Italian Color Builders + EPP

Aurifil’s original Color Builders were inspired by (and named after) Italy’s most vibrant and colorful destinations. Each collection contains three large spools of 50wt cotton thread — a warm, a medium, and a dark — within the location’s primary color palette.

From the lemon groves of Sicily to the pink sand beaches of Sardinia to the clear teal waters of Capri to the stark city grey of Milan… each collection is crafted to evoke images of our beloved Italian landscape. The colors were selected not only for their aesthetic appeal, but for their practicality in every day use. Quilters, sewists, and makers appreciate the Color Builder collections for their beauty and for their utility.

When these collections first launched, Aurifil’s own Kate Brennan had a genius idea for a new pattern. We’re delighted to welcome her to Auribuzz today to tell us all about it!

If you are a quilter, you start to see patterns all over the place… in art, architecture, shadows – everywhere. When we first settled into the Italian Color Builder series and the graphic designer showed us some of the packaging ideas, I thought, “That would be a great quilt!”  But I didn’t think it, I said it out loud. Of course our marketing director said, “Yes! And they would look great in the booth for Houston when we debut these collections to the stores!”

The pattern lent itself to the English Paper Piecing technique – which I love, so no problems there – but to put twelve together in a matter of weeks was a huge undertaking. One of the things I really like about EPP is the fact it is portable and so I stitched… and stitched… and stitched.

I stitched at football games…

at the park…

in the office…

and at home.

The result was worth it!  Rather than finishing them into mini quilts or pillows, we put them in hoops and hung them from the pergola we had in the booth.

For two years the projects floated around the office and traveled to exhibitions. People regularly asked for the pattern and while I wrote a rough draft, it sat on the back burner for a while. We are thrilled to launch it today, in conjunction with our Italian Color Builders — perfect partners!

One of the great things about the Italian Color Builders is the versatility of each group. The light, medium, and dark value of each color option serves most purposes and I find myself going back to these colors time and time again. 

I sew a lot – both for work and for me – and I employ a variety of techniques and styles. These collections work with everything! Makers often look for one color to complement a project… the Colors of Italy collections offers give you options to add a little interest  to your project – using the different values of one color adds dimension.

My favorite box? Currently, I am in a Verona mood. For years, Australian designer Jen Kingwell has been championing Antique Blush (2375) as her favorite color. She is right! It’s incredibly versatile and simply perfect for so many things! We set that color as the medium value for the Verona box. 

The other two colors (the light & dark) were originally introduced in 2015 (the “6700” colors). Moonshine (6724) is the light tone from this box and is a wonderful warm grey that has a permanent home in my travel sewing box. It’s soft and light enough for piecing and quilting most of the fabrics in my stash. Tiramisu (6730) is the dark tone and the name fits it perfectly. It reminds me of this little Italian restaurant in the Lincoln Park neighborhood of Chicago. This color seems to work for everything the other two do not. It is dark enough to use for piecing darker quilts, but not so strong that it shows through. It has both warm and cool undertones so it really adapts to what ever you put behind it. In short, if you can only have one box, I recommend Verona… but why limit yourself!

Honestly, it’s hard to go wrong with any of the Italian Color Builder boxes! We selected the colors with makers in mind, focusing not only on the beauty of every color but also on the functional versatility. They are a must-have for any sewist or quilter. You can snag them all (or at least a few of your favorites) as a part of our Six Weeks of Summer: Postcards from Italy promotion, which kicks off on Monday. (hint: the sale is already active, so don’t delay!!) We hope that you’ll travel around Italy with us, savoring each and every awe-inspiring location!


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