Thread play with Aurifil “watercolour” variegated threads

We designated August as the month to talk about variegated threads to help brighten up, what can be a dreary, grey, month at the end of winter. Well fortunately the weather has not been too extreme, as we have hardly mentioned our pretty variegated threads this month.

However there are still a couple of days left in August so I thought I would take this last opportunity to show you the “water colour” thread collection. This range is so called because of the soft pastel appearance, using one colour light through dark with the addition of white.

Some of the Aurifil Cotton Mako' variegated colours in the "water colour" collection

 As you would expect, these threads give fantastic results when used for thread painting, allowing you to create a wash of colour.

I’ve only recently started playing with the thread painting technique but I can already feel a new addiction growing, and I plan to do lots more practice.

My first attempt at thread painting. I used both the variegated Aurifil Cotton Mako' 40 & Mako' 28 for this experiment

 As with all the threads in the Cotton Mako’ range, the variegated colours are available in 4 thread weights so you can build your work with  texture, as well as colour.

If you want to join in the fun and create your own thread painted textile art works pop over to the website to see the full colour range.

By using the link above you can find a list of local retailers, or you can go to the Always Quilting online store,  to order threads.

“A line is a dot that went for a walk”

Recently my patchwork guild’s “Art” group choose to study  the Swiss/German artist Paul Klee.

Before we make a textile work we always spend time discussing the artist and his/her work using the internet as a resource or our own art books or those borrowed from the local library.
If we have chosen an Australian artist, we arrange a visit to a gallery to view some of the work ‘in the flesh’.
During the month we work on our textile piece and also research a new artist for the following month.

Not knowing anything about Paul Klee was exciting, as I went in with an open mind, and ready to use his art work as the inspiration for finished textile work.    I discovered a wonderful artist who has painted some excellent works that could be used by patchworkers for inspiration.

Clarifying Paul Klee

I chose a painting called “Clarification” painted in 1932 which I thought ‘leant ‘ itself to using lots of lines of thread.    I had kept in my stash of textured fabrics, a tea- dyed piece of Onasburg ‘linen’ and on parts of the material I coloured light pencil areas.

Some of the Ne12 threads I used

 Then I stitched many lines of thread using Cotton Mako Ne 12 (the ‘heaviest’ of the Aurifil threads.   I quilted over the piece with Ne 28 in a similar colour to the background fabric not wanting the quilting to distract the eye from the threadwork.   I am very pleased with the end result – it is subtle but gives the look I was after.

Freehanding the stitches as the mood takes me!

BTW The title of my blog is from a quote by Paul Klee.

How to have fun playing with variegated thread.

This month, our feature thread from the Aurifil range is not really a thread, more like a dyeing technique, as we are talking about variegated colours.  You will find a good variety of variegated threads in the Cotton Mako’, Lana & Aurilux ranges. 

A glorious collection of variegated threads form Aurifil

 There are some multi-colour variegations, but mostly the variegations consist of one colour that runs from light to dark, and back, along the strand of thread so even the Brillo threads could be mistaken for variegated colours as the metallic thread glitters light & dark.

The self variegated threads create beautiful water colour effects when used for thread painting, a topic that I will discuss later this month.

These Brillo threads could be mistaken for variegated colours as the metallic thread sparkles light & dark

 Late last year we featured our crochet projects using the Lana thread. When we did this it set me thinking about what would happen if we crocheted with the Cotton Mako’ 12, which is a similar thickness to the Lana thread.

 I had great fun crocheting these flowers with 2 & 3 strands of a variegated Cotton Mako’ 12  (colour 4647). I beaded them and stitched them to cord before combining them with tassels and a strand of beads to make a necklace (not my own idea, as I used a necklace that I had previously purchased as the inspiration)

I crocheted these flowers using a variegated colour in Cotton Mako' 12

I also turned one flower into a brooch by stitching it on to a large button back. Such simple projects, but they get compliments every time I wear them.

If you want to have fun making your own crochet flowers you will find our crochet instructions in the download box to the left of the screen and you can purchase Aurifil threads from our online store.


Variegated Quilting Thread

Variegated Quilting thread is our featured thread for August.

The quilting  thread, Cotton Mako’ 28, comes on the grey spool  just like the solid coloured quilting thread.

Beautiful Blues

When I reach the quilting stage of my quilts, I always audition a variegated thread. I think that initial leaning comes from not being able to narrow down my thread choice to just one colour. I take a small square of the fabric I have used in the patchwork or appliqué and  add some quilting stitches across the surface. The quilt usually ‘tells’ me right away if I am on the right track.

I have been hand quilting the Blue China Jar quilt (designed by Maggie Walker) for several years. I completed this quilt as a Block of the Month making a few changes to personalize it along the way.

China Jars

The variegated thread works so well with all the different blue fabrics. I like the way the colour changes, adding another dimension to the overall  appliquéd pieces.

Interesting Effects using Variegated Thread

I have decided to quilt the outer borders in a cross hatched pattern. The variegated thread blends beautifully with the bold border.

Variegated thread holds it all together

Have a look at our on-line store and try some of our beautiful variegated quilting threads. It may be just the finishing touch your next quilting projects needs!