Koala Thread Painting Challenge

We’ve been following textile artist Lorraine Turner for a few years and have become completely enamored with her work. She relies heavily on her intuition, her connection with animals, and her artistic spirit and truly, what she is able to accomplish with machine, fabric, and thread is nothing short of remarkable.

Lorraine’s first curated Aurifil thread collection released in Fall of 2019, a range of 50wt (+ 2 spools of 12wt) to coordinate with her debut Free Spirit Fabrics collection, Calico Horses. It was at that same time that the world was stricken with the news of the Australian Wildfires. Lorraine contacted us to discuss the idea of creating a thread painting challenge, using a pattern that she would create, to generate excitement around learning a new technique while raising valuable funds for a country in crisis.

Lorraine officially launched the challenge over on her website last week and shared these words:

For sometime now, my heart has been drawn to the plight of the Koalas. And so, I’ve set the intention for this exciting sewing challenge to raise awareness, funds and most importantly HONOR and RESPECT to our dear friends.

Although I’d planned to visit the sanctuary in August and personally deliver the funds … circumstances have interrupted travel and I’ll be mailing 100% of the funds raised. Please join me in this endeavor as I fulfill a commitment I’ve made to these incredible animals.


  • Participants must purchase Lorraine Turner’s downloadable Koala pattern.  (100% of the proceeds will be donated to the Ipswitch Koala Protection Society, a Koala Sanctuary in Queensland, Australia.)
  • All entries must be made by posting a picture of the finished project on Instagram using hashtag #LTKoalaChallenge or by filling out the Lorraine Turner Koala Challenge Google Form.
  • Entries must be received by August 31, 2020.
  • One spool of Aurifil thread must be visible in the photo.
  • Participants are encouraged to post their work-in-progress photos using hash tags #calicohorsesfabrics and #aurifil


  • A portion of Lorraine Turner’s Koala pattern must be incorporated into the project.
  • 50% of the fabrics used must be Lorraine Turner’s Calico Horses by Free Spirit fabrics
  • Aurifil threads, any weight or color must be incorporated into the project
  • You may scale the pattern to any size you wish


  • Home Decor
  • Purses,
  • Bags,Textile Art and Quilts
  • Apparel

DEADLINE: August 31, 2020

Judging and PRIZES by FreeSpirit and Aurifil.


  • Original Art by Lorraine Turner
  • CalicoHorses Aurifil Thread Collection
  • Fat Quarter Bundle of CalicoHorses FreeSpirit Fabrics

100% of the purchase of the downloadable Koala pattern supports the Ipswich Koala Protection Society in Queensland, Australia.

Line art pattern is included. You may create ALL forms of fabric art —  embroidery, thread-painting, fabric collage, or anything you wish. HAVE FUN!

If you wish to know more about fabric collage read this step-by-step blog

We hope that you’re as excited about all of this as we are and we can’t wait to see what you make. Will you try your hand at textile embroidery? Work through traditional embroidery or appliqué? Don’t forget to tag us in your progress photos!

WebsiteBlog — WorkshopsFacebookTwitterInstagram

As a young girl, motivational speaker and author/illustrator Lorraine Turner was told she would never make it as an artist yet went on to become a two-time Emmy winner for her work as one of the lead designers for a professional sports team in the US. The National Basketball Association’s Philadelphia 76ers.

Lorraine has created award winning children’s activity books and is a multiple Eisner Award Nominee in her role as Art Director for the Library of American Comics –  a company she co-owns with her husband Dean Mullaney.

Lorraine uses her own life experiences and travels world-wide as a motivational speaker encouraging all ages from teens searching a career to seniors desiring adult education.

Today, with the help of meditation, she happily writes, illustrates, and teaches others to follow their dreams.

She is a living testimony to the power of moving thoughts into action.

Lorraine is a BERNINA Ambassador and stitches on her BERNINA Q20 and 770QE, she is an Aurifil thread designer/educator and a FreeSpirit fabric designer.

Calico Horses
10 Large Spools, 50wt (1422yds/spool)
2 Large Spools, 12wt (356yds/spool)
100% Cotton
50wt: 2135, 2150, 2270, 4020, 1231, 2860, 2735, 2810, 1243, 2581
12wt: 2692, 2024

To view this info on our website, click here. For purchasing, please contact your local Aurifil Dealer.

*All images and text courtesy of Lorraine Turner (with exception to the intro!)

1 comment

Leave a Reply