We first started working with Laura Cunningham of Sweet Cinnamon Roses back in 2018 as an Aurifil Artisan. She is an absolute delight, kind, sweet, and endlessly creative. A quick scroll through her Instagram feed will leave you itching to make something small and sweet, with accent stitches and might even leave you with the courage to finally conquer that zipper! We love her passion, her focus on education, and her endless enthusiasm for her favorite Aurifil threads;).
Earlier this year, she partnered with Janome UK on an 8 week event featuring some of her absolute go-to bag patterns. Pattern Parade was a total hit and we loved seeing each of the 8 projects featured throughout. Our big secret through it all was that Laura had curated a special thread set, designed to perfectly partner with her patterns. She even sewed up all 8 of her bags using all of the threads from her set!
Today, we’re excited to share a bit of Laura’s story, to feature a few of her fabulous bags, and to highlight the sweet and lovely hues of Sweet Cinnamon Roses Loves Aurifil, your new go-to 10 spool thread set!
Thanks so much to Laura, and if you’re curious, please do check out the Hand Quilted Zipper Pouch Tutorial and the Wee Travel Pal feature that she shared right here on Auribuzz during her Aurifil Artisan days.
How did you first get started in this creative, maker-centric industry?
I got a super basic sewing machine when I was pregnant with my daughter back in 2011 – I was dreaming of all the beautiful things I would make for her. Though the reality was that I didn’t even know how to switch on the machine, let alone how to sew a straight line! But that didn’t stop me from trying with lots of trial and error! I started making very basic items and loved it. Picking fabric, the meditative process of sewing, and gifting handmade items quickly became a passion – and oh so addictive.
Who or what has been your greatest creative inspiration?
My kids! No doubt. Wrapping them in handmade quilts every night is so special – leaving a hug with them until I see them again in the morning. Only wish they’d love pink as much as I do…
What is your favorite thing to make?
As much as I love quilting, it has to be bag making. It’s just so satisfying to start and finish a project in one sitting. Instant gratification, if you like… And if I had to pick only one project – it would be the Wee Braw Bag. Form and function in one project. Win win!
What drives you to continue creating and innovating?
Working with beautiful fabric and thread never gets old, seriously. I could spend hours stroking fabric and dreaming up new projects… But my true passion is sharing my love for sewing and quilting with others. I love to help fellow makers find the confidence to make whatever they desire – one bag at a time!
Tell us about the Pattern Parade. What patterns did you feature and do you have a favorite?
Yes, of course. Pattern Parade started as a challenge: aiming to create eight items over the course of eight weeks. Teaching new skills and building confidence especially in folks new to sewing. We started super simple and built on it every week, by the end of the event we had total beginners making fantastic projects, things they thought they’d never be able to tackle.
It all happened over in my free Facebook group. I was able to use this to go into more detail, answer questions and share video tutorials on those eight projects – the combination of learning and community in this group made it all happen and I am so proud I was able to share this event with the help of Janome UK.
And regarding my favourite patterns. My favourite always is the Wee Braw Bag but during the event I really, really loved making the See It All Pouch again. The very first pattern I ever wrote – super simple, but oh so cute. And such a quick make as well! So it has to be the See It All Pouch for me!
Ohhh and by the way… all the projects I made over those eight weeks were made using only thread from the Sweet Cinnamon Roses loves Aurifil thread box! One box to rule… erm make them all!
What was the best part about working through one pattern a week for 8 weeks?
Building up on skills every week was amazing. I loved watching my students and seeing their conference grow. We started with only straight lines, then we inserted zippers, added binding, quilted panels and installed hardware… and each week I had fellow makers tell me how surprised they were that they could do it. And of course they can! Sewing really doesn’t have to be hard. It’s all about confidence! We all have it in us.
Where can makers find your patterns?
All my step-by-step sewing patterns are available over on my website. You can find more inspiration, tips and tricks, and a list of all the materials on my blog. If you feel you’ll need a little extra help, you can always join our free Facebook Group as well! Video tutorials and all my tips and tricks are permanently saved in the learning sections – ready for you binge watch! Bonus: you’ll be a part of an incredible community of fellow makers.
We know that many makers are hesitant to sew bags, particularly smaller sized bags, when zippers are included. What is your best advice for pushing through that hesitation?
I know that zippers have a bad rep, but they’re seriously not that tricky at all! You can totally do it. Seriously… if you can sew a straight line (even a slight wonky one will do!), you can install a zipper. Picking the right fabric for your project and not procrastinating for hours is probably harder…
When did you first discover Aurifil Thread and why is it your go-to?
I seriously love Aurifil! Thankfully it didn’t take me too long into my sewing journey for me to find you guys. Cheap supermarket thread got me really frustrated as it kept tangling and/or breaking on me and I knew I had to find something better. And that’s how my love for Aurifil started. I love how strong Aurifil 50wt is – and I can trust it to hold all my projects together from quilts to bags. Aurifil 28wt for topstitching and machine quilting – basically all visible seams made by machine. And finally Aurifil 12wt for hand quilting – it’s just plain lovely and the texture is divine. I will never, ever go back!
What is your favorite weight thread to work with? Your favorite color?
My favourite weight… ohh that’s hard. I love them all. Especially in combination. But I guess it has to be Aurifil 28wt. I use it for all visible seams – so for machine quilting and topstitching. Those seams really are a feature on all my projects!
And colour. Well. My absolute go to colour for Aurifil 28wt is baby pink (2423). The best in weight and colour!
Drop some knowledge on us… what is your absolute top thread tip?
Try them all! Get yourself a small spool of each thread weight and see how you and your machine gets on with it. My Janome 6700p for example, thankfully loves Aurifil as much as I do, even in the bobbin and machine quilting using Aurifil 28wt is just a dream now. So yes, don’t be intimidated and try them all!
Tell us ALL about Sweet Cinnamon Roses Loves Aurifil, your debut collection! How did you go about selecting the threads? Does each weight have a specific intended purpose?
Of course. When I started sewing almost ten years ago I literally used any thread I could find (usually the cheap supermarket stuff) as it was all about fabric for me. But it kept breaking on me and it tangled and I got so, so frustrated… Re-threading my machine was pretty much a nightmare and the odds were pretty high I had to re-thread multiple times during a small project as the thread kept breaking. Only years later and a couple quilts in, I realised I had to change something. I changed over and started using Aurifil and was immediately hooked – incredible colours, little to no breakage, hardly any lint, thin thread and therefore no more bulk. And when I got the opportunity to partner with Aurifil to helping people find their way into the beautiful world of quality thread – I got so, so excited!
And this is what I came up with. Pretty much one box to rule them all. But let me explain. Not only does this box get you started weight-wise, it also has you covered for literally ALL MY PATTERNS. If you fancy making a Wee Braw Bag using Aurifil 50wt for construction and Aurifil 28wt for topstitching you are good to go. Or you’d like to give improv a try? You will want to use Aurifil 50wt for piecing your panel, Aurifil 12wt for hand stitching and Aurifil 28wt for topstitching. Again – this box has you covered.
We know it’s been a wild year, but we’ve loved having the opportunity to engage with makers virtually. What are your plans for 2021 and where can we find you for more inspiration?
Yes, what a year. With the kids back to school I am hoping to get more time to actually sew again and I have a couple new patterns lined up for 2021. So many ideas I am excited to work on. And for more inspiration, please feel free to stay in touch via Instagram and Facebook. I am always excited for folks to drop me a line and say hi!
Cats or Dogs: Dogs. Always.
Shoes or Barefoot: Shoes.
Country or City: City.
Camping or Glamping: Glamping – but we have Disney World booked for the end of the year. Fingers crossed!
To the Mountains or to the Sea: Sea, even though we live right next to the Sea…
Favorite Notion: Cutting mat and rotary cutter.
Go-to sewing room playlist: Country (Nashville Cast)
Current binge-worthy show: Normal People, Sons of Anarchy, Ozark, Marcella, Start Up, The Walking Dead, The Rain, Nashville, Homeland, Breaking Bad and of course Orange is the New Black… Sewing + Netflix is real and my addiction, I guess!
Laura is an indie sewing pattern designer and regular contributor to Love, Patchwork and Quilting Magazine. For her, it’s normally all about nifty, little pouches with a modern twist, that are easy to make in no time. Instant gratification guaranteed. But she also has a deep love for improv and hand quilting, especially when it includes a lot of pink!