Stitch the 2012 DOM Reboot: July

Welcome to Month 7 of our Stitch the 2012 DOM Reboot! If you are just joining us, we’re presenting a brand new version of one of our 2012 blocks on the last Thursday of every month. We’ve been loving the opportunity to work on our hand-stitching, particularly because it’s a fabulous beach or picnic activity! This month, we are celebrating Summer! Where are you taking your hand-stitching? On the porch… at the pool… or still cozy on the couch with a great movie?

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The Ultimate Collection by Tula Pink

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Tula Pink has the amazing WOW-factor that draws crowds and inspires masses. Her fabrics are heralded and hoarded, hers threads coveted, her tools desired and from what we can tell, everyone wants to be her friend;). It’s always exciting to see a new collection or product unveiled and we’ve come to expect the bold, the unique and the grand. In true form, her latest Aurifil thread collection is awe-inspiring. The Ultimate Collection comes in a custom, gold-embossed case and contains forty-five small spools of 50wt thread hand-selected by Tula. The threads coordinate particularly well with the Strawberry color way of her latest fabric release, Slow & Steady, but would truly be a marvelous addition to any sewing room. We’ve heard people comment that they’d just like to dive right into the box and though we’re admittedly a little biased, we can’t help but agree!

THREAD COLLECTION DETAILS
The Ultimate Collection
Custom Box, 45 Small Spools – 100% Aurifil Cotton 50wt, 220yds each
Colors included:
2423 – 2425 – 2530 – 5002 – 2265 – 2260 – 2460 – 1100 – 2479
5015 – 2132 – 2135 – 1133 – 2240 – 2245 – 1154 – 6729 – 2420
2886 – 1147 – 5016 – 5017 – 2835 – 2860 – 2865 – 1148 – 4093
5006 – 2715 – 1128 – 6738 – 2745 – 2581 – 2540 – 2535 – 4020
2370 – 2324 – 2026 – 2021 – 2615 – 2620 – 5004 – 2630 – 2692

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

THE INTERVIEW
What first drew you to this amazing world of sewing, quilting, and textile design? 

I was drawn to quilting and fabric through my local quilt shop when I was 12. I was given a sewing machine for Christmas to play on, no one in my family sewed at that point. I needed fabric to sew with and ended up at a quilt shop by chance. I fell in love with the rows and rows of prints immediately, it was a huge rainbow of color and design all organized and in color order. This shop was like a life sized box of crayons that I could walk into, I was smitten. If the fabric store that we had found had been any other type of store I don’t think I would be here today. If had been an uninspiring chain store or a home dec store or anything else I don’t believe I would have fallen in love with it the way that I did.

Tula's Spring 2016 Schoolhouse for The Ultimate Collection at International Quilt Market in Salt Lake City

Tula’s Spring 2016 Schoolhouse for The Ultimate Collection at International Quilt Market in Salt Lake City

Do you remember the process of creating your first quilt and how you felt once it was finished? 
My first finished quilt was a disaster. I was really proud of it back then and I still have it and love it because it shows how far I have come in my craft. It is an hourglass quilt made entirely of Kaffe Fasset woven stripes. I didn’t know that choosing stripes, woven fabric and all bias cut pieces was hard and I powered through it completely unaware that this was a challenging starting point to say the least. I think that is the beauty of early quilting, you don’t bring any fear to the table when you begin. You don’t know that some things are harder than others so you just dive in, head first. At some point a quilter is taught to fear certain types of sewing and that bravery of naïveté is a huge loss to the creative process. I embroidered skeletons and birds all over it to make it more rock ‘n roll I guess. It’s a funny quilt and one that I really love because it represents so much of my evolving philosophy on quilting.

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Gorgeous recent improv piecing by Tula Pink

Who or what has been your greatest creative inspiration?
Creative Inspiration is this really ambiguous thing. It is impossible to pinpoint. I would say that what drives me to design fabric is fulfilling a need. I always begin by thinking about what I would most like to sew with and then I try to fill that need. I push myself very hard to stay fresh and not fall into a rut of doing the same thing over and over. I try not to look too much at what other people are doing, I think that stifles creativity. The one thing that I have to offer above all else is my point of view. I look around my world and try to imagine it in a different way. If I see a rabbit hopping across my lawn my first thought is always” how cute would that rabbit be in pink or with stripes or made out of paisleys”. I am inspired by possibility and try not to limit my imagination to what exists.

Slow & Steady Heart

Slow & Steady Heart

Do you find that your previous career in the music industry has had any influence on your path within the quilting industry?
I find that my previous career as a designer in the music industry has greatly influenced how I manage my brand. I treat my fabric collections like album releases and consider my travel to be like touring. That is the business I know so it was natural for me to go back to that system when starting my own brand.

[projects made using Tula’s new fabric collection, Slow & Steady]

You have long been a user and supporter of Aurifil threads. How did you first discover Aurifil and what do you love most about using it within your projects?
I found Aurifil because I was having some trouble with a thread that I was using on a project and a friend gave me a spool of Aurifil 50 wt to try. I have not used anything else since. I have paid that forward ever since. I keep a healthy collection of spools in my studio for the sole purpose of handing out to friends who are using something other than Aurifil. Every single one of them becomes an Aurifil loyalist after that. It’s one of those things that you never really think about until you use something exceptional and then you wonder how you got through without it.

Stunning Machine Embroidery by Casey Taylor using threads from The Ultimate Collection

Stunning Machine Embroidery by Casey Taylor using threads from The Ultimate Collection

Do you have a favorite weight/color? 
I use 50 wt thread almost exclusively. I am a patchworker so my sewing needs tend to be really focused when it comes to thread. Color is a different matter all together. I don’t favor any single color as I tend to work in rainbows. I change thread colors at least a dozen times on any given project. If I am sewing by hand then that number will multiply really quickly. If I am working on a hand sewing quilt like an english paper pieced project, I will use every single color in that box without question.

This is such a special collection, a collector’s piece, really… How did you go about selecting colors and how did you decide on the art for the packaging?
This collection is designed to be the ultimate thread collection containing all of the colors necessary to complete a bright, happy sewing project. I sew every day and I find that 10 colors is never enough. I have built my brand on the foundation that if I need something there is a good chance that other people need it too. I was desperately searching for a collection of thread that contained a vast assortment of colors that expressed something more exciting and adventurous in terms of palette. It’s easy to find collections of neutrals and earth tones but that is not my style and I figured that if I was looking for something like that then other people probably were too.

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The packaging is based off of my very first fabric design. That owl is sort of my holy grail, it is important to me because it is the image that set me on this path that has become an obsession of fabric and sewing. It’s the illustration  that changed my life. I was really focused on this collection not being about pairing with a particular fabric collection but something that would transcend one collection and would be useful for years to come. For me this is my ultimate dream thread collection!

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How is this collection representative of your overall artistic vision?
This is the dream thread collection “the ultimate” collection in my eyes. I will never need a color outside of what is in this box. I spent weeks going over all of my thread and projects and pulled the colors that were used the most often. Usually, choosing thread is about narrowing down the colors to the essential threads that I can get away with but this collection is about shedding those limitations and covering every single need in terms of thread. Thread is the one thing that holds all of this together. Fabric without thread is pretty useless, a sewing machine or a needle has no purpose without thread, it the most valuable constant in my sewing room. I feel like the Ultimate Collection is just that, a source for unbound creativity.

Pattern preview for Tula's upcoming new book with Angela Walters!

Pattern preview for Tula’s upcoming new book with Angela Walters!

We’ve seen some remarkable projects created using these threads… do you have a favorite? 
Choosing a favorite is an impossible task. Every project requires thread to meet it’s own needs, sometimes I need a lot of colors so that the thread disappears into a rainbow of fabrics and sometimes I need the thread to show in a way that enhances the project all on it’s own. I think the thread worked the hardest on my Slow and Steady Heart quilt though. I needed to top stitch a bunch of hearts in so many color but I wanted the thread to blend in and ended up using so many of the colors in the box that I lost track. The other project that I really loved was the embroidered eye duffle bag that I made from the thread collection. I machine embroidered on my BERNINA 880 an eye in every color from the box and it’s a real conversation starter. Everyone asks me about that bag when I carry it.

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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 that moment right before I start a new project. I love staring down at that blank piece of paper and I have so many ideas and I have no idea where it’s going to go. It’s exciting like starting a new adventure. I aways think it is going to be one thing but I have done this long enough to know that the work takes on a mind of it’s own and will, at some point, start directing me rather than me directing it. In the beginning though it’s just infinite possibility and I can’t wait to see where it ends up.

Do you have any advice for designers just starting out in this industry? 
My advice to designers just starting out is to fully know who you are artistically and what you want your work to be about. Embrace your talents and never try to be something that you are not just because the industry tells you that’s “on trend”. If you are busy trend spotting then you are not creating the trends just following the path that someone else has laid out for you and you will end up putting out the same work that everyone else is putting out. Rise above it! The world needs your point of view more than it needs another version of someone else.

MORE TULA LOVE… 

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THE GIVEAWAY

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To enter-to-win The Ultimate Collection by Tula Pink, 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, August 6! Winner will be randomly selected and announced here on Sunday, August 7. Good luck!

UPDATE (8.7.16): This giveaway is now closed. Congratulations to our winner, Brittany Burton!! 

ABOUT TULA
WebsiteFacebookInstagram — Twitter
Screen Shot 2016-07-29 at 2.36.22 PMTula Pink is an illustrator, a fabric designer, a quilter, an author, a maker and a generally good person who enjoys talking about herself.

Tula graduated from Otis College of Art and Design in Los Angeles, CA. It was fun but she was tired of being broke so she decided to get a job. Tula worked briefly as an Exhibit designer for Museums in Southern California, where she grew up, and when that became too quiet she relocated to the music industry. After about 5 years of that her ears began to bleed so she left her job and California and went in search of a new home. The plan was to move as far east as she could get without renting a boat and work her way back west until she found a place she liked. Tula got about half way and then she ran out of gas money so she stayed put.

Tula now lives in a small mid-western town outside of Kansas City, MO in a house that used to be a barn and still sort of looks like one. Tula’s main function in life is fabric design. She lives for it. Her signature designs have been adapted to fabrics, woven ribbons, paper products, needlepoint kits, embroidery patterns and sewing machines and can be found in independent fabric shops and retailers all over the world. Tula is most recognized in her industries for her dark sense of humor, a flair for hiding animals in the strangest of places (artistically, not literally) and her boldly unique use of color and pattern. Tula comes from the “more is more” school of design where there is never enough space and always room for that one last thing.

Today Tula Pink works closely with the good people at Free Spirit Fabrics to develop multiple fabric collections every year, is an Ambassador for BERNINA sewing machines, develops collections for Aurifil Threads and Renaissance Ribbons and writes books for F+W Media about quilting and sewing. She works all day everyday and gets very cranky when she is asked to leave the studio or if Tula Pink is her real name.

[For more, please visit Tula’s website]

** Images and all biographical text are courtesy of Tula Pink.

Big Stitch Quilting by Sarah Fielke

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Sarah Fielke is an extraordinary quilter, teacher, fabric designer and author. She is a licensed designer with Windham Fabrics and has long been an Aurifil ambassador and champion of our threads. Likewise, we’ve long been admirers of Sarah’s work. It’s like a match made in heaven and we couldn’t be more thrilled to present Big Stitch Quilting, her second thread collection with Aurifil.  A stunning lineup of colors in our 12wt thread, it’s perfect for Sarah’s signature hand stitched details and quilting.

THREAD COLLECTION DETAILS
Big Stitch Quilting
100% Aurifil Cotton
Large – 12wt, 356yds each, 12 colors, Large Spools
2692 – 2024 – 5004 – 2615 – 2784 – 5006 – 2888 – 5018 – 2510 – 2260 – 2530 – 2423

BigStitchQuilting

Small – 12wt, 54yds each, 10 colors, Small Spools
2692 – 2024 – 5004 – 2784 – 5006 – 2888 – 5018 – 2510 – 2260 – 2530

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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 & quilting? 
My mother was a stitcher all kinds, including quilting. She taught me from a very young age to use a sewing machine, hand sew, hand embroider and knit. It wasn’t until my first baby was born that I started stitching professionally – I made everything for Charlie’s nursery, including all his little wraps and pram blankets. That was at the time where everything for babies was pink, blue, lemon or mint, and covered with lambs. My things were made of gingham and had fun appliqué and lettering, so all the other mums in my mothers group wanted to know where I got them. They were my first customers, and then later my first class! Charlie is 19 this year and so I will have been teaching patchwork for 19 years in December.

When did you first begin with the art of hand quilting and what do you love most about it? 
I hand quilted my very first proper quilt, when I was 12. I made it for my mum’s birthday. It has since vanished into the unknown – I have a sneaking feeling it may have fallen apart. 🙂 I hand quilted pretty nearly every quilt I made until I owned a shop (Material Obsession, which I co-owned for nearly 10 years). When we opened Material Obsession I taught machine quilting for a while, and I can machine quilt quite capably, but I don’t enjoy it. If I’m going to spend the time to quilt something myself, I hand quilt it. If I don’t have time, I have a wonderful machine quilter who does a fantastic job! I love hand quilting because of the quiet hours spent with the quilt itself. It’s amazing how each hand quilted piece will bring back memories of what I was doing when I quilted it (which very often is something like a season on Downton Abbey). The thing I love most though is the texture and character that hand quilting, especially with thicker thread like the Mako 12 weight, gives to the quilt. There is a drape and softness that machine quilted quilts don’t have, and the thicker coloured thread gives the quilts an extra punch and personality.

What are your greatest challenges and your greatest joys with hand quilting? 
My greatest joys are sitting on a cold winter’s day with something that needs quilting urgently – that means I can abandon everything else, binge watch Poldark and drink endless cups of tea with the quilt (and the dog!) in my lap. My greatest challenges are that there is never enough hours to hand quilt everything I want to hand quilt any more.I make too many quilts on deadlines to enable me to hand quilt them all. I’ve also got an issue with my hands (that, funnily enough, wasn’t caused by hand stitching!) and so I can’t quilt the endless hours I used to be able to without pain, and I have to stagger myself.

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What project would you recommend for a hand quilting beginner? 
I think the best thing you can do is to make a lap sized quilt, something you aren’t attached to or want to be perfect, and quilt the heck out of it. People often think that the best way to start is with something little like a cushion. Actually those kinds of things can be more difficult to quilt because you can’t get them in a hoop properly, and it’s hard to develop your technique and gain confidence. Bite the bullet, sew together a whole lot of charm squares or something, and jump in on the deep end. You need to give your hand a chance to develop some stitch memory.

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We love that you are such an active educator, both online and off. What do you love most about the practice of teaching?
Hands down, seeing my students achieve. I love the friends I make and the social aspect, I love doing the big shows and retreats. But my favourite thing is seeing a student who has proclaimed she can’t hand sew, or has trouble with colour, or Y seams or whatever it is, proudly hold their finished work up for everyone to see. I have students who I’ve taught patchwork and hand quilting, who are now teachers themselves, or who win prizes in quilting competitions. Hearing those things, no matter how small, just makes my day every time.

What is your favorite technique to teach and why?
I love teaching hand appliqué and hand quilting. My technique for hand appliqué is quite unusual, and it’s been developed over a long time to make appliqué easier for people. Quilters often assume that hand appliqué and hand quilting are these incredibly difficult, time consuming, boring things to do. Showing them tricks and tips to make their hand stitching rewarding, accurate, quicker and less painful always makes for a fun class.

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When did you first discover Aurifil thread and what do you love most about it? 
I met Alex Veronelli at Market quite number of years ago and he gave me some Mako 50 weight to try for hand appliqué. I went home slightly dubious (you always love the things you’re used to), tried it out and immediately ditched all my old thread to the basting basket and became an Aurifil junkie. The 50 weight is so fine and smooth – but having now tried the 80 weight I am simply desperate for it to be available in all the colours because – OMG! Thats a discussion for another time though as it isn’t yet available, so I will wax lyrical about it at a later date 🙂

[editor’s note: Aurifil’s 80wt thread is due for limited release this Summer and full release this Fall, 2016]

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I did an appliqué collection for Aurifil called Folk Story which I love desperately – but funnily enough the appliqué collection came about because I was harassing Alex to produce some 8 weight Mako for hand quilting. I tried REALLY REALLY hard peeps, and Alex kept insisting that the 12 weight was beautiful and I should try it…. Finally I gave in, tried it, proceeded to hand quilt two entire books worth of quilts with the 12 weight and realised that of course Alex is the Mako thread guru and I should always heed his wisdom. You learn something every day.

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How did you go about selecting colors for Big Stitch Quilting?  
I find choosing the colours for these collections so difficult, they are all so pretty and I want everything! I thought really hard about which colours I use the most, for hand quilting both pieced quilts and appliqué. Neutrals were of course essential, so there is black and white, light and dark grey. I wanted a light and a dark in each colour because I like to highlight what I am quilting rather than blend, i.e. dark pink around a light pink flower or visa versa. Pinks and reds are so versatile because they can be beautifully blended with yellows and oranges as well as with themselves. Navy is my black, I always use navy unless the fabric I am quilting is actually black. I had to also add a cheery clear blue and some yummy greens for quilting around leaves and stems to round everything out nicely.

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Do you have a favorite thread color/weight or does it truly depend on the project at hand? 
It really does depend on the project, as I use lots of different Aurifil thread weights for different projects, including the 50wt in cream in my machine, 50wt for hand appliqué and the 12wt for hand quilting. I also love to do EPP, I use a lot of Lana Wool threads for my wool appliqué, and I love to embroider and the Aurifloss is gorgeous!! How do you ever choose a favourite? If you’re going to make me, though, I’d have to say that 2888, which is the light green in my Big Stitch Quilting Collection, is my favourite colour for both quilting and appliqué. I always seem to be running out of it! However, my absolute favourite thing at present is the set of three different shade spools of blue 80wt thread I was sent to try out.  I’m hand appliquéing a quilt that is ALL blues at the moment and the 80wt just disappears into thin air!

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SARAH’S CRAFTSY HAND-QUILTING TUTORIAL

SARAH’S BOOK

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THE GIVEAWAY

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To enter-to-win 1 Large Big Stitch Quilting Thread Collection and one copy of Sarah Fielke’s latest book, Old Quilts New Life,  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, July 2! Winner will be randomly selected and announced here on Sunday, July 3. Good luck!

Update (7/3): This giveaway is now closed. Congratulations to Jo Hobson!!

ABOUT SARAH
WebsiteBlogFacebookInstagramPinterestTwitter
quilts_Page_010Sarah Fielke has been a passionate stitcher ever since her mother first taught her to sew 30 years ago. It was when she was pregnant with her first child years later that her sewing skills became a career. She made little gifts for her friends’ newborn babies, decorated her son’s nursery, and began selling what she made and teaching her friends to sew.

Sarah is an award winning quilt designer. In her 15 years in the quilting industry, her four best selling quilt books have sold over 100,000 copies worldwide and have been translated into 5 languages. Sarah’s quilts have roots in both modern and traditional quilting, making her a firm favourite with quilters new and old. She describes her quilts as “contemporary traditional”. Her first book, Material Obsession, is widely described as having been at the forefront of the Modern Quilting movement, and is a staple in many quilter’s libraries. Her other books include: Material Obsession 2, Quilting From Little Things, Hand Quilted with Love, Little Quilts, and her latest release, Old Quilts New Life.

She exhibits her quilts at quilts shows in Australia and internationally. Sarah has designed fabrics for Lecien, Japan, and is now working with Spotlight Australia and Windham Fabrics to design fabric for both the major craft stores and patchwork shops. Her 6th fabric colletion, Snippits for Windham Fabrics is out now in quilts shops worldwide.

[For more, please visit Sarah’s website]

** Images and all biographical text are courtesy of Sarah Fielke.

July Designer of the month, Sarah Fielke

Hi I’m Pat Sloan the Aurifil Designer of the Month coordinator. July in Australia is winter and our July featured Designer Sarah Fielke was inspired to do a Summer stitchery for you!  I have loved Sarah’s quilt style since I first found her. I’m lucky to have meet her and interviewed her for my radio show.

You can hear my interview with Sarah on Nov 21,2011  HERE.. scroll down and on March 22, 2010 HERE

Remember to post your photo at our Flickr folder of a project given by one of the Aurifil Designers of the month (see tab on right for all the profiles). One quilter EACH MONTH will win a prize of Aurifil thread! Just post a photo of your completed block. Everyone in the Flickr folder is in the running! We have a new folder for the 2012 projects

Flickr folder –www.flickr.com/groups/2012_aurifil_featured_designerofthemonth/

Let’s get to know Sarah!

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