Tuesday Treats: Aurifil Threads, Reproduction Quilts and Michelle Yeo

I had the best of treats last week picking thread colours with Michelle, of Michelle Yeo Designs.

Michelle uses Cotton Mako' 28 for blanket stitching when stitching Broderie Perse applique

Michelle uses Cotton Mako’ 28 for blanket stitching when stitching Broderie Perse applique

Michelle is frequently a guest tutor at patchwork retreats around the country and, when the classes are not held in a shop, she likes to have some of her favourite  threads available for students to purchase.

So Michelle & I spent the afternoon picking colours to set up some portable thread collections for her to carry to classes in this situation.

You all know how frustrating it can be to find that you need a different thread colour when you are working away from home.  Well there will now threads available when you need them.

Cotton Mako' 50 is the best choice for needle turned applique

Cotton Mako’ 50 is the best choice for needle turned applique

Michelle specializes in reproduction quilts,  inspired by quilts of the past, and the classes for her next Retreat are from her St Barnabas designs so we needed to pick threads for piecing, needle turned applique and broderie perse.

Michelle uses:

Little four packs of Cotton Mako' 50 & 40 in basic colours will work  with a variety of fabrics

Little four packs of Cotton Mako’ 50 & 40 in basic colours will work with a variety of fabrics

As Michelle often travels interstate to retreats we  had to come up with a plan to include colours in all three thread weights while still keeping the actual volume of the items to a minimum so that everything will fit into her luggage.

Changing planes several times, and flying in smaller planes, means luggage restrictions that you don’t face when you can simply pile things into a car and drive to a retreat.

Picking colours for other people, when the fabrics are sight unseen, is not the easiest of tasks.

We were like children in a lolly shop as we agonized over this & that colour before finally settling on 18 individual colours and several collections.

Yummy flower colours for broderie perse

Yummy flower colours for broderie perse

We tried to pick thread colours that will work with a range of reproduction fabrics, and colours that have a chameleon effect, reading differently depending upon the colour of the fabric with which the thread is being matched.

And variety when only that colour will do for needle turned applique.

And variety when only that colour will do for needle turned applique.

The final treat for the day was when Michelle pulled a copy of her book out of her bag to show me …. I love books and this one is just so collectable.


“Of Needle, Thimble and Thread”  is a beautiful book featuring 18 of Michelle’s original quilt designs.  The book is published by Quiltmania.  The quilts were artistically photographed in France, and there are detailed instructions, full sized patterns sheets and diagrams for each quilt featured in the book.

The production is excellent,  printed on high quality paper,  a great design layout  and Michelle says that the quilt photographs are “true to colour”.  It really is a must have book for any quilter’s library.

Follow the links on the Michelle Yeo Designs website to find out more about her classes or to purchase “Of Needle, Thimble and Thread”

It really was a day worthy of featuring in Tuesday Treats.

PS:  We enjoy helping our shops, and designers, customize threads for workshops, and events, so don’t forget to contact us next time you are doing something special.

Spolit on Mothers' Day (Mothers' Day Spoils)

Many of the gifts I am given are related to quilting, and this Mothers’ Day was no exception.  I received two beautiful quilting books.  (I must admit, I did have a hand in their purchase, but my family members are all well-trained and quite happy to indulge me!)

One of the books I received is Di Ford-Hall’s “Primarily Quilts”.  I have long been a fan of Di’s patterns and when I heard that she was publishing a book I was eager to own a copy.

Camera file May 2013 326

The book is published by Quiltmania, (www.quiltmania.com) and is beautifully set out with lots of photos and text in both French and English.

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A look inside the book.

The book has 240 pages, containing  16 of Di’s patterns, so there are plenty of quilts to tempt me, and yes, there are several I would like to make! The quilts are inspired by nineteenth century quilts and use techniques which include hexagons, broderie perse,  fussy cutting, hand and machine piecing and lots of applique. (Quilting heaven). I am pleased that all patterns and templates are full size so there is no need to enlarge, and the three large pull-out pattern sheets all seem very clear.

Now I must confess that one of my UFOs is a quilt made from a Di Ford pattern, but one which is not in the book. It is “Homage to Sally Ann” which I began over five years ago and stitched while on a 15 week trip around the eastern half of Australia.  I came back from my holiday, but Sally Ann appears to have left on one….and no progress has been made for a long time.

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The incomplete centre block.

The original quilt was on a cream background with mid to deep pinks and burgundy flowers, and I have also seen Helen Hayes Sally Ann quilt which is on a vibrant red background.  As you can see, mine is different again, being on a pale aqua background with coral, gold and brown flowers.

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One of the corner blocks.

Aurifil Cotton Mako 50 weight thread (the finest weight) is my choice for the needleturn applique I use in this project.

And now that Sally Ann has reappeared I might have to add the odd flower or two!

As for the other book I received on Mothers’ Day, I’ll write about that in a future blog post.

Now Sally Ann, where were we….?