Amanda Murphy has become known for her mad machine quilting skills. She is a BERNINA Ambassador, designs fabrics for Benartex’s Contempo Fabrics, creates quilting rulers with Westalee, and recently released her 4th curated thread collection with Aurifil. She has mastered the use of our full range of threads, experimenting with 50wt, 40wt, 28wt, 12wt, and even our Forty3. We love her ruler work tutorials and can’t get enough of her colorful pattern design.
Her latest fabric collection, Celestial Lights, debuted at BERNINA University in June, followed closely by her coordinating thread collection, boasting a delightful range of blues and reds, perfect for some sweet holiday sewing.
Amanda is incredibly thorough with her releases, offering patterns, quilting files, coordinating rulers, tips for machine quilting, thread suggestions, thread how-tos, and more. We simply can’t wait to see what she comes up with using our 12wt and 28wt with this stunning new line!
THREAD COLLECTION DETAILS
100% Aurifil 50wt Cotton, 10 Small Spools 12wt (54yds each) & 28wt (109yds each)
12wt: 2460, 2775
28wt: 1103, 2230, 5002, 2024, 4140, 2775, 1320, 5007
GETTING TO KNOW AMANDA
What first drew you to this amazing industry of ours?
I always loved to sew, do handwork, and draw. Likewise I always like math and geometry and figuring out how things are made. Quilting was a natural outgrowth of all those things… it really combines both right and left brain skills, which I enjoy.
Do you remember the very first thing that you made?
The first thing I can remember making was Barbie houses out of refrigerator boxes and they ALWAYS had spiral staircases. I’m pretty sure they didn’t really look like I thought they looked at the time though. The first sewing project I can remember was an appliqué tree skirt on pre-quilted fabric. I decorated their faces with actual makeup and braided their hair, which I made from yarn.
Do you have a favorite technique?
Well usually my favorite technique is the one I last used or am currently using! But if you forced me to choose it would be either rulerwork quilting (with your 40 or 50 wt. threads) with my Good Measure rulers on my BERNINA Q24 or appliquéing with your 28 wt. threads on my BERNINA 790 Plus!
You’ve been creating with Benartex for quite some time — what do you love most about working with them?
Benartex lets me to control my design process – changing styles, techniques, and colors as it suits me. I appreciate that because it enables me to change to respond to the market but it also lets me push myself to try new things. I have a very good art director there who can literally read my mind – almost the equivalent of “finishing my sentences” in terms of design – and I can trust her editing eye.
Tell us about Celestial Lights – what inspired the collection?
Celestial Lights was a line BERNINA requested me to design in terms of colors and style. I was fortunate enough to design the Jubilee line last year originally to celebrate their 125th Anniversary. Like Jubilee, BERNINA wanted Celestial Lights to seamlessly integrate both modern and traditional elements, while incorporating educational tools for their latest machines. They wanted people to be able to create beautiful red and white and blue and white quilts with the collection, while keeping a very modern sense of style.
The end effect is clean yet sophisticated. Some of the prints are accented with delicate pearl inks and there is an embroidery collection with multi-layered blackwork patterns. (BERNINA dealers were able to order from Benartex at BU and the line will be available even more widely this fall.)
“Stardust” in blue and white, showcasing embroidery, rulerwork, and quilting, will be featured as a Quilt Along with educational videos starting the first Wednesday of September on, BERNINA’s blog…
Do you have a favorite project made to showcase the fabrics?
There are a lot of different projects that I designed for this collection in a variety of techniques.
I really love Hometown, which combines the blues and reds in the collection. I had such fun designing the big house!
But I also really love Floret, which features the heavier weight Aurifil threads that I love… both 28 wt. for the blanket stitches and 12 wt. for the triple stitch vines. And I was lucky that you all were willing to put together a thread collection for this one, so that people can easily find these heavier weight threads!
And the star of the show – the Aurifil Celestial Lights thread collection! I have a limited amount of these collection here, but you can also order them through your local shop.
What thread is your favorite for quilting?
I really love the 50 wt. for a light look. I used it to do more intricate free-motion quilting, like in “Floret”. But I also really love the 3-ply 40 wt. thread, especially for digitized pantographs (because I can run them fast) and times when I want the thread to show, like in my new Celestial Lights Ruler Panel, which featured my new Every Oval Rulers, which start shipping in just a few weeks!
Where can customers find your patterns, thread collection, and fabrics?
They can order fabrics, threads, and books, through their local shop. If they are not lucky enough to have a local shop they can find them here.
If you love the fabric please ask your shop to order it from Benartex!
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How did you first come to work with Aurifil and what do you love most about the threads?
I first met Alex at a Market (who is the best social marketer in this industry BTW) where he gave me some lovely thread to try… and I was hooked! It behaves so well in all of my BERNINAs, has great strength, a beautiful array of colors, and very little lint. Plus I just love how it looks!
Why do you think your fans will love your latest collection, Celestial Lights?
I think they will appreciate the detail of this collection. The fact that it is just two colors put a real emphasis on texture and tonal value. I can’t wait to see what everyone makes!
What do you have planned for this year – what can we look forward to?
My new book, the Organic Free-Motion Quilting Idea Book, just came out with C&T Publishing this month. My new line, Nightingale, ships in September. I’m looking forward to my new Every Oval and Every Ribbon Quilting Rulers shipping from Brewer Sewing very soon.
And on the teaching side of things – in just a couple of weeks I’m going to the Birmingham Quilt Show to teach, and then teaching at the BERNINA Creative Center in Switzerland on August 7th and 8th and BERNINA in Germany on August 10th-12th. (I think there are still a couple of spots!) And then I come back for a full fall of teaching in the States and a new line at Fall Market. So it should be busy but fun!
If you would like to know where any of these products are available or learn more about my teaching schedule for the fall please join my Facebook Group, Quilting with Amanda Murphy.
Thanks for having me and I look forward seeing what Aurifil fans make with Celestial Lights!
Always attracted to color, texture, and pattern, Amanda Murphy has been designing, drawing, and sewing since she was a child. She graduated from Carnegie Mellon University with a bachelor of fine arts degree and worked as a graphic designer and art director in Alexandria, Virginia, and New York City. After moving to North Carolina with her family Amanda discovered quilting, an art that marries her passion for design with her enthusiasm for handwork. As she gradually expanded her knowledge of sewing and quilting techniques and combined them with the ideas she had been sketching over the years, Amanda Murphy Design was born.
Amanda markets her own full-color pattern line under the Amanda Murphy Design label and has designed several fabric collections.
[For more, please visit Amanda’s website]