Coming Up Roses: Penny in the City

Penny in the City by Kate Brennan

We were thrilled when the amazing team at Penny Rose Fabrics asked if we’d like to join in on Jill Finley‘s Coming Up Roses blog tour. You see, we love Jill. ❤ Not just because she is one of our treasured Aurifil Designers, but because she is an incredibly talented fabric designer, quilter, maker, and generally an all around lovely person. Also, Coming Up Roses, her latest line with Penny Rose, is absolutely stunning. Just look at these feature prints!!

While we don’t have a new thread collection to coordinate with Coming Up Roses, we were happy to see that some of the colors from her Meadow Sweets collection work incredibly well! Take a peek at those colors right here.

To feature Jill’s fabrics, we turned to Aurifil’s own Kate Brennan, based in our Chicago office. Kate is a talented quilter with a keen eye for color and pairing patterns. She focused on Jill’s blue colorway, opting for the Roses Main, Roses Vine, Roses Hexi, and Roses Buds prints and added in a few Riley Blake coordinates with Swiss Dot Tone on Tone White & Confetti Cottons Color Riley Royal Blue. Kate says that she loves working with Riley Blake fabrics and is particularly taken with this collection. It has a lot of flexibility, a good range of scale and color in patterns, featured saturated solids, and is super high quality.

She grabbed a spool of Aurifil 6735 (Plumtastic) in 50wt for piecing and quilting and added in a spool of 2783 (Medium Delft Blue) in 40wt for additional quilting.

While Kate did not use a pattern to make Penny in the City she did use a Mariner’s Compass Ruler from Robin Ruth Design. The ruler allowed her to achieve a stunning Mariner’s compass block by strip-piecing.

We are in LOVE with Kate’s finished wall hanging and had so much fun checking out her photos of the piece around the city of Chicago. 😉 (with a bit of added help from her daughters!)

Coming Up Roses will be available in stores soon!  Make sure to check out the fabulous free Simple Circles Quilt pattern by Andy Knowlton, shared last week and keep an eye on the blogs below for more great projects and patterns to come!
COMING UP ROSES BLOG TOUR SCHEDULE
July 6:  Andy Knowlton / A Bright Corner
July 13:  Aurifil / Auribuzz
July 20:  Amy Chappell / Ameroonie Designs
July 27:  Carrie Burnett / Beri Bee Designs
Aug 3:  Kari Steiger / That’s-Sew-Kari
Aug 10:  Kimberly Einmo / Kimbery Einmo Designs

HANDY LINKS
Coming Up Roses Fabric by Jill Finley for Riley Blake Designs
Meadow Sweets by Jill Finley for Aurifil in Large & Small
All about Jill Finley & Jillily Studios
Robin Ruth Design, Mariner’s Compass Rulers

Enchanted by Dodi Poulsen

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Enchanted project by Little Londyn

Enchanted project by Little Londyn

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

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

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

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

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

Preppy Plaid Tote Bag by Jedi Craft Girl

Preppy Plaid Tote Bag by Jedi Craft Girl

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

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

Projects by Tie Dye Diva

Projects by Tie Dye Diva

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

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

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

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

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

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

Enchanted colors in Aurifloss!

Enchanted colors in Aurifloss!

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

Samples of the Enchanted fabrics

Samples of the Enchanted fabrics

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

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

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

GIVEAWAY

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

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

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

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

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

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

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