Sew Illustrated Blog Tour

Sew Illustrated blog tour banner

We are thrilled to present Sew Illustrated, by Minki Kim & Kristin Esser. Have you been following along with the blog tour? We’ve loved seeing all of the gorgeous projects, reading reviews and learning more about how Minki and Kristin have inspired other designers to push the boundaries and create new works of art:). Isn’t creative inspiration the best??

Today, we have the opportunity to share all sorts of goodies with you — bits of this gorgeous new book, some of Minki & Kristin’s thoughts and inspirations via a lovely interview, Minki’s brand new Aurifil thread collection AND a fabulous little giveaway!

Sew Illustrated

Minki Kim (aka @Zeriano) is a sewing illustrator and crafter known for her sweet and whimsical thread art. Minki selected her most used colors and thread weights for her debut Aurifil thread collection, Sew Illustrated. In her words, “Threads are like brushes. You need different sized brushes when you paint.” This collection is perfect for both beginner and seasoned sewing illustrators!

Sew Illustrated
Large, 100% Aurifil Cotton
2000 – 5008 – 2620 – 6735 – 5024 (50wt, 1422yds)
2692 – 3817 (40wt, 1094yds), 2630 – 1130 (28wt, 820yds)
2605 – 3817 (12wt, 356yds), 8692 (WOOL 12wt, 383yds)


2000 – 5008 – 2620 – 5024 (50wt, 220yds) 2692 – 3817 (40wt, 164yds)
2630 – 1130 (28wt, 109yds ) 2605 (12wt, 54yds) 8692 (WOOL 12wt, 54yds)


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

What first drew you to this amazing creative world of sewing and textiles?
I’ve loved playing with a needle and thread ever since I was a little girl. My mother would give me bits of fabric and I would hand sew dresses for my dolls. When I became a mother myself I found that I had some hours to fill during the day. I went back to my roots of drawing and painting, but with little children around, I couldn’t leave all those materials around our small apartment. So I started hand embroidering my drawings and my children’s drawings. I enjoy hand work, but I felt that hand embroidery just took too long. One day my husband brought home a sewing machine for me and I wondered if I could achieve the same look by machine. I was thrilled to find out that I could! I felt that I had found the perfect marriage of drawing and sewing in sewing illustration.

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Vignette by Minki Kim

Who or what has been your greatest creative inspiration?
Without a doubt—my three girls. When they were very little, we would walk to the park or to school and I found myself wanting to capture those everyday scenes. Sometimes I would snap a picture with my phone, and sometimes I would quickly create a sketch as soon as I returned home. These scenes became my first sewing illustrations are still among my most treasured.

Sewing Illustrations by Minki Kim

Sewing Illustrations by Minki Kim

I am also inspired by everyday items and scenes—if I am baking bread, I want to draw that, if I’m making jam-I will sketch that. Piles of my girls shoes, rain boots—really anything to do with rain—cameras, my sewing space—everything around me. It is all inspiration for my drawings.

Notions Basket by Minki Kim

Notions Basket by Minki Kim

What do you love most about the process of creating?
What I love most is that you have a tangible result of your efforts to enjoy. The tea mat under your tea cup, the needle case you store your favorite needles in, the cushion on your daughter’s bed that she enjoys every day. I love to both see and use the items I create around my home. They are, in fact, what makes it a home to me. You can spend all day cleaning your house, and five minutes after your kids come home it is all undone—but that handmade coaster is always there for you to enjoy:).

How did the idea for Sew Illustrated first come about and what did you love most about the process of putting the book together?
The full story behind how Sew Illustrated came to be is all in this blog post. But the part that we like the most is that we were just two regular women who had a crazy idea to write a book. And if we’ve learned anything through this whole process, is that you just have to be brave enough to try, to take that next step. We wrote up that book proposal, completely expecting it to be rejected. But it wasn’t and here we are!

We didn’t really know for sure that other sewists would embrace this technique and aesthetic, but based on the response we have had from the book—our instincts paid off and many people are trying a new technique and finding out that it not difficult—and they absolutely enjoy it!

House Zipper Pouch by Minki Kim

House Zipper Pouch by Minki Kim

What was it like to work on the book collaboratively?
Working on the book together was so much fun. We met over countless cups of coffee and tea to plan out every detail. We have very complementary skill sets, so dividing up who did what was very easy—Minki was the designer and Kristin did the writing. Some people ask us if we are still friends after it was all done, and we are pleased to report that yes! We are still dear friends.

Do you have a favorite project from the book and why?
It’s a bit like choosing your favorite child—but I think the long-handled bag with the typewriter motif is my favorite. I love the typewriter design and it is a useful bag that I reach for over and over. I also love all of the projects for the table—coasters, tea mats, and dessert mats—for the same reason. They are useful projects that I enjoy seeing and using every day.

When did you first discover Aurifil threads and what do you love most about them? Actually, it was Kristin that first introduced me to Aurifil. Up until then I was using whatever thread was on sale at Joann’s. In fact, I really didn’t understand what difference a thread could make. But she lent me a spool and I was immediately hooked! It was eye-opening what a difference great quality thread can make! And then I was introduced to all the different thread weights available from Aurifil. This was something else that I had no idea about!

Once I began experimenting with different thread weights—it began to change my process. I think of sewing illustration as simply drawing with thread. The different weights of thread represent the different thicknesses of the pen or pencil you draw with. I can really change the look of the piece by simply using a different thread weight. I can use a very heavy 12 weight to mimic a hand embroidered look, but I also completely love the thin line that 50 weight gives a drawing.

Do you have a favorite weight/color?
As I said, I love them all for different reasons. Most of my sewing illustrations have used a dark brown (5024 and 1130 are my favorites) in the past—but recently I have completely fallen in love with dark gray (2630) 28 weight.

Sew Illustrated by Minki Kim

Sew Illustrated by Minki Kim

How did you go about selecting colors for this collection?
I wanted to introduce people to new thread weights. I think that most people have the usual 50 weight thread in their drawer and I wanted to open up a whole new world to them. So I selected a variety of weights that can easily achieve different looks, in the selection of colors that I find myself reaching for over and over.

Sew Illustrated by Minki Kim

Sew Illustrated by Minki Kim



Click here to enter-to-win 1 Large Sew Illustrated Aurifil Thread Collection and one copy of Sew Illustrated by Minki Kim & Kristin Esser for C&T Publishing. You do not have to complete all the options to be entered but the more options you choose, the more entries you have!  Entries will be accepted from now through 11:59pm Eastern Time on Friday, September 9! Winner will be randomly selected and announced here on Saturday, September 10. If located in the US, the winner will receive a physical copy of the book. If outside the US, the winner will receive an e-copy of the book. This giveaway is open to all of our international friends!

Update: This giveaway is now closed. Congratulations to our winner, Rochelle Summers!

Just because the tour is almost over doesn’t mean the fun has to end! We would encourage you to visit all of the stops along the way to check out projects, tips, and more!

August 15: C&T Publications
August 16: Amy at nanaCompany
August 17: Wynn at Zakka Art
August 18: Sedef at Down Grapevine Lane
August 19: Lisa at A Spoonful of Sugar
August 20: Amy at chick chick sewing
August 21: Stacy at Stacy Olson
August 22: Debbie happy little cottage
August 23: Generation Q Magazine
August 24: Faith at Sarana Ave
August 25: Ayda at  cafenohut
August 26: Melissa at Oh, how sweet
August 27: Jemima at Tied with a Ribbon
August 28: Veronica at Vivid Felicity
August 29: Sharon at Lilabelle Lane Creations
August 30: Nadra at ellis & higgs
August 31: Kristyne at pretty by hand
September 1: Elnora on Instagram
September 2: Jennie at Clover and Violet
September 3: Auribuzz (You are HERE!)
September 4: Minki at Minki’s Work Table and Kristin at They Grow Up Too Fast

Website — Instagram — Pinterest Pattern Shop
Minki Kim is a formally trained artist and self-taught sewist. She discovered sewing as a creative outlet when her children were small and she wanted to capture the beauty of ordinary moments, first with hand embroidery and later recreating them with her sewing machine and fabric—literally drawing with thread. Originally from Korea, Minki now calls Southern California home, where she lives with her husband and three young daughters. On any given day you can find her in her sewing room creating projects to share on her blog, in her pattern shop,  and on Instagram.

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Website — Facebook — Instagram — Pinterest
Kristin Esser has been surrounded by sewing and crafting since childhood. She dabbled in apparel sewing but eventually found her passion in quilting, craft sewing, and knitting. She lives just down the street from Minki, where she has written Minki’s patterns and tutorials for publication in industry magazines. She writes about her creative pursuits and her life with her husband and three teenage children at 

** Images and all biographical text are courtesy of Minki Kim, Kristin Esser and C&T Publishing.

Ragged & The Denim Studio

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With The Denim Studio by Art Gallery Fabrics, the quintessential American fabric has been reinvented so once more you can “Feel the Difference”. It is a new series of premium substrates, that brings a whole new approach to create your projects. Featuring an array of prints and textures on trendy colors, these fabrics are ideal for quilting, apparel, home decor and accessories. Ragged is the coordinating thread collection, hand-picked to suit all needs including 40wt, 28wt, 12wt, Linen, & Wool!

Denim Bundle_3

Ragged: The Denim Studio
10 Small Spools
2310 – 1248 (Cotton, 40 WT, 164yds/spool)
6722 – 2145 (Cotton, 28 WT, 109yds/spool)
2312 – 2610 (Cotton, 12 WT, 54yds/spool)
2920 (Linen, 22WT, 87yds/spool)
8092 – 8780 – 8333 (Wool, 12WT, 54yds/spool)


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

How did the idea to develop a line of specialty denim fabrics first come about? 

Denim is the quintessential American fabric. It’s an amazing substrate and was long neglected in our industry. At AGF, we always thought that denim had great potential and we wanted to launch a trendy line to be used in garment sewing but at the same time that could be brought into play for quilting. Quilting with denim is very fun!

Tell us a bit about the different types of denim available with this collection.
We have several types, which are different in texture and weight:

SMOOTH SOLIDS are the classic denim that are very thin and have the same weight of quilting fabric.

TEXTURED SOLIDS are thicker and more structured for sturdy projects.

CROSSHATCH TEXTURED DENIM consists of a beautiful woven pattern.

OUTLAND YARN DYES are lightweight with an attractive denim look.

LOVEY DOBBY super soft and great for many projects, especially garments.

PREMIUM LINEN BLEND a blend of linen and cotton with a soft touch.

STREAKED BLEND for unique for out of the box projects.

DENIM PRINTS are the stars of the group. They are super soft and lightweight denim, ideal for sewing and quilting with many creative designs printed on them.

[editor’s note: visit the website for a closer look at all offerings]

What inspired the designs for the denim prints?  
We really wanted the quilting community to start creating quilts with denim, so the idea of adding prints came as a no-brainer. Quilters can create a multitude of unique quilts with our variety of prints!

There is often a conception that denim is meant for apparel, but we’ve seen some incredibly inspiring non-apparel projects lately. What are your favorite non-apparel projects with these new fabrics?
Well, we have to admit that we love quilts, bed runners, totes, more totes, clutches and even toys just to name a few!

How were the threads for Ragged, the coordinating thread collection, selected? 
We love the quality of Aurifil threads and they come in several materials and weights to help create many different techniques when sewn on denim. The colors coordinate perfectly and that makes them ideal for sewing and quilting with our types of denim.

The collection includes a wonderful variety of thread weights, including 40wt, 28wt, 12wt, Linen and Wool. What tips would you share with consumers for how to use the various weights in their projects?
There are not many tips we can recommend since Aurifil threads have the best quality, so you can use them at will!! They resist breakage extremely well, so they can be used in bobbin work, hand embroidery and stitching, high-speed machine quilting, topstitching, hand quilting, and sashiko as well. Imagine the possibilities!

What do you love most about Aurifil threads and how it partners with your fabrics? 
We are incredibly honored to be partners with Aurifil! We share the same values and quality products are at the top of our lists. The color range is unbelievable and they come in every weight you can ask for. We love the luster and sheen of each of the cotton spools and how delicate the wool threads are. We even love how they barely produce lint which means that we have less lint to clean in our sewing machine hooks! What else can anyone ask for? Aurifil threads are perfection!


To enter-to-win,  click here to head to the Rafflecopter entry page, or simply click on the image above. You do not have to complete all the options to be entered but the more options you choose, the more entries you have!  Entries will be accepted from now through 11:59pm Eastern Time on Friday, July 22! Winner will be randomly selected and announced here on Saturday, July 23. Good luck!

UPDATE (7/23): This giveaway is now CLOSED. Congratulations to Stephanie Clark Basden!! 


WebsiteBlogFacebookInstagramPinterestTwitter — YouTube — Flickr
Screen Shot 2016-07-15 at 12.47.30 PMCreativity, beauty and design are our passions here at AGF. When it comes to design, we love to create fabrics that fit a modern lifestyle with a chic, sophisticated touch. Enticing color palettes and artful, intricate prints are what make our collections one of a kind. We are often described as the most “trendsetting” fabric company these days for always keeping originality and uniqueness on the top of our list.

** All collection images courtesy of Art Gallery Fabrics.



By hand or by machine, Lana adds that homespun touch to all your folk art and country wool projects…

I love working with Aurifil Lana threads as it is an ideal thread for folk art style appliqué. It’s soft texture matches perfectly with wools or woolfelt and produces a beautiful homespun finish to any creative wool work. Because it is on a spool, I use it for both machine stitching, when assembling quilts and bags, and for all kinds of hand quilting and embroidery, in particular blanket stitch appliqué. There is a beautiful palette of nearly 200 colours to choose from so I have found a perfect match for every single woolfelt colour that I work with.

Marianne Byrne
Folk art and country quilt designer, The Cinnamon Patch

I always loved making things with my own hands

   Marianne Byrne-Goarin

Marianne : “As a little girl, I always loved making things with my own hands. Watching my mother and my Irish and American grandmothers expertly stitch, crochet, knit and craft, it is needless to say that my creativity was nurtured and tenderly encouraged. After studying fashion design in Dublin and Paris, career opportunities led me into other professional areas, but I continued to stitch and craft throughout the years. A few years ago I discovered “penny rugs” and fell in love with the simple folk art style of appliqué and the homespun textured wools that are so characteristic of these designs. Dating from the mid 19th century, penny rugs were made from all kinds of scraps of felted wool. And so, I started making my own penny rugs using scraps of wool felt.

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