All About Aurifil, Part 3

Welcome to the third installment of our All About Aurifil series. Today we are going to learn about some of Aurifil’s new and/or specialty threads: 80wt, Cotton Floss, and Wool. But first, a continuation of our threaducation! Let’s talk about mercerized and long staple cotton. These two things go hand-in-hand so it makes sense to discuss them in the same conversation. Let’s get started!

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Continuing Colors

We absolutely love that some designers use similar color palettes from one collection to the next! It always amazes us to see how colors can be transformed to represent something entirely new based on print, layout, and color partners. We particularly love when this happens with our Aurifil designers as it often means that one thread collection maintains relevance across a wide range of fabric collections. It’s wonderful for shop owners, who can continue to stock a favorite thread set for years rather than seasons and it’s even better for makers, who can be sure that their thread purchases are protected and always useful!

Aurifil Designer Sarah Maxwell of Designs by Sarah J released Dandy Days last Fall to coordinate with her debut collection for Marcus/Studio 37 Fabrics. The collection featured a box of 12 Large Cotton Spools in 50wt and 28wt and a box of 10 Small Cotton Spools of 50wt and our new 80wt. This past Spring, Sarah showcased A Shout, A Whisper, a Text at Spring Market, also with Studio 37, and we were delighted to find that her Dandy Days threads worked perfectly with the new prints. To sweeten the story, the threads are also coordinate well with her Color Crush Flannels!

Today, we’re excited to share a few of Sarah’s latest projects, both to illustrate the versatility of the thread and to highlight some of Sarah’s stunning work! We’ll let her tell you about each piece in her own words. 🙂

STEP LIVELY
With Step Lively, I really wanted to continue the rainbow feel that I had first explored in the main Shout quilt. I’m always drawn to quilts with lots of fabrics. When I moved into a more modern design aesthetic that includes a focus on solids and often an overall, “less busy” style, I found that exploring color relationships satisfied my need to play with lots of elements. Finding a way to “use every color” was a natural evolution from my original focus of “why use 10 fabrics when you can use 100?”

The piece finished at 68″ x 72″. I used Aurifil 2600 in 50wt and found it was the perfect color to create texture on the blocks.

CHEX MIX
Chex Mix  showcases some of my Color Crush woven flannel plaids. I know quilters are sometimes hesitant to work with plaids and flannels. To overcome this concern, I designed Chex Mix with large pieces so a quilter doesn’t have to worry about a lot of points coming together. Most of the plaids are fairly subtle so there’s also less concern about whether the plaid appears straight. For this quilt, color 2105 from my Aurifil thread box was a perfect accent. I find that the soft yellow of 2105 is often the perfect complement to brights so it’s great to have on hand.

DREAM AT DAWN
Dream at Dawn was a labor of love, primarily because it was a showcase for my focal Dandy Days print and the accompanying text print. Colors 5004 and 2600 were used heavily in this quilt both for piecing and quilting because they are the perfect grey matches to the fabrics. This is a series quilt currently running in McCall’s Quick Quilts.

SHOUT IT OUT
Shout it Out was a challenge for me to design a quilt from my line that could be constructed from 10 1/2” squares. Because this pattern appears in a trade magazine for quilt shop owners, it’s a perfect project for shops to kit by cutting their own square packs. Your favorite shop owner can get this pattern by subscribing to American Quilt Retailer. Color 2600 was again my go-to on this project.


Thanks so much to Sarah for sharing her work with us! It’s so fun to see the projects up close, to learn a bit more about how each came to be, and to see those glorious threads in action.

Inspired to get started on your own project? We’ve got you covered! We’re pleased to be sharing a fab giveaway today over on Instagram, launching this morning. We’re giving away a small Dandy Days collection, a FQ bundle of Sarah’s A Shout, A Whisper, A Text courtesy of Studio 37, and a pattern pack by Sarah Maxwell. Visit us here for more info and good luck!

ABOUT SARAH
Website — Blog — Facebook — Instagram

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

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

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

DANDY DAYS THREAD COLLECTION
Learn more about Sarah’s debut Aurifil Thread Collection right here.

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

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

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Meadow Storm by Victoria Findlay Wolfe

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We LOVE Victoria Findlay Wolfe . It’s no secret that she’s a steadfast Aurifil champion and we like to think that the love and respect is mutual. It stands to reason, then, that we’re more than a little excited to present her brand new collection, Meadow Storm. These two thread packs were selected to coordinate with her new fabric line with Studio 37/Marcus Fabrics, a line inspired by prairie weather and family connections. Designs such as Cloudy, Misty, Overcast, and Sunshowers suggest the amazing displays in a prairie sky. Victoria’s thread colors are the perfect complement, available in 4 LG 50wt spools and 6 SM 80wt spools — everything you need for perfect piecing and appliqué.

 

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THREAD COLLECTION DETAILS
Meadow Storm, 50wt
4 Large Spools, 50wt (1422yds/spool), 100% Cotton
2692 – 2479 – 2115 – 4654

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Meadow Storm, 80wt
8 Small Spools, 80wt (300yds/spool), 100% Cotton
2110 – 2710 – 2423 – 2250 – 4182 – 2692

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

THE INTERVIEW
Having grown up on a farm in Minnesota, what inspired you to shift gears and move to New York City?  
I always knew I’d be an artist, and figured I’d live in a  big city. The minute I graduated, I moved to Minneapolis, then that wasn’t big enough, and later went to NYC.  I was always told if you were an artist, New York was the place to be. I followed my dream since I was 5 years old.

How did you first discover and come to love this wonderful world of textiles?  
Growing up on a farm we grew and made everything. My mother was a seamstress and my father was an upholsterer besides being a farmer. My grandmother was the quilter,

Elda's Double Knit Flowers

Elda’s Double Knit Flowers

Sewing was like eating, breathing and sleeping… Being an artsy kid, you could not stop me from creating with wood, fiber, twigs, wire… whatever I could get my hands on.  It wasn’t until I was becoming a mother that I got  drawn to making quilts.  As one does on the farm, when someone is having a baby, you make them a quilt… And so my quilting journey began, It was easier to work in fiber instead of oil paint when my daughter was little. The obsession caught on quite quickly.

I do find that I paint the same way I build a quilt.  If I had a canvas on my right and design wall on my left, I’d brush some red paint on the canvas, and lay on a piece of red fabric on the design wall… If I wanted to change it, I could easily do that on either surface. I do all my designing on the wall, not on paper. I need to see it in front to fly with all my fabric options…

Do you remember the process of creating your first quilt and how you felt once it was finished?
As a child, I was obsessed with “making.”  This means, making ANYTHING. I was either sewing, coloring, or building… it never stopped. My first “quilt” was 2″ thick, because I used my father’s raw cotton upholstery batting. I tried to hand quilt it with a small needle — I think I got one stitch per inch,  besides loosing the needle in a 2″ quilt. It was very frustrating as you can imagine!  I still have it — I found it a two years ago, along with a quilt top that I abandoned, because it was all crooked and wonky. It’s very funny now, when I love improv. I guess I was ahead of my time and didn’t know it — haha.

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What do you love most about quilting?
Building and finishing a quilt is like making a complete thought. It has a beginning , a middle and an end. Those final stitches on the binding are the most satisfying to me, as I am already creating the next quilt in my head at that time.

Appliquéd with 80wt

Appliquéd with 80wt

You have a number of wonderful industry partners, including Marcus Fabric, Sizzix, Juki and of course, Aurifil. What do you love most about working collaboratively in this industry and how does it help to shape your experience?
I’m a creature of “if it isn’t broke don’t fix it.” When I find a product I love, I don’t waiver. I use what works, and helps get me to my end game, the finished product. I love having options around me, but many different options can overwhelm me, so I stick with what I know I love to use, and gives me the best results I am looking for.

Star Storm

Star Storm

Meadow Storm is your latest collection with Marcus Fabrics. Can you tell us a bit about how the collection came to be and what inspired these new designs?
Growing up in Minnesota I learned from a young age that conversations revolve around the weather, and how is your garden is growing… People love to talk about Minnesota weather, most certainly winter!  I grew up pulling weeds and canning vegetables with my mother, so as I grew up, I found that I still love to garden. This idea of gardening and weather, inspired my collection of Meadow Storm.  
Designs such as Cloudy, Misty, Overcast, and Sunshowers suggest the amazing displays in a prairie sky. Combining timeless elements with a graphic approach to create a fresh and modern Storm of inspiration to cut up and piece together, just like the garden paths.

And my next line, called “LIGHT WORK” will be in stores in February!

Do you have a favorite project that was made with the new fabrics?
My Cross & Crown quilt is definitely a favorite, I used my black-and-white awning stripe, cut in different ways to create great visual effect. Dropping in other fabrics from the collection to great a modern scrappy looking quilt.

Cross and Crown

Cross and Crown

How did you go about selecting threads for your latest Aurifil collection?
Depending on my project, I’m looking to match my threads to the quilt, and I always include a variegated thread.

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Do you have a favorite Aurifil thread?
YES!  If I’m piecing I love the variegated thread #4651 as it blends from white, yellow, and pink, to lavender. When I’m making scrappy quilts, I like to have the thread color change as well, so that the thread is never visible on the top.  This thread is available in my Mostly Manor Collection.

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My thread sets are selected to go wth my fabric lines, and to add colors to your thread library.  Having options I find is the best.  Having the smaller sets of thread help me add to my stash in an affordable way.

VFW QUILTS – NYC STOREscreen-shot-2016-12-29-at-9-14-40-amVictoria’s NYC store opened in September and it is all kinds of amazing! Walls adorned with quilts, stacks of fabric and rows of thread lining the shelves, it’s a must-visit destination on your next trip to New York. Meadow Storm fabrics and threads are available, in addition to a range of Victoria’s other collections.

Address:
325 W. 38th St., Suite 811
New York, NY 10018

VICTORIA’S BOOKS

15 Minutes of PLAY — Traditions Made Modern 

THE GIVEAWAY

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To enter-to-win 1 Meadow Storm 4-pack of 50wt threads and 1 Meadow Storm 6-pack of 80wt threads, both by Victoria Findlay Wolfe, click here to head to the Rafflecopter entry page, or simply click on the image above. You do not have to complete all the options to be entered but the more options you choose, the more entries you have!  Entries will be accepted from now through 11:59pm Eastern Time on Wednesday, January 4! Winner will be randomly selected and announced here on Thursday, January 5. Good luck!

UPDATE: This giveaway is now closed. Congratulations to our winner Elizabeth Kuntz!

ABOUT VICTORIA
WebsiteBlogFacebookInstagramPinterest

victoria_findlaywolfe1Meet Victoria right here on her website.

 

 

 

 

[Images courtesy of Victoria Findlay Wolfe]

Introducing Aurifil 80wt

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One of our very favorite things about International Quilt Market in Houston, TX last month was the official launch of our brand new 80wt thread! Yes, you read that right! 100% Cotton 80wt Thread from Aurifil is here!

We’ve seen terrific feedback from shop owners, designers and industry experts and feel strongly that this will be your new go-to for Free Motion Quilting, Machine Embroidery, Free Motion Couching, English Paper Piecing, Hand Appliqué, Machine Appliqué, and more!

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Wound on cherry wood spool bases, the 80wt comes in a total of 88 colors. For access to a pdf color chart, please click on the image below.

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80wtSpools by Carolyn Friedlander

image by Carolyn Friedlander

EXPERIMENTING WITH AURIFIL 80WT
Before launching a brand new thread weight, we wanted to test it out with some of our trusted experts, our Aurifil Designers. We sent samples of the 80wt out to a range of designers to play with the thread, create with it, and send us some feedback. We were thrilled with the responses and loved hearing about all of the new ways these talented creatives were using the thread. Contrary to popular belief, it’s not just for hand work! There are so many other wonderful ways to use this strong, yet fine, thread.

SHEENA NORQUAY:sheenanorquay80wt2

The sample pictured above was prepared by Aurifil Designer and master quilter, Sheena Norquay. She wanted to experiment with the 80wt, to stretch it to the limits and see what it could do. She used Oakshott Cotton fabric and Hobbs Tuscany Wool Batting. We had this piece on display in our Market booth and love that it shows such a wonderful range of techniques for the 80wt.

  • Line 1: Couched acrylic yarn using black 2692 and couching foot no. 21 on Bernina 1090 machine
  • Lines 2, 3, & 13 – 18: Decorative stitches on Bernina 1090 machine.
  • Line 4: Couched acrylic yarn using blue 5007 and couching foot no. 21 on Bernina machine 1008.
  • Lines 5 – 10: Free motion quilted on Bernina 1008
  • Lines 11 -12: Hand quilted
  • Lines 19 -22: Straight stitching and zig zag stitching using walking foot on Bernina Activa 230
  • Lines 23 and 24: Free motion couching using acrylic yarn and black no. 80 thread on Bernina Activa 135
  • Top 80: Free motion quilted on Bernina 1008
  • Centre 80 – hand quilted
  • Bottom 80 – free motion quilted on to layer of wadding and then outlined on Bernina 1008
  • Right hand side – doodling using free motion quilting on Bernina Activa 135.

Sheena’s Wave Bird was free motion couched on a Bernina Activa 135 using Aurifil 80wt in #2725 bright blue.

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by Sheena Norquay

The wave was quilted using the walking foot on a Bernina Activa 230 and the same #2725. The radiating lines were twin needled using the walking foot with both #2725 and #2605 grey. The free motion quilting between the twin needled lines was done with #5007 on a Bernina 1008. Another example example of the range of the 80wt.

80wtslider-sheena

SEW4HOME:
We turned to Sew4Home for additional feedback and they were more than happy to try the 80wt for Machine Embroidery. In their words: “With the super fine Aurifil 80wt, the complexity of the stitches possible in a small area is astounding.”

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We were blown away by the stunning projects that they created, including the Lion Head Machine Embroidered Mini Tote (shown above), the Autumn Leaves Machine Cross Stitch Placemats & Napkins and the Gingham Fruit Machine Appliqué Kitchen Towels (both shown below).

We had a chance to chat with Liz Johnson, Sew4Home editor, while at Quilt Market.

ADDITIONAL FEEDBACK:
“Aurifil’s 80wt is so fine it’s like silk.” – Amy Sinibaldi, Nana Company

“Aurifil’s 80wt is great for hand appliqué!” – Pat Sloan

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“I am beyond excited about your new thread.  It will be the only thread I carry on my website, once I’m able to order it.” – Anne Sutton, Bunny Hill Designs

“I do not do a lot of hand sewing or needle-turned appliqué but this would be my go to thread for light-duty sewing projects where you wanted to hide the stitching.“ – Sharon Holland

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“The 80wt is really nice for machine appliqué. I have always used 50 weight but the 80 weight gave me a much more hand appliquéd look. I was able to use a smaller needle and that meant smaller needle holes as well!” Elizabeth Phillips of Island Batik

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Aurifil 80wt by Anne Sutton    Aurifil Spools by Rita Hodge    Aurifil 80wt by Pat Sloan[click on any of the 3 images above to view designer posts about Aurifil 80wt thread]

WHERE TO FIND IT:
Aurifil’s brand new 80wt thread will be available at your local quilt shop starting in December. We are just starting to ship out displays and stock. There are a few locations that did receive the thread early as a part of our market research, so you may wish to take a peek at Fat Quarter Shop & Sew Inspired.

What excites you most about the 80wt? What would you plan to make? We can’t wait to see what you do!

Quilt Market, Part 1

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It’s hard to believe that another International Quilt Market & Festival in Houston, Texas has come and gone. With so much prep and anticipation, the event itself always seems to pass in the blink of an eye. We had such an amazing time — reconnecting with industry friends, greeting our treasured shop owners and distributors, getting those fabulous sneak previews of all the new and wonderful things to come. Fabric launches, new tool introductions, book signings, and, of course, so much glorious thread! We debuted a record number of collections this time around and we’re excited to showcase each and every one over the coming months. But for now, a peek at our booth and our schoolhouses with a bit of sample spree love thrown in for good measure. Thanks Houston, it was a blast!!

SCHOOLHOUSES
We were so honored and excited to present the premier schoolhouse this year.

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The premier event is presented as the very first schoolhouse of the day and gives the opportunity to reach all registrants at once in a giant room!

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Elena Gregotti kicked the event off with an introduction to Aurifil and its history, including photos of she and Alex as children in Egypt, traveling to find the best Cotton with their fathers. Alex Veronelli gave a condensed version of his famous lectures, delighting attendees with the process of how Aurifil threads are made. Designer Anne Sutton of Bunny Hill Designs and shop owner Jill Reicks of Sew Inspired both spoke about their experiences with Aurifil’s new 80wt thread, and Pat Sloan closed with a few fabulous Aurifil shout-outs and a handful of giveaways.

We were lucky to share the experience with over 1100 quilters, shop owners, designers and industry professionals. It was truly magical and we had an absolute blast! Stay tuned for more info on our brand new 80wt thread!

Our second schoolhouse of the day was in support of the Kennel Quilts Program benefitting the Petfinder Foundation. Piece for Shelter Pets was launched in October by a wonderful lineup of industry partners. You can learn more about it here.

THE BOOTH
For our booth, we swapped our Auricar decal for an array of iconic 50wt thread spools. Skeins of thread in a rainbow of hues hung along the outside walls.

Alex Veronelli took to the scooter to zip down the aisles at Market. What a fabulous way to get around!

Quilt Market is a big place -- best to get around quickly on a fab scooter!

Our thread displays showcased small and large spools in various weights in addition to a range of home and designer collections.

The Colors of Moda is a new, custom-designed box showcasing small spools of Aurifil’s 50wt thread in a wonderful variety colors. The threads coordinate with a range of Moda‘s Bella Solids.

A few of our new releases on display.

The Quilter’s Patch Quilt by Edyta Sitar of Laundry Basket Quilts. Stunning!

Quilter's Patch Quilt by Edyta Sitar of Laundry Basket Quilts

Quilter’s Patch Quilt by Edyta Sitar of Laundry Basket Quilts

Our brand new 80wt thread was the big hit of Market. We’ll be sharing all sorts of info on the 80wt with you tomorrow, so stay tuned! Aren’t those little wooden spools just darling?

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A rich display of Aurifil 80wt threads. The sample shown was created for us by Aurifil Designer and master quilter Sheena Norquay. She wanted to showcase the 80wt thread used in a variety of different techniques.

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Pat Sloan showcases the 2015 Aurifil DOM quilt. 2015 Designers were challenged to make a mini. For this quilt, Pat recreated each mini and incorporated them all into one quilt. We absolutely adore it! All fabrics used are her own and she used Aurifil 50wt thread. We’ll have more information for you on this quilt soon! If you’re looking for the patterns, check out our patterns page.

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This is Marmalade’s Merriment by Wendy Sheppard of Ivory Spring. This darling pattern will be available as a free pattern with purchase of Wendy’s brand new thread collection, Marmalade Meadows. The collection was created to coordinate with Bleecker Street from Quilting Treasures.

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Aurifil Designer Christa Watson showcases her two debut thread collections for Aurifil thread.  The quilt shown is ‘Choosing Colors’ from her book The Ultimate Guide to Machine Quilting. Christa used 9 different colors of Aurifil thread to complete the quilt.

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Alex Veronelli showcases a gorgeous sample made for us by Susan of @yardgrl60 using our Aurifloss.

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One of our favorite parts about Market is having the opportunity to meet up with our amazingly talented designers.

SAMPLE SPREE
What would Market be without Sample Spree? The frenzy and the excitement… the walking away with 10 boxes of thread and 10 new Fat Quarter bundles;). We’ve always loved seeing photos of the loot after the fact and love the buzz of energy that rolls through the room. We brought a mix of both house and designer collections.

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Aurifil House Collections

That’s all for now! We’ll be back tomorrow with everything you want to know about our new 80wt thread!!