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!

– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

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

– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

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.

Furry Friday!

Welcome to Furry Friday! What, you ask, is a Furry Friday? Well, we know that like us, many of you are pet-lovers, rescue parents, & pet foster parents. We love seeing photos of all the fabulous ‘quilt-inspectors’ out there, giving a meticulous final look to that latest finish or ‘helping’ to choose which thread to use with your favored fabrics.

While your quilt-inspectors have happily found their furrever homes, there are countless animals out there who are still searching. Together with our Piece for Shelter Pets sponsors, we’re working to share some of those sweet animals with you. Every Friday throughout March & April, you can expect to meet two sweet rescues in search of a home… Today, we meet Gracey & Pharah.

Gracey is a super sweet 4-month old Shepard Mix, currently waiting for her furrever home at the Humane Society of the Tennessee Valley in Knoxville! Click here to learn more about Gracey.


Pharah is an elegant young tuxedo girl looking for a new family. She can be found at Okefenokee Humane Society in Waycross, GA and is ready to bring her sophisticated style to a furrever home. Click here to learn more about Pharah.

These pets may not be in your area, but if you are looking for a new furry friend, you can go to Petfinder.com to search locally.


The Piece for Shelter Pets (PFSP) initiative grew from the relationship started in 2012 between The Quilt Pattern Magazine and the Petfinder Foundation after Hurricane Sandy. The goal: to help animal shelters affected by the hurricane by making Kennel Quilts! Much like quilts are to us humans, Kennel Quilts offered rescued or displaced pets a warm, soft place to nap. They were such a big hit that The TQPM Kennel Quilt Team was officially started and since its beginning, has seen over 10,200 Kennel Quilts made and distributed to shelters across the United States and Canada! WOW!

Aurifil joined the cause in 2015 with the release of the Small Kennel Quilt Thread Kit. The cover features Pretty Girl, the TQPM Kennel Quilt “SpokesKitty” and HSPPR (The Humane Society of the Pikes Peak Region) adoptee, photographed on her Kennel Quilt during the 2013 Colorado fires.

smallkennelquiltthreadkit

We introduced Fifi & Fido and Happy Hounds at Fall Quilt Market last year in partner with Island Batik, another one of our treasured Piece for Shelter Pets PartnersA portion of the sales of each will go to the Petfinder Foundation.

blog-fififido

blog-happyhounds

Quilty Box launched a special TQPM Kennel Quilt box this past January that includes the fabric and thread needed to make two kennel quilts. 100% of proceeds go to the Petfinder Foundation!! How amazing is that??

Benartex introduced a brand new fabric collection at International Quilt Market this past Fall featuring Joey the Shop Dog. The line was designed by Joey’s rescue mom, Rose Ann Cook. 10% of sales for Joey’s fabrics are donated to Petfinder Foundation.

Bernina of America created a special edition Best Friends sewing machine in 2015 featuring paw prints. They donated $30,000 to the Petfinder Foundation from the sales of the machine.

best-friend-machine

And finally, Hancock’s of Paducah is our newest partner in the cause. They are supporting the initiative by helping us all increase awareness of the program and the furry friends the program aims to support.

We want to thank all of our sponsors, partners, & quilters joining us in the Piece for Shelter Pets initiative. 


To take a peek at the other posts and check out all of our featured pets, please follow the links below:
3/10: Quilty Box
3/17: TQPM
3/24: Island Batik
3/31: Aurifil (YOU ARE HERE!)
4/7: Hancock’s of Paducah
4/14: Benartex
4/21: Petfinder Foundation

We are animal lovers and have come together to support shelter animals and perhaps bring a little joy into their lives. Creating a Kennel Quilt is a way to join a larger effort to help our furry friends in times of need by doing what we love. We hope that you’ve been inspired to get involved. If you’d like to join the Small Kennel Quilt Team, please click here. We’d love for you to join us in this effort!

Remember… Adopt, don’t shop!

Quilting Tips with Amanda Murphy

Hi there everyone! My name is Amanda Murphy and I’m a BERNINA Quilting and Longarm Spokesperson, fabric designer for Contempo/Benartex, pattern designer, and author with C&T Publishing. Like many of you, I’m a huge Aurifil fan. I love to use their 12 and 28wt threads for embroidery and applique, and their 50wt thread for piecing. Their 50 wt. thread is also my first choice for quilting, whether I’m on my Q24 longarm or domestic BERNINAs. It stitches beautifully in the machine with very little lint build up – I find it works great for any job! (I answer questions about quilting threads in my Facebook group – feel free to join!)

aurifil_jan2017_amandamurphy01

My Starstruck pattern in Nordic Holiday fabrics (shipping this spring), quilted in Aurifil in the top and bobbin.

Recently I created a whole cloth quilt inspired by Aurifil using Art and Stitch software and stitched out on the BERNINA Q24 with Q-Matic software. It was based on quilting motifs from my Sewing Room Quilting Collection, which is digitized for both longarms and embroidery machines. There are 28 spools in this piece but in reality I have many more than 28 real spools in my stash! (I choose not to count because I don’t think one can have enough!)

Wholecloth quilt featuring motifs from my Sewing Room Collection

Wholecloth quilt featuring motifs from my Sewing Room Quilting Collection

Wholecloth quilt featuring motifs from my Sewing Room Quilting Collection

Wholecloth quilt featuring motifs from my Sewing Room Quilting Collection

When I don’t have time to change thread colors on a complex piece, I like to pair Aurifil Monofilament in the top with Aurifil 50wt in the bottom. The two work together beautifully without my even having to adjust the thread tension settings.! (Hint: I like to use a thread stand when quilting in monofilament on a domestic to allow the thread more distance to relax.)

Sewing Room Sampler, quilted with Aurifil monofilament and 50 wt. cotton.

Sewing Room Sampler, quilted with Aurifil monofilament and 50wt cotton

Northern Lights, quilted with Aurifil monofilament and 50 wt. cotton.

Northern Lights, quilted with Aurifil monofilament and 50wt cotton.

Starry Night Placemats and Runner (pattern shipping next month), quilted with Aurifil monofilament and 50 wt. cotton.

Starry Night Placemats and Runner (pattern shipping next month), quilted with Aurifil monofilament and 50wt cotton.

I love Aurifil’s brand of monofilament in particular because it results in a very soft quilt, even when you do lots of quilting! In fact, I’m such a fan of this thread that the folks at Aurifil let me include it in my Piecing and Quilting Collection! I also have a smaller Appliqué Collection featuring Aurifil’s 28wt. and 12 wt. threads. This is perfect for trying out these threads for other applications without a huge financial investment.

aurifil_jan2017_amandamurphy06

Both of these collections coordinate with my Nordic Holiday line, which ships this spring, as well, along with my new collection that will debut at Market.

I hope that you will take the time to try quilting with some of your Aurifil piecing threads – I know you won’t be disappointed!

Happy quilting!
Amanda


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.

[For more, please visit Amanda’s website]

ABOUT AMANDA’S AURIFIL THREAD COLLECTIONAmandaMurphyCollection-LGAmandaMurphyCollectionSM

Amanda Murphy’s Piecing and Quilting Collection
11 Large Spools 50wt (1422yds each)
2250 – 5017 – 2886 – 1128 – 5006 – 5007 – 2440 – 2225 – 2785 – 2600 – 2021
1 Large Spool Clear Monofilament (1094yds)

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

Deep Gems by Paula Nadelstern

screen-shot-2016-12-07-at-9-08-47-pm

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

paulanadelstern-deepgems

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.

fabracadabra

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.

deepgems-paulanadelstern

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

pn-rafflecopter

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/

Piece for Shelter Pets

piece-for-shelter-pets-main-graphic

October is national Adopt-a-Shelter-Dog Month and we are thrilled to have joined forces with an amazing team of quilt industry professionals in support of the Petfinder Foundation. We are all animal lovers and have come together to generate awareness for shelter dogs (and cats) in need of “furrever” homes.  We hope that you’ll join us in the Piece for Shelter Pets Blog Hop to learn more and see how you can help!

The Quilt Pattern Magazine (TQPM), an international online only publication,  first partnered with the Petfinder Foundation to form the TQPM Small Kennel Quilt Team after Hurricane Sandy. The two organizations help animal shelters affected by disasters by sending Kennel Quilts for the displaced animals. As sewing essentials are needed for Kennel Quilts, we, in addition to Bernina USA, Island Batik Fabrics, Quilty Box, and Benartex Fabrics, have joined the TQPM Kennel Quilt effort to offer addition help to the Petfinder Foundation.

THE PETFINDER FOUNDATION
For the past 20 years, Petfinder has helped 25 million pets find their families through adoption. They wanted to use this moment to celebrate their incredible legacy with their shelter and rescue members while inspiring a new generation of pet lovers, just like you. They created a video and pledged to donate $200,000 to the Petfinder Foundation if the video reached 1 million views by October 24, 2016. Thanks to dedication and inspired help of the masses, they have already reached their goal! The donated funds will reward 20 shelter and rescue members with $10,000 grants, allowing them to keep doing the amazing work that they do!

GARY’S STORY (One of the reasons why we do what we do!)img_20160703_224055

Gary is the beloved rescue dog of Elena Gregotti, Aurifil’s CEO. He has been a part of her family for nearly 4 years. He’s a happy and charismatic dog with a great personality, however, before his days of chasing lizards in the Aurifil garden, he lived in Serbia, where he was un-loved and terribly abused.

Luckily for Gary, a family friend, originally from Serbia but now living in Italy, rescued him and brought him to Milano. She posted a photograph of Gary on Facebook asking for help in re-homing him. Elena’s husband saw the resemblance to her childhood dog Rudi, who was also a rescue dog. He had been abandoned on the highway when he was just a puppy and went to live at her family’s country house in Tuscany. Elena has very fond memories of growing up with Rudi. Sadly he passed away a few years ago.

Gary, enjoying a sunny day on the Dolomites

Gary, enjoying a sunny day on the Dolomites

Elena and her family fell in love with Gary, contacted their friend, and he joined their family on November 18, 2012. At first he was unhappy, timid, petrified of men and never played, but over the past four years he has settled in, learned to trust again and enjoys long evening walks around the city. He spends his days being swooned over by the Aurifil office family and enjoys long summer vacations in the Tuscan countryside.

Gary with Elena's son, Jacopo

Gary with Elena’s son, Jacopo

AURIFIL’S CONTRIBUTIONS
Aurifil‘s first specialty thread box, the Small Kennel Quilt Thread Kit, was launched last year. The cover features Pretty Girl, the TQPM Kennel Quilt “SpokesKitty” and HSPPR (The Humane Society of the Pikes Peak Region) adoptee, photographed on her Kennel Quilt during the 2013 Colorado fires.

smallkennelquiltthreadkit

Later this month, at International Quilt Market in Houston, we’ll introduce two new collections in partner with Island Batik, Fifi & Fido and Happy Hounds. A portion of the sales of each will go to the Petfinder Foundation.

blog-fififido

blog-happyhounds

OUR PIECE FOR SHELTER PETS PARTNERS
Bernina of America created a special edition Best Friends sewing machine this year featuring paw prints. They donated $30,000 to the Petfinder Foundation from the sales of the machine.

best-friend-machine

Island Batik is introducing two new collections, Fifi & Fido and Happy Hounds, at International Quilt Market. A portion of sales will go to the Petfinder Foundation.

Quilty Box will offer special TQPM Kennel Quilt boxes including the fabric and thread needed to make two kennel quilts. The Petfinder Foundation will be the recipient of a portion of their sales.

quiltybox-copy

Benartex will introduce a brand new fabric collection at International Quilt Market featuring Joey the Shop Dog. The line was designed by Joey’s rescue mom, Rose Ann Cook. 10% of sales for Joey’s fabrics will be donated to Petfinder Foundation.

FOR THE LOVE OF THE DOGS & CATS!
Nan Baker of The Quilt Pattern Magazine, Purrfect Spots and the TPQM Small Kennel Quilt Team was kind enough to share some super sweet photos with us… we love that these kennel quilts are so well loved by all of these darling little fur babies!

THE GIVEAWAY

To enter to win one of these fabulous prizes, click here. The giveaway is being offered  throughout the full blog hop and you’ll have the opportunity to enter via any of our the participating blogs. It will end at 11:59pm on Tuesday, October 25. The winner will be announced on Wednesday, October 26.

THE SCHEDULE
Don’t forget to visit all of the stops along the way for rescue stories, product info, and more!

10/5 – The Quilt Pattern Magazine/Nan Baker of Purrfect Spots
10/7 – Aurifil (You are HERE)
10/12 – Island Batik
10/14 – Quilty Box (Check Facebook & Instagram)
10/19 – Benartex
10/21 – Petfinder Foundation

We are animal lovers and have come together to support shelter animals and perhaps bring a little joy into their lives. Creating a Kennel Quilt is a way to join a larger effort to help our furry friends in times of need by doing what we love. We hope that you’ve been inspired to get involved. If you’d like to join the Small Kennel Quilt Team, please click here.

There are so many shelter animals that need a home.  This is a great time to check with your local shelter for your “furrever” friend or you can check out Petfinder.com. However if you can’t adopt at this time, there are numerous other ways to help and that will be shared on all our blogs. Please join us in this effort and remember… Adopt –don’t shop!

Aurifil 28wt for Machine Appliqué

am-titleimage

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.

– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

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.

flourishes_navy01

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

flourishes_white01

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.

step01_applique

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.

step02_applique

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

step03_applique

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!

step06_applique

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.

step07_applique

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.

step08_applique

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.

step09a_applique

step09b_applique

step09c_applique

step09d_applique

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.

step10_applique

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

step11_applique

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.

step12_applique

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

step13_applique

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

step14_applique

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.

sisforsew_50wt_01

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.)

sisforsew_50wt_02

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

– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

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 all biographical text are courtesy of Amanda Murphy.

Amanda Murphy + Aurifil Threads

AmandaMurphy-Promo

The threads for Amanda Murphy‘s debut Aurifil collections were selected to coincide with Sewing Room, her 4th Benartex collection which debuted at Bernina University this month as well as her Spring Market release, Feathers & Flourishes The large box features a variety of 50wt threads in addition to Aurifil’s clear monofilament thread, Amanda’s choices for both piecing and quilting. The small box features her top choices in both 12wt & 28wt, making it an excellent  sampler for anyone looking to try appliqué with heavier weight threads.

To learn more about Sewing Room over on Amanda’s blog, click here.

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

AmandaMurphyCollection-LG

Small
12wt (54yds each, 2 colors, Small Spools): 1114 – 2021
28wt (109yds each, 8 colors, Small Spools):
5005 – 2425 – 2225 – 2720 – 2250 – 5017 – 2620 – 2785

AmandaMurphyCollectionSM

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

THE INTERVIEW

Amanda and her BERNINA Q24

Amanda and her BERNINA Q24

What first drew you to this fabulously creative world of textiles? 
I always loved both drawing and sewing so it was a natural fit. I also liked math in school and love the process of figuring out how to put challenging designs into repeat.

Do you remember the first quilt that you made and how you felt once it was complete? 
I made a tree skirt on pre-quilted fabric while in grade school. It had three dimensional angels on it. I decorated all of their faces using makeup and made their hair out of braided yarn. An art quilt – if we are being VERY generous!

What is your absolute favorite part about creating a quilt? 
I’m torn on this one. I really love figuring out the color variations that are possible using the computer, and then seeing the colors come together with fabric. But I ALSO love machine quilting. I am a spokesperson for the BERNINA Q Series and love to teach free motion quilting on these and other domestic BERNINAs at BERNINA dealerships throughout the country!

When did you first start writing patterns and how has that changed the creative process for you? 
I started both at around the same time so it hasn’t changed the process much.  I always have quilts in mind while designing and go back and forth between designing fabric and patterns so I can check the scale and color of the fabrics and test how they work together.  I like figuring out how to make what I draw so I enjoy pattern writing as well.  Switching from right to left brain and back again keeps things interesting!

How did you first connect with Benartex and what do you love most about fabric design? 
I’m extremely lucky to be working with Benartex because I just love the people – things naturally fell into place there through various contacts I had in the industry and just a gut feeling really.  And fabric design… well I love color obviously but I also love being able to see the ideas behind the prints come to life.  I guess my favorite part would be the the little surprises that happen during the creative process.  A collection never ever turns out exactly the way I envision it in the beginning but it is the little “mistakes” that happen along the way that you learn to go with because that is what makes the fabric come to life and it is also what gives it personality.

Can you tell us a little bit about your latest collection? Do you have a favorite print? 
Sewing Room! It is a celebration of all things sewing!  Can I pick two prints?  It would have to be the sewing machines and Aurifil thread spools!

What is your favorite project made with the fabrics from this new line? 
Sewing Room Sampler is my favorite pattern I’ve ever done!  (It is releasing this coming week.)  It is a modern block-of-the-month with large buttons, scissors, and ironing board, a sewing machine – you get the idea!  It was so fun to piece!

Aurifil_AMD_04

A close second would be my S is for Sew pattern which features appliqué that is optionally done “in the hoop”.  It is also releasing this coming week.  I like to use 28 wt. Aurifil thread for my appliqué so my Aurifil Appliqué Collection is a perfect companion to it!

How did you first discover Aurifil and what do you love most about it?
I first discovered it a few years ago at Quilt Market.  I love its dependability and wide range of colors.  It runs through my machines beautifully with almost no lint build-up.

How did you go about selecting colors and weights for this collection? 
I selected Aurifil 50 wt. large spools of thread for the Piecing and Quilting Collection, plus one spool of monofilament.  I use Aurifil 50 wt. for piecing and quilting so I choose a range of colors that go with my collections.

BlogAmandaMurphy-PiecingandQuiltingCollection-Outside

Amanda Murphy’s Piecing and Quilting Collection

My Appliqué Collection is composed of eight smaller spools of 28 wt. thread that coordinate with my collections.  It allows you to try machine appliqué with thicker threads for a really reasonable price, even if your local shop doesn’t usually stock the full linethicker threads.  It also includes two 12 wt. threads that I use for stems on appliqué projects during a triple stitch on the machine. Beware applique-rs out there – you will become addicted like I did!

blogAmandaMurphy-AppliqueCollection-Outside

Amanda Murphy’s Applique Collection

Amanda’s mini-quilt “Flourishes”, from her Feathers & Flourishes collection for Benartex, featuring blanket stitches in 28 wt. thread and triple-stitch stems in 12 wt.

Amanda’s mini-quilt “Flourishes”, from her Feathers & Flourishes collection for Benartex, featuring blanket stitches in 28 wt. thread and triple-stitch stems in 12 wt.

The Piecing and Quilting Collection includes a spool of Aurifil Monofilment thread. Can you tell us a little more about why it was important to include it? 
It seems like I’m always quilting for a specific collection on a deadline – usually multiple quilts in the weeks leading up to Quilt Market or BERNINA University. I love quilting in Aurifiil 50 wt. cotton as well but Aurifil Monofilament is my “go-to” if I don’t have time to change colors.  It pairs perfectly with Aurifil 28 wt. in the bobbin on my BERNINA long arm, 580, and 780!  (Tip: I like to use a thread stand when working with monofilament on a domestic machine.)

Detail shots of “Sewing Room Sampler”, quilted with Aurifil monofilament with 50 wt. in the bobbin.

Do you have a favorite color weight? 
For quilting and piecing: 50 wt.
For applique: 28 wt.
For mimicking hand embroidery on my sewing machine: 12 wt.
Favorite color: 5006 Light Turquoise!!!

What advice would you give to a designer just starting out? 
To do what you love and don’t worry what other people are doing.  And to embrace your “creative mistakes” and see where they take you.  Enjoy the process!

THE GIVEAWAY

AmandaMurphy-Rafflecopter2

Click here to enter-to-win 1 Large Piecing and Quilting Collection and one pattern bundle by Amanda Murphy Design (Including ‘S’ is for Sew!, Sewing Room Sampler &  Sewing Garden), 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, July 30! Winner will be randomly selected and announced here on Sunday, July 31. Good luck!

UPDATE: This giveaway is now closed. Congratulations to Laura Parsons!!

ABOUT AMANDA
WebsiteBlogFacebookInstagramPinterestTwitter 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.

[For more, please visit Amanda’s website]

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