Aurifil Artisan Challenge Showcase

Welcome to the October Aurifil Artisan Challenge Showcase! Each month throughout the year we have tasked our Artisans with various creative challenges to see what they can create using Aurifil thread.

For October they were tasked with creating a project using 5 or more colors of thread. As always we are blown away by what they have created! Click on the Artisan’s name below to read more details about their project.

Alison HoltSilk painting and freehand machine embroidery of my garden worked using straight stitch and zigzag. I used the 50wt cotton, a fine thread that allows me to get lots of detail in a small area.

Amista Baker – Modern Neon Glitter Pouch quilted with Aurifil 50 wt. I chose shades 1154, 6738, 1231, 5006, 2115, 2225 in 50 weight. My choice was completely inspired by a fabric bundle I purchased several months ago.

Heather Black – This month’s challenge for Aurifil Artisan’s was to make something using at least five thread colors, I used NINE! I started my design by first picking my color palette by pulling threads from my stash.  I started with my go to blue, pink and yellow and quickly added black white.  The orange and green were thrown in to round out my palette.

Leslie Meltzer – Cross stitch, my most recent obsession, has become a great vehicle for using a lot of color. Because it’s October and Halloween is one of my favorite holidays, it seemed timely to make this super cute Vintage Black Cat pattern by Not So Modern Millie. And because I couldn’t stop there… what do you get when you find a pattern that would make a perfect gift for a friend and it has more than 5 colors?  That’s right!  You get a second Aurifil Artisan project for October!

Lisa Hofmann-Maurer – Personal wall art with a special saying by my littlest girl. I have no idea how to translate this from german to english, as she mixes two sayings. But I’ve loved this sentence ever since she said it first and I never ever want to forget it. 💝💝💝

Kathy Ross – Applique and Embroidery Badger Portrait. Absolutely loved making this piece even if it wasn’t my initial concept for the 5 colour challenge!! Sometimes the more monotone the subject the more colours you end up using 🙂 I used lots of the Aurifil Variegated threads to capture the fur on the badgers back. Varigated colours are absolutely essential for any of my embroidered animal portraits as they lay the foundations of fur and and texture. 4671, 4664, and 4060 were used throughout the making of the badger. With 1130 2692 2630 6722 used to add definition and contrast. I probably used about ten other colour throughout the making of this piece but the variegated threads were my saviors!

Sherry Shish – I am loving the ability to make wholecloth quilts with my longarm.  I picked some greens, teals, and blues to work with and got busy designing on my Prostitcher.

Blair Stocker – A cat-eared silhouette of a lady from my first book, free motion stitched with flowers using 50wt cotton. I used all the Aurifil orange shades I had, as well as some deep plums and burgundy.

HollyAnne Knight – After Kate Brennan pieced her Patronus masterpiece, she knew another Potterhead should quilt it— and I was so excited to be chosen. While I used one navy for the majority of the background, I loved adding depth to the letters and stag with other colors!

Yvonne Fuchs – There have been many wonderful aspects to my summer travels, but the opportunity to get to see wildlife in their natural habitat has been special and at times magical. I made the conscious decision to not spend a lot of time taking photographs of this trip. For one thing, my husband is a fabulous photographer and he often gets photos that I cannot. But my main reasoning was so that I could focus on being in the moment instead of thinking about composing a photograph. To that end, I now want to take some of my favorite moments from our travels that my husband captured and document them in my own way: in quilts. The Stone Sheep mini quilt is a thread painted mini based on one of my husband’s nature photos that uses 14 different Aurifil thread colors.

Lou Orth – This challenge was to use 5 threads, which is tricky for me and I usually use my trusty 2600 50wt for ⁣everything! 😁⁣ I used a selection of Kona solids and threads of not only different colours but weights too! 🧵 I got out my copy of @quiltsfromtheattic ‘s Improv book and dipped my toe in the improv waters. ⁣I have a couple of other (more improv looking) panels that I might also quilt and frame. Love the look of framed quilty art. 🖼

Kristina Brinkerhoff – I’ve added a new tiny foundation paper pieced pattern to my collection! Tiny House was created a little by accident—I was actually making a different design and suddenly had the idea to do a super tiny house with a little flower box outside the window. And to make that tiny flower box even cuter, I added some hand embroidered flowers onto the mint house! I used some of my favorite Aurifloss thread and french knots to quickly add some dimension to the tiny quilt block. It creates a big impact with just a little extra work.

Cheryl Brickey – For the October Challenge, I made a Dumpling Pouch by Sew Sweetness. I used the thick 12 wt Aurifil thread and a fancy stitch on my Bernina to quilt the front of the pouch. My sister was the recipient of the pouch and she loves it!

Wendy Welsh – Hand quilting with lots of colours and different thread weights. On the orange and red sections I’m going to quilt diagonally across the block, and then in the ditch around the central square.  I’ll also quilt in the ditch around the edge of each of the blocks.  I’ll do all this quilting in 28wt Aurifil because it’s thinner and doesn’t compete with the busyness of the block.

Lorna Slessor – Mini quilt (Mixed Tape by Wren Collective) pieced with white thread and quilted with a collection of six 50wt threads from my stash… I now want to make this pattern in a million colour combos. 🤩

Chris English – Hi, this is my five colour thread mini quilt.The quilt is made from scraps of quilting fabric, denim and old shirts, I used an improv piecing method to create rows of squares which I the joined together. I hand quilted it using about eight or nine different colours of Aurifil 12wt to quilt it. I usually use a lot of different thread weights in my quilts usually so this approach is one I love to take. I love using 12wt as you can see the quilting and the contrast it provides against the fabric.

Becca Plymale – Machine Embroidered Christmas Dress featuring Aurifil 80wt thread.

Laura Cunningham – This is my very first wholecloth quilt all machine quilted in 28wt, using wonderful prints by Susan Driscoll for Dashwood Studio. I love the texture it creates, almost like handquilted but oh so much faster. I’m totally in love with 28wt and Susan!

Lucy Engels – Bright and bold small throw quilt using a combination of machine and hand quilting. I chose 28wt Aurifil Thread to enhance the structure of the shapes found within the quilt without being too heavy.  And 28wt is also beautiful machine quilted.   

Shannon Fraser – The House of Cards quilt features modern improv quilting taking to the next level using 5 different colored Aurifil Threads for lots of added texture and detail.

Laura Piland – October is Pregnancy & Infant Loss Awareness Month, so it was the perfect time to make this NICU sized quilt from my Bundle of Joy pattern! The quilt has a gray soft minky fabric on the back so it won’t be too scratchy on a new baby’s skin. For quilting, I combined walking foot quilting on the rainbow with free motion quilting for the clouds on the background fabric. The 18″ NICU quilt has nine colors of Aurifil 50wt thread!

Elaina Sabado – Garden Illusion Quilt. Pieced patchwork and a lot of machine appliqué. The frames that surround each of the florals was free motion quilted on a domestic machine since right now it’s the method that I’ve had the most experience in. So it made changing thread colors to explore contrasting threads and designs more approachable for me. All the floral centers were crosshatched with clear nylon and I finished quilting all the other open areas with the polyfilament on a longarm. This project really allowed me to be more thoughtful and deliberate in using contrasting thread. It also made me me to want to learn new quilting designs (like now 😉) so I can apply those in thread for endless possibilities. Thanks so much Aurifil for this super awesome month’s challenge! photos I tried to use contrasting thread to complement the appliqué frames with the florals and to give it an added design interest throughout the quilt. Where I was focused more on texture, I used a thread that blended or gave just a hint of light or dark.

Cassandra Ireland Beaver – This 82″x80″ quilt is machine quilted with 19 different colors of 50wt Aurifil. Balancing the impact of the quilting designs with the graphic quality of the quilt top can be challenging, so I decided to match the thread color to the fabric to allow machine quilting to add texture without interrupting the fields of color.

Isabelle Selak – Hand Quilted Sugar Pop Pillow. For my threads, I chose to use Aurifloss in matching colors – Burgundy 1103, Fuchsia 4020, Baby Pink 2423, Jade 4093, Light Jade 1148, Light Turquoise 5006. I have only hand quilted a few projects, and I’ve used Aurifloss for the majority of those projects. Three strands of Aurifil embroidery floss is the perfect weight for chunky hand quilting stitches.

Sheri Cifaldi-Morrill – October challenge: When my friends over at Ruby Star Society sent me a sneak peek of the new collections debuting at Fall Quilt Market, I was immediately drawn to Clementine by Melody Miller. I’ve been itching to design a new foundation paper pieced quilt pattern and I was super inspired by the citrus fruit and colors Melody features in her new collection. After sketching and testing blocks, my new Citrus Slices pattern was designed. It was time to start cutting, sewing and quilting. I wanted the bold prints and citrus slice shapes to really stand out, so for quilting I selected thread colors that complemented the print. For the background, I followed the seams in my blocks using a basic white (Aurifil 2024) in 50wt cotton. For the citrus segments and rinds, I outlined the shapes using a complementary thread color in Aurifil 40wt cotton. Using the slightly thicker thread allows for the quilting to be a bit more visible against the bold prints. Below you’ll see my final Aurifil thread selections: • 2024 (White) • 4140 (Wedgewood) • 2847 (Bright Grey Blue) • 2135 (Yellow) • 2314 (Beige) • 2437 (Light Peony) • 2515 (Light Orchid)

Karen O’Connor – BOO!! Cute Halloween pillows using lots of colors in the quilting. 👻 Using my Janome Skyline S5 I quilted each pillow top with both zigzag and straight line stitches.  The shades of Aurifil I chose are as follows: 4647, 4656, 4660, 4651, 4648, 4670, 4658, 4250, and 3910 in 50 weight, and 4030 in 40 weight.  All but 4030 are variegated threads which make for the prettiest quilting in my opinion. 

We hope you enjoyed seeing all these gorgeous projects created by our Artisans! You can find even more inspiration on our Aurifil Artisan Pinterest board. ❤


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