Rulerwork Zippered Bag by Amanda Murphy

Happy Friday! Today, we’re thrilled to hand Auribuzz over to Aurifil Designer Amanda Murphy. We presented Amanda’s debut Aurifil thread collections, Piecing and Quilting  and Appliqué, last year and we always love seeing all of the fabulous things that she creates with them! Welcome, Amanda!

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Hey everyone! My name is Amanda Murphy and I’m a Benartex fabric designer, author with C&T Publishing, pattern designer, and BERNINA Quilting and Longarm Spokesperson. Recently I designed a free pattern for BERNINA for a Rulerwork Zippered Bag and, since it features Aurifil threads, I thought I’d come over here and share it with you!

BERNINA Zippered Rulerwork Bag, featuring Nordic Holiday, by Amanda Murphy for Contempo Studios of Benartex

For this pattern I used took advantage of the new BERNINA #72 adjustable ruler foot (although you can use a walking foot too). For those of you who haven’t discovered this wonderful tool yet, it can make hard-to-quilt things like smooth curves and circles MUCH easier – plus it virtually eliminates the need to rotate your quilt top!

Usually I quilt with Aurifil 50wt thread, but for the bags, I really wanted the ruler work to pop, so I chose to use contrasting 28wt Aurifil threads from my Appliqué Collection for the rulerwork and then fill in with a 50 wt. Aurifil that matched the fabric.

Detail of the quilting in Aurifiil 28 wt. and 50 wt. threads

What is your favorite color Aurifil thread? I’m really partial to 5005 and 5006 at the moment, but there are so many lovely shades.

You can download PDF directions and see videos of the ruler work here.

If you make a bag, show us what you’ve done! Post on Instagram tagging @amandamurphydesign and the hashtags #aurifil and #weallsew!

For more free-motion quilting ideas feel free to join me on my Facebook Group and happy bag-making!

— Amanda

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ABOUT AMANDA
Website — Blog — Facebook — Instagram — Pinterest — Twitter  YouTube

Amanda and her BERNINA Q24

Amanda and her BERNINA Q24

Always attracted to color, texture, and pattern, Amanda Murphy has been designing, drawing, and sewing since she was a child. She graduated from Carnegie Mellon University with a bachelor of fine arts degree and worked as a graphic designer and art director in Alexandria, Virginia, and New York City. After moving to North Carolina with her family Amanda discovered quilting, an art that marries her passion for design with her enthusiasm for handwork. As she gradually expanded her knowledge of sewing and quilting techniques and combined them with the ideas she had been sketching over the years, Amanda Murphy Design was born.

Amanda markets her own full-color pattern line under the Amanda Murphy Design label and has designed several fabric collections.  Her fourth collection with Benartex will debut in Summer 2016.

ABOUT AMANDA’S AURIFIL THREAD COLLECTIONS
Amanda Murphy’s Piecing and Quilting Collection
100% Aurifil Cotton, 50wt (1422yds each, 11 colors, Large Spools):
2250 – 5017 – 2886 – 1128 – 5006 – 5007 – 2440 – 2225 – 2785 – 2600 – 2021
Clear Monofilament (1094yds, 1 Large Spool)

AmandaMurphyCollection-LG

Amanda Murphy’s Appliqué Collection
100% Aurifil Cotton, 12wt (54yds each, 2 colors, Small Spools): 1114 – 2021
100% Aurifil Cotton, 28wt (109yds each, 8 colors, Small Spools):
5005 – 2425 – 2225 – 2720 – 2250 – 5017 – 2620 – 2785

AmandaMurphyCollectionSM

** Images and text are courtesy of Amanda Murphy.

Sew Many Colors Winners!

In February, we introduced you to Sew Many Colors, a brand new pattern by Sheri Cifaldi-Morrill of Whole Circle Studio. We made the pattern available for FREE both on our site and on Sheri’s site and launched a contest, asking participants to create their ‘favorite 10’, using Aurifil Threads and Kona Solids from Robert Kaufman.

We had so much fun watching the entries roll in, admiring the colors, the different styles, and even the bits of humor thrown in. Entries were due at the end of March and we made everything available for a public vote for 2 weeks at the beginning of April. Quilters with the top 3 minis were promised both space to showcase the mini in our booth at Spring Quilt Market in St. Louis and a pretty fabulous prize package featuring items from Aurifil, Robert Kaufman, The Warm Company, and Whole Circle Studio.

Today, we’d first like to applaud all of our entrants. You are all amazing and we are so grateful that you played along and shared such beautiful works of art with us! Thank you, thank you:).

And now, to unveil our Top 3 Minis! These minis gained the most amount of public votes and we are thrilled to share them with you today! Drum roll please…

LAURA PILAND
Laura is a quilter, pattern designer, and homeschooling mom of two young boys. She is also an ex-math teacher and, with a last name like Piland, there’s a strong love of Pi in her house! She quilts because it keeps her sane and she loves that what she sews stays sewn at the end of the day, unlike laundry and dishes and… In real life, she creates in her home in southwest Missouri. However, she doesn’t have any local guilds or sewing friends, so the online quilting community her my tribe! You can follow along with her latest shenanigans on Instagram or Facebook, or read about her latest quilt finish on her blog.

Can you tell us about your mini and what inspired your lineup of colors?
When I first saw the “Sew Many Colors” pattern, I laughed because I use white 50wt Aurifil 99% of the time! I thought making the pattern with just white thread spools would look a little boring, so I wanted to add something else. When brainstorming what to add, I decided that since the challenge was all about Aurifil thread, I should make the thread be the star of the show! The circular arrangement of the spools inspired the mandala style quilting. And surprise – I used white 50wt Aurifil!

NICOLE BUCKLEY
Nicole Buckley has been quilting for less than 4 years, but sewing since she was eight. She falls on the artistic side of quilting and prefers to add her “spin” on projects.  Her quilting skills are best displayed when she hand quilts. She prefers paper piecing, but is trying to push herself outside of her box by adding improv and design to her skill set.  While Nicole does have a blog, she rarely uses it. She finds herself drawn to Instagram and is deeply inspired by many there. That is where you’ll find her, posting obsessively about her quilting, art, and swimming in the sea.  She has two cats, Percy and Hermione, who are both featured under the hashtag #catsonquilts on Instagram.

“I Need More Aurifil” – a mini by Nicole

Can you tell us about your mini and what inspired your lineup of colors?
I decided to be artistic, which represents my style. I decided to go simple, I piece with simple white Aurifil. I kept the spool the same color that my thread is wound onto. I decided to use the gray Kona to pop against the white and orange, because gray is the new black, lol. The empty spool with embroidered thread represents that I can always use (and need) more thread. Lastly, I made it mini-er. Why do it just like the pattern?  I shrunk to 50%. She measures in at 7.5 x 8.25 inches. She’s tiny!

JENNY NAULT MEEKER
Jenny’s love of quilting began with self-drafting traditional style quilts and hand quilting them to give as gifts. After a six year hiatus, she returned with a renewed love for the craft of designing and making quilts, favoring a more modern approach. With the explosion of modern quilting techniques and tools, as well as countless suppliers of quality fabrics, threads, and notions, she now finds it to be much easier to nurture her creative side. Jenny’s Connecticut town is home to a handful of great local quilt shops, all heartily supported by the sewing community. Many offer classes for developing new skills and regularly introduce new notions, feeding Jenny’s need to make more and more modern quilts and sewing projects.  Her growing crafting knowledge in partner with knowledge gained from her existing day job has allowed her to start properly drafting patterns of her own, a goal she is hoping to reach before the end of the year. Jenny  works by day as an executive assistant, quilts at night, and spends as much time as possible with her husband and young daughter. You can find Jenny on her blog, on Facebook, and on Instagram

Can you tell us about your mini and what inspired your lineup of colors?
I love testing patterns for designers as I always learn something new and the making process often moves me out of my comfort zone.  So for this mini, I branched away from the typical bright rainbow colors as I wanted to include more colors that are usually forgotten when doing color oriented quilts, hence the inclusion of the cream and gray.  Also, I tend to like contrasting thread against patterned fabric for most projects so I wasn’t sure how much I was going to like the tone-on-tone thread painting idea over the matching solid Kona I had for this mini–but I ended up loving the end results!  The comfort zone also was pushed a lot when I decided to hand embroider the Aurifil logo in the center of the mini–a skill I had not attempted before, but really felt this mini needed to feel complete.


Interested in creating your own top 10 mini? You can grab the pattern here on our website. Thanks so much for joining us and make sure to follow along with us on Facebook & Instagram to see these minis in action at Spring Market!

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]

Basically Patrick by Patrick Lose

patrick-lose-2016-head-shot-aurifil

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

patricklose-basciallypatrick

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
WebsiteBlogFacebookInstagramTwitter — Pinterest

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.]

Island Batik Week: Fresh Catch by Jackie Kunkel

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Here we are at the final day of Island Batik week. What a joy it has been to not only present these stunning collections but also to learn more about the amazing women who designed them. We’re feeling incredibly inspired and are so looking forward to seeing what you all create with this gorgeous palettes. What is on your batik to-sew list?

As a recap, we featured one Island Batik designer each day this week to showcase new fabric & coordinating Aurifil collections. Each post offers a fabric + thread giveaway so make sure to visit all posts to learn more about our talented designers to enter-to-win some gorgeous prizes!

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

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

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The Fresh Catch collection by Kathy Engle for Jackie Kunkel is a rich display of oranges, greens, and browns that remind us of a brilliant day of fishing in the NorthEast! Her coordinating Aurifil collection features twelve large spools of 50wt thread that compliment each other perfectly and serve to highlight the rich hues that are so typical of batik fabrics.

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THREAD COLLECTION DETAILS
Fresh Catch
12 Large Spools, 40wt (1422yds/spool), 100% Aurifil Cotton
1147 – 2145 – 2155 – 2235 – 2310 – 2318
2390 – 2887 – 4150 – 4653 – 5009 – 5015

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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
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!

Link Em Up by Jackie Kunkel

Link Em Up by Jackie Kunkel

Who has been the most inspiring person within your creative career?
Now that is a tough question as there are so many people that I can name and for so many different reasons.  But I guess if I had to pick one it would be Judy Niemeyer.  I have followed her career since the late 90s and then went on to become one of her Certified Instructors.  I love teaching her techniques and patterns all over the country.

Scattered by Jackie Kunkel

Scattered by Jackie Kunkel

Do you remember the first quilt that you ever made and how you felt once it was complete?
Yes I do!  I made a Quilt In A Day – Star Log Cabin by Eleanor Burns.  It changed my life and thinking about quilting.  I thought it was revolutionary, the whole strip piecing, rotary cutting thing.  I was thrilled when I completed it from start to finish!  But I no longer have it, I gave it to my best friend.  It was made of blues and pinks in calico fabrics.  She graced her dining room table with it as it was a table topper.

What inspired you to open up your quilt shop, Canton Village Quilt Works, and what do you love most about being a small shop owner?
Truth be told, I am online only.  I never had a brick and mortar shop.  But I intentionally did online only as doing it this was allowed me to continue to design patterns and travel teaching.  But the inspiration was… of course… FABRIC!!! We quilters love fabric and have to have it.  I specialized in just a few different kinds and that was it.  Batiks were the biggest part of my inventory, then solids, Kaffe Fassett, and black and white fabrics.  So in answer to your question as to what I love most…. it was the fabric and being online gave me different freedoms than owning a physical shop.  It was a win, win for me!  Love every moment.

Asterisk by Jackie Kunkel

Asterisk by Jackie Kunkel

You recently moved from CT to AZ — how did that affect your business and have you found new inspiration with your new surroundings?
As far as the teaching and designing part, it hasn’t really affected it at all.  But the online part has downsized a bit.

What does being a Judy Niemeyer Certified Instructor mean to you and your business?
To me it means everything.  I admire Judy as a designer, business woman, and a person.  I have learned many things from her and continue to…. being a Certified Instructor and Certified Shop enhances my career and my business.

A Walk in the Woods by Jackie Kunkel

A Walk in the Woods by Jackie Kunkel

What is your favorite quilting technique and why?
I would have to say that I love to paper piece and have designed a few paper piecing patterns myself.  In fact one in the collection that we are giving away is paper pieced, Spinning Wheels.  I love it for the accuracy in the results that it gives.  Also, it allows you to piece designs that you might not be able to do with traditional piecing methods.  A close second is curved piecing.

Spinning Wheels by Jackie Kunkel

Spinning Wheels by Jackie Kunkel

How did you first get involved with Island Batik?
Well….. I have been using Island Batik fabrics for quite a while, but my first “official” design for Island Batik was launched 2015.  It was my pattern “Who’s Got The Button?”.  After that Island Batik and I met at Fall Quilt Market 2015 and they asked if I would like to come aboard as a designer.  The timing was right and it has progressed from there.

What do you love most about Batik fabrics?
What is not to love?? Batiks are timeless, they don’t go in and out of style.  They are not trendy, they mix and play well with other fabrics, they are versatile, and so much more.  Each one has such variation in color and can give you a look that no other type of fabric can do. All quilters need to have batiks as part of their stash!!!

Treasure Chest by Jackie Kunkel

Treasure Chest by Jackie Kunkel

What do you love most about the Fresh Catch line and how has it inspired the projects you created?
Fresh catch is bright and bold! Anyone who follows me knows how much I love bright and bold fabric and to use these colors in projects is a delight.  One of the colors that is prominent in this collection is orange and some people find Orange difficult to work with and I wanted to show them how they could use it.  I think, I did orange justice… What do you think?

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Do you have a favorite project that you’ve made using the fabrics and threads of Fresh Catch?
I love them all… That is a tough one.  I suppose I would pick Fractal first as it is a great representation of the entire collection.  Then I think I would pick Link Em’ Up because it is a very unique design using curves!!!

Fractal by Jackie Kunkel

Fractal 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!

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!

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THE GIVEAWAY

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To enter-to-win 1 Large Fresh Catch Thread Collection, one Fat Quarter Bundle of Fresh Catch fabrics from Island Batik,  and one set of 6 new patterns from Jackie Kunkel & Canton Village Quilt Works click here to head to the Rafflecopter entry page, or simply click on the image above. You do not have to complete all the options to be entered but the more options you choose, the more entries you have!  Entries will be accepted from now through 11:59pm Eastern Time on Wednesday, January 18! Winner will be randomly selected and announced here on Thursday, January 19. Good luck!

UPDATE: This giveaway is now closed. Congratulations to our winner, Mary Okruhlik!!

ABOUT JACKIE
WebsiteBlogFacebookPinterestYouTubeFlickrInstagram — Google+Bloglovin
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. Jackie‘s 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 in 2015, there are now 9 in the series with more to come!  This year will also mark a new beginning for Jackie as she moves to Arizona and begins designing fabric for Island Batik as well as the patterns that will go with the fabric!!!  

ABOUT ISLAND BATIK
Website — Blog — Facebook — Pinterest — Twitter — Instagram
Island Batik is a manufacturer, importer and distributor of cotton batik, rayon batik and hand-printed cotton from Indonesia. Originally established in 1997, Island Batik’s mission is to share the ancient cultural art of batik and hand-dyed fabric with our many valued customers around the world.

Island Batik Week: Dotalicious by Claudia Pfeil

islandbatikweek

Welcome to day three of Island Batik week! We’re having a blast with these gorgeous collections this week. Of course we love seeing how the fabrics and threads are used and get a little giddy seeing our threads involved in such beautiful works of art, but really, we love learning about the designers. It’s fascinating to hear their back stories and to learn about what inspired the collections.

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

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

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

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Claudia Pfeil‘s latest collection with Island Batik is a absolute masterpiece! Designed by Kathy Engle and masterfully brought to life through Claudia’s expert quilting, Dotalicious features 60 different SKUs in 3 distinct color ways. Earth, Wind & Fire showcase a stunning display of rich batiks in a rainbow of colors.  The coordinating thread collection is truly a thing of beauty. 48 large spools of 50wt thread in one fabulous carrying case. These threads not only coordinate with the many hues of Dotalicious, they also provide an amazing stash of thread for beginners and experienced quilters alike. This is a piece to be coveted!

THREAD COLLECTION DETAILS
Dotalicious
48 Large Spools – 50wt (1422yds/spool), 100% Aurifil Cotton
1130 – 1135 – 1147 – 1154 – 1243 – 1246 – 2120 – 2145 – 2150 – 2155 – 2210  2230 – 2260 – 2265 – 2310 – 2311 – 2314 – 2324 – 2340 – 2360 – 2372 – 2430  2450 – 2460 –2468 – 2562 – 2582 – 2588 – 2610 – 2725 – 2745 – 2846 – 2860
2885 – 2888 – 2892 –2900 – 2910 – 4093 – 4140 – 4173 – 4182 – 4644 – 5005
5008 – 5017 – 5018 – 5022

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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
How did you first get involved with this wonderful world of textiles?
Growing up in Hemer, a small town in the woods with 30,000 inhabitants, in a family of bankers (Mother, Father AND Brother), I was NOT involved or educated in handcrafts at all!  My teachers were a bit desperate about my future after school as I was not really a genius in mathematics, physics or latin language (normal classes in our German school system.) Handcrafting and arts were not on the teaching schedule, but I loved to draw and paint, and tried everything like pottery, silk painting, watercolour painting, and knotted carpets outside of school.

After school, I moved to Dortmund and started my apprenticeship as a display designer in a warehouse and discovered “Patchwork” in 1985 at a Creativa-Show.

Woven Connection by Claudia Pfeil Design

Woven Connection by Claudia Pfeil Design

Do you remember the first quilt that you ever made and how you felt once it was complete?
The quilt ‘Number One’ in 1985 came into being without the now common rotary cutter and rulers as such tools were unknown in Germany at the time. My basic sewing machine only had the use of securing the layers for hand quilting. There was much “trial and error” as I taught myself the tricks of making templates and seams to complete Number One.

That first quilt would hold it’s place as my only large sewing project. My move from Dortmund to Krefeld where I began studies at the University of Applied Sciences Niederrhein and my work as a textile designer drew my interests into different directions – I had the quilting fever – I just hadn’t fully discovered the wide world of quilting.

Satellite by Claudia Pfeil Design

Satellite by Claudia Pfeil Design

Who has been the most inspiring person within your creative career?
I am not able to name one special person as an inspiration, it was more an  collective absorbing. Ideas out of American magazines and books, learning the techniques – again trial and error, sharing ideas and thoughts with other German and European quilters.

How did you first get involved with Island Batik?
Roughly 3 years ago I published a picture of “Shadowplay”, a quilt I made for Quilt & Co, on Facebook/Social media. Quilters love to share and so do I! I received a message from Elizabeth at Island Batik asking whether I would be interested to publish this pattern. I received the fabrics and so everything started. Island Batik is a great company to work with and their fabrics are fabolous! 🙂

Meanwhile I designed about 10 original quilts for Island Batik and I am always eager and anxiously waiting to hold the new fabric lines in my hands to start the design and sewing process. I need to see and touch the fabrics/colors to get ideas for the new quilts/projects – I am not planning a quilt in advance.

Sentimental Scraps by Cindy Carter using Dotalicious Fabrics

Sentimental Scraps by Cindy Carter using Dotalicious Fabrics

What do you love most about Batik fabrics?
The points are:

  1. Haptic: feels good – it feels „crispy“
  2. Designs: Blending designs and colors, tons of variations
  3. Usage: nice and easy to sew and quilt, no fraying, solid-colored ( no left or right side
  4. Colors: brilliant, matching, soft transitions
  5. Handcraft : Individual and unique
Fractured by Freemotion by the River using Dotalicious Fabrics

Fractured by Freemotion by the River using Dotalicious Fabrics

How did you first discover Aurifil threads?
Aurifil is a European company (Italy), so for us Europeans it was logical to use their threads for sewing from the beginning. Also, Aurifil is very supportive and always developping new threads for the market. When I met Alex Veronelli the first time at Carrefour du Patchwork, a big and wonderful Quiltshow in France, he asked me to try a new thread on the Longarm.

What is your process for selecting the colors for the coordinating Aurifil thread collection?
That is a dream and a nightmare at the same time! Combining and  playing with the thread spools and fabrics on the one side… deciding between hundreds of  color options on the other side! The size of the box (number of spools) is the limit. But finally, you have to reduce it to the required number – that is the hard thing! I am always asking myself: What will I use?  If I am happy with that –  that is my final decision!

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THE GIVEAWAY

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This giveaway will have three lucky winners! Prizes are 1 FQ bundle of Dotalicious in the Earth colorway + coordinating Aurifil threads, 1 FQ bundle of Dotalicious in the Wind colorway + coordinating Aurifil threads, and 1 FQ bundle of Dotalicious in the Fire colorway + coordinating Aurifil threads. To enter-to-win,  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 Tuesday January 17! Winner will be randomly selected and announced here on Wednesday, January 18. Good luck!

UPDATE: This giveaway is now closed. Congratulations to our winners, Karen Hootman, Judi Duncan, and Nancy A!

ABOUT CLAUDIA PFEIL
Website — Facebook
Claudia PfeilClaudia Pfeil has been sewing and piecing since she was a teen. She made her first quilt in 1985 but didn’t discover her absolute obsession with quilting until 1992. It was at that time that she began teaching and eventually opened a small shop in her home. By 1997, it was time to move the shop into a proper business space and Quilt and Co. was born. Claudia became the first European APQS dealer in 2005 and runs the entire European APQS showroom in Krefeld, Germany. In addition, she makes at least one show quilt a year, and recently took home first place prizes in two categories in addition to Best of Show and Best Long Arm Quilted at the International Quilt Show in Dubai.

ABOUT ISLAND BATIK
Website — Blog — Facebook — Pinterest — Twitter — Instagram
Island Batik is a manufacturer, importer, and distributor of cotton batik, rayon batik and hand-printed cotton from Indonesia. Originally established in 1997, Island Batik’s mission is to share the ancient cultural art of batik and hand-dyed fabric with our many valued customers around the world.

Deep Gems by Paula Nadelstern

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Paula Nadelstern‘s Deep Gems collection for Aurifil was prepared as a representation of the vibrant and rich colors typically present within her kaleidoscopic fabric designs. Oranges, reds and pink offset the cool blue and green tones, creating a truly fantastic range. Though these colors work particularly well in partner with Paula’s unique quilting style, they would also be the perfect complement to a variety of quilt projects. The collection features 12 unique colors of the highly versatile 50wt thread.

THREAD COLLECTION DETAILS
Deep Gems
12 Large Spools, 50 wt, 1422yds/each
2145 – 2150 – 2270 – 2260 – 4020 – 2545
5022 – 1147 – 2870 – 2810 – 2735 – 1200

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To view this info on our website, click the image 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 quilting and textiles?
I’m a New Yorker wrapped up in the fabric of city life. In fact, I make my quilts on the same block in the Bronx where I grew up. I settled into full time quilt making by way of the playground park bench. That’s where moms on hiatus from previous lives (I was an Occupational Therapist) hang out and share ideas—like organizing total non-sewists and quilt novices into making a raffle quilt for the local cooperative nursery school, the same one I’d gone to as a toddler. One good group quilt led to another and another. By the time I gave up my place on that bench to the next generation of moms, I had the expertise and repertoire for a comprehensive book on group quilts (Quilting Together, Crown Publishers 1988) and was stitching my way toward a new career. And to this day, over 40 years later, the Nursery moms make an annual raffle quilt.

Who or what has been your greatest creative inspiration?
My interest in things kaleidoscopic began in 1987 when I was struck by a bolt of fabric–a sumptuous, sinfully-expensive, bilaterally symmetrical Liberty of London cotton. Little did I know that purchasing a quarter yard would change my life forever, leading me three years and four quilts later to purchase my first actual state-of-the-art kaleidoscope and join the Brewster Kaleidoscope Society, The BKS is a society of artists who design and create kaleidoscopes, galleries and shops who sell kaleidoscopes and collectors and museums who appreciate and enjoy them.

The amazing first bolt of Liberty of London fabric

The amazing first bolt of Liberty of London fabric

The insight from this anecdote is obvious: buy that piece of fabric no matter how expensive it is. As I peer through the many incredible kaleidoscopes I have garnered over the years, like a sleuth searching for clues, I discover my design inspiration all over again. Who knows what the next turn of the scope will reveal to me or to you?

With hindsight I’ve realized that another factor played strongly in the development of my personal design and technique strategies. Historians have suggested that the block-style method of making quilts evolved in response to the cramped quarters of early American life. My family’s living arrangements in an urban environment created similar considerations that, unwittingly, I resolved in much the same way.

When I started making kaleidoscope quilts, my workspace in our two-bedroom apartment was the forty-inch round kitchen table. (I’m the only person I know who taught her family to eat in front of the TV). I think the reality of limited space helped shape my idiosyncratic style. Instead of the traditional square-shaped-block, my block-style method is based on a triangle because a kaleidoscope is a circular design composed of identical triangular wedges that radiate from a center point. Throughout the design stage, I’m working on a single full-size triangle that is drafted on graph paper and patched from fabric using templates. Whatever I do to one triangle, I simultaneously do to all 6 or 8 or 16. I don’t see the final gestalt until the last seam is sewn.

Do you remember the process of creating your first quilt and how you felt once it was finished?
Lots of teachers on the circuit will tell you about the important female in their early lives who taught them to how to sew, insisting (kindly or not) that all imperfection be repaired. I grew up with a mom who prided herself on not being “fussy”, mended a lot (a habit left over from the Depression) and generously appraised every attempt of mine as either great or good enough. I am not complaining. When, as a young teen, I borrowed her much revered but temperamental second-hand, brand-name sewing machine, the bobbin would jam within minutes. Although this led me to suspect I wasn’t very good at sewing, I returned to it again and again because there is something optimistic about a palette of colorful, tactile fabric.

My matriarchal aunt’s gift to sixteen-year-old me of a steadfast Singer Featherweight©, purchased for $25 at a yard sale and fitted with a single hole throat plate, changed all that. (I used to call it an old machine until I learned it was a year younger than I am.) Together we made my first quilt (a comforter cover really) in 1968 in my college dorm, ripping up my old clothes into 10” squares and sewing them together. I was exceptionally proud of it and so was my mom. Today I work in a 15-by-10-foot studio revamped from my daughter’s former bedroom. Picture ceiling high cupboards stuffed with fabric, drawers overflowing with the paraphernalia quilters collect, 6 feet of design wall, and a Bernina poised for action on a 4-by-6-foot counter.

Paula's prized first quilt

Paula’s prized first quilt

Your book, Fabracadabra, was just released with C&T Publishing. Can you tell us a bit about that process and what you loved most about it?
I’ve been told that I write books pretty much the same way that I make quilts. Fabric by fabric. Choice by choice. In a word, slowly.

The truth is, I’d rather be working on a quilt than writing about it. But it’s not until you write about something that you understand it really well. Breaking down your own creative act, first by identifying your personal strategies, and then by dividing them into a sequence of steps, forces you to reflect on what things aren’t as well as what they are. This exploration steers you in lots of valuable directions. It leads you to the vocabulary needed to articulate your private visual language. It helps you recognize the kinds of mistakes students are likely to make and head them off in class. And sometimes, when you are very lucky, it awakens new ideas, pushing you, the artist, further along your creative path.

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The book demonstrates how quilts made of simple shapes can be transformed into complex-looking quilts that are easy to piece using gorgeous, intricate fabric. Some, but not all, of the quilts are traditional patterns, gift-wrapped with charismatic fabrics.

Do you have a favorite project from the book?
One of my favorite quilts from my new book FABRICADABRA, Simple Quilts, Complex Fabric is the quilt called An Agreement of Butterflies.

I was waiting to give my lecture to the Prairie Quilt Guild in Wichita, KS when a traditional butterfly quilt held up during Show & Tell captured my attention. In a flash, I recognized a kindred pattern capable of showcasing a gazillion symmetrical prints all at once. Choosing the fabrics bewitched me into a flow state, the name for those glorious moments when you’re so energized by the task at hand that time seems immaterial. I made many more 5” x 5” squares than needed.

Closeup of An Agreement of Butterflies by Paula Nadelstern

Closeup of An Agreement of Butterflies by Paula Nadelstern

The collective nouns for various groups of animals and birds amuse me. A shrewdness of apes. A murder of crows. I assumed there’d be one for butterflies but when I couldn’t find it, I made one up. Assembled from forty-nine different fabrics (plus a common butterfly belly and black background equals fifty-one) from my first thirteen fabric collections for Benartex, these diverse colors and prints seem to be in accord — that’s why I called it An Agreement of Butterflies. So, color me speechless when a second internet search, six months after the first one, revealed labels for a multitude of butterflies. A rabble of butterflies. A flutter of butterflies. An equally appealing quilt title, a rainbow of butterflies. But the perfect coincidence, the goose bump laden karmic moment was the phrase: a kaleidoscope of butterflies. It must be true, I Googled it.

An Agreement of Butterflies by Paula Nadelstern

An Agreement of Butterflies by Paula Nadelstern

In your work, you herald the kaleidoscope, a word you say promises ‘surprise and magic, change and chance’. How has this informed your quilting style?
For almost forty years, the kaleidoscope has not only been my design inspiration, it’s also been my classroom. Analyzing not only what a scope is but also what it isn’t has steered me in lots of valuable directions, including toward the fundamental principles of design. I’ve learned to manipulate physical properties like focal point, rhythm and line to inject a feeling of motion into an otherwise static image. But it is the unique qualities synonymous with the kaleidoscope personality that I’m always trying to get to know better. Surprise. Magic. Change. Chance. I’ve learned that to conjure an instant of luminous and fleeting spontaneity, I’ve got to trust in symmetry, rely on detail, commit both random and staged acts of color and understand that the whole will always be greater than the sum of its parts. No matter what my quilts look like in the future, this personal design vocabulary, gleaned through the eyepiece of a kaleidoscope, will take the journey with me.

When did you first discover Aurifil threads and what do you love most about them? Do you have a favorite color/weight?
I’ve been using Aurifil 50 weight for years for piecing. My larger quilts can end up with thousands of seams. I like that I can rely on the combination of delicacy with strength because it helps keep the multitude of seams thin and not bulky.

I’ve used Aurifil 12 in many of the beautiful colors for embroidery and for a big stitch echoing a hand quilting stitch.

Paula at 2013 Quilt Market in Houston

Paula at 2013 Quilt Market in Houston

KALEIDOSCOPIC XXXVIII: Millifiori, 82“x 82“, is my first quilt using only fabric from collections I’ve designed for Benartex and the first one quilted by me on a long arm machine courtesy of APQS. In 2013, I spent Houston Quilt Market in the APQS booth, quilting this extremely patterned piece, mentored by the delightful, generous staff. I think the choice of an olive Aurifil thread was brilliant. I’m fascinated by the effect, the impression that the thread changes colors, chameleon-like, against the multitude of hues in the quilt: golden, green, dark, light.

KALEIDOSCOPIC XXXVIII: Millifiori, 82“x 82“, Paula Nadelstern (2013)

KALEIDOSCOPIC XXXVIII: Millifiori, 82“x 82“, Paula Nadelstern (2013)

How did you go about selecting threads for your Aurifil collection and what excites you most about the range that you are presenting?
My intent when selecting the colors for my Aurifil collection was like my goal when I design fabric for Benartex. I want to offer beautiful stuff that can be used in a myriad of ways for anyone’s piecing adventure, not just to be used to make kaleidoscopic designs. I welcome color and motif inspiration whenever I’m lucky enough to notice it: an elevator door, a set of Italian dishes, a painting at the Met, the arabesque patterns in the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque on a teaching trip to Abu Dhabi.

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These charismatic and luminous jewel tones tickle my imagination. In fact, I plan to use DEEP GEMS as the inspiration for one of the colorways in my next fabric collection. I can’t wait to see what happens.

THE GIVEAWAY

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To enter-to-win 1 Large Deep Gems by Paula Nadelstern for Aurifil Thread Collection + 1 copy of Fabracadabra by Paula Nadelstern for C& T Publishing and 2 bundles of Kismet by Paula Nadelstern for Benartex , 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, December 14! Winner will be randomly selected and announced here on Thursday, December 15. Good luck!

Update: This giveaway is now closed. Congratulations to our winner, Niraja Lorenz!

ABOUT PAULA
paula-profilePaula’s quilts have achieved international recognition for the innovative and complex designs inspired by the bilateral symmetry of kaleidoscopic images. Honored by inclusion in the Twentieth Century’s 100 Best American Quilts, her designs have inspired products including the vast carpet in the Hilton Americas hotel in Houston, TX and were showcased in the American Folk Art Museum’s first one person exhibition highlighting the work of a contemporary quilt artist (2009). In addition to numerous awards, Paula was a recipient of fellowships from the New York Foundation for the Arts and The Bronx Council on the Arts. She is the author of FABRACADABRA, Simple Quilts, Complex Fabric, Kaleidoscopes & Quilts, Snowflakes & Quilts, Puzzle Quilts: Simple Blocks, Complex Fabric, Paula Nadelstern’s Kaleidoscope Quilts: An Artist’s Journey Continues, and Kaleidoscope Quilts: The Workbook. She designs textile prints exclusively for Benartex, Inc. and lives in New York City with her husband, Eric. her daughter, Ariel, lives a block away. 

Learn more about Paula on her website — http://paulanadelstern.com/

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!!

 

Aurifil 28wt for Machine Appliqué

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In July of this year, we presented Amanda Murphy’s debut Aurifil thread collectionsPiecing and Quilting and Appliqué, which were selected to coincide with both Sewing Room and Feathers & Flourishes, her two most recent collections for Benartex. We’ve loved learning more about how Amanda uses those threads to take her projects to the next level, particularly with her use of our 28wt thread for machine appliqué. We’re thrilled, today, to introduce you to Amanda for a very special guest post/tutorial sharing her tips and techniques for using heavier weight threads to add texture and dimension to appliqué.

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Hi everyone! My name is Amanda Murphy and I’m a BERNINA Quilting and Longarm Spokesperson, pattern and fabric designer with Benartex Fabrics, and author with C&T Publishing. Some of you may have seen my recently-released Aurifil Piecing and Quilting  and Appliqué Thread Collections popping up in stores.  In support, Aurifil invited me to pop in and share some of my tips for appliquéing with their heavier weight threads with you all.  I love to help people discover new tools to add to their quilting arsenal, so I’m happy to oblige!

Aurifil 28 wt threads are my absolute favorite when doing machine appliqué.  In my mind, machine appliqué has a different look than hand appliqué, and it has a beauty all its own.  I love to really highlight the stitching by using slightly heavier weight threads – it creates a little ridge around the appliqué and adds texture and dimension to the piece.  I used my new Appliqué Collection in two recent patterns for my lines for Benartex – “Flourishes”, featuring Feathers & Flourishes, and “S is for Sew”, featuring Sewing Room.

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Flourishes minis/pillows on navy. This pattern also comes with an SVG file option.

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Flourishes minis/pillows on white.

S is for Sew comes with a free download of applique-in-the-hoop files for embroidery enthusiasts!

S is for Sew comes with a free download of applique-in-the-hoop files for embroidery enthusiasts!

For those of you looking to try out this technique on your sewing machine, here are the steps:

1. Trace your motifs onto the smooth side of paper-backed fusible web.  I like Shades SoftFuse when cutting out shapes with scissors or Heat-N-Bond Lite when cutting with a digital fabric cutter, like the Silhouette Cameo.  (For fusible appliqué, it is important that you cut all of your shapes reversed from the way they will appear in the finished piece.)  The example shown is from my “S is for Sew” pattern.

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2. Rough cut your shapes apart and fuse to the wrong side of your fabrics.  If you are tracing by hand, “window” your fusible if desired by cutting away the excess fusible in the center of the larger shapes.  Read the instructions that come with your fusible – pressing times vary and many fusibles work better with a dry iron.  Save some of the scraps to make an audition piece.

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3. Cut out the appliqué shapes on the traced lines.

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4. Back your background fabric with a tear-away stabilizer or soak the background in 50% liquid starch and 50% water and let it dry overnight, pressing it in the morning.  (If your fabric feels like paper, you won’t need stabilizer!)

5. Load a neutral 50wt Aurifil thread in your bobbin.

6. Audition various colors of 28wt Aurifil thread on top of your shapes.  If you are a beginner, match the threads to cover up any mistakes, but as you gain more experience, don’t be afraid to make bold choices!

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7. Fuse a few of the fabric scraps you saved from Step 2 to some leftover background squares to try out your stitching by making an audition piece.  Use the opportunity of making this piece to set your stitch tension just right.  You’ll probably need to lower the upper tension a bit so that your bobbin thread doesn’t pop up.  If your top thread pops a little through to the back that is ok.

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8. Fuse each piece of your appliqué to the fabric and use a blanket stitch to secure.  I like stitch #1329 on my BERNINA, set at a 2.1 stitch width and a 2.4 stitch length.  To start your stitching, bring your bobbin thread to the top.  Leave both threads at least 4’’ long and hold them to the side as you begin to stitch.

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9. To end your threads.  stop and clip them so they are at least 4’’.  Use a chenille needle to bring the top thread to the back.  Tie a knot near the base of the fabric by doing an overhand loop and pulling the threads through, holding your finger close to the fabric to keep the knot towards the bottom of the thread as you would when making a french knot.

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10. Sometimes you can appliqué a few of pieces at once, color by color, but with overlapping shapes it is easier to work from the bottom-most object up to the top, burying threads as you go.  This minimizes thread stops and starts since you can travel behind a piece with your stitches.

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11. Don’t be afraid to make changes along the way and explore new color possibilities!

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12. When your stitching is complete, stop and remove the stabilizer.  You can score the edge of the stabilizer near your stitching to help make this easier.

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13. The threads add so much to the finished piece!

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14. Quilt as desired with Aurifil 50 wt or monofilament and bind to finish!

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This method of doing appliqué produces such a great look…  I never tire of it!  Here are some close-ups:

 

Sometimes I also use 50 wt threads to appliqué in my pieces, particularly if I’m doing it in-the-hoop and I am stitching out embroidered details such as the ones on this machine.

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S is for Sew appliquéd machine, with machine-embroidered buttons and details in 50 wt. thread.

I also use 50 wt thread and a zig-zag stitch for really tiny motifs, like little circles or the blades on these scissors. (You can find 50 wt. in my Piecing and Quilting Collection.)

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50 wt. thread used to appliqué narrow scissors blades.

Then there is Aurifil’s 12 wt thread.  It works amazingly well for hand embroidery but you can also mimic that look by loading it into the top of your machine with 50 wt in the bobbin and doing a triple stitch!  I love using this technique for stems! (There are 2 spools of 50 wt and 8 spools of 28 wt in my Appliqué collection.)

If you like these designs you can find more about my work here.

I hope these tips help to inspire your next appliqué project!  Share your work on instagram and tag @aurifilthread or #Aurifil.  (If you used my thread collection please tag me at @amandamurphydesign so I don’t miss it!)

Happy quilting!
— Amanda

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ABOUT AMANDA
Website — Blog — Facebook — Instagram — Pinterest — Twitter  YouTube

Amanda and her BERNINA Q24

Amanda and her BERNINA Q24

Always attracted to color, texture, and pattern, Amanda Murphy has been designing, drawing, and sewing since she was a child. She graduated from Carnegie Mellon University with a bachelor of fine arts degree and worked as a graphic designer and art director in Alexandria, Virginia, and New York City. After moving to North Carolina with her family Amanda discovered quilting, an art that marries her passion for design with her enthusiasm for handwork. As she gradually expanded her knowledge of sewing and quilting techniques and combined them with the ideas she had been sketching over the years, Amanda Murphy Design was born.

Amanda markets her own full-color pattern line under the Amanda Murphy Design label and has designed several fabric collections.  Her fourth collection with Benartex will debut in Summer 2016.

ABOUT AMANDA’S AURIFIL THREAD COLLECTIONS
Amanda Murphy’s Piecing and Quilting Collection
100% Aurifil Cotton, 50wt (1422yds each, 11 colors, Large Spools):
2250 – 5017 – 2886 – 1128 – 5006 – 5007 – 2440 – 2225 – 2785 – 2600 – 2021
Clear Monofilament (1094yds, 1 Large Spool)

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Amanda Murphy’s Appliqué Collection
100% Aurifil Cotton, 12wt (54yds each, 2 colors, Small Spools): 1114 – 2021
100% Aurifil Cotton, 28wt (109yds each, 8 colors, Small Spools):
5005 – 2425 – 2225 – 2720 – 2250 – 5017 – 2620 – 2785

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** Images and all biographical text are courtesy of Amanda Murphy.