Aurifil Artisan Project: Earth Views

The April Aurifil Artisan project is all about Earth. We worked with Earth Views fabrics, designed by Dr. Karen Nyberg for Robert Kaufman fabrics. Dr. Nyberg is an engineer, astronaut, and artist. During her time on the International Space Station, sewists from around the world joined Karen Nyberg in making a quilt block and contributing to an epic project that resulted in the creation of dozens of quilts.

I decided to use sustainability as my focus for this project, inspired by our Earth Day release date. I used four fat quarters of Earth Views fabric – Seaglass, Limestone, Lagoon, and Pool – and a small spool of Aurifil 50wt 2715, a light blue that coordinated perfectly with these fabrics.

My family has been making an effort to eliminate paper products from our daily life as much as possible. Fabric napkins are one great way to do this. I used two fat quarters for each napkin, and finished them with some functional and decorative stitching.

I’ve been wanting to purchase some sets of silverware for travel to eliminate the use of disposable eating utensils and straws. This project was a great excuse to do that. I made a small, simple zipper pouch to carry a to-go kit.

I added some 45° strips to a rectangle of Alison Glass white Kaleidoscope fabric. I quilted both exterior panels, added a bit of zipper by the yard, a lining with more Dr. Karen Nyberg fabrics, and done! The pouch is the perfect size to hold a napkin, silverware set, and straw. It will fit in my purse, and wash up easily, which is perfect! It will be clean when I grab it and I won’t mind putting my used silverware in it once I’m done eating.

Earth Views fabrics are Greenstyle, eco-friendly fabrics that are beautiful, versatile, and feel great to work with. What would you make with these fabrics and thread?

Aurifil Artisan Project: Night Fancy Fabrics

I had the opportunity to make something with Victoria Findlay Wolfe’s new fabric lime for Free Spirit Fabrics, Night Fancy. These fabrics feature floral and geometric prints in a range of soft and bright Spring colors.

I was sent three fat quarters of Night Fancy prints, one beautiful lime green solid, and a large spool of coordinating Aurifil 50wt thread. I decided that EPP would best highlight the potential for meticulous cutting of these fabrics. I combined the papers from two sets of 1 1/2” 60° Party Pack from Paper Pieces EPP and got to work.

One of my favorite EPP notions is pink embroidery tape, pictured above. It has such a strong grip and hold the pieces together while I sew them together with the flat backstitch. I get my tape here.

Once I finished sewing my pieces together (tip: I think I’ll try using matching thread next time. Stitches show through and that’s okay, but I’d love to try and make them disappear if I can), I quilted the mini quilt with a 60° grid using Aurifil 2692, black thread.

Headphones are an integral part of my sewing practice, as you can see. I love to listen to a familiar show or podcast while I work.

These fabrics are not my typical aesthetic, but I’m really happy with what I made. I found a way to use the prints, and the lime green solid and black quilting thread bring it all together.

Mister Domestic’s Snow Day Project Party

I’m so excited to share my project for the Snow Day Project Party! Snow Day fabrics – designed by Mathew Boudreaux of Mister Domestic for Art Gallery Fabrics – are a perfect combination of tranquil colors and fun prints. The mittens, mugs, and children playing remind me of some of the best parts of winter. The beautiful greens, blues, and greys in the color palate for this line make it such a soothing combination when combined into any project.

I chose to make the Ayora Jacket by Pauline Alice Sewing Patterns. The construction of this jacket is a bit different than most in that the bodice of the jacket is cut on the fold, in one piece. I sewed and quilted large panels for the bodice, sleeves, and pockets. I used a random HST layout for the bodice, a slightly more intentional HST layout for the sleeves, and my absolute favorite print for the pockets – Winter Frost.

I used my bust and waist measurements, combined with the finished garment measurements, to settle on the size 38. I am 5’1″, 34″ bust and 30″ waist. I was between sizes, but the finished measurements of the 38 sounded like they would be just right. I decided to eliminate the facing and finished my jacket with a contrasting bias binding instead. I cut about two inches off the height of the pocket so it would align with my midsection and not my top section.

Finally, I used french seams to finish the seams. I sewed the seam allowances wrong sides together with a quarter inch seam, and encased the raw edges by folding each seams right sides together and sewed another quarter inch seam. The nicely finished inside seams make this jacket reversible, which is exciting.

I added a quilt block surprise to the lining, and finished it with Art Gallery Fabrics denim in Afternoon Sail. I can’t wait to wash this jacket a few times, as Art Gallery Fabrics denim gets softer and cozier with every wash. My other favorite details on this jacket are the ombre flying geese on the sleeves and the contrasting binding in Cuddled Up from Snow Day.

I’ve got lots of little projects planned for my scraps from this project. Keep an eye out for more Snow Day in the coming weeks, as this party is packed with talented makers who have lots to share with you.

Snow Day Project Party Participants

Weeks 1 

Week 2

Week 3

Week 4

December Aurifil Artisan Challenge: Dear Santa…

The Aurifil Artisan challenge for December was to make something for the holidays. There was no shortage of items on my to-do list that worked for this challenge, but ultimately I decided to add a new project – something that was quick to make and will hopefully bring my family a bit of joy for years to come.

2020 has been a year full of challenges and shifts in expectation, to say the least. One of the things that has helped my family get through the many months of shelter in place orders and online school has been finding new traditions to enjoy. My nine year old daughter has enjoyed planning and throwing parties for our family of five, leading us through games and pulling some or all of us into impromptu musical performances (the concert by the Cuckoo Cupcakes – our made up band for one day only – was my personal favorite). I am hoping that my Aurifil Artisan holiday item will be another new tradition for my family.

My children love writing letters to the tooth fairy (despite the fact that the two eldest are aware of the role their adults play in the magic of holidays). They love to draft their letters and fold them in fun ways, and then see if they’ve got a response in the morning. The tooth fairy who visits our house usually writes back within a day or two, and has very fancy writing. I thought it would be fun to add a bit of magic to the process of writing a letter to Santa. Introducing the Santa Post envelope.

I used forty 2.5″ mini charm squares of Evergreen fabric by Basic Grey to create a panel that was about 10.5″ x 16.5″. I basted and quilted the panel using four different Aurifil Thread weights and colors: 12wt Lobster Red (2265), 12wt Sand (2326), 28wt Light Jade (1148), 40wt Sand (2326 – in the bobbin), and 50wt Red (2250 – in the bobbin). I cut the exterior and lining for my envelope using a template I created with some paper cut to the length and shape I wanted for my finished product.

I added one side of the magnetic snap to the lining, and then sewed the two pieces right sides together. I turned the piece right side out using the two inch gap I left on one side, added the second part of the magnetic snap to the lining, folded the bottom third into place for final stitching, and top stitched all the way around. The top stitching serves to close the gap left open for turning, and creates the final envelope shape.

My hope is that my children will each have their own Santa Post envelope to tuck a letter into and leave on the mantle in the days leading up to Christmas. Santa just might write back!

Sallie Tomato Faux Leather Tour

Today I am excited to share my project for the Sallie Tomato Faux Leather Tour. Their new line of vegan faux leather is super soft, beautiful, and easy to sew with. The price point makes it a great alternative to cork or leather, and it’s perfect for a variety of projects and skill levels.


I knew right away that I wanted to do something quilted, and combine my two sewing loves – bag making and quilting. I chose to use the Black and Concrete faux leather in the Legacy finish to make a Sallie Tomato Tiffany handbag, and used Sallie Tomato hardware and zippers by the yard in Gunmetal finish. I quilted and constructed my entire bag using Aurifil Forty3 in Black, color 2692. The quilting pattern is a variation of a pattern found in Jacquie Gering’s upcoming book, Walk 2.0.


Quilting the faux leather turned out to be easier, but more time consuming, than I expected. I was so excited to see the finished product that I was more than willing to put in the time, though. My Peel n Stick Ruler Tape turned out to be quite handy for this project. I was able to mark my quilting lines quickly and easily, and the tape maintained its stick, so I was able to reuse it.


Once I had quilted the side panels, the rest of my Tiffany bag came together very quickly.


My favorite part of bag making is in the details. Sallie Tomato Hardware and Zippers By The Yard add a professional finish to any bag, and they are so easy to use. The faux metal finish on the zippers sew up like any plastic zipper, but they look so polished.


I added a pieced pocket to one side panel to add a bit of contrast. Sallie Tomato faux leather is really pliable, so it pieced together smoothly and was easy to topstitch.


I used Ruby Star Society Mystery Food in Berry, designed by Sarah Watts, for the lining fabric. I love a splash of pink in any project, and this fabric certainly achieved that!


Have you read the selvedge messages on Ruby Star Society fabric? These designers have been using such uplifting happy messages on their fabrics for years. I loved using the selvedge to the line the inside of the straps, and added a hidden message and a great reminder for how to do life these days.


Using Aurifil Forty3 for this project added a great amount of texture without standing out too much, which was exactly what I was hoping for.


I hope you enjoyed reading about my project and my process. Be sure to check out yesterday’s project by Hilary Jordan, and follow along with the rest of the tour. There are so many amazing makers, and their projects are sure to be outstanding.



Aurifil Forty3 – My Favorite Thread Weight

The April Aurifil Artisan Challenge is to share our favorite thread weight. I debated which thread weight to choose because I genuinely love them all for different reasons.  I do all of my piecing with 50 weight thread. I find that it is thick and strong enough to hold everything together, but fine enough that it is typically not visible in my projects. I use 50 weight, 40 weight, and 28 weight threads for domestic machine quilting, depending on how visible I want the thread and quilting design to be. I use 28 weight and 12 weight thread for hand quilting and top stitching on bags and other sewing projects. I’ve used 80 weight thread in my English Paper Piecing projects, and I’ve heard it is wonderful for quilting and Foundation Paper Piecing. I love Aurifloss for hand quilting, as well as embroidery and cross stitch projects, which I have recently re-discovered.

The thread I chose is one that is relatively new on the Aurifil scene. Forty3 is a 40 weight thread that is three ply instead of the usual two. Aurifil designed Forty3 to stand up to the rigors of longarm machine quilting, but it performs wonderfully in domestic machines as well.


I recently used White #2024 Forty3 thread to quilt my mini Cross Lake Quilt. On a recent-ish trip from Southern California to Northern California, I stopped in at Birch Fabrics and saw a mini quilt on display behind the register. I loved the soft colors of the organic linen fabrics and the simple design of the piece. I bought the fabrics (a few months later, from their booth, at a quilt show) and pattern I needed (which I finally hunted down a few months after that) and got to work.


The Forty3 thread has a textured appearance that I just love. The twist in the thread stands out a bit more than its two ply counterpart, making it great for projects that you want to highlight with more visible quilting.


I used the same linen fabrics and colors as in the sample I saw at the shop, which was made by Donna at XOXSEW. The Forty3 thread I used for the quilting stood out just enough to add texture to the mini quilt, but also blended well with the linen texture of the fabrics. I love what the quilting added to this project, and I’m happy to finally have it displayed in my home.

What is your favorite thread weight? If you have any questions about thread, let me know in the comments. I’d love to answer them if I can, or point you in the right direction.




2020 Sew Alongs, Quilt Alongs, and Quilting Challenges

One of the fun things about starting a new year is setting goals and making plans for your creative projects for the year to come. I have compiled a list of 27 Sew Alongs, Quilt Alongs, and Quilting Challenges for 2020.  Some of them will run the whole year and introduce you to a variety of skills and techniques, while others are a few months long and guide you through a specific pattern. Some are free, and others have a fee to join or require you to purchase a pattern in order to participate.

Are you hosting a SAL, QAL, or challenge that you would like me to add? Feel free to let me know in the comments and I’ll be sure to add it. Are you participating in a SAL, QAL, or challenge that I missed? Please let me know so we can share it!

Free Challenges:

Sarah Goer’s Show Me Something Challenge: Sarah will share a different quilting challenge each month – this month is to show her something purple!



Amista Baker’s Stash Buster Challenge: Join Amista to make projects that will help use up your stash. She’s providing great resources for participants!



On Williams Street Online Quilting Bee 2020: The On Williams Street team is here to inspire and support us, while helping us build our quilting skills, with this beautiful sampler pattern.



Aurifil Designer of the Month Challenge: Join Pat Sloan and 12 talented quilters as they share their creative journeys and a block they’ve each designed just for this challenge!



Patterns By Jen 2020 Monthly Color Challenge – Join Jen and 30 other bloggers to complete her monthly blocks using a different color each month.

Color Challenge 2020


The National Quilt Museum’s Block of the Month Club: For quilters of all skill levels – 12 block sampler inspired by fiber art exhibits and themes relating to the National Quilt Museum.



Project Quilting: Each season brings a variety of fun week-long challenges!



All People Quilt UFO Challenge: List your 12 unfinished projects on their worksheet and finish one each month according to the random number chosen.



Pat Sloan’s Out West 2020 Quilt Along: This free “Out West” themed Block of the Month began early January, but it’s never too late to join!



American Quilter’s Society Quilt Along 2020: Complete 1 new quilt each month with this quilt along.  The fabric requirements and instructions will be available for free on their blog. 



Sugaridoo Bernina Quilt Along: This Quilt Along started in November, but it’s not too late to join.  The first row of blocks is a Hashtag block, and super cute!



Woodberry Way Scrappy Trip Quilt Along – Join Alli of Woodberry Way to make a Scrappy Trip quilt in January and February.

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Naomi Alice Fussy Cutting Sew Along: If you love EPP, this weekly sew along is for you. It started last week, but you can join at any time throughout the year!


Improv Triangles Quilt Along with Nicholas Ball

Buy The Pattern, and the Quilt Along is Free

If you already have the pattern, then you’re all set to join these QALs. If not, for about $12 (some are more, some are less), you’re all set!

The Quilter’s Planner Sampler Sew Along: Purchase a Quilter’s Planner to get this pattern, along with 12 other full quilt patterns, and an incredible yearly planner. This BOM pattern is filled with community support, resources, and lots of fun and prizes!



Karie Jewell’s Jeweled Facets Sew Along: This EPP Sew Along starts in February. I’m definitely participating in this one. So excited to work on this super versatile, beautiful pattern! And you can buy a PDF and print as many of the papers as you need!



QuiltJetGirl’s Push Pull Quilt Along: Explore transparency and color selection in this quilt along. (The fee is for the quilt along content and pattern, but the price is so similar to a pattern purchase, that I included it in this category.)



Meadowland Quilt Along: Meghan of Then Came June is hosting her second Meadowland Quilt Along. With already 1200 participants signed up, this quilt along promises to be filled with lots of community fun!



The Vintage Lace Quilt Along: Brittny of Lo & Behold Stitchery is starting this Quilt Along today, January 13th! Check out her many color options and kits for this beautiful pattern. 



Piece & Love Quilt Along: Join The Cloth Parcel to make this modern, geometric heart pattern. 



Blossom Heart Quilts: Join Alyce to build your quilting skills and make 12 mini quilts from her newly published book, Mini Masterpieces.



Paper Chain BOM: This FPP pattern and Block of the Month Sew Along, published by the makers of the Summer Sampler, is a beautiful pattern that eases you into the awesomeness of FPP!



Camden Road QAL: Beginning January 28th and ending March 24th, this quilt can be made a few blocks at a time, or one component at a time – follow on your own terms!

Camden Road Quilt Along


River Pond Quilt Along: Join Diane of From Blank Pages to make your own beautiful River Pond quilt.



Polka Dot Chair’s Choose Happiness Block of the Month: Join Melissa of Polka Dot Chair to make the Choose Happiness quilt, one block each month. 


Block of the Month Memberships

Pay an annual or monthly membership fee to join these Block of the Month memberships. They come with monthly block patterns and other resources – it varies by program, but some offer step-by-step videos, Facebook groups for community support, and other resources.


Rebecca Bryan’s Solstice Block of the Month



During Quiet Time Next Door Block of the Month



Stitched In Color Penny Sampler Pattern Club



Quiet Play 2020 FPP Pattern Club


Apple Blossoms with Cora’s Quilts: Get a monthly fabric kit along with your pattern and other resources.

Join Sarah Fielke for this Hand Appliqué Block of the Month program.








Holiday Sewing

I’m usually the person who insists on waiting until the day after Thanksgiving to do any holiday decorating, but for some reason this year I wanted to put the tinsel and lights in October. I didn’t decorate early, but I did have lots of ideas for holiday sewing swirling around in my head. I ultimately settled on a simple patchwork cushion using Kringle & Claus fabrics by BasicGrey for Moda and three different Aurifil thread colors of two different weights.

BasicGrey fabrics are just a little edgier for the holidays than most, and I love them for it. The aqua Grunge fabric and black and green holly print are exactly the colors and texture I love for holiday decorating. So, when I saw two mini charms of Kringle & Claus fabrics at my local quilt shop, I knew just the project! Simple patchwork pillows add a holiday touch to any home, and they are quick and easy to make. Lay out your squares, sew them together in pairs, then chunks, then rows. Quilt, add a backing and closure, and done!

I quilted my cushion with Aurifil 50wt Red 2250 and Pine 2892. I did a double crosshatch quilting pattern, alternating the thread colors.

Envelope closures are my go-to for a quick and easy cushion project. I used Aurifil thread 28wt Mustard 5022. Paired with the right fabric and project, this thread is the perfect gold for topstitching.

And just like that, I added a new holiday cushion to my home! These Aurifil threads and BasicGrey fabrics paired perfectly to add a touch of the holidays to my home in just a few hours.

What is your favorite handmade holiday decor?

November Aurifil Artisan Challenge: Bag Making

The November Aurifil Artisan challenge was bag making, with a focus on bags for travel. My family took a road trip from California to Washington, D.C. and back this summer – about 6,000 miles of driving and visited 21 states in 21 days. I learned a lot in that trip about what I need to make it work. This challenge was the perfect opportunity to fill in a gap in my travel bag arsenal – a small crossbody bag.

Aurifil partnered with Sallie Tomato Patterns and Thermoweb for this challenge. I chose to make the Zippy Crossbody Bag, which called for fusible interfacing. I’ve made lots of Sallie Tomato bags and have really enjoyed their patterns. I was not familiar with Thermoweb interfacing, but after this challenge, I’m happy to say that I will definitely be using it again in the future. Their woven interfacing is soft with a really nice weight, and fuses really well.

For this bag, I chose to use Alison Glass fabrics, with a hint of Sew Sweetness cork. The strap and accent fabric are Art Theory in Ivory from Ex Libris and the main fabric is Latitude in Anemone from Diving Board.

I used Aurifil Dove 2600 50wt for piecing the entire purse. It’s a bit time consuming to switch between a neutral for piecing and my chosen top stitching thread, but so worth it when all of my seam stitching is hidden, allowing the top stitching to really shine. For top stitching, I used Jade 4093 50wt.

I added an Emmaline Bags “Handmade” tag for the perfect finishing touch, and just like that, my new bag was done! The Zippy Crossbody is perfect for carrying just the essentials, and has lots of pockets for the little emergency items one needs on the go. I’m so happy to have partnered with Aurifil, Sallie Tomato Patterns, and Thermoweb for this challenge!

The Many Ways to Bind a Quilt

Sew For Fifteen is all about quilt binding this October. There are so many ways to bind a quilt – some include hand sewing, others are all done by machine. Some add a decorative element to your quilt, and others are done to minimize the impact of the binding on the finished look of your quilt. I asked the Sew For Fifteen participants to help me make a list of binding techniques, and they were so helpful. I’ve included a list of binding techniques, and found at least one tutorial for each technique so you can try whichever binding technique has been sitting on your quilting to-do list.

Machine Binding:

Quilty Love – Machine Binding Beginner Friendly Tutorial

Blossom Heart Quilts – How To Machine Bind A Quilt

Sarah Goer Quilts – Machine Bind Your Quilts Like A Pro


How To Make Bias Binding:

Moda Bake Shop – How To Make Continuous Bias Binding

Faced Binding:

The Silly BooDilly Super Duper Easy Way To Face

Fibermania Quilt Facing Tutorial

Judy Perez – How To Make A Faced Binding


Flange Binding:

My Patchwork – Faux Flange Binding Tutorial

Live Play Eat – Flange Binding Tutorial


Binding with the Quilt Back Fabric:

Cluck Cluck Sew – Binding Your Quilt With The Quilt Back

Maxie Makes – Using Your Quilt backing As Binding


Hand Sewn Binding:

Diary Of A Quilter – How To Finish A Quilt

Amy Ellis: Hand-stitiching a Binding


Visible Stitch Binding:

Lo and Behold Stitchery – How To Hand Quilt Your Binding

Kitchen Table Quilting – Big Stitch Binding Tutorial


Wide binding:


Single Fold Binding:

Jay Bird Quilts – Single Fold Binding Tutorial

My Bear Paw – Single Fold Binding Tutorial


Curved Binding – Curvy Edges or Corners

Jay Bird Quilts – Binding Curved Edges

Cindy Seitz Krug – Binding Curved Edges


Corners Larger/Smaller than 90 Degrees

Rachel Rossi – Angled Binding

Getas Quilting Studio – Binding Quilts With Odd Angles

Jay Bird Quilts – How To Bind 120 Degree Angles


Prairie Points

Patchwork Posse – How To Make Prairie Points

Sew Many Ways – How To Make Prairie Points