Moda Mondays: True Blue by Brigitte Heitland

Happy Monday!! We’re getting some lovely Spring weather today… and sunshine, lots of SUNSHINE! Here’s hoping you’re getting some in your part of the world as well;). We’re in our second week of Moda Mondays, a super fun series designed to showcase a stunning lineup of thread collections by our treasured Moda Designers. Check in here every Monday to learn more!

True Blue by Brigitte Heitland (Zen Chic) captures all the different hues that we love about jeans: from white over a pastel washed-out blue, powder blue, and classic indigo to darker tones like night blue and nearly black. Modern reminiscences of Dutch Delft tiles make for beautiful large floral prints. Combined with medium scale coordinates, partly geometric, partly organic and small-scale blenders Zen Chic’s brand new collection offers everything a quilter’s heart or a denim lover can long for.

Brigitte’s coordinating thread collection is timeless and versatile featuring 50wt threads in shades of blue with pops of gold and yellow.

THREAD COLLECTION DETAILS
True Blue
12 Large Spools, 50wt (1422yds/spool), 100% Aurifil Cotton
2021 – 2800 – 2846 – 5008 – 1248 – 2783
2785 – 2930 – 5022 – 4655 – 4669 – 4665

THE INTERVIEW
Can you tell us a bit about yourself and how you first got started in the world of sewing and quilting?
Sewing was always a passion of mine, I learned it as a six year old child. But growing up in Germany, I didn’t learn about quilting before I got to be about 40 years old. By that time I stumbled upon a book of Kaffe Fassett and was fascinated. I had to give it a try and have been hooked ever since.

Brigitte at Houston Quilt Market 2016

Do you remember the process of making your first quilt and how you felt once it was complete?
My first quilt was a simple windmill quilt with cotton fabrics I bought at the shop around the corner (no, they weren’t beautiful or fancy at all, not even quilt fabrics). I loved the process and working very accurately is always something I like to do. I was proud of my first little table runner, gave it to my mum, who still displays it on a little coffee table.

Throwing, a pattern by Brigitte Heitland/Zen Chic

Who or what has been your greatest creative inspiration?
Interior design – it’s my huge love and will always be. All kinds of things I can find in a beautifully styled room (especially the Scandinavian ones): the color schemes, patterns of carpets, tapestry, porcelain, vases, modern art – strolling through modern styled interior design magazines is my personal heaven.

Bowls, a pattern by Brigitte Heitland/Zen Chic

How did you first connect with Moda and what do you love most about working with them?
We found each other 2011 at international Quilt Market in Salt Lake City. This was the Market I debuted – I had no name, no blog, no book, nobody knew me. I have never been there before. I just believed in my dream, bought a flight ticket, booked a booth and showed up. Fate placed me and my booth next to Moda, they liked my style and offered to work with me.

I couldn’t believe it – for me it was like winning the lottery. Since then we released 13 collections, and more are on their way. It is just fantastic to work with a leading fabric manufacturer in this industry – it has opened so many doors for me: most important – I can share my passion and my talent with those people in the world who have the same interests. I can live my dream of designing and creating. I travel internationally for my business and see so many new parts of the world, I can teach and get to know so many talented people. Moda is like a family for me. Everybody including the leaders takes care for the people in the team – if someone gets seriously sick, there is so much loving support. The climate between the designers is not at all competitive, but rather very friendly and supportive. It is a wonderful company to work with, indeed!

What did you love most about putting your latest collection, True Blue, together for them? What inspired the collection?
The collection was inspired by denim-style. Denim is a timeless fashion, always trendy, but these days it is also a hot trend in quilting. Making quilts or bags with recycled jeans or with fabrics which match this style is just cool. True Blue is a companion to denim is quilting quality: It matches the complete color range from washed out jeans over regular blue jeans over dark blue to black. It gives you large scale floral prints to make skirts or bags or borders and backings for quilts; it gives you medium scale geometrics – hey a shirt of the circle print would look good on a man! And small scale blenders which fit well in any shop to blend in with other collections.

Do you have a favorite project made with the collection?
Oh yes, the wall quilt Globe is an absolute stunner. When I designed this quilt pattern I first hesitated to go for it: it needs paper piecing and Y-seams and I was not sure if people would be willing to take this effort. So I gave it a try with a smaller print run – and boom – it became the bestseller of this series and booklet patterns are meanwhile sold out (only PDFs available).

Globe, a pattern by Brigitte Heitland/Zen Chic

What is your favorite thing to make?
Piecing. Piecing patches together, may it be for a bag or a quilt, is still my favorite part of the sewing process. Or a garment like a dress or a skirt.

Right Direction, a pattern by Brigitte Heitland/Zen Chic

When did you first discover Aurifil threads and what do you love most about them?
It was pretty soon when I stepped into the industry, that Aurifil came to my attention. Actually it was even before I started my business that I read the raving comments on all kinds of blogs and get curious about that name I hadn’t heard of so far. People praised the beautiful colors and the fiber quality, said „this is my  favorite thread“. So quite from the beginning on I bought that brand at my distributor and I have to say – they didn’t disappoint. I use them for piecing as well as for my long arm quilting business and the quality is superb: There is a certain shimmer which shows on the sewing surface, I like that. And of course the beautiful large color range.

Do you have a favorite color/weight and why?
My favorite color is light grey 50WT – not because this is fancy. Just because I can’t live without that versatile hue which matches every project and has the perfect weight for piecing.

True Blue Pillow

How did you go about selecting threads for your latest Aurifil collection, True Blue?
When I select the thread color assortment matching one of my collections I try to step into the shoes of the quilter: She needs lights and darks and mediums – so I pick those according to my fabric colors. But she might also need an accent color to enhance the project with some seams (e.g. topstitching on bags or so). Therefore I added the accents mustard and ochre to the blues. And then I think of the quilting process – I added variegated threads for the quilt surface. Can you imagine a solid backing with the quilting motive in a multicolored thread – this is especially cool.

What top thread tip would you want to share with our readers?
It is more a practical tip – spoil yourself with a good thread spool organizer, maybe a box or a rack where you can display the spools well sorted.

It is not only eye candy – it is so much more fun, if you see, what you have and find it easily.

Where can we find you this year?
You will find me at Pour l’Amour du Fil in France (Nantes, April) and at International Quilt Market in St. Louis in May. And I will travel a lot throughout Europe to teach classes.

ZEN CHIC WISDOM
If you’re not already following Brigitte on Instagram, we recommend following her right away! In between posts about her own projects, her family, and projects that others have created with her fabrics, Brigitte shares Zen Chic Wisdom. We absolutely adore the messages that she shares! ❤

THE GIVEAWAY 

To enter-to-win 1 Large True Blue Thread Collection and one Layer Cake of True Blue by Brigitte Heitland for Moda, 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, April 16! Winner will be randomly selected and announced here on Monday, April 17. Good luck!

UPDATE: This giveaway is now closed. Congratulations to Susan Green!! 

ABOUT BRIGITTE
WebsiteBlogFacebookInstagramPinterest — YouTube — Twitter

Brigitte Heitland was born in Germany and grew up with her three siblings. They were a funny “gang” and her grandma sewed a lot of clothes for the children. Brigitte often sat down next to her old PFAFF and felt so comfortable. Her grandma once told her: When you are tall enough to get your feet down to the pedal, I’ll teach you sewing too. It was, perhaps, one of the best things that anyone could have given her.

Brigitte started sewing at the age of six, mostly clothes, and loved to have unique things to wear. When it was time to choose a profession, she knew it would be something creative.  She decided upon Interior Design but was drawn to all of the students in the room next to her working with needles and thread and so she ended up as a student of Textile Design.

In her mid age, it happened that she stumbled upon a wonderful pictured quilting book and was hooked at once. She had to try it herself and became hopelessly addicted to patchwork. Of course, she needed fabrics, lots and lots of different fabrics to dive in. She started her own little online shop with quilting fabrics and eventually worked to create her own collection. It led to her roots in Interior Design: when developing a fabric or even a design for a quilt the entire impression of a room was considered. She sees the light, the furniture, the color concept, the style and her quilts become a natural element of this scene, fitting in harmoniously. Brigitte loves having clarity in a room, an environment of simplicity where you are surrounded by only the things you really need and love, where you can relax, find your inner peace and balance. Her quilts are take on this concept, reduced, pure, and clear.

ABOUT MODA
Website — Blog — Moda Bakeshop — Facebook — Instagram — Twitter — YouTube — Pinterest

United Notions, Moda Fabrics and Moda Home is a multi-line fabric, notions and finished product manufacturer and distributor selling to the trade. They offer a wide range of fabrics, notions, patterns, books, quilting supplies and finished product in their Dallas warehouse. They have been in the quilting and fabric industry since 1975 and are constantly striving to bring the latest and greatest in both their fabrics and other quilting and home products. Moda currently has independent designers as well as an in-house design staff bringing some of the hottest new lines of fabrics and home product available in the industry.

Moda Mondays: Pat Sloan, Let’s Go Sew!

Now that the snow is finally melting and Spring is actually in the air, we’re kicking off Moda Mondays, a super fun series designed to showcase a stunning lineup of thread collections by our treasured Moda Designers. Check in here every Monday to learn more!

We couldn’t be more thrilled to start up our Spring Moda Mondays with industry icon, Pat Sloan. Pat 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.

Pat’s latest collection with Moda Fabrics is Sunday Drive, a group of incredibly versatile prints and colors all inspired by her memories of Sunday drives. Reds, blues, greens, and neutrals come together to create florals, batiks, and lattice prints. The coordinating thread collection shares a title with Pat’s motto, Let’s Go Sew! It is a terrific range of colors in 50wt that complement her fabrics perfectly, but would also make a terrific stash building box. The collection is available in both large and small spool boxes.

THREAD COLLECTION DETAILS
Let’s Go Sew
12 Large Spools, 50wt (1422yds/spool), 100% Aurifil Cotton
4060 – 5021 – 2605 – 2630 – 2850 – 2720
2730 – 2785 – 2890 – 2882 – 5002 – 2260

10 Small Spool, 50wt (220yds/spool), 100% Aurifil Cotton
4060 – 5021 – 2605 – 2850 – 2720
2785 – 2890 – 2882 – 5002 – 2260

THE INTERVIEW
Can you tell us a bit about yourself and how you first got started in the world of sewing and quilting?
My first career was 20 years in computers. I’m a geek – I wrote code and managed very large teams of software engineers doing very long term projects. This means I’m a juggler and I know how to whip up a mean schedule.

In 2000 my husband and I decided to leave the corporate world and start our own small design business. So now we have been small business owners for 17 years.

You can read more & check out several other interviews I’ve done by clicking here.

Fall 2016 Quilt Market Booth

Do you remember the process of making your first quilt and how you felt once it was complete?
That was a long time ago, I was making a ‘bedspread’. You can read my sort of epic story about it right here.

For some reason that didn’t inspire me to continue quilting.  So, fast forward to when my girlfriend Gwyn signed me up for the 12 week, all by hand, cardboard template, ‘Learn to Quilt Class’ and for some reason, I loved it!

Let’s Go Ride by Pat Sloan

How did you first connect with Moda?
As a hobby quilter, my favorite shop loved Moda and carried mostly Moda fabric, so that is when I first used it. Every designer Moda has created fabric that I personally love… the designs just speak to me! So when I started designing patterns, I used Moda fabrics and eventually submitted designs and joined their team! It’s a dream come true to work with them.

Pinwheel Park by Pat Sloan

What do you love most about working with them?
There are so many reasons that I adore ‘My Moda Family’.  Every person from Mr. Dunn, the man who had such vision to start a business providing fabric to quilters, to the Design team with Cheryl Freydberg and all the Marketing folks, each and every person is a class act. They are generous, they are helpful, they are kind, and they give back. They give back to the designers, the quilting community and the world via their charity work.

I’m lucky enough to have gone to an event in South Africa with Mr. Dunn and his sons Brian and Josh. The company made sure all our instructor things were shipped over months in advance. Then the three of them helped the designers when we got there to be sure we had what we needed to teach. Plus they set up their entire booth for the event and talked to quilters for every day of the show. At the end we all took a day trip safari which was so much fun to do! That is just a little peek at how the Moda team supports and helps its designers and the industry.

What did you love most about putting your latest collection, Sunday Drive, together for them?
Every time I start a new fabric collection I have a theme to build off of. This is my write up I did for myself to start the collection:

“When was the last time you took a Sunday Drive? Maybe you left the city for the country market. Or you went from the country to take in a museum. A Sunday Drive was the highlight of the weekend when I was a little girl, and to be honest, it still is! The joy of exploring around the area with no plan is thrilling. We might find a new park to walk in, or a fabulous ice cream stand. Round the next corner and there is an adorable garden center or a fantastic farmer’s market. The part I love is having it unplanned. When I was little and family went for a drive, we didn’t know where we’d go, and we didn’t mind that. We rolled down the windows, enjoyed the wide open spaces and explored each stop on our Sunday drive! “

Do you have a favorite project made with the collection?
The Round About is my favorite made with Sunday Drive. I decided to use a lot of my light patterns from the collection and mixed my cottons and batiks into the same quilt. I wanted the quilt to feel very fresh and airy! It was so fun to see it come together and I like it in fabric even more than I thought I would!

Round About by Pat Sloan

What is your favorite thing to make?
I really love to do wall hangings and machine appliqué. I’ve done my fair share of small, medium and large quilts, but time and again I love to hang my quilts as art. I want to be able to see them. Creating ‘Let’s go Sew’ with my black polka dot sewing machine has been such fun. I am planning to make another in red & white and surround it with Splendid Sampler blocks that are sewing themed. Stay tuned for a challenge on that!

Let’s Go Sew Pattern by Pat Sloan

When did you first discover Aurifil threads?
I was part of an internet community called Second Life, where I hosted a group of quilters (of course!) and this guy named Alex wanted to join my quilt group. So, I asked him to tell me a bit about himself. He said he worked for a thread company and could they send me ‘some spools to try’.  I thought, why not…

Next came a suitcase of all the colors of Aurifil, from Italy… and THAT is how I found them! I kind of like Alex..

What do you love most about them?
The entire Aurifil team is passionate about Quilting. When I introduced Elena and Alex for their 30th anniversary party, Elena talked about how she saw these amazing pieces of art and was inspired to talk to her father about opening Aurifil USA. Their goal is to celebrate quilts, sewing, and the makers. They are also incredible team players working with all the companies in the industry.

On a personal level they are my friends. I met them very early on in the start up of Aurifil USA and we worked together to get the word out about this incredible thread.

You’ve been a champion for Aurifil threads for years, including being the creative genius behind the Aurifil Designer of the Month program. What do you love most about the collaboration?
I love interviewing the designer each month to learn more about them. It’s so easy in this fast past internet world to just see a photo and move on. But that photo was taken by a person with a story. I want to know how they got where they are, what inspires them, where and how do they work and create.

The designers really have fun, too, looking for just the right photo to share.

Then we do the fun block patterns, and it’s a surprise each month that I truly look forward to!!

Pat with the finished 2016 Designer of the Month quilt

Do you have a favorite color/weight and why?
Is this a ‘turn the table’ question? I ask the Designer of the Month the same thing and they also cry ‘uncle’! So now it’s my turn to pick ONE… (note- I allow them THREE colors!)

If I had to only have one color of thread, it would be from my Perfect Box of Neutrals,  5011, but you really should have the whole box!

How did you go about selecting threads for your latest Aurifil collection, Let’s Go Sew?
I put in a range of yummy shades that work with my Moda Fabrics. From aqua to blue, navy, red, green and that great pinky red (5002). There are 3 neutrals and then a fun neutral variegated 4060.

What top thread tip would you want to share with our readers?
Buy the big spools, they are a better value, and you can keep the threads tidy by locking the tail under the cap!

Where can we find you this year?
If you go to my website you can find all the projects I’m hosting this year.

Then sign up for my newsletter  where I give updates, tips & finds!

On Facebook, you can join me at my super fun group, Quilt with Pat Sloan.

and on Instagram too!

THE GIVEAWAY

To enter-to-win 1 Large Let’s Go Sew Thread Collection and one Jelly Roll of Sunday Drive by Pat Sloan for Moda, 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, April 9! Winner will be randomly selected and announced here on Monday, April 10. Good luck!

UPDATE: This giveaway is now closed! Congratulations to our winner, Sylvia Lopez! 

ABOUT PAT
Website: http://www.patsloan.com
Blog:  http://patsloan.typepad.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/PatSloanQuiltFun/
Facebook Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/QuiltWithPatSloan/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/QuilterPatSloan
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/quilterpatsloan/
YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/user/PatSloan
Newsletter: https://madmimi.com/signups/99771/join
Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/patsloan/

Pat Sloan is a designer, author, and lecturer, and with her weekly radio show, Pat truly is the “Voice of Quilting”. She has a deep passion for making quilting fun for herself and everyone around her. Pat loves to hang out with quilters on the internet as well as visit you in person. Be inspired to get more done!

Having sewn since she was a child and quilted for over 20 years, Pat eventually looked to her craft as a business. After a few years quilting she started to teach quilt making to others and then turned her skills to pattern designing. She found that she really enjoys designing and seeing how other quilters made her patterns. In 2000 Pat’s designs became so popular that she and her husband Gregg formed a design and publishing company called Pat Sloan & Co. In addition to designing and publishing her work, they now travel around the country teaching and showing her quilts to quilt guilds and quilt shops. Also, Pat has had her designs published in all the national magazines, she has written 31 quilt books and has designed many lines of fabric for Moda Fabrics.

Visit her website for more info.

ABOUT MODA
WebsiteBlogModa BakeshopFacebookInstagramTwitterYouTubePinterest

United Notions, Moda Fabrics and Moda Home is a multi-line fabric, notions and finished product manufacturer and distributor selling to the trade. We offer a wide range of fabrics, notions, patterns, books, quilting supplies and finished product in our Dallas warehouse. We have been in the quilting and fabric industry since 1975 and are constantly striving to bring you the latest and greatest in both our fabrics and other quilting and home products. Moda currently has independent designers as well as an in-house design staff bringing you some of the hottest new lines of fabrics and home product available in the industry.

We are committed to our dealers and retailers, and will not sell directly to retail consumers. Moda prides itself in being innovative and creative market leaders. High quality products and customer service will remain the cornerstones on which we base our growth and expansion.

We keep our information fresh, so bookmark us and check us often. We look forward to hearing from you.

 

Literary by Heather Givans

Books and their readers are celebrated in Literary, Heather Givans of Crimson Tate’s newest collection for Windham Fabrics. From the beautifully ornate papers found on the insides of classic novels like Moby Dick or The Boxcar Children, to the printed text of Anne of Green Gables, Heather has created a collection that will enthrall bookworms, bibliophiles, and sewers alike. Whether you’re someone who stacks books neatly or more of the shoveling books into every crevice of your home type, the joy of reading and sewing is found in Literary. To view the lookbook, click here or on the cover image below.

Heather’s debut Aurifil thread collection features a large box of 50wt threads in coordinating colors and a small box of our Aurifloss for perfectly accented details.

THE LOOKBOOK

THREAD COLLECTION DETAILS
Literary
12 Large Spools, 50wt (1422yds/spool), 100% Aurifil Cotton
1125 – 6730 – 6734 – 2785 – 2545 – 6724
6726 – 4140 – 2588 – 2606 – 1320 – 5004

10 Small Spools, Aurifloss (18yds/spool), 6-Strand, 100% Aurifil Cotton
1200 – 2220 – 1147 – 2735 – 4020
2535 – 4093 – 5005 – 2600 – 5011

THE INTERVIEW
Can you tell us a bit about yourself and how you first got started in the world of sewing and quilting?
I was teaching high school art (for nearly 10 years) when my mom revealed to me that she wanted to learn to quilt.   I took her to a quilt camp for adults where I was a summer camp counselor.  I loved the process and she has never finished a quilt!

Do you remember your first quilt and how you felt once it was complete?
I do remember my first quilt.  It had nine blocks and each of the blocks had 40+ pieces in it.  I was at that first quilt camp I’d ever been to and I stayed up all night to try to get to the finish.  I still have it in alllll its wonky glory and I consider it quite an achievement.

Kasbah Paw Quilt by Sarah Sharp, Quilted by Dan Clayton

Who or what has been your greatest creative inspiration?
Whoa.  That’s a deep question.  It’s hard to pinpoint one person.  Having a degree in art, many of my college professors were great motivators and characters who inspired me and pushed me to develop my aesthetic.  I would definitely say I’m influenced by fine art.  Paintings by Marc Rothko, John Singer Sargent, and mixed media and social artists like Barbara Krueger have a warm place in my heart.  I have a lot of heroes in the quilting industry, too. Denyse Schmidt and Amy Butler being in top ten.

How did you first connect with Windham Fabrics and what do you love most about working with them?
Seriously.  The crew at Windham Fabrics couldn’t be more stellar.  I feel incredibly supported and inspired by the whole gang.  I knew them through my professional connections first as the proprietor of Crimson Tate :: Modern Quilter fabric store.  I love that they give me freedom to do what I want but also lend a critical eye and ear to my process.  I love them so much.

Succulent Garden by Heather Givans, Sewn by Jenny Leisure, Quilted by Dan Clayton

Tell us about your latest collection, Literary. What inspired the collection?
BOOOOOOOKSSSSS!!! This is my third collection and each one has been inspired by things I love.  I love Succulents.  I love Paper.  I love Reading.  Anne of Green Gables, The Boxcar Children, Moby Dick? All are some of my favorite books.  I love discussing what I’m reading and I love to hear what other people are reading, too.  The collection comes out of my book wormy-ness.

Do you have a favorite project made with the collection? 
YES!  I super love my Personal Library Quilt.  When I was designing the collection, I knew I wanted to make a bookshelf quilt so some of the pieces were selfish so that I could use them in that project!

Personal Library Quilt by Heather Givans, Machine Embroidery by David Barnhouse, Quilting by Joan Hunn

When did you first discover Aurifil threads and what do you love most about them? 
One of my customers recommended that I try Aurifil thread.  We bought a few boxes of basics and haven’t looked back since.  At Crimson Tate we carry 50wt in oodles of colors as well as Aurifloss threads.  I love the grandness of it and the specific weight.  1400+ yards on a spool?  I’ll take it.

Do you have a favorite color/weight and why?
I’m a major 50wt fan and Moonshine is my favorite color right now.  I chose it specifically for collection box because it is so universal!  It’s so pretty and silvery without being too silver, you know?

Your Aurifil collections for Literary feature a large box of 50wt and a small box of floss. Why was it important to you to have both weights included?
I did a fair amount of embroidery both machine and hand for the quilt projects using Literary.  I knew that I needed both.  I love hand embroidery and quilting with thicker strands.  I’m more of a 3-4 strand kind of girl.

What is your favorite type of hand-stitching project?
I’ve recently completed an EPP project called Reading Circle that I designed specifically for Literary.  And while I did like the EPP part of it, I am much enjoying the hand quilting of the block.  I have taken a few lessons with a friend of mine who is in her 90s.  She has been teaching me to hand quilt.  According to her, I’ve got a long way to go.  😉 I would agree.

Reading Circle EPP — in progress by Heather Givans

How many strands of floss do you typically use in your embroidery projects?
If I’m feeling gluttonous, I go for all six.  But typically, I use three strands.

Bookmark by Amanda Castor, Quilted by Dan Clayton

What top thread tip would you want to share with our readers? 
You can’t be afraid of failing.  If you’ve got an idea, work through it.  I have found so many times that my initial sketch or calculation is way off but I learn something in the process.  If I worried about getting it right, having never done it before, I’d never begin.  And be sure to give yourself room for imperfection while striving for precision (if precision is important to you).  It’ll all come out in the wash.

Where can we find you this year? 
I’m excited to share my official ‘where to find me’ calendar below (thank you Mary Whitaker!) Otherwise, you will always find me downtown Indianapolis hanging out with my buddies at Crimson Tate.

April 20: Carmel High School
April 26 – 29: AQS Spring Paducah Quilt Show – Paducah, KY
May 3: Columbus Star Quilters – Columbus, IN
May 5 – 6: Thimbles Quilt Shop – Chicago, IL
May 12 – 13: Happy Apple Quilts – Tampa, FL
May 19 – 21: Quilt Market – St Louis, MO
June 17 – 18:   Detroit guild with Lish – Detroit, MI
July 27 – 29: One Stop Shop Hop – Kokomo, IN
Aug 11 – 12:  Sew Yeah Quilting – Las Vegas, NV
Sept 14 – 16:  Quilter’s Choice – Jupiter, FL
Sept 20 – Oct 1:  OH Craft Sew-IN
Oct 28 – 30:  International Quilt Market – Houston, TX
Nov 1:  Pocket Square Event

Library Sign Quilt by Heather Givans

THE GIVEAWAY

To enter-to-win 1 Large Literary Thread Collection and one FQ Bundle of Literary by Heather Givans for Windham 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 Saturday, April 8! Winner will be randomly selected and announced here on Sunday, April 9. Good luck!

UPDATE: This giveaway is now closed. Congratulations to Janice McLaren!

*Please note that FQ bundle may be a variety of Literary fabrics, not neccesarily all of the ones shown in the image.

FIND HEATHER ONLINE
WebsiteBlogFacebookInstagram — Twitter — Pinterest

[All images courtesy of Heather Givans]

Project: Sew Very Happy by Susan Emory

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!

Flower Power

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!!


ABOUT SUSAN
WebsiteBlogFacebookInstagramTwitter
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!!

One Room Schoolhouse by Brenda Ratliff

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As Spring days draw near, we find ourselves thinking more and more about bright colors, blooming flowers, and days filled with sunshine, punctuated with blue skies and warm breezes. Can’t you just picture it? One Room Schoolhouse by Brenda Ratliff for RJR Fabrics brings this image to mind. It is a collection that heralds the shift to Spring, featuring a lovely combination of bright blenders, florals, and text prints. Brenda’s coordinating thread collection features 12 stunning colors of our 50wt, selected for perfect piecing, binding, quilting, and appliqué. One Room Schoolhouse has us simply buzzing with project possibilities!

THREAD COLLECTION DETAILS
One Room Schoolhouse
12 Large Spools, 50wt (1422yds/spool), 100% Aurifil Cotton
1135 – 1147 – 1148 – 2135 – 2220 – 2225
2615 – 2625 – 2630 – 2887 – 4093 – 5006

oneroomschoolhouse

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

THE INTERVIEW
Can you tell us a bit about yourself and how you first got started in the world of sewing and quilting?
I am definitely one of those lucky people who grew up with a sewing machine in my house.  My mom made clothes for us when we were little and I was always around “crafty” things.  I didn’t start sewing for myself until I was much older but I loved to cross stitch and my grandma taught me how to knit.  After my son was born I had no job for the first time since I was 16.  I dusted off my sewing machine and decided I was going to finally learn how to really sew.  I was never really interested in quilting until I saw a friend of mine post her first quilt on Facebook.  I was like, “wow!  I’ve never seen a quilt like that before!  It’s so cool!”  It was modern and geometric.  So different than the quilts I saw in antique shops or at our house that were all vintage.  I learned everything I could about modern quilting after that!

Chevron Quilt by Brenda Ratliff - Featured in the Fall 2016 edition of Modern Patchwork

Chevron Quilt by Brenda Ratliff – Featured in the Fall 2016 edition of Modern Patchwork

Did you have another career prior to this one?
Before my quilting career I was in sales.  I studied Sociology and Marketing in college.  I worked a lot of waitressing jobs in school and then helped a friend run his small business.  I learned a lot about how tough it is to own your own business and that sometimes even a good business doesn’t work out.   I did mortgages for a while after that before being accepted into a business incubator in Detroit.  I think I’ve always wanted to be an entrepreneur.  I spent a few years in the incubator working on some other businesses.  But the things I learned there helped me to start a fabric store.  I really wanted those modern fabrics that I saw in the quilts online but couldn’t find them locally or very easily at the time.

Gate Keeper Quilt by AnneMarie Chany

Gate Keeper Quilt by AnneMarie Chany

Do you remember the process of making your first quilt and how you felt once it was complete?
I’m sure I had no idea what I was doing when I made my first quilt.  My seams were definitely not all 1/4” !  I started with a baby quilt and it ended up being more of a trapezoid than a rectangle.  I was already addicted to quilting before the end.  I’m pretty sure I had 2 more quilts ready to start at that point.

Sparkling Cider Quilt by All Washed Up Quilts

Sparkling Cider Quilt by All Washed Up Quilts

Who or what has been your greatest creative inspiration?
SO many people have inspired me over the years.  The first designer that I loved was Tula Pink.  I know I’m not the only one who loves Tula’s fabric.  It’s just so cool.  I love the hidden designs that she draws into the prints.  And she just knows what to design.  She knows it will work in a quilt because she has that same passion.  And I think that translates into her fabrics.  Back in the days of Google Reader I had over 200 quilting blogs that I read regularly. Now Instagram and Pinterest feed my inspiration these days.  I also love everything that Carolyn Friedlander and Alison Glass have done.  They are so talented!

How long have you been running Pink Castle Fabrics?
I can’t believe it’s been 6 years now that we have had Pink Castle.  It really doesn’t seem like that long ago!

Lovestruck Quilt by Schlosser Designs

Lovestruck Quilt by Schlosser Designs

What do you love most about being an online shop owner?
I really love buying!  Seeing all the fabrics and machines and threads and notions and then I get to pick what to carry in the shop.  I can see things to make out of the fabric when I look at it.  If I had unlimited sewing time…  It’s really cool when I love a fabric and then my customers love it too.

Grab Some Grub by ByAnnie

Grab Some Grub by ByAnnie

How does your role as shop owner help to direct you within other areas, like designing, hosting retreats, etc.?
Being a shop owner really helps with designing fabric.  I know what sells well in my shop and what doesn’t.  I also hear what the customers who walk into the shop are asking for frequently.  So if there’s something that folks ask for that just isn’t on the market, I can design something to fill that need.  I’ve also learned a lot about the way fabric is designed and printed so it helps me as a shop owner to educate my customers.

It’s sort of the same with hosting the retreats.  I can hear from customers what they liked and didn’t like about another retreat that they went to.  Then I can customize our Stitchalot retreats to give the attendees the best experience!  It also helps that I can supply kits and notions to the attendees as a shop owner.  I can have a pop up shop with things like thread and extra needles to make it easy on the campers who might have used theirs up or forgotten them.

Pattern design too. It’s really invaluable to get that direct one on one feedback from the customer.  As much as I might love something, it doesn’t mean that it’s going to sell or that customers are looking for it!  Business is all about filling a need and I’m hoping to do that for my customers.

What inspired the creation of One Room Schoolhouse and what did you love most about putting the collection together?
Maybe the cold here in Michigan was getting to me when I was thinking about One Room Schoolhouse.  I kept thinking about late Spring when choosing colors.  I have a collection of vintage fabrics and I use them for a lot of inspiration for my fabrics.  I love modern fabrics and colors but I also grew up learning to love the vintage quilts.  The quilts from the 1930s and 1940s are so great, especially the quilts made with a lot of scrap fabrics.  I draw a lot of inspiration from those designs when I’m thinking about the size of the prints.  Like,  “What would go well in this type of quilt pattern?”  I want to take those vintage ideas and bring them up to date with new colors.  I am always thinking about my collections try to make sure that the prints are ones that can be used with other fabrics.  Really stash workhorse prints.  It’s nice to have customers like your fabrics but it’s even better to see them using the fabrics and liking the way they work in the project.

Do you have a favorite project made with the fabrics & threads?
I use Aurifil 50wt in color #2024 for all my piecing.  Every once in a while I mix it up and use color #2600 or #2021.  The thread is thin and strong and I love having really flat quilt blocks.  I really loved the Sunset Strip quilt that I made with the One Room Schoolhouse collection.  It’s a really simple pattern and quick to put together but it looks so nice.  It’s scrappy but the blue strips in between calm everything down.

Sunset Strips Quilt by Brenda Ratliff

Sunset Strips Quilt by Brenda Ratliff

What is your favorite quilting technique and why?
I love strip piecing.    Anything that saves me time!  I have to make quilts sometimes on a tight deadline so I am always trying to find the most efficient way to make a quilt.  I’ve got quite a collection of Accuquilt dies to help make piecing faster as well.  With strip piecing you do all the sewing in long lines and then subcut your blocks.  It’s fast.  Much faster and much less tedious than cutting out smaller pieces.

Tipsy Quilt by Sharon McConnell

Tipsy Quilt by Sharon McConnell

When did you first discover Aurifil threads and what do you love most about them
When I first started to get into quilting I went into a local quilt shop.  They handed me a spool of Aurifil 50 wt and explained a little bit about the quality of the thread and why it matters.  I really loved it.  I was still a beginner but I could see that it was making a difference in my sewing.  The blocks were laying more flat when I pressed and the thread wasn’t linting up my machine as much.  Over the years I’ve learned about the different weights and when to use them and I’ve learned a lot more about the process of making thread and what things like “mercerization” mean.   It really solidified my love for Aurifil.  I know the care and quality put into the threads are going to help my quilts stay together over time.

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Do you have a favorite color/weight and why?
#2024 50 wt!   I have it on all the Janome machines on the floor at Pink Castle too!  It just blends right in!  I’ve even used the white color when I’m hand binding a quilt and you can barely see it.   Even if the fabric color is really dark!  I use the same color and weight for English Paper Piecing as well.  I buy it in packs of 6 for my sewing room!

How did you go about selecting threads for your latest Aurifil collection?
I wanted to choose colors of threads that would blend in best for any hand binding, applique or quilting.  The Aurifil color card is really handy for this.  The colors from the collection blend in flawlessly!

The Perception Quilt by Nydia Kehnle

The Perception Quilt by Nydia Kehnle

What’s in store for 2017? Where can we find you throughout year?
Lots of new projects for this year!  We have two Stitchalot retreats already scheduled (you can get tickets and info at Stitchalot.com), one in June and one in November.  Those are always a highlight for me!  I have a new black and white text fabric collection called Fine Print that will be shown at Spring Quilt Market in May (in shops July 2017) and I’m finishing up another collection for RJR that you can see hopefully this Fall!

I’m also a  part of the Aurifil Design Team this year!  I’m really excited about my block.  I’m hoping to quilt along and make the whole rainbow of blocks.  My month is August!

I’m working on another Sew Pro convention with my friend Sara Lawson and we hope to be announcing that in a few months.  We had such a good time last year at our inaugural event!

Personally, I have a reading goal of one book a month.  So far I’m ahead of my goal.  I love to read and I’m glad that I’m making more time for it.  I’ve also started taking Karate lessons this year.  It’s something I’ve always wanted to do and I’m glad that I found a great Dojo in town.  I’m feeling a lot better about myself now that I’m scheduling time to work out.

It’s a lot of great stuff but I love being busy!  I’m sure I will make time for sewing too !  You can find me most days at Pink Castle Fabrics or on social media!

THE GIVEAWAY

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To enter-to-win 1 Large One Room Schoolhouse Thread Collection and one FQ Bundle of One Room Schoolhouse by Brenda Ratliff for RJR 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 Friday, March 10! Winner will be randomly selected and announced here on Saturday, March 11. Good luck!

ABOUT BRENDA
Pink Castle Fabrics Just a Bit Frayed — InstagramInstagram, Pink Castle — Facebook, Pink Castle — Newsletter

brendaratliff-profileBrenda Ratliff is the proud owner of Pink Castle Fabrics (www.pinkcastlefabrics.com).  She also coordinates the popular Camp Stitchalot retreats (stitchalot.com), Sew Pro (sewproconvention.com) and designs fabrics for RJR.  Keep up to date with Brenda at her blog www.justabitfrayed.com.

 

Splash of Color by Jackie Kunkel

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Jackie Kunkel is a Designer, an Educator, an Online Shop-Owner (Canton Village Quilt Works), and an Author. Her enthusiasm for quilting is infectious and we always love to see what she is up to! Her debut Aurifil thread collection, Splash of Color, was released this past September and follows in the footsteps of her 2015 Martingale release.  The book heralds the use of black & white and instructs readers how to combine a rainbow of bright, saturated colors with crisp black & white prints to make amazing quilts. Her thread collection is a range of 50wt threads that are simply perfect to get you started on your very own splash of color quilt! We have been so inspired by Jackie and hope that you are too!

THREAD COLLECTION DETAILS
Splash of Color
10 Small Spools, 50wt (220yds/spool), 100% Aurifil Cotton
1104 – 2250 – 2535 – 1243 – 2740
2120 – 2870 – 1320 – 4652 – 2024

jackiekunkel-splashofcolor

THE INTERVIEW
How did you first get started in the world of sewing and quilting?
I actually began sewing in 6 grade Home Economics class back in the early 70s.  I sewed mainly garments, but did make my first patchwork pillow that I still have.  I was also very crafty and loved embroidery.  If I had a pair of jeans or a jean jacket it was like a blank canvas to me… it got embroidered.  But I really didn’t pick up sewing again until I was pregnant with my first child in early 1993.  I took out the sewing machine and began making baby clothes.  Then my hubby prompted me to “get a hobby” so I took a quilting class and it was history!

Seeing Spots by Jackie Kunkel

Seeing Spots by Jackie Kunkel

What inspired Splash of Color, your Fall 2015 release with Martingale Books?
The true inspiration for this book is my love of black and white fabrics paired with bright bold colorful fabrics.  Paired with black and white fabrics, colors just POP!!!  I have always had a love of this combo from early on in my quilting career.  I have quite the stash of black and white fabric as well as bold colors too!!!

Dreaming of Pyramids by Jackie Kunkel

Dreaming of Pyramids by Jackie Kunkel

How did you go about choosing fabrics for your Splash of Color quilts?  
Fabric for each quilt was selected based on my quilt design.  I hand selected each one for each project.  Dependent on the design and the elements that I wanted to highlight.  Some got a scrappier look than others, some not.  The scale of the print cam into play a lot based on the size of the blocks too.  Black vs. White, White vs. Black…. etc.  Every quilt featured a rainbow of colors though.  This was a common theme throughout the book.

Hip to be Square by Jackie Kunkel

Hip to be Square by Jackie Kunkel

Do you sew from your stash, or do you shop for specific prints and colors?
For the book, most of the fabric was from my stash!!  I has some new fabrics sent to me from manufacturers and it was great!  Also I am constantly finding new black and whites that I love and of course add them to my stash when I can.

Jackie's interpretation of a pattern by Alison Harris of Cluck Cluck Sew

Jackie’s interpretation of a pattern by Alison Harris of Cluck Cluck Sew

Do you have a favorite quilt from the book and why?
Boy is that a loaded question!  LOL!   I really love them all but if I had to pick one, it is a toss up between Proud Mary and Lava Lamps.  These two quilts are a fave of mine because there are curves in them.  They were also the first two that I created for the book. So they are special to me.  I love them both and I really love teaching them too!

Proud Mary by Jackie Kunkel

Proud Mary by Jackie Kunkel

Which project from Splash of Color would you recommend to a beginner quilter and why?
Climbing Mountains is a great beginner quilt.  It is done out of 2.5 inch strips and is super simple to put together.  It is a great one for any beginner to start with!!!  But there are a lot of other projects in the book that they can start on too!

Climbing Mountains by Jackie Kunkel

Climbing Mountains by Jackie Kunkel

How did you first discover Aurifil threads?
I remember a friend of mine introducing them to me for piecing. She showed me that little spool and told me to give it a try.  I was all in at that point I love Aurifil’s 50 weight for piecing and for quilting too!

Jackie and her students displaying Proud Mary blocks at Road to CA

Jackie and her students displaying Proud Mary blocks at Road to CA

Do you have a favorite color or weight?The one that I use the absolute most of is 2600  Dove for piecing.  However, I switch between that and 2311 Muslin.  They are both neutrals and are great for any kind of quilting or piecing.  But really you can give me any color and I can find something to do with it!!! So worth it!! Treat yourself right and get some Aurifil in your thread stash!

Lava Lamps by Jackie Kunkel

Lava Lamps by Jackie Kunkel

How did you go about selecting the colors for your thread collection?
That was a lot of fun to say the least.  All the colors that I selected were based on colors that were used in the quilts and would compliment the quilts created well when people make them.  They can use them to piece the quilt tops AND to quilt them.  The colors just speak to me and I love working with them and hope everyone else does too!

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How would you recommend using the various colors within a single quilt? Do you piece or quilt with contrasting colors, or do you prefer to match your threads to the fabric?
Those are great questions.  So sometimes it boils down to a matter of personal preference.  Some people like the colors to blend and there for would use a blue fabric with a blue thread.  While others like contrast, and might choose from one of the other colors to give them contrast and stand out. For me, it depends on the mood that I am in.  But for the most part, I tend to be a blender.  So much fun just using color it is fantastic!!!  I hope everyone else enjoys the book and quilts and uses the threads to the max.

THE BOOK

For more information about Jackie’s Splash of Color, please visit Martingale or Canton Village Quilt Works.

THE GIVEAWAY

splashofcolorgiveaway

To enter-to-win 1 Small Splash of Color Thread Collection and one Splash of Color book by Jackie Kunkel for Martingale, click here to head to the Rafflecopter entry page, or simply click on the image above. You do not have to complete all the options to be entered but the more options you choose, the more entries you have!  Entries will be accepted from now through 11:59pm Eastern Time on Monday, March 6! Winner will be randomly selected and announced here on Tuesday, March 7. Good luck!

ABOUT JACKIE
Website — Blog — Facebook — Pinterest — YouTube — Flickr — Instagram 
head-shotJackie has been a quilter since 1993 and has owned her own business, Canton Village Quilt Works since 2000. Beginning her business as a long arm quilter and then in 2009 adding an online quilt fabric shop! She has also been a quilt designer for magazines and fabric companies since 2009, a quilting Podcaster – Jackie‘s Quilting Chronicles, and a Certified Quiltworx.com (Judy Niemeyer) instructor and shop. Jackie travels throughout the country to lecture, do workshops and trunk shows. Her first book was published in September 2015 by Martingale & Co-titled Splash of Color: A Rainbow of Brilliant Black and White Quilts. Jackie is also a Craftsy Instructor with two online classes, one is a Quiltworx exclusive and the other is her own!  Also, Jackie has her own line of published patterns.

[Images & biographical text courtesy of Jackie Kunkel]

Sew Many Colors: Pattern Launch & Contest

270 Colors by Sheri Cifaldi-Morrill

270 Colors by Sheri Cifaldi-Morrill

On Thursday, we introduced you to Aurifil’s new hero quilt, 270 Colors by Sheri Cifaldi-Morrill of Whole Circle Studio. The quilt is a celebration of Aurifil USA’s 10th year and is a remarkable presentation of all 270 of our available vibrant colors. The quilt will was on display in our booth this past weekend at QuiltCon East in Savannah, GA, and will travel with us to both Spring & Fall Quilt Markets this year.

Many of you have asked about a pattern, eager to make something of your own. With that in mind, we are absolutely thrilled to introduce Sew Many Colors, a brand new mini quilt pattern drafted by Sheri that features 10 life-size Aurifil Spools in Sheri’s signature circle style.

THE PATTERN
Sew Many Colors is offered as a downloadable PDF pattern both on Aurifil’s website and on Whole Circle Studio. You may also download a copy by clicking on the image below.

Sew Many Colors Pattern Image

THE CONTEST
What to do with such an amazing pattern? Get involved with the Sew Many Colors Contest + Giveaway! Create your “favorite 10” with the Sew Many Colors pattern by Whole Circle Studio, available here.

Share your progress on Instagram using the tags below to encourage and support fellow quilters!

#sewmanycolors   #aurifil   #wholecirclestudio   #robertkaufman   #konacotton

Then enter your finished mini via the Linky Party below by 11:59pm on March 31, 2017. Voting runs from April 1 – April 15, 2017. Our top three winners will be announced on April 20, 2017.

Finished minis must use Aurifil threads and Kona® Cotton by Robert Kaufman to be eligible to win. We’d love to hear all about the colors that you use! The top 3 Minis will be showcased here on our blog. Winners will receive a fabulous prize package including goodies from Aurifil, Robert Kaufman, The Warm Company and Whole Circle Studio, and will be given the opportunity to showcase their mini in the Aurifil booth at Spring Market.

THE INTERVIEW
We were thrilled to have a chat with Sheri, to learn a bit more about her and how she felt about the process of creating this epic quilt!

Can you tell us a little about yourself and how you got started in this fabulous industry of ours?
Design and making have always been a part of my life, even as a kid. I went on to college and received my BFA with a concentration in graphic design and have twenty years of experience leading creative teams to create award-winning identities, products, and environments. I’ve worked in small design studios, a dot com and the exhibit department at a children’s museum. I’ve been an admirer of quilts for a while, and collected books about them, but didn’t make my first quilt until the summer of 2012. The first few quilts I made from patterns and gave away as gifts. I soon realized that with my graphic design skills and computer software knowledge, I could create my own patterns and design.

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Who or what has been your greatest creative inspiration?
It’s impossible to pick one! I’m often inspired by what’s around me. When I was an undergraduate, one of my graphic design professors drilled a specific mantra into his students. It sticks with me today and I often recite it, especially if I’m feeling a stuck: “What do you like? What do you love? What do you care about?” It so simple, but I find it really helps drive my thought and decision process.

How did you first discover Aurifil thread and what do you love most about it?
I learned about Aurifil thread from other friends who are quilters and members of my quilt guild mentioned it during meetings. I love how consistent the color is and how it glides through my Juki while piecing and quilting.

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How did the idea for your original mini quilt, So Many Colors, come about?
Each year the Quilt Alliance announces a theme and asks quilters to make a mini quilt as a donation. They then auction off the quilts and all proceeds support the important work that they do. The theme in 2016 was “playing favorites.” I designed and donated a few mini quilts, including the original “Sew Many Colors” (originally named “So Many Colors”). The mini quilt was a tribute to my favorite brand of thread, shown at actual size and proportions, using one of my favorite piecing techniques–foundation paper piecing.

The original design had 12 spools. When I discovered that Aurifil was celebrating their 10th anniversary in the US this year, it made sense to update the design to feature 10 spools.

So Many Colors by Sheri Cifaldi-Morrill

So Many Colors by Sheri Cifaldi-Morrill

How did you develop the idea for 270 Colors and what did you love most about pulling that project together?
When I found out that 2017 was a big milestone for Aurifil and that they wanted to celebrate it in a big way, I thought about the how the threads are presented. Whether it’s at a conference or trade show or in a local quilt shop,  the spools are always arranged beautifully. The arrangement of colors and the texture of the thread wound on the spool draws quilters in. I thought it would be really fun for makers to see all 270 colors at the same time.

It was a lot of fun to literally work with EVERY Aurifil color. Of course this means that I wound all 270 colors of thread on bobbins. I wonder how many other quilters can say that?

Quilting both 270 Colors and Sew Many Colors were also skill building experiences for me. I typically only use my walking foot while quilting. This project was a great way for me to push my boundaries and get over my free motion quilting anxiety!

Lastly, it was wonderful working with the Aurifil team. They were extremely supportive and trusted my design and creation process.

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What excites you most about the release of Sew Many Colors?
I hope that quilters get really excited about customizing the pattern with colors that appeals to them. I also hope that those who have never tried (or those who are challenged by foundation paper piecing) dive in and give it a try. While I don’t give basic paper piecing instructions in the pattern, I do give lots of tips. With all of my patterns I give lots of diagrams and break down the steps. I strive to make complicated looking patterns easy to make.

What first drew you to work with Kona® Solids from Robert Kaufman?
As is the case with Aurifil, I love how many colors Robert Kaufman offers. I often work with solids in my quilt designs and I love having lots of options. When I designed and created the 270 Colors quilt, this was especially important as I wanted all 270 colors of Aurifil thread to match the fabric background perfectly! I carried those matching thread and fabric selections to my Sew Many Colors mini quilt samples.

If you had to select your Top Ten colors for Aurifil and Robert Kaufman, what would they be?
My number one go-to for thread is color 2024 and Kona White. I’m a big fan of white backgrounds! After that, it’s tough to pick.  My favorites change from project to project! At this moment, I’ll go with what I used for the rainbow version of the Sew Many Colors: Aurifil thread: 2250, 1154, 1135, 1147, 2870, 1148, 2810, 2725, 2520, 2479, 2024 and Kona® Solids: Red, Tangerine, Corn Yellow, Lime, Grasshopper, Breakers, Lagoon, Blue Jay, Crocus, Blush Pink.

What do you love most about working with Warm & Natural batting?
I love the weight (not too thick, not too thin), the feel and the fact that  I’ve never had a problem with it. It works well on my machine. I’m a big believer in if it’s not broken, stick with it!

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What are your hopes for presenting the pattern in this way, with an accompanying contest?
In the pattern, I call out what materials I used, but I love to see how makers who use my patterns make the pattern their own. I always think it’s interesting to see how makers put their own spin on the same pattern. For this reason, I really enjoyed seeing all of the variations of my pattern testers as they came in. I’m excited to see what everyone makes! Be sure to use those hashtags and don’t be shy. The prizes are awesome… you can’t win if you don’t try!

Can you offer any tips for participants who are new to paper-piecing?
Have your seam ripper and tape close by. You will use it! Even the most experienced paper piecers will make mistakes. Don’t get frustrated. If you find yourself making a lot of mistakes,  it’s time to step away and take a break!

Any final words of encouragement to makers just getting started on their Sew Many Colors journey?
Play with color and have fun! This is a great pattern to treat as a color study. Play with color combinations that you’ve never worked with before!

SEW MANY COLORS — TESTER MINIS
In talking with Sheri about the process of pulling this all together, she raved about her testers and we thought it would be fun to share their minis here. Pattern testing is such an incredibly important part of pattern release process and we are ever grateful! Also, look at these gorgeous minis!!

Laura McDowell Hopper
WebsiteInstagram
The “Sew Many Colors” mini quilt was so fun to make. Like all of Whole Circle Studio’s patterns, it is well designed with clear instructions. The quilt was a fast make and is the perfect addition to my craft room Aurifil storage! Thanks to Sheri! I loved making her pattern, and boy does it look cool in my quilt room with this new Aurifil shelf!

Sew Many Colors as sewn by Laura McDowell Hopper

Sew Many Colors as sewn by Laura McDowell Hopper

Wendy Birmingham
Instagram
I had so much fun making this Sew Many Colors mini quilt!  Such a great pattern that all fit together perfectly!  I chose to make this with the orange spools that I love, using Alison Glass Insignia fabric that matches all the beautiful Aurifil threads!  Happy Anniversary Aurifil!

Alex Fox
Instagram
The design, with its feature Aurifil spools, is definitely a winner – who wouldn’t want this beautiful mini on the wall of their sewing room? This is the second of Sheri’s patterns that I’ve made and it didn’t disappoint. The draughtsmanship of the pattern is excellent, with all the pieces fitting perfectly and that makes assembling your pieced segments a pleasure rather than a chore.  The instructions are easy to follow and she provides good planning tools to help you keep track of your fabric choices and positioning whilst you paper-piece.

Sew Many Colors as sewn by Alex Fox

Sew Many Colors as sewn by Alex Fox

Joanne Harris
WebsiteInstagram
I loved making this quilt first of all because the designer is such a talented designer. When I saw the design I thought it would be a good colour exercise. I wanted to show a gradation in one colour. I think I captured it for blue.

Jenny Nault Meeker
WebsiteInstagram
Having only done one foundation paper piecing quilting project prior to testing the “Sew Many Colors” pattern, I was extremely very grateful that the pattern included multiple tips to help less experienced foundation paper piecers navigate working with smaller piecing components.  Also, the pattern instructions were so well laid out and clear that it was virtually impossible to do any of the steps incorrectly or out of order–along with the reassurances in the pattern that even highly experienced foundation paper piecing quilters still make mistakes, making the whole process incredibly enjoyable.  My favorite inclusions, however, were the diagrams that showed the finished mini’s front and the back, which made it easy to audition/select colors and make sure they correlated to the correct spool location when the mini was completed.

Rebecca Makas
WebsiteInstagram
I loved that this pattern challenged my paper piecing skills, using small pieces along with much larger pieces.  It was a lot of fun making such a familiar shape and using prints for the colors to make it “my own”.

Tiffany Horn, Village Bound Quilts
WebsiteInstagram
This pattern, as with all of Sheri’s patterns, was well written and easy to follow. I really enjoyed learning a new skill (as this was my first FPP project), and ended up making it a second time, resulting in this moon phase pillow. The biggest takeaway as a rookie FPP would be to take your time – go slow and enjoy the process!

ABOUT SHERI
Website — Blog — Facebook — Instagram — Pinterest — Twitter

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photo courtesy of Craftsy

Sheri Cifaldi-Morrill is a designer, maker and self-taught modern quilter. Sheri graduated from the University of Connecticut with a BFA in Graphic Design. She has twenty years of experience leading creative teams to create award winning identities, products and environments. She has worked in small design studios, a dot com and the exhibit department at a children’s museum.

Sheri’s quilts have gained national recognition including awards from QuiltCon, Quilt Week/Paducah and the Quilt Alliance. They have been featured at art centers and galleries across the country. In addition to publishing her patterns, her quilts have been featured in national publications such as Modern Patchwork. She also teaches quilting techniques.

Sheri was awarded the first annual Craftsy Quilt Designer Fellowship in 2016. This fellowship enabled her to debut Whole Circle Studio’s first booth at International Quilt Market in Houston, Texas in October 2016.

Sheri works from her home studio in the suburbs of New Haven, Connecticut—a hop, skip and jump away from New York City. She loves to chat about design and quilts. Contact her at sheri@wholecirclestudio.com.

[Images courtesy of Sheri Cifaldi-Morrill with exception to tester mini images]

Enchanted by Dodi Poulsen

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We are thrilled to be a stop on the Enchanted Blog Tour with Dodi Poulsen of Two Sisters at Squirrel Hollow & Riley Blake! The last few weeks have been a gorgeous showcase of Dodi’s latest line, including some adorable girls dresses, bags, quilts, and more! We’ve loved following along and hope you have too!

Today, we have the pleasure of introducing you to Dodi’s debut thread collection for Aurifil, hand-picked to coordinate with the magical prints found in Enchanted.  A lovely showcase of navy, pink, mint, and teal with a little pop of yellow & green, the collection brings to mind the delightful fairytales of our youth. It is available in both LG and SM boxes featuring our highly versatile 50wt thread.

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THREAD COLLECTION DETAILS
Enchanted
12 Large Spools, 50wt (1422yds/spool), 100% Aurifil Cotton
2784 – 5007 – 2425 – 1148 – 5002 – 5006
2423 – 1135 – 2882 – 2588 – 4093 – 2515

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10 Small Spools, 50wt (220yds/spool), 100% Aurifil Cotton
2784 – 5007 – 2425 – 1148 – 5002
5006 – 1135 – 2882 – 2588 – 2515

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

THE INTERVIEW
Can you tell us a bit about yourself and how you first got started in the world of sewing and quilting?
I grew up in Northern California with a close-knit family. My love of fabric and the art of the needle came quite honestly and naturally to me. One of my favorite memories was sitting on my Grandmother’s lap as a child while I helped Nana push fabric through her treadle sewing machine. At the age of ten, with my mother’s gentle guidance, I created my first sewn garment.  It didn’t take me long to realize the sewing machine and I were destined to become lifelong partners.

I started quilting over 40 years ago, while in college, when I needed a textile project. I taught myself to quilt and it has become my passion. In 2006, I launched my pattern company, Two Sisters at Squirrel Hollow and later added a children’s division, Little Londyn, which I ran with my daughter, Megan Miles.

Enchanted project by Little Londyn

Enchanted project by Little Londyn

Did you have another career prior to this one? 
I received a BFA degree in Interior Design and freelanced for many years in my own company, In the Beginning Creations. Right out of college worked for an Aerospace company as a drafting engineer. I drew large templates for nuclear weapons to sit in and then sent them to Seattle for manufacturing. Once they even let me attend the nuclear testing site in Las Vegas and I watched these weapons blow up. I was 24 and I thought that was pretty fascinating and very “cool”. Later I traded jobs within the company and was brought on board to help design the Bangor Base offices in Washington. I was also a planning analyst for an Airline company and I have been a substitute teacher for K-12.

My best and forever favorite job is and will forever be a mother to 2 fabulous children, a son and a daughter, and grandmother to 8 little munchkins.

Do you remember the process of making your first quilt and how you felt once it was complete?
Ahh—you really want to know about the biggest quilting blunder in my life? I needed a textile project for a fiber arts class in college. I went a bought all types of fabric; Jean, poly cotton, cotton, rayon, linen etc. having no idea that they really shouldn’t be mixed. Imagine trying to sew these all together in a quilt…not a pretty sight!  I still have this beauty in my hope chest out in the garage. It’s a reminder that I came from humble beginnings in the quilting world, much like all of us. It reminds me not to take anything for granted and that life is a gift. It’s up to you to find your way on your own life journey. Finding a passion was never my intention at that point. I just needed a good grade!

Actually, the quilt isn’t all that bad, but it uses thick batting and yarn ties, and the piecing is pretty wonky. This was way before the time of rotary cutters and wonderful tools– We’ve come a long way baby, and who knew that this experiment in the quilting world would later become my passion in life.

Who or what has been your greatest creative inspiration?
Nature always inspires me. Nature makes no mistakes and I like to take my cues for color from the world around me. I live in the Northwest, just a ferry ride from Seattle, and the beauty here is unheralded. Out my studio windows each day I am inspired by this grand world and its amazing colors. It’s an incredible backdrop for creating.

Preppy Plaid Tote Bag by Jedi Craft Girl

Preppy Plaid Tote Bag by Jedi Craft Girl

What inspired the creation of Enchanted and what did you love most about putting the collection together?
I would be lying if I did not suggest that Enchanted was inspired by my six adorable granddaughters. I often design fabric around them. I like to envision them wearing the fabrics and what that would look like in apparel. This blog tour has had an abundance of girly appeal. I can just see my littles running around in Enchanted fabrics and that gives me great joy.

I do a great deal of quilting for them and others as well so I design my fabrics for the quilter and the sewist alike.

Projects by Tie Dye Diva

Projects by Tie Dye Diva

Do you have a favorite project made with the new fabrics & threads?
I would have to say the 2 quilts that I made for Fons and Porter magazines. They will appear in Love of Quilting and Easy Cut issues this Spring and Fall.  It will have to be a secret until then!!

I also have loved using the new Aurifloss that was sent to match my threads. They are amazing to work with and my Mama Said project, on the tour today, was really fun to create. I can’t wait to hang it in my studio.

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Mama Said Sew — a new pattern available via Sash Gals!

When did you first discover Aurifil threads and what do you love most about them? 
I discovered Aurifil about 6 or 7 years ago; my sister and I like to compare notes on products and she suggested I try them. After that I was hooked. They sew like butter and the feel of them is incredible.

The threads give a soft luster to each project and I love the way the threads enhance a project. Whether it’s applique, embroidery or quilting, there is an Aurifil thread for you.

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Do you have a favorite color/weight and why?
My favorite is Aurifil 50-weight. It’s my go-to thread for piecing. Some say that it’s too thin, but I disagree. I love the way my pieced blocks lie flatter with thinner thread and it will be just as durable as a 40 -weight thread.  My favorite color? Well that’s like asking which is your favorite grandchild…I love them ALL.

Enchanted colors in Aurifloss!

Enchanted colors in Aurifloss!

How did you go about selecting threads for your latest Aurifil collection? 
I am all about saturated color and many of the colors in my collection reflect that. When I open my box of threads I can’t help but SMILE each time! They are just simply beautiful. I choose them to go with the Enchanted fabric colors and their values are working out fantastically.

Samples of the Enchanted fabrics

Samples of the Enchanted fabrics

What’s in store for 2017? Where can we find you this year?
Whew… I think the question is: Where won’t you find me this year?

2016 was my craziest and busiest year ever as I taught classes around the world and in the states. I leave for the Caribbean at the end of the month to teach on my final Quilt Camp at Sea cruise after 9 years of teaching with them.  After this, I am going to come home and take a breath.  It’s been a terrific experience, but this little woman is tired.

You will find me happily creating in my studio at home and visiting family; Taking time to smell the roses and refilling my cup so I can create more lovely things ahead.

GIVEAWAY

dodipoulsengiveawayimage

To enter-to-win 1 Large Enchanted Thread Collection and one bundle of assorted Enchated 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 Sunday, February 12. Winner will be randomly selected and announced here on Monday, February 13. Giveaway is open to our international friends! Good luck!

*Please note that Enchanted fabrics received may be different than those shown.

UPDATE: This giveaway is now closed. Congratulations to our winner, Kelly Thibeault!

In addition to our giveaway, you could also win a bundle of Enchanted fabric by visiting Dodi’s blog, Loose Threads (www.sashgals.com) and leaving a comment. One entry per blog post, per day of the Blog Tour, right there on Loose Threads! Enter every day to increase your chance of winning!!!

BLOG HOP SCHEDULE
Love the projects showcased above? Don’t miss a single post! Check out the posts, both past and upcoming via the schedule below:)

Monday, Jan 23rd – Little Londyn
Tuesday, Jan 24th – Jedi Craft Girl
Wednesday, Jan 25th –  Loose Threads
Thursday, Jan 26th – Meags and Me
Friday, Jan 27th – Pretty by Hand
Monday, Jan 30th – Tie Dye Diva
Tuesday, Jan 31st – Two Sisters as Squirrel Hallow
Wednesday, Feb 1st – Striped Swallow Designs
Thursday, Feb 2nd – Izzy and Ivy
Friday, Feb 3rd – Ellis and Higgs
Monday, Feb 6th – Aurifil (YOU ARE HERE!)
Tuesday, Feb 7th – The Crafty Quilter
Wednesday, Feb 8th – Two Sisters at Squirrel Hallow
Thursday, Feb 9th – Jina Barney Designz
Friday, Feb 10th – Riley Blake

ABOUT DODI
BlogInstagramPinterest

dodiaurifilpicDodi Lee Poulsen designs and creates wonderful patterns to be enjoyed by quilters of all skill levels. Her patterns and designs have been featured in numerous Quilting magazines. She currently designs fabric for Riley Blake Designs.  She has been a quilt instructor for over twenty five years and she teaches and lectures throughout the country. Together with her sister, Heidi Fisher, Dodi launched her pattern company, Two Sisters at Squirrel Hollow in 2006. Dodi added their children’s division, Little Londyn Patterns, with her daughter Megan Miles. Dodi is the author of 5 books. She and her husband live in the state of Washington and are the proud grandparents of 8 grandchildren.

Getting to Know Hue by Nancy Rink

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We are incredibly thrilled to introduce Nancy Rink of Nancy Rink Designs, our newest Aurifil Designer. Getting to Know Hue is her latest collection with Marcus Fabrics. Nancy’s goal was to craft a collection that featured small motifs in a variety of blendable colors. In approaching the color palette, she pulled out her collection of Kaffe Fassett prints, because she is always on the lookout for blenders that work with his prints. In the end, the group was narrowed down to 28 colors, 9 neutrals, and two 60″ wide multi-prints. Everything you could possibly need to make a stunning quilt!

But Nancy didn’t stop there… she reached out to us to put together a coordinating thread collection. A Large box of 50wt threads and a small box of 28wt thread – Nancy’s go-tos for piecing, quilting, and appliqué.

And then… She made a GORGEOUS quilt and turned it into a BOM, currently being offered by your favorite local quilt shop! My goodness we’re feeling inspired!

[learn more about Nancy’s inspiration here]

THREAD COLLECTION DETAILS
Getting to Know Hue
12 Large Spools, 50wt (1422yds/spool), 100% Aurifil Cotton
2026 – 2140 – 2150 – 2265 – 2535 – 2540
2625 – 2630 – 2810 – 5016 – 5018 – 6738

nancyrinklarge

10 Small Spools, 28wt (54yds/spool), 100% Aurifil Cotton
1148 – 2134 – 2440 – 2540 – 2588
2810 – 2815 – 2892 – 5016 – 5018

nancyrinksmall

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

THE INTERVIEW
Can you tell us a bit about yourself and how you first got started in the world of sewing and quilting?
I live in Bakersfield, which is in the central valley of California. Many people know Bakersfield because it is the home of “the Bakersfield Sound” a gritty, twangy, honky-tonk country music style made popular by Buck Owens and Merle Haggard.  NASCAR driver, Kevin Harvick hails from Bakersfield—in fact, he was one of my junior high students back in the day!

bakersfield_ca_-_sign

My grandmother taught me to sew when I was little. For many years I only did garment sewing, and while I was in college I made and altered a lot of costumes for the university’s theater productions.

In 2010 I began designing patterns to feature Marcus Fabric’s new collections. In 2011, Amish With A Twist, my first Marcus BOM debuted in my first ever Quilt Market booth. Geez, was I nervous about it, wondering if anyone would like it enough to buy the pattern.  Apparently, the folks at Marcus were happy because they invited back to do Amish with a Twist II and Amish with a Twist III. Lately, I’ve had a few customers asking me when Amish IV would be coming out!

Here I am with Amish With a Twist at Quilt Market.

Here I am with Amish With a Twist at Quilt Market.

Since then, I have designed roughly one BOM each year for Marcus Fabrics. In 2012, “Tweet for Two”, my first fabric collection hit the shelves. That was definitely a “pinch me” moment.

Did you have another career prior to this one?
I taught Junior High and High School English and Math for over 20 years.

Do you remember the process of making your first quilt and how you felt once it was complete?
What inspired me to start quilting was an article in a magazine that I purchased while checking out at the grocery store. I read it and thought “I can do that!” Up to that point I had done a lot of garment sewing and just figured if I could set in a sleeve or line a jacket, I should be able to make a quilt. That first quilt had a lot of 5/8” seams! Also, I used an old sheet as the backing.  Needless to say, hand quilting it was a bear, and my stitches were huge! There are so, so many things wrong with that quilt—but ignorance was bliss. Somewhere along the way, I checked out a book from the library on how to quilt. What an epiphany!

Here is my first quilt--hand appliquéd and hand quilted.

Here is my first quilt–hand appliquéd and hand quilted.

Who or what has been your greatest creative inspiration?
Inspiration seems to be everywhere and thanks to the internet we can see more quilts than ever. I    personally spend far too much time on Instagram looking at art that people are making. But perhaps the tool that transformed me from maker to designer is Electric Quilt. Early on, I got on board with EQ, spending hours “making” quilts. When I am designing a fabric collection I work back and forth between Photoshop and EQ, tweaking my fabrics until they look just right in the EQ quilt I’ve designed to accompany the collection.

New from Nancy — @nancyrink , that is! Getting to Know Hue….. #makeitwithmarcusfabrics #sewstudio37 #studio37fabrics

A post shared by Marcus Fabrics (@marcusfabrics) on

Can you tell us a bit more about Getting to know Hue and what inspired the collection?
Getting to Know Hue is my newest fabric collection for Marcus Fabrics’ Studio 37 division. It is a basics collection of tonal prints in 28 colors, 9 neutrals, and two 60″-wide prints. When developing the color palette for the collection, I referred to my collection of Kaffe Fassett prints and florals because I wanted some tonals that I could use with them.  Also important was making sure there was a light, medium, and dark in each color I chose. Here are some swatches from GTKH on the right with some of Kaffe’s swatches on the left. I cannot wait to have time to play with all of these!

We absolutely love the Getting to know Hue quilt — how did you go about pulling that together for the BOM and what excites you most about the program?
When I was developing the GTKH fabric collection I knew I was going to also be designing a BOM to go with it. That was where Electric Quilt proved invaluable.  My initial set of swatches numbered well over 50.  I imported all of them into EQ and through trial and error was able to trim the collection down to a reasonable number of pieces. It’s also worth noting that my first BOM concept was NOTHING like the final quilt. What excites me most about the program is that there are so many options. There are three different background options: light, medium, and dark. And there are three different center star options: lone star, Improv star, and Strippy Star.

Here is an EQ image of the Improv Star option:

Here is an EQ image of the Improv Star option

And here is the medium background quilt with the Lone Star center option coming off the longarm:

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Do you have other favorite projects that have been made with the collection?
Currently, I am working on three different quilts using a 2 1/2″-wide strip pack that will preview at Spring Quilt Market in the Studio 37 booth. The strip pack will consist of 20 prints from the GTKH collection, and all three of the quilts will be available in a single pattern called “Strip It Three Ways: Series 4”.

What is your favorite quilting technique and why?
Appliqué is my absolute favorite! If I had all the time in the world, I would do nothing but hand applique’. Since that’s not the case, I do a lot of machine applique’ and have gotten pretty adept at both prepared edge machine applique’ and raw edge applique’. GTKH features a touch of applique which I edge finished with Aurifil 28 wt thread.  All the thread colors I used on my quilt are included in my new Aurifil GTKH 28 wt thread set.

Here’s a shot of the how fantastic the 28 wt thread looks on the quilt!

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By the way, all the quilting was done with colors from the GTKH 50wt thread box.

When did you first discover Aurifil threads and what do you love most about them?
I have been using Aurifil thread for quite a long while now, and have been singing its praises to anyone who will listen.  I love that the 50wt thread is strong enough to use on my longarm and fine enough to be used for hand appliqué. To me it is the finest all around thread on the market, hands down.  The fact that it is an incredibly low-lint thread is an added plus.

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Do you have a favorite color/weight and why?
Numbers 2000, 2014, and 2600 have been my go-to colors for piecing for years. Recently, I have been using a lot of 6725 and 6730. For machine quilting I’ve found that 2130, a soft yellow, 2886, a pistachio green, and 2310, a neutral beige are my go-to colors for all over quilting.

What’s in store for 2017? Where can we find you this year?
In addition to “Getting to Know Hue”, I have another fabric collection called “Remember Red” in the works. Red is my favorite color so I am eager for this line to come out–hopefully in time so I can show samples in the Studio 37 booth at Spring Quilt Market. I am also already hard at work on my 2018 BOM–yes, it takes that long–about a year from start to finish to bring a BOM to life.

Because my husband Oliver retired and our daughter just had our first grandchild, this year I am staying close to home.  I am visiting a few guilds for trunk shows and workshops, but for the most part, I’ll be in my studio creating or at home enjoying the grandbaby.

THE GIVEAWAY

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To enter-to-win 1 Large Getting to Know Hue Thread Collection and one Getting to Know Hue Fat Quarter Bundle by Nancy Rink 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 Saturday, February 11. Winner will be randomly selected and announced here on Sunday, February 12. Giveaway is open to our international friends! Good luck!

UPDATE: This giveaway is now closed – Congratulations to our winner, Cinda Dickson Thompson!

ABOUT NANCY
WebsiteBlogFacebookInstagram — Pinterest

nancy-rink-photo-osIn April 2004 Nancy was the featured artist at the Best of the Valley Quilt Show in Tulare, California. Bobbie Moore, the show’s organizer was quoted in the Bakersfield Californian, saying “Rink’s work is especially unusual. She’s an appliqué artist and her stitches are almost invisible, they’re exquisite. She makes beautiful use of color and motion in her work.”

Nancy has won several awards for her quilting. At the 2004 Houston International Quilt Festival, Remembrance of Nanny and Desert Star were both given Honorable Mentions. Also in 2004, Dogtooth Violets earned one of the top awards in the Kaufman Quilt Quest. Most recently, Emerald Spring won a first place in Mixed Techniques at Road to California. She has won awards at other national shows including the Pacific International Quilt Festival, the Pennsylvania National Quilt Extravaganza, the Mid-Atlantic Quilt Festival, and the Indiana Heritage Quilt Show. And Desert Star, the first place winner in the 2002 From the Mills Contest, was on display at the American Textile History Museum.

Nancy’s quilts have been featured in magazines such as Quilter’s Newsletter MagazineQuiltmaker, and Quilt. Other quilts have appeared in calendars and books and on websites. “Quilting has been an incredible journey,” says Nancy, “and I can’t wait to see where it takes me next!” (more here)

[Images and text courtesy of Nancy Rink Designs and Marcus Fabrics]

Basically Patrick by Patrick Lose

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We are so pleased to introduce our debut collection and new partnership with Patrick Lose! Patrick, a quilt industry veteran, prolific fabric and pattern designer, and celebrated author, announced the launch of his new fabric company, Patrick Lose Fabrics, at Houston Quilt Market this past Fall. After 23 years of designing for other companies, he felt it was a natural next step. We adore Patrick’s impeccable style, his creativity, and, above all, his love affair with color! Basically Patrick – A Quilter’s Rainbow is set to be the cornerstone of his new venture, so it seemed only fitting to showcase those colors in his debut Aurifil thread collection, Basically Patrick. We’re excited for all that is to come and can’t wait to share all things Patrick with you throughout the year!

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THREAD COLLECTION DETAILS
Basically Patrick
12 Large Spools, 50wt (1422yds/spool), 100% Aurifil Cotton
1133 – 1231 – 2024 – 2135 – 2265 – 2530
2545 – 2692 – 2735 – 2810 – 2870 – 6725

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

THE INTERVIEW
Can you tell us a bit about yourself and how you first got started in the world of sewing and quilting?
I’m probably a pretty complicated person to answer this one because I have so many and varied interests but one thing that makes it easier to describe myself is that I feel that most of my traits stem from being creative. So I guess I’d call myself a “creative”. I usually look at things around me with a creator’s eye and mind because I’m always catching myself trying to figure out how things are made or how something works or what was going through that creator’s mind as they worked through their own process.

Patrick Lose fabric display at Houston Quilt Market, 2016

A display of the ‘Basically Patrick’ releases at Fall Quilt Market 2016

Did you have another career prior to this one?
In all honesty, I feel like I’ve had many because my creative personality is also a curious one and I’ve tried lots of different things. I was bit by the theatre bug in high school and I’ve worked as an actor/singer and costume designer alongside any other job I’ve had. I’ve also worked simultaneously as a florist, graphic designer, illustrator, teacher, and fashion/bridal designer to name a few.

Basically Patrick colors on display at Quilt Market in Houston, Fall 2017

A peek into the Patrick Lose Fabrics booth at Fall Quilt Market 2016

Do you remember the process of making your first quilt and how you felt once it was complete?
I remember it well but probably not for the best of reasons. I’ve always loved log cabin quilts and decided to make my own version and really enjoyed the process until it came time to quilt it. It was a large throw size, maybe 60 inches square, and I decided to try my hand at free-motion quilting on my domestic machine at my kitchen table. It might have been okay if I hadn’t decided to do a loopy meander over the entire top, with none of the loops larger than about a half inch diameter and spaced an inch or two apart. I thought I would never finish it and I also thought I would never quilt again when I finally did finish. But I sure got over my fear of free-motion quilting fast.

You’ve just launched your own fabric company, Patrick Lose Fabrics. What inspired the shift and what excites you most about the resulting new collections?
I can’t even describe how excited I am to be at this point in my career. It’s like it’s all new and every day there’s something even more exciting to work on or experience than the day before. I always enjoyed being a designer for someone else’s fabric company but I’ve been doing that since 1993. There were always limitations to the number of collections or designs I could put out in a season, though one of those companies, in particular, had offered me lots of freedom. Now I decide for myself how much I want to produce and I’ve never been more prolific in my entire career. I just feel like the sky is the limit and I’m investigating so many opportunities now that the companies I worked with in the past weren’t able to offer. I really feel as though the work I am doing now is the best I’ve ever done because of this freedom I’ve been fortunate enough to achieve.

Patrick Lose Fabrics

Patrick Lose Fabrics

 What is your favorite quilting technique and why?
There are so many, but I design and make lots of appliqué projects because it’s a way for me to put my illustrations and characters into my quilted pieces. The fans who follow what I do, especially in appliqué and machine embroidery have been so loyal and I try to offer them lots because it’s a smaller niche audience that doesn’t alway get the attention it deserves in the industry.

Basically Patrick Fabrics

Basically Patrick Fabrics

When did you first discover Aurifil threads and what do you love most about them?
I’m pretty sure I was already using Auriful thread when I opened my first studio in 2010 and I’ve been a fan for as long as I’ve used it.

Do you have a favorite color/weight and why?
Color is my “thing” and, maybe because I love working with all colors, it’s really impossible for me to pick a favorite. Those who know my work would probably be surprised to hear that some of my all-time favorites are Aurifil’s neutrals and I love using them in 50 weights for piecing. But, if I have a color on hand that is an exact match for what I’m piecing, I go with that. That’s why I love having so many Aurifil colors at my disposal. I love the range of colors Aurifil produces!

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How did you go about selecting threads for your latest Aurifil collection?
I wanted our customers who use my “Basically Patrick” collection of blender basics to have a great starter set of colors that coordinate well with the palette of the fabrics. Of course, you can’t have too many colors of either “Basically Patrick” fabrics or Aurifil threads so we’re working on another collection to coordinate with all of the new prints and colors that are constantly being added to my collections.

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What excites you most about your partnership with Aurifil?
I love the fact that so many of my customers already use Aurifil threads and are always asking me for the specific threads and colors that I use in my projects. Now I can have them assembled all in one place for them!

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What’s in store for 2017? Where can we find you this year?
Although I enjoy traveling, one of the things I’m loving most about the launch of Patrick Lose Fabrics is that I’m getting lots more studio time for designing – whether it’s drawing and painting or digital design. I’m also spending more time sewing and quilting and that’s been a luxury I didn’t have as much time for in recent years. So, I imagine it will be easiest to find me in my studio in 2017 but we also have a Party with Patrick at Sea cruise next month that I’m really looking forward to. We’ll be spending 10 days in the Caribbean with a really fun bunch of quilters. Every summer I head back to my hometown of Des Moines, Iowa for the truly-awesome Iowa State Fair, where I help to judge the quilting, garment sewing and machine embroidery competitions and teach classes for 11 days in the Fabric and Threads Department. If you have a chance to join us there, I can guarantee you’ll enjoy it! The fair runs from August 10-20.

THE GIVEAWAY

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To enter-to-win 1 Large Bascially Patrick Thread Collection and one Basically Patrick “Land and Sea” Bundle of Fun™ (20 Fat Quarters!), click here to head to the Rafflecopter entry page, or simply click on the image above. You do not have to complete all the options to be entered but the more options you choose, the more entries you have!  Entries will be accepted from now through 11:59pm Eastern Time on Saturday, February 4. Winner will be randomly selected and announced here on Sunday, February 5. Giveaway is open to our international friends! Good luck!

The lovely prints of Land and Sea

The lovely prints of Land and Sea

ABOUT PATRICK
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patrickgranddaughterA renaissance man by the very definition, Patrick Lose has spent his entire professional career being creative in one medium or another. An accomplished actor, singer, artist, illustrator, award-winning costume designer, author, fabric designer, pattern designer and outside-of-the-box quilter, Patrick is always looking for new ways to inspire and bring color to the world around him. “When I sit down to doodle at the drawing board, I never know what one of my designs might become.” Whether it’s unique fabric prints, quilts, clothing, stationery products, or home decor, he enjoys creating it all.

Patrick is well-known for his playful novelty designs and colorful trendsetting basics, which he’s created over the 23 years he’s spent designing cotton fabric collections for the industry’s leading companies and, now, for his new company, Patrick Lose Fabrics. As an author of dozens of quilting and crafting publications, Patrick generously shares so many of his creative endeavors. Revered by quilters for his unique method of mixing traditional piecing with contemporary applique techniques, he focuses on creating a variety that attracts quilters of all ages and styles. His quilts, crafts, clothing, and home decorating accessories have graced the pages of such distinguished magazines as his own Quilting Celebrations!, Better Homes & Gardens, American Patchwork and Quilting, Country Crafts, Christmas Ideas, Halloween Tricks & Treats, Love of Quilting and many more.

Always proud to be a longtime friend of independent retailers, Patrick’s fabric collections, books and patterns can be found at your greatest source for inspiration – your local independent quilt shop.

Check out Patrick’s guest appearance on The Crafty Planner’s podcast here.

[All images and biographical text courtesy of Patrick Lose Studios.]