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]

Stitch the 2012 DOM Reboot: March

We’ve made it to Month 3 of our Stitch the 2012 DOM Reboot! On the last Thursday of every month, we’re presenting a brand new version of one of our 2012 blocks. What a great excuse to slow things down a bit and work on our hand-stitching. We love the portability of a hand-stitched project. It’s just as easy to stitch on your couch as it would be at a friend’s house, on a trip, or even by the pool! (Can you telling we’re dreaming of Summer days?)

Aurifil offers 270 stunning colors of both our 100% Cotton 12wt thread and Aurifloss, our 100% Cotton 6-strand floss. This year long stitch-along is a wonderful excuse to give some of those colors a try. 😉

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Original 2012 Designer of the Month Quilt Setting

These blocks were originally made with Aurifil 12wt. Would you believe that our floss hadn’t yet been introduced in 2012? We love that this reboot gives us the opportunity to try the blocks out with a new thread, share blocks in a new colorway (hello B&W!) and reconnect with some of our beloved Designers of the Month! So without further pause, let’s check out February’s block!

Victoria Findlay Wolfe created her Spring if We’re Lucky block in March of 2012. She selected the image for this block because…

“I had to go with the shamrocks and flowers designing “Spring if We’re Lucky.” March used to mean “Spring”, so I added flowers to the shamrock. Although these days… it might be wise to start adding in some snowflakes.”

Amazing that her statement still rings true 5 years later. Depending on where you live, you may still have some snow kicking around in your own yard! Victoria used our 12wt in a range of 4 colors for this original block:

  • 2140 – Golden Yellow
  • 2865 – Dark Green
  • 2888 – Light Green
  • 4660 – Variegated pink

Learn more about Victoria and her block in the original post, right here.

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DOWNLOAD the Spring if We’re Lucky Pattern
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We were thrilled that Victoria stitched up this lovely new version of her block! Don’t you just love how the colors pop against the black and white? Victoria loves stitching with our 12wt thread and used 5 colors from her Fresh Modern & Timeless Collection to bring this beauty to life: 2975, 2520, 5017, 4020, 2430. The fabrics used are the Black Chevron and White Chevron prints from her Meadow Storm Collection. Perfection!

To keep things exciting, we’ve got a special giveaway. Stitch up the block and upload it via the linky party below. Each month, we’ll randomly select a winner to win one small Designer Aurifloss Collection. Who doesn’t love free thread (especially when partnered with such delightful free block patterns?)

So, in the words of our DOM Queen, Pat Sloan… Let’s Go Sew!!

LINKY PARTY
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Stitch up your very own version of Spring if We’re Lucky and upload a photo of your block to our linky party. We’ll randomly select one winner per month to receive a small box of our 100% Cotton 6-strand Aurifloss. Simply click on the button below to head to our link party page to add your block image. Entries will be accepted until 11:55pm on April 26. Winner will be chosen and announced here on April 27, the date of our next block!

HANDY LINKS
Original March 2012 DOM Post
Spring if We’re Lucky Pattern
Aurifil Patterns Page

STITCH the 2012 DOM REBOOT SCHEDULE
January — Roseann Kermes/Rosebud’s Cottage
February — Sherri Falls/This and That Patterns
March — Victoria Findlay Wolfe
April — Gail Pan
May — Thimbleanna
June — Pam Kitty Morning
July — Sarah Fielke
August — Bari J.
September — Amy Ellis
October — Amanda Woodward-Jennings/The Frosted Pumpkin Stitchery
November — Emily Cier/Caroline Patchworks
December — Lizzie B Cre8ive

ABOUT THE AURIFIL DOM PROGRAM
Run by industry darling, Pat Sloan, the Aurifil Designer of the Month Program has been a mainstay of the Auribuzz blog since 2011. Each year, Pat brings together a new team of top-notch Designers, featuring one per month throughout the year. Posts generally share an interview, some fabulous images of projects made, studio spaces and more, a FREE block + a chance to win Aurifil thread. At the end of every year, Pat shares a suggested quilt setting. It is a great way to get to know new designers, to try new techniques, to share in a quilt along experience, and to do some collaborative quilting!

To find all of our DOM patterns, please visit: http://www.aurifil.com/patterns

Enchanted by Dodi Poulsen

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Enchanted project by Little Londyn

Enchanted project by Little Londyn

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

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

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

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

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

Preppy Plaid Tote Bag by Jedi Craft Girl

Preppy Plaid Tote Bag by Jedi Craft Girl

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

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

Projects by Tie Dye Diva

Projects by Tie Dye Diva

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

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

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

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

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

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

Enchanted colors in Aurifloss!

Enchanted colors in Aurifloss!

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

Samples of the Enchanted fabrics

Samples of the Enchanted fabrics

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

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

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

GIVEAWAY

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To enter-to-win 1 Large Enchanted Thread Collection and one bundle of assorted Enchated fabrics, click here to head to the Rafflecopter entry page, or simply click on the image above. You do not have to complete all the options to be entered but the more options you choose, the more entries you have!  Entries will be accepted from now through 11:59pm Eastern Time on Sunday, February 12. Winner will be randomly selected and announced here on Monday, February 13. Giveaway is open to our international friends! Good luck!

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

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

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

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

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

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

Coastal Mist Blog Hop

Welcome to the final day for the Coastal Mist Blog Hop! We are so thrilled that Tammy Silvers of Tamarinis asked us to join in on the fun. We’ve loved seeing all of the gorgeous projects by a truly lovely lineup of designers!  Today, we’re pleased to share a fun project & a fabulous little giveaway!

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Coastal Mist was designed by Kathy Engle for Tamarinis with Island Batik. Tammy has been doing some beautiful work with the gorgeous purple, green and magenta hues. She selected threads to coordinate perfectly with the fabrics. The large collection features both 50wt and 12wt threads, perfect for piecing and big stitch quilting. The small collection features 10 stunning colors of our Aurifloss for adding perfect little stitched details. We did a collection announcement for Tammy as a part of Island Batik week back in January. To take a peek, check out some beautiful quilts and learn a bit more about Tammy, click here.

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When Tammy asked us to do a small project for this blog hop, she mentioned that she would love something small, perhaps something embroidered. I instantly thought of the sweet style of Minki Kim‘s patterns. The combination of applique with stitched details felt perfect and I knew that it would create a lovely little showcase for the colors in the Coastal Mist collection. In looking through Minki’s patterns, I spotted a little girl holding a basket of flowers. The girl reminded me of my 3-year old daughter, so I knew right away that I’d found my project!

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Tammy sent me 4 Fat Quarters from the Coastal Mist collection, absolutely perfect for creating this tiny little work of art. I knew I’d be hand-stitching the details, rather than machine illustrating as with Minki’s preferred technique. Luckily, I had a box of Tammy’s floss on hand!

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I followed Minki’s fabulous tutorial for all of the appliqué — check it out if you’re new to this technique.

After prep, I worked on putting all of those tiny little pieces in place and suddenly, my little gal came to life!

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Now, all it needed was the addition of some sweet embroidery! I picked out a range of colors, which of course changed as I went along, but still… don’t all of those spools look just scrumptious together?

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I set to work with the hand-stitching. I may not be the most skilled at embroidery, but I always enjoy it. There is something about the simple act of stitching something by hand that can be incredibly calming… especially as a mom of two toddlers! It’s like a glorious break at the end of the day. Plus, I’m a huge advocate of stepping outside of your comfort zone, trying new things and of course… practice, practice, practice!

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I do love how this little gal turned out and have decided that she will be a gift for my daughter! I’m so grateful to Tammy for including Aurifil in this blog hop! If you’re just learning about the hop with this post, be sure to check out the schedule below and check in with the other participants!

GIVEAWAYtammysilvers-coastalmistsm

To enter-to-win your very own Coastal Mist floss collection, click here or on the image above to head to the Rafflecopter entry page. 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, February 10! Winner will be randomly selected and announced here on Saturday, February 11. This giveaway is open to our international friends! Good luck!

UPDATE: This giveaway is now closed. Congratulations to our winner, Djoekie Witteveen!

SCHEDULE
January 24 – Jessica Stewart, Izzy & Ivy Designs
January 25 – Susan Emory, Swirly Girls Design
January 26 – Connie Campbell, Freemotion by the River
January 27 – Katie Laughridge, Live Originally
January 28 – Julie Stocker, Pink Doxies
January 29 – Linda Pearl, One Quilting Circle
January 30 – Laura Conowitch, LC’s Cottage
January 31 – Cheryl Schenck, Unspooled
February 1 – Marian Pena, Seams to Be Sew
February 2 – Vanessa Fromm, Fabric Confetti
February 3 – Ebony Love, Love Bug Studio
February 4 – Erin Sampson, Aurifil (YOU ARE HERE!)

THREAD COLLECTION DETAILS
Coastal Mist
12 Large Spools – 50wt (1422yds/spool) & 12wt (356yds/spool), 100% Aurifil Cotton
1148 – 2562 – 2568 – 2600 – 2455 – 2845 (50wt)
4225 – 2405 – 2420 – 4026 – 4030 – 4093 (12wt)

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10 Small Spools – Floss (18yds/spool), 100% Aurifil Cotton
2540 – 1135 – 2311 – 2562 – 4182 – 2455 – 2845 – 4026 – 4030 – 5003

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

Island Batik Week: Coastal Mist by Tammy Silvers

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Welcome to our Fall/Winter edition of Island Batik Week!! We’re so excited to partner with this wonderful company once again to present a variety of new fabric lines along with the coordinating Aurifil thread collections. We’ll be featuring one designer every day and each post will offer a fabric + thread giveaway, so make sure to come back daily to learn more about our talented designers and to enter-to-win some gorgeous prizes!

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.

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Deep Purples, greens and magentas are beautifully represented in Kathy Engle’s  Coastal Mist collection for Tamarinis (Tammy Silvers) with Island Batik. Tammy selected  threads to coordinate perfectly with the fabrics. The large collection features both 50wt and 12wt threads, perfect for piecing and big stitch quilting. The small collection features 10 stunning colors of our Aurifloss for adding perfect little stitched details.

THREAD COLLECTION DETAILS
Coastal Mist

12 Large Spools – 50wt (1422yds/spool) & 12wt (356yds/spool), 100% Aurifil Cotton
1148 – 2562 – 2568 – 2600 – 2455 – 2845 (50wt)
4225 – 2405 – 2420 – 4026 – 4030 – 4093 (12wt)

tammysilvers-coastalmistlg

10 Small Spools – Floss (18yds/spool), 100% Aurifil Cotton
2540 – 1135 – 2311 – 2562 – 4182 – 2455 – 2845 – 4026 – 4030 – 5003

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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
What was the inspiration behind Coastal Mist, your new collection in partner with Kathy Engle? What does the collection mean to you?

The genius behind the Coastal Mist collection is all Kathy Engle.  But for me, it captures the softer beauty of the coast, evoking soft, misty mornings, gently lapping waves, and those magical, if all too brief, sunsets.

Tartary by Tamarinis

Tartary by Tamarinis

Do you have a favorite project made using the fabric and threads from Coastal Mist
I’m particularly pleased with Boho Bliss – while not at all coastal themed, the colors worked so well to give a softer bohemian feel to the project.  And of course, the Aurifil 12wts were a huge part of that as well – the edge stitching in the coordinating and contrasting colors were the finishing touch!

Boho Bliss by Tamarinis

Boho Bliss by Tamarinis

You’ve put together a pretty amazing blog tour to introduce this stunning collection, launching later this month. What was it like to work with so many wonderful designers and to see the projects they created with Coastal Mist?
Working with other designers is tremendously exciting!  It is awesome to see different takes on a collection, and different ways of combining fabrics from the collection and interpreting it.  Their inspiration is extremely motivating!

How did you go about selecting colors for your coordinating thread collections? 
I wanted the quilting weight threads to continue that “misty” feel and offer a whisper of color across the fabrics.  And then of course the 12wts were chosen to highlight the fused applique that was a major focus of Boho Bliss.  Together, the two weights offer a complete package for any quilter!

Monkey Bread by Tamarinis

Monkey Bread by Tamarinis

In addition to the large collection of 50wt threads, you have a small, 10-spool box of Aurifloss. What do you love most about working with our embroidery floss? 
The floss is a dream to work with!  I love the rich, saturated colors, the smooth thread, and the fact that I don’t have to separate it to work with it.  I love the heavier, yet smooth look when stitching with the floss.

To learn more about Tammy, check out our feature for Seashore, her Spring/Summer Island Batik Week release.

THE GIVEAWAY

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To enter-to-win 1 Large Coastal Mist Thread Collection and one Fat Quarter Bundle of Coastal Mist fabrics from Island Batik,  click here to head to the Rafflecopter entry page, or simply click on the image above. You do not have to complete all the options to be entered but the more options you choose, the more entries you have!  Entries will be accepted from now through 11:59pm Eastern Time on Sunday, January 15! Winner will be randomly selected and announced here on Monday, January 16. Good luck!

UPDATE: This giveaway is now closed. Congratulations to our winner, Lesley Moore!

ISLAND BATIK WEEK SCHEDULE 
1/10 – Coastal Mist by Tammy Silvers (YOU ARE HERE!)
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

ABOUT TAMMY
Blog — Facebook — Pinterest — Twitter — Instagram
Unknown-3Tammy Silvers is the designer behind the brand Tamarinis. She’s been designing quilts for 10 years, and prides herself on offering bold, fresh new patterns for quilters of all levels. She enjoys working with almost any fabric, but her favorites (the one that makes her drool and blow a carefully constructed budget) are batiks, bold prints, and chicken prints. Having a background in art and literature, another of her guilty quilty pleasures is finding ways to use “words” in her work, be it in the fabric itself or by adding them to the piece.

Tammy is a Georgia native and currently lives in Acworth with her husband, children (when they come to visit!), dog, and her favorite fat cats.

Under the label Tamarinis, her designs are regularly published in a variety of quilt magazines, including Quilt, McCall’s Quilting, American Patchwork and Quilting, Stitch, Fons and Porter’s Love of Quilting, Quilty, Quilt It…Today, Sew It…Today, Stitch and Create and Decorate. She also works with some of the major fabric manufacturers designing projects to showcase and promote their fabric lines, including Island Batik (of course!), Northcott Fabrics, Blend, Camelot and Fabri-Quilt.

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.

Marmalade Meadows by Wendy Sheppard

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Wendy Sheppard is one of our all time favorite people. She is thoughtful and kind, creative and talented, and truly a master quilter. We are in awe of her work and adore her style. If you’ve been following along with us at Auribuzz for a while, you may be familiar with her Thread Journey Quilt Along from earlier this year. It was a true delight to be involved in such a fabulous project and we’re excited now to have a new project to promote!

Marmalade Meadows is Wendy’s second Aurifil collection (her first was Subtle Strings). It is a gorgeous selection of 10 small spools of our Aurifloss. The colors are bright and cheery, designed to coordinate with the sweet florals of Bleecker Street, a new collection with Quilting Treasures.

THREAD COLLECTION DETAILS
Marmalade Meadows
10 Small Spools of Aurifloss, 100% 6-strand embroidery floss, 18yds/spool
5002 – 5006 – 2865 – 2330 – 2530
2135 – 2860 – 1320 – 5017 – 2225

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

THE INTERVIEW
Can you tell us a bit about yourself and how you first got started in the world of sewing and quilting?
I am a self-proclaimed “happen-stance” quilter! Sewing/Quilting was never on my radar screen, and I had never touched a sewing machine until I was around 30. I was encouraged by my friend Barbara (who eventually became my quilting mentor) to try quilting. I will always been grateful to Barbara for getting me started in quilting.

Did you have another career prior to this one and how did one lead to the other?
Yes, I did. I actually have a Masters in Chemical Engineering, and worked in research for a few years. After being home for a few months, I ventured out to see if I could do something in the quilting industry. Believe it or not, I have been able to use what I learned in engineering for my quilting work. 🙂

The first two images show a certain wind flow pattern (lab, and real life in Madeira island). And you see how they “flow” into my quilting style?

Do you remember the process of creating your first quilt and how you felt once it was finished?
Haha, yes! I didn’t want to make the beginner’s quilt Barbara normally taught her students. I found a quilt in a book from the local library that is a pieced and applique quilt that I liked! I asked if Barbara would teach me quilting by making “that” quilt. She did — it was a scrappy quilt. I didn’t have any scraps, so I had the grandest time buying fabrics from quilt shops to build up my “scrap stash”. I knew quilting was going to be stay and be a part of life as soon as that first quilt was completed!

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What is your favorite thing to make? Do you prefer quilting over creating other projects like embroidery samplers or apparel items?
I cannot sew apparel items to save my life! I have tried, but somehow the garment construction instructions and I don’t get along. It’s a toss-up between quilting and handwork/embroidery samplers. Since quilting makes up a large part of my work life, needlework is currently my refuge from work.

How did you first connect with Quilting Treasures and what inspired the creation of Marmalade Meadows to coordinate with their Bleecker Street collection?
I actually started working with Quilting Treausres to design projects to support their fabric lines back in 2010, and I have worked with Quilting Treasures extensively over the years.

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When I was asked to design something with the Bleecker Street fabrics, I knew I wanted to design a quilt that involves hand embroidery. That resulted in a collage quilt design called Spring on Bleecker Street. The hand embroidery portion is done with floss from Marmalade Meadows.

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The Bleecker Street fabrics are just now shipping to shops, and quilters can check with their local quilt shops to see if they will have the quilt kits available. Marmalade Meadows is due to ship soon as well. A sew-along of that quilt is forthcoming on my blog next year. You may download the pattern instructions by clicking here.

What did you like most about the process of creating a collection in partner with Quilting Treasures?
What I like the most about creating an embroidery floss collection with Quilting Treasures is that I was able to bring together beautiful fabrics and threads! Quilters generally associate me with quilt designs and domestic machine quilting, some might not know I am equally passionate about handwork. So it was nice to be able to express my love for handwork through Marmalade Meadows.

How did you go about selecting the colors?
I based my colors based on how they complement the fabrics. Once I had a group of about 20 colors, I narrowed down my selection by seeing how versatile each color is individually. I wanted to have a collection that goes beyond Bleecker Street.

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For example, I also made sure the final colors that made it to the final selection can work for seasonal projects as well. In this case, a cross-stitch ornament.

I just finished smocking an insert that is going into a dress for my daughter using one of the blues in the collection.

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Marmalade’s Merriment is a free pattern that you created for the release of this new thread collection and, in fact, it is featured on the label. What inspired this piece?
This is based on one of my daughter’s drawings. We gave the pot-belly bunny she drew the name Marmalade. I adapted it for embroidery.

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[note: Marmalade’s Merriment is a free pattern that comes with the purchase of any box of Marmalade Meadows!]

Do you have any tips for those looking to make the pattern with the floss in your collection?Trace the embroidery with fine pen. I actually starch press my piece before stitching. The stiff fabric surface (from the starch) helps me keep my stitches more even.

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What do you like most about Aurifloss? Have you used the threads for other projects?
The best thing I like about Aurifloss is the best thing I like about the other threads Aurifil produces — low lint! I was surprised how crips my stitches look when stitching with Aurifloss. I also like the fact that I don’t have to condition my floss when I stitch with more than 2 strands. Here are some projects I have stitched with Aurifloss:

1 – strand stitching for a fine needlework sampler
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2 – strand stitching for all-purpose stitching
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3 – strand stitching for smocking
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You are a huge champion for Aurifil threads. When did you first discover them and what do you love most about using them?
I first discovered Aurifil threads in Spring 2006. I was looking for an alternative to the fine 100 silk thread I had been using for domestic machine quilting. The queen of domestic machine quilting Diane Gaudyneski mentioned the 50wt in one of her books. I decided to try out the thread — and the rest is history. I firmly believe the superior quality of Aurifil’s thread is the reason I have enjoyed making many projects in my fiber journey!

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Any final thoughts?
Thank you for having me to share about Marmalade Meadows. I hope to share many more projects using Marmalade Meadows in the near future.

THE GIVEAWAY

wendysheppard-giveaway

To enter-to-win 1 Fat Quarter Bundle of Bleecker Street by Quilting Treasures and 1 Small Marmalade Meadows Thread Collection by Wendy Sheppard for Aurifil, 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 28! Winner will be randomly selected and announced here on Thursday, December 29. Good luck!

UPDATE: This giveaway is now closed. Congratulations to Diane Beavers!

[we’ll also be hosting another giveaway on our Instagram account, so make sure you follow us there!)

ABOUT WENDY
QBV03_PieceBlock_12_crop_smallWebsite — Instagram
Originally from Southeast Asia, Wendy came to the US for her tertiary education.  After her degrees in Chemical Engineering, she worked in research in a wind tunnel for a spell.  Nowadays, she is a stay/work-at-home Mom to a 7 year old.  Wendy’s designs have been featured in major quilting publications, both home and abroad.  She is also an author for Landauer Publishing, as well as an online quilting instructor.  She is passionate about encouraging quilters to enjoy their quilting journey.  During her free time, she loves to read history, and indulges in hand needlework.

Vintage 30s – Ruby’s Treasures by Barbara Eikmeier

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Introducing Vintage 30s – Ruby’s Treasures by Barbara J. Eikmeier for Paintbrush Studios. It was created in conjunction with McKim Studios and pairs popular 30s-style prints with the embroidery designs of Ruby Short McKim. Barbara selected 10 different colors of our Aurifloss for her coordinating Aurifil Thread Collection.

THREAD COLLECTION DETAILS
Vintage 30s – Ruby’s Treasures

10 Small Spools – 100% Aurifil Cotton Aurifloss, 18yds each
Colors included:
1135 – 2720 – 2860 – 2479 – 2515 – 2372 – 3770 – 4661 – 4660 – 5003

vintage30s

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

THE INTERVIEW 
What first drew you to the quilting world?
I learned to sew in 4-H at the age of 9 and got my first sewing machine when I was 14, so you could say I’ve been a sewer most of my life. I was drawn to quilting by an article by Jean Ray Laurey that I found in one of my mom’s Better Homes and Garden’s magazines – in 1976! I made three or four quilts while still in high school but didn’t really start to quilt for real until after my marriage in 1984 when my neighbor Sue Alwine invited me to join a quilting class at the Salinas Adult Education Center in Salinas, CA. I was 24 years old.

Do you remember the process of creating your first quilt and how you felt once it was finished?
When I was 15, I got my own bedroom and had the walls painted yellow. At our local Ben Franklin store I bought fabric and batting to make a quilt for my bed. It was a Rail Fence block arranged in a Streak of Lightning pattern made in solid red, solid yellow, and red and yellow calico print. The magazine article showed how to enlarge a design with a graph paper grid. But I figured I could do it on my own. I added a 5/8” seam allowance (customary in dressmaking) and made the pattern on tissue paper because everything I had sewn up to that point was dresses and the pattern was always tissue paper. There is hardly a seam that meets in the whole quilt!! I sewed the top right sides together with the backing and turned it with the batting inside and tied it with embroidery floss. It went on my bed and I slept under it for many years. I was proud of my accomplishment but I don’t remember a warm glow or anything special about it. I had set out to make a quilt for my new bedroom and I did it. I still have the quilt. The workmanship is awful – for many years I wouldn’t even show it to anyone. But recently I have had it out and have enjoyed showing it because although the workmanship is dreadful (and what was I thinking with those colors?), the design feels contemporary. I posted the story on my blog here.

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Who or what has been your greatest creative inspiration?
I love traditional quilts so turn to antique quilts for my inspiration. I have great admiration for pioneer women who made beautiful quilts with little access to fabric, thread, and tools.

What is your favorite part about the process of quilting and why?
The best part of making a quilt is selecting the fabrics and pattern. I find it stimulating to dig in my fabric bins and find just the right colors to get started. I work from my stash a lot but almost always combine new fabrics with what I have on hand – it seems like the new fabrics really make the quilt come to life and it keeps my same old stash from feeling stale.

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Pinwheel Garden Quilt

How did you first connect with Fabri-Quilt and Paintbrush Studios?
I had talked to two other fabric companies about designing fabrics and was in the process of preparing a proposal for one of them when a friend introduced me to the design team at Paintbrush Studio. As it turned out they were looking for someone to design reproduction fabrics. Their offices are located in Kansas City, just 25 minutes from my home. I really like that they are local, family owned, and Kansas friendly.

Crazy Quilt with Fabric & Thread from the Vintage 30s - Ruby's Treasures collections

Crazy Quilt with Fabric & Thread from the Vintage 30s – Ruby’s Treasures collections

What was the inspiration behind your Vintage 30s collection and how did the collection come to be?
Each collection has a special story and the Vintage 30’s collection is all about Ruby Short McKim a popular quilt designer from the 1920s and 30s. Ruby had a cottage industry selling patterns, kits and finished tops and quilts. She was also a columnist for Better Homes and Gardens and published a book of quilt patterns. 2016 is the 100th anniversary of publication of Ruby’s first quilt pattern. I met her granddaughter, Merrily, who runs McKim Studios Revival, and worked with her to write a few magazine articles to help spread the word about the 100th anniversary. In the course of our meetings a reproduction fabric collection came up so I brought a proposal to Paintbrush Studio which resulted in the Vintage 30s Ruby’s Treasures fabrics. Most of the fabrics in Merrily’s collection were solids although there are three prints in the group that are reproduced from Ruby’s fabrics. The rest of the prints came from antique fabric scrap bags I have purchased over the years and a few were parts of two different yo-yo quilts.

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Whirligig Quilt

What did you love most about developing the collection?
The best part about creating Ruby’s Treasures was that Merrily gave me access to Ruby’s actual archives where we found scraps of solids bundled in little packages that had been stored since the mid 1930s.By starting with those solids I felt like Ruby herself selected the color palette for this collection. A customer said, “That pink doesn’t really seem like 30s to me.” And yet it is, according to the treasures left from Ruby’s cottage industry! I had two goals for my 30s collection, that the prints were pretty (many 30s prints aren’t really that pretty!) and that they worked well together.

Ruby's Treasures Quilt - Click for Free Pattern

Ruby’s Treasures Quilt – Click for Free Pattern

Do you have a favorite project that was created using this collection?
The collection plus the solids go together nicely and I have enjoyed every project I’ve sewn with it but I think my favorite is the Garden of Nine quilt that I created to showcase the Aurifloss threads. All of the fabrics are used in small amounts and since the thread is matched to the fabric it all worked out beautifully. Denise Mariano’s quilting was done with 50 wt Aurifil which finishes the project with finesse.

Garden of Nine by Barbara Eikmeier

Garden of Nine by Barbara Eikmeier

When did you first discover Aurifil threads and what do you love most about them?
I discovered Aurifil thread at a quilt show in Lancaster, PA – it must have been in 2003. There was a vendor who had a big beautiful display of thread and excellent samples in her booth. I bought a thread chart and one spool of neutral colored thread to try it. She promised me I would be back for more. I loved it – the thread was so silky and there was so much less lint in my machine! But I had a hard time finding it in the US – initially it was only available at large shows – internet buying was still young then. The next time I saw it was at the quilt show in Paducah where I found a booth selling small spools – at the time the small spools were the cone from the large spools minus the base. They were like tubes of thread! That booth had these little plastic boxes and a bin of spools where I could fill the box with my own color selections – in hindsight I guess you could say that was my first Aurifil thread collection! The long fibers and fine thread make the 50 wt excellent for appliqué as it doesn’t tangle or break and I don’t need to use beeswax with it as I do with other finer weight brands.

Barbara's Original Spools of Aurifil Thread

Barbara’s Original Spools of Aurifil Thread

Barbara's original Aurifil Color Card

Barbara’s original Aurifil Color Card

Do you have a favorite weight/color?
50 wt. And I have two favorite colors 2310 for my piecing. I now buy it in the great big 6000 yard cones. And 2890 for appliqué – I do a lot of floral designs with green leaves and this green works well with many fabrics! I’ve just learned that there is a new 80 wt thread coming out and am eager to try it for appliqué. I also like the 12 wt for woolwork appliqué. It stitches up beautifully in a hand blanket stitch. And the Aurifloss is great for embroidery – I’m now addicted to 6 strand embroidery floss wound on a spool. My local quilt shop carries Aurifil in many colors and weights so I no longer have to fuss about where I’m going to buy it!

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How did you go about selecting colors for this collection?
I went back to those solids from Ruby’s archives for the initial selection of colors. Then I compared them to the new solids we were marketing with Ruby’s Treasures (which are super close to the originals). I was originally going to select 12 wt threads for the packet but when I received the updated thread chart and sample threads from Italy there was a spool of the Aurifloss and I totally changed my mind! After all McKim Studios had licensed two of Ruby’s original embroidery patterns in preprinted panels that we were releasing with the fabric collection so embroidery floss was a perfect fit. I selected a few of the variegated threads because it was hard to choose just 10 colors! In hand embroidery you have the option of using the section of color off the variegated spool for a particular place in the design so by including some variegated I felt like I increased the number of colors in the collection. I especially love the variegated blue.

THE GIVEAWAY

barbaraeikmeier-rafflecopter

To enter-to-win 1 Small Aurifil Thread Collection and 1 Paintbrush Studios FQ Bundle for Vintage 30s – Ruby’s Treasures, 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 Thursday, October 20! Winner will be randomly selected and announced here on Friday, October 21. Good luck!

UPDATE: This giveaway is now closed — Congratulations to our winner, Diane Rose! 

ABOUT BARBARA
WebsiteFacebookInstagram — Pinterest
barb-headshot-4Barbara J. Eikmeier lives in Kansas and she writes.  Both her children write, her daughter-in-law writes and her husband writes. Her two dogs and two cats don’t write but they wish they could because there are things they would like to say. Her nine fish do not wish to write, they like their secret underwater lives.

Barbara also quilts, gardens and bakes pies. Sometimes she has writing deadlines and has to put quilting and baking aside (except for Thanksgiving pies). When pushing a deadline the perennial flower beds take care of themselves – with a little help from her husband.

If it’s between May and Sept and she’s not at the computer, sewing, baking or in the garden, check at Lake Perry, she might be sailing. It’s her other favorite activity.

To learn more about Barb and her adventures, make sure to pop by her website!

Island Batik Week: Seashore by Tammy Silvers

IslandBatikWeek

Welcome back to Island Batik Week!! We’re so excited to partner with this wonderful company to present a variety of new fabric lines along with the coordinating Aurifil thread collections. We’ll be featuring one designer every day and 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
7/18 – Introduction to Island Batik
7/19 – Seashore by Tammy Silvers (Today)
7/20 – Equinox by 4th & 6th Designs
7/21 – Surf Squirt by Claudia Pfeil
7/22 – Tide Pools & Sand Dune by Kathy Engle

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

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You can just feel the sun, sand and surf in the Seashore collection by Kathy Engle forTammy Silvers of Tamarinis. The warm creams, greens and purples will bring delight to your sea-salted senses! The accompanying Aurifil thread collection offers a large box of bright hues in 40wt and a small box of 10 luscious spools of our embroidery floss. There is a colorful surprise awaiting everyone in the Seashore collection!

THREAD COLLECTION DETAILS
Seashore
100% Aurifil Cotton
Large – 40wt, 1094yds each, 12 colors, Large Spools
1114 – 2132 – 2150 – 2420 – 2479 – 2520 – 2560 -2780 – 2805 – 2810 – 4020 – 4093

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Small – Aurifloss, 18yds each, 10 colors, Small Spools
1147 – 1148 – 2120 – 2150 – 2582 – 2740 – 4020 – 4093 – 5002 – 5018

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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
What first inspired you to start sewing? 

Inspired to sew?  That’s tough – because I can’t really remember a time when I didn’t sew!  I grew up with makers (like many of us!), and it just seemed to be a natural part of expression to sew what I wanted, and what I needed.  Of course, now I’ve gone from aesthetically appealing utility sewing to more artistic form of expression sewing, but it is all a natural part of my history.

Do you remember the first project that you made and how you felt after it was complete? 
My first quilt (and is it still a quilt if it was never layered and quilted?) was not the most attractive thing I’ve ever created (it was butt ugly, actually!), but something in that first quilting class inspired me, and I continued on.  The next quilt I made, a sampler, was, in hindsight, not the greatest either, but I felt such a sense of accomplishment and an excitement to go further and explore other methods of piecing.  And I haven’t stopped since!

Rondure by KISSed Quilts, using fabrics and threads from Seashore

Rondure by KISSed Quilts, using fabrics and threads from Seashore

Who has been the most inspiring person within your creative career? 
Ohhh.  Just one?  I’ve got a few.

I started teaching quilting a few years in, and I taught loads of projects from Eleanor Burns’ books and Pat Sloan’s books (two very different approaches and aesthetics), and their methods and styles heavily influenced me (I still tell people I want to be Pat Sloan when I grow up!).

And years and years ago, in the beginning of my quilting journey, I became friends with Jodie Davis.  Her encouraging, friendly demeanor and her “let’s try this” approach to traditional methods spurred me to do the same – try anything!

Modern Churn by Tamarinis

Modern Churn by Tamarinis

What is your go-to sewing technique? 
I like almost anything, but when I get really “creative” with my blocks and angles, I find paper piecing is my best friend.  It lets me get those odd angles and perfect points every time.  I’m experimenting now with an approach to improvisational piecing that will help those quilters that need just a bit more control feel comfortable with the process.

How did you first get involved with Island Batik? 
Oh, another tough one.  I don’t remember the first initial contact, but I’ve been creating projects for Island Batik for years and years and (cough) years.  It has always been a wonderful experience, whether creating projects for publications, or for my own pattern line.  I mean, who wouldn’t love working with all those luscious fabrics? Any project looks awesome in their batiks!

Sea Glass by Tamarinis

Sea Glass by Tamarinis

What do you love most about Batik fabrics?
I love so many things about batiks – the saturation of color, even in the soft pastels (yes, I do use pastels – sometimes!).  I love the high thread count of batiks, which means your piecing is true because the fabric isn’t stretching out of shape.  I love that there usually isn’t a wrong or a right side – which makes cutting and piecing so much easier.  I love the range of colors and motifs.  I guess you can tell – I love batiks in general, and they truly are my “go to” fabrics of choice.

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Do you have a favorite project that you’ve made using the fabrics and threads of Seashore?
Again with the favorites!  How can a mother pick a favorite – and yes, the quilts are very much like my children!  But ok – hmmmm.   It’s a toss up – Melon Bloom is a remake of a traditional quilt and I love how the bright side of the line really shows off the blooms.  But then Sea Salt is awesome in a different way – it pulls in some of the softer colors, and really showcases my less traditional approach with blocks that spill out into the borders.

Melon Bloom by Tamarinis

Melon Bloom by Tamarinis

How did you first discover Aurifil threads? 
At Quilt Market (I don’t remember which one – but it’s been a while!) – the full range of colors and threads was immediately eye catching.  And then once I sewed with it, that was it.  I was hooked!  I use Aurifil for all my stitching – from piecing with 50wt gray or beige, to quilting with 40wt, and then of course, embellishment with the wool thread (awesome on wool applique!) or the 12wt, which is what I’m using with my upcoming Island Batik/Aurifil projects for Fall Market.

Sea Salt by Tamarinis

Sea Salt by Tamarinis

What is your process for selecting the colors for the coordinating Aurifil thread collection? 
Selection is the hardest part.  Aurifil has such a wonderful range of colors, it is truly difficult to narrow the selection down.  But I do try to choose colors that represent the current fabric line, coordinate with it, and yet will show against the range of fabric colors.

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Do you have a favorite color or weight? 
Well, as I mentioned, I use Aurifil for everything, so I can’t imagine doing any stitching without it.  My 50wt gray is my go to for all piecing.  For embellishment, it’s a toss up between the wool thread (I LOVE that you can use it in the machine for top stitching) and the 12wt.  They have such a wonderful look against the smoothness of the fabrics.  As for color – well, all the colors in the Seashore collection are wonderful.  But…..can we just take a minute to admire that awesome teal (#4093)…….yes!

THE GIVEAWAY

TammySilvers-Rafflecopter

To enter-to-win 1 Large Seashore Thread Collection and one Fat Quarter Bundle of Seashore fabrics from Island Batik,  click here to head to the Rafflecopter entry page, or simply click on the image above. You do not have to complete all the options to be entered but the more options you choose, the more entries you have!  Entries will be accepted from now through 11:59pm Eastern Time on Monday, July 25! Winner will be randomly selected and announced here on Tuesday, July 26. Good luck!

UPDATE: This giveaway is now closed. Congratulations to Tammy Corcoran!!

ABOUT TAMMY
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Unknown-3Tammy Silvers is the designer behind the brand Tamarinis. She’s been designing quilts for 10 years, and prides herself on offering bold, fresh new patterns for quilters of all levels. She enjoys working with almost any fabric, but her favorites (the one that makes her drool and blow a carefully constructed budget) are batiks, bold prints, and chicken prints. Having a background in art and literature, another of her guilty quilty pleasures is finding ways to use “words” in her work, be it in the fabric itself or by adding them to the piece.

Tammy is a Georgia native and currently lives in Acworth with her husband, children (when they come to visit!), dog, and her favorite fat cats.
 
Under the label Tamarinis, her designs are regularly published in a variety of quilt magazines, including Quilt, McCall’s Quilting, American Patchwork and Quilting, Stitch, Fons and Porter’s Love of Quilting, Quilty, Quilt It…Today, Sew It…Today, Stitch and Create and Decorate. She also works with some of the major fabric manufacturers designing projects to showcase and promote their fabric lines, including Island Batik (of course!), Northcott Fabrics, Blend, Camelot and Fabri-Quilt.

ABOUT ISLAND BATIK
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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!

IslandBatikWeek

Welcome to Island Batik Week!! We’re so excited to partner with this wonderful company to present a variety of new fabric lines along with the coordinating Aurifil thread collections. We’ll be featuring one designer every day and 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!

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

IslandBatikCatalog

ISLAND BATIK WEEK SCHEDULE (click on the links below to navigate to each post)
7/18 – Introduction to Island Batik
7/19 – Seashore by Tammy Silvers
7/20 – Equinox by 4th & 6th Designs
7/21 – Surf Squirt by Claudia Pfeil
7/22 – Tide Pools & Sand Dune by Kathy Engle

THREAD COLLECTIONS

SNEAK PEEK GALLERY

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.

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We’ll be back tomorrow with our first interview and giveaway! Happy Monday!

Thread Journey: Quilt Construction, Part 2

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Welcome to Part 2 of Quilt Construction for Wendy Sheppard’s Thread Journey Quilt Along! We are so thrilled to be embarking on this journey with all of you and are looking forward to seeing your progress and eventually, your finished quilts. If you’re sewing along and want to share your images on Instagram, please consider tagging Wendy (@ivory_spring), Aurifil (@aurifilthread)and #threadjourneyquiltalong so that we might share in your process!

With that said… here’s Wendy!

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Hello Friends, I am excited to be here again sharing about our next steps in our Thread Journey together. In so many ways, I feel as if our quilting journey mirrors our real life journey in that we can look at the quilts we make, and we remember certain phases of our life.

DISCLAIMER:

#1. I intend for YOU to have fun making this quilt. Therefore, you are free to change things around anytime, anyway, or anyhow! It is YOUR quilt.

Elizabeth Bennet in BBC’s Pride & Prejudice said it best, and I quote, “Maria, this is your trunk; these are your gowns. You may arrange them in any way you wish. (whisper) Lady Catherine will never know.”

#2. I understand that this sew-along will reach quilters of various skill levels. Considerable effort is made to present clearly the steps to make this quilt. Basic and common techniques are not presented in detailed, assuming quilters can look up information on the techniques for themselves to prevent this post from being too lengthy. However, if certain hurdles persist in attempting this project, I will do my best to assist you.

#3. Should you have additional questions or need assistance, I will be checking in on this post as often as I can. Please leave your questions in the comments and I will do my best to help you out! 

PART 1: EMBROIDERY
We are going to add just some really quick embroidery to the quilt center we made. First we, will add a hanging ribbon to hang our birdhouse to the tree branch. Then, we will add the baby birds in the nest, with some twigs on the side of the nest.

You may choose to wait to add the embroidery until after the quilt is quilted, or you may add it now. You may also choose to either sew the embroidery by machine or do it by hand.

I am going to add the embroidery now, and by hand using Aurifloss. From the embroidery floss, I separate out 2 strands and re-assemble them before threading my needle. I generally use an Embroidery Needle (size 8 or 9) for embroidery. I mark the embroidery designs with a fine fabric washable marker because I am not brave enough to free-hand mark the designs with a permanent Micro pen. You may use the marking method of your choice.

Wendy Sheppard, Thread Journey 6.30

Wendy Sheppard, Thread Journey 6.30

Then, I use backstitching for most of the embroidery, in addition to two French knots for the baby birds’ eyes.

Wendy Sheppard, Thread Journey 6.30

PART 2: INNER BORDERS #1 & #2
Inner Border #1:
Before we tackle this part, be sure to measure your quilt center raw edge to raw edge. Your quilt center should measure 20-1/2″ x 20-1/2″ raw edge to raw edge. If the dimensions measure out correctly, proceed to step a. If not, proceed to step b.

a. Cut from inner border #1 fabric two 1-1/2″ x 20-1/2″ and two 1-1/2″ x 22-1/2″ strips. Sew two 1-1/2″ x 20-1/2″ strips to the opposite sides of quilt center, followed by two 1-1/2″ x 22-1/2″ strips.

b. Sometimes, quilt centers shrink after finishing stitches are added to applique pieces (same with panel dimensions that don’t measure up just right). One way to rectify the situation is to cut the border strips larger and longer, and then trim to size. SO — if your quilt center is smaller than 20-1/2″ x 20-1/2″, cut two 2-1/2″ x 21-1/2″ strips and sew to left and right sides of quilt center. From the center of your quilt center, measure outward 11-1/4″ on the right and trim excess. Repeat for the left side. Now your quilt center should measure 22-1/2″ horizontally. Cut two 2-1/2″ x 24-1/2″ strips and sew to the top and bottom of quilt center. Measure out 11-1/4″ in the top and bottom directions and trim excess. Now your quilt center should measure 22-1/2″ x 22-1/2″.

Wendy Sheppard, Thread Journey 6.30

Inner Border #2:
From inner border #2 fabric, cut two 1-1/2″ x 22-1/2″ and two 1-1/2″ x 24-1/2″ strips. Sew two 1-1/2″ x 22-1/2″ strips to the opposite sides of quilt center, followed by two 1-1/2″ x 24-1/2″ strips to the remaining opposite sides of quilt center. Here is my quilt center with the 2 inner border strips attached.

Wendy Sheppard, Thread Journey 6.30

PART 3: INNER BORDER #3 (Ohio Star Blocks)
The bulk of this next step is constructing Ohio Star Blocks. These block should finish at 6″ (or 6-1/2″ raw edge to raw edge). If you are familiar with making Ohio Star Blocks, go right ahead and pick out your fabrics to make a total of 20 Ohio Star Blocks using your favorite method.

(Remember it’s YOUR quilt! If you want to substitute with other blocks, go right ahead. “Lady Catherine” would never know — as long as they are 6″ finished blocks, and there are 20 of them.)

This is how I make my Ohio Star Blocks:

1. For one orange 6″ finished Ohio Star block, cut two 3-3/4″ x 3-3/4″ orange squares, two 3-3/4″ x 3-3/4″ ground fabric squares, one 2-1/2″ x 2-1/2″ orange square and four 2-1/2″ x 2-1/2″ ground fabric squares. The 3-3/4″ squares are for constructing quarter-square-triangle (QST) units. I cut them larger than the conventional 3-1/4″, in case you are wondering, so that I can trim my QST units to size later.

Notice a diagonal line was marked on the wrong side of the ground fabric squares.

Wendy Sheppard, Thread Journey 6.30

2. Place one 3-3/4″ x 3-3/4″ ground fabric  square right sides together with  one orange 3-3/4″ x 3-3/4″ square.  Sew 1/4″ away from, and on the right and left sides of, the drawn line. Cut along the drawn line to yield 2 HST (Half Square Triangle) units. Press the seams open.

Notice a diagonal line was marked on the wrong side of a HST unit.

Wendy Sheppard, Thread Journey 6.30

3. Next, lay the marked HST unit, right sides together, on the other HST unit. Be sure the patches are on the opposite sides.

In order to make sure all the patches meet right at one point (i.e. center of my QST unit), I use my thumb and first finger to pinch where that meeting point should be based on the marked diagonal line. If the patches don’t all meet like they are supposed to, I would slightly adjust the HST units until the patches do meet up nicely.

Wendy Sheppard, Thread Journey 6.30

Once I make sure the patches WILL meet up nicely, I place a pin to lock in the center. Notice the HST units don’t necessarily match up at the raw edges. Matching up the HST raw edges does not guarantee an accurately constructed QST unit. The important part is that the patches meet at the center.

Wendy Sheppard, Thread Journey 6.30

4. Sew 1/4″ away from that diagonal line, but to ensure nothing shifts in the sewing process, check again about 3/4″ away from the diagonal line to make sure the diagonal seams of the HST units still match. Place another pin to secure, and THEN sew. I know this might be overkill for some… so, just do what you feel most comfortable! Again, “Lady Catherine” would never know.

**A note of caution when sewing over pins – I ALWAYS use a really fine pin, and when I get close to the pin, I use the hand wheel of my machine to guide the needle over the pin to make sure the needle doesn’t sew ON the pin.

Wendy Sheppard, Thread Journey 6.30

Wendy Sheppard, Thread Journey 6.30

5. Cut along drawn line. Open and press to yield 2 QST units.

“NOTE:  You might notice from the last picture that I had used a light pink thread for piecing.  You can definitely do that.  If you have my Subtle Strings Thread collection and want to save your neutral threads for other things, it’s perfectly fine to use the other subtle shades to piece.  I wrote about the uses of subtle shades here.

Subtle2

6. Using a quilting 6″ ruler, line up the 45˚ line against one of the diagonal seams. We are targeting a 2-1/2″ square from raw edge to raw edge. That would mean the center of the square should be at 1 1/4″ (shown) and that all 4 corners should fall right at the 2-1/2″ mark (shown).

Wendy Sheppard, Thread Journey 6.30

7. Trim accordingly.

Wendy Sheppard, Thread Journey 6.30

8. Make a total of 4 QST units. Arrange and sew together QST units and 2-1/2″ x 2-1/2″ squares to complete 1 Ohio Star Block.

Wendy Sheppard, Thread Journey 6.30

9. Make a total of 20 Ohio Star Blocks using fabrics of your choice. I managed to raid from my stash 20 different fabrics from Windham’s Palette collection. So I will have Ohio Star Blocks of 20 different colors!

10. Arrange and sew together 4 Ohio Star blocks to make a pieced column. Repeat to make 2 columns, and add them to the right and left sides of quilt center. Arrange and sew together 6 Ohio Star blocks to make a pieced row. Repeat to make 2 rows, and add them to the top and bottom of quilt center.

June30o

And here’s how my Thread Journey 2.0 looks in real life so far:

Thread Journey by Wendy Sheppard, Progress

Thread Journey by Wendy Sheppard, Progress

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Alrightie, Friends! I hope you had fun tackling the quilt center of our Quilt-Along. Remember to enjoy the journey! I shall see you again in two weeks.

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HANDY LINKS:
Thread Journey: Quilt Along with Wendy Sheppard
Thread Journey: Quilt Construction, Part 1

ABOUT WENDY:
QBV03_PieceBlock_12_crop_smallWebsite — Instagram
Originally from Southeast Asia, Wendy came to the US for her tertiary education.  After her degrees in Chemical Engineering, she worked in research in a wind tunnel for a spell.  Nowadays, she is a stay/work-at-home Mom to a 7 year old.  Wendy’s designs have been featured in major quilting publications, both home and abroad.  She is also an author for Landauer Publishing, as well as an online quilting instructor.  She is passionate about encouraging quilters to enjoy their quilting journey.  During her free time, she loves to read history, and indulges in hand needlework.

ABOUT SUBTLE STRINGS: (Wendy’s 2015 Aurifil Thread Collection)
WendySheppard-SubtleStrings

12 Large Spools of 100% Aurifil Cotton, 50wt
Colors included:
2310 – 2847 – 4060 – 2130 – 2715 – 5021
2210 – 2510 – 2886 – 2326 – 2423 – 5014