All About Aurifil, Part 2

Welcome to the second installment of our All About Aurifil series! We had so much fun last week and loved seeing all of your responses. We’d like to continue your “threaducation” with some information about “Indanthren” and “Reactive” colors as well as our 40wt & 50wt threads. Let’s turn attention once again to our Technical Creative Specialist, Kristi, for All About Aurifil!

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Mister Domestic’s Toolbox

Mister Domestic (aka Mathew Boudreaux) exploded onto the sewing and quilting scene with a burst of talent, drive, and exuberance and has commanded our attention ever since. Whether he’s sewing some fabulous new item of clothing for his daughter, working on a new set of pillow covers, piecing a quilty masterpiece, or schooling us in EPP, his projects inspire and generally make us feel like anything is possible. He has an incredible ability to make us all feel like we can conquer the quilty world, one stitch at a time.

With that in mind, we are honored to partner with him on Mister Domestic’s Toolbox, his brand new  collection featuring 12 of his absolute go-to threads… the ones that he would take with him to a deserted island, where creativity rules and thread reigns. ❤

Read on to learn all about how Mister Domestic came to be, and where he is headed!

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Coming Up Roses: Penny in the City

Penny in the City by Kate Brennan

We were thrilled when the amazing team at Penny Rose Fabrics asked if we’d like to join in on Jill Finley‘s Coming Up Roses blog tour. You see, we love Jill. ❤ Not just because she is one of our treasured Aurifil Designers, but because she is an incredibly talented fabric designer, quilter, maker, and generally an all around lovely person. Also, Coming Up Roses, her latest line with Penny Rose, is absolutely stunning. Just look at these feature prints!!

While we don’t have a new thread collection to coordinate with Coming Up Roses, we were happy to see that some of the colors from her Meadow Sweets collection work incredibly well! Take a peek at those colors right here.

To feature Jill’s fabrics, we turned to Aurifil’s own Kate Brennan, based in our Chicago office. Kate is a talented quilter with a keen eye for color and pairing patterns. She focused on Jill’s blue colorway, opting for the Roses Main, Roses Vine, Roses Hexi, and Roses Buds prints and added in a few Riley Blake coordinates with Swiss Dot Tone on Tone White & Confetti Cottons Color Riley Royal Blue. Kate says that she loves working with Riley Blake fabrics and is particularly taken with this collection. It has a lot of flexibility, a good range of scale and color in patterns, featured saturated solids, and is super high quality.

She grabbed a spool of Aurifil 6735 (Plumtastic) in 50wt for piecing and quilting and added in a spool of 2783 (Medium Delft Blue) in 40wt for additional quilting.

While Kate did not use a pattern to make Penny in the City she did use a Mariner’s Compass Ruler from Robin Ruth Design. The ruler allowed her to achieve a stunning Mariner’s compass block by strip-piecing.

We are in LOVE with Kate’s finished wall hanging and had so much fun checking out her photos of the piece around the city of Chicago. 😉 (with a bit of added help from her daughters!)

Coming Up Roses will be available in stores soon!  Make sure to check out the fabulous free Simple Circles Quilt pattern by Andy Knowlton, shared last week and keep an eye on the blogs below for more great projects and patterns to come!
July 6:  Andy Knowlton / A Bright Corner
July 13:  Aurifil / Auribuzz
July 20:  Amy Chappell / Ameroonie Designs
July 27:  Carrie Burnett / Beri Bee Designs
Aug 3:  Kari Steiger / That’s-Sew-Kari
Aug 10:  Kimberly Einmo / Kimbery Einmo Designs

Coming Up Roses Fabric by Jill Finley for Riley Blake Designs
Meadow Sweets by Jill Finley for Aurifil in Large & Small
All about Jill Finley & Jillily Studios
Robin Ruth Design, Mariner’s Compass Rulers

Dandy Days with Sarah J. Maxwell

Sarah J. Maxwell‘s Dandy Days for Studio 37/Marcus Fabrics grew out of the joy and inspiration found in simple dandelions. Her colorful mix of low-volume prints and three Centennial Solids come together perfectly for her BOM quilt top, with two cool and relaxing greys as background options. Sarah’s coordinating thread collection offers both LG and SM boxes with a versatile combination of 50wt, 28wt and 80wt threads.

Dandy Days
12 Large Spools, 100% Aurifil Cotton
2435 – 5004 – 1320 – 2535 – 1148
2600 – 2525 – 2520 – 2588 (50wt, 1422yds/spool)
4660 – 4663 (28wt, 820yds/spool)

Dandy Days
10 Small Spools, 100% Aurifil Cotton
2435 – 1320 – 1148 – 2600 – 2520 – 2588 – 2105 (50wt, 200yds/spool)
5004 – 2606 – 2600 (80wt, 300yds/spool)

To view this info on our website, click 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?

My love affair with quilting began in college—when I got my first apartment I didn’t have a lot of money to furnish it. My mom said I could take anything I needed from home and I found a pink dogwood applique quilt in the closet made by an aunt. It was a classic kit quilt from the 1930s. Dogwood trees were always the first sign of spring at the Lake of the Ozarks where I grew up so I knew it would be the perfect reminder of home while I was away. I used that quilt for 3 years, not understanding that it was a vintage treasure. As it began to show lots of wear and tear, I put it back in the closet always thinking I would make my own quilt someday.

Sarah with Pieces of Me at QuiltCon

Do you remember the process of making your first quilt and how you felt once it was complete?
While pregnant with my daughter, Megan, I got a serious nesting instinct and wanted to make something for her nursery. I bought an inexpensive sewing machine and a “teach yourself to quilt” book and cut out my first quilt with scissors and cardboard templates. With a full-time job and a new baby, I didn’t have much time to sew, but I kept the machine set up on a corner of our kitchen table, working a few minutes here and there. When I finally completed that baby quilt I knew I had found a life-time craft.

Dream at Dawn by Sarah Maxwell

Who or what has been your greatest creative inspiration?
As a long-time traditional quilter who spent years making super-scrappy, intricately pieced quilts, my greatest source of inspiration for original work has been my daughters, Megan and Shannen. Like most kids, they didn’t fully understand or “get” what mom did as a quilter. They definitely didn’t appreciate the Civil War style or palette that I worked with for many years.

Once they left home, I wanted to send my quilts with them. The desire to create quilts that they would want in their own homes sparked a new creative journey for me and my entire Designs by Sarah J business. Stepping back and reassessing my entire creative process and trying new styles, new colors and new techniques has me excited about quilting all over again.

Dandy Days by Sarah Maxwell

How did you first connect with Marcus and what do you love most about working with them?
I connected with Marcus initially because of my interest in Civil War reproduction fabrics and quilts. I had an idea for a book and wanted fabric that would allow me to create the quilt in my head. Stephanie Dell’Olio and Pati Violick met with me and embraced the idea of producing fabric to bring that vision to life. We spent several years collaborating on historic projects. Then, a couple of years ago, Stephanie asked me what I would create if I had no limitations. This was about the same time I had the whole epiphany that my daughters didn’t want a single one of my reproduction quilts and that the industry was changing.

So, Designs by Sarah J was born and a whole creative journey exploring brighter colors, simpler fabric designs and new techniques is underway. I still love super-scrappy quilts and intricate piecing, but I always pause after creating a new design now & think about how it could be simpler or cleaner or less fussy or what adding a few solids into the fabric mix would do to the overall design.

The best thing about working with Marcus Fabrics and their Studio 37 imprint is that they truly let me embrace my inner-ADD personality. I’ve always loved having multiple projects underway and I’ve always loved lots of fabric styles. If you could peek into my messy, chaotic, overwhelming sewing room you would find a little bit of everything and every color. Marcus lets me design cotton prints, woven plaids, batiks and they let me experiment with palettes—they don’t make me adhere to a given “look” which I would find boring and stifling.

Dandy Whirl Quilt by Sarah Maxwell

What inspired Dandy Days?
Dandy Days is all about lazy summer days full of bright sunshine where the possibilities are endless. A gentle breeze can lift a kite in the wind or spin the blades of a pinwheel or carry a dandelion seed across the yard. I know some people view dandelions as pesky weeds—I view them as possibility—a gust of wind can result in bright pops of color everywhere.

Dandy Days

Do you have a favorite project made with the collection? 
My favorite project from Dandy Days is currently a tie:

With Supernova. I added several solids to a limited group of prints from the collection and created a quilt with a strong graphic impact. The quilt uses large blocks—24” square so it’s also a fast finish.

Supernova by Sarah Maxwell

With Trippy Traps, I experimented with deconstructing an English paper piecing project. I worked with Paper Pieces on an acrylic template suitable for EPP or rotary cutting and machine piecing. Because I sometimes like to see instant results, I decided to play with piecing some units & then appliquing them on a background. The quilt captures the overall statement of Dandy Days—a summer day full of color & pinwheels. It also gave me a chance to really try out the 80 wt thread and I can assure people that it’s perfect for both English paper piecing and applique.

What is your favorite thing to make? 
Large, bed-sized quilts have always been my favorite. There’s nothing like seeing something you made on your bed.

Dandy Days by Sarah Maxwell

When did you first discover Aurifil threads and what do you love most about them?
I discovered Aurifil about 8 years ago. I was doing a lot of professional sewing for magazines and for Marcus. I was SO tired of cleaning out mountains of lint from my bobbin case and a friend suggested I try Aurifil. I bought a spool & never looked back. As I’ve expanded beyond traditional machine piecing, I love the variety of weights and the rainbow of color that allows me to create all the ideas whirling around in my head.

Do you have a favorite color/weight and why?
50 wt color 2324 is my all-time go-to for piecing. I buy the large-cones and there’s always one on a thread stand next to my machine and a backup in a drawer so I never run out while I’m staring down a deadline.

Recently, I’ve fallen in love with the 80 wt thread. My appliqué and English paper piecing stitches are invisible with this thread.


To enter-to-win 1 Large Dandy Days Thread Collection and one Fat Quarter Bundle of Dandy Days by Sarah Maxwell for Marcus 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, May 17! Winner will be randomly selected and announced here on Thursday, May 18. Good luck!

Website — BlogFacebookInstagram

Sarah’s love of quilting stems from her college days, when her mom sent her pink dogwood quilt to grace the bed in her first apartment. The quilt was a comforting reminder of her home in the Lake of the Ozarks, where the dogwood blossoms always signaled the start of spring.

A few years later, married and expecting her first child, Sarah caught the nesting bug. Inspired by the treasured dogwood quilt, she bought a Teach Yourself to Quilt book and crafted her first quilt. She continued to improve her skills through classes at local quilt guilds, as well as learning from gifted teachers throughout the United States, fully taking advantage of modern conveniences, such as rotary cutting and computer design, as they became available.

Today, Sarah is a fabric and pattern designer for Studio 37 Fabrics, a division of Marcus Fabrics, with countless quilts to her credit. Her work has been featured regularly in both McCall’s Quilting and McCall’s Quick Quilts for the past several years. Additionally, Sarah’s quilts have appeared in Make ModernSimply Moderne,  American Patchwork & Quilting, and Quilts & More, as well as many other magazines.

Island Batik Week: Surf and Sand by Fourth and Sixth Designs


We’ve arrived at day four of Island Batik week! We’re feeling inspired and we’ve got batiks on the mind! 🙂 We love seeing all of the projects and can’t get enough of seeing our threads involved in such beautiful works of art, but we also love learning about the designers. It’s fascinating to hear their back stories and to learn about what inspired the collections.

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

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

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


– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –


The blues, greens and purples of Surf and Sand by Fourth and Sixth Designs provided the perfect palette for some gorgeous works of art. Mr. T is an underwater masterpiece. The way that the batiks combine with the quilting to create movement in the water is absolutely perfect. Barbara and Mary have outdone themselves with this collection! The coordinating threads come in 12 large spools of 40wt, perfect for piecing and quilting.

Surf and Sand
12 Large Spools, 40wt (1094yds/spool), 100% Aurifil Cotton
1125 – 1147 – 1243 – 2312 – 2370 – 2525
2783 – 2886 – 2890 – 4644 – 5005 – 5012


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

What inspired the Surf and Sand collection and what did you like most about putting it together? 
As the collection came together it reminded us of growing up and enjoying time at the Jersey Shore. The calm, tranquility and colors of the beach are all represented in this collection.

What is your favorite project made with the fabric and threads from this collection and why? 
We made two very different projects for this collection so it is hard to pick a favorite. In both projects the fabrics did the heavy lifting and helped us create two beautiful quilts but the thread collection really came into play on Mr T. The thread colors coordinated perfectly with the fabric and makes the edge coloring appliqué shine.

Mr T by Fourth and Sixth Designs

Mr T by Fourth and Sixth Designs

How did you go about selecting the threads for your collection? 
We choose the colors based on the appliqué project. When you can get the correct color match then the appliqué looks great even if you are a beginner.

This collection includes our 40wt threads — where would you recommend using 40wt over 50wt in your quilting designs? 
We use the 40wt for a number of reasons. First, it is our choice when doing our edge coloring appliqué technique because the thread covers the edges quickly and does not have too much bulk. We also use the thread for machine piecing and longarm quilting. So we find this weight perfect for all of our needs. We do find the 50wt to be our preferred choice when doing a very dense quilting fill. When you are quilting this closely you do not want the thread to build up and the fine 50wt thread does a beautiful job.

Strips, Stacks and Stones by Fourth and Sixth Designs

Strips, Stacks and Stones by Fourth and Sixth Designs

Do you have a favorite color from this collection?
Our designs have always been inspired by the fabrics, colors, and textures we are using and the bigger the collection the better, this makes it difficult for us to choose a favorite.  On any given day our favorite will change.  We love them all.


To learn more about Barbara and Mary, how they got started in this business and how they came to start their business, please visit our post for 2016 release, Equinox.



To enter-to-win 1 Large Surf and Sand Thread Collection and one Fat Quarter Bundle of Surf and Sand fabrics from Island Batik,  click here to head to the Rafflecopter entry page, or simply click on the image above. You do not have to complete all the options to be entered but the more options you choose, the more entries you have!  Entries will be accepted from now through 11:59pm Eastern Time on Wednesday, January 18! Winner will be randomly selected and announced here on Thursday, January 19. Good luck!

Website — Blog — Facebook — YouTube — Pinterest
Barbara_Mary1-300x199Barbara and Mary are award winning quilt artists and their quilts have been published in many quilting magazines and have been featured in Keepsake Quilting and Clotilde. They were born the fourth and sixth children in a close knit family in south Jersey. Their mother taught these Jersey girls garment sewing at the young age of ten. Skilled in all areas of sewing, Barbara began quilting in 1983 during the long New England winters while her husband attended the University of New Hampshire. She moved to Pennsylvania in 1990 and continued quilting as a hobby. In 2000 she left the corporate world to start her long arm quilting business, Quilted Heirlooms. Mary began quilting in 1992 when she moved to upstate New York. As a stay at home mom, she needed a creative outlet and immediately knew quilting was the answer she was looking for. She began teaching quilting classes in 1993 and eventually opened a quilt shop in 1999. Despite living 300 miles apart, Barbara and Mary began collaborating shortly after the start of their own businesses. This collaboration quickly became a partnership which has grown into the pattern and design company, Fourth & Sixth Designs. In 2008, C&T Publishing released their first book, StrataVarious Quilts. And in 2013 became fabric designers for 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.

Moda Mondays: Kate Spain


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


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

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

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


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


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

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



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

WebsiteBlogFacebookInstagramPinterestLinkedIn — Houzz — Google+

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

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

[Bio and images courtesy of Kate Spain, LLC ]

Pat Sloan’s Mega Fun Book Tour!


Pat Sloan is truly an industry icon! She has written over 30 books, designed hundreds of quilts, designs fabric collections for Moda, curates thread collections for Aurifil, hosts a weekly podcast for American Patchwork & Quilting, organizes the Aurifil Designer of the Month program, and still manages to travel extensively for her lectures while peppering in fun events like The Splendid Sampler Sew Along and so very much more. She is a tireless crusader for quilting and sewing education and is generally seen as an inspiration to all;). So… we love Pat. Pat is just amazing.


We couldn’t be more thrilled to be a part of her Mega Fun Book Tour! If you’ve been following along, you’ve likely learned some fun things about Pat, grabbed some new quilting tips, checked out some seriously gorgeous quilts, and read all about her brand new book, Teach Me to Machine Quilt.


Pat is no stranger to the literary world. Yet with each new release, she somehow manages to share unique, helpful, intriguing and gorgeous content.  We are in awe!

Personal confession time… I’m a beginner quilter. I’ve been sewing for years, but have never actually made a quilt. I’ve made all sorts of other things, including writing simple patterns, but… no quilts. With that said, Teach Me To Machine Quilt speaks directly to me! Reading the intro feels a little like inviting Pat over to my house for a one-on-one lesson (my goodness, wouldn’t that be amazing!) She has amazing tips for quilt top assembly, ideas for quilt backings, easy info on batting and a terrific guide to basting a quilt. All that before even diving into the actual process of quilting! Pat covers everything that a beginner might need to know to make a successful first quilt (or second, third or 100th!)

And yes, I work with (and adore) Aurifil, so I may be a bit biased, but her section on thread weights and selection is absolutely perfect. She walks readers through 4 common thread weights, answers the spool vs. cone question, and gives wonderful suggestions for color selection, thread tension and what thread to use in the bobbin.

Whether you’re a beginner like me, or a seasoned expert, this book is an absolute gem and is sure to be your new go-to. To enter-to-win a copy of Teach Me To Machine Quilt, head on over to Pat’s blog!

THE THREAD (Oh the lovely thread!)
Once you have your copy and you’re ready to dive in, you’ll need some thread to get you started;). Thankfully, Pat also has two new curated collections: Perfect Box of Neutrals in 40wt, a large box of luscious threads that was released in August, and Let’s Go Sew, available in both Large & Small, featuring 50wt threads in colors that coordinate with Pat’s latest fabric collection with Moda, Sunday Drive, but also represents a range of fabulous stash builders. Today, we’re thrilled to share more info about Perfect Box of Neutrals and, of course, share a super fun giveaway!

But first… a few quick questions for Pat about her love of Aurifil!

Since you always ask the Aurifil Designer of the Month, what are your three favorite colors of Aurifil thread?
Oh the tables are turned!!! Of course Red 2260, Aqua 2830, and funky old gold 2920.

Do you have a favorite tip for thread storage?
I like to keep them in a box by color. I have a group of red boxes (of course!) and they hold all my thread.

If you were one spool of Aurifil thread, what would you be?
A CONE of Old Gold 2920!! It’s such a great blender color! Alex should send that to me… wink!


Perfect Box of Neutrals by Pat Sloan
12 Large Spools, 50wt thread
2390 – 2692 – 2312 – 2340 – 2370 – 2372
2360 – 2600 – 5021 – 5011 – 2610 – 1158

Click here to enter-to-win 1 Large Perfect Box of Neutrals thread collection, 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, December 4! Winner will be randomly selected and announced here on Monday, December 5. Good luck!

UPDATE: This giveaway is now closed. Congratulations to Carol Carnes! We can’t wait to send you a thread box:). 

November 18
Pat’s Intro Post
Bonnie Hunter —
Pam Vieira-McGinnis —
Alyce Blyth —
Kimberly Einmo —

November 19
Pat’s Intro Post
American Patchwork & Quilting Magazine —
Mathew Boudreaux —
Moda with Carrie Nelson —

November 20
Pat’s Intro Post
Amy Smart —
Katja Marek —

November 21 
Pat’s Intro Post
Lee Monroe —
Jacquelynne Steves —
Stephanie Palmer —
Mary Abreu — 

November 22
Pat’s Intro Post
Sarah Maxwell —
Debby Brown —
Jane Davidson — 
Linda Thielfoldt —
Janet Clare —
Baby Lock —

November 23
Pat’s Intro Post
Cheryl Brickey —
Helen Stubbings —
Kimberly Jolly —

November 25 
Pat’s Intro Post
Sherri McConnell —
Julie Karaoke —
Ebony Love —
Martingale —

November 26
Pat’s Birthday post
Scott Hansen —
Victoria Findlay Wolfe —

November 28
Pat’s Intro Post
Amy Friend —
Heather Valentine —
Melissa Corry —
Amy Ellis —

November 29
Aurifil — (YOU ARE HERE)
Christa Watson —
Nancy Zieman —
Amanda Niederhauser —

November 30
Kim Niedzwiecki —
Karen Miller —
Wendy Sheppard —
Brenda M. Ratliff —

The High Voltage Collection by Rob Appell


Textile artist and designer Rob Appell got his start in the quilting and sewing industry years ago when he landed a job in his Mother’s Quilt Shop, “The Cotton Ball” in Morro Bay, California. He worked as a sewing machine technician and was quickly drawn to the world of quilting. He learned by trial and error and brings a masculine touch to this age old tradition. The man in Man Sewing, Rob now brings an energy and enthusiasm to the business through his terrific YouTube tutorials. He is a longtime user and supporter of Aurifil, singing praises of quality, variety and versatility far and wide.

We were so thrilled to partner with Rob on The High Voltage Collection. Rob assembled 12 of his absolute favorite, can’t-live-without-them, use-them-day-after-day colors in his go-to 40wt.


The High Voltage Collection
12 Large Spools – 100% Aurifil Cotton 40wt, 1094yds each
Colors included:
2024 – 2692 – 2615 – 2210 – 2350 – 2270 – 1133 – 1135 – 2730 – 2805 – 2865 – 5017


To view this info on our website, click the images above. For purchasing, please click here to visit Missouri Star Quilt Co or contact your local Aurifil Dealer.

How did you first get started in the quilting industry?

My mother had purchased a well established quilt shop while I was in college. I came home and ended helping out around the shop while working nights in the restaurant business. So glad to have found this path.


Do you remember the process of creating your first quilt and how you felt once it was finished?
I do, I was so excited to do my free motion machine quilting. That was why I made the quilt top, so super excited to give the FMQ a try. I was hooked in just a few stitches. I look back at those first stitches and just laugh at how poor they were, but I was having fun then, and still am now.

Rob's Man Sewing + Missouri Star Quilt, along with his dog, Winston

Rob’s Man Sewing + Missouri Star Quilt, along with his dog, Winston

How did you first connect with the Missouri Star Quilt Co.?
I was asked if I would like to try to make tutorials like Jenny Doan was doing. They did approach me with a job offer that quickly became an adoption into their fabulous family. Great people to work and create with!

Jenny Doan and Rob Appell

Jenny Doan and Rob Appell

Who or what has been your greatest creative inspiration?
The past two years have been the best years of my creative journey. Everyday I wake more excited than the day before. I feel so blessed to have the job that I have and to get to inspire people with my quilting and sewing. I pull from nature, friends and family, humor, to state a few when being inspired, but at this point the feeling of success in my studio is more motivating than anything I have experienced before.


And the Flag Was Still There by Rob Appell

What do you love most about connecting with others via your show, Man Sewing?
I love that I get to be creative and create a wide variety of sewing and quilting related projects. The YouTube audience is so broad that I can enjoy presenting the craziest projects in the simplest of ways.

On the set of Man Sewing

On the set of Man Sewing

Do you have a technique that you favor?
I was very into fusible applique to create landscape quilts, but as I improve on my piecing I am enjoying doing more patchwork. The Applique quilts almost dictate the free motion process, where the patchwork quilts push me as a machine quilter too. I must try to be creative with the style, but it all shows up so much more.

When did you first discover Aurifil threads and what do you love most about them?
I use to sell the threads in my Mom’s quilt shop – everyone said it was the best. Then I met Alex while I displaying my Endangered Species Quilts, his booth was across from my quilts and we hit it off.

Do you have a favorite weight/color? 
I love the 40 wt as I do so much machine quilting. My favorite color is green, but to pick just one spool would not be fair.


How did you go about selecting colors for this collection? 
I took the whole color card and put a highlighter on my favorite colors. Then I had to go through and pick just the best. I wanted the collection to be able to work with just about anything from my personal stash. So far so good, I love having the different color families to choose from, and of course the stuff quilts like a dream.


Do you FMQ? Don’t forget to tag #FMQMania on Instagram!



To enter-to-win The High Voltage Collection by Rob Appell, 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, September 16! Winner will be randomly selected and announced here on Saturday, September 17. Good luck!

Update: This giveaway is now closed. Congratulations to our winner, Afton Warrick!! 

WebsiteFacebookInstagram — Twitter — YouTubePinterest

ROB Headshot 2Rob Appell is the host of Man Sewing.  He’s a guy with boundless energy and enthusiasm for life and creativity.  He loves God, his wife, son and daughter. He enjoys waking up excited each day to see what lies ahead. He’s happiest when he’s outside or in my studio. He has been told that he inspires others and for that he feels very blessed.

What is Man Sewing?  Well, Rob is a man who loves to sew and he’s proud of it.  He is passionate about sewing and creativity and has a desire to teach, so he wants to share his passion with you.  Is Man Sewing just for men?  Absolutely not.  Rob is just a man who sews.  Join him every Monday for a new tutorial where you’ll use your hands, get covered in thread and create something completely new.  It’s high voltage edu-tainment at its finest.  Where creativity meets caffeine.  It’s Man Sewing.

[For more, please visit the Rob’s Website]

** Images and all biographical text are courtesy of Rob Appell and Man Sewing.

Sew Illustrated Blog Tour

Sew Illustrated blog tour banner

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!

Sew Illustrated

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!

Sew Illustrated
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.

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Vignette by Minki Kim

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.

Sewing Illustrations by Minki Kim

Sewing Illustrations by Minki Kim

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.

Notions Basket by Minki Kim

Notions Basket by Minki Kim

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!

House Zipper Pouch by Minki Kim

House Zipper Pouch by Minki Kim

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.

Sew Illustrated by Minki Kim

Sew Illustrated by Minki Kim

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.

Sew Illustrated by Minki Kim

Sew Illustrated by Minki Kim



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!

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.

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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 

** Images and all biographical text are courtesy of Minki Kim, Kristin Esser and C&T Publishing.

Island Batik Week: Sand Dune & Tide Pools by Kathy Engle


We’ve arrived at our final day of Island Batik Week and today we introduce not just one, but two collections! Double the fun and double the giveaways;). We’ve loved every bit of this week and have learned so much about these remarkable designers. The gorgeous fabrics from Island Batik are incredibly versatile and have produced one stunning project after another. We hope you’ve drawn some inspiration from what you’ve seen and that you enjoy our final post today… all about the woman behind many of the successful collections at Island Batik, Kathy Engle.

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

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


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Island Batik’s Kathy Engle has introduced two brand new collections, Tide Pools & Sand Dune. From vibrant periwinkles and seaweed greens to lively greens and sun-kissed oranges, these two collections offer a rich palette of colors on opposite ends of the spectrum. The coordinating Aurifil thread collections are available in two separate large boxes featuring our 40wt thread.


Peer just a little beyond the surface and you’ll find Kathy Engle’s palette paradise in this season’s Tide Pools collection. Vibrant periwinkles and seaweed greens only scratch the surface of this collection’s spectrum! Seashells, swirls, bubbles and netting all play amidst the flamingo pinks and sandcastle tans. Spy a sea urchin inspired purple fabric and bottle green sea foam fabric. Tide Pools will only leave you wanting to explore more!

Tide Pools
100% Aurifil Cotton
Large – 40wt, 1094yds each, 12 colors, Large Spools
1243 – 2145 – 2545 – 2562 – 2740 – 2850 -2884 – 2887 – 2915 – 4030 – 5003 – 5006


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Embark on a journey to Kathy Engle’s Sand Dune collection where a lush desert oasis is surrounded by lively greens and sun-kissed oranges. Tanned browns and sandy hues dance in the arid winds. You’ll be craving to see what other desert diamonds lay beyond this sand dune! An assortment of leaves hand-dyed on nutmeg, toasted marshmallow, and eggshell browns will only leave you serenaded in their shade.  Wild parakeet glitter amidst sage-brush greens in this hidden paradise. Take a peek at this collection and see what Sand Dune colors you fall in love with!

Tide Pools
100% Aurifil Cotton
Large – 40wt, 1094yds each, 12 colors, Large Spools
1133 – 1231 – 2310 – 2318 – 2350 – 2360 – 2600 – 2610 – 2886 – 2892 – 5009 – 5024


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

How did you first get started in this wonderful world of textiles? 
From an early age I was very drawn to graphic art and textiles. I chose it as my career and I graduated from CSULB (California State University, Long Beach) in illustration and textile design.

Tide Pools Fabric & Thread

Tide Pools Fabric & Thread

Do you recall the first collection that you designed and what was that experience like for you?
For the first 10 years of designing fabric, it wasn’t by collection, but rather by individual hand painted tropical surf wear and action sports themed wear. It was from the next 13 years of transfering to the hot new up-and-coming quilting division that collections were inspired. Anything with nature has always been a favorite; but after 30 years I really dont have any favorites. My process moves on to the next, always moving forward. It’s never boring.

Whirlpool by Stitched Buy using fabrics from Tide Pools

Whirlpool by Stitched Buy using fabrics from Tide Pools

What first drew you to the business of fabric?
The fabric industry has made it possible to be an artist, designer, and business woman. It has given me opportuntites to teach, travel and continue to develop and learn with each new project. The love that people have for fabric is infectious!

Maze by Freemotion by the River using fabrics from Tide Pools

Maze by Freemotion by the River using fabrics from Tide Pools

How long have you been involved with Island Batik?
I have worked for Island Batik since 2008. The integrity, quality, and virtues that they have established have informed the success of their collections.


California Coastline by Purrfect Spots Designs using fabrics from Tide Pools

What do you love most about Batik fabrics?
I love the brilliance of the colors, the saturation of the dyes, the variety and diversity of the tjaps (chops). There is so much history to making batik. The whole process of manufacturing seems like magic.

Sand Dune Fabrics & Thread

Sand Dune Fabrics & Thread

Can you tell us a bit about the process of making a batik fabric and how that factors into the design process?
First, I create black and white designs in repeat for positve and negative images. The drawings are then sent to Bali. The chop, or stamp, is created by welding copper strips and pins together into an 8-1/2″ x 11″ design. The chop is dipped in melted wax and stamped directly on the fabric. The colors and textural pattern for the background are selected and then the colors for the forground are chosen. Fiber-reactive dyes  penetrate the cloth and are dried by the sun. The wax is removed with boiling water to reveal the pattern beneath. The process may be repeated to achieve the final result.

Spinning Geese by Cindi McCracken Designs using fabrics from Sand Dune

Spinning Geese by Cindi McCracken Designs using fabrics from Sand Dune

What inspired your latest collections and how did you translate that inspiration into the designs that we see in the collections?  
The inspiration for all four collections, Tide Pools, Surf Squirt (for Claudia Pfeil), Seashore (for Tammy Silvers) and Sand Dunes came from my love for the ocean coastline, where I live with my family. The commom elements used are all tied to the earth; as is with most of my designs. Fish scales, seahorses, seaweed, coral, waves and sand all relate to a summer vacation or just a walk along the beach. I describe my colors as sophisticated clean and muted tones, realistic to nature, one that has many values and color.

Falling Stars by Mountainpeek Creations using fabrics from Sand Dune

Falling Stars by Mountainpeek Creations using fabrics from Sand Dune

Do you have a favorite project that was made using the fabrics from these collections?
I am always amazed at the creative ways designers use my collections. The diversity of their creative spirits come together in so many different projects that I couldn’t begin to choose. I love them all!

Montana Wildflowers -Bitterroot by Ladybug's Cabin using fabric from Sand Dune

Montana Wildflowers -Bitterroot by Ladybug’s Cabin using fabric from Sand Dune

The prints showcase such a variety of rich and neutral colors. What is your process for selecting the colors for the coordinating thread collection?
I try to imagine how the quilter is going to use the thread. Do they want to make a bold quilting statement or a subtle one? Will they try to match the thread colors for piecing?  I want the quilter to be able to have some creative choices for their projects within the thread collection.

Copper Clockworks by Purrfect Spots Designs using fabrics from Sand Dune

Copper Clockworks by Purrfect Spots Designs using fabrics from Sand Dune

How did you first discover Aurifil threads?
I saw a project that one of our designers had made I was taken by the magic the thread brought to the quilt.

Is there something about Aurifil thread that you feel brings out the richness of the batik you design?
Aurifil thread has the same wonderful brilliance and saturation of color that is characteristic of our batik. I like the cotton on cotton combination with the thread and fabric. I think the two natural fibers work together to produce amazing results.


Click here to head to the Rafflecopter page to enter-to-win one of these two prizes:

— 1 Large Tide Pools Thread Collection and one Fat Quarter Bundle of Tide Pools fabrics from Island Batik
— 1 Large Sand Dune Thread Collection and one Fat Quarter Bundle of Sand Dune fabrics from Island Batik

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, July 28! One winner will be randomly selected for each collection and announced here on Friday, July 29. Good luck!

UPDATE: This giveaway is now closed. Congratulations to Carol Nelms & Gillian Moore!!

KathyEngleKathy Brett Engle is the Vice President of Design at Island Batik. An established member of the textile industry for over 30 years, she brought her expertise of Batik design to Island Batik in 2008 to develop batik collections and products specifically designed for quilting related retailers.

Prior to Island Batik, Kathy worked for Hoffman of California. During the 23 years she was with the company, she designed fabrics for both sportswear and specialty manufacturing, and then the fabric retail division serving fabric stores and quilt shops as Design Director until 2007.

A native Californian and graduate of CSULB, Kathy is married, a mother to two grown sons, and grandmother. She lives and loves the Southern Californian coastal lifestyle!

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.