holiday sewing! We’ve rounded up a few of our favorites to get you started.

1. Little Joys Quilt Along — Fat Quarter Shop

FQS-LittleJoysQuiltAlong

2. Holiday Forest Pillow — OLFA

OLFAcraftHOLIDAYFORESThero

3. Scrap Wraps — Meg Dunton for Moda Bake Shop

ScrapWraps-ModaBakeShop

4. Bakers Dozen Quilt — During Quiet Time

BakersDozenQuilt-DuringQuietTime

5. Modern Improv Christmas Wreath — Quilter in the Closet

ModernImprovChristmasWreath

6. Holiday Wishes Quilt Along — Fat Quarter Shop

HolidayWishesQuiltAlong-FQS

7. Christmas Ornament Pillow — The Sewing Chick for Quilt Story

ornamentpillowbanner-sewingchick

8. Merry Christmas Patchwork Pillow — A Quilting Life

MerryChristmasPatchworkPillow

9. Christmas Baubles Quilt — Jen Daly Quilts for Moda Bake Shop

ChristmasBaublesQuilt-ModaBakeShop

10. Christmas in July Table Runner — A Sewing Chick

ChristmasinJulyTableRunner

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 Aurifil.com.

 

Showcase Sunday {7.3}

SHOWCASESUNDAY

Welcome back to Showcase Sunday, our forum to showcase the beautiful work that all of you do! We’re in the middle of a fabulous holiday weekend here in the US, but wanted to take a moment to share some of the stunning work you’ve all been creating.  Keep tagging us and sharing your work and we’ll feature some of our favorites here every other Sunday. Don’t forget to check in on Facebook & Instagram to see more! Happy Stitching:).

(Click on any image below to visit the artist’s Instagram account for more!)

@mommy2lu

@mommy2lu

@duringquiettime

@duringquiettime

@quilterscandybox

@quilterscandybox

@sewingreport

@sewingreport

@faithessenberg

@faithessenberg

@chelengeorge

@chelengeorge

@sameliasmum

@sameliasmum

@littlejennawren

@littlejennawren

@quiltyhabit

@quiltyhabit

@yardgrl60

@yardgrl60

@_beckyo_

@_beckyo_

@richyjr16

@richyjr16

@orangedotquilts

@orangedotquilts

@ladykquilts

@ladykquilts

@jeliquilts

@jeliquilts

@white.hills.quilts

@white.hills.quilts

@elizabethlittleco

@elizabethlittleco

@b_craft.pl

@b_craft.pl

@moyersminions

@moyersminions

Thread Journey: Quilt Construction, Part 2

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Welcome to Part 2 of Quilt Construction for Wendy Sheppard’s Thread Journey Quilt Along! We are so thrilled to be embarking on this journey with all of you and are looking forward to seeing your progress and eventually, your finished quilts. If you’re sewing along and want to share your images on Instagram, please consider tagging Wendy (@ivory_spring), Aurifil (@aurifilthread)and #threadjourneyquiltalong so that we might share in your process!

With that said… here’s Wendy!

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Hello Friends, I am excited to be here again sharing about our next steps in our Thread Journey together. In so many ways, I feel as if our quilting journey mirrors our real life journey in that we can look at the quilts we make, and we remember certain phases of our life.

DISCLAIMER:

#1. I intend for YOU to have fun making this quilt. Therefore, you are free to change things around anytime, anyway, or anyhow! It is YOUR quilt.

Elizabeth Bennet in BBC’s Pride & Prejudice said it best, and I quote, “Maria, this is your trunk; these are your gowns. You may arrange them in any way you wish. (whisper) Lady Catherine will never know.”

#2. I understand that this sew-along will reach quilters of various skill levels. Considerable effort is made to present clearly the steps to make this quilt. Basic and common techniques are not presented in detailed, assuming quilters can look up information on the techniques for themselves to prevent this post from being too lengthy. However, if certain hurdles persist in attempting this project, I will do my best to assist you.

#3. Should you have additional questions or need assistance, I will be checking in on this post as often as I can. Please leave your questions in the comments and I will do my best to help you out! 

PART 1: EMBROIDERY
We are going to add just some really quick embroidery to the quilt center we made. First we, will add a hanging ribbon to hang our birdhouse to the tree branch. Then, we will add the baby birds in the nest, with some twigs on the side of the nest.

You may choose to wait to add the embroidery until after the quilt is quilted, or you may add it now. You may also choose to either sew the embroidery by machine or do it by hand.

I am going to add the embroidery now, and by hand using Aurifloss. From the embroidery floss, I separate out 2 strands and re-assemble them before threading my needle. I generally use an Embroidery Needle (size 8 or 9) for embroidery. I mark the embroidery designs with a fine fabric washable marker because I am not brave enough to free-hand mark the designs with a permanent Micro pen. You may use the marking method of your choice.

Wendy Sheppard, Thread Journey 6.30

Wendy Sheppard, Thread Journey 6.30

Then, I use backstitching for most of the embroidery, in addition to two French knots for the baby birds’ eyes.

Wendy Sheppard, Thread Journey 6.30

PART 2: INNER BORDERS #1 & #2
Inner Border #1:
Before we tackle this part, be sure to measure your quilt center raw edge to raw edge. Your quilt center should measure 20-1/2″ x 20-1/2″ raw edge to raw edge. If the dimensions measure out correctly, proceed to step a. If not, proceed to step b.

a. Cut from inner border #1 fabric two 1-1/2″ x 20-1/2″ and two 1-1/2″ x 22-1/2″ strips. Sew two 1-1/2″ x 20-1/2″ strips to the opposite sides of quilt center, followed by two 1-1/2″ x 22-1/2″ strips.

b. Sometimes, quilt centers shrink after finishing stitches are added to applique pieces (same with panel dimensions that don’t measure up just right). One way to rectify the situation is to cut the border strips larger and longer, and then trim to size. SO — if your quilt center is smaller than 20-1/2″ x 20-1/2″, cut two 2-1/2″ x 21-1/2″ strips and sew to left and right sides of quilt center. From the center of your quilt center, measure outward 11-1/4″ on the right and trim excess. Repeat for the left side. Now your quilt center should measure 22-1/2″ horizontally. Cut two 2-1/2″ x 24-1/2″ strips and sew to the top and bottom of quilt center. Measure out 11-1/4″ in the top and bottom directions and trim excess. Now your quilt center should measure 22-1/2″ x 22-1/2″.

Wendy Sheppard, Thread Journey 6.30

Inner Border #2:
From inner border #2 fabric, cut two 1-1/2″ x 22-1/2″ and two 1-1/2″ x 24-1/2″ strips. Sew two 1-1/2″ x 22-1/2″ strips to the opposite sides of quilt center, followed by two 1-1/2″ x 24-1/2″ strips to the remaining opposite sides of quilt center. Here is my quilt center with the 2 inner border strips attached.

Wendy Sheppard, Thread Journey 6.30

PART 3: INNER BORDER #3 (Ohio Star Blocks)
The bulk of this next step is constructing Ohio Star Blocks. These block should finish at 6″ (or 6-1/2″ raw edge to raw edge). If you are familiar with making Ohio Star Blocks, go right ahead and pick out your fabrics to make a total of 20 Ohio Star Blocks using your favorite method.

(Remember it’s YOUR quilt! If you want to substitute with other blocks, go right ahead. “Lady Catherine” would never know — as long as they are 6″ finished blocks, and there are 20 of them.)

This is how I make my Ohio Star Blocks:

1. For one orange 6″ finished Ohio Star block, cut two 3-3/4″ x 3-3/4″ orange squares, two 3-3/4″ x 3-3/4″ ground fabric squares, one 2-1/2″ x 2-1/2″ orange square and four 2-1/2″ x 2-1/2″ ground fabric squares. The 3-3/4″ squares are for constructing quarter-square-triangle (QST) units. I cut them larger than the conventional 3-1/4″, in case you are wondering, so that I can trim my QST units to size later.

Notice a diagonal line was marked on the wrong side of the ground fabric squares.

Wendy Sheppard, Thread Journey 6.30

2. Place one 3-3/4″ x 3-3/4″ ground fabric  square right sides together with  one orange 3-3/4″ x 3-3/4″ square.  Sew 1/4″ away from, and on the right and left sides of, the drawn line. Cut along the drawn line to yield 2 HST (Half Square Triangle) units. Press the seams open.

Notice a diagonal line was marked on the wrong side of a HST unit.

Wendy Sheppard, Thread Journey 6.30

3. Next, lay the marked HST unit, right sides together, on the other HST unit. Be sure the patches are on the opposite sides.

In order to make sure all the patches meet right at one point (i.e. center of my QST unit), I use my thumb and first finger to pinch where that meeting point should be based on the marked diagonal line. If the patches don’t all meet like they are supposed to, I would slightly adjust the HST units until the patches do meet up nicely.

Wendy Sheppard, Thread Journey 6.30

Once I make sure the patches WILL meet up nicely, I place a pin to lock in the center. Notice the HST units don’t necessarily match up at the raw edges. Matching up the HST raw edges does not guarantee an accurately constructed QST unit. The important part is that the patches meet at the center.

Wendy Sheppard, Thread Journey 6.30

4. Sew 1/4″ away from that diagonal line, but to ensure nothing shifts in the sewing process, check again about 3/4″ away from the diagonal line to make sure the diagonal seams of the HST units still match. Place another pin to secure, and THEN sew. I know this might be overkill for some… so, just do what you feel most comfortable! Again, “Lady Catherine” would never know.

**A note of caution when sewing over pins – I ALWAYS use a really fine pin, and when I get close to the pin, I use the hand wheel of my machine to guide the needle over the pin to make sure the needle doesn’t sew ON the pin.

Wendy Sheppard, Thread Journey 6.30

Wendy Sheppard, Thread Journey 6.30

5. Cut along drawn line. Open and press to yield 2 QST units.

“NOTE:  You might notice from the last picture that I had used a light pink thread for piecing.  You can definitely do that.  If you have my Subtle Strings Thread collection and want to save your neutral threads for other things, it’s perfectly fine to use the other subtle shades to piece.  I wrote about the uses of subtle shades here.

Subtle2

6. Using a quilting 6″ ruler, line up the 45˚ line against one of the diagonal seams. We are targeting a 2-1/2″ square from raw edge to raw edge. That would mean the center of the square should be at 1 1/4″ (shown) and that all 4 corners should fall right at the 2-1/2″ mark (shown).

Wendy Sheppard, Thread Journey 6.30

7. Trim accordingly.

Wendy Sheppard, Thread Journey 6.30

8. Make a total of 4 QST units. Arrange and sew together QST units and 2-1/2″ x 2-1/2″ squares to complete 1 Ohio Star Block.

Wendy Sheppard, Thread Journey 6.30

9. Make a total of 20 Ohio Star Blocks using fabrics of your choice. I managed to raid from my stash 20 different fabrics from Windham’s Palette collection. So I will have Ohio Star Blocks of 20 different colors!

10. Arrange and sew together 4 Ohio Star blocks to make a pieced column. Repeat to make 2 columns, and add them to the right and left sides of quilt center. Arrange and sew together 6 Ohio Star blocks to make a pieced row. Repeat to make 2 rows, and add them to the top and bottom of quilt center.

June30o

And here’s how my Thread Journey 2.0 looks in real life so far:

Thread Journey by Wendy Sheppard, Progress

Thread Journey by Wendy Sheppard, Progress

***

Alrightie, Friends! I hope you had fun tackling the quilt center of our Quilt-Along. Remember to enjoy the journey! I shall see you again in two weeks.

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HANDY LINKS:
Thread Journey: Quilt Along with Wendy Sheppard
Thread Journey: Quilt Construction, Part 1

ABOUT WENDY:
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.

ABOUT SUBTLE STRINGS: (Wendy’s 2015 Aurifil Thread Collection)
WendySheppard-SubtleStrings

12 Large Spools of 100% Aurifil Cotton, 50wt
Colors included:
2310 – 2847 – 4060 – 2130 – 2715 – 5021
2210 – 2510 – 2886 – 2326 – 2423 – 5014

Top Ten Tuesday {Fourth of July Inspiration}

Top Ten

This weekend in the USA, we’ll celebrate the Fourth of July, commemorating the adoption of the Declaration of Independence and hence, our country’s birthday. We’ll BBQ, we’ll run road races, we’ll raise flags, we’ll visit with family and friends, we’ll watch and maybe even join parades, and we’ll ooo and aaaah over fireworks. Many of us will also find time to create something new in the colors of red, white and blue, be it a cozy quilt, a playful frock, or some fun holiday décor. We’ve rounded up a few of our favorites to spark your creativity. Have a fun and safe weekend!

1. Flag Day Quilt — Stitching Revival

StitchingRevival

2. Patriotic Bandana Bowl Covers — Sadie Seasongoods

SadieSeasonGoods

3. Patriotic Quilt — Cluck Cluck Sew

CluckCluckSew

4. DIY Pocket 4th of July Shirts — Polkadot Chair

POlkadotchair

5. Declaration — Wild Olive

WildOlive

6. Americana Quilt — Deb Finan for Fons and Porter

FonsandPOrter

7. Polka Dot Peplum Party Dress — Sew Caroline for Polkadot Chair

POlkaDotChair-SewCaroline

8. Grand Old Flag Quilt Tutorial — Riley Blake Designs

RileyBlake

9. Flag Pillow — Cluck Cluck Sew

CluckCluckSew2

10. Captain America Inspired Quilt — Jedi Craft Girl

JediCraftGirl-CaptainAmericaQuilt

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 Aurifil.com.

Big Stitch Quilting by Sarah Fielke

CB886_sarah_0205LO

Sarah Fielke is an extraordinary quilter, teacher, fabric designer and author. She is a licensed designer with Windham Fabrics and has long been an Aurifil ambassador and champion of our threads. Likewise, we’ve long been admirers of Sarah’s work. It’s like a match made in heaven and we couldn’t be more thrilled to present Big Stitch Quilting, her second thread collection with Aurifil.  A stunning lineup of colors in our 12wt thread, it’s perfect for Sarah’s signature hand stitched details and quilting.

THREAD COLLECTION DETAILS
Big Stitch Quilting
100% Aurifil Cotton
Large – 12wt, 356yds each, 12 colors, Large Spools
2692 – 2024 – 5004 – 2615 – 2784 – 5006 – 2888 – 5018 – 2510 – 2260 – 2530 – 2423

BigStitchQuilting

Small – 12wt, 54yds each, 10 colors, Small Spools
2692 – 2024 – 5004 – 2784 – 5006 – 2888 – 5018 – 2510 – 2260 – 2530

BigStitchQuiltingSM

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

THE INTERVIEW
Can you tell us a bit about yourself and how you first got started in the world of sewing & quilting? 
My mother was a stitcher all kinds, including quilting. She taught me from a very young age to use a sewing machine, hand sew, hand embroider and knit. It wasn’t until my first baby was born that I started stitching professionally – I made everything for Charlie’s nursery, including all his little wraps and pram blankets. That was at the time where everything for babies was pink, blue, lemon or mint, and covered with lambs. My things were made of gingham and had fun appliqué and lettering, so all the other mums in my mothers group wanted to know where I got them. They were my first customers, and then later my first class! Charlie is 19 this year and so I will have been teaching patchwork for 19 years in December.

When did you first begin with the art of hand quilting and what do you love most about it? 
I hand quilted my very first proper quilt, when I was 12. I made it for my mum’s birthday. It has since vanished into the unknown – I have a sneaking feeling it may have fallen apart.🙂 I hand quilted pretty nearly every quilt I made until I owned a shop (Material Obsession, which I co-owned for nearly 10 years). When we opened Material Obsession I taught machine quilting for a while, and I can machine quilt quite capably, but I don’t enjoy it. If I’m going to spend the time to quilt something myself, I hand quilt it. If I don’t have time, I have a wonderful machine quilter who does a fantastic job! I love hand quilting because of the quiet hours spent with the quilt itself. It’s amazing how each hand quilted piece will bring back memories of what I was doing when I quilted it (which very often is something like a season on Downton Abbey). The thing I love most though is the texture and character that hand quilting, especially with thicker thread like the Mako 12 weight, gives to the quilt. There is a drape and softness that machine quilted quilts don’t have, and the thicker coloured thread gives the quilts an extra punch and personality.

What are your greatest challenges and your greatest joys with hand quilting? 
My greatest joys are sitting on a cold winter’s day with something that needs quilting urgently – that means I can abandon everything else, binge watch Poldark and drink endless cups of tea with the quilt (and the dog!) in my lap. My greatest challenges are that there is never enough hours to hand quilt everything I want to hand quilt any more.I make too many quilts on deadlines to enable me to hand quilt them all. I’ve also got an issue with my hands (that, funnily enough, wasn’t caused by hand stitching!) and so I can’t quilt the endless hours I used to be able to without pain, and I have to stagger myself.

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What project would you recommend for a hand quilting beginner? 
I think the best thing you can do is to make a lap sized quilt, something you aren’t attached to or want to be perfect, and quilt the heck out of it. People often think that the best way to start is with something little like a cushion. Actually those kinds of things can be more difficult to quilt because you can’t get them in a hoop properly, and it’s hard to develop your technique and gain confidence. Bite the bullet, sew together a whole lot of charm squares or something, and jump in on the deep end. You need to give your hand a chance to develop some stitch memory.

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We love that you are such an active educator, both online and off. What do you love most about the practice of teaching?
Hands down, seeing my students achieve. I love the friends I make and the social aspect, I love doing the big shows and retreats. But my favourite thing is seeing a student who has proclaimed she can’t hand sew, or has trouble with colour, or Y seams or whatever it is, proudly hold their finished work up for everyone to see. I have students who I’ve taught patchwork and hand quilting, who are now teachers themselves, or who win prizes in quilting competitions. Hearing those things, no matter how small, just makes my day every time.

What is your favorite technique to teach and why?
I love teaching hand appliqué and hand quilting. My technique for hand appliqué is quite unusual, and it’s been developed over a long time to make appliqué easier for people. Quilters often assume that hand appliqué and hand quilting are these incredibly difficult, time consuming, boring things to do. Showing them tricks and tips to make their hand stitching rewarding, accurate, quicker and less painful always makes for a fun class.

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When did you first discover Aurifil thread and what do you love most about it? 
I met Alex Veronelli at Market quite number of years ago and he gave me some Mako 50 weight to try for hand appliqué. I went home slightly dubious (you always love the things you’re used to), tried it out and immediately ditched all my old thread to the basting basket and became an Aurifil junkie. The 50 weight is so fine and smooth – but having now tried the 80 weight I am simply desperate for it to be available in all the colours because – OMG! Thats a discussion for another time though as it isn’t yet available, so I will wax lyrical about it at a later date🙂

[editor’s note: Aurifil’s 80wt thread is due for limited release this Summer and full release this Fall, 2016]

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I did an appliqué collection for Aurifil called Folk Story which I love desperately – but funnily enough the appliqué collection came about because I was harassing Alex to produce some 8 weight Mako for hand quilting. I tried REALLY REALLY hard peeps, and Alex kept insisting that the 12 weight was beautiful and I should try it…. Finally I gave in, tried it, proceeded to hand quilt two entire books worth of quilts with the 12 weight and realised that of course Alex is the Mako thread guru and I should always heed his wisdom. You learn something every day.

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How did you go about selecting colors for Big Stitch Quilting?  
I find choosing the colours for these collections so difficult, they are all so pretty and I want everything! I thought really hard about which colours I use the most, for hand quilting both pieced quilts and appliqué. Neutrals were of course essential, so there is black and white, light and dark grey. I wanted a light and a dark in each colour because I like to highlight what I am quilting rather than blend, i.e. dark pink around a light pink flower or visa versa. Pinks and reds are so versatile because they can be beautifully blended with yellows and oranges as well as with themselves. Navy is my black, I always use navy unless the fabric I am quilting is actually black. I had to also add a cheery clear blue and some yummy greens for quilting around leaves and stems to round everything out nicely.

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Do you have a favorite thread color/weight or does it truly depend on the project at hand? 
It really does depend on the project, as I use lots of different Aurifil thread weights for different projects, including the 50wt in cream in my machine, 50wt for hand appliqué and the 12wt for hand quilting. I also love to do EPP, I use a lot of Lana Wool threads for my wool appliqué, and I love to embroider and the Aurifloss is gorgeous!! How do you ever choose a favourite? If you’re going to make me, though, I’d have to say that 2888, which is the light green in my Big Stitch Quilting Collection, is my favourite colour for both quilting and appliqué. I always seem to be running out of it! However, my absolute favourite thing at present is the set of three different shade spools of blue 80wt thread I was sent to try out.  I’m hand appliquéing a quilt that is ALL blues at the moment and the 80wt just disappears into thin air!

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SARAH’S CRAFTSY HAND-QUILTING TUTORIAL

SARAH’S BOOK

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THE GIVEAWAY

Sarah Fielke-Rafflecopter

To enter-to-win 1 Large Big Stitch Quilting Thread Collection and one copy of Sarah Fielke’s latest book, Old Quilts New Life,  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 Saturday, July 2! Winner will be randomly selected and announced here on Sunday, July 3. Good luck!

Update (7/3): This giveaway is now closed. Congratulations to Jo Hobson!!

ABOUT SARAH
WebsiteBlogFacebookInstagramPinterestTwitter
quilts_Page_010Sarah Fielke has been a passionate stitcher ever since her mother first taught her to sew 30 years ago. It was when she was pregnant with her first child years later that her sewing skills became a career. She made little gifts for her friends’ newborn babies, decorated her son’s nursery, and began selling what she made and teaching her friends to sew.

Sarah is an award winning quilt designer. In her 15 years in the quilting industry, her four best selling quilt books have sold over 100,000 copies worldwide and have been translated into 5 languages. Sarah’s quilts have roots in both modern and traditional quilting, making her a firm favourite with quilters new and old. She describes her quilts as “contemporary traditional”. Her first book, Material Obsession, is widely described as having been at the forefront of the Modern Quilting movement, and is a staple in many quilter’s libraries. Her other books include: Material Obsession 2, Quilting From Little Things, Hand Quilted with Love, Little Quilts, and her latest release, Old Quilts New Life.

She exhibits her quilts at quilts shows in Australia and internationally. Sarah has designed fabrics for Lecien, Japan, and is now working with Spotlight Australia and Windham Fabrics to design fabric for both the major craft stores and patchwork shops. Her 6th fabric colletion, Snippits for Windham Fabrics is out now in quilts shops worldwide.

[For more, please visit Sarah’s website]

** Images and all biographical text are courtesy of Sarah Fielke.

Up and Away by Emily Herrick

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Up & AwayEmily Herrick‘s latest line with Michael Miller Fabrics, is a sweet collection of blue, pink, yellow and green prints. Featuring hot air balloons, butterflies and ticket stubs, it reminds us of all the best parts of a Summer fair. Emily’s coordinating Aurifil thread collection is a perfect accessory!

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THREAD COLLECTION DETAILS
Up & Away
100% Aurifil Cotton
Large – 50wt, 1422yds each, 12 colors, Large Spools
2130 – 2882 – 2425 – 2775 – 4140 -2134 – 2884 – 1154 – 2785 – 5009 – 5007 -2710

Up&Away

Small – Aurifloss, 18yds each, 10 colors, Small Spools
2130 – 2882 – 2425 – 2775 – 4140 – 2134 – 2884 – 1154 – 2785 – 2710

Up&Away SM

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

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THE INTERVIEW
What first drew you to the world of quilting?

I’ve always been the crafty/creative type. I’ve dabbled in quilting here and there throughout my life; tying quilts for my friends in high school, making simple baby quilts when my kids were born, etc. But I really fell in love with quilting back in 2003/2004 when I visited a local quilt show that showcased quilts from all levels of quilters. Right then I decided I just needed to start and I would learn as I went along.

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Ticket to Ride Quilt by Emily Herrick

What was the first thing that you made on your own and what did that mean to you?
Aside from little projects here and there the first real quilt I made was a baby quilt for a friend. I was inspired by a quilt I saw at that local quilt show and designed my own version.  It featured 12 nursery rhyme blocks that were hand embroidered. They were set on point and had 25-patch blocks with various prints from Nancy Halvorsen’s Best Friends collection between them. I bordered the quilt and scalloped the edge. I learned a lot of things making that quilt but I loved every minute of it.

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Where did the ‘Crazy Old Ladies’ name come from?
When I really dove into quilting I decided that having all my sewing stuff at the kitchen table wasn’t very practical. So one day while my husband was at work I moved the rooms and furniture around so that my boys would share a room and I would have a sewing room all to myself. When my husband came home from work that day I didn’t even get up from the machine. He walked to the door of the room with a surprised look on his face and said “Are you going to become one of those crazy old ladies that sits and sews all day long?”  A few years later when I was starting my pattern business I thought of all those quilter stereotypes and decided to name my company Crazy Old Ladies. Many people think it’s in reference to myself, but it’s really a reference to my husband’s comment and ALL quilters.

Embroidery by Emily Herrick

Embroidery by Emily Herrick

Who has been your biggest creative inspiration? 
I have lots of inspiration and gather inspiration from all around me. There are many people in the quilting/creative world that I admire and I couldn’t begin to list them here. But really my biggest inspiration and supporter is my Dad. I remember watching him work on various design related projects as a kid and wishing I could do those types of things. At one point I wanted to be a history teacher and my parents questioned that Idea. I was a stubborn teen at the time and felt they just “didn’t understand me” but they shared that they saw me doing something more creative. 20 years later I’m following that creative career and definitely see the wisdom in my parents’ advice. I still go to my Dad with design questions and bounce ideas off of him. He even comes to market with me when he can to help me in my booths. He’s a pretty rad Dad!

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Up and Away booth at Spring Quilt Market, 2016

How did you first get started with fabric design and how did you connect with Michael Miller?
Once I fell in love with quilting I dreamed of seeing my name on the selvedge. I had thryoid cancer 6 years ago and took the time during a period of isolation treatment to draw my first collection. I had talked with a fabric company about submitting designs but when I did they weren’t interested. With some encouragement from my friends I pitched my designs to several companies. I actually wasn’t going to approach Michael Miller because they were so amazing and I was a nobody. One of the companies that I approached that wasn’t a good fit suggested that I talk to Michael Miller. I decided at that point that if I didn’t go talk to them I would never have the guts to do it later. So I marched over to their booth and was able to sit down with Kathy and the rest is history! I’ve been with Michael Miller fabrics for 5 years and just released my 7th collection with them- Up and Away!

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Flutterby Quilt by Emily Herrick

Tell us the story of Up & Away — what inspired the collection and how did it come to be?
Most of my collections are inspired by a single thing -this collection was the hot air balloon. I remember as a kid driving to Napa California early on a Sunday morning and seeing the hot air balloons floating over the valley.  I wanted fabric that evoked that feeling I had as a kid but still spoke to me now as an adult. I was inspired by the fascination and discovery of flight in a more vintage era and the amazement and wonder of all children and adults with all things that fly.  I could see kids and adults in line holding on to their tickets waiting for a chance to rise a few feet into the air in a hot air balloon still tethered to the ground at a vintage fair. I started with the balloon print and went from there. I pulled in the airplanes and butterflies for more variety. I chose a color palette and coordinating prints that weren’t typical of juvenile collections because I wanted to add some versatility to the individual pieces. I wanted pieces that would stand alone individually but work together as a collection as well. I love the journey a collection takes me on as I design it and as it evolves and I’m extremely pleased with Up and Away.

When did you first discover Aurifil threads? 
I first discovered Aurifil threads a few years ago at market when my friend Jill Findley showed me her first designer collection for Aurifil. I loved all those gorgeous colors in one case and had to buy it right then! Once I started sewing with Aurifil I was hooked.

Do you have a favorite weight/color? 
My favorite go-to it 50wt 2021. It’s the perfect white- not too bright but not cream either. I use it ALL. THE. TIME. For piecing and quilting.

How did you go about selecting colors for this collection? 
Selecting colors of thread is much like selecting colors to place in a fabric collection; you want thread colors that work together but also stand alone. The good thing about choosing thread colors is that all the hard work was done months ago when coloring the collection. At the point of choosing which colors of Aurifil to include in my thread set I already had swatches of fabric so it was a matter of matching fabric to thread. It’s a bit more than just matching swatches though because I really want the box of thread to be beautiful, too. Going back to the first time I opened a designer box of aurifil thread I was in love with the beauty of the set itself, not with what I would sew with it. So I wanted to make sure that my thread choices would be a box of pretty on their own. Since I wanted to include an embroidery floss collection I had to think of the individual projects I would create and offer a nice variety that people could use for those projects but include colors that they would want to use on other projects as well.

Do you have a favorite project that was made for the collection release?
One of my favorite  projects is the FESTIVAL playmat/quilt found in my book- Grow With Me. I already had a sample made in the boy colorway but I a few days before market I decided to have one made in the girl colorway, too. I didn’t have time to do it so I enlisted the help of a friend. She whipped up the quilt in no time (It is a fun and easy quilt) and then added hand quilted accents using the embroidery floss. It adds just enough detail to accentuate the quilt design and fabrics. I’m so glad that my friend had the spark of creativity because I absolutely LOVE it!

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UPCOMING

Grow With Me, Emily’s new book of patterns, ships in the first week of July. The book features projects using fabrics and threads from the Up and Away Collections from Michael Miller and Aurifil.

THE GIVEAWAY

EmilyHerrick-Rafflecopter

To enter-to-win 1 Large Up and Away Aurifil Thread Collection and one Fat Quarter Bundle of Up and Away by Emily Herrick for Michael Miller,  click here to head to the Rafflecopter entry page, or simply click on the image above. You do not have to complete all the options to be entered but the more options you choose, the more entries you have!  Entries will be accepted from now through 11:59pm Eastern Time on Thursday, June 30! Winner will be randomly selected and announced here on Friday, July 1. Good luck!

Update (7/1): This giveaway is now closed. Congratulations to Merrie Lohn-Council!

ABOUT EMILY
WebsiteFacebookInstagramEtsy
EmilyEmily has been designing and marketing quilt patterns for the last 6 years. Her style is simple and fun and she likes a project that’s quick to finish and full of character. She has been a licensed fabric designer for Michael Miller Fabrics since 2011.

 

Summer Lovin’ by Susan Emory

Summer Lovin' by Susan Emory

Summer Lovin’ is Susan Emory‘s debut Aurifil thread collection. Selected to coordinate with her new fabric collection for Michael Miller Fabrics, the box features a range of 6 colors, 1 each in both 50wt & 12wt, perfect for piecing and hand-stitching. Bold & bright, these collections are sure to inspire some fabulous Summer sewing!

THREAD COLLECTION DETAILS
Summer Lovin’
100% Aurifil Cotton, 12 Large Spools
Colors included:
1135 – 1320 – 2250 – 2730 – 2860 – 5004 (50 WT)
1135 – 1320 – 2250 – 2730 – 2860 – 5004 (12 WT)

SummerLovin

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

SummerLovin by Susan Emory

THE INTERVIEW
As a fifth generation quilter, who was it that first taught you how to sew? 
I learned from both my mother and grandmother. They were both so proficient that they made it look easy so I was never intimidated.

Sweet Summertime by Susan Emory

Sweet Summertime

What was the first item that you made completely on your own and what did you love most about it? 
Oh gosh, I’m not sure. About 20 years ago, I made a king-size bargello quilt that was way above my skill level – and I survived! LOL

Who has been your biggest creative influence? 
I’m not sure of a single person who has been my biggest influence, but I find creative inspiration in everything. I look at everything from quilts to logos to menus and consider what I would do to put my own spin on it. I’m very inspired by the emotions and lyrics in music (I may still be living in the 80’s).

Sweet Summertime BOM by Susan Emory

Sweet Summertime BOM

What inspired your very first pattern? 
Necessity. I owned a quilt shop and needed to find ways to sell more fabric so I started designing patterns that work with large-scale, directional prints.

Love is in the Air — from Sweet Summertime BOM

Can you give us a sneak peek at what it’s like to put together a fabric collection? 
I’m usually working on three lines at a time. Releasing my current line, while working on art for my next line, while thinking about and warm-up sketching the next collection. With Summer Lovin’ I knew I wanted to do something that was nostalgic of my childhood so I began with flowers that reminded me of the art classes I would take in the summer at the library.

I typically draw, then scan and manipulate my designs. Once I have several designs together I submit them to the design department at Michael Miller Fabrics. Then we go back and forth on what to leave in and what to take out, tweaking the colors, etc. Once we start to narrow it down I submit project ideas to support the prints. It’s a long process and by the time the fabric is released I’ve been looking at it for a long time. I love every step of the way!

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Click the image to check out Summer Lovin’ on Michael Miller’s website

Do you have a favorite project that was created with your Summer Lovin’ collection?
I love the Sweet Summertime quilt that has hand embroidery. It’s a five-month block of the month and each month you make one hand embroidered block and three pieced blocks. I love to draw and do hand work, so embroidery is a great fit for me. I think people new to hand embroidery will be able to finish these designs and more experience embroiderers will enjoy it also.

My second choice would be Flower Power. Having the threads match the fabrics for applique was wonderful for this quilt.

Flower Power by Susan Emory

Flower Power

How did you first hear about Aurifil threads? 
I bought my first Aurifil at Kelly Ann’s Quilting in Warrenton, VA. I was just getting back into hand embroidery and signed up for a block of the month (or several. LOL). Aurifil’s social media presence has been wonderful for links for inspiration and tutorials.

Do you have a favorite color/weight? 
I use a ton of 50 wt. for all my sewing, applique and quilting. I buy A LOT of white and gray. I love how lint-free the thread is and, it might be in my head, but my bobbin seems to last longer.

Joy Ride — from Sweet Summertime BOM

How do you go about putting your thread collection, Summer Lovin’, together? 
I had drawings of my hand embroideries and computer prints of my Summer Lovin’ line. Once I had final strike-offs and exact colors I just had to confirm that the colors I chose would match. I’m thrilled with how it all looks together.

THE GIVEAWAY

SusanEmory-Rafflecopter

To enter-to-win 1 Summer Lovin’ Aurifil Thread Collection and one Fat Quarter Bundle of Summer Lovin’ by Susan Emory for Michael Miller,  click here to head to the Rafflecopter entry page, or simply click on the image above. You do not have to complete all the options to be entered but the more options you choose, the more entries you have!  Entries will be accepted from now through 11:59pm Eastern Time on Tuesday, June 28! Winner will be randomly selected and announced here on Wednesday, June 29. Good luck!

Update (6/29): This giveaway is now closed. Congratulations to Kathy Cummings!

ABOUT SUSAN
WebsiteBlogFacebookPinterestInstagramTwitterPeriscope
Susan 4Susan Emory is crazy about DIY, color and creating! She expresses her art as a fabric designer, quilt designer, quilter, artist, teacher and blogger. Susan’s designs can be found under the Swirly Girls Design brand.

 

**All images and biographical text courtesy of Susan Emory.