Meadow Dance

Meadow Dance is a wonderful new collection by Aurifil Designer Amanda Murphy for Contempo/Benartex. The collection features a lovely range of colors to choose from including soft aqua with cool accents of red and green, lilac, and blue. Large scale and richly colored florals are offset by smaller scale prints and textures. Amanda has also included a learning panel designed for rulerwork on domestic or longarm machines. We can’t wait to see what you all make with this collection!!

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Houston, Here We Come!

International Quilt Market… It’s like a giant and glorious reunion for our industry;). We’re in the final countdown and holy moly are we excited! We’ve got new threads, new collections, a jam-packed schedule of schoolhouses, demos, meet & greets, and book-signings, and are once again featuring a fully stocked demo table, available for drop-in stitchers and curious thread lovers. New for Fall… we’re featuring Bernina’s Q 20 Longarm!

We’ll be doing our best to bring the excitement of Market to all of you following along from home by way of our social media, so make sure to join us on Facebook & Instagram.

For all who will be with us in Houston… here is the nitty gritty!

FALL INTERNATIONAL QUILT MARKET, 2017 — HOUSTON, TX
Aurifil — BOOTH #900/901

October 27
SCHOOLHOUSE, Room 362F
2:30 – 2:45p, Alex Veronelli
The Long-Arm Launch | Aurifil 40 / 3 Ply Cotton
Join Alex and Aurifil Designers for a new product launch! Aurifil has been working with industry experts to develop a beautifully strong 40 weight / 3 ply Cotton thread, perfect for use on the Long-Arm.

2:50 – 3:05p, Wendy Sheppard
AURIkids: Working to Inspire Young Sewists & Quilters
With Aurikids, we aim to generate excitement, create joy, and pass along a time-honored tradition. Work with us to create in-store programs to inspire today’s creative youth!

SAMPLE SPREE, Exhibit Hall A, Level 1
7 – 9p, Tables 88, 89, 90, & 91
Pop by the Aurifil tables for some amazing deals on your favorite thread! We’ll have designer and house collections, in a variety of thread weights. Our favorite night or organized chaos! ❤ Click here for a full list of participants & table numbers.

October 28 – 30
Trade Show, Aurifil Booth #900/901

Find us here:

Events:

Will you be in attendance? We hope you’ll stop by to say hello!!

The Artistry of Sheena Norquay, Part 2 — The Beach Collection

Sheena Norquay’s Beach Collection was inspired by the colours of shells, stones, pebbles, sea glass and sand. It is a box of 12 Large Spools of 50wt thread.

The Colours are:
2524 (light blue/purple), 2564 (light pink/lilac), 4150 (yellow variegated)
1248 (dark blue/purple), 2311 (cream), 2375 (peach)
2610 ((dark grey/blue), 2312 (light beige), 2340 (light rust)
2615 (light grey), 2805 (light turquoise), 2326 (dark beige)

Please visit The Artistry of Sheena Norquay, Part 1 for more details + the full interview with Sheena.

GIVEAWAY
To enter-to-win The Beach Collection by Sheena Norquay, please leave us a comment on this post letting us know which of Sheena’s pieces below is your favorite and why. Entry will close at 11:59pm on Friday, August 18 and a winner will be announced here on Saturday, August 19. This giveaway is open to all of our International friends!

INTERVIEW (con.)
Tell us about The Beach Collection. What inspired the designs and how did you go about selecting the colors?
One of my favourite things to do when I am not stitching, is to go beachcombing. I have collected shells, stones, seaglass, fragments of pottery etc over the years and so I looked at my collection for colour inspiration for the Beach Collection. The rocks and stones on the beaches where I go in Orkney are mainly of sandstone which has warm, gentle, subtle colours. The colours of some shells, seaglass and other stones are cooler but still soft. I tried to have a combination of warm and cool, light and dark in the collection.

Do you have a favorite project made with the collection?
I enjoyed making all of the samples but I think the wholecloth “Periwinkles in a Spin” shows off all the threads in the collection to best effect.


Sheena made a series of samples to showcase the threads in her Beach Collection.

PEBBLE WAVE GRID 
Finished at 59 x 86cm
Created between January 17, 2016 & February 2, 2016
Total time: 29 hours 20 minutes

Pebblewave Grid by Sheena Norquay

Strip pieced using 12 colours of cotton fabrics matching the threads in the beach collection. Pebbles are printed and painted horizontally in shallow curves echoing the shape of the blue wave at the top. The curved horizontal lines of the grid are satin stitched. Wave shape at the top is twin needled, free motion quilted using swinging c curves and satin stitched in vertical lines in the same colours as the fabrics. Pebble shapes on the calico section at the bottom are fabric painted to match the fabrics and the backgrounds are quilted with colours matching the pebbles and adjacent strips. Backgrounds of the coloured strips are free motion quilted in pebble designs in horizontal bands using each of the 12 colours in the Beach collection.

Pebblewave Detail by Sheena Norquay

SCALLOPS
Finished at 39 x 88cm
Created between January 13, 2016 & January 19, 2016
Total time: 22hours 50 minutes

Scallops by Sheena Norquay

Squares were pieced in colours to match the Beach Collection. The background has 3 different cream and beige fabrics. Scallop shell shapes were free motion quilted in repeat, half drop, random, and overlapping patterns. Shells on the coloured fabric were painted with pearlescent paint. The background was quilted in 12 colours in different sizes of circles and curved lines.  Sheena used 2 layers of wadding – polyester Thermore + 80/20 cotton/polyester.

Details of Scallops by Sheena Norquay

PERIWINKLES IN A SPIN
Finished at 61 x 42cm
Created between January 21, 2016 & February 12, 2016
Total time: 15 hours

Detail of Periwinkles in a Spin by Sheena Norquay

Inspired by periwinkle shells. 12 small shell shapes are free motion quilted using Aurifil cotton no. 50 in 12 Beach Collection colours. The shells form a spiral which is then continued in swinging C curves between 2 lines to complete a larger periwinkle shape. Lines separating swinging C curves are satin stitched. The background is quilted in a water pattern. I used 50/50 cotton/polyester wadding behind the small shells, a layer of thin polyester Thermore behind the large, shell shape and 80/20 cotton/polyester for the main layer. It was quilted on a 1008 Bernina machine.

PERIWINKLE SPIRAL PATTERNS
Finished at 61 x 42cm
Created between January 23, 2016 & February 13, 2016
Total time: 13 hours 15minutes

Periwinkle Spiral Patterns by Sheena Norquay

This piece was inspired by the periwinkle shell and its spiral shape. The shell is split into 12 sections and in each section Sheena free motion quilted 12 different spiral patterns using 12 different colours of Aurifil cotton no. 50 from the Beach Collection. She used 2 layers of wadding – 80/20  cotton/polyester + Hobbs Wool Tuscany.

 

PERIWINKLE BORDERS
Finished at 35.5 x 49.5cm
Created between January 13, 2016 & January 27, 2016
Total time: 12 hours 15 minutes

Detail of Periwinkle Borders by Sheena Norquay

Four sizes of periwinkle shapes were free motion quilted in horizontal borders in 12 colours of Aurifil no. 50 threads from the Beach collection. Backgrounds were free motion quilted in water, pebble, and sand patterns. Borders were separated with satin stitch. Sheena used cotton sateen and two layers of wadding – polyester thermore + 80/20 cotton/polyester.

 

BLUE PEBLEWASH WITH MUSSELS  
Finished at 42.5 X 60.5cm
Created between January 1, 2016 and February 21, 2016

Blue Pebblewash with Mussels by Sheena Norquay

The blue pebbles were printed with a bathmat and Jacquard Lumiere fabric paints. Mussel shells were hand painted and hand appliqued. The water was hand painted. Cotton organdy was free motion embroidered, appliqued and quilted in wave and bubble shapes. Sheena used 2 layers of wadding – thin thermore polyester + 80/20 cotton/polyester. The piece was free motion quilted with Aurifil cotton no. 50 threads using some colours from the Beach collection. The patterns created by water on the sand were inspired by photos that Sheena took at Nairn Beach and the shells were inspired by some that she has collected from various beaches.

Detail of Blue Pebblewash with Mussels by Sheena Norquay


ABOUT SHEENA
WebsiteFacebook

Sheena Norquay was born on the Orkney Islands, just off the Northern tip of Scotland. Though she began sewing as a child, it wasn’t until attending University in Aberdeen to gain a B.Ed degree that she truly dove into the world of sewing, quilting, and textiles. The degree included 2-dimensional design in textiles which inspired her interest in exploring the artistic potential of threads and fabrics.

Having been a Primary School teacher in Inverness for 30 years, Sheena is now a freelance quilting teacher and teaches workshops locally, all over the UK, and sometimes abroad. She also writes articles for magazines and her quilts have been featured in several books.

Sheena’s work has been exhibited locally, nationally, and internationally since 1981 and she has won many awards in competitive quilt shows. She sells her work, cards and postcards of her work, and also accept commissions.

Text and images courtesy of Sheena Norquay.

Aurifil Shenanigans

Who says Market has to be all work and no play? Are you ready to have some fun? If you’re attending International Quilt Market this weekend in St. Louis, we hope you’ll join in on the Aurifil Shenanigans. We’ve teamed up with 13 amazing companies offering some of the best fabrics, books, machinery, & tools in the industry. We’ve placed one extra large cone of Aurifil thread in each of their booths (in addition to our own!). Each cone is labeled with a color number. Entry cards are available in our booth (#1109/1110) and in each of our partner booths.

[If you are not attending Market, have no fear! We’ve got a prize for all of your at-home shenanigans as well! Scroll to the end of this post for details.]

Your mission, should you choose to accept it? 
Find 8 of the 14 cones! For each cone found, list the booth in which it was discovered + the color number on the entry card… AND if you’re feeling super sassy, take a selfie or some sort of fun image of the cone and post it to Instagram OR Facebook tagging #aurifilshenanigans + @aurifilthread + the booth in which the spool was found. We want to see your silly (and fabulous) faces!!

The reward?
We’ve got not one… not two… but FOURTEEN fabulous prizes to give away, one for each of our partners. Feast your eyes on the prizes below.

The details?
Shenanigans will be in full effect through close of Market on Sunday, May 21 (4pmCST). Winners will be notified on Monday, May 22.

The prizes?

That’s it!! On your mark… get set… GO!!!


For all you at home participants, we’ve got a very special prize! To enter-to-win your choice of 1 LG Aurifil Designer Collection  + 1 Cone of 50wt thread + 1 Color Card, follow the steps below:

  • Grab your very favorite spool of Aurifil thread
  • Take a creative photo (have fun!)
  • Post to Instagram or Facebook making sure to tag #aurifilshenanigansathome

We will pull 1 lucky winner on Sunday night and you will be notified on Monday, May 22. We can’t wait to see your images!!

Rulerwork Zippered Bag by Amanda Murphy

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

— Amanda

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

Amanda and her BERNINA Q24

Amanda and her BERNINA Q24

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

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

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

AmandaMurphyCollection-LG

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

AmandaMurphyCollectionSM

** Images and text are courtesy of Amanda Murphy.

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.

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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.

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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

Seventy Six by Alison Glass

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Inspired by words like Harmony, Renewal, and Goodness, the idea for the patterns in Alison Glass‘ Seventy Six for Andover Fabrics was born. Seventy Six is a versatile collection of thirty fabrics. Ten of them are especially useful neutrals ranging from white to dark grey in a perfect scale for quilting. Images of birds and bees mix with stars, flowers, and pretty line-work in lovely harmony. The colors, saturated and complex, represent a more controlled AG palette, sure to make for beautiful patchwork. Alison’s coordinating thread collections offer a wonderful range for sewists and quilters. The Large collection features a mix of colors in 50wt. The Small collections are broken out into Warm, Cool and Neutral tones, each with 5 colors in both 50wt and 28wt.

Read on for all sorts of thread info, an interview with Alison, info about her fabric and embroidery designs and of course… a GIVEAWAY!

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THREAD COLLECTION DETAILS
Seventy Six Large Collection
12 Large Spools, 50wt (1422yds/spool)
4030 – 2588 – 4020 – 5002 – 2235 – 5015
5022 – 2910 – 2815 – 2525 – 6722 – 6736alisonglass-sevetysixlg

Seventy Six Small Collection, Warm Palette
Small, 50wt (220yds/spool) & 28wt (109yds/spool)
4030 – 2588 – 4020 – 5002 – 2235 (50wt) 4030 – 2588 – 4020 – 5002 – 2235 (28wt)alisonglass-seventysixwarmsm

Seventy Six Small Collection, Cool Palette
Small, 50wt (220yds/spool) & 28wt (109yds/spool)
5015 – 5022 – 2910 – 2815 – 2525 (50wt) 5015 – 5022 – 2910 – 2815 – 2525 (28wt)alisonglass-sevetysixcool-sm

Seventy Six Small Collection, Neutral Palette 
Small, 50wt (220yds/spool) & 28wt (109yds/spool)
6722 – 6736 – 2021 – 2615 – 2784 (50wt) 6722 – 6736 – 2021 – 2615 – 2784 (28wt)alisonglass-seventysixneutralsm

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

THE INTERVIEW
How did you background in home décor inspire and guide your journey in textile design?
About 8 years ago, I started a business doing organization and decorating for clients. I dropped the organization component after about a year to focus on space remodels. I began using fabrics from the quilting industry in client’s homes because the fabric was more in line with what I was looking for, interesting design with bolder colors, and overall just different from a lot of the home dec fabric available. Through working with these fabrics, I became very interested in the idea of designing fabric and eventually did design my first line that ended up being produced by Andover Fabrics.

three_quilts_garden_web-1

Do you come from a creative background and how did that influence your path?
My mother’s mother sewed beautifully, really truly very talented, but I didn’t know her well, so anything from her would be in the genetic category. My mother also was very, very talented at a lot of things, including sewing and color. I do remember sitting by her and watching her sew and I remember her telling me things about how to use the machine, etc., but she passed away when I was nine, so to say that she taught me to sew wouldn’t be true. I’m sure she would have, we just didn’t get to it. She still is one of my greatest influences though, in immeasurable ways. I did take a class when I was around twelve, which was mainly useful in learning how to thread my sewing machine (a Bernina that had belonged to my mom that is still the main machine around here), and from there I just kind of sewed and figured it out.

[Matchstick Quilt Straight line quilting by Mary Menzer.]

How you first got started in the world of sewing and quilting?
I guess like both my mum and her mum, a lot of the sewing I started out doing was out of a practical desire of wanting things for my home, and because I could. I mainly sewed home décor items such as pillows and slip covers. Then when I started having kids I made nursery things. From there, I started to create things for other people which helped to grow my business. I also sew because I love fabric and always have. It is strange to think back and see a path leading to fabric design, but it all makes sense.

Bungalow Quilt

Bungalow Quilt

How did you first connect with Andover Fabrics and what do you love most about working with them?
Working with Andover is very collaborative and I love that. They are great at listening and and we really do work together to grow in ways that are best for the whole. Andover is also extremely committed to quality in everything they produce, as am I, so that works out well for all of us and for the people who end up using the fabrics. They are also kind, nice and a lot of fun! We have a good time and it feels like a positive group project where everyone contributes.

Seventy-Six and Insignia are your latest collections with Andover. What inspired these lines and what do you love most about how the two coordinate?
Seventy Six is inspired by historic celebrations and focuses on themes of renewal, goodness and harmony. It’s a very personal line and for sure a favorite of mine. I love how the colors work together and I think it represents and important shift in my thought process as a fabric designer. Insignia fills a need for solid fabrics that coordinate with my prints. The saturation of the colors is amazing. The mill did such  great work with the printing and the texture of the fabric shows so beautifully. I love how Insignia works with Seventy Six, and really all of the fabrics, to give some needed space to the busy. Both of these lines are for sure favorites of mine.

cobblestone_quilt_fireplace_portrait_web-1

Cobblestone Quilt

You work with an amazing and diverse group of makers to showcase your fabrics. What is it like to see your fabrics come to life in the hands of these talented women & men?
That’s true, everyone that helps by making is amazing. I’m extremely lucky to have a large group of tallented people interested in the work and willing to make things with it. It’s not something I take lightly or for granted at all. Every person that helps to show what can be done with the fabric is immensely important to getting the work out and seen so that others can continue in their own making. I appreciate every piece and truly love being in the position to make a raw good that others can use to create their own heirlooms. I have a certain capacity for imagining uses, but it’s so small compared to what others choose. It’s truly a favorite part of the job.

When did you first discover Aurifil threads and what do you love most about them? Do you have a favorite color/weight?
Aurifil first is a super group of hard working people making a superior product. I simply first discovered Aurifil at my first or second Quilt Market by walking past their booth and seeing a wall of amazing brilliant color. That is what drew me in, then learning about the quality sealed the deal. I have tons of colors I love, but one that stands out is 5022, it’s a personal favorite that has ended up in multiple AG collections. It’s a beautiful chartreuse color that I’m personally very drawn to. I love the matte finish of the threads and again the wide range of gorgeous colors.

How did you go about selecting threads for your latest Aurifil collection, and how would you want to present them to all of the makers out there?
The collections fall into two categories. The three small boxes (Warm, Cool and Neutral) each have five colors in two weights. I chose the two weights so that people would have colors that work well with the fabrics, but also choices for uses. The 50wt is great for piecing while the 28 is super for visible colorful quilting, a concept I love and am hoping to share with other through these collections as well as some of our newer patterns. The Neutral box is particularly  useful. Each of the five weights/colors would cover the majority of needs. While the colors are chosen to work well with Seventy Six and Insignia, the reality is that they blend beautifully with the majority of my fabrics (and others). The large box is 12 useful colors that go great with the fabrics, but are also chosen to use with my machine embroidery collections for Bernina and OESD. I have a new (really fun!) machine embroidery collection and these threads are chosen specifically to make for a great outcome for those designs.

[Attacus Linework Moth & Attacus  Linework Crewel Style Moth by Nydia Kehnle.]

THE SEVENTY SIX EXPERIENCE
Alison Glass isn’t just a designer, a quilter, or an artist… she is a story-teller. With each collection release, she tells a new story, adding to her rich history. Seventy Six isn’t just a group of thread collections or a new fabric line (partnered with Insignia) for Andover… It isn’t just a new set of embroidery designs with OESD or a set of fabulous temporary tattoos. It is the works of art that come from it all, the new projects that are thoughtfully created by so many talented makers. Alison inspires people to dig deeper into their own creative instincts and the results are always stunning. We couldn’t help but share a few examples here.

THE FABRIC
Seventy Six & Insignia by Alison Glass for Andover Fabrics

THE EMBROIDERY DESIGNS
Seventy Six Embroidery Designs by Alison Glass for OESD
{all designs were stitched using Aurifil 50wt. Thread color chart is available on disc}screen-shot-2016-12-09-at-12-29-11-pm

THE GIVEAWAY
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To enter-to-win 1 Fat Quarter Bundle of Seventy Six by Alison Glass for Andover Fabrics, 1 Large Seventy Six Thread Collection by Alison Glass for Aurifil and one Embroidery Designs disc by Alison Glass for OESD, click here to head to the Rafflecopter entry page, or simply click on the image above. You do not have to complete all the options to be entered but the more options you choose, the more entries you have!  Entries will be accepted from now through 11:59pm Eastern Time on Friday, December 16! Winner will be randomly selected and announced here on Saturday, December 17. Good luck!

UPDATE: This giveaway is now closed. Congratulations to Emily C!

ANOTHER FAB GIVEAWAY!!
Also, don’t miss out on this AMAZING giveaway going on now over at Andover Fabrics! Click here or on the image below for more information. Giveaway runs through Tuesday, December 15th at 5pmEST.screen-shot-2016-12-09-at-12-33-40-pm

ABOUT ALISON
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Alison Glass is a surface designer living in Virginia with her husband, daughter, and son. Aspiring to create a career for herself, Alison started a design business in 2007 focusing on space remodels and custom home decor pieces. Her love of color and shape and the combination of the two eventually lead to making the decision to step back from the local design business and work toward her goal of creating artwork for surfaces. She is thrilled for the opportunity to design fabric for Andover.

Alison is inspired by the multitude of details in the world, both natural and those made by artisans, particularly in urban architecture. She is passionate about the ideas of making choices that are consistent with who a person is, being increasingly comfortable with ambiguity, and continuing to move forward and live in the new. She loves to talk about these ideas, as well as art, design, architecture, color, kids, okay, pretty much anything, with anyone who cares to talk! She is incredibly grateful to her husband and kids, for who they are, and for their enthusiasm and support of her work, as well as the amazing varied and interesting friends she is meeting along the way who are a constant source of inspiration and new possibilities.

[bio & photos courtesy of Alison Glass. Many photos by Love Knot Photo. Feature showcase photos by Nichole VogelsingerKarie JewellJamie Swanson, Kate BastiWendy Bermingham, SARIELLA Studios, Kitty Wilkin, and Kristy Sachs.]

Piece for Shelter Pets

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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

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

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

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

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

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Flourishes minis/pillows on white.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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50 wt. thread used to appliqué narrow scissors blades.

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

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

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

Happy quilting!
— Amanda

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

Amanda and her BERNINA Q24

Amanda and her BERNINA Q24

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

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

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

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

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