Aurifil Variegated Thread Samples

Today we are thrilled to hand the Auribuzz blog over to Aurifil Artisan Renee Hoffman of Quilts of a Feather! Renee has been sharing quilting sneak peeks of this project over the past few weeks on Instagram. And now we get to see the full scope of her stunning stitching!

Make sure to read through to the end for two chances to win — both here and on Renee’s blog!

Hello!  I’m Renee from Quilts of a Feather (probably better know as @quiltsNfeathers on Instagram).  I’m a stay at home mom to a 5-year-old and a 7-year-old.  I’ve been quilting for about 8 years, with a focus on detailed free motion quilting. Today I will be sharing samples of all 36 Aurifil variegated threads so you can see each one stitched out–because let’s be honest, it’s hard to tell from a picture of the spool or from the color card how those colors will look for quilting.

Aurifil 4650 Leaves
I hope that seeing these variegated samples will help you decide which colors are right for next project, or inspire you to try one out for the first time.  Variegated threads are so much fun to watch change colors while you’re sewing!
Aurifil 3817 Marrakesh
These samples are done on Michael Miller Cotton Couture in White and Black, and all of them have one layer of batting–except for Marrakesh I used two layers because I could not get the tension to play nice.  Also these are all stitched using 50wt thread–except for the white side of Marrakesh is 40wt.  At the end of the photos are some tips for quilting with variegated threads!
Aurifil 4649 Lemon Blueberry
You can also see each of these samples in different lighting conditions under the Instagram tag: #AurifilVariegatedSamples.
Aurifil 4647 Berrylicious
Note: I know it is quite redundant to have the color number and name both on the photo and in the caption, but it makes this blog post easy to search (ctrl-f on PC) and the photos have enough information if you decide to save them elsewhere.
Aurifil 3852 Liberty
Aurifil 4648 Desert Dawn
Aurifil 4651 Bari
Aurifil 3840 French Lilac
Aurifil 3660 Bubblegum
Aurifil 4660 Pink Taffy
Aurifil 4668 Strawberry Parfait
Aurifil 4250 Flamingo
Aurifil 4659 Mango Mist
Aurifil 4657 Tramonto a Zoagli
Aurifil 4150 Creme Brule
Aurifil 3920 Golden Glow
Aurifil 4658 Limoni di Monterosso
Aurifil 3910 Lemon Ice
Aurifil 4653 Spring Prairie
Aurifil 3320 Light Spring Green
Aurifil 4661 Mint Julep
Aurifil 4662 Creme de Menthe
Aurifil 4654 Turquoise Foam
Aurifil 4663 Baby Blue Eyes
Aurifil 3770 Stone Washed Denim
Aurifil 4669 Stonewash Blues
Aurifil 4655 Storm at Sea
Aurifil 4664 Stonefields
Aurifil 4665 Graphite
Aurifil 4652 Licorice Twist
Aurifil 4670 Silver Fox
Aurifil 4060 Silver Moon
Aurifil 4666 Biscotti
Aurifil 4667 Nutty Nougat
Aurifil 4656 Cinnamon Sugar
Aurifil 4671 Mocha Mousse
Tips for quilting with variegated threads:
1. Use thread in your bobbin that will match your quilt top.
2. Use a scrap mini quilt (9-12″ square is a good practice size) to play with the threads and tension, and to get a feel for how the colors progress and transition.
3. Using two layers of batting for mini quilts gives the thread extra space to get the tension just right, especially if you are using a contrasting thread in the bobbin.
4. If you decide to use a variegated thread in the bobbin remember that the colors will change in the opposite order of the top thread–and sometimes you will have dramatic contrast in color between the top and bottom threads.  The sample of Licorice Twist above is a good example of this.
Have you tried variegated thread?  Which one is your favorite?
Now head over to my blog Quilts of a Feather for a chance to win some variegated threads and a color card!

Thank you so much Renee! The quilting is stunning, and your tips are sure to help anyone looking to tackle using Aurifil Variegated threads!

We are offering an additional giveaway, so you have two chances to win! Click here to head to the Rafflecopter entry page, or simply click on the image above. 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 Monday, October 2! Winner will be randomly selected and announced here on Tuesday, October 3. Good luck!


  1. I often use the varigated greys for piecing. Right now I’m using 4060. Thanks so much for the beautiful “sew outs” of these threads as it gives me more ideas of which threads to try.

  2. I haven’t used variegated threads in the past, but after seeing all of the beautiful examples, I definitely see it in my future.

  3. Thank you for this post. I use variegated thread and love that these samples show how a thread will look when used. I wish other companies would do the same.

  4. I just used a variegated thread recently for the first time while quilting a throw for a friend. I was very nervous about using it since it was something I had not tried yet, but she really wanted it. It was a lot of fun and now I am really ready to try all sorts of new designs and and some new ideas I have rolling around in this head of mine. Jump right in is my advice if you have not tried it. I cant wait to get more and try all the fun stuff I have planned!

  5. I have used a rival’s variegated on a past quilt, and was happy with the outcome. I am finishing up a top that I will be using Aurifil Variegated on. Can’t wait to see the outcome. Love Silver Moon best.

  6. I haven’t tried Aurifil variegated thread yet. I do have a couple of spools in the wings though. I think this article has inspired me to find a project to use it on.

  7. I’ve used a few of the Aurifil Variegated threads…mostly where the change is very subtle. I’m still learning how to get past the change in colors. When I do, I’ll go for the more dramatic changes.

    Thanks for this look at how the different variegated colors stitch out.

  8. The very first Aurifil I used was variegated pinks for a baby quilt. Still one of my favorite finishes and it looks lovely washed a zillion times! I love all the pinks, and the Stonefield sample is stunning!

  9. I have not sewn with variegated thread, but after seeing all of the beautiful samples I can’t wait to try! Thanks for the chance to win.

  10. I’ve not yet tried the variegated thread, but love all Aurifil products. I love the bubblegum pink, as well as the turquoise…

  11. I have not used Aurifil varigated thread for quilting, only solids. However, after seeing the samples in the blog post, I’m definitely going to try it on my next quilt.

  12. I’ve loved watching these the past few weeks! I need to get bolder, only used variegated threads on 1 project.

  13. I have used several Aurifil variegated threads, but my favorite is Aurifil 3852 Liberty. Looks great on Wounded Warrior quilts.

  14. Yes, I have used Aurifil varigated threads to quilt with. I think it is Color #4653. It is a green varigated and makes wonderful veins on leaves.

  15. Yes, I have sewn with Aurifil variegated thread! I love it. The color was in the aqua family. I don’t have the name or number as my entire sewing room is in storage while I wait for my new house to be built!

  16. I have not used Aurifil’s variegated threads, but they look wonderful. I’ll keep them in mind for future projects.

  17. I haven’t used Aurifil’s variegated thread yet. But it looks amazing and would love to give it a try.

  18. I love varigated threads! The only problem I have is that when I want to go to use one, I can’t find one with the colours I want LOL I really like the way you have shown the threads Renee – on white and on black. It shows how effective they can be. Thank you!!

  19. Wow – those examples of varigated thread use make me want to go out and get a spool right away!!! Love it against the black background! Thanks for the great photos! (I haven’t tried it yet!)

  20. What beautiful samples! I have only used variegated thread in a 12 weight for hand embroidery. I’m learning free motion quilting and I think I need to try that on some practice blocks.

  21. I haven’t used variegated thread yet but am considering using it on a quilt that I’m piecing now. This article was really helpful!

  22. I have used Turquoise Foam, Creme Brulee and Golden Glow and loved the results! It was fun to see Renee’s samples on both black and white. On the white, it can help you decide if you want the stitching to fade in and fade out,.

  23. Thank you for showing the identical design and thread on two backgrounds–very helpful! I have several variegated threads in my stash but haven’t been brave enough to use them yet.

  24. I have not experimented with variegated yet but I do have a couple spools of it. This blog post has really inspired me to want to try it now. I may practice with a few sample squares each with a different color so I can keep them on hand to refer back to before doing a full quilt. Thanks for sharing so much with us.

  25. Love seeing the different samples! I haven’t used Aurifil variegated threads yet, but am looking forward to it! I have used variegated threads before, but not Aurifil.

  26. a fav is #4662. I’ve used it in 50 weight & 28 (for hand quilting). That said, I like all the variegated threads.

  27. I love variegated thread…I love all of them. I never quilt with solid fabrics so I think variegated thread go so well with prints!

  28. I have never used Aurifil variegated threads…but would LOVE to use “Stonewash Blues”!! Would work on quilt I am working on!! 🙂 Thank you for chance to win your give-a-way too 😀

  29. Oh my goodness! How beautiful! I am already thinking about how to incorporate these into my existing wip’s!

  30. No, I have never used Aurifil variegated thread. The color combinations are beautiful. My favorite is Aurifil 4647 Berrylicious, so very colorful. May just have to try some of them. Thanks for sharing these threads with us.

  31. All of the Aurifil threads I have are solid colors. I’ve never seen the Aurifil variegated thread in stores yet. I do love variegated threads, so many colors so many choices!!!! It really would bump up my quilting game.

  32. I have purchased a spool to use on a quilt I am making for Halloween. So excited to use it. Thanks for the giveaway.

  33. Your stitching is beautiful, and so are all these threads that you introduced. Thanks for the eye candy! I’ve used Creme de menthe and it’s gorgeous!

  34. I have sewn with variegated thread and I loved it. I can’t wait to sew with more colors, I used the first color on machine quilting, the next time it will be on hand quilting which is what I prefer to do!

  35. I’ve sewn with a couple of the Aurifil variegated but they’re not readily available locally so I haven’t used many – I would love any of them I’m sure! 😍

  36. I have not been able to try aurifil variegated thread. My favorite color? Do I have to pick just one? There are many that tickle my fancy! M

  37. I was given a spool of berrylicious, but I haven’t had a project to use it on. After seeing these examples I need to find something to use this thread on!

  38. I have not used Aurifil’s variegated thread, but the light spring green looks perfect for one of my quilt tops.

  39. I have used variegated threads before but not Aurifil. I like the samples that you created. I’m interested in creating some thread art samples like that as I work on my FMQ skills. It should prove an interesting venture for me.

    tushay3 (at) yahoo (dot) com

  40. Beautiful threads!! I have not used Aurifil variegated threads yet but I am definitely going to try them out soon! So many options!!

  41. Thank you for the samples, they are a great reference. I have tried Aurifil’s variegated thread and I love them. My favorite is Stonewashed blues.

  42. I have not tried verigated thread but sure would love to! They look awesome. Thank you for the opportunity to maybe win some would be awesome!!

  43. Incredible stunning, talented, gorgeous…cannot say enough about Renée’s work. I’m a longtime admirer, her Tardis quilt YANKED me in LOL. Just used 4657 on my nephew’s quilt on my HQ Avanté and LOVED it.

  44. I have used Aurifil for several years now with Marrakesh probably being my most favourite. However, with all these samples luring me in, it may get bumped down the list! Thanks for sharing ….. and enticing me to new threads!

  45. I have never used Aurifil variegated. I am fascinated by the different designs Renee used and how the variegated effects look on both white and black — personally I don’t like backtracking in variegated and have usually done just all-over swirl designs but I will have to experiment like Renee did.

    1. I agree about backtracking with variegated threads. I try to avoid it with the high contrast threads usually, but for this project I thought I’d do whatever the paisley needed and figured any travel stitching would also show how the thread colors layer. Sometimes it works out well!

  46. I haven’t used any yet. But if it sews as good as everyone says. I better buy some to finish my quilts. I have 8 quilts I need to get quilting .

  47. I’ve been following along on instagram. This is awesome. I love variegated thread. I recently used Mint Julep on a quilt made of Kona cotton. I’m using Bari on a long time WIP for my daughter. And I have Desert Dawn to use on another life metering WIP.

  48. Such pretty samples! I had no luck the last time I tried variegated thread. It kept breaking regardless of the changes I made in tension, needle etc. as soon as I switched to a solid color my machine behaved just fine. I will give it another go someday!

  49. I love variegated threads, and as I use one it becomes my favorite of the moment. The stitched samples are awesome. Now I need to save my pennies for a large spool of each color. I think it would be the perfect happy birthday to me present. I’m going to make my list from the samples and exclude the spooks I already have. Thank you for a great post!

  50. I’ve always been tempted by these, but have never tried them. Thanks for showing me all the colors and how they show up when stitched–now I can give them a try with confidence!

  51. I have a couple of spools of Pink Taffy variegated thread. It’s so pretty but I didn’t know what to do with them! Now I have more ideas, thanks Renee and Aurifil!

  52. I enjoyed the different samples. This will help me decide what type of variegated thread for quilting.

  53. I haven’t used variegated aurifil thread although I use aurifil all the time. My favourite in your samples is lemon blueberry.

  54. I have never used Aurifil variegated thread. I have some solid colors that I use for hand aplique.

  55. My sewing machine and I love Aurifil thread for quilting but I haven’t used the Aurifil variegated.

  56. All of my Aurifil thread is a solid colour. I’ll have to give your varigated a try. The samples are a big help. Thanks.

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