Hand Quilting with Cotton Mako’ Ne 28 is a pleasure

I am not a hand quilter, so I always appreciate comments from people who are hand quilters, and I love seeing the positive reactions to Cotton Mako’ Ne 28. 

So often people are reluctant to try this lovely soft thread for their hand quilting because they have been told that they should use a stiff, glazed or waxed thread for hand quilting.

Cotton mako’ Ne 28 pulls through the quilt sandwich so easily that it makes hand quilting stress free on your hands and the resulting stitching looks so neat and good.

Judy's hand quilting using Cotton Mako' 28

It was a treat to read this post on the “A Quilter’s Life in the Big Apple” blog.


Queenstown NZ Remarkable Symposium 2011

As promised, the newest Round Robin has been completed. This RR began with my own block.

Virginia Rose hand appliquéd with Aurifil...of course!

This Round Robin began with a theme of our own choosing and I chose Virginia as this is the place of my birth in the USA.

Each of the seven participants made at least one 12 inch block using some of the fabric I had provided.

Rhonda L. Crossed Canoes/Evening Star

Each person was a Construction Manager for another member in the group and all the blocks for that member were sent, on completion, to the appropriate manager.

The participants and their blocks:

Cheryl K. Goose Tracks

Kerry P. Farmer's Delight

Dorry E. Dolley Madison Star

Jo B. was the Construction Manager for my blocks and she had the task of creating a quilt top incorporating all the Virginia themed blocks.

Heather M. Hexagons

Dorry E. Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Clause

Jo B. Martha Washington Wreath

Jo B. Quilts of Virginia Cover Block


The result is fabulous!!

Gather some friends; agree on some guidelines and begin making friendships and quilts that will last a lifetime.

PS. The 2013 Round Robin, Holidays Incorporated, has already begun!

Cross stitch made easy

Cross stitch & Blackwork stitched with one strand of Cotton Mako' 28

Hint number one for “cross stitch made easy” is to replace the stranded thread listed in any pattern requirement list with Cotton Mako’ .

Cotton Mako’ is easier to use than stranded thread. There is no waste and the thread does not have to be separated & re-aligned before use.

You simply cut a length from the spool and start stitching. Cotton Mako’ 12 will be the equivalent of a pearl 12 thread or 3 strands of  “stranded” floss & Cotton Mako’ 28  is the equivalent of 2 strands of floss.

I guess it does mean that you might have to buy 2 different thread weights if you want different thicknesses BUT the convenience, less wastage & ease with which the thread pulls through the fabric, and the fact that the same thread will go on the sewing machine, has meant that people are happily changing over to the Cotton Mako’ for their hand embroidery.

My second hint for “cross stitch made easy” is to grid baste the Aida cloth and mark out a matching grid on the pattern.

I mark out an even grid over the Aida cloth so that it is easier to follow the pattern

Over Aida 14 cloth I mark a grid that is 10 threads x 10 threads but this can vary depending upon the type of weave in the background cloth.

I photocopy the pattern at 150 or 200% and then rule up registration lines to match the grid that is basted over the Aida Cloth

I also baste some tape around the edges of the fabric so that they do not get frayed due to all the handling.

Hint number three is to pre-colour the design on the Aida cloth so that I don’t have to “count” the weave threads.

I started doing this when I realised that my TV sight, reading sight & stitching sight lengths had changed so much that I would need two pairs of spectacles to be able to sew & watch TV at the same time.

When I thought about the problem I realised that I couldn’t see the grain of the cloth clearly enough to count for stitch placement.

So I solved my problem by treating my cross stitch in the same manner as a pre-printed tapestry.

Match the pen colours to the thread colours that will be used for the cross stitch. Fabrico pens work well.

I take the time to pre-mark the Aida in clear light during the day by dot marking the pattern grid with the appropriate colour using Fabrico fabric pens. 

The dots are covered with thread when the stitching is finished, and the ink is permanent so it doesn’t bleed out from under the design if the embroidery gets wet.

If you want to test out my “cross stitch made easy” techniques you will find Fabrico pens, Aida cloth & patterns for the above designs, kitted with the Cotton Mako’ thread, for sale on the website.

Glorious embroidery with Cotton Mako’ 28

The thread that we are featuring in June is Cotton Mako’ 28 so it was a happy find to see these glorious outfits posted on the Aurifil Patchwork Quilt FaceBook site.  Alex, the product manager, headed his post with the question:

“Does your quilt wear Prada too? …these Prada artworks areembroidered with 100% Aurifil cotton threads?” 

The embroidery on these outfits has been executed in Cotton Mako' 28

I checked with Alex and discovered that the embroidery has been mostly stitched with Cotton Mako’ 28, with some of the very fine detail being added with Cotton Mako’ 40.

What a wonderful introduction for our feature thread!

Cotton Mako’ 28

When I am talking to machine embroiderers I am always surprised to find that very few people have used cotton thread for their embroidery. In most cases people tell me that, when they purchased their embroidery machine, they were told to use rayon and so they had not considered using cotton thread.

Yet,  Cotton Mako’ creates beautiful embroidery and the gentle lustre of this mercerised thread is so pretty when used on a cotton fabric.


This embroidery design from Pfaff stitched out beautifully in Cotton Mako' 28


We will be bringing you more ideas for using Cotton Mako’ 28 during the month, and you can check out the thread details, or make a purchase, on the Always Quilting website.