Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Winter Color: Aurifil Mini Quilt Challenge

What the world needs is more color!  

Just in time for Minnesota's early snowy wrath, blanketing all in fluffy white cold stuff and encouraging Chips and I into the warm, cozy depths of our sewing room... Aurifil and Kristin Link from Sew, Mama, Sew!  sent over a rainbow pack of Camille Roskelley's Simplify collection with instructions to stitch-up a mini and show-off those fabulous fibers.
Coral, Red, Orange, Yellow, Lime, Gray,
Light Aqua, Teal, Navy, White & Chips

I could not be more puffed up and proud that they picked me...or more in love with this colorful thread bounty they sent!

Chips is excited too.  He only sticks out his tongue when he really likes something.

First let me tell you about the the other challengers.  Some very talented people have taken part.

They are:
  • Geta Gramma of Geta's Quilting Studio.  Her minis (she made two) are amazing!  The intricate quilting makes my eyes get big and my mouth hang open.  I mean, take a look.
  • Vanessa Lynch of Punkin Patterns.  I couldn't help but brag us up at our last Minneapolis Modern Quilt Guild meeting.  Go, team!  Her Thread Block mini makes the Aurifil look like a colored pencil sketch.  And the texture it creates...Oh, my!
  • Amy Gunson of Badskirt.  Her top-stitching over giant record player spiders (45 adapter disks) really shows off the cheery palette.  And that gal can pair prints like a champ!
  • Penny Layman of Sew Take a Hike.  She made the most delicious foundation-pieced mini of retro kitchenware.  I'm totally going to buy the pattern and make one of my own to match my Butterprint Pyrex collection...
  • Lindsey Rhodes of LRstitched.  Her Christmas Snow Star mini is exquisite.  The quilting reminds me of those Scandinavian cookie rollers with trees and gridwork.  With the simplistic color palette, it's the most like my design.
  • Kelie Copas of Craft Nurse Quilt.  Stitched a super mini version of the Greek Cross!  Check it out here.
  • Jennifer Waaraniemi of lea & lars.  She made a pair of delightful Christmas patchwork pillow covers using those fancy stitches that really show-off the luster of the bright-hued thread.
Lime Aurifil for appliqué.

I've worked with Aurifil a few times before this project. (Variegated quilting on a tea cozy and both raw-edge appliqué as well as heavier weight thread stitching for the Pillow Talk Swap.)

The Simplify collection is all 50-weight cotton and it sews like a dream!  I noticed that it's much easier to thread my needles.  And boy did I change threads...

Here's my challenge quilt.   I'm hoping you like it.  It's a rather big "mini" at 20x34 inches.

It's sort of a minimalist affair.  Besides the glorious candy-color Aurifil, (utilizing all except the navy blue) I mixed in a few mini charm squares of Eric and Julie Comstock's Baby Jane, Joel Dewberry's Notting Hill Tartan for the binding, and a Sandy Klop, Happy Campers 4-in-1 print on the back.  I often design on white backgrounds -- perhaps because I live with white housecats, or because I live in a snowy northern state or maybe for the way it showcases color. 

What this quilt needs is more color!

Starting with a few squares of color on a sea of white, I then added a stitch-grid consisting of a single line of stitching on either side of each square.  I liked the result but after stepping back, I realized the effect was too faint.  

So I went back in and added another line of stitching just inside the first and loved the result; so much so that I added a third line.  It's really delightful to watch the colors build and play off one another at the intersections.  After that, I just goofed around with stitching -- filling in the negative spaces with white and pale yellow quilting. 

I'm pleased with the result but it was the playful process that made it worth it...

Like a kid with a pack of crayons. 

I loved working with this thread and have loads of ideas for it.  I hope you come back and visit soon to see some more.

What you need is more color!

This week, they're giving away the big pack of Camille Roskelley's thread over at Auribuzz for Sew, Mama, Sew!'s Giveaway Day.  I have nothing to do with it but I hope you win!  Sadly, the giveaway has ended but you can find your own pack of Simplify at your local quilt shop or online at Thimble Blossoms.  I urge to you to have some fun with bright color this winter!

Good luck and keep stitching!



  1. Thanks so much! I thought about a tutorial but this is the sort of project anyone can do with no instructions.

  2. This is great! You did a fantastic job with the quilting. Cute Christmas tree, too :)

    1. You are sweet! I could not help but take a photo of Skiing Santa because I just love him so much. Look at those long eyelashes!

  3. What a beautiful minimalist mini. I like everything about it!

    1. Thank you! I think I might make an enormous version next year.

  4. Just gorgeous! I would love to see an enormous version of it! But for now you've inspired me to try my hand at some negative space quilting, when i can find the time that is ;)


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