Thread Matters 2020: A Little Bag with a lot of Interest

Greetings! As Master Educator and Aurifilosophy Program Coordinator, I’m excited to introduce fellow Aurifil Designer, Aurifilosopher, and Author Annie Smith as the second contributor to Thread Matters 2020 – The Aurifilosopher Series. Annie is a master at applying all weights of Aurifil thread to her projects and this month she’s utilizing the Pompeii Red color builder selections in a special project. Sit back, grab a cuppa, learn, and be inspired while Annie walks you through the process of creating and embellishing with Aurifil thread.

If you missed the 2019 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.

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

Being an Aurifilosopher, I’m excited to share a project that uses a variety of weights of the three reds in Aurifil’s February Color Builder Collection – Pompeii. I used 50wt for piecing and hand appliqué, 28wt for machine appliqué, and Aurifloss for embroidery. Mixing techniques and thread weights is something that I really enjoy teaching because it allows students to explore and learn more.

While visiting a local quilt shop, I spied the Luella Clutch Purse kit, which is perfect for embellishing. The kit includes a piece of pre-cut felt, with straps and closure for either a clutch or a crossbody bag. Well, I love crossbody bags and I could just see it with cute appliqué, hexagons, and embroidery all over it.

So, here is what I came up with. I hope you enjoy it!

First, you’ll need the following to make the hexagons:

1. Using Aurifil 50wt thread, create two rows of ten hexagons. Click HERE to download my pdf instructions for perfect hexies. 

2. Glue baste the rows to the felt pattern, as shown. Use the glue sparingly, making little dots on the back of the hexies.

3. Once the glue is dry use Aurifil 50wt with an invisible stitch to appliqué the hexie to the felt background.

Next is the machine appliqué embellishment flower.

You will need:

  • Flower Appliqué Pattern (I used the ​Columbine​ pattern on page 120 of my book ​The Ultimate Applique GuidebookC&T Publishing, 2010)
  • Soft Fuse fusible web
  • Pencil
  • Scissors
  • Iron and ironing board
  • 28wt threads in the Pompeii Collection colors + bobbins in coordinating colors
  • 80/12 needle
  • Open-toe presser foot to allow for better visibility (to see where the needle is stitching next to the appliqué)

1. Trace the flower sections onto the paper side of fusible web.

2. Cut out the shapes, leaving an allowance on both sides of the traced line, as shown in the photo below.

NOTE:​ Pay attention to the shapes that have double lines on the edges. The photo shows that these are pieces that will be tucked under the shape next to it, so they need to have a fabric allowance left, for tucking purposes.

3. Fuse the flower in place on the front flap of the felt.

4. Stitch around each of the flower sections with the 28wt thread. I used #5002 for the outer petals, #2250 for the inner petals, and #1103 for the pointed petals.

5. Add a pretty button for the flower center.

Next, you’ll embroider butterflies and detail along the hexie rows.

For this, you’ll need:

  • Aurifloss in the Pompeii Collection colors (I stitch with 2 strands)
  • Size 3 Embroidery needles
  • Scissors

I used a Lazy Daisy (also known as a Detached Chain) stitch for this design. I created butterflies on the front flap of the felt.

(A little secret for you: I made the seven butterflies to represent my seven grandchildren. You’ll notice that there is actually an eighth one to the right of the flower — that’s for #8, who will be born in August. I love putting personal symbolism in everything I make!)

1. Use the darkest POMPEII shade, #1103, for the upper wings.

2. Use the medium Pompeii shade, #2250, for the lower wings.

3. Use the lighter Pompeii shade, #5002, for the antennae and french knots.

For the French knots, wrap the needle three times with the floss, and insert the needle into the fabric.

TIP: Before pulling the loop through to the back, insert the needle into the loop and draw the thread tight as shown in the photo below. It makes a beautiful French knot every time!

4. Stitch along the hexie rows with a Lazy Daisy stitch. I used #5002 on the outside of the rows and #1103 on the inside of the rows.

5. Finally, follow the instructions given in the kit to complete the clutch/crossbody bag. You’ll add the closure pieces and stitch the four side seams, which I did using the Aurifil 28wt in shade #1103.

I think the bag turned out pretty cute —

… and now my older granddaughters (ages 8 and 10) will need to have me make each of them one too. It’s a pretty cool project that can be embellished any way you desire. I loved using the different weights of Aurifil thread in the luxurious Pompeii colors. The red thread is the perfect warm complement to the gray felt.

If you have any questions about the project or instructions, please don’t hesitate to email me. (​)

Other Tools & Tips:

Finally, I hope that you’ll come and see me at an upcoming ​Aurifilosophy workshop! You’ll find a schedule of events on Aurifil’s Facebook page right HERE.


  • Annie is giving away one signed copy of The Ultimate Appliqué Reference Tool
  • Aurifil is giving away one Pompeii Red Color Builder Box

To enter-to-win, click HERE to head to the rafflecopter page. This giveaway is open to all of our friends, worldwide. We’ll accept entries through 11:59pmEST on Thursday, February 13th. We’ll contact the winners via email. Good luck!

Website — Instagram — Shop

Annie Smith is more than just a pretty face. She is a quilter who designs quilts and has her own Pattern Publishing company. Her quilts have been published in Quilter’s Home Magazine 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]


  1. I’ve never seen one of these bag kits! I need one! Thanks so much, such a perfect Feburary project! Reds & flowers!

  2. Beautiful project. I love the red thread colors. I need to come up with a Valentine project now.

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