Sew Illustrated Blog Tour

Sew Illustrated blog tour banner

We are thrilled to present Sew Illustrated, by Minki Kim & Kristin Esser. Have you been following along with the blog tour? We’ve loved seeing all of the gorgeous projects, reading reviews and learning more about how Minki and Kristin have inspired other designers to push the boundaries and create new works of art:). Isn’t creative inspiration the best??

Today, we have the opportunity to share all sorts of goodies with you — bits of this gorgeous new book, some of Minki & Kristin’s thoughts and inspirations via a lovely interview, Minki’s brand new Aurifil thread collection AND a fabulous little giveaway!

Sew Illustrated

Minki Kim (aka @Zeriano) is a sewing illustrator and crafter known for her sweet and whimsical thread art. Minki selected her most used colors and thread weights for her debut Aurifil thread collection, Sew Illustrated. In her words, “Threads are like brushes. You need different sized brushes when you paint.” This collection is perfect for both beginner and seasoned sewing illustrators!

Sew Illustrated
Large, 100% Aurifil Cotton
2000 – 5008 – 2620 – 6735 – 5024 (50wt, 1422yds)
2692 – 3817 (40wt, 1094yds), 2630 – 1130 (28wt, 820yds)
2605 – 3817 (12wt, 356yds), 8692 (WOOL 12wt, 383yds)


2000 – 5008 – 2620 – 5024 (50wt, 220yds) 2692 – 3817 (40wt, 164yds)
2630 – 1130 (28wt, 109yds ) 2605 (12wt, 54yds) 8692 (WOOL 12wt, 54yds)


To view this info on our website, click the images above. For purchasing, please contact your local Aurifil Dealer.

What first drew you to this amazing creative world of sewing and textiles?
I’ve loved playing with a needle and thread ever since I was a little girl. My mother would give me bits of fabric and I would hand sew dresses for my dolls. When I became a mother myself I found that I had some hours to fill during the day. I went back to my roots of drawing and painting, but with little children around, I couldn’t leave all those materials around our small apartment. So I started hand embroidering my drawings and my children’s drawings. I enjoy hand work, but I felt that hand embroidery just took too long. One day my husband brought home a sewing machine for me and I wondered if I could achieve the same look by machine. I was thrilled to find out that I could! I felt that I had found the perfect marriage of drawing and sewing in sewing illustration.

Screen Shot 2016-09-02 at 3.03.46 PM
Vignette by Minki Kim

Who or what has been your greatest creative inspiration?
Without a doubt—my three girls. When they were very little, we would walk to the park or to school and I found myself wanting to capture those everyday scenes. Sometimes I would snap a picture with my phone, and sometimes I would quickly create a sketch as soon as I returned home. These scenes became my first sewing illustrations are still among my most treasured.

Sewing Illustrations by Minki Kim
Sewing Illustrations by Minki Kim

I am also inspired by everyday items and scenes—if I am baking bread, I want to draw that, if I’m making jam-I will sketch that. Piles of my girls shoes, rain boots—really anything to do with rain—cameras, my sewing space—everything around me. It is all inspiration for my drawings.

Notions Basket by Minki Kim
Notions Basket by Minki Kim

What do you love most about the process of creating?
What I love most is that you have a tangible result of your efforts to enjoy. The tea mat under your tea cup, the needle case you store your favorite needles in, the cushion on your daughter’s bed that she enjoys every day. I love to both see and use the items I create around my home. They are, in fact, what makes it a home to me. You can spend all day cleaning your house, and five minutes after your kids come home it is all undone—but that handmade coaster is always there for you to enjoy:).

How did the idea for Sew Illustrated first come about and what did you love most about the process of putting the book together?
The full story behind how Sew Illustrated came to be is all in this blog post. But the part that we like the most is that we were just two regular women who had a crazy idea to write a book. And if we’ve learned anything through this whole process, is that you just have to be brave enough to try, to take that next step. We wrote up that book proposal, completely expecting it to be rejected. But it wasn’t and here we are!

We didn’t really know for sure that other sewists would embrace this technique and aesthetic, but based on the response we have had from the book—our instincts paid off and many people are trying a new technique and finding out that it not difficult—and they absolutely enjoy it!

House Zipper Pouch by Minki Kim
House Zipper Pouch by Minki Kim

What was it like to work on the book collaboratively?
Working on the book together was so much fun. We met over countless cups of coffee and tea to plan out every detail. We have very complementary skill sets, so dividing up who did what was very easy—Minki was the designer and Kristin did the writing. Some people ask us if we are still friends after it was all done, and we are pleased to report that yes! We are still dear friends.

Do you have a favorite project from the book and why?
It’s a bit like choosing your favorite child—but I think the long-handled bag with the typewriter motif is my favorite. I love the typewriter design and it is a useful bag that I reach for over and over. I also love all of the projects for the table—coasters, tea mats, and dessert mats—for the same reason. They are useful projects that I enjoy seeing and using every day.

When did you first discover Aurifil threads and what do you love most about them? Actually, it was Kristin that first introduced me to Aurifil. Up until then I was using whatever thread was on sale at Joann’s. In fact, I really didn’t understand what difference a thread could make. But she lent me a spool and I was immediately hooked! It was eye-opening what a difference great quality thread can make! And then I was introduced to all the different thread weights available from Aurifil. This was something else that I had no idea about!

Once I began experimenting with different thread weights—it began to change my process. I think of sewing illustration as simply drawing with thread. The different weights of thread represent the different thicknesses of the pen or pencil you draw with. I can really change the look of the piece by simply using a different thread weight. I can use a very heavy 12 weight to mimic a hand embroidered look, but I also completely love the thin line that 50 weight gives a drawing.

Do you have a favorite weight/color?
As I said, I love them all for different reasons. Most of my sewing illustrations have used a dark brown (5024 and 1130 are my favorites) in the past—but recently I have completely fallen in love with dark gray (2630) 28 weight.

Sew Illustrated by Minki Kim
Sew Illustrated by Minki Kim

How did you go about selecting colors for this collection?
I wanted to introduce people to new thread weights. I think that most people have the usual 50 weight thread in their drawer and I wanted to open up a whole new world to them. So I selected a variety of weights that can easily achieve different looks, in the selection of colors that I find myself reaching for over and over.

Sew Illustrated by Minki Kim
Sew Illustrated by Minki Kim



Click here to enter-to-win 1 Large Sew Illustrated Aurifil Thread Collection and one copy of Sew Illustrated by Minki Kim & Kristin Esser for C&T Publishing. You do not have to complete all the options to be entered but the more options you choose, the more entries you have!  Entries will be accepted from now through 11:59pm Eastern Time on Friday, September 9! Winner will be randomly selected and announced here on Saturday, September 10. If located in the US, the winner will receive a physical copy of the book. If outside the US, the winner will receive an e-copy of the book. This giveaway is open to all of our international friends!

Update: This giveaway is now closed. Congratulations to our winner, Rochelle Summers!

Just because the tour is almost over doesn’t mean the fun has to end! We would encourage you to visit all of the stops along the way to check out projects, tips, and more!

August 15: C&T Publications
August 16: Amy at nanaCompany
August 17: Wynn at Zakka Art
August 18: Sedef at Down Grapevine Lane
August 19: Lisa at A Spoonful of Sugar
August 20: Amy at chick chick sewing
August 21: Stacy at Stacy Olson
August 22: Debbie happy little cottage
August 23: Generation Q Magazine
August 24: Faith at Sarana Ave
August 25: Ayda at  cafenohut
August 26: Melissa at Oh, how sweet
August 27: Jemima at Tied with a Ribbon
August 28: Veronica at Vivid Felicity
August 29: Sharon at Lilabelle Lane Creations
August 30: Nadra at ellis & higgs
August 31: Kristyne at pretty by hand
September 1: Elnora on Instagram
September 2: Jennie at Clover and Violet
September 3: Auribuzz (You are HERE!)
September 4: Minki at Minki’s Work Table and Kristin at They Grow Up Too Fast

Website — Instagram — Pinterest Pattern Shop
Minki Kim is a formally trained artist and self-taught sewist. She discovered sewing as a creative outlet when her children were small and she wanted to capture the beauty of ordinary moments, first with hand embroidery and later recreating them with her sewing machine and fabric—literally drawing with thread. Originally from Korea, Minki now calls Southern California home, where she lives with her husband and three young daughters. On any given day you can find her in her sewing room creating projects to share on her blog, in her pattern shop,  and on Instagram.

Screen Shot 2016-09-02 at 3.07.07 PM

Website — Facebook — Instagram — Pinterest
Kristin Esser has been surrounded by sewing and crafting since childhood. She dabbled in apparel sewing but eventually found her passion in quilting, craft sewing, and knitting. She lives just down the street from Minki, where she has written Minki’s patterns and tutorials for publication in industry magazines. She writes about her creative pursuits and her life with her husband and three teenage children at 

** Images and all biographical text are courtesy of Minki Kim, Kristin Esser and C&T Publishing.


  1. Have been reading more and more about different weight thread. I need to check that out. Thanks for the chance to win the opportunity to do so.

  2. Sewing illustration is just ‘so sweet’. Whether you decide to go small or larger, the illustration looks fabulous. I tend to use black thread for an accent, I will definitely try dark brown after following along on this blog hop.

  3. Minki, thank you for sharing your journey via fabric and thread. I’m somewhat of a self taught sewist too, learning to use a machine at a young age via my mom. I love that your book illistrates sewing w/the different thread weights. That’s something I’m trying today, found some Aurifil 12wt at a local quilt shop! I’m new to fusible applique and you’ve encouraged me to try it more.

  4. I love the projects I have seen throughout the blog tour. Seeing them makes me want to give this technique a try.

  5. Enjoyed this post very much. I wish my local shops would carry Aurifil’s 28 wt thread! Thanks for the opportunity to win Minki’s collection.

  6. I have seen some darling things I would love to try in the book. Something about the designs just looks so like me, if that makes sense.

  7. Although my abilities to draw/illustrate with thread are at a developing level, I do enjoy the whimsy these creative additions can add to a project. The projects in this book are very sweet.

  8. I wish I could sketch the things that catch my eye. For me it’s the garden either the bug in a web or a bird visiting the pond or the patio after a rain storm. I must find a way to learn. To add fabric to this moment is awesome. I am so looking forward to trying this technique. In your video you showed you don’t have to be perfect with the stitching and you don’t have to cut your threads a hundred times! It truly looks homemade.

  9. This is such a great book and one I’d love to have on my shelf! Sewing illustration is a catalyst for creativity! I can choose my thread weight, thread color, fabrics, shapes, words, etc. and create something totally unique and personal. It has a home-spun look that is very appealing to me!

  10. I love the small detail of sewing illustration but yet it does not have to be perfect and the end result is beautiful! Thank you ladies!

  11. HI, I’ve really enjoyed the tour! Like several of Minki’s ideas! Like the color choices+designs similar to mine, Thank You to for a wonderful Giveaway too !

  12. What a fun idea!! I can’t wait to try it all! I use Aurifill thread and I can’t wait to try the different weights.

  13. I love that it is so open to personalizing and using our own creativity, even our children’s drawings! Thanks for for the chance to win!

  14. Would like to try something new for me. This book looks like a perfect way to learn and
    create with great results.

  15. This book is awesome!
    I love this new to me
    style of sewing. Making
    the fun pictures come
    to life with thread is
    Carla from Utah

  16. Sewing illustration is not related to perfection. At all! The more imperfect stitches, the more lovable a project is.

  17. I love being able to personalize sewn gift items with illustrations that mean something to the recipient. Thanks for the great giveaway!

  18. I love that Sew Illustrated seems to be full of such fun and sweet projects that anyone can do! Thanks for the chance to win.

  19. I love that you can do this with anything – your child’s/grandchild’s drawings, replicate announcements, anything!

  20. What a fabulous end to such a beautiful Blog tour. The book will sure be wishlist … if I don’t win.

  21. I’m excited to read the Sew Illustrated book and gather more knowledge on this thread art. And then to give it a try.

  22. Wow! This is amazing!!! Looks like I have a new challenge in front of me… Thank you for the opportunity to win the fabulous book and Aurifil thread!

  23. Hello, I am interested in sewing illustration because I am an illustrator that Is learning how to sew. It seems like a great marriage of the two creative interests. I love this blog tour and this book looks awesome! Great thread too! Thanks a lot!

  24. I love the idea of taking a simple drawing and turning it into something very personal on fabric that you can display in your home.

  25. I love that you’ve given us yet another way to use Aurifil, and, on a ton of super cute projects! Looks like and awesome book!

  26. I love the combination of fabric and thread art in sewing illustration. The pictures seem to come to life!

  27. I do not do hand embroidery and would like to be able to do it with my sewing machine. I have been wanted to try some of the heavier weights of thread, I have only tried the 40wt and the 50wt. I would love to win this thread box and your wonderful book.

  28. This book is packed with #CreativeGoodness. Who wouldn’t want to create with it and Aurifl thread? I love how the illustrated outline effect just makes these sweet designs pop. That sewing machine is a must have which I think would also look great on clothing items to wear to market!


  29. I like the small details and the simpleness of the patterned design. The projects in this book so cute and I love to win.

  30. I love making anything for friends. I have never tried this technique but I want to learn. I have seen all of the projects so far, and I want to make all of those things too. I have never used Aurifil thread. It looks so nice, better quality. Thank you so much for this opportunity to win thread and a book!!

  31. I have loved seeing all the beautiful projects during this hop. This method is so neat. The pictures are so detailed, it’s amazing.

    Thanks for a chance to win. Generous giveaway!


  32. I love the personalization you can add to anything you make! This is a great book, and I’m excited to try to learn to do this. I love the idea of using different weight threads also.

  33. I Love all the wonderful projects….and all the pictures!! & info!! And all the applique (I am learning! …)
    Thank you so much for chance to win your Give-a-way!! 😀

  34. It looks like there are a lot of cute projects that can be finished in a reasonable amount of time. Great Christmas presents for sewing friends.

  35. I like the technique gives me lots of ideas on new and creative ways to add just that little something to my projects

  36. After reading and studying Sewing Illustration I like that I will learn a new form of art and will be able to create even more beautiful original artworks for my family.

  37. There have been some awesome projects on this blog hop. Just awesome. Yes thread is just like a paintbrush and fabric the canvas. Using the right threads for a project can make it more wonderful. I am sew inspired by the Sew Illustrated book and blog tour.

    tushay3 (at) yahoo (dot) com

  38. I love the idea of being able to personalize projects in such a unique manner. I want to try a family portrait!

  39. I love how each project is so different and creative. It is a fun way to add a personal touch to projects and none with be the same as the other.

  40. i love all the designs in sewing illustrated, some of the cutest i have seen in a long time.

  41. I have only made one sewing illustration: a block with birds for the group quilt given to Merel who lives in the Netherlands. Her name in Dutch means blackbird. I would love to do more and this book looks like it will provide lots of inspiration.

  42. The projects in the book are very sweet. I download a lot of my books but am definitely buying a hard copy of this one!

  43. My favorite kind of sewing is w/a machine however since being introduced to Sew Illustrated, I’ve picked up new hand stitching needles, some cool embroidery floss and cranked out a small coaster and towel set. I do love the relaxation of hand sewing more so now and have even tried my own illustration of cacti. Thankyou Kristin and Minki for the inspiration to do so.

  44. Je suis surpris par la balise title.Pour l’atribut alt qui affiche d’autres images, ca doit etre parce qu’il n’y a pas assez de résultat. Je dis ca un peu au pif, c’est mon premier ressenti.J’ai un nouveau test a ajouté sur laboratoire SEO alors.

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