Dryad Blog Hop

Dryad - Fabrics and Threads
Welcome to day four of the Dryad Blog Hop! We are so thrilled to introduce you to designer Shannon Brinkley, showcase her gorgeous new fabric collection and, of course, her coordinating Aurifil Designer Collection. Officially released by Paintbrush Studios/Fabri-Quilt this past Fall, Dryad is a combination of richly colored and low volume prints. She drew inspiration from both her raw-edge appliqué techniques and her eternal love of trees.
Shannon's booth at the International Quilt Market in Houston last Fall
Shannon’s booth at the International Quilt Market in Houston last Fall
We had a chance to chat with Shannon, to learn more about her collection, her design sensibility and her love of Aurifil threads.
Where did the name Dryad come from and how did it inspire your latest collection?
Dryads were ancient spirits of the trees — it was thought that if a tree died, it must have had a very neglectful dryad. I have always had a deep love of trees and get teased (lovingly) by friends for my insatiable fascination and excitement over trees. They are one of my keenest sources of inspiration, so when I began to sketch for my first line of fabric, naturally branches and leaves were the first things to emerge.

Dryad Quilts-9

How did you go about selecting the colors within the collection?
I chose colors I am most drawn to when quilting; I wanted to make fabric that I’d reach for during a fabric pull.

Do you have a favorite print in the collection?
That’s a difficult one… I love the branches print– especially in the blue colorway, but the cross section print that I made from a block print of a couple different tree cross-sections is certainly a favorite… I love the texture. I’m also a sucker for a text print, and this text being one of my favorite poems makes it all the more lovely.

Dryad Quilts-6

What do you love most about Aurifil Threads?
I love the vibrant color options and the incredible quality. It always performs smoothly and beautifully.

This particular collection includes 12 spools of Aurifil 50wt thread to coordinate with the fabrics. Is 50wt your go-to, or do you use different weights depending on the project at hand?
50wt is my go-to. I like it because it is perfect for piecing and quilting, but it also works great for machine embroidery– I almost always satin stitch around my appliqué pieces, and the 50 wt is lovely for it.


How do you go about selecting which color to use for the finishing stitches on your appliqués? Do you prefer something to contrast or something to coordinate with the primary background color?
It completely depends on the project. If the appliqué piece already contrasts the background starkly, I typically will choose a thread that blends well with the appliqué piece. However, if there is not much contrast between the appliqué piece and the background (and I almost always want there to be, because I like the pieces to stand out), I will create the contrast with a thread that is darker or brighter than the majority of the piece. For example, in the scissors quilt, I chose the vibrant orangy/red (#1104) thread to help define the scissors since there was so much going on with the background and in the appliqué piece.

Dryad Quilts-2

Do you have any tips or tricks for machine appliqué with Aurifil’s 50wt thread that you’d like to share?
Every machine is different, but my golden range for a perfect satin stitch with the 50wt thread is 2.5-3mm width (however for very detailed work I will sometimes decrease it to 2.3mm) and 0.5-0.8mm length — the setting I use most frequently is 2.7 width and .7 length.

Thanks so much to Shannon for chatting with us!
And now… the GIVEAWAY!
For a chance to win a bundle of Dryad and the coordinating Aurifil Designer Thread Collection, please leave a comment on this post letting us know what you’d make with it! This giveaway is open through 11:59pmEST on 2/12. A winner will be randomly chosen and announced on 2/13. THIS GIVEAWAY IS NOW CLOSED. 
Congratulations to Karin, our big winner! Thank you to all who participated. We just loved hearing all about what you’d make with this gorgeous threads and fabrics.
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Dryad hop button
Be sure to visit all of the stops along the blog hop for more information AND more chances to win Shannon’s gorgeous fabric:
2/2 Shannon Brinkley @ Bottle Tree
2/4 Angela Walters @ Quilting Is My Therapy
2/5 Aurifil
2/8 Casey York @ Studiolo 
2/10 Rebecca Bryan @ Bryan House Quilts
2/11 Stacey Day @ Stacey in Stitches
2/12 Kristi Schroeder @ Initial K Studio


  1. I think Dryad would be perfect to use in a quilt to send to college with my niece. It has so much vibrancy and energy and would be great in a dorm room. It certainly would not scream, “My aunt made this for a little girl!”

  2. Wow! That fabric and what Shannon does with is exquisite!!!! I’m not sure I could do it that much justice, but would definitely love to have some of it to do whatever magic I could….

  3. I think I would make a mini applique quilt like the ones shown in this post. A mini would be a good way for me to dip my toes into machine applique.

  4. I’ve been wanting to make myself a quilted jacket and the colors in these fabrics would span the seasons. I think it would be a good fit.

  5. You are now bookmarked in my computer! I love the patterns and how you used this great collection. I cannot wait to start with the black and whites and then on to the world!

  6. Beautiful colors. I have several friends who will be new grandmas soon. I would love to make a baby quilt with these.

  7. Love the beautiful colors. I do embroidery as well, have new grand babies just born and have several quilt projects that need great colors to brighten up the quilts.

  8. I think the Dryad collection needs to be made into a manly quilt for my brother. The colors are just somber enough for a guy with that touch of bright that the burnt orange brings.

  9. Beautiful colours – a throw quilt would pick up the teal of our couch and still keep things from getting overly matchy.

  10. I have a pattern for a large elephant applique on a quilt. I’ve been searching for just the right fabric for it. The quilt is going to be for my daughter, and these fabrics are ones I think she would be drawn to.

  11. What beautiful fabric!! I would make a quilt for my nephew who is graduating from high school.

  12. Oh wow what beautiful fabrics……inspires me to make a landscape quilt, such great earthy colors. Thanks for the chance to win! Happy Sewing :0)

  13. I’m not sure what I would make with this collection. I’m thinking some kind of an applique sampler would show off these great prints to advantage. And, of course, the thread will be useful in all sorts of places.
    Thanks for the chance to win.

  14. I would use this collection to make my daughters quilt which is based around 12 sun bonnet sue hand embroidered squares.

  15. My first project would be a carry bag for my daughter and then I’d make her a pillow. Any leftovers would go into a quilt.

  16. all my favorite colors and i love all things wood and text; my perfect bundle for a lap quilt and pillow for ME!. thanks for the chance to win.

  17. Id love to make a wall quilt with these fabrics! They are just beautiful. Thanks for this opportunity to win.

  18. I’m in the process of designing a quilt for my daughter…she is insisting! Besides it’s her big ‘3-0’ and something special is in order. I think this fabric would be perfect for it!

  19. I’d make a quilt for our summer cabin in memory of the huge oak tree that used to be in the backyard.

  20. I really love the colors in this line, they’re modern and natural. I would piece a quilt with some kind of wavy mountain and ocean landscape.

  21. This is certainly a very modern look for fabric. It would be very suitable for a young person say high school through the 30’s or 40’s for sure.

  22. I would make a quilt. Great thread colors to go along with the collection of wonderful fabric.

  23. I enjoy both hand applique and liberated patchwork. Shannon’s fabrics would be fun to use in a liberated star or liberated log cabin quilt. Maybe I’d put some hand applique in the border. The fabrics look luscious and enticing to work with. Thanks!

  24. Those red & greens would look great on a Christmas quilt! I have in mind, it’d a modified log cabin!

  25. Those colors of thread would be perfect to use in the flannel quilts that I am going to be making for my husband and son this winter. They are beautiful!

  26. A lover and total hugger of trees myself, dryads and nymphs and faeries aficionado as well, I would definitely make a quilt with this lovely fabric for myself!

  27. I am a huge fan of both Shannon Brinkley and Aurifil threads, so I would love to win this one. I’d like to make a Shannon style lap quilt that I’ve been trying attempting to design. It is a family tree with the applique. Mind to paper is proving more difficult than anticipated. How does she do it so easily? I’m committed. Did I mention, I’d love to win?

  28. Wow – I love this fabric line. Not sure if I can win the drawing, so I guess I will just have to buy some.
    This fabric is going to be featured in many quilts, I am sure.

  29. Lovely fabrics, lovely threads!
    What would I make? What I need is a new sewing machine cover – so either a tailored cover or a small Quilt to throw over my machine.

  30. That is a beautiful collection! I would design a twin size quilt for those fabrics. A good size for using on a bed, but also to display on a sofa or chair. I would want to display the quilt and show off those fabrics as much as possible, so a versatile quilt size is a must!

  31. I think I would have to make that scissors applique wall hanging for my sewing room…that is too cute!

  32. Oh, so many things! U have a bright quilt that I’m making for my new great-niece, so I’d work on that!

  33. Looks for me as ” a good reason ” to start with a quilt project if I’m winning

  34. I’m moving soon, leaving a lot of good friends behind and have been trying to make something for each of them to remember me by. This fabric would make the perfect quilt for one of those friends who loves trees and woods.

  35. The fabric would look perfect in an elephant themed quilt I want to make for a grandchild.

  36. Our guild used Aurifil thread for our raffle quilt because we wanted the quilt to be of good quality

  37. I just love this fabric line! I would like to make a lap quilt from it and give it as a gift to my sister. Thanks for the chance to win!

  38. I am falling in love with this fabric line and I love to use Aurifill thread when ever I can. I think I would go for a lovely baby quilt with the fabric using applique.

  39. Such a lovely line- love the wood cross section and poem print! I would love to do some sort of mini quilt with it- one for summer in the blues and one for fall in the browns/oranges!

  40. I live in the woods in Maine, so I’m totally smitten with this collection. I would start with a collection of pillows for the couch this winter and then move on to a bag and a mini quilt. Thanks so much for the giveaway, and congratulations to Shannon!

  41. Promised my grandson a dinosaur quilt — this would be oerfect for silhouette shapes of all his favoriite “friends”!

  42. Awesome fabrics and threads!!! Would make me quite dizzy with happiness if I won them!!! 🙂 I think I would be making some lovely art quilts with this fabric – great potential for some lovely machine quilting with great threads and delicious fabrics – way modern quilt moment coming on!!!

  43. I absolutely love Applique. I thrive on the complicated details. The tiny bits that make it seem real. Aurifil thread makes those smallest details shine. Like for instance 1/2 hexies appliqued on a miniature table runner for a mug rug. If I won the package, rest assured everything would be put to good use as I try to enlarge my inventory of Aurifil threads, and one can never have enough beautiful fabric. My hopes are one day to use nothing Aurifil.

  44. I’d maybe make some cushion covers – I think these would go well in my living room. Thanks for the chance to win!

  45. I can definitely see an appliqué quilt using the Dryad fabrics. Love the low volume and the contrast in the prints.

  46. I would like to make a wall hanging of a forest scene with the Dryad fabric and thread. Thanks for the chance at winning these beautiful materials!

  47. I would love to make a quilted wall hanging for my bedroom.. It’ll brighten up my boring room 🙂

  48. A modern quilt for my granddaughter would be great in this collection. I especially like the carmel-y browns.

  49. I don’t usually do much applique, but this fabric and thread may change my mind on my next quilt!

  50. Beautiful colours. I would use it for a little owl quilt, using the owl Accuquilt die that Father Christmas surprised me with.

  51. I have loved Aurifil threads for a long time. Just had a fire at my house and most of the thread is gone but I have inventoried what I had and will be replacing it. Just getting into applique but can’t quilt without this thread.

  52. I would use that gorgeous fabric and thread for a quilt. I’d love to work it into a quilt to hang on our wall above our family room sofa.

  53. Perfect colours for a quilt for my nephew and his fiancee. Modern prints with a bit of a hint of the sea in the colors – he is a weekend sailor.

  54. I would make a lap throw and pillow covers for myself! These fabrics would look grows is my living room.

  55. Love Shannon’s work! I’ve made three mini quilts inspired by her book, and these fabrics would be perfect for another like my Indiana quilt!

  56. Great prints. I have a new Great-Nephew, and need to make him a quilt. I think this would be fun for him.

  57. Oooooh! Would make a Throw for our Son! Just moved back close to us….kmow his new place neeeeds a Mommade Surprise!!! 🙂 Thanks for chance to win your Awesome Give-a-way! (I have never used Aurifil thread..how fun if could win some too…)

  58. Absolutely love the colours. I can see them being used in a fabulous quilt for our bedroom

  59. I love Shannon’s animals, and would love to make the giraffe or the rabbit. Or maybe even the bear!

  60. With a bundle of Dryad in my hands, I’d be cutting it up to make a choir tote to hold my music binder, glasses and a water bottle! It would be the perfect fabric!

  61. I love the woodsy feel of this fabric line. It would make a great lap quilt for our porch swing in our cabin in the mountains of North Carolina. And I am a big fan of Aurifil threads.

  62. Beautiful fabrics and threads! The colours are gorgeous and work so well together. I would use them for a wallhanging I am planning to make for our entry hall.

  63. I would choose to make a quilt that, depending on the scale size of the fabrics, would show off the pretty prints. Maybe an applique flower border and try some satin stitching like Shannon does. Great pictures and nice interview with Shannon!

  64. I don’t typically do applique, but Shannon’s Bear is really calling to me. I would love to make that in a lap quilt. Thanks for sharing the fun!

  65. Shannon’s fabrics are beautiful and just scream the beginning of the summer outdoors, I can feel the woods all around me, and the lush blue of the lakes and even the blue of the sky on an early summer day….. I live in the back woods part of the Smoky Mtns. In Graham Co. NC. I would say I would have to quilt some bed runners with scena of trees and animals or Creek scenes and a pillow or two to match for each bed, a wall hanging at the main door and placemats to adorn my dining room table.. Giving this alive sense of color and scenery feel to my whole house hold. As this is how we feel when we spend most of our time and days outside! The Dryad cloth and matching Aurifil are the perfect combination for a love of the trees, animals and scenes of the great out doors.

  66. After I finish today’s satin finish around some heart appliques that I’ve put on an infant quilt, I would love to use these fabrics and threads in my quilt groups Row by Row exercise. One never knows how these will turn out But I have a feeling that if I win I will have a better chance at coordinating my rows better than some 😉 ☺

  67. I would love to use these wonderful colors and textures in a quilted jacket, and maybe a a couple clutch bags. Thanks for the chance to win! My machine loves Aurifil 50 wt thread.

  68. I would have to make something with some animal on it like Shannon did. I really like the contrast that fabric has.

  69. A baby quilt for new nephew would be beautiful in this. Colors are engaging and would keep attention. Big fan of Aurifil so that makes me moe excited.

  70. I have met Shannon once at a quilting studio. I love her Dryad line of fabrics. I want make a low volume modern quilt using those fabrics and her line of Aurifil thread. Aurifil 50wt is my favorite thread. And just like Shannon, I’m a sucker for text prints too!

  71. I think these are colors my sons girlfriend would like, so I’d work with her on a quilt pattern she likes and make it for her.

  72. Excited for this fabric! My grandson wants the Scrappy Appliqué quilt of the world map for his room! My son; his Uncle is active duty military and my grandson feels having the quilt on his wall will help him keep track of his Uncle!

  73. I’d love to use it for a lap quilt, for myself. I make a lot of community quilts for our guild but never take the time to make myself a lap warmer for these cold winter evenings.
    Thanks! Love the fabric AND thread!

  74. Love this line! I have so many BOM block patterns that I have collected. These fabrics would be perfect for one of them. Thanks for the opportunity to win!

  75. I would make a quilt for my daughter who is going to college in September. So in a way, I would be there with her!

  76. I always say I’m going to make a quilt for me, and with this fabric, I would! I love the colours, and you can never go wring with aurifil!

  77. I’m drawn to the improv quilt in the photos but I also really like the mini quilt with scissors….so maybe an improv mini.

  78. I love this fabric line! I have been making bags recently rather than quilts and these fabrics would make great bags! Thanks for the giveaway.

  79. I think these fabric would make a beautiful quilt with coordinating pillows. A bedroom would be so colourful. Thank you for a chance to win . Happy Quilting 🙂

  80. I would applique a scene where spring moves into autumn – trees seem perfect with the colours. The Aurifil thread colours inspire me to make something very different – new life bursting forth. love it 🙂

  81. Dryad is a very nice, well rounded collection. I’d love to try make a version of the improv-style quilt shown in the photo of Shannon’s booth to the right of the blue bookcase. I might also use it in some bags.
    Thanks for the awesome giveaway opportunity including the yummy Aurifil threads!

  82. The colours are so beautiful! I’d love to use Dryad to make a star wall-hanging and I’d also add some machine embroidery for embellishment.

  83. That would make a great sofa quilt for my husband! His is a rather outdated paisley, and it’s time for a new one!

  84. I’m currently working on a Medallion quilt that these fabrics would be perfect for both in design and color. Thanks for the opportunity!

  85. I just love Dryad!! The colors and designs remind me of coastal CA with our redwood forests leading to the cliffs and ocean. I would make a wallhanging for my dear friend using appliqué and satin stitching for the first time to recreate San Francisco’s classic “49 mile scenic route” signs. This collection would be perfect for it!

  86. I would make a lap quilt for my husband. He always misses out on these. Usually the ones I make are quite girly and claimed by friends. It would be great for him to have one to call his own!

  87. This would be perfect to make my beautiful new granddaughter a beautiful new quilt! The fabrics are some I will have to have in my stash for sure.

  88. After making soo many things for my new grandbaby, and always making things for my grown kids and my family, I would make some pillows or begin a quilt or wall hanging to start decorating the upstairs. I had an empty nest two years ago and my husband let me have the whole upstairs for a sewing studio and decorate a pretty spare room MY way instead of turning it into an office for him. I have yet to make a THING for myself. I give everything away, lol. But, I love my family and love giving! This time though, I would really like to do for me. Its TIME!

  89. This is just such rich pretty colors. I am sure I would make a quilt, and I love the idea of something that has an improv feel to it.

  90. The colours and prints in this line look great. I would make a quilt with them. I love Auriful threads for quilting!

  91. Lets be honest:
    If I won, it would sit on my shelf so I could look at and say “I can’t believe I won!” Then I would find a pattern and say “no, not perfect for that fabric!” Until one day when I decide to make a wall hanging or maybe placemats so I could still look at the fabric everyday and say “I can’t believe I won!”

  92. I’d make my son, who drag races, a quilt with these colors in the background. I can picture how thrilled he’d be.

  93. I would use this for one of the Jaybird patterns with hexagon blocks–Daybreak or Night sky. This would create scraps for a nice scrappy applique project.

  94. What beautiful fabric! I would make some new coordinated sewing room accessories, sewing mat, machine cover, mini quilts.

  95. I love the idea of making a tree with leaves! Something I have never done — but this fabrics suit it so perfectly! Thanks for the chance to win!

  96. Beautiful colors for trees. I’ve been wanting to make a small woodland quilt with lots of thread sketching over the fusible applique. This would motivate me!

  97. Definitely can envision a wall hanging in my son’s new condo.. There is a perfect space for one..
    Thanks for opportunity to win!

  98. Love the blues most but the whole collection needs to be in a quilt. I love the mini quilt that looks like a cityscape. I would enlarge that, it would be gorgeous. Thanks.

  99. Oh!!… I DO love Shannon’s Dryad fabric collection!!
    I need to make five baby quilts (!) and I know these fabrics would be perfect!
    … Three baby boys, one girl, and one will be a surprise!… And Shannon’s Dryad collection is just what I want for the modern, bright and beautiful, happy quilts that I am seeing in my mind!!
    Thank you!
    Pat T.

  100. I love trees also! I would love to make a block with a horse on it similar to your unicorn. The perfect thing that I need right now!

  101. I would love to try some new applique with it- those scissors in the post are amazing! Maybe some trees, a chipmunk, so many possibilities.

  102. I love walking amongst the tall trees, in the city, in the park, in the country. Shannon’s love for trees speaks volumes. With the Dryads collection I’d quilt a mural, a skyline per se of trees, and hang it directly above my sewing machine as I have no windows there. What beautiful tonal’s.

  103. I have a number of quilt patterns that Dryad fabrics would look great in–a triangle one from Big Blocks, Big Style by Gudrun Erla, for example. I also love the look of the messenger bag tutorial!

  104. I’d love to try this fabric in a design by a friend of mine, Melissa of Sew BitterSweet Designs. She makes wonderful modern quilts and I think this line would be perfect for one of them. I might actually keep it for myself!

  105. I’d use the fabric in a quilt, most likely one of my designs, but would then give it as a gift. Thread is perfect for it and the fabric is lovely!

  106. Beautiful fabrics and thread! I’d love to make a throw for my husband to use in our travel trailer on our trip to New England in the fall!

  107. I would love to make a few modern patchwork animal quilts. I love the script background too. crystalbluern at tds dot net

  108. I would make one of Her appliqués modern designed quilts for my granddaughter. I love her fabrics and Aurifill thread.

  109. I would make a little quilt for my mother, 81 years old. She had her living room painted and new carpet on the floor. Now she needs some ‘art’ on the wall to look at.

  110. We’re expecting a grandbaby this year, and this collection looks perfect for a bright and cheerful baby quilt. (P.S. I’m a huge fan of trees in every season, too!)

  111. I just collect all of my “that’s not white whites” and these would be fantastic for a quilt using those. My daughter has been reminding me how long it has been since I made her a quilt – over 5 years, and she wants a king size bed for their new HUGE bedroom. These are her style – so that is what I would make. Maybe a lot of background and a lot of color coordinated intense machine quilting. Picture rivers of color flowing from fantastic ‘feature blocks’ set off center – randomish in design. She a modern lady.

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