Slice & Stitch Challenge: Afton Warrick

We’re thrilled to bring you the third installment of six Slice & Stitch Challenge posts that we’ll bring to you throughout 2019 in partner with our good friends at OLFA. With each installment, one Aurifil Artisan + one OLFA Ambassador will receive the same products with the challenge to make one new project to share with all of you.


Afton Warrick & Alexa Byman

Rotary Circle Cutter & Aurifil 80wt

Without further pause, we’re excited to introduce you to Afton and Alexa. Their projects are simply stunning and we’re honored to share them with you today!

Hello, quilting friends! I’m Afton Warrick from Quilting Mod, my home for all the mischief I can muster with material.

OLFA and Aurifil are my unequivocal favorites for all slicing and stitching. Today I’m thrilled to share a stellar project I created using a couple lesser known items that, once you get to know them, you’ll wonder how you ever made do without them.

It’s my privilege to introduce 80 wt Aurifil and the OLFA Rotary Circle Cutter, the best thing to ever happen to a circle! The OLFA Rotary Circle Cutter merges measuring and cutting functions into one compact tool that stows away easily, so there’s no need for cumbersome acrylic templates in every size. Speaking of storage solutions, follow the OLFA IG feed to see more tips on organizing your sewing space when I take over their account June 8 & 9.

Aurifil 50 wt (shown in my glamour shot on their trademark orange spools) and 40 wt (green spools) have historically taken precedence in my personal thread collection, given how lovely they are for piecing and free-motion. However, 80 wt opened up a new realm of possibilities when it was introduced in 2016.

One wonderful trait of Aurifil is that for every single color of 80 wt on a beautiful wooden spool, a heavier weight is available in the exact same hue. Bear in mind, the higher the thread weight, the skinnier the thread.

Be sure to visit the Quilting Mod blog, my playground of quilting fun and amusement, where I will share a detailed look at the methods I used for invisible machine appliqué, reverse appliqué, and making tiny paper-pieced points align exactly when joining units.

I pulled a fun novelty print from my stash, and did some “out of this world” experimentation with machine appliquéd planets and Galaxy Stars, a paper-pieced pdf pattern by Amy Garro of 13 Spools. I rescaled Chara, one of 13 stars within the pattern, to 50% and made it in a couple of the included colorations Amy illustrates. Pay me a visit at Quilting Mod for tips on resizing.

For those who work best with a sizable color palette by their side, the 80 wt Best Selection Classic Aurifil Thread Box is a dream. I used an indispensable resource, the Aurifil Thread Cotton Color Card, to determine the best matches for my fabrics: Light Jade 1148, Bright Orange 1133, Stainless Steel 2620, Jade 4093, Pale Yellow 1135, Dove 2600, and Light Sand 2625.

The OLFA Rotary Circle Cutter is so slick! Remove the plastic pivot spike guard and slide the 18mm rotary blade cover upwards by compressing the sides. Twist the screw and slide the pivot spike to the desired size (1 1/2″ – 8 3/4″) before re-tightening the screw. Hold the ratchet handle (the tall black cylinder) and move in a circular “stirring” motion. This method eliminates the wrist strain involved in alternative options. Sometimes I like to gently place one finger from my non-dominant hand directly above the pivot spike, or along the side of the end without the ratchet handle to guide the rotation. Check out the video on my blog to see this in motion.

Using Aurifil 80 wt thread for invisible machine appliqué worked wonderfully, given how it appears to melt into fabric and mimics the look of needle turn appliqué. I recommend a 70/10 or 80/12 Microtex/Sharp or Embroidery needle. You may be able to make out my skinny little zig-zag at the bottom of the photo. In real life, the tip of your nose would be brushing up against my quilt to get that close. Being able to match the color of 80 wt Aurifil to any fabric is the advantage of having 88 color options available. Even if you manage to find a very obscure fabric hue, Aurifil Monofilament accounts for that improbable occurrence.

Throughout my space-tacular project, I discovered several other delightful uses for Aurifil 80 wt thread including hand-stitching my faux flanged binding. I recommend a #10 needle and roughly 12″-18″ of thread at a time to reduce knotting. (Catch a sneaky peeky of the 12″ x 18″ navy mat from the new OLFA Splash Quilting/Sewing Kit. 💙)

One of my pet peeves is running out of bobbin thread when it is most inconvenient. The thinner the thread, the more yards (or meters) you can fit on the bobbin, and the less frequently you run out. This means using 80 wt Aurifil in the bobbin when free-motioning makes life much more pleasant. Brilliant! I still use whatever weight I desire for the top quilting, with little to no tension adjustment necessary, because I use the exact same color of Aurifil in the bobbin.

What’s more, the uses for 80 wt Aurifil I just mentioned aren’t the only great applications. It’s also perfectly suited to English Paper Piecing, hand appliqué, machine embroidery, and free-motion couching to name a few.

It was a pleasure sharing a couple of my OLFA and Aurifil favorites with you today! Drop in on my blog to see more about the faux-flange binding and 3-dimensional elements I incorporated into this project, such as the planetary ring shown above. I’m also very pleased if you just want to say hi! Comment to let me know you’re visiting from the Aurifil blog, and I’ll know you’re one of the cool kids.


To enter to win one OLFA Circle Rotary Cutter +one set of Aurifil Calm (a mini-pack of 5 serene and lovely colors of 80wt) click HERE. You do not have to complete all of the entries, but the more you do, the greater your chance of winning! This giveaway is open to all of our friends, worldwide. Entries will be accepted between now and 11:59pm on Tuesday, June 4th. Winner will be contacted via email. Good luck!

Head on over to OLFA’s blog to check out Alexa’s (Maple Winds Quilts) project and don’t miss our next Slice & Stitch Challenge coming up in July!

Afton Warrick is a stay-at home mother of four and wife. She assists Gail Garber, teaches Continuing Education at UNM, and designs quilt patterns. Before children, she enjoyed working as a first and second grade teacher.

Afton is originally from Cheyenne, WY, home of Frontier Days. Currently, she resides in Albuquerque, NM, home of the International Balloon Fiesta. She has no intention of moving from her two-story stucco home, EVER, as that would unveil the true extent of her fabric hoard stash.

In the the southwest, Afton is known for designing a New Mexico Centennial block of the month, her Route 66 Quilt Challenge entry, and designing the 2012 raffle quilt for the New Mexico Quilters’ Association, of which she was president of the following year.

While she has been quilting most of her married life, it wasn’t until recently that she discovered modern quilting and the fantastic community of online quilters. Her blog has evolved in purpose from a scrapbook of quilts to a means of collaborating with others in the pursuit of creativity and friendship.

Quilting Mod is Afton’s forum for inspiration, sharing her quilting experiences, and journaling her growing understanding of what constitutes modern quilting.

Find her online via her blog, facebook, instagram, and pinterest.


  1. Astonishing techniques and quilt Afton!. Wow it’s amazing what a different shape can do……..I’ve never tried the Olfa circular cutter……

    1. Thank you so much, Diane! I love adding shapes, since it really extends the quilt possibilities, especially when you combine the new shape with previous ones. I highly recommend adding the Olfa Rotary Circle Cutter (with the 18mm rotary blade) to your notions toolbox. It serves a different function that my other supplies, is compact, and is durable enough that it can be used indefinitely. I’m launching into (pun intended) several projects involving Drunkard’s Path blocks, and the Rotary Circle Cutter will continue to get a serious workout.

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