Greetings! As Master Educator and Aurifilosophy Program Coordinator I’m excited to introduce fellow Aurifil Designer and Aurifilosopher Annie Smith of Simple Arts as our second contributor to Thread Matters 2019 – The Aurifilosopher Series. Annie has mastered using Aurifil 28wt thread to highlight her awe inspiring appliqué projects. Sit back, grab a cuppa, and be inspired!
If you missed the January introduction of Aurifilosophy and this fun new Thread Matters series click here to read more. Consider scheduling an Aurifilosophy Program for your shop, group or guild – learn more here.
Karen L. Miller ~ Redbird Quilt Co.
I remember seeing my first spool of Aurifil 50wt weight thread in a local quilt shop over a decade ago. Of course, I had to buy it and threaded my sewing machine with it as soon as I returned home. What was this fantastic new thread?! I just loved it. I was an Aurifil groupie from the start and to this day I don’t use any other thread.
While 50wt is perfect for piecing, it’s a little fine for my machine applique taste and doesn’t make a statement on the fabric surface like 28wt thread does. The 28wt also has a sheen that makes for the perfect decorative touch. I love the added luster.
I use 28wt not only for quilt art, but also for dressmaking and garment sewing when topstitching and preparing buttonholes — wherever I want the threadwork to be noticeable and “pop”.
My favorite machine applique technique uses raw edge fabric prepared with fusible web and finished with a blanket stitch. To create a beautiful stitch, all elements need to work in concert – therefore I use only the best products including:
- A Bernina sewing machine
- Schmetz Microtex 80/12 needles
- Aurifil thread
I prefer to match the top thread and bobbin thread in both color and weight.
tip: Whenever I’m working on a specific project, I keep the threads and bobbins together so they stay organized.
I use a lot of thread colors with machine applique. It’s not out of the ordinary for me to use more than thirty thread colors for one project. Rather than choosing a contrasting thread, I match the thread colors as closely as I can to the applique fabrics. I want the thread and blanket stitch to enhance and frame the shapes, not to take it over or distract from it – I want to achieve simple beauty. Having 270 colors of Aurifil 28wt thread to choose from allows me to find the perfect color for my applique every time!
When my 28wt thread collection, “Love is Spoken Here”, launched, I created a quilt of the same name, one that is a memento of my maternal grandmother. It’s a pretty special quilt, full of symbolism of our love for each other and how our lives intertwine.
The quilt was a collaboration with domestic machine quilter, Lori Kennedy of The Inbox Jaunt. I did all of the machine applique, and Lori stitched the free motion thread play and machine quilting. Lori used 28wt threads to embellish the quilts’ design and draw out the inner stories hidden in the quilt.
When I design my quilts, I spend a quality amount of time thinking about all of the nuances that the quilt will share with everyone who sees it. Aurifil 28wt thread helps me express myself with my work. It is my go-to thread for fine machine applique, free motion thread play and machine quilting.
Aurifil is, quite simply, a state-of-the-art thread.
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Annie Smith is more than just a pretty face. She is a quilter who designs quilt and has her own Pattern Publishing company, SimpleArts. Her quilts have been published in Quilter’s Home and she won Best of Show at the California State Fair for Crazy Quilting. She teaches nationally and internationally to Guilds, Quilt Shops, Quilt show venues, and also online. She is a Bernina Artisan Ambassador, a podcasting Quilter, a C&T Author, an iQuilt Instructor and an Aurifil Designer.
[All images courtesy of Annie Smith]