Thread Matters 2019: Winter Blooms – 1 project with 4 weights of Aurifil thread!

This month’s Thread Matters – The Aurifilosophy Series is the last for 2019! It allows me to introduce Aurifil Designer and Aurifilosopher Amanda Murphy of Amanda Murphy Design.

If you missed the January introduction of Aurifilosophy and this fun Thread Matters series click here to read more. Consider scheduling an Aurifilosophy Program for your shop, group or guild – learn more here.

Happy Stitching!
Karen L. Miller ~ Redbird Quilt Co.

Hey all you Aurifil fans!  My name is Amanda Murphy and I’m a BERNINA Expert, fabric designer for Benartex, ruler designer for Brewer Sewing, author with C&T Publishing, Aurifil Designer, Aurifilosopher, and all-around Aurifil super-fan! The super-fan status means I’m always excited to talk about the ways I use Aurifil in my work — so let’s get started!

About a month ago at Fall Quilt Market I debuted a new wall hanging pattern, Winter Blooms, featuring my First Frost fabric collection for Contempo of Benartex (available April 2020). Winter Blooms is a fun little piece because it’s very free form, making it easy to achieve brilliant results!  In fact, you could lay out the appliqué shapes in a variety of ways to make placemats, pillows, or any number of small projects. I’m excited because this particular project gives me the opportunity to share a variety of my favorite Aurifil threads and quilty techniques with you.

Winter Blooms — prepared using a machine applique and embellishments.

I like to use slightly thicker threads to do my applique.  My go-to thread is Aurifil 28wt for use with the blanket stitch #1329 on my BERNINA.  I generally use a 2.1 stitch width and a 2.4 stitch length.

I use 50wt Aurifil cotton in the bobbin, lowering the thread tension so it doesn’t pop to the front. I also like to move the needle all the way to the right. This way, as I come to a point, I can decrease the stitch width by turning the upper multi-function knob as I sew, keeping the right edge of the stitch in line with the right edge of my appliqué shape.

[Snapshot of my Bernina Settings]

The 28wt thread is oh-so-forgiving as you go around tight curves, plus I love the added dimension it gives! It almost forms a little ridge around the edge of each shape.

For flower stems and other linear elements I like to use the 12wt Aurifil thread with my Bernina Triple Stitch (#6). This combination gives just the right look and is a quick and easy substitute for hand embroidery.

In this case, I still choose to use 50wt Aurifil in the bobbin, lowering the thread tension a little further to avoid popping the bobbin thread to the top of the quilt.

I leave the ends of the threads long so as to knot and bury them behind the quilt top using a large Chenille needle. (That is a hand sewing needle with an extra big eye and a sharp point.)

When it comes to quilting the project I love using Aurifil 50wt thread.  (Also, the super-fan in me declares that two weights of Aurifil isn’t enough! WE MUST ADD A THIRD!) I had chosen my First Frost diamond print as a background here because 1) I wanted to quilt a cross-hatch pattern and 2) I’m too lazy to mark it.

When it came the the border, I wanted to quilt ribbon candy using my Every Ribbon Candy Good Measure quilting ruler.

Sadly, I was out of Aurifil 50wt red thread to quilt this border. How did this even happen?? Never fear, it was Aurifil Forty3 red (#2250) thread to the rescue!

I have plenty of Aurifil Forty3 on hand because it’s an amazingly strong 3-ply 40wt cotton that that is outstanding for quilting pantograph patterns on my BERNINA Q24! (TRANSLATION: You can go VERY fast with Forty3 when you are on a deadline for Market or for finishing holiday gifts!)

I used the same 28wt and 12wt thread combination in my Floret wall hanging, featuring my Celestial Lights fabric collection for Benartex, which is shipping to stores now. We have a small Aurifil thread collection available containing both 28wt and 12wt threads for you to try your hand at these elegant yet simple techniques.

Love the First Frost fabric?  Ask your local quilt shop to bring it in before it’s gone – it ships in April! In the meantime, dig into your fabric and thread stash to try out the flexible Winter Blooms pattern and fun thread techniques I shared today.

I hope that you enjoyed my super-fan thread excerpts… I’d love to know if you give them a try! Happy holidays and happy quilting!
— Amanda



via @amandamurphydesign

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.

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