Tuesday Treat: Creative E-book from Lisa Walton

Even if, like me, you don’t think of yourself as an “Art Quilter” you will find some wonderful inspiring ideas in this new e-book by Lisa Walton, released earlier this month.


The book description says:

This book guides you through the ways in which you can turn beautiful patterns and textures into stunning textiles.

The first in a series of books titled ‘Creative Journeys’, Lisa Walton imparts expert guidance, tips and techniques coupled with over 140 illustrations to help inspire and encourage you to turn your ideas into creative textiles.

With a focus on fabric painting, stamping, decorative rubbings, metallic foils, simple screen printing, stencilling, creative stitchwork, textural quilting, Lisa shows how these can be used to create stunning textile art.

You can preview, and purchase, the book:   Creative Journeys: Fun & Easy Textile Surface Design Techniques

It is Lisa’s second book, and is only available in the digital book format.

Visit Lisa’s blog to find out how this book came to be, and follow the story as the next book in the Creative Journeys series is developed.

PS:  Her first book, “Beautiful Building Block Quilts”,  is available in both print and digital format and shows you how to start with an easy quilt block like Four Patch or Flying Geese, stitch it up in several different sizes, then build your blocks into striking improvised quilts.

They make a great set to get you started on your free wheeling creative journey.


If you have been doing creative things with Aurifil send us some information so that we can feature your work in a Tuesday Treat or Wednesday Wonder


Romantic French Hearts Revisited

In February this year I blogged about my Romantic French Hearts http://alwaysquilting.wordpress.com/2014/02/11/tuesday-treats-romantic-french-hearts/

Blog hearts 026

I made these using a pattern in Volume 14 Number 12 of Australian Homespun Magazine.


Romantic hearts 003

Soon after this, I was contacted by the magazine editor to see if I wished to have my hearts considered for the Readers’  Showcase page. I agreed to do so and supplied a couple of photos and a short accompanying explanation.

Some months passed and I had basically forgotten about doing this.

Then…last month, while waiting for my flight at Cairns airport, I was browsing at the newsagency, when (to my astonishment and delight) I spied my hearts in the recent edition of Homespun.

Qld 2014 016


Here’s how they look.


Qld 2014 017


What a thrill to see my humble little hearts in print!

Tuesday Treats- Zentangle Quilting

Remember when we all used to speak on our telephones and doodle on a pad of paper? We were tethered to the wall by the curly phone cord. Some of my best spontaneous designs were created this way. Mobile phones have changed all that, however I have discovered that ‘doodling’ lives on!

My latest book purchase is by Suzanne McNeill CZT (Certified Zentangle Teacher).

???????????????????????????????                                                                                      Suzanne McNeill Zen-sational

Using Suzanne’s book as inspiration, I wanted to experiment with her technique AND practice my free motion quilting. I traced a wine bottle onto some cotton; layered wadding and backing for my quilt ‘sandwich’, and began to stitch.

I used Aurifil Cotton Mako 28wt in my machine. I used a size 90 Jeans needle and Aurifil Cotton Mako 40wt in the bobbin. I love this Aurifil shade of red, it is almost the exact colour of wine in a bottle.

Aurifil 28wt in a favourite colour

Aurifil 28wt in a favourite colour


I outlined the bottle.

FMQ Outline

FMQ Outline

I divided the bottle into sections.

Area divided for FMQ

Area divided for FMQ

Each section is treated to a different free motion quilt design.

First section

First section

Second section

Second section

Third Section

Third Section

Fourth Section

Fourth Section

Fifth Section

Fifth Section

Sixth Section

Sixth Section

I even revisited Lori Kennedy’s free motion quilting tutorial.

Final Section

Final Section

I am pleased with the results.  AND I can still chat on my mobile phone…hands free (to quilt) of course.

FMQ8Have a go at Zen-sational Stitching. If you can draw it you can stitch it.

I love my book, and you can find more of Suzanne’s books here:  Suzanne McNeill CZT (Certified Zentangle Teacher).

Tuesday Treat-Another UFO in the 'Finished' Category

It is April 2014 and I made only 1 New Year’s Resolution on New year’s Day. I wanted to finish one UFO each month during 2014.

My finished UFO for April 2014 is the Aurifil 2012 Designer Block of the Month quilting.

Finally Quilted Aurifil 2012 BOM

Finally Quilted Aurifil 2012 BOM

It has taken me a while to actually do the quilting as the top was traveling with Jenny on several ‘guest speaker’ engagements and it also was displayed at the AQM last November.

Then…there was the dilemma of ‘how to quilt it’.

Jenny uses a lovely flower pattern when quilting using her Gammill Classic at Always Quilting. I practiced for days on my domestic machine until I was happy with the flow of the design.

I have quilted my free flowing flowers using Free Motion Quilting (FMQ). I think it complements the June block.

June BOM designed by Miss PamKitty Morning

June BOM designed by Miss PamKitty Morning

An Aurifil blogger, Lori Kennedy, has a wonderful site with many FMQ tutorials. I have used her pattern The Square Flower for the border blocks.

Lori Kennedy A Square Flower tutorial

Lori Kennedy The Square Flower tutorial

It is definitely a TREAT to finish another UFO. It is never too late to start your version of these embroidery blocks. They are still available from AURIbuzz ‘Meet the 2012 Aurifil Designers‘.



Tuesday Treats-The Hexagon Bug Has Bitten

I fought the Hexagons as long as I could.

When knitsnquilts wrote about her lovely Quilt-As-You-Go hexagons back in July,

I was tempted to join the ‘hexi-harem’ then, but I fought the urge. But then, I began seeing hexagons EVERYWHERE.

Patchwork Papers from Busy Fingers

Patchwork Papers from Busy Fingers

It seemed the little, pretty, multi-sided papers were all around me.

If I wasn’t seeing paper hexagons, I was seeing them tiled on walls and floors and THEN

in that Swedish furniture store that uses hexagon shaped tools to fit hexagon hardware!

Hexagons Everywhere

Hexagons Everywhere

Back to that in a moment…..

My stitching friendship group had produced two beautiful versions of Anne Sommerlad’s Hanazono quilt. This quilt is made of 25 blocks, each using hexagons as flowers. After getting this pattern, I began to ‘see’ hexagons in every piece of fabric I owned.

Fabric for Block 1

Fabric for Block 1

Fabric for Block 2

Fabric for Block 2

So far I have finished 2 blocks.

Aurifil Cotton Mako 50wt for joining hexagons and applique

Aurifil Cotton Mako 50wt for joining hexagons and appliqué

I am doing the appliqué and joining of hexagons with the fine Aurifil Mako 50wt thread.

Aurifil Cotton Mako 12 wt for embroidery

Aurifil Cotton Mako 12 wt for embroidery

I am doing the embroidered stems with gorgeous Aurifil Mako 12wt thread.

Block 1 with thread and fabric

Block 1 with thread and fabric

Block 2 finished

Block 2 finished

And then I saw this in that Swedish Furniture Store.

It will be displayed in my sewing room…

where time always flies….’cause I’m having fun!

Piecing Hexagons without Needle and Thread
Piecing Hexagons without Needle and Thread          
Time to Stitch my Hexagons

Time to Stitch my Hexagons

Follow our Blog to keep up with all the great projects my colleagues work on…… as I convince them all to become members of the ‘Hexagon Harem’.

Tuesday Treats: "Little green threads"

Or should that have been little green men?

Aurifil cotton Mako' spools formatted in a four lead clover

I am a day ahead for a change as St Patrick’s day was too good an opportunity to miss when I had a photo to share of my favourite threads.

I’ve often talked about how Aurifil’s Cotton Mako’ 40 thread weight is my “go to” thread for general sewing, patchwork & quilting.

I think of it as the “all purpose” thread in my collection as I like the fact that it has a little more body than Cotton Mako’ 50, while still being fine enough to stitch a spot on 1/4″ seam when piecing and have ditch stitching lines disappear into the seam line when quilting.

I know lots of people use, & blog, about the Cotton Mako’ 50 threads and I often wonder if this is because they think the Mako’ 40 is a thicker thread, like many of the other 4o weight threads on the market.

With this in mind, we conducted a test at our last staff meeting.

It was a very subjective test, but a comparison test none the less, using as many other threads that we could scrounge up in our sewing rooms.

Comparing the Aurifil Cotton Mako' threads with other threads on the market.

With some of the threads it was immediately easy to see that, although they were designated a size “40”, they were different and often much thicker and, or, rougher than our Cotton Mako’ 40.

Others required a blind (eyes closed) touchy feely assessment to see if each of us could feel the difference between different threads when we didn’t know what we were touching.

In each case we came back to the fact that when handling Cotton Mako’ 40 it  was

  • smooth
  • fine &
  • strong

When talking to groups I always say that, like women’s dress sizes, there is not a single definitive international standard measuring system for thread.

Rather there are many different ways to express thread measurements,  so measurements within a brand relate to each other but do not relate directly to measurements in another brand.

Not very helpful when you first start choosing threads but you quickly learn to choose threads by feel, choosing the ones that give you the result you want for your stitching.


As I said earlier, for me the all purpose general sewing , patchwork & quilting thread is Cotton Mako’ 40.

And the reason why St Patrick’s day was the perfect opportunity for my shout out about Cotton Mako’ 40?

Cotton Mako’ 40  is the thread weight that is packaged on the green spool spindles.

PS:  I could resist including a photo of the green hair bow worn by one of the entertainers at a street parade this month.

Tuesday Treats: Monday in disguise

Monday public holidays always throw my week into colourful chaos.

Some of the Aurifil orders picked ready to be packed

Not that I don’t enjoy a day at home, or out at an exhibition, free from work but ….

it does mean that the Aurifil orders from the weekend, that we would normally have picked and posted on a Monday, are still waiting for us on a Tuesday.

Aurifil Cotton Mako' 12 spools are great for hand embroideryDon’t you just wonder how these gorgeous Cotton Mako’ 12 weight pinks and purples will be used.

Aurifil Lana wool thread, in two spool sizesWhat about these Lana wool colours?

Aurifil Cotton Mako' 50 makes invisible stitches in needle turn applique easyor this collection of small Cotton Mako’ 50 spools?

Needle turned applique maybe?

Adding an Aurifil Cotton Mako' colour chart to your order is a clever ideaThis clever customer included an Aurifil colour chart with her order of Cotton Mako’ 40 threads

This customer has taken advantage of the discount for pre-selected thread packs in this orderand this one included some of our pre-packed selections in her order of Cotton Mako’ 28

Not all the orders go out to consumers.

The starter kits for an Aurifil thread club are ready to be posted out to a shop. Luck customers!The lucky customers at this Patchwork shop are about to start receiving an Aurifil thread club.

A new shop has just ordered an assorted range of colours as a starter to introduce customers to Aurifiland once we box and pack this order for posting, it will make a great starter selection to introduce customers at a patchwork shop to the joy of working with Aurifil thread.

As often happens after a day of picking & packing orders for our online store, I went home with a head spinning with colour.

this customer ordered a colourful selection of Cotton Mako' 40 & 50 weight threads

This customer ordered a colourful selection of Cotton Mako’ 40 & 50 weight threads

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.

Tuesday Treats: Marg Low, a pattern designer worthy of a mention

Over the years we have put together a selection of  Cotton Mako’ 12 thread packs for Marg Low to stitch her delightful embroidery patterns.

Marg Low Designs can be found at many of the craft shows around Australia

Marg Low Designs can be found at many of the craft shows around Australia

She is well known for her love of red …. fabrics and threads

You may have guessed that Marg loves to work with red and white

You may have guessed that Marg loves to work with red and white

But she does mix it up with other colours

The Country Garden pattern and thread set. Click on the photo to go to Marg Low's online store

The Country Garden pattern and thread set. Available from Marg Low Designs

It is well worth a visit to Marg’s blog to read more about her designs, and who can resist a visit to her online store when the patterns are so irresistible.

Tuesday Treats: Get a copy of our 2014 Calendar

We have been sharing a free printable Calendar with our readers for the past few years and the tradition continues …  a little late this year but it is now finally done and ready to share with you.

I like a calendar that lets me make daily diary entries so here is a sample of what we have created for you.

Each month has it's own page with space to add a diary entry each day

Each month has its own page with space to add a diary entry each day

It was fun sorting through the photos of our 2013 projects to come up with colourful set of images for each month.

Ladybirdee's  quilt features as "Miss March"

Ladybirdee’s quilt features as “Miss March”

And of course we had to have a few photos of Aurifil thread


Use the link below to download all twelve pages of the calendar as a pdf,  ready for you to print at home.

Download a copy of our 2014 Calendar now

Downloading & Printing Notes:

  • This is quite a large document so please allow time for it to download.
  • Depending upon your browser security you may have to “allow pop-ups” to open the download page
    • Read the message that appears on your screen to work out how to do this.
  • If the link above does not work on your computer, the calendar may also be downloaded using the link in the File Sharing box that we use to share patterns found to the lower left of the screen.
  • When printing, note that the calendar has been formatted for “letter” paper so the document will not require re-sizing to fit to the page.