QuiltCon 2017 — Savannah, GA

We’re just getting back and settled in from a spectacular five days in beautiful, historic, and fascinating Savannah, Georgia.  There is a certain perceived expectation when you think of “The South”, particularly when you think of Savannah.  Nothing about this city disappointed me. Not even the weather- especially because I arrived the day after it stopped raining. What luck!

Savannah is the oldest city in Georgia and one of the only surviving cities left after the Civil War.  Some of the houses date back to the 1700s, which is pretty incredible.

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Just imagine the quilts that were made inside those walls!  That certainly brings a whole new level of appreciation for Civil War reproduction fabrics, don’t you think?

Savannah is a very picturesque city, full of manicured lawns, immaculately kept homes and ornate details everywhere you look.  Just walking a few blocks to breakfast took us nearly an hour because we kept stopping to admire the view, take pictures or read the plaques of the various fountains and statues in the squares.

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The Savannah River divides the city from the World Trade Center, where QuiltCon 2017 was held.  There was only one hotel on that side, and if you weren’t staying in it, you had to travel across the river via ferry.  On the first night, the ferry was packed full of quilters and only a few locals.  I doubt they had ever seen so many handmade bags and quilt related t-shirts in one place before!

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We had a great time playing a game with our QuiltCon guests.  The idea was to see who, amongst the three players, could put a puzzle together the fastest.  The fastest got to take home a large spool of thread of their choice; the remaining two took home a small spool of their choice.  Everyone was a winner!

All players were challenged to beat the ‘best time’, which kept getting faster and faster throughout the event. On Sunday morning, we had our fastest participant EVER, not just for QuiltCon. Karen Brown completed the Aurifil Spool puzzle in just 2 minutes & 36 seconds. We were all in awe! Congratulations again to Karen, who is now the excited recipient of a Tula Pink Ultimate Collection — 45 small spools of lucious and colorful thread!

To help celebrate 270 Colors, the incredible quilt by Sheri Cifaldi-Morrill of Whole Circle Studio, we hosted an ongoing social media contest.  Participants had to take a “Selfie” in front of the quilt and post it to Instagram using the hashtag “#270ColorsGiveaway“.  We had over 190 entries and our winners were:

We did also share a daily at-home giveaway so that no one would be excluded!! Thank you again to all who played along!

270 Colors by Sheri Cifaldi-Morrill

Even though we weren’t able to sell our thread in our booth, there was still plenty to be found throughout the show including the booths for: Craft South, Crimson Tate, Andover, Victoria Findlay Wolfe, Marcus FabricsRiley Blake, and more!!

We also loved having a chance to visit with some of our amazing fabric partners. Many of them had interactive booths, giving visitors a chance to design quilt blocks, collect supplies to work on collaborative quilting projects, and more!

Of course, one of my favorite aspects of community events like this, is all of the quilts.  I’m amazed at the diversity on display.  Just when I think I’ve seen it all, when I’ve defined my own personal style, I turn a corner and see something that changes my whole perspective, something that makes me stop and think and admire.  Below are some of my favorites from this year’s show.

And of course, Best In Show, “Bling” by Katherine Jones:

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I’m pretty sure she said it took her over 160 hours to complete the quilt top.  It is ENTIRELY paper-pieced!  Can you imagine??

All-in-all, a great time was had by all.  People left feeling inspired, satisfied, knowledgable.  I think those are the best things to come away with.  And, even though it’s maybe a little sad to leave and go back home to reality, the memories live on and we get to look forward to the next time we can fill our minds with new techniques and skills. We get to fill our hearts with the fun times had with friends that we may have only previous known online.  That’s the beauty of it, really.

Until next time!

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— Kristi, Bradley, Erin, and Alex

Top Ten Tuesday {Easter Bunnies}

Welcome to Aurifil Top Ten Tuesday! Springtime is upon us and we couldn’t be more excited about stitching up a few adorable Easter projects! Whether they’re for your home, your children & grandchildren, or just for yourself, these projects are sure to bring springtime cheer to your life. Plus, who doesn’t love cute little bunnies 😉 Grab your Aurifil and stitch up a darling project today!

Top Ten Tuesday

1 – Bunny Bags by Just Jude

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2 – Spring Flowers Wreath by PolkaDot Chair

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3 – Fabric Easter Eggs by Retro Mama

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4 – Scrappy Easter Bunny Head Tie by Wife-Made

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5 – DIY Stuffed Bunny by Alice & Lois

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6 – Bunny Bunting {Tutorial} by Samelias Mum

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7 – Ruffle Bunnies: Fun Appliqué Kitchen Towels by Sew4Home

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8 – Bunny Hop Quilt Pattern {Free} by Jedi Craft Girl

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9 – Flip & Sew Carrot Table Runner by All People Quilt

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10 – Easter Bunny Bunting by Crafts Beautiful

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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 Aurifil.com.

Basically Patrick by Patrick Lose

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We are so pleased to introduce our debut collection and new partnership with Patrick Lose! Patrick, a quilt industry veteran, prolific fabric and pattern designer, and celebrated author, announced the launch of his new fabric company, Patrick Lose Fabrics, at Houston Quilt Market this past Fall. After 23 years of designing for other companies, he felt it was a natural next step. We adore Patrick’s impeccable style, his creativity, and, above all, his love affair with color! Basically Patrick – A Quilter’s Rainbow is set to be the cornerstone of his new venture, so it seemed only fitting to showcase those colors in his debut Aurifil thread collection, Basically Patrick. We’re excited for all that is to come and can’t wait to share all things Patrick with you throughout the year!

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THREAD COLLECTION DETAILS
Basically Patrick
12 Large Spools, 50wt (1422yds/spool), 100% Aurifil Cotton
1133 – 1231 – 2024 – 2135 – 2265 – 2530
2545 – 2692 – 2735 – 2810 – 2870 – 6725

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

THE INTERVIEW
Can you tell us a bit about yourself and how you first got started in the world of sewing and quilting?
I’m probably a pretty complicated person to answer this one because I have so many and varied interests but one thing that makes it easier to describe myself is that I feel that most of my traits stem from being creative. So I guess I’d call myself a “creative”. I usually look at things around me with a creator’s eye and mind because I’m always catching myself trying to figure out how things are made or how something works or what was going through that creator’s mind as they worked through their own process.

Patrick Lose fabric display at Houston Quilt Market, 2016

A display of the ‘Basically Patrick’ releases at Fall Quilt Market 2016

Did you have another career prior to this one?
In all honesty, I feel like I’ve had many because my creative personality is also a curious one and I’ve tried lots of different things. I was bit by the theatre bug in high school and I’ve worked as an actor/singer and costume designer alongside any other job I’ve had. I’ve also worked simultaneously as a florist, graphic designer, illustrator, teacher, and fashion/bridal designer to name a few.

Basically Patrick colors on display at Quilt Market in Houston, Fall 2017

A peek into the Patrick Lose Fabrics booth at Fall Quilt Market 2016

Do you remember the process of making your first quilt and how you felt once it was complete?
I remember it well but probably not for the best of reasons. I’ve always loved log cabin quilts and decided to make my own version and really enjoyed the process until it came time to quilt it. It was a large throw size, maybe 60 inches square, and I decided to try my hand at free-motion quilting on my domestic machine at my kitchen table. It might have been okay if I hadn’t decided to do a loopy meander over the entire top, with none of the loops larger than about a half inch diameter and spaced an inch or two apart. I thought I would never finish it and I also thought I would never quilt again when I finally did finish. But I sure got over my fear of free-motion quilting fast.

You’ve just launched your own fabric company, Patrick Lose Fabrics. What inspired the shift and what excites you most about the resulting new collections?
I can’t even describe how excited I am to be at this point in my career. It’s like it’s all new and every day there’s something even more exciting to work on or experience than the day before. I always enjoyed being a designer for someone else’s fabric company but I’ve been doing that since 1993. There were always limitations to the number of collections or designs I could put out in a season, though one of those companies, in particular, had offered me lots of freedom. Now I decide for myself how much I want to produce and I’ve never been more prolific in my entire career. I just feel like the sky is the limit and I’m investigating so many opportunities now that the companies I worked with in the past weren’t able to offer. I really feel as though the work I am doing now is the best I’ve ever done because of this freedom I’ve been fortunate enough to achieve.

Patrick Lose Fabrics

Patrick Lose Fabrics

 What is your favorite quilting technique and why?
There are so many, but I design and make lots of appliqué projects because it’s a way for me to put my illustrations and characters into my quilted pieces. The fans who follow what I do, especially in appliqué and machine embroidery have been so loyal and I try to offer them lots because it’s a smaller niche audience that doesn’t alway get the attention it deserves in the industry.

Basically Patrick Fabrics

Basically Patrick Fabrics

When did you first discover Aurifil threads and what do you love most about them?
I’m pretty sure I was already using Auriful thread when I opened my first studio in 2010 and I’ve been a fan for as long as I’ve used it.

Do you have a favorite color/weight and why?
Color is my “thing” and, maybe because I love working with all colors, it’s really impossible for me to pick a favorite. Those who know my work would probably be surprised to hear that some of my all-time favorites are Aurifil’s neutrals and I love using them in 50 weights for piecing. But, if I have a color on hand that is an exact match for what I’m piecing, I go with that. That’s why I love having so many Aurifil colors at my disposal. I love the range of colors Aurifil produces!

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How did you go about selecting threads for your latest Aurifil collection?
I wanted our customers who use my “Basically Patrick” collection of blender basics to have a great starter set of colors that coordinate well with the palette of the fabrics. Of course, you can’t have too many colors of either “Basically Patrick” fabrics or Aurifil threads so we’re working on another collection to coordinate with all of the new prints and colors that are constantly being added to my collections.

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What excites you most about your partnership with Aurifil?
I love the fact that so many of my customers already use Aurifil threads and are always asking me for the specific threads and colors that I use in my projects. Now I can have them assembled all in one place for them!

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What’s in store for 2017? Where can we find you this year?
Although I enjoy traveling, one of the things I’m loving most about the launch of Patrick Lose Fabrics is that I’m getting lots more studio time for designing – whether it’s drawing and painting or digital design. I’m also spending more time sewing and quilting and that’s been a luxury I didn’t have as much time for in recent years. So, I imagine it will be easiest to find me in my studio in 2017 but we also have a Party with Patrick at Sea cruise next month that I’m really looking forward to. We’ll be spending 10 days in the Caribbean with a really fun bunch of quilters. Every summer I head back to my hometown of Des Moines, Iowa for the truly-awesome Iowa State Fair, where I help to judge the quilting, garment sewing and machine embroidery competitions and teach classes for 11 days in the Fabric and Threads Department. If you have a chance to join us there, I can guarantee you’ll enjoy it! The fair runs from August 10-20.

THE GIVEAWAY

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To enter-to-win 1 Large Bascially Patrick Thread Collection and one Basically Patrick “Land and Sea” Bundle of Fun™ (20 Fat Quarters!), click here to head to the Rafflecopter entry page, or simply click on the image above. You do not have to complete all the options to be entered but the more options you choose, the more entries you have!  Entries will be accepted from now through 11:59pm Eastern Time on Saturday, February 4. Winner will be randomly selected and announced here on Sunday, February 5. Giveaway is open to our international friends! Good luck!

The lovely prints of Land and Sea

The lovely prints of Land and Sea

ABOUT PATRICK
WebsiteBlogFacebookInstagramTwitter — Pinterest

patrickgranddaughterA renaissance man by the very definition, Patrick Lose has spent his entire professional career being creative in one medium or another. An accomplished actor, singer, artist, illustrator, award-winning costume designer, author, fabric designer, pattern designer and outside-of-the-box quilter, Patrick is always looking for new ways to inspire and bring color to the world around him. “When I sit down to doodle at the drawing board, I never know what one of my designs might become.” Whether it’s unique fabric prints, quilts, clothing, stationery products, or home decor, he enjoys creating it all.

Patrick is well-known for his playful novelty designs and colorful trendsetting basics, which he’s created over the 23 years he’s spent designing cotton fabric collections for the industry’s leading companies and, now, for his new company, Patrick Lose Fabrics. As an author of dozens of quilting and crafting publications, Patrick generously shares so many of his creative endeavors. Revered by quilters for his unique method of mixing traditional piecing with contemporary applique techniques, he focuses on creating a variety that attracts quilters of all ages and styles. His quilts, crafts, clothing, and home decorating accessories have graced the pages of such distinguished magazines as his own Quilting Celebrations!, Better Homes & Gardens, American Patchwork and Quilting, Country Crafts, Christmas Ideas, Halloween Tricks & Treats, Love of Quilting and many more.

Always proud to be a longtime friend of independent retailers, Patrick’s fabric collections, books and patterns can be found at your greatest source for inspiration – your local independent quilt shop.

Check out Patrick’s guest appearance on The Crafty Planner’s podcast here.

[All images and biographical text courtesy of Patrick Lose Studios.]

Aurifil 2017 January Designer of the Month – Janet Clare

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Welcome to Year number 7 of our Monthly Designer Challenge & Interview!

I’m Designer, Author, Talk Show host Pat Sloan. We are starting the new year right with our wonderfully talented friend Janet Clare. She is a Moda fabric designer and I personally hoard all her fabric lines!

This year we are celebrating the rainbow of colors in our color wheel. Each designer is assigned a certain color to create their block in.

You can listen to Janet chat with me  on my Talk Show  about her design work.

And the Challenge part continues as each month we select one random winner to receive a 12 spool BOX of Aurifil thread for just making the challenge block and sharing it at my website! (details at the end plus last month’s winner!)

Let’s get to know Janet!

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Top Ten Tuesday {Quilt Alongs}

Welcome to the first Top Ten Tuesday of 2017! The new year is always a fun time to find and participate in new Sew Alongs, Clubs, and Block of the Month programs. We’ve discovered a slew of fabulous opportunities for 2017 that will keep you sewing all year long! Join one, or a few 😉 , that work for you!  Grab your fabrics and, of course, your Aurifil Threads and have fun!

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1 . The Art of Home Club with Jacquelynne Steves.

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2 . Project Quilting hosted by Persimon Dreams.

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3 . Down the Rabbit Hole Block of the Month hosted by Sarah Fielke.

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4 . 52 Weeks with the Quilters Planner hosted by Gnome Angel.

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5 . The #2017SewingBookChallenge hosted by My Happy Haven

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6 . The Cookbook Quilt Along hosted by Amy Gibson of Stitchery Dickory Dock.

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7 . The Murder Mystery Quilt 2017 hosted by Whipstitch Modern Sewing.

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8 . The Milky Way Sampler hosted by Blossom Heart Quilts.

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9 . Pat Sloan is hosting a slew of her own BOM and Quilt Alongs, and we loved the theme of the 2017 Children’s Library Block of the Month.

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10 . And of course our very own Aurifil Designer Block of the Month hosted right here on the Auribuzz blog!

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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 Aurifil.com.

Aurifil 2016 December Designer of the Month Amanda Herring

aurifil-2016-design-team-dec-amanda-herring-collageI’m Designer, Author, Radio show host Pat Sloan.. Our December Designer bringing us the 12th gorgeous blocks is the super talented and witty Amanda Herring of The Quilted Fish.. get it.. Herring… Fish? See.. I told you she is witty!

Amanda Inspires me personally, when we meet it was like we’d known each other forever. She champions the amazing industry we work in and is a constant source of creativity. She puts out 1,000% for every project.

You can listen to Amanda chat with me  on my Talk Show Nov 23, 2015 about her inspiration for her  fabric lines.

Let’s get to know Amanda!!

Where do you live Amanda?

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I live in a suburb of Salt Lake City, Utah and I love where I live!  I especially love the mountains and find great peace when I spend time there.  I have lived here my whole life, but have traveled the world.  I am always happy to call this home!  I live about 25 minutes from 5 or 6 canyons, so I be in nature any time I need to recharge.

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For a complete change of scenery, I only need to drive 2-3 hours and I can be in the gorgeous red rock part of my state.   One of my favorite destinations is Moab.  I always feel inspired after a visit here.

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What was your first quilt sighting? Did that start you quilting? 

{My wedding quilt from my grandma!}

My first quilt sighting was at my grandma’s house.  She was an avid hand quilter and I remember her working on quilts in a giant hoop.  She made a quilt for each grandchild when they got married.  My wedding quilt was one of the last she made before she passed away and it will be a treasure forever!

Seeing my grandma quilt didn’t inspire me to start, but what did was a dose of massive depression.  I started quilting as a way of finding some relief and it was wonderful!  I made 11 quilts in my first three months of quilting.  I gave away almost all of my first quilts, which also gave me great joy.  My first quilt was made from a pattern called Just Can’t Cut it by All Washed Up and I gave it as a gift to that same grandma.

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What is your background prior to designing fabric?

{Selected fabrics from collections I have designed for Riley Blake Designs…all in my fave blue, turquoise!}

Before I started my life in the quilting industry I tried lots of things.  I went to school in both interior design and fashion design.  I worked in retail for 10 years and then was an interior designer for a short period before becoming a mother.  Besides designing fabric and patterns, I also design custom rugs.  Between design and family, my life is very full!

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We all have ‘one thing’ that is kind of hits us.. what is yours?

My recent “light bulb” moment was when I used silk pins for the first time!  I couldn’t believe how much more enjoyable my pinning experience was.  I have always just used the cheapest pins I could find, and I won’t be doing that anymore!  I also have started using my seam ripper as an awl, and I am loving that, too!

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 Where do you work? would you change anything?

I am so fortunate to have two fabulous places to sew.

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One is my cottage, which is a little house that was built in 1938 and is the center of operations for all of my creative exploits.

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We purchased it about 4 years ago and completely renovated it.  It is full of joyful feelings and happy little bits and pieces that make me smile.  It is big enough that my staff can join me here, and small enough that it is intimate and cozy.

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At the cottage I sew on my turquoise featherweight (which I LOVE)! This was custom painted for me by Jeff McAllister (@OldOval) and it is a dream!

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I also sew at home, but right now it is in my unfinished basement, and it isn’t pretty at all.  So I try to save my sewing for the cottage.

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Do you have a super storage tip?

I don’t consider myself to be very organized, but I do have one thing that keeps me pretty neat while I am sewing.  It is a tiered stand I purchased from the kitchen/dining section at Pier One a couple of years ago.  I love it for my pins, cutting tools, seam rippers, extra blades….anything I like to have close.  I love that I can pick it up and move it to wherever I am.  Plus, it’s big enough that I can sometimes toss things in.

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The hard question.. favorite color of Aurifil thread!

My favorite Aurifil colors are white (2024) and then these beautiful turquoise colors (1148, 4093).  Truly, turquoise is my favorite color!  Close behind is pink, though, so I thought I would throw them in for fun.Turquoise collage-01

What about blue inspired your block?

I love blue.  I find myself gravitating towards it in design and decor.  For me, nothing is complete without some touch of blue.  My home is filled with blue, my cottage is filled with blue (you may have noticed the table, the cupboards, the walls…all turquoise) and every line I have ever designed has blue as a main part of one of the color ways.  Blue makes me feel calm and happy and I try to surround myself with it.

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DOWNLOAD Amanda’s Flower block

TIP – The seam allowance is included in the PP, so once units are ready to put together, cut ON the line and sew with a 1/4″ seam

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A few more things about me:

  • Right or left handed? I am right handed, and can’t do anything with my left!  I am the proud mom of a lefty, though!
  • Favorite  TV show? Favorite childhood TV show was “Today’s Special”.  I recently found it on DVD and ordered the entire collection!
  • Dog, cat? I am a dog person, although I love ALL animals.  This is my dog, Nuit, when she was a puppy.  She is a great dane, and my nearly constant companion.

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  • Favorite snacks? My fave snacks are nuts, especially if they are covered in chocolate!
  • All time favorite color? The color I have always loved is blue…no pink! No BLUE!Thread-2

Follow me:

instagram @amandaherringdesignsamanda-herring-paper-pieced-flower-block

Facebook https://www.facebook.com/QuiltedFish/

Website Thequiltedfish.com

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You now have 12 gorgeous blocks in your library. ALL will make excellent repeat block.. our design team did an outstanding job this year!

I pulled all their blocks & my version to see them together.

COME SEE ALL the Designer Blocks on my Design wall!

I will create a setting for the 12 blocks sometime in January. You can always use a prior setting we did .. the previous 5 years of Designer blocks are HERE, where we have 2 settings for 12″ blocks

Are you on Facebook? I have a fantastic quilt group with the most incredible show and tell going on! You should see it! JOIN me HERE … I’d love to meet you!

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******* JOIN our Aurifil Family  *******

EACH MONTH we will pick one random winner that has made a block.. that person will receive a special Aurifil thread prize! Winners are all contacted email

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Our RANDOM picker this month selected Ev!  She has WON a BOX of Aurifil thread! Such gorgeous blocks entered .. see all the great versions HERE

REMEMBER – The Photo entry is moved to my website where more people can enter, right HERE

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Deep Gems by Paula Nadelstern

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

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

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

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

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

The amazing first bolt of Liberty of London fabric

The amazing first bolt of Liberty of London fabric

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

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

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

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

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

Paula's prized first quilt

Paula’s prized first quilt

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

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

fabracadabra

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

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

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

Closeup of An Agreement of Butterflies by Paula Nadelstern

Closeup of An Agreement of Butterflies by Paula Nadelstern

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

An Agreement of Butterflies by Paula Nadelstern

An Agreement of Butterflies by Paula Nadelstern

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

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

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

Paula at 2013 Quilt Market in Houston

Paula at 2013 Quilt Market in Houston

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

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

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

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

deepgems-paulanadelstern

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

THE GIVEAWAY

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To enter-to-win 1 Large Deep Gems by Paula Nadelstern for Aurifil Thread Collection + 1 copy of Fabracadabra by Paula Nadelstern for C& T Publishing and 2 bundles of Kismet by Paula Nadelstern for Benartex , click here to head to the Rafflecopter entry page, or simply click on the image above. You do not have to complete all the options to be entered but the more options you choose, the more entries you have!  Entries will be accepted from now through 11:59pm Eastern Time on Wednesday, December 14! Winner will be randomly selected and announced here on Thursday, December 15. Good luck!

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

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

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

Showcase Sunday {12.4}

showcasesunday12-4

It’s been a long time since we’ve posted a  Showcase Sunday, so welcome back! We love having a forum to showcase the beautiful work that all of you do!  We can’t get enough of the lovely things that you’re making, so 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 visit the artist’s Instagram account for more!)

@charmaboutyou

@charmaboutyou

@josewshandmade

@josewshandmade

@iamlunasol

@iamlunasol

@skinnymalinkyquilts

@skinnymalinkyquilts

@quiltyhabit

@quiltyhabit

@nightquilter

@nightquilter

@mybearpaw

@mybearpaw

@gardenvarietycookie

@gardenvarietycookie

@lappelises_quiltestue

@lappelises_quiltestue

@lesliepeterson5

@lesliepeterson5

@pieladyquilts

@pieladyquilts

@bigstitchquilting

@bigstitchquilting

@ml_wilkie

@ml_wilkie

@chelsierosner

@chelsierosner

@misterdomestic

@misterdomestic

@mrssophie2

@mrssophie2

Find free patterns, tips, tutorials and inspiration by following Aurifil 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 Aurifil.com.

Top Ten Tuesday {Thanksgiving}

top-ten-tuesday-thanksgiving

With Thanksgiving just a little over a week away, we’re feeling particularly thankful for this supportive and creative sewing & quilting community of ours. What are you thankful for this year? Will you be sewing for the holiday? We’ve rounded up a few favorite projects to share. From potholders to placemats, soft books to quilts, there are projects here to suit every need! Have fun!

1. Patchwork Acorn Potholders — Jedi Craft Girl for Thermoweb

patchwork-acorn-potholders

2. Fabric Napkin Bread Warmer — Tried and True

bun-warmer-napkin-free-pattern-8

3. Modern Maples Quilt – Diary of a Quilter

modern-maples

4. Thanksgiving Quiet Book — How Does She

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5. Thanksgiving Banner — Tell & Love Party

thankfulbanner

6. Fall Placemat Tutorial — A Quilting Life

fallplacemat

7. Acorn Pillow — Hey Let’s Make Stuff

acorn-pillow-wide-750-x-500

8. Tom Turkey Placemat — Bee in my Bonnet

tomturkeyplacemat

9. Fabric Turkey Headband — Rae Gun Ramblings

turkeyheadband

10. Homemade Pie — Bee in my Bonnet

homemadepie

 

 

Aurifil 2016 November Designer of the Month Kim Niedzwiecki

I’m Designer, Author, Radio show host Pat Sloan.. Our November Designer is the incredible designer and a good friend of mine,  Kim Niedzwiecki. She write at Go Go Kim

Once you meet Kim, you’ve made a friend for life, you just know it will be that way! I first meet her at a trade show and she came swirling around the corner (as she NEVER goes slow) all bubbly and fun in the most amazing outfit she had sewn. We hit it off and.. well.. i think we chat now every day, you are going to LOVE Kim as much as I do.

Listen to Kim chat with me  on my Talk Show Aug 12, 2013 and learn how she got the name ‘Go Go’!

Let’s get to know Kim!

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