Sew Many Colors T-Shirt!

Once upon a time, a designer named Sheri (Cifaldi-Morrill of Whole Circle Studio) had a brilliant idea. She was working on a mini quilt for entry into the annual Quilt Alliance Contest. The theme was ‘playing favorites’. Sheri decided to arrange some of her favorite 50wt spools in her signature circular layout as a tribute to her favorite brand of thread, Aurifil, using her favorite fabric solids, Kona by Robert Kaufman. The spools were realized in actual size and were brought to life via Sheri’s favorite piecing technique — foundation paper piecing.

So Many Colors by Sheri Cifaldi-Morrill

The fine folks here at Aurifil spotted this magnificent mini right away. It was eye-catching and a fine showcase of one of our absolute favorite things… thread! We contacted Sheri and a beautiful partnership was born.

A few months later, we debuted Sew Many Colors, a new pattern created and developed by Sheri, based on her original mini, featuring 10 lovely spools. Sheri chose the number 10 as a secondary tribute to Aurifil USA’s 10th Anniversary! The pattern was offered for free on Sheri’s website and also on ours as a call to action for quilters around the world to create a showcase of their own top 10 spools of thread. We watched with joy as the submissions came in and we got to witness so many different versions of this fabulous pattern. It was one of the highlights of our year and we are forever grateful to Sheri for making it possible.

A few of the mini submissions for your viewing pleasure: 

Fast forward a few more months, to today… Today marks the launch Sew Many Colors: The T-Shirt!

Sheri worked with the incredible team at Patchwork Threads to turn her mini quilt design into a wearable work of art. The V-Neck Tees are available in Black & White Heather and are 20% off  from now through Monday, so if you want to walk around wearing a delightful wheel of your favorite threads, head here to check it out!

And, wearing our super comfy t-shirts, we all lived within happiness, joy, and super fabulous color!

A huge THANK YOU to Sheri Cifaldi-Morrill for being such a creative and wonderful partner in all of this!  ❤

** Aurifil does not profit from this post. We just think that a t-shirt featuring our 50wt threads is particularly fabulous and we couldn’t help but share!





Aurifil Shenanigans

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

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

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

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

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

The prizes?

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

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

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

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

Sew Many Colors Winners!

In February, we introduced you to Sew Many Colors, a brand new pattern by Sheri Cifaldi-Morrill of Whole Circle Studio. We made the pattern available for FREE both on our site and on Sheri’s site and launched a contest, asking participants to create their ‘favorite 10’, using Aurifil Threads and Kona Solids from Robert Kaufman.

We had so much fun watching the entries roll in, admiring the colors, the different styles, and even the bits of humor thrown in. Entries were due at the end of March and we made everything available for a public vote for 2 weeks at the beginning of April. Quilters with the top 3 minis were promised both space to showcase the mini in our booth at Spring Quilt Market in St. Louis and a pretty fabulous prize package featuring items from Aurifil, Robert Kaufman, The Warm Company, and Whole Circle Studio.

Today, we’d first like to applaud all of our entrants. You are all amazing and we are so grateful that you played along and shared such beautiful works of art with us! Thank you, thank you:).

And now, to unveil our Top 3 Minis! These minis gained the most amount of public votes and we are thrilled to share them with you today! Drum roll please…

Laura is a quilter, pattern designer, and homeschooling mom of two young boys. She is also an ex-math teacher and, with a last name like Piland, there’s a strong love of Pi in her house! She quilts because it keeps her sane and she loves that what she sews stays sewn at the end of the day, unlike laundry and dishes and… In real life, she creates in her home in southwest Missouri. However, she doesn’t have any local guilds or sewing friends, so the online quilting community her my tribe! You can follow along with her latest shenanigans on Instagram or Facebook, or read about her latest quilt finish on her blog.

Can you tell us about your mini and what inspired your lineup of colors?
When I first saw the “Sew Many Colors” pattern, I laughed because I use white 50wt Aurifil 99% of the time! I thought making the pattern with just white thread spools would look a little boring, so I wanted to add something else. When brainstorming what to add, I decided that since the challenge was all about Aurifil thread, I should make the thread be the star of the show! The circular arrangement of the spools inspired the mandala style quilting. And surprise – I used white 50wt Aurifil!

Nicole Buckley has been quilting for less than 4 years, but sewing since she was eight. She falls on the artistic side of quilting and prefers to add her “spin” on projects.  Her quilting skills are best displayed when she hand quilts. She prefers paper piecing, but is trying to push herself outside of her box by adding improv and design to her skill set.  While Nicole does have a blog, she rarely uses it. She finds herself drawn to Instagram and is deeply inspired by many there. That is where you’ll find her, posting obsessively about her quilting, art, and swimming in the sea.  She has two cats, Percy and Hermione, who are both featured under the hashtag #catsonquilts on Instagram.

“I Need More Aurifil” – a mini by Nicole

Can you tell us about your mini and what inspired your lineup of colors?
I decided to be artistic, which represents my style. I decided to go simple, I piece with simple white Aurifil. I kept the spool the same color that my thread is wound onto. I decided to use the gray Kona to pop against the white and orange, because gray is the new black, lol. The empty spool with embroidered thread represents that I can always use (and need) more thread. Lastly, I made it mini-er. Why do it just like the pattern?  I shrunk to 50%. She measures in at 7.5 x 8.25 inches. She’s tiny!

Jenny’s love of quilting began with self-drafting traditional style quilts and hand quilting them to give as gifts. After a six year hiatus, she returned with a renewed love for the craft of designing and making quilts, favoring a more modern approach. With the explosion of modern quilting techniques and tools, as well as countless suppliers of quality fabrics, threads, and notions, she now finds it to be much easier to nurture her creative side. Jenny’s Connecticut town is home to a handful of great local quilt shops, all heartily supported by the sewing community. Many offer classes for developing new skills and regularly introduce new notions, feeding Jenny’s need to make more and more modern quilts and sewing projects.  Her growing crafting knowledge in partner with knowledge gained from her existing day job has allowed her to start properly drafting patterns of her own, a goal she is hoping to reach before the end of the year. Jenny  works by day as an executive assistant, quilts at night, and spends as much time as possible with her husband and young daughter. You can find Jenny on her blog, on Facebook, and on Instagram

Can you tell us about your mini and what inspired your lineup of colors?
I love testing patterns for designers as I always learn something new and the making process often moves me out of my comfort zone.  So for this mini, I branched away from the typical bright rainbow colors as I wanted to include more colors that are usually forgotten when doing color oriented quilts, hence the inclusion of the cream and gray.  Also, I tend to like contrasting thread against patterned fabric for most projects so I wasn’t sure how much I was going to like the tone-on-tone thread painting idea over the matching solid Kona I had for this mini–but I ended up loving the end results!  The comfort zone also was pushed a lot when I decided to hand embroider the Aurifil logo in the center of the mini–a skill I had not attempted before, but really felt this mini needed to feel complete.

Interested in creating your own top 10 mini? You can grab the pattern here on our website. Thanks so much for joining us and make sure to follow along with us on Facebook & Instagram to see these minis in action at Spring Market!

Sew Many Colors: Pattern Launch & Contest

270 Colors by Sheri Cifaldi-Morrill

270 Colors by Sheri Cifaldi-Morrill

On Thursday, we introduced you to Aurifil’s new hero quilt, 270 Colors by Sheri Cifaldi-Morrill of Whole Circle Studio. The quilt is a celebration of Aurifil USA’s 10th year and is a remarkable presentation of all 270 of our available vibrant colors. The quilt will was on display in our booth this past weekend at QuiltCon East in Savannah, GA, and will travel with us to both Spring & Fall Quilt Markets this year.

Many of you have asked about a pattern, eager to make something of your own. With that in mind, we are absolutely thrilled to introduce Sew Many Colors, a brand new mini quilt pattern drafted by Sheri that features 10 life-size Aurifil Spools in Sheri’s signature circle style.

Sew Many Colors is offered as a downloadable PDF pattern both on Aurifil’s
website and on Whole Circle Studio. You may also download a copy by clicking on the image below.

Sew Many Colors Pattern Image

What to do with such an amazing pattern? Get involved with the Sew Many Colors Contest + Giveaway! Create your “favorite 10” with the Sew Many Colors pattern by Whole Circle Studio, available here.

Share your progress on Instagram using the tags below to encourage and support fellow quilters!

#sewmanycolors   #aurifil   #wholecirclestudio   #robertkaufman   #konacotton

Then enter your finished mini via the Linky Party below by 11:59pm on March 31, 2017. Voting runs from April 1 – April 15, 2017. Our top three winners will be announced on April 20, 2017.

Finished minis must use Aurifil threads and Kona® Cotton by Robert Kaufman to be eligible to win. We’d love to hear all about the colors that you use! The top 3 Minis will be showcased here on our blog. Winners will receive a fabulous prize package including goodies from Aurifil, Robert Kaufman, The Warm Company and Whole Circle Studio, and will be given the opportunity to showcase their mini in the Aurifil booth at Spring Market.

We were thrilled to have a chat with Sheri, to learn a bit more about her and how she felt about the process of creating this epic quilt!

Can you tell us a little about yourself and how you got started in this fabulous industry of ours?
Design and making have always been a part of my life, even as a kid. I went on to college and received my BFA with a concentration in graphic design and have twenty years of experience leading creative teams to create award-winning identities, products, and environments. I’ve worked in small design studios, a dot com and the exhibit department at a children’s museum. I’ve been an admirer of quilts for a while, and collected books about them, but didn’t make my first quilt until the summer of 2012. The first few quilts I made from patterns and gave away as gifts. I soon realized that with my graphic design skills and computer software knowledge, I could create my own patterns and design.


Who or what has been your greatest creative inspiration?
It’s impossible to pick one! I’m often inspired by what’s around me. When I was an undergraduate, one of my graphic design professors drilled a specific mantra into his students. It sticks with me today and I often recite it, especially if I’m feeling a stuck: “What do you like? What do you love? What do you care about?” It so simple, but I find it really helps drive my thought and decision process.

How did you first discover Aurifil thread and what do you love most about it?
I learned about Aurifil thread from other friends who are quilters and members of my quilt guild mentioned it during meetings. I love how consistent the color is and how it glides through my Juki while piecing and quilting.


How did the idea for your original mini quilt, So Many Colors, come about?
Each year the Quilt Alliance announces a theme and asks quilters to make a mini quilt as a donation. They then auction off the quilts and all proceeds support the important work that they do. The theme in 2016 was “playing favorites.” I designed and donated a few mini quilts, including the original “Sew Many Colors” (originally named “So Many Colors”). The mini quilt was a tribute to my favorite brand of thread, shown at actual size and proportions, using one of my favorite piecing techniques–foundation paper piecing.

The original design had 12 spools. When I discovered that Aurifil was celebrating their 10th anniversary in the US this year, it made sense to update the design to feature 10 spools.

So Many Colors by Sheri Cifaldi-Morrill

So Many Colors by Sheri Cifaldi-Morrill

How did you develop the idea for 270 Colors and what did you love most about pulling that project together?
When I found out that 2017 was a big milestone for Aurifil and that they wanted to celebrate it in a big way, I thought about the how the threads are presented. Whether it’s at a conference or trade show or in a local quilt shop,  the spools are always arranged beautifully. The arrangement of colors and the texture of the thread wound on the spool draws quilters in. I thought it would be really fun for makers to see all 270 colors at the same time.

It was a lot of fun to literally work with EVERY Aurifil color. Of course this means that I wound all 270 colors of thread on bobbins. I wonder how many other quilters can say that?

Quilting both 270 Colors and Sew Many Colors were also skill building experiences for me. I typically only use my walking foot while quilting. This project was a great way for me to push my boundaries and get over my free motion quilting anxiety!

Lastly, it was wonderful working with the Aurifil team. They were extremely supportive and trusted my design and creation process.


What excites you most about the release of Sew Many Colors?
I hope that quilters get really excited about customizing the pattern with colors that appeals to them. I also hope that those who have never tried (or those who are challenged by foundation paper piecing) dive in and give it a try. While I don’t give basic paper piecing instructions in the pattern, I do give lots of tips. With all of my patterns I give lots of diagrams and break down the steps. I strive to make complicated looking patterns easy to make.

What first drew you to work with Kona® Solids from Robert Kaufman?
As is the case with Aurifil, I love how many colors Robert Kaufman offers. I often work with solids in my quilt designs and I love having lots of options. When I designed and created the 270 Colors quilt, this was especially important as I wanted all 270 colors of Aurifil thread to match the fabric background perfectly! I carried those matching thread and fabric selections to my Sew Many Colors mini quilt samples.

If you had to select your Top Ten colors for Aurifil and Robert Kaufman, what would they be?
My number one go-to for thread is color 2024 and Kona White. I’m a big fan of white backgrounds! After that, it’s tough to pick.  My favorites change from project to project! At this moment, I’ll go with what I used for the rainbow version of the Sew Many Colors: Aurifil thread: 2250, 1154, 1135, 1147, 2870, 1148, 2810, 2725, 2520, 2479, 2024 and Kona® Solids: Red, Tangerine, Corn Yellow, Lime, Grasshopper, Breakers, Lagoon, Blue Jay, Crocus, Blush Pink.

What do you love most about working with Warm & Natural batting?
I love the weight (not too thick, not too thin), the feel and the fact that  I’ve never had a problem with it. It works well on my machine. I’m a big believer in if it’s not broken, stick with it!


What are your hopes for presenting the pattern in this way, with an accompanying contest?
In the pattern, I call out what materials I used, but I love to see how makers who use my patterns make the pattern their own. I always think it’s interesting to see how makers put their own spin on the same pattern. For this reason, I really enjoyed seeing all of the variations of my pattern testers as they came in. I’m excited to see what everyone makes! Be sure to use those hashtags and don’t be shy. The prizes are awesome… you can’t win if you don’t try!

Can you offer any tips for participants who are new to paper-piecing?
Have your seam ripper and tape close by. You will use it! Even the most experienced paper piecers will make mistakes. Don’t get frustrated. If you find yourself making a lot of mistakes,  it’s time to step away and take a break!

Any final words of encouragement to makers just getting started on their Sew Many Colors journey?
Play with color and have fun! This is a great pattern to treat as a color study. Play with color combinations that you’ve never worked with before!

In talking with Sheri about the process of pulling this all together, she raved about her testers and we thought it would be fun to share their minis here. Pattern testing is such an incredibly important part of pattern release process and we are ever grateful! Also, look at these gorgeous minis!!

Laura McDowell Hopper
The “Sew Many Colors” mini quilt was so fun to make. Like all of Whole Circle Studio’s patterns, it is well designed with clear instructions. The quilt was a fast make and is the perfect addition to my craft room Aurifil storage! Thanks to Sheri! I loved making her pattern, and boy does it look cool in my quilt room with this new Aurifil shelf!

Sew Many Colors as sewn by Laura McDowell Hopper

Sew Many Colors as sewn by Laura McDowell Hopper

Wendy Birmingham
I had so much fun making this Sew Many Colors mini quilt!  Such a great pattern that all fit together perfectly!  I chose to make this with the orange spools that I love, using Alison Glass Insignia fabric that matches all the beautiful Aurifil threads!  Happy Anniversary Aurifil!

Alex Fox
The design, with its feature Aurifil spools, is definitely a winner – who wouldn’t want this beautiful mini on the wall of their sewing room? This is the second of Sheri’s patterns that I’ve made and it didn’t disappoint. The draughtsmanship of the pattern is excellent, with all the pieces fitting perfectly and that makes assembling your pieced segments a pleasure rather than a chore.  The instructions are easy to follow and she provides good planning tools to help you keep track of your fabric choices and positioning whilst you paper-piece.

Sew Many Colors as sewn by Alex Fox

Sew Many Colors as sewn by Alex Fox

Joanne Harris
I loved making this quilt first of all because the designer is such a talented designer. When I saw the design I thought it would be a good colour exercise. I wanted to show a gradation in one colour. I think I captured it for blue.

Jenny Nault Meeker
Having only done one foundation paper piecing quilting project prior to testing the “Sew Many Colors” pattern, I was extremely very grateful that the pattern included multiple tips to help less experienced foundation paper piecers navigate working with smaller piecing components.  Also, the pattern instructions were so well laid out and clear that it was virtually impossible to do any of the steps incorrectly or out of order–along with the reassurances in the pattern that even highly experienced foundation paper piecing quilters still make mistakes, making the whole process incredibly enjoyable.  My favorite inclusions, however, were the diagrams that showed the finished mini’s front and the back, which made it easy to audition/select colors and make sure they correlated to the correct spool location when the mini was completed.

Rebecca Makas
I loved that this pattern challenged my paper piecing skills, using small pieces along with much larger pieces.  It was a lot of fun making such a familiar shape and using prints for the colors to make it “my own”.

Tiffany Horn, Village Bound Quilts
This pattern, as with all of Sheri’s patterns, was well written and easy to follow. I really enjoyed learning a new skill (as this was my first FPP project), and ended up making it a second time, resulting in this moon phase pillow. The biggest takeaway as a rookie FPP would be to take your time – go slow and enjoy the process!

Website — Blog — Facebook — Instagram — Pinterest — Twitter


photo courtesy of Craftsy

Sheri Cifaldi-Morrill is a designer, maker and self-taught modern quilter. Sheri graduated from the University of Connecticut with a BFA in Graphic Design. She has twenty years of experience leading creative teams to create award winning identities, products and environments. She has worked in small design studios, a dot com and the exhibit department at a children’s museum.

Sheri’s quilts have gained national recognition including awards from QuiltCon, Quilt Week/Paducah and the Quilt Alliance. They have been featured at art centers and galleries across the country. In addition to publishing her patterns, her quilts have been featured in national publications such as Modern Patchwork. She also teaches quilting techniques.

Sheri was awarded the first annual Craftsy Quilt Designer Fellowship in 2016. This fellowship enabled her to debut Whole Circle Studio’s first booth at International Quilt Market in Houston, Texas in October 2016.

Sheri works from her home studio in the suburbs of New Haven, Connecticut—a hop, skip and jump away from New York City. She loves to chat about design and quilts. Contact her at

[Images courtesy of Sheri Cifaldi-Morrill with exception to tester mini images]

270 Colors Quilt: From Start to Finish

We first met Sheri Cifaldi-Morrill of Whole Circle Studio in the Spring of last year, just after Quilt Market. Hilary Jordan (our social media coordinator) and I spotted a fabulous mini quilt that she’d made featuring none other than Aurifil’s iconic 50wt spools on Instagram. With a rainbow of colors against a stark white background, the mini was striking and it’s no surprise that it caught our attention.


Sheri’s original mini quilt, So Many Colors, April 2016.

Sheri and Hilary connected on Instagram, which led to an email exchange with me.  We learned that Sheri designed the “So Many Colors” mini quilt as a donation to the Quilt Alliance annual fundraiser in early 2016. The theme was “Playing Favorites” and the mini quilt incorporated her favorite brand of thread, Aurifil, using one of her favorite piecing techniques—foundation paper piecing.

Initially, we weren’t quite sure how we were going to work together, but we knew we wanted to do something fun and impactful in honor of Aurifil’s upcoming 10th Anniversary. After a series of conversations, a whole bunch of exchanged emails and some internal planning, a decision was made. We have absolutely LOVED working with Sheri over the past 8 months. She is creative, thoughtful, incredibly professional, and we couldn’t be happier with the quilt that she created.

We’re thrilled, today, to introduce Sheri to you and to let her debut her quilt in her own words, with a series of stunning process photos to give you all a closer look at how this fabulous masterpiece came together. Thank you Sheri!!

I am so excited to share the process of creating the 270 Colors quilt I created for Aurifil to commemorate and celebrate their tenth anniversary this year. The quilt features all 270 current colors of Aurifil’s 50wt thread!

After playing with different layouts in Adobe Illustrator and then presenting them to the Aurifil team, we decided to proceed with the layout shown below. The placement of colors mimics the arrangement of how the spools are displayed when the drawers are pulled out in the Full Selection Collection Box.

wholecirclestudio_270colors_01_initialdesignI started drafting the pattern and testing while I was waiting for materials from AurifilRobert Kaufman, and The Warm Company to arrive. It was important to me for the spools to be shown at actual size and proportions once all of the pieces were sewn together. Measuring, making diagrams, and sewing prototypes (and then re-testing) helped achieve this.


Organization was key while making this quilt! I needed to match all 270 colors of thread to corresponding Robert Kaufman Kona® Solids. As soon as the big, beautiful box of Aurifil thread arrived in my studio, I created a spreadsheet in Excel. The color numbers in the spreadsheet are arranged in the same configuration as the thread is in the drawers. Having this tool allowed me to mix and match the thread to the fabric but still be able to return it to its correct location in the box.

Once I was organized, it was time to get down to business — cutting and piecing! Even the scraps were beautiful.

After a very busy month of piecing, I moved on to basting. I used Warm and Natural batting from The Warm Company and LOTS of pins. I tend to use a lot of pins. The process of basting can be tough of my fingers, but using so many pins ensures that all of the layers remain smooth. I rarely have puckers or shifting while quilting.

The piecing and quilting was done on my Juki 2010, with Aurifil 50wt. I used my walking foot to quilt the orange spools (color: 1104) and the background (color: 2024). I free motion quilted the “thread” portions of all 270 using the cross wound pattern found on the actual Aurifil spools as inspiration. Instead of marking, I positioned pins as a guide for each spool. The spreadsheet I had set up also helped me keep on track while quilting. I highlighted each number as it was quilted. It also helped to create some test strips so I could practice my free motion quilting before digging in.


Check out this video clip demonstrating the free motion quilting process:

After a month of quilting, I was in the home stretch. It was down to burying threads, squaring up the quilt, binding, and sewing on a sleeve.

The final quilt measures approximately 70″ x 85″. The spools are the actual size of a large 50wt Aurifil spool and are spaced 2″ apart. The quilt is finished with a binding that matches Aurifil’s iconic orange spool (using Robert Kaufman Kona® Tangerine) and the back matches the blue in Aurifil’s logo (Kona® Water).



Happy 10th Anniversary Aurifil USA! I am honored to have had the opportunity to design and produce this quilt to help you commemorate this big milestone.

Be sure to check out the quilt as it travels to QuiltCon, 2017 Quilt Markets and with Alex when he visits a local quilt shop near you.

— Sheri Cifaldi-Morrill

Find Sheri Online


photo courtesy of Craftsy

Sheri Cifaldi-Morrill is a designer, maker and self-taught modern quilter. Sheri graduated from the University of Connecticut with a BFA in Graphic Design. She has twenty years of experience leading creative teams to create award winning identities, products and environments. She has worked in small design studios, a dot com and the exhibit department at a children’s museum.

Sheri’s quilts have gained national recognition including awards from QuiltCon, Quilt Week/Paducah and the Quilt Alliance. They have been featured at art centers and galleries across the country. In addition to publishing her patterns, her quilts have been featured in national publications such as Modern Patchwork. She also teaches quilting techniques.

Sheri was awarded the first annual Craftsy Quilt Designer Fellowship in 2016. This fellowship enabled her to debut Whole Circle Studio’s first booth at International Quilt Market in Houston, Texas in October 2016.

Sheri works from her home studio in the suburbs of New Haven, Connecticut—a hop, skip and jump away from New York City. She loves to chat about design and quilts. Contact her at

[Images, biography & guest post text courtesy of Sheri Cifaldi-Morrill]

The Tropical Box by McKenna Ryan


Tigerfish is McKenna Ryan‘s latest premier line of Batiks with Robert Kaufman. Featuring a gorgeous range of sweet and bright colors, this collection pulls inspiration from the sea. The coordinating Aurifil Thread Collection, The Tropical Box, features our 50wt thread. Though it was designed to coordinate with Tigerfish, it makes a terrific Summer sewing companion to a variety of prints and solids!

The Tropical Box
100% Aurifil 50wt Cotton, 12 Large Spools
1125 – 2588 – 2435 – 1148 – 2805 – 5005 – 2105 – 3660 – 2884 – 3320 – 1243 – 3840


100% Aurifil 50wt Cotton, 10 Small Spools
1243 – 2805 – 3320 – 3840 – 2884 – 3660 – 2105 – 1148 – 1125 – 2435


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

How did you first discover the world of quilting and what was it that really drew you in?
As a child, my greatest joy and solace came from immersing myself in nature, collecting driftwood, rocks and wildflowers to create natural one-of-a-kind art pieces. I told my family that someday I would live surrounded by mountains, flowers and wildlife, near lakes and streams. Years ago, I found myself immersed in a corporate lifestyle in Boston and made the grand decision to leave it all behind and move to the wilds of Montana. On the way there, I wandered into a quilt shop for the first time. It was mesmerizing and I felt as though time almost stood still. The colors, textures and designs of the quilts moved me beyond words and the seeds were planted.

Mermaid Kisses by McKenna Ryan

Mermaid Kisses by McKenna Ryan

High Tide by McKenna Ryan

High Tide by McKenna Ryan

How did your new surroundings inspire an eventual quilting career?
As I settled into my new community of only 200 residents, I quickly discovered that many of the women spent the wintry months quilting. I took an appliqué quilting class, bought my first sewing machine for $50.00 and found a passion I had never really known before. Living at the edge of Glacier National Park, natural beauty was all around. I wanted to reflect this, in quilts, but at the time there were few nature-inspired patterns, so I started making my own.

What is the process of creating like for you, whether it be for a new fabric collection, a new pattern, or something different entirely?
Over the years, I’ve realized that designs tend to come to me in their own time and I just need to trust the process. Sometimes an entire compilation will just appear in my head and I have to quickly sketch the overall composition. Then, I start pulling fabrics and colors that I know will achieve a certain feel. Next, I go to work on the details, cutting as many as 25 prototypes of a plant or animal before selecting one that best fits with the scale and flow of the entire piece. When I can connect to the creative process as a part of creation itself and let my work fulfill a higher purpose, then I am always pleased when the process is complete. It is not so much that I have created a new design, but participated in it. The better I become at trusting this process, the more I am able to access a certain grace that is inherent in the process. This grace or connection is what I believe makes art come to life. And I believe all great art is alive.

How did you decide to start your own business and what was the process like for you?
As I continued to grow and learn within the practice of quilting, I found a color, balance and design that were uniquely my own, and decided to start my own design company. On one of my long drives through the Rocky Mountains (2.5 hours to the grocery store!) I noticed the beautiful pine forests and claimed the name for my company: Pine Needles. I attended my very first Quilt Market in 1995 and though it was a wonderful experience, I found that my personal success came when I didn’t worry about trends in the marketplace and instead followed my heart. At my second Quilt Market, I introduced “Moose Junction.” I consider it to be one of my big milestones! It had masculine character with feminine appeal, and it was just what the market needed.

Moose Junction by McKenna Ryan

Moose Junction by McKenna Ryan

How would you describe your creative vision and how it infects your work?
My tag line is “Simply Beautiful…Beautifully Simple”. As I’ve grown over the years, I find that I want to challenge myself in capturing more depth and dimension with the use of fabric, while still making it a project that is easy and fun. I love the idea of quilting as a ‘living art.’ When I design, one of the greatest gifts is the awareness that what I create is going to come to life again and again in a myriad of incredible and unique ways. When I started my company, part of my mission statement was that I wanted to somehow touch the lives of others through my art. Since starting, I feel that my designs have touched the lives of many. It is this aspect of my work that truly means the most!

McKenna's Showroom in Historic Milwaukie Oregon

McKenna’s Showroom in Historic Milwaukie Oregon

*Patterns for all quilt projects shown above will be available on McKenna’s website starting in October.




To enter-to-win 1 Tropical Box by McKenna Ryan for Aurifil Thread Collection and one Fat Quarter Bundle of Tigerfish by McKenna Ryan for Robert Kaufman 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 Wednesday, August 10! Winner will be randomly selected and announced here on Thursday, August 11. Good luck!

UPDATE: This giveaway is now closed. Congratulations to our winner, Terry Helms! 

Website — FacebookPinterestInstagramTwitter
WITHBLEED_LARGEAurifil_McKeannaRyan_2016McKenna Ryan’s Art Quilt and Fabric Showroom is nestled in the hamlet of the historic Milwaukie district just South of Portland proper. Her website has become a destination for quilters worldwide. Visit either to truly immerse yourself in McKenna’s world, where hummingbirds hover over brilliant flowers, elk bugle in lush fabric forests, eagles soar across quilted landscapes and smoke rises wistfully from cabins in the woods. Come in, cozy up, and see why McKenna’s quilt artistry has captivated fans across the globe. (see more via McKenna’s Robert Kaufman Designer Page)

**All images and biographical text courtesy of McKenna Ryan Designs.

The Heather Jones Collection


Color DashHeather Jones‘ debut collection for Robert Kaufman, is a stunning collection of prints in an array of bolds, brights and black & whites. It is available in three primary color ways: Sorbet, Harvest and Shadow. The collection is a terrific stash builder, featuring prints that are not only strong on their own, but partner incredibly well with other fabrics.  Heather’s Aurifil Thread Collection, The Heather Jones Collection, features our 50wt thread in a gorgeous lineup of colors that coordinate best with the Sorbet & Harvest color ways.

The Heather Jones Collection
100% Aurifil 50wt Cotton, 12 Large Spools
2115 – 2230 – 4020 – 2566 – 2220 – 2372 – 5015 – 1147 – 2835 – 5006 – 2784 – 2600


100% Aurifil 50wt Cotton, 10 Small Spools
2230 – 4020 – 2566 – 2220 – 2372 – 5015 – 1147 – 2835 – 5006 – 2784


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

What first drew you to this amazing world of quilting?
I have always loved quilts, but didn’t grow up in a family of quilters. My great-great-Aunt Ollie was born in rural eastern Kentucky in 1895, and she is the only person that I know of in my family that quilted. I’m sure she learned out of necessity, as many people from her era and community did, but she seemed to have made it a hobby because she continued to quilt throughout her life. She made me a quilt when I was a baby (when she was almost 80 years old) and it’s one of my most prized possessions to this day. My mom has a few other quilts that she made, and because of Aunt Ollie’s work, I learned the importance of quilts from a very early age. I also began to buy vintage and antique quilts when I was a teenager, from another great-aunt’s antique shop. I’d look for them every time that I visited her, and still buy them when I can to this day. However, it wasn’t until many years later that I began to make quilts myself, after seeing the work of the quilters of Gee’s Bend and Denyse Schmidt, and after the growth of the Modern Quilt Guild.

Heather and her Aunt Ollie

Heather and her Aunt Ollie

Do you remember the process of creating your first quilt and how you felt once it was finished? 
As I mentioned above, I have always loved quilts, but I was intimidated to make one for a long time. I was afraid of all of the little pieces and nervous that I would mess it up if I tried to make one, plus they can be kind of sizable projects, so for a long time I just admired them from afar. I made my first quilt while I was in college as a gift for my mom, and even though it was far from perfect, I remember feeling a great sense of accomplishment once it was finished. There is something really satisfying to me about making something with my hands, which is one reason why I love quilting so much.

Dash Quilt in Color Dash

Dash Quilt in Color Dash

Who or what has been your greatest creative inspiration?
My children, Aidan and Olivia are my greatest creative inspirations. They have given me the confidence to follow my dreams and to try things I had never done before. It really is because of them that I do what I do, because I started my handmade business almost ten years ago because I began to make accessories and clothing for babies and children, after making things for them. My husband Jeff is also a great source of inspiration, as well as my biggest cheerleader, and I definitely couldn’t do what I do without him. He’s always challenging me to try new things he supports all of my endeavors along the way.

Ohio Supernova Mini in Color Dash Harvest

Ohio Supernova Mini in Color Dash Harvest

What do you love most about the process of creating, whether it be for a new fabric collection, a new pattern, or a new work of art?
My favorite part of the creative process is figuring out the challenge of translating my inspiration, whatever it may be, into whatever project that I’m working on. I also love to find inspiration in non-traditional places and incorporate that into both my quilting designs as well as my surface designs.

How did you first connect with Robert Kaufman fabrics? 
I first connected with the folks at Robert Kaufman when I was working on a publication for Generation Q, I believe, for their inaugural issue. They provided me with fabrics for the project that I designed for the magazine, and they were really great to work with. Since then, I have worked with Robert Kaufman multiple times, for publications, for projects for my book “Quilt Local: Finding Inspiration in the Everyday,” and on some free patterns for their website using some of their different substrates. They approached me last year about working on a fabric collection, which I was really excited about, as drawing and painting were some of my first creative outlets. They are incredible to work with and I’m so proud to be a part of the Robert Kaufman team.

Color Dash Precuts

Color Dash Precuts

What was the inspiration behind your upcoming collection, Color Dash? 
Color Dash, my first line of fabric with Robert Kaufman, was inspired by my sketchbook drawings and making marks with a variety of drawing tools. I start all of my quilt designs in a graph paper sketchbook, and I also doodle in them as well, often times with thick markers and drawing pens, and those sketches became the basis of my fabric designs in this collection. I knew that I wanted my first fabric collection to include these drawings so I came up with some of my favorite designs that I thought would translate well onto fabric. I’m really happy with how the collection came out! I think it works really well on its own, but I also love the fact that my designs can be easily used with so many other fabrics as well, and I can’t wait to see what people do with it.

Color Dash on paper at the Robert Kaufman offices

Color Dash on paper at the Robert Kaufman offices

How is this collection representative of your overall artistic vision?
I always strive to make work that is completely original and true to myself, and I think that is the case with Color Dash, as well. My quilt designs tend to be bold and graphic, and the designs in Color Dash are too. I’m also excited this has allowed me to focus on surface designs again, as drawing and painting were some of my first creative endeavors.

Do you have a favorite project that was created using this collection? 
My favorite project that I’ve made so far is probably my Marrakech quilt in the black, white, and gray prints from Color Dash. I think it’s really striking!

Marrakech Quilt in Shadow Color Dash

Marrakech Quilt in Shadow Color Dash

When did you first discover Aurifil threads and what do you love most about them? 
I had heard of them for a long time, but it wasn’t until I was working on some of the projects for my book that I used them. My friend Kim Niedzwiecki, of My Go Go Life, learned that I had never used them, so she offered to send me some to try. I have to say, as soon as I tried them, I was sold. They are the best threads that I’ve ever used. I had been having some problems with the tension of my mid arm quilting machine, and that stopped when I switched to Aurifil.

Make Your Mark quilt in Color Dash Sorbet

Make Your Mark quilt in Color Dash Sorbet

Do you have a favorite weight/color? 
I like both 40 and 50 the best, and I tend to use color 2000 often because it’s a great neutral that goes well with so many colors.

How did you go about selecting colors for this collection?
It was really hard to narrow down a collection of only 10 and 12 colors of thread, when Aurifil has so many gorgeous colors to choose from! I tried to build a collection of my favorite colors that would be useful to people to use on many different projects.

The Heather Jones Collection for Aurifil

The Heather Jones Collection for Aurifil



To enter-to-win 1 Heather Jones Aurifil Thread Collection and one Fat Quarter Bundle of Color Dash by Heather Jones for Robert Kaufman,  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 Monday, August 8! Winner will be randomly selected and announced here on Tuesday, August 9. Good luck!

Update (8.9): This Giveaway is now closed. Congratulations to our winner, Katy M!!

WebsiteBlog — PinterestInstagramTwitter
heather jones new headshotHeather Jones is an author, designer and self-taught quilter who lives outside of Cincinnati, Ohio with her husband and two young children. Her first solo book, Quilt Local: Finding Inspiration in the Everydaywas released in October 2015. She is the founder and former president of the Cincinnati Modern Quilt Guild; three of her original quilts were chosen as winners of “Project Modern,” a year-long national quilting design competition sponsored by the national Modern Quilt Guild; and she is also a two-time finalist for the Martha Stewart American Made Awards. Heather is often inspired by everyday places and things, and is excited by the challenge to translate that inspiration into her work. She has a great love and respect for the traditional art of quilting, is an avid collector of vintage quilts, and loves to bring a modern twist to traditional patterns. Heather’s modern quilting patterns are available at a number of online locations and she will soon be bringing the Heather Jones Studio patterns to print as well. Her work has also been featured in numerous publications, most recently in “Lucky Spool’s Essential Guide to Modern Quilting” (2014), “Quilting the New Classics” by Michele Muska (2014), and magazines including Quilty, Quiltmaker, Modern Patchwork, Generation Q, and Love Patchwork and Quilting.

Heather has taught quilting and design workshops nationally at venues such as the Makerie in Boulder, Colorado; QuiltCon in Austin, Texas and Pasadena, California; International Quilt Festival in Long Beach, California; and A Gathering of Stitches in Portland, Maine, and at many shops and guild across the country. She offers online workshops through, and has also has appeared on Quilting Arts TV. Her work has been exhibited at venues including the New England Quilt Museum, QuiltCon, International Quilt Festival, and the University of Dayton, among others.

**All images and biographical text courtesy of Heather Jones.

Karen Lewis Textiles

Karen Lewis’s debut collection for Robert Kaufman features her signature screen printing overprinted onto Kona® cotton solids. Blueberry Park is an excellent representation of her passion for textiles, pattern, and color, featuring a wide array of bold and bright colors with uniquely printed patterns. We’ve been fans of Karen’s work for quite some time and were so incredibly thrilled by the opportunity to create a coordinating thread collection.  We had a chance to chat with her a bit about her process and what she loves most about this collection. Read on for a sneak peek into Karen’s world, and don’t miss out on the AMAZING giveaway!


Karen Lewis Textiles
100% Aurifil Cotton, 50wt
Large – 1422yds each, 12 Colors, Large Spools
Small – 220 yds each, 10 Colors, Small Spools

For purchasing, please contact your local Aurifil Dealer.



Tell us a bit about yourself and how you first came into this amazing world of textiles?
I have always been a crafter thanks to my very creative Grandma but it was always a hobby that I drifted in and out of. After I became a Mum of 3, I took a break from my career as a teacher and went back to sewing on a more regular basis. This was around the time that the internet took off along with social media and it was very easy to see what crafters and communities all around the globe were up to. I was very drawn to discovering screen printed fabrics and bought them from designers and makers in Australia and South Africa to use in my sewing.


When did you first start screen-printing and was there a particular ‘aha’ moment that you just knew it was what you wanted to do?
I started screen printing about 5 years ago. I loved sourcing and using printed textiles. As my now formed textile business was developing I knew I wanted to design and use my own fabrics to make my work more identifiable as me. I booked onto a screen printing course at my local studio and literally from the first minute I was completely and utterly hooked! I loved the whole process and haven’t looked back since.


You’ve been working with your own screen-printed fabrics for quite some time… how did the partnership with Robert Kaufman first come about and what has that process been like for you?
I was using a lot of Kona cottons in my work, printing directly over the top of them. One day it came to the attention of the peeps at Kaufman who loved what I was doing. It really was a dream come true having my designs put onto yardage. RK made the whole process a really positive one and I just love the result we have created together. Right from the beginning, RK focused on the fact that I am a hand printer and wanted to recreate the same technique but on a larger scale. I just love the fact that my fabrics are an overprint, just like they are when I personally print them by hand. It feels like a natural and true reflection of my work.


What is your favorite thing about ‘Blueberry Park’? Do you have a favorite print or colorway?
What a hard question! I think my favourite print wold have to be Allotments because of it’s versatility. It is really about 9 prints in 1! I also have a big soft spot for Scruffy Daisy as it was my very first print that I ever designed. As for colours, by the fact that I struggled to narrow down Kona’s 330 colours to just 70 for the collection tells you how hard that was!

Are you still running screen-printing workshops and what is your favorite thing about sharing your passion with a classroom full of eager students?
Yes, I am very busy with running workshops. It seems everyone wants to learn to screen print and I am certainly a big advocate of spreading the love! I am a teacher by training so I have always been passionate about passing on skills. The thing I love most about teaching is seeing the students’ enthusiasm as they succeed in turning a design into a print. The whole experience is infectious.


What is one piece of advice that you give students who are just starting out?
Give yourself time to develop your skills and style. Screen printing itself isn’t a difficult process but putting everything together and progressing doesn’t happen over night. Enjoy the journey!

What first drew you to Aurifil threads?
To me, Kona and Aurifil go hand in hand. Aurifil, like Kona, offers such diversity whilst being the best quality you can buy. I love that about Aurifil, that you have so much choice without compromising on quality.


How did you go about selecting colors for your first Aurifil thread box and what was that experience like for you? Do you have a favorite colour?
I had to have a silver in there as that is my go to colour when I don’t want a colour per se. As for the rest I wanted to pick colours across the rainbow spectrum that most compliment the fabrics from the collection that I use the most. The collection came together pretty easily really, although it was hard to leave 2 out for the small box! I had so much fun picking the colours and like the Kaufman fabric collection it is such a thrill for me to have my own box. I can’t thank you guys enough!


Thank YOU Karen:)

THE GIVEAWAYKarenLewis-Rafflecopter

To enter-to-win, simply 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 April 27th! Winner will be randomly selected and announced on Thursday, April 28th. Good luck!

UPDATE: This giveaway is now CLOSED. Congratulations to our winner, Roxanne Hartwig! 

WebsiteBlog — Instagram — FacebookRK Designer Page
Karen was born and brought up in Leeds, West Yorkshire in the UK where she learned to sew and knit with her grandmother. It was several years later, after turning her back on her formal education and teaching career, that she came back to her crafting roots.

While living and teaching in London, Karen met her husband and together they brought up their 3 children there, but when they moved back to Leeds in 2004, she left her teaching career behind and started her crafting business Blueberry Park. Karen always had a passion for textiles, pattern and color and after a brief silkscreen printing course in 2011, she set about teaching herself more about this technique in order to design her own fabric.

Karen’s obsession with screen printing set in and soon she was printing and designing all day, every day perfecting her skills. She was using her fabrics in her own work as well as selling it to other quilters and crafters.

With her passion for screen printing and her skills as a teacher, she started to run screen printing workshops, passing on her skills and teaching others how to design fabric and screen print, particularly at home with little specialist equipment and space. In 2014 Karen brought out her first book Screen Printing at home, teaching the reader all they need to know and what to do to produce great screen prints from the kitchen table.

Karen is also a prolific quilter and her work is regularly seen in Love Patchwork and Quilting as well as Quilt Now magazines. As well as running workshops in her home in Leeds, she has taught at the Fat Quarterly Retreat and around the UK. Blueberry Park is her first collection with Robert Kaufman. — text via Robert Kaufman

Top Ten Tuesday {Quilts}

Welcome back to Top Ten Tuesday!  This week is a favorite of all quilters, FREE quilt patterns! The holidays are coming up fast, add in birthdays, baby gifts or a thoughtful charity quilt, we all need a good go-to quilt pattern for all occasions.  From traditional to modern, there is a quilt in this collection for everyone! Many thanks to the talented and generous designers, fabric houses and bloggers for making these incredible patterns and tutorials available!

Time to check out the fabulous patterns, grab some fabrics, your favorite Aurifil thread and SEW!

Top Ten-3

1. Jungle Path Baby Quilt by Jessica Kelly for Moda Bake Shop

Jungle Path Baby Quilt

2. Summertime  Herringbone Quilt by Michael Ann Made


3. Rainbow Diamonds Mini Quilt Tutorial by Lindsay for Craft Buds

Rainbow Diamonds QUilt

4. Accidental Quilt Block Tutorial by Denise from Beyond Sock Monkeys


5. Scrappy Summer Tutorial by Allison from Cluck Cluck Sew


6. Scrappy Irish Chain Quilt Pattern by Jessie from Messy Jesse


7. Bravo Indigo by Caroline from Nightingale Quilts for Michael Miller Fabrics

Bravo Indigo

8. Postcards from Sweden Pattern from Robert Kaufman Fabrics


9. Double Wedding Ring from Bear Creek Quilting Company

Little House on the Prairie Double Wedding Ring

10. Nail Polish Mini Quilt Pattern by Lori Holt from Bee In My Bonnet


Find more free patterns, tips, tutorials and inspiration by following the Aurifil Pinterest boards, the Aurifil Facebook page and on Aurifilthread Instagram!  All are updated daily and throughout the day to provide you with the best the sewing world has to offer!

2015 Fall Quilt Market Part 3

Let’s get right into more of the action and highlights from the Quilt Market floor!

Quilt Market is just not Market without the fabulous Pat Sloan!  We found Pat in the Moda neighborhood nestled between Vanessa from Lella’s Boutique and Anne from Bunny Hill Designs.  Pat is the Aurifil Designer of the Month Coordinator and a big part of the Aurifil family! We just love Pat!

Pat has an abundance of new everything to share!  Hometown Girl is her new fabric line with Moda, she has designed three new patterns, a new book, and a new Aurifil thread collection that will be available in four weights to share! She is one busy lady!


There is always a photo of Pat with Alex for Market!  This year Alex decided to play a trick on Pat and not smile for the photo.  Everyone smiles with Pat. So silly!


It’s all in good fun!

A couple of booths down from Pat was A Quilting Life with Sherri and Chelsi presenting their new beautiful vibrant colors in the collection Valley!


Many fabric designers are also painters, sculptors, architects, and graphic designers. They are not only quilting artists and love to explore their other artistic interests. One designer brought her passion for painting right into her Art Gallery booth.  It was a marvel to watch Bari J as she was creating delightful art in the midst of foot traffic and chatter.  IMG_1738

Bari’s new collection Millie Fleur is a special collection for her grandmother. Bari has a way to make everything she touches very special. IMG_1512

Christmas on Brambleberrry Ridge by Violet Craft for Michael Miller Fabrics was a flurry of fantastic paper pieced patterns, gift ribbons, garments and decor to bring the spirit of the holidays to everyone in your life!



Anna Maria Horner from Craft South for Free Spirit Fabrics created a whimsical wonderland for her line Fibs & Fables.




It would be fun to host a Designers Day for the designers to be able to relax and hang out while at Market. Anna Maria and Joanna stopped by the Aurifil booth to check out all of the new displays and catch up!


Carolyn Friedlander‘s collection Carkai ( a fun made up word) for Robert Kaufman Fabrics was displayed as a lovely collection of quilts, one hand tied, cushions and, of course, Aurifil thread!





Julie Herman from Jaybird Quilts is a fan of BOLD color, funky design and Aurifil thread!  Loving her collection of quilts!




Another favorite of the quilting world is Kaffe Fassett for Rowan Fabrics.  Wouldn’t it be fantastic to just take all of these home?  Stunning!





Birch Organic Fabrics presented their lovely double gauze.  These fabrics are soft, have a wonderful drape and would make extra soft quilts for babies and children!




Elizabeth Hartman brought the Pacific Northwest to Houston with her line for Robert Kaufman Fabrics!  Evergreens, animals and even Sasquatch made an appearance!




Pat Bravo for Art Gallery Fabrics introduced Dream.  A collection of classic blues and reds with pops of other accent color!



Valori Wells found her inspiration for her brilliant new fabrics Mystic for Robert Kaufman while visiting Morocco!





The Quilt Market Adventure will continue tomorrow on the Show Floor and a few other areas!