2023 Thread Matters with Karen L. Miller, Part 3

Greetings Aurifil followers. I’m Karen L. Miller ~ Redbird Quilt Co., Master Educator and Program Coordinator for Aurifilosophy, here to celebrate 2023, the 5th year of Thread Matters – The Aurifilosopher Series with monthly contributions by our wildly talented and creative Aurifilosophers from across the globe!

Aurifilosophy thread education was designed to unlock the mysteries of thread– to educate, inspire, and enable all users to achieve brilliant results. Our team of dynamic, charismatic, and brand-loyal designers, artisans, and educators achieve that goal by offering Aurifilosophy as a structured presentation with amazingly creative and inspirational project samples and photos that highlight the many ways to integrate every luscious weight of Aurifil thread into your projects. 

If your shop, group or guild is ready to take their understanding of thread weights, ply, needles, tension, and technique to the next level, there’s no better time to book an in-person or virtual Aurifilosophy event with one of our certified educators. Learn more and find your favorite Aurifilosopher by clicking HERE. Or, to join an upcoming Aurifilosophy event take a peek at our available sessions right HERE.

Many thanks for following along with us on the January and February 2023 Thread Matters posts. We absolutely loved hearing your feedback and are completely thrilled that you enjoyed the images, tips, and other tidbits we shared. Thanks to those comments and your overall excitement, we decided to prepare an Aurifil Printable to guide decisions on thread weight, needle, and bobbin selection for future projects. 

If you missed the full January or February 2023 installments of Thread Matters, use the buttons below to review tips, tricks, and my favorite uses for all 9 weights of Aurifil thread.

If you’re looking for the perfect collection to see you through a little thread experimentation, we’d recommend snagging the Aurifilosophy set — 7 Small Spools, 1 each of 80wt, 50wt, 40wt, 28wt, 12wt, Wool 12wt, and Aurifloss.

HUGE thanks to Karen for taking us through all of this amazing education. We hope that you’ve all learned a little something new and would love to hear which part has made the biggest impact. In the meantime, we’re delighted to share a few of our favorite digital resources that you may or may not have already found on Aurifil & Auribuzz.

Digital Color Cards

While we know that digital color representation can often be tricky, it’s still a great starting point until you can get one of those coveted thread-wrapped Aurifil color cards into your hands. Use them for tracking what colors you have and what colors you absolutely want! In addition, did you know that each of Aurifil’s 270 colors has a unique name? Yep, there’s a download for that, too!

Now you’re likely wondering… well what about 80wt and Forty3? Aren’t there a select number of colors for these thread weights? Indeed there are, and yes, you guessed it… there are downloads for those, too!

Free Patterns

We’ve had the great privilege of working with some incredibly talented designers over the years and have a rich library of free patterns available to you so that you can start working on your next favorite project right away. Peruse the full range via the button below!

Thread Matters

Don’t forget there’s a large variety of informative posts from our ongoing Thread Matters – The Aurifilosopher Series. You can find the full library HERE, but we’ll link a few of our favorites below.

12wt Bobbin Work with Krista Hennebury of Poppyprint
“Thread shred is remedied with some experimentation and the solution typically lies with the use of an appropriate type and size needle, slowing down your sewing speed and increasing stitch length. My needle of choice for sewing with 12wt is a 90/14 Superior Topstitch!” 

Wool, The Thread Cinderella with 12wt with Jo Avery of The Stitch Gathering
“Did you know you can use Aurifil 12wt wool thread in your sewing machine? It actually works like a dream and as with embroidery I have never had a thread break while stitching. I use Aurifil 50wt in the bobbin and a size 100 needle (though you can get away with 90 at a push).  For quilting I turn my stitch length up to 4 or even 4.5 and the effect is like a super neat backstitch worked by hand.”

Thread Troubleshooting with Karen L. Miller of Redbird Quilt Co.
“Thread Breakage: If you’re using a large spool of Aurifil thread gently twist and loosen the bottom flange to ensure the thread is not pinched and is allowed to draw easily from the spool. Needle: Old, bent, damaged, or dull needles are trouble. A new needle is the best $1.25 investment you can make in your sewing project.”  

Quilt as Desired with all Aurifil thread weights with Donna Morales-Oemig of Follow That Thread
“Now, whenever I am at a show, someone will ask me ‘What is the best weight to quilt with?’ My answer is ‘All of them.’ I would encourage you to experiment with the thickness of the quilting thread you choose and enjoy the extra design element the thread line gives to your work. As the saying goes, ‘it’s not a quilt until it’s quilted’, so grab a top from your stack of finished ones and treat yourself to a nice spool of Aurifil thread in whichever weight gives the look you like. Happy Quilting!” 

Boro & Sashiko Journal Cover with 50wt and 12wt with Shannon & Jason Mullett-Bowlsby
“This 12wt, 2-ply, mercerized, long-staple cotton thread glides beautifully through any fabric we have stitched on and is less prone to tangling and snarling so we don’t need to use a thread conditioner on it. The stitch definition is bold and clear which is paramount for sashiko.”

Looking to spend some quality time retreating with Aurifil Designers and Aurifilosophers? Karen and her good friend and fellow Aurifil Designer Wendy Sheppard (@ivory_spring) have announced a June, 2023 “Piece and Quilt” Retreat in Quilt Town, USA. You won’t want to miss the lessons shared by this dynamic duo.  Learn more about the upcoming retreat via the button below.

Karen L. Miller, owner of Redbird Quilt Co. is Master Educator for Aurifil, USA, an Aurifilosopher, national educator, author, and cheerleader of all things free motion quilting. She launched Redbird Quilt Co. to share her love of appliqué and show others how free motion quilting on home sewing machines can bring their projects to life. Karen plays with all weights of Aurifil thread and openly contributes her knowledge and experience to the greater quilting community.   When she’s not home enjoying her family and the multitude of songbirds that grace the Finger Lakes Region of NY, you’ll catch her traveling the countryside sharing her passion for quilting with Guilds and Shops alike.

If you’re interested in learning more about free motion quilting on home sewing machines be sure to check out Karen’s websiteprogramstutorialsupcoming events and social media feeds.  Subscribe to Karen’s Newsletter here.

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