Moda Mondays: Everyday Escape by Franny & Jane

Welcome back to 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!

Manderley, by Franny & Jane (Frances Newcombe and Jane Davidson) for Moda is a unique collection of ocean and mansion inspired fabrics. The collection was born out of the desire to tell a story, something that the two designers did from across the globe with Frances in California and Jane in Australia!

The complementary thread collection, Everyday Escape, is a range of 50wt thread in sweet coordinating colors. Though the colors were selected to coordinate with Manderley, they represent an extremeely versatile palette — all the colors needed for an ‘everyday sewing escape!’

THREAD COLLECTION DETAILS
Everyday Escape
12 Large Spools, 50wt (1422yds/spool), 100% Aurifil Cotton
2780 – 1320 – 2805 – 5017 – 2110 – 2311
5002 – 2530 – 2610 – 2600 – 4060 – 2021

THE INTERVIEW
Do you remember the process of making your first quilt and how you felt once it was complete?
Fran: Yes! I love appliqué, because I was an illustration major, so it was like illustrating with fabric! I went crazy when I made my first quilt with simple folk snowmen using the fusible appliqué technique.

Jane: I do. I went to a class when I was 19 and drew my own pattern, made templates, hand cut, hand sewed and quilted a queen sized quilt. I felt inspired and it ignited a passion for quilting that remains with me still.

Who or what has been your greatest creative inspiration?
Fran: Painting and textiles.

Jane: Nature and social media. I draw so much design inspiration from the beautiful flora and fauna and the landscapes that surround me.

Lotus Quilt by Jane Davidson

How did you first connect with each other and what do you love most about working together? How did the Franny & Jane collections come to be?
Fran: Jane and I met at Quilt Market in 2014, Jane called me a “soul sister.” I somehow knew intuitively that we were meant to work together.

Jane: Franny and Jane started as a conversation about fabric design. We sort of went from there and Manderley was created.

What drew you to Moda and what do you love most about working with them?
Fran: There is a wonderful timelessness connected to Moda and their fabrics… a sweetness to the fabrics and products that I think brings joy to the world. Also an excellence to their design and products. I have dreamed of working with them since I fell in love with fabric design.

Jane: Moda has always been a part of my quilting journey. I feel so welcome in the Moda family. I love their diversity of fabrics and the new and wonderful colours and prints that appear each season.

What inspired Manderley?
Fran: Manderley is based on the movie and book “Rebecca” by Daphne du Maurier. Jane and I loved the first screen and quote from the film…

“Last night I dreamt I went to Manderley again.”

There is something beautiful about driving up to a mansion near the sea. So we wanted to explore that time period of elegant fantasy and some of the Asian textiles of the 1940s…

A beautiful country estate near the sea: secret gardens and passages filled with treasures; a trove of blooms featuring Honeysuckle and Jasmine; a decorative style with an Oriental-inspired twist. Journey into a world of seashells and delicate motives, fresh colors that will excite any quilter.

Read more about the story of Manderley here.

Do you have a favorite project or favorite projects made with the collection?
Fran: I would say one of my favorite quilts that Jane designed was “Enchanted Garden” and I love the quilt we designed together, “Baltimore by the Sea.”

Jane: It is hard to choose a favourite. I designed and made 9 quilts for market last year but I must admit I have a soft spot for Enchanted Garden and Double Crossed. (see attached photos)

Enchanted Garden Quilt

When did you first discover Aurifil threads and what do you love most about them?
Fran: I first discovered Aurifil in 2010. The colors are gorgeous and they are like butter to sew with. I feel like I have something luxurious on my machine when I have a spool.

Jane: I fell in love with Aurifil thread when I started long arming in 2011. It gave an elegance to my quilts with its silky appearance. I have an extensive colour and weight range to finish my projects from fine appliqué threads (80wt) to embroidery floss.

Do you have a favorite color/weight and why?
Fran: 5021 in 50wt. I love this neutral grey it goes with any color fabric and blends beautifully for piecing!

Jane: What can I say…”I’m in love with Dove”. I find I use 50wt 2026 for so many projects. It blends with so many fabrics.

Fran’s dog Rudy with her favorite spool of Aurifil

How did you go about selecting threads for your Aurifil Everyday Escapes collection?
Jane: Using the collection of spools I have in my quilting room, I laid the thread across the prints to see which matched or blended with the fabric colours and designs of Manderley. I took in consideration colours that could be used everyday. The thread collection contains many neutrals, including a soft, grey variegated thread. 50wt threads are perfect for piecing and I love the subtly of the 50wt when I quilt.

Baltimore by the Sea

Where can we find you this year?
We are busy designing and creating constantly, I think it is in our blood, and we both have different skills that work together. Jane has worked so hard releasing her new book with Pat Sloan “The Splendid Sampler” and I am working on my illustration and design portfolio.

Double Crossed

What’s next for Franny & Jane?
Bloomsbury, our next collection with Moda! It is inspired by the Bloomsbury group in London, which merges today’s modernism with the past influence of the Bloomsbury’s aesthetic in design, art, literature and textiles.

THE GIVEAWAY 

To enter-to-win 1 Large Everyday Escape Thread Collection and one Layer Cake of Manderley by Franny & Jane 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 30! Winner will be randomly selected and announced here on Monday, May 1. Good luck!

ABOUT FRANNY & JANE

Frances Newcombe (left)
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Frances graduated from the Rhode Island School of Design in 1988 with a BFA in illustration. After college, she returned to her native Los Angeles, and began working in Broadcast Design for television. For over twenty years she has created on-air graphics, promos, and main titles for every major network including CBS, ABC and NBC, where she currently works freelance, as well as the Discovery Channel, TLC, E! Entertainment, and Buena Vista Television.

Her first love, however, is sewing, particularly quilting, and in the last several years she has devoted much of her time to various sewing projects and fabric design. She lives in California with her husband John and son Jonah.

 

Jane Davidson (right)
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Jane started quilting over 20 years ago by designing and hand piecing a queen sized quilt. Caught up in study and travel, it was not until 2010 did she rekindle her passion for quilting again.

“I love everything about quilting and the quilting industry. I am so inspired by the enthusiasm and creativity I see everyday.” A scientist at heart, Jane loves the engineering behind the quilt making process, the planning, the fabric selection, the designing and construction, and of course the quilting. She is always ready to challenge her skills when designing a new block or quilt.

These days you can find Jane in her studio running a professional long-arm quilting service, teaching, designing and planning her next publication.

 

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.

Splendid Sampler Book Release

The Splendid Sampler kept us sewing for a whole year and we LOVED it! The wonderful Sew Along hosted by Pat Sloan and Jane Davidson, kicked off in February of 2016, offering 100 FREE quilt blocks from 83 designers.  The 6″ blocks were offered every Sunday & Thursday and we know that many of you have already collected your blocks in files, folders, books, and more.

For everyone else, have no fear… Pat & Jane have compiled all of those fabulous blocks into a stunning book, available NOW via Martingale/That Patchwork Place

 

We are so incredibly excited to get this one in hand — a true collector’s item for what was a remarkable quilt along. Be prepared to learn new techniques, be exposed to new styles, get to know new designers, and, best of all, make new friends all over the world.

Co-Authors, Jane Davidson and Pat Sloan

In celebration of the release of The Splendid Sampler book, Martingale is hosting an EPIC giveaway featuring prizes from Moda Fabrics designers, Reliable Irons, Aurifil Threads, and Schmetz Needles in addition to copies of the book! To learn more and to enter-to-win, click here or on the image below to visit the Martingale blog.


OUR SPLENDID POSTS
Introductory Post for The Splendid Sampler
Sewing Along with the Splendid Sampler
Showcase Sunday: The Splendid Sampler Edition {6.19}
Splendid Sampler – Block 50 Celebration!
Splendid Sampler – Block 100 Celebration!

KEY LINKS
The Splendid Sampler Website
FAQ
Blocks & Bonus Projects
Fabric & Tools
Meet the Splendid Designers — Part 1Part 2Part 3Part 4Part 5 (there are 83!!)

GET INVOLVED
— Tag #TheSplendidSampler on photos that you share
— Join the Facebook Group to meet other participants, ask questions, get sewing support and make new friends
— Add the blog button to your site – grab it here

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
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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.

Aurifil Artisans

 

Cropped

You know Aurifil as your favorite thread on the market… The thread with incredible strength and sheen… the thread made with 100% Egyptian Mako Cotton by a dedicated team working for a small family company based in Italy. We stand by the quality and do our best every day to ensure that our product is one that makes us proud, one that makes our hearts sing. But at the end of the day… Aurifil is nothing without you — the creatives, the visionaries, the designers, the artists… You do amazing things with our thread, always pushing the boundaries, trying new things, wowing us with your innovations and your artistry.

With that in mind, we’ve revamped our Blogger/Artist program and are proud to introduce our Aurifil Artisan Program! The program offers a wonderful collaborative opportunity… a way for us to partner to herald the work that you do and spread the Aurifil love.

We have a limited number of spots available for the first year and have developed an application which can be reviewed, filled out, and submitted below. Applications will be accepted until Friday, April 7. Our Aurifil Artisans will be contacted by April 14 and introduced here on our blog shortly thereafter.

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
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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!!

QuiltCon 2017 — Savannah, GA

We’re just getting back and settled in from a spectacular five days in beautiful, historic, and fascinating Savannah, Georgia.  There is a certain perceived expectation when you think of “The South”, particularly when you think of Savannah.  Nothing about this city disappointed me. Not even the weather- especially because I arrived the day after it stopped raining. What luck!

Savannah is the oldest city in Georgia and one of the only surviving cities left after the Civil War.  Some of the houses date back to the 1700s, which is pretty incredible.

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Just imagine the quilts that were made inside those walls!  That certainly brings a whole new level of appreciation for Civil War reproduction fabrics, don’t you think?

Savannah is a very picturesque city, full of manicured lawns, immaculately kept homes and ornate details everywhere you look.  Just walking a few blocks to breakfast took us nearly an hour because we kept stopping to admire the view, take pictures or read the plaques of the various fountains and statues in the squares.

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The Savannah River divides the city from the World Trade Center, where QuiltCon 2017 was held.  There was only one hotel on that side, and if you weren’t staying in it, you had to travel across the river via ferry.  On the first night, the ferry was packed full of quilters and only a few locals.  I doubt they had ever seen so many handmade bags and quilt related t-shirts in one place before!

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We had a great time playing a game with our QuiltCon guests.  The idea was to see who, amongst the three players, could put a puzzle together the fastest.  The fastest got to take home a large spool of thread of their choice; the remaining two took home a small spool of their choice.  Everyone was a winner!

All players were challenged to beat the ‘best time’, which kept getting faster and faster throughout the event. On Sunday morning, we had our fastest participant EVER, not just for QuiltCon. Karen Brown completed the Aurifil Spool puzzle in just 2 minutes & 36 seconds. We were all in awe! Congratulations again to Karen, who is now the excited recipient of a Tula Pink Ultimate Collection — 45 small spools of lucious and colorful thread!

To help celebrate 270 Colors, the incredible quilt by Sheri Cifaldi-Morrill of Whole Circle Studio, we hosted an ongoing social media contest.  Participants had to take a “Selfie” in front of the quilt and post it to Instagram using the hashtag “#270ColorsGiveaway“.  We had over 190 entries and our winners were:

We did also share a daily at-home giveaway so that no one would be excluded!! Thank you again to all who played along!

270 Colors by Sheri Cifaldi-Morrill

Even though we weren’t able to sell our thread in our booth, there was still plenty to be found throughout the show including the booths for: Craft South, Crimson Tate, Andover, Victoria Findlay Wolfe, Marcus FabricsRiley Blake, and more!!

We also loved having a chance to visit with some of our amazing fabric partners. Many of them had interactive booths, giving visitors a chance to design quilt blocks, collect supplies to work on collaborative quilting projects, and more!

Of course, one of my favorite aspects of community events like this, is all of the quilts.  I’m amazed at the diversity on display.  Just when I think I’ve seen it all, when I’ve defined my own personal style, I turn a corner and see something that changes my whole perspective, something that makes me stop and think and admire.  Below are some of my favorites from this year’s show.

And of course, Best In Show, “Bling” by Katherine Jones:

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I’m pretty sure she said it took her over 160 hours to complete the quilt top.  It is ENTIRELY paper-pieced!  Can you imagine??

All-in-all, a great time was had by all.  People left feeling inspired, satisfied, knowledgable.  I think those are the best things to come away with.  And, even though it’s maybe a little sad to leave and go back home to reality, the memories live on and we get to look forward to the next time we can fill our minds with new techniques and skills. We get to fill our hearts with the fun times had with friends that we may have only previous known online.  That’s the beauty of it, really.

Until next time!

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— Kristi, Bradley, Erin, and Alex

The Quilts of Savannah QuiltCon 2017: Piecing Category

piecingwinners

This past weekend, Aurifil traveled to Savannah, the oldest city in Georgia, for QuiltCon, the largest modern quilting show of its kind, presented by the Modern Quilt Guild. We were there to help celebrate 42 remarkable modern quilters with unique and colorful entries in the Piecing Category, a category we’ve proudly sponsored for the last several years.  Personal taste in fabric, color, and design style allows this category to stay completely varied and different.

Alex Veronelli with the First Place Quilt (see below for more info)

Alex Veronelli with the First Place Quilt (see below for more info)

I took photos of every quilt in the category and put together a slideshow to illustrate just how interpretive piecing can be:

The Aurifil Sponsored Piecing Category Winners 

First Place: Marilyn Farquhard, “Ode de Yoshiko”img_2171

Second Place: Miriam Coffey, “Finding the One”

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Third Place: Elaine Poplin, “Vertigo”

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And, my personal favorite: Sarah Sharp, “Folksy Fish”img_2341

After looking at the sheer number of seams in some of these quilts, especially “Folksy Fish”, you can see how important your choice of thread is!  Aurifil 50wt thread is perfect for piecing because it is thin enough to reduce bulky seams (ensuring a more flat quilt top), yet strong enough to ensure that your stitches will stay together.  Even if it’s not an heirloom piece, it will last like it is.

Aurifil would like to congratulate all the entrants in this year’s QuiltCon quilt show! We are so inspired by the work that you do!

To find out more about our different thread weights and how they should be used, please visit our website.


Stay tuned for a full recap of our QuiltCon experience on Monday, March 6! We had so much fun and can’t wait to share it all!

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]