We’ve been following along (and having a blast) with Henrik Müller for a few years now.
He has worked with us as an Aurifil Artisan, is a dedicated and passionate champion for Aurifil threads, and shouts his Aurilove from the rooftops every chance he gets.
Henrik came to us last year with an idea for a collection and we simply couldn’t resist.
Proud & About is a collection of 10 small spools of Aurifil 50wt thread with Henrik’s essential rainbow colors in addition to an off white and a true black. It’s our new favorite rainbow and we have every confidence that you creative makers will do great things with it this year!
We are delighted to have had the chance to chat with Henrik and thoroughly enjoyed our interview. We hope that you do too! Please allow us to introduce Henrik Müller — his is a name you’ll want to know!
We know that some of our readers may be meeting you for the first time, so to get started, we’d love to really introduce you! Can you tell us a bit about yourself and how you got started in this amazing and creative industry?
Of course, thank you for having me by the way. My name is Henrik Müller. I live in Berlin, Germany. I am a nurse by trade, a father by heart, and a quilter by obsession.
My kids are 7 and 1 years old and the firstborn wants to sew with me all the time. Sewing for me started a little before our kids came into our lives. I saw what I assumed to be a blanket of some sort that was used as a bedcover on the internet somewhere. It was the 1 UP mushroom from super mario and I knew instantly that I needed to have that for myself. Upon investigation I first learned that you can’t just buy it because it was handmade. I then learned that I could have it made but it would cost me a fortune. So naturally, in a moment of ignorance and arrogance I thought to myself ‘I am just going to teach myself to sew and it will be really easy’.
It was not easy. I went to the one fabric shop that I knew about and bought myself some fabric. Not knowing anything at all, I went by color and not fabric type. Looking back I made some dodgy decisions at best. For black I landed on minky because it was the truest black they had. The quilt is really wonky but it is still loved to this day.
It went completely out of control only moments later. I made baby quilt after baby quilt and landed on the book 100 modern blocks by a designer called Tula Pink. You might have heard of her. I made the blocks for my second full size quilt and I still love that one a lot. After some time I discovered FPP and then EPP. I was hooked. We all know that quilting is not a condition you recover from. In 2020 after 6 years of quilting I then designed my first pattern and in 2021 I started my business.
Who or what has been your greatest inspiration?
I am very ADHD. Everything inspires me all the time. It is more a matter of how to focus for me. You know, you can’t pursue every little design idea you ever have. I do write a lot of them down, mind you, but I never came around to making most of them. What I like to design pattern wise is mostly what I see around me. Sometimes it is a block that I wish existed or sometimes it is me thinking I can do better than what patterns I find in existence. Sounds arrogant, I know and maybe it is. But that is how my brain works.
Describe your ideal space for creating a new quilt– is there music playing? Daylight or dim lighting?
My ideal space for sewing is two things: An actual space to sew in and the headspace to sew in. For the physical space I need order. I am very easily distracted and I need order around me to keep some order in my head if that makes sense. I like to have white furniture that has a specific place for everything I use to create. I am also one of those people who tidies their workspace after every project. Well, after every workday really. I need a clean slate to start working immediately otherwise I get distracted. When I am working, however, I do like to listen to stuff. Some favorites are loud and angry music and TV shows that I have watched many times before.
I use some very bright studio lights that I bought for video production while working. They are perfect to see everything. I love them. I need the light to be so that a commercial airplane would want to use it as a landing beacon.
And then there is headspace. I sometimes find myself so preoccupied with things that I can’t seem to find a point to start. Having an EPP project helps, because that is usually prepared and I can just sew mindlessly.
What is your favorite thing to make?
I love making full sized quilts. There is no rush quite like finishing a queen size quilt and being able to add it to the pile. It is the absolute best.
Have you ever had one of those ‘aha’ moments when something just clicked and you knew exactly your best way forward?
Well not really aha moments but I had a lot of “why didn’t I do this earlier” moments. For example… starching fabric. It makes a world of difference with accuracy. I know it is an extra step and that can be really annoying when you just want to cut into it and start but it really makes a difference. Also pressing every single seam. I do like my accuracy.
When did you first discover Aurifil Thread and why is it your go-to?
I can’t remember when I first stumbled upon it but I can tell you that everything changed when I finally did. I started with cheap poly thread because it was accessible in so many colors where I live and because I didn’t know any better. I used it and I was always so frustrated that my sewing machine didn’t work the way it should. It was a struggle to say the least. I then upgraded my sewing machine and it still was not quite right. You need to know that I knew nothing really. I had no sewing background. I did not do a sewing course or anything. I just watched some YouTube tutorials, bought a machine and tried to teach myself. I guess it really helps to go into something blue eyed and fearless but it made me make some unnecessary mistakes to say the least. So when I finally came across Aurifil thread it finally clicked and my sewing experience improved. Turns out thread matters a lot. You can have the best sewing machine in the world, but when you use terrible thread and a dull needle you will never have success. Oh I guess that was an “aha” moment.
Which Aurifil spool is your thread unicorn… that one spool that felt truly magical when you first discovered it that you now can’t live without?
Four magical digits 2835. It goes with everything. Can’t live without it and I don’t want to live without it.
Drop some knowledge on us… what is your absolute top thread tip?
Easy: Buy all 270 colors so you always have the right color for your project. If that is not in your budget I hear the Proud & About collection has a really nice rainbow.
We are so excited to see Proud & About out in the world! Can you tell us a little more about what inspired this collection and why it was so important for you to share it with quilters around the world?
Gladly. I sew a lot and I like to keep my hands busy at all times. That is why I have an EPP project with me pretty much anywhere I go. For “on the go” I need the small spools because the large spools, great as they are, can be a bit chunky for my travel kit. Sewing the entire rainbow all the time I have specific needs in a thread selection that I felt were not met with any existing collection. Most collections have a bias towards a color. Some are more purple, some more red, and some are focused on one color family altogether. I needed the full rainbow with me. I was always missing something. That is why I came up with the perfect little rainbow for the quilter on the go. With just 8 rainbow colors and an off white and a black I can match most of my projects. Coincidentally the colors I picked are pretty close to the original pride flag that also had 8 colors so that inspired the name: Proud & About. I figure if I really need this collection to exist why wouldn’t everyone else need it?
A few weeks ago, we shared news of your Thread Against the Machine Sew Along right here on Auribuzz. We’ve heard it’s been incredibly popular and can’t wait to see all of those fabulous little spools popping up in progress images on IG. What other plans do you have for this collection? Any new projects in the works?
Thread Against The Machine will keep me busy throughout the entire summer. The sew along kicks off on May 30th and goes on for 14 weeks because it is an ambitious project with 16 FPP blocks surrounded by 36 more FPP blocks. I want everyone to have a good time and I want everyone to be able to finish a quilt, quilting, binding and all. So that is why I timed it for 14 weeks. I announced the sew along before I was ever finished with the actual design. I like to throw myself a curveball every once in a while I guess. The last couple of weeks have been really stressful trying to work out all the kinks, lobbying for industry partners to sponsor prizes, and organizing this event. The response has been overwhelming. I could never anticipate this many participants. I am over the moon. So if I told you now what my further plans with the collections are I would throw myself another curveball before I dealt with this current one.
I do want to sew an EPP project bag for the spools and a project. Not sure if I can find a pattern that I am happy with that already exists or if I feel the need to design my own.
What are your plans for 2022 and where can we find you for more inspiration?
When the sew along finishes in September I need to finish my second Tula Nova quilt that I interrupted to make time for the Sew Along. So you have that to look forward to. I am also really looking forward to having daycare for our second born so I can start making more YouTube videos again. I recently started a partnership with Bernina, so you can expect some Longarming content using Aurifil Forty3. Other than that I am sure I will start many new quilt projects until then that are going to demand my attention.
If you want to follow up on all of my madness you can most easily find me on Instagram but you can also check out my website www.hr-mueller.de where you will find my blog and links to all my other social media.