Aurifil Artisan Jemima Flendt of Tied with a Ribbon has just released Weekend Quilting, her debut book with Fons & Porter. The book is a gorgeous representation of a wide variety of techniques, presenting the opportunity to build your quilting skills. We had a chance to chat with Jemima about the book and are thrilled to share that interview with you here today. And… there’s a giveaway because who doesn’t love a good giveaway?
Welcome to Month 5 of our Stitch the 2012 DOM Reboot! On the last Thursday of every month, we’re presenting a brand new version of one of our 2012 blocks. We’ve been loving the opportunity to work on our hand-stitching, particularly as the weather shifts and we’re able to take it outside! Where have you taken your blocks? Do you have a favorite spot to do your hand-stitching?
Welcome to Month 4 of our Stitch the 2012 DOM Reboot! On the last Thursday of every month, we’re presenting a brand new version of one of our 2012 blocks. What a great excuse to slow things down a bit and work on our hand-stitching. We love the portability of a hand-stitched project. Where have you taken your blocks? Do you have a favorite spot to do your hand-stitching?
We’ve made it to Month 3 of our Stitch the 2012 DOM Reboot! On the last Thursday of every month, we’re presenting a brand new version of one of our 2012 blocks. What a great excuse to slow things down a bit and work on our hand-stitching. We love the portability of a hand-stitched project. It’s just as easy to stitch on your couch as it would be at a friend’s house, on a trip, or even by the pool! (Can you telling we’re dreaming of Summer days?)
Aurifil offers 270 stunning colors of both our 100% Cotton 12wt thread and Aurifloss, our 100% Cotton 6-strand floss. This year long stitch-along is a wonderful excuse to give some of those colors a try. 😉
These blocks were originally made with Aurifil 12wt. Would you believe that our floss hadn’t yet been introduced in 2012? We love that this reboot gives us the opportunity to try the blocks out with a new thread, share blocks in a new colorway (hello B&W!) and reconnect with some of our beloved Designers of the Month! So without further pause, let’s check out February’s block!
Victoria Findlay Wolfe created her Spring if We’re Lucky block in March of 2012. She selected the image for this block because…
“I had to go with the shamrocks and flowers designing “Spring if We’re Lucky.” March used to mean “Spring”, so I added flowers to the shamrock. Although these days… it might be wise to start adding in some snowflakes.”
Amazing that her statement still rings true 5 years later. Depending on where you live, you may still have some snow kicking around in your own yard! Victoria used our 12wt in a range of 4 colors for this original block:
- 2140 – Golden Yellow
- 2865 – Dark Green
- 2888 – Light Green
- 4660 – Variegated pink
Learn more about Victoria and her block in the original post, right here.
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DOWNLOAD the Spring if We’re Lucky Pattern
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We were thrilled that Victoria stitched up this lovely new version of her block! Don’t you just love how the colors pop against the black and white? Victoria loves stitching with our 12wt thread and used 5 colors from her Fresh Modern & Timeless Collection to bring this beauty to life: 2975, 2520, 5017, 4020, 2430. The fabrics used are the Black Chevron and White Chevron prints from her Meadow Storm Collection. Perfection!
To keep things exciting, we’ve got a special giveaway. Stitch up the block and upload it via the linky party below. Each month, we’ll randomly select a winner to win one small Designer Aurifloss Collection. Who doesn’t love free thread (especially when partnered with such delightful free block patterns?)
So, in the words of our DOM Queen, Pat Sloan… Let’s Go Sew!!
Stitch up your very own version of Spring if We’re Lucky and upload a photo of your block to our linky party. We’ll randomly select one winner per month to receive a small box of our 100% Cotton 6-strand Aurifloss. Simply click on the button below to head to our link party page to add your block image. Entries will be accepted until 11:55pm on April 26. Winner will be chosen and announced here on April 27, the date of our next block!
STITCH the 2012 DOM REBOOT SCHEDULE
January — Roseann Kermes/Rosebud’s Cottage
February — Sherri Falls/This and That Patterns
March — Victoria Findlay Wolfe
April — Gail Pan
May — Thimbleanna
June — Pam Kitty Morning
July — Sarah Fielke
August — Bari J.
September — Amy Ellis
October — Amanda Woodward-Jennings/The Frosted Pumpkin Stitchery
November — Emily Cier/Caroline Patchworks
December — Lizzie B Cre8ive
ABOUT THE AURIFIL DOM PROGRAM
Run by industry darling, Pat Sloan, the Aurifil Designer of the Month Program has been a mainstay of the Auribuzz blog since 2011. Each year, Pat brings together a new team of top-notch Designers, featuring one per month throughout the year. Posts generally share an interview, some fabulous images of projects made, studio spaces and more, a FREE block + a chance to win Aurifil thread. At the end of every year, Pat shares a suggested quilt setting. It is a great way to get to know new designers, to try new techniques, to share in a quilt along experience, and to do some collaborative quilting!
To find all of our DOM patterns, please visit: http://www.aurifil.com/patterns
Today, we’re handing the blog over to Aurifil Designer Susan Emory of Swirly Girls Design. Susan has a wonderful pattern to share, along with some excellent tips — all using her Summer Lovin’ thread collection, released last year. This project is absolutely perfect to get us prepared for warmer weather ahead! Now excuse us while we daydream about the bright Summer sun;).
My introduction to Aurifil Thread came several years ago when I picked up a spool of 12 wt thread for hand embroidery. I immediately loved that I no longer had to separate strands before I began stitching! Since then, I have discovered the lint-free beauty of Aurifil 40wt and 50wt to use on the machine. I switched to Aurifil and never looked back.
When I approached Aurifil to create a designer thread collection to coordinate Summer Lovin’, my fabric line with Michael Miller Fabrics, I was THRILLED when they said yes!
I love hand embroidery and I love appliqué so we combined the best of both and produced a box with six 12wt spools and six 50wt spools.
This box is the perfect fit for the Sweet Summertime Block of the Month quilt featuring hand embroidered blocks each month.
The 50wt is ideal for machine appliqué and matches the fabrics perfectly!
Have you had a chance to hand stitch with 12wt yet? I designed a simple hand embroidery project to give you that chance and to help get you started!
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DOWNLOAD Sew Very Happy by Susan Emory
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I used a pencil to lightly trace the design onto solid white Cotton Couture from Michael Miller Fabrics.
I combined back-stitching and french knots for stitching the design.
I then added borders and quilted the mini quilt. After quilting, I decided to add some fussy-cut floral motifs from Summer Lovin’. I stitched the appliqués down with matching 50wt thread. Next, I added a row of big stitch quilting with the 12wt in red.
I used the yellow and green Picnic Plaid print for bias binding.
Enjoy!! I can’t wait to see your minis!!
Website — Blog — Facebook — Instagram — Twitter
Susan Emory is a licensed designer with Michael Miller Fabrics and a quilt designer under the Swirly Girls Design logo. Summer Lovin’ by Susan Emory/Swirly Girls Design for Michael Miller Fabrics and the Summer Lovin’ Designer Thread Collection are in stores now.
Pssssst. Something fun coming soon!!
Welcome to our Fall/Winter edition of Island Batik Week!! We’re so excited to partner with this wonderful company once again to present a variety of new fabric lines along with the coordinating Aurifil thread collections. We’ll be featuring one designer every day and each post will offer a fabric + thread giveaway, so make sure to come back daily to learn more about our talented designers and to enter-to-win some gorgeous prizes!
To learn about Island Batik and the batik process, please visit their website. For a peek at the full range of Fall/Winter 2016 releases, in-stores now, click here or on the image below to browse the catalog.
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Deep Purples, greens and magentas are beautifully represented in Kathy Engle’s Coastal Mist collection for Tamarinis (Tammy Silvers) with Island Batik. Tammy selected threads to coordinate perfectly with the fabrics. The large collection features both 50wt and 12wt threads, perfect for piecing and big stitch quilting. The small collection features 10 stunning colors of our Aurifloss for adding perfect little stitched details.
THREAD COLLECTION DETAILS
12 Large Spools – 50wt (1422yds/spool) & 12wt (356yds/spool), 100% Aurifil Cotton
1148 – 2562 – 2568 – 2600 – 2455 – 2845 (50wt)
4225 – 2405 – 2420 – 4026 – 4030 – 4093 (12wt)
10 Small Spools – Floss (18yds/spool), 100% Aurifil Cotton
2540 – 1135 – 2311 – 2562 – 4182 – 2455 – 2845 – 4026 – 4030 – 5003
To view this info on our website, click the images above. For purchasing, please contact your local Aurifil Dealer.
What was the inspiration behind Coastal Mist, your new collection in partner with Kathy Engle? What does the collection mean to you?
The genius behind the Coastal Mist collection is all Kathy Engle. But for me, it captures the softer beauty of the coast, evoking soft, misty mornings, gently lapping waves, and those magical, if all too brief, sunsets.
Do you have a favorite project made using the fabric and threads from Coastal Mist?
I’m particularly pleased with Boho Bliss – while not at all coastal themed, the colors worked so well to give a softer bohemian feel to the project. And of course, the Aurifil 12wts were a huge part of that as well – the edge stitching in the coordinating and contrasting colors were the finishing touch!
You’ve put together a pretty amazing blog tour to introduce this stunning collection, launching later this month. What was it like to work with so many wonderful designers and to see the projects they created with Coastal Mist?
Working with other designers is tremendously exciting! It is awesome to see different takes on a collection, and different ways of combining fabrics from the collection and interpreting it. Their inspiration is extremely motivating!
How did you go about selecting colors for your coordinating thread collections?
I wanted the quilting weight threads to continue that “misty” feel and offer a whisper of color across the fabrics. And then of course the 12wts were chosen to highlight the fused applique that was a major focus of Boho Bliss. Together, the two weights offer a complete package for any quilter!
In addition to the large collection of 50wt threads, you have a small, 10-spool box of Aurifloss. What do you love most about working with our embroidery floss?
The floss is a dream to work with! I love the rich, saturated colors, the smooth thread, and the fact that I don’t have to separate it to work with it. I love the heavier, yet smooth look when stitching with the floss.
To learn more about Tammy, check out our feature for Seashore, her Spring/Summer Island Batik Week release.
To enter-to-win 1 Large Coastal Mist Thread Collection and one Fat Quarter Bundle of Coastal Mist fabrics from Island Batik, click here to head to the Rafflecopter entry page, or simply click on the image above. You do not have to complete all the options to be entered but the more options you choose, the more entries you have! Entries will be accepted from now through 11:59pm Eastern Time on Sunday, January 15! Winner will be randomly selected and announced here on Monday, January 16. Good luck!
UPDATE: This giveaway is now closed. Congratulations to our winner, Lesley Moore!
ISLAND BATIK WEEK SCHEDULE
1/10 – Coastal Mist by Tammy Silvers (YOU ARE HERE!)
1/11 – Glowing Embers by Cheri Good Designs
1/12 – Dotalicious by Claudia Pfeil
1/13 – Surf and Sand by Fourth and Sixth Designs
1/14 – Fresh Catch by Jackie Kunkel
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Tammy Silvers is the designer behind the brand Tamarinis. She’s been designing quilts for 10 years, and prides herself on offering bold, fresh new patterns for quilters of all levels. She enjoys working with almost any fabric, but her favorites (the one that makes her drool and blow a carefully constructed budget) are batiks, bold prints, and chicken prints. Having a background in art and literature, another of her guilty quilty pleasures is finding ways to use “words” in her work, be it in the fabric itself or by adding them to the piece.
Tammy is a Georgia native and currently lives in Acworth with her husband, children (when they come to visit!), dog, and her favorite fat cats.
Under the label Tamarinis, her designs are regularly published in a variety of quilt magazines, including Quilt, McCall’s Quilting, American Patchwork and Quilting, Stitch, Fons and Porter’s Love of Quilting, Quilty, Quilt It…Today, Sew It…Today, Stitch and Create and Decorate. She also works with some of the major fabric manufacturers designing projects to showcase and promote their fabric lines, including Island Batik (of course!), Northcott Fabrics, Blend, Camelot and Fabri-Quilt.
ABOUT ISLAND BATIK
Website — Blog — Facebook — Pinterest — Twitter — Instagram
Island Batik is a manufacturer, importer and distributor of cotton batik, rayon batik and hand-printed cotton from Indonesia. Originally established in 1997, Island Batik’s mission is to share the ancient cultural art of batik and hand-dyed fabric with our many valued customers around the world.
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!]
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!
TODDLER TOTE TUTORIAL
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 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]
We are thrilled to present Sew Illustrated, by Minki Kim & Kristin Esser. Have you been following along with the blog tour? We’ve loved seeing all of the gorgeous projects, reading reviews and learning more about how Minki and Kristin have inspired other designers to push the boundaries and create new works of art:). Isn’t creative inspiration the best??
Today, we have the opportunity to share all sorts of goodies with you — bits of this gorgeous new book, some of Minki & Kristin’s thoughts and inspirations via a lovely interview, Minki’s brand new Aurifil thread collection AND a fabulous little giveaway!
THE THREAD COLLECTION
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!
Large, 100% Aurifil Cotton
2000 – 5008 – 2620 – 6735 – 5024 (50wt, 1422yds)
2692 – 3817 (40wt, 1094yds), 2630 – 1130 (28wt, 820yds)
2605 – 3817 (12wt, 356yds), 8692 (WOOL 12wt, 383yds)
2000 – 5008 – 2620 – 5024 (50wt, 220yds) 2692 – 3817 (40wt, 164yds)
2630 – 1130 (28wt, 109yds ) 2605 (12wt, 54yds) 8692 (WOOL 12wt, 54yds)
To view this info on our website, click the images above. For purchasing, please contact your local Aurifil Dealer.
What first drew you to this amazing creative world of sewing and textiles?
I’ve loved playing with a needle and thread ever since I was a little girl. My mother would give me bits of fabric and I would hand sew dresses for my dolls. When I became a mother myself I found that I had some hours to fill during the day. I went back to my roots of drawing and painting, but with little children around, I couldn’t leave all those materials around our small apartment. So I started hand embroidering my drawings and my children’s drawings. I enjoy hand work, but I felt that hand embroidery just took too long. One day my husband brought home a sewing machine for me and I wondered if I could achieve the same look by machine. I was thrilled to find out that I could! I felt that I had found the perfect marriage of drawing and sewing in sewing illustration.
Who or what has been your greatest creative inspiration?
Without a doubt—my three girls. When they were very little, we would walk to the park or to school and I found myself wanting to capture those everyday scenes. Sometimes I would snap a picture with my phone, and sometimes I would quickly create a sketch as soon as I returned home. These scenes became my first sewing illustrations are still among my most treasured.
I am also inspired by everyday items and scenes—if I am baking bread, I want to draw that, if I’m making jam-I will sketch that. Piles of my girls shoes, rain boots—really anything to do with rain—cameras, my sewing space—everything around me. It is all inspiration for my drawings.
What do you love most about the process of creating?
What I love most is that you have a tangible result of your efforts to enjoy. The tea mat under your tea cup, the needle case you store your favorite needles in, the cushion on your daughter’s bed that she enjoys every day. I love to both see and use the items I create around my home. They are, in fact, what makes it a home to me. You can spend all day cleaning your house, and five minutes after your kids come home it is all undone—but that handmade coaster is always there for you to enjoy:).
How did the idea for Sew Illustrated first come about and what did you love most about the process of putting the book together?
The full story behind how Sew Illustrated came to be is all in this blog post. But the part that we like the most is that we were just two regular women who had a crazy idea to write a book. And if we’ve learned anything through this whole process, is that you just have to be brave enough to try, to take that next step. We wrote up that book proposal, completely expecting it to be rejected. But it wasn’t and here we are!
We didn’t really know for sure that other sewists would embrace this technique and aesthetic, but based on the response we have had from the book—our instincts paid off and many people are trying a new technique and finding out that it not difficult—and they absolutely enjoy it!
What was it like to work on the book collaboratively?
Working on the book together was so much fun. We met over countless cups of coffee and tea to plan out every detail. We have very complementary skill sets, so dividing up who did what was very easy—Minki was the designer and Kristin did the writing. Some people ask us if we are still friends after it was all done, and we are pleased to report that yes! We are still dear friends.
Do you have a favorite project from the book and why?
It’s a bit like choosing your favorite child—but I think the long-handled bag with the typewriter motif is my favorite. I love the typewriter design and it is a useful bag that I reach for over and over. I also love all of the projects for the table—coasters, tea mats, and dessert mats—for the same reason. They are useful projects that I enjoy seeing and using every day.
When did you first discover Aurifil threads and what do you love most about them? Actually, it was Kristin that first introduced me to Aurifil. Up until then I was using whatever thread was on sale at Joann’s. In fact, I really didn’t understand what difference a thread could make. But she lent me a spool and I was immediately hooked! It was eye-opening what a difference great quality thread can make! And then I was introduced to all the different thread weights available from Aurifil. This was something else that I had no idea about!
Once I began experimenting with different thread weights—it began to change my process. I think of sewing illustration as simply drawing with thread. The different weights of thread represent the different thicknesses of the pen or pencil you draw with. I can really change the look of the piece by simply using a different thread weight. I can use a very heavy 12 weight to mimic a hand embroidered look, but I also completely love the thin line that 50 weight gives a drawing.
Do you have a favorite weight/color?
As I said, I love them all for different reasons. Most of my sewing illustrations have used a dark brown (5024 and 1130 are my favorites) in the past—but recently I have completely fallen in love with dark gray (2630) 28 weight.
How did you go about selecting colors for this collection?
I wanted to introduce people to new thread weights. I think that most people have the usual 50 weight thread in their drawer and I wanted to open up a whole new world to them. So I selected a variety of weights that can easily achieve different looks, in the selection of colors that I find myself reaching for over and over.
Click here to enter-to-win 1 Large Sew Illustrated Aurifil Thread Collection and one copy of Sew Illustrated by Minki Kim & Kristin Esser for C&T Publishing. 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, September 9! Winner will be randomly selected and announced here on Saturday, September 10. If located in the US, the winner will receive a physical copy of the book. If outside the US, the winner will receive an e-copy of the book. This giveaway is open to all of our international friends!
Update: This giveaway is now closed. Congratulations to our winner, Rochelle Summers!
THE BLOG TOUR
Just because the tour is almost over doesn’t mean the fun has to end! We would encourage you to visit all of the stops along the way to check out projects, tips, and more!
August 15: C&T Publications
August 16: Amy at nanaCompany
August 17: Wynn at Zakka Art
August 18: Sedef at Down Grapevine Lane
August 19: Lisa at A Spoonful of Sugar
August 20: Amy at chick chick sewing
August 21: Stacy at Stacy Olson
August 22: Debbie happy little cottage
August 23: Generation Q Magazine
August 24: Faith at Sarana Ave
August 25: Ayda at cafenohut
August 26: Melissa at Oh, how sweet
August 27: Jemima at Tied with a Ribbon
August 28: Veronica at Vivid Felicity
August 29: Sharon at Lilabelle Lane Creations
August 30: Nadra at ellis & higgs
August 31: Kristyne at pretty by hand
September 1: Elnora on Instagram
September 2: Jennie at Clover and Violet
September 3: Auribuzz (You are HERE!)
September 4: Minki at Minki’s Work Table and Kristin at They Grow Up Too Fast
Website — Instagram — Pinterest — Pattern Shop
Minki Kim is a formally trained artist and self-taught sewist. She discovered sewing as a creative outlet when her children were small and she wanted to capture the beauty of ordinary moments, first with hand embroidery and later recreating them with her sewing machine and fabric—literally drawing with thread. Originally from Korea, Minki now calls Southern California home, where she lives with her husband and three young daughters. On any given day you can find her in her sewing room creating projects to share on her blog, in her pattern shop, and on Instagram.
Website — Facebook — Instagram — Pinterest
Kristin Esser has been surrounded by sewing and crafting since childhood. She dabbled in apparel sewing but eventually found her passion in quilting, craft sewing, and knitting. She lives just down the street from Minki, where she has written Minki’s patterns and tutorials for publication in industry magazines. She writes about her creative pursuits and her life with her husband and three teenage children at kristinesser.com.
** Images and all biographical text are courtesy of Minki Kim, Kristin Esser and C&T Publishing.
Please help us in welcoming Yvonne of Quilting JetGirl to Auribuzz! We always love seeing what Yvonne is up to and lately, it seems she is everywhere! Between the Quilter’s Planner, the Snowflake Shimmer Quilt Along, a new line of patterns carried by Brewer and all sorts of fun secret sewing, Yvonne has been keeping very busy:). We’re thrilled that she wanted to try out our 12wt thread for a bit of free-motion quilting and have no doubt that her experiments will be incredibly helpful to many of you. So, without further pause, we’ll hand this over to Yvonne!
I am very excited to be chatting with fellow thread and quilting enthusiasts today! I am Yvonne @Quilting Jetgirl, and today I am going to be sharing my recent exploration of free motion quilting using Aurifil’s amazing 12wt thread.
This exploration is all born out of a specific vision I have for a quilting project. I selected my thread colors, and the beautiful rainbow has been tempting me to sew with them immediately!
Before diving right into the project, though, I wanted to spend some time getting used to sewing with the heavier weight thread. I quilt on a 2004 APQS Millennium long arm machine, and I typically quilt using 50wt Aurifil. I knew it would take a bit of time and patience to figure out what combination of settings would work best for me.
I started with a large spool of 12wt 4657 (Tramonto a Zoagli) as my top thread, a standard MR 4.0 18 needle, and 50wt 2420 (Fleshy Pink) in my bobbin. I adjusted the top tension as I sewed the first sample, but no matter how tight I set the top tension, the 12wt thread would jump out of the tension spring and pull through to the back.
My rule of thumb is to make small changes, so for my next sample the only thing I changed was to use a double layer of batting with everything else left the same. Not only did the 12wt thread still pull through to the back, but occasionally a stitch was even dropped. You might notice that I actually did change something else: I used a print for the backing of this sample. Even though I was combing through my scrap bin for these samples, I decided that I would only use solids as I continued to explore my settings so that it would be easier to evaluate the stitches!
Because double batting would actually not be beneficial for my final project and there was no marked change (or if anything it was worse), I went back to single batting for the rest of the samples. My next thought was to use a larger needle, since I was exploring using the 12wt as my top thread. I upsized to the MR 4.5 19 needle, and, if anything, the thread was even less stable and pulled through to the back even more.
For Sample number 4, I moved the 12wt thread to be placed in the bobbin and put the 50wt thread on top. I kept the larger needle installed, and I left all tension settings alone. I thought that this showed impressive improvement, although there are clearly tension issues and “eyelashing” that can be seen. At this point, it also became obvious that using a variegated thread was going to be a challenge due to occasional high contrast between the 12wt and 50wt thread.
For the fifth sample, I used the same thread color in 12wt in the bobbin as the 50wt thread on top: 2535 (Magenta). I spent time adjusting the bobbin tension before getting started. I was really excited and pleased with this sample, and it became clear that the larger needle was no longer needed.
So I switched back to my normal needle size and quilted Sample 6. I am very pleased with the settings, and I am ready to quilt my concept while I have the settings dialed in and before I need to quilt something else!
Note that this is just what I have found to work best for my quilting style and machine, but the same approach works for any sewing machine (long arm or domestic). In general, I recommend a slow change approach when you are trying something new or troubleshooting any quilting problem. By changing one thing at a time, even if you know another change is necessary (like bobbin tension when switching between 50wt and 12wt), it is easy to get a clear understanding of where the sensitivities to the problem are.
And in this case, it was especially beneficial to me because I come across a planning issue when I started working on the final quilt: I wanted to include more fine detail than I was capable of controlling reliably on my longarm. So I headed straight over to my domestic machine and after a few quick test samples with the 12wt in my bobbin, I decided to quilt the mini on my domestic.
I hope this inspires you to consider stepping outside your quilting box and trying something new, whether it is giving 12wt thread a try or experimenting and learning a quilting motif you have been itching to try. Happy Quilting!
Yvonne @Quilting Jetgirl is an intuitive introvert who is passionate about hometown and online quilting community. She believes that quilts can cover the world with care and love, and she uses her blogging platform to cultivate a community with which she shares her passion for quilt making and quilt pattern design.
Yvonne strongly believes that:
You are creative.
Nobody and nothing is perfect: You are doing your best work right now.
The secret to success is to show up, try, learn, modify, and repeat.
Tigerfish is McKenna Ryan‘s latest premier line of Batiks with Robert Kaufman. Featuring a gorgeous range of sweet and bright colors, this collection pulls inspiration from the sea. The coordinating Aurifil Thread Collection, The Tropical Box, features our 50wt thread. Though it was designed to coordinate with Tigerfish, it makes a terrific Summer sewing companion to a variety of prints and solids!
THREAD COLLECTION DETAILS
The Tropical Box
100% Aurifil 50wt Cotton, 12 Large Spools
1125 – 2588 – 2435 – 1148 – 2805 – 5005 – 2105 – 3660 – 2884 – 3320 – 1243 – 3840
100% Aurifil 50wt Cotton, 10 Small Spools
1243 – 2805 – 3320 – 3840 – 2884 – 3660 – 2105 – 1148 – 1125 – 2435
To view this info on our website, click on either of the images above. For purchasing, please contact your local Aurifil Dealer.
How did you first discover the world of quilting and what was it that really drew you in?
As a child, my greatest joy and solace came from immersing myself in nature, collecting driftwood, rocks and wildflowers to create natural one-of-a-kind art pieces. I told my family that someday I would live surrounded by mountains, flowers and wildlife, near lakes and streams. Years ago, I found myself immersed in a corporate lifestyle in Boston and made the grand decision to leave it all behind and move to the wilds of Montana. On the way there, I wandered into a quilt shop for the first time. It was mesmerizing and I felt as though time almost stood still. The colors, textures and designs of the quilts moved me beyond words and the seeds were planted.
How did your new surroundings inspire an eventual quilting career?
As I settled into my new community of only 200 residents, I quickly discovered that many of the women spent the wintry months quilting. I took an appliqué quilting class, bought my first sewing machine for $50.00 and found a passion I had never really known before. Living at the edge of Glacier National Park, natural beauty was all around. I wanted to reflect this, in quilts, but at the time there were few nature-inspired patterns, so I started making my own.
What is the process of creating like for you, whether it be for a new fabric collection, a new pattern, or something different entirely?
Over the years, I’ve realized that designs tend to come to me in their own time and I just need to trust the process. Sometimes an entire compilation will just appear in my head and I have to quickly sketch the overall composition. Then, I start pulling fabrics and colors that I know will achieve a certain feel. Next, I go to work on the details, cutting as many as 25 prototypes of a plant or animal before selecting one that best fits with the scale and flow of the entire piece. When I can connect to the creative process as a part of creation itself and let my work fulfill a higher purpose, then I am always pleased when the process is complete. It is not so much that I have created a new design, but participated in it. The better I become at trusting this process, the more I am able to access a certain grace that is inherent in the process. This grace or connection is what I believe makes art come to life. And I believe all great art is alive.
How did you decide to start your own business and what was the process like for you?
As I continued to grow and learn within the practice of quilting, I found a color, balance and design that were uniquely my own, and decided to start my own design company. On one of my long drives through the Rocky Mountains (2.5 hours to the grocery store!) I noticed the beautiful pine forests and claimed the name for my company: Pine Needles. I attended my very first Quilt Market in 1995 and though it was a wonderful experience, I found that my personal success came when I didn’t worry about trends in the marketplace and instead followed my heart. At my second Quilt Market, I introduced “Moose Junction.” I consider it to be one of my big milestones! It had masculine character with feminine appeal, and it was just what the market needed.
How would you describe your creative vision and how it infects your work?
My tag line is “Simply Beautiful…Beautifully Simple”. As I’ve grown over the years, I find that I want to challenge myself in capturing more depth and dimension with the use of fabric, while still making it a project that is easy and fun. I love the idea of quilting as a ‘living art.’ When I design, one of the greatest gifts is the awareness that what I create is going to come to life again and again in a myriad of incredible and unique ways. When I started my company, part of my mission statement was that I wanted to somehow touch the lives of others through my art. Since starting, I feel that my designs have touched the lives of many. It is this aspect of my work that truly means the most!
*Patterns for all quilt projects shown above will be available on McKenna’s website starting in October.
MCKENNA’S APPLIQUE QUILT METHOD (via Fons & Porter)
To enter-to-win 1 Tropical Box by McKenna Ryan for Aurifil Thread Collection and one Fat Quarter Bundle of Tigerfish by McKenna Ryan for Robert Kaufman Fabrics, click here to head to the Rafflecopter entry page, or simply click on the image above. You do not have to complete all the options to be entered but the more options you choose, the more entries you have! Entries will be accepted from now through 11:59pm Eastern Time on Wednesday, August 10! Winner will be randomly selected and announced here on Thursday, August 11. Good luck!
UPDATE: This giveaway is now closed. Congratulations to our winner, Terry Helms!
Website — Facebook — Pinterest — Instagram — Twitter
McKenna Ryan’s Art Quilt and Fabric Showroom is nestled in the hamlet of the historic Milwaukie district just South of Portland proper. Her website has become a destination for quilters worldwide. Visit either to truly immerse yourself in McKenna’s world, where hummingbirds hover over brilliant flowers, elk bugle in lush fabric forests, eagles soar across quilted landscapes and smoke rises wistfully from cabins in the woods. Come in, cozy up, and see why McKenna’s quilt artistry has captivated fans across the globe. (see more via McKenna’s Robert Kaufman Designer Page)
**All images and biographical text courtesy of McKenna Ryan Designs.