Choose Happiness

Enchanted, Dodi Poulsen of Two Sisters at Squirrel Hollow‘s debut collection for Aurifil, released at Houston Quilt Market last year. The colors were hand-picked to coordinate with the magical prints in her collection with Riley Blake Designs.  A lovely showcase of navy, pink, mint, and teal with a little pop of yellow & green, the collection brings to mind fairytales of our youth.

While her collections boast an array of our 50wt thread, Dodi has been experimenting with our Aurifloss in her Enchanted colors.

She has thoroughly enjoyed working with the floss and was kind enough to put together this lovely pattern to share with all of you:

Choose Happiness is a delightfully sweet embroidery pattern featuring a tiny squirrel among the flowers. It’s completely darling and would look perfect as a finished hoop, as Dodi did here, or finished as a wall hanging, embellishment on a tote, or even on a throw pillow.

To grab your copy of this free pattern, simply click on the link below. Print the page at 100% and use your preferred method to transfer the pattern to your fabric for easy stitching. For some great tips, check out Dodi’s blog.

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We’d love to see your versions of Choose Happiness! Don’t forget to tag us (@aurifilthread & #aurifil) and Dodi (@sashgal) with your project photos so we can oooo and aaaah over your work;).

Eighteen lovely prints available in yardage & precuts. Click on the link below, or check your local quilt shop for more info!

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


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


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




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


Project: Sew Very Happy by Susan Emory

Today, we’re handing the blog over to Aurifil Designer Susan Emory of Swirly Girls Design. Susan has a wonderful pattern to share, along with some excellent tips — all using her Summer Lovin’ thread collection, released last year. This project is absolutely perfect to get us prepared for warmer weather ahead! Now excuse us while we daydream about the bright Summer sun;).

My introduction to Aurifil Thread came several years ago when I picked up a spool of 12 wt thread for hand embroidery. I immediately loved that I no longer had to separate strands before I began stitching! Since then, I have discovered the lint-free beauty of Aurifil 40wt and 50wt to use on the machine. I switched to Aurifil and never looked back.

When I approached Aurifil to create a designer thread collection to coordinate Summer Lovin’, my  fabric line with Michael Miller Fabrics, I was THRILLED when they said yes!

I love hand embroidery and I love appliqué so we combined the best of both and produced a box with six 12wt spools and six 50wt spools.

This box is the perfect fit for the Sweet Summertime Block of the Month quilt featuring hand embroidered blocks each month.

The 50wt is ideal for machine appliqué and matches the fabrics perfectly!

Flower Power

Have you had a chance to hand stitch with 12wt yet? I designed a simple hand embroidery project to give you that chance and to help get you started!

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DOWNLOAD Sew Very Happy by Susan Emory
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I used a pencil to lightly trace the design onto solid white Cotton Couture from Michael Miller Fabrics.

I combined back-stitching and french knots for stitching the design.


I then added borders and quilted the mini quilt. After quilting, I decided to add some fussy-cut floral motifs from Summer Lovin’. I stitched the appliqués down with matching 50wt thread. Next, I added a row of big stitch quilting with the 12wt in red.

I used the yellow and green Picnic Plaid print for bias binding.

Enjoy!! I can’t wait to see your minis!!

Susan Emory is a licensed designer with Michael Miller Fabrics and a quilt designer under the Swirly Girls Design logo. Summer Lovin’ by Susan Emory/Swirly Girls Design for Michael Miller Fabrics and the Summer Lovin’ Designer Thread Collection are in stores now.




Pssssst. Something fun coming soon!!

Top Ten Tuesday {Embroidery}

We love whipping up projects quickly with our sewing machines, but sometimes sitting down and doing some slow stitching is exactly what we need. February is National Embroidery Month and to celebrate we have rounded up a few of our favorite patterns and tutorials for you to enjoy. Grab your Aurifil 12 weight thread or Aurifloss and stitch up one of these fun projects today!


1 – Love Everyone Embroidery Template by Wild Olive


2 – Learning About Hand Embroidery from The Seasoned Homemaker


3 – Heart and Home Embroidery by Flamingo Toes


4 – The 2012 Aurifil DOM Reboot – a new block comes out this Thursday!


5 – Do Small Things Embroidery Pattern by Nana Company


6 – Sewing Sayings Embroidery by imagine gnats for Sew Mama Sew



7 – Hand Embroidery: Lettering and Text


8 – How to transfer embroidery patterns by Shiny Happy World


9 – Embroidered Bouquet by Down Grapevine Lane


10 – Creating a Craft Station by Stitch People


Find more free patterns, tips, tutorials and inspiration by following on PinterestFacebook, and Instagram. All are updated regularly to provide you with the best the sewing world has to offer!

For more information about Aurifil products, including thread weights, Designer Collections, and where to purchase from your local quilt shop or select online shops, please visit

Coastal Mist Blog Hop

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


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


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


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


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

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


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


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


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


To enter-to-win your very own Coastal Mist floss collection, click here or on the image above to head to the Rafflecopter entry page. You do not have to complete all the options to be entered but the more options you choose, the more entries you have!  Entries will be accepted from now through 11:59pm Eastern Time on Friday, February 10! Winner will be randomly selected and announced here on Saturday, February 11. This giveaway is open to our international friends! Good luck!

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

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

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


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


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

Marmalade Meadows by Wendy Sheppard


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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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


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

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


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


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

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

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


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

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


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


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

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


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

1 – strand stitching for a fine needlework sampler

2 – strand stitching for all-purpose stitching

3 – strand stitching for smocking

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


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



To enter-to-win 1 Fat Quarter Bundle of Bleecker Street by Quilting Treasures and 1 Small Marmalade Meadows Thread Collection by Wendy Sheppard for Aurifil, click here to head to the Rafflecopter entry page, or simply click on the image above. You do not have to complete all the options to be entered but the more options you choose, the more entries you have!  Entries will be accepted from now through 11:59pm Eastern Time on Wednesday, December 28! Winner will be randomly selected and announced here on Thursday, December 29. Good luck!

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

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

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

Seventy Six by Alison Glass


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!


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.

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.


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

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.]

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.

Seventy Six & Insignia by Alison Glass for Andover Fabrics

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

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!

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

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.]

Vintage 30s – Ruby’s Treasures by Barbara Eikmeier


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

Vintage 30s – Ruby’s Treasures

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


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

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

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


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

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


Pinwheel Garden Quilt

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

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

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

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


Whirligig Quilt

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

Ruby's Treasures Quilt - Click for Free Pattern

Ruby’s Treasures Quilt – Click for Free Pattern

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

Garden of Nine by Barbara Eikmeier

Garden of Nine by Barbara Eikmeier

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

Barbara's Original Spools of Aurifil Thread

Barbara’s Original Spools of Aurifil Thread

Barbara's original Aurifil Color Card

Barbara’s original Aurifil Color Card

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


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



To enter-to-win 1 Small Aurifil Thread Collection and 1 Paintbrush Studios FQ Bundle for Vintage 30s – Ruby’s Treasures, click here to head to the Rafflecopter entry page, or simply click on the image above. You do not have to complete all the options to be entered but the more options you choose, the more entries you have!  Entries will be accepted from now through 11:59pm Eastern Time on Thursday, October 20! Winner will be randomly selected and announced here on Friday, October 21. Good luck!

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

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

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

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

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

Thread Journey: Quilt Construction, Part 2


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

With that said… here’s Wendy!

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Wendy Sheppard, Thread Journey 6.30

Wendy Sheppard, Thread Journey 6.30

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

Wendy Sheppard, Thread Journey 6.30

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

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

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

Wendy Sheppard, Thread Journey 6.30

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

Wendy Sheppard, Thread Journey 6.30

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

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

This is how I make my Ohio Star Blocks:

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

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

Wendy Sheppard, Thread Journey 6.30

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

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

Wendy Sheppard, Thread Journey 6.30

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

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

Wendy Sheppard, Thread Journey 6.30

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

Wendy Sheppard, Thread Journey 6.30

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

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

Wendy Sheppard, Thread Journey 6.30

Wendy Sheppard, Thread Journey 6.30

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

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


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

Wendy Sheppard, Thread Journey 6.30

7. Trim accordingly.

Wendy Sheppard, Thread Journey 6.30

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

Wendy Sheppard, Thread Journey 6.30

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

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


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

Thread Journey by Wendy Sheppard, Progress

Thread Journey by Wendy Sheppard, Progress


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

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

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

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

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

Showcase Sunday {6.5}


Welcome back to Showcase Sunday, our forum to showcase the beautiful work that all of you do! We took a short break for Quilt Market and we’re back with some  magnificent images of what you’ve been creating. We’re thrilled to share some of them here today. Keep tagging us and sharing your work and we’ll feature some of our favorites here every other Sunday. Don’t forget to check in on Facebook & Instagram to see more! Happy Stitching:).

(Click on any image below to learn more via the the artist’s Instagram or on the actual link to visit the artist’s blog)

1.  The Not So Dramatic Life



2. Charm About You



3. During Quiet Time



4. Betz White



5. Campbell Soup Diary



6. Quilts of a Feather



7. Minki Kim



8. Quilts by Marisela



9. Dizzy Quilts



10. Whole Circle Studio



11. Moobird Stitches



12. Good Starter



13. Lilly Ella



14. Quilts by Laurel



15. Mommy2Lu




Showcase Sunday {4.24}


Welcome back to Showcase Sunday, our bi-weekly forum to showcase the beautiful work that all of you do! We’ve seen some magnificent images of what you’ve been creating over the past two weeks and we’re thrilled to share some of them here today. Keep tagging us and sharing your work and we’ll feature some of our favorites here every other Sunday. Don’t forget to check in on Facebook & Instagram to see more! Happy Stitching!!

(Click on any image below to learn more via the the artist’s instagram.)