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Quilting with Sashiko Thread and trying out other new things.

At QuiltCon, I picked up a few new things to try. Whether it was the options as they were presented or my mood, there was clearly a theme to what I bought. I grabbed up many different Sashiko threads to use in my hand quilting.

sashiko thread

To back up a smidge, Riane Elise planted the quilting-with-Sashiko-thread seed after recently reading her book. Her quilting is stunning, and I love how much the contrasting stitches add to a project. To start, I grabbed up some of her recommendations; this sashiko thread, Tulip needles and Bohin marking tools. (I am a sucker for trying new marking tools. It is always a challenge to find a good one!)

After doing some quilting, I’m happy to share a report on the experience.

Threads: Yes! Sashiko threads are glorious to quilt with. They come in an endless array of enticing shades that are a flat color instead of something more glossy like perle cotton. My spool of lemon yellow was first to go, and I immediately ordered more. (That is color #12 if you’re wondering.)

Needles: I have to admit, the Tulip Sashiko needles were a bust for me. I like the length and how they glide through the layers so easily, but the heads break off consistently for me. I’ve done a fair share of big stitch quilting with other needles, and I’ve never had this problem. I’ve since ordered more brands to try, and I’m eager to see how they do!

Thimbles: The Clover Protect And Grip thimble has been my hand-quilting favorite for years. The new thing I tried this time are their Flexible Thimbles that help grip the needle as you move it between the layers. Whereas the Protect And Grip is worn on your middle finger that is pushing the needle along, these grippers can be worn on your index finger and thumb to pull the needle through the fabric. I’ve actually had these sitting around for years, but I hadn’t tried them yet. They are GREAT, and I don’t know why it took me so long to give them a go.

Figuring out the most comfortable size on the Flexible Thimbles wasn’t super obvious to me. Luckily I have all of their sizes (S, M, L), and I swapped in and out of different sizes as I went. After a few hours of stitching, I seem to have it sorted out.

Marking Tool: Bohin Extra-Fine Pencil in chalk and grey leads are surprisingly discrete. I’ll continue experimenting with these. (Always test before using on your own project. No marking tool is perfect.)

Not new, but in use and much enjoyed: Sew Fine Thread Gloss, Kai scissors, Essex Yarn Dyed Linen (pre-washed, very dreamy), Quilters Dream Blend batting and Collection CF backing.

Here are some places to find Sashiko threads, needles and supplies.

Riane Elise (her book describes how to work from a skein of thread too!)


Snuggly Monkey

Bunny’s Designs

Red Thread Studio

Brooklyn Haberdashery

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New Scents with Sew Fine Thread Gloss.

Have you enjoyed using thread gloss as much as I have? Never in a million years would I have imagined how much I’d appreciate using a lightly-scented thread gloss in my projects. Since Sew Fine Thread Gloss and I announced our first collaboration, I knew I wanted to work together on more. I continue to love the product, and I’ve found myself preferring different scents at different times. I don’t know if it has to do with the change of a seasons, the change of a project or what else, but I’m delighted to announce our three new scents!

Each of these scents have carried me through many different projects over the last year or so, and I hope you find enjoyment and helpfulness from them too!

Lemongrass and Leaf Sew Fine Thread Gloss . Carolyn Friedlander

First up is Lemongrass and Leaf, a soothing mix of lemongrass, green tea and white ginger. It is both earthy and bright.

Lemongrass and Leaf Sew Fine Thread Gloss . Carolyn Friedlander

Surely it’s the fact that I grew up around citrus, but the next scent, Lemon Verbena, is also a favorite. It takes citrus notes in a slightly different direction.

Lemon Verbena Sew Fine Thread Gloss . Carolyn Friedlander

It is lemony, herbaceous and very fresh.

Lemon Verbena Sew Fine Thread Gloss . Carolyn Friedlander

Last up is a warmer scent, Golden Blossom.

Golden Blossom Sew Fine Thread Gloss . Carolyn Friedlander

I’m not usually a warmer-scent person, but this one connected with me from the beginning. It mixes golden amber, bergamot and just a hint of sweetness. It has a comforting feel that I like.

Golden Blossom Sew Fine Thread Gloss . Carolyn Friedlander

If additional scents aren’t your thing, which I totally understand, the shop is fully restocked on Natural. It’ll strengthen your threads just as well as the others.

Collaboration with Sew Fine Thread Gloss . Carolyn Friedlander

You can find all of the newest scents in the shop here, the background on why I prefer using this thread conditioner and some other thread tips and tricks here.

Happy stitching!

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Light and Dark Thread Sets with Aurifil.

I have some new light and dark thread sets with Aurifil.

Aurifil Carolyn Friedlander Light/Dark Mix Thread Set

The idea for these sets came about when working on my latest collection. Instead is very palette-focused, and I found myself using predominantly dark threads for not just the visible stuff, but also for the piecing. That got me thinking about how handy (and beautiful) it would be to put together a couple of thread sets that speak to a color palette in a well-rounded and useful way.

Meet my new Light Mix and Dark Mix thread sets with Aurifil.

Aurifil Carolyn Friedlander Light/Dark Mix Thread Set

Both collections are loaded up with a mix of 50wt, 80wt and 12wt cotton threads from Aurifil–a useful mix for many things.

Aurifil Carolyn Friedlander Light Mix Thread Set

I thought long and hard about what would be most useful in a set like this, and I decided that having 2 light shades of 50wt, 3 shades of 80wt and 5 shades of 12wt could give you some great possibilities.

Aurifil Carolyn Friedlander Light Mix Thread Set

50wt is what I like to use for machine or hand piecing, machine quilting and hand basting. Since it’s not always seen, I selected what I think are the handiest options in light and dark ranges. The light mix has a white and my favorite light gray. The dark mix has black and my favorite dark gray.

Aurifil Carolyn Friedlander Dark Mix Thread Set

80wt is my must-have thread for hand appliqué. The fineness of it just disappears into your project. It generally features a slightly more prominent role than the 50wt, and so each set has 3 colors included. The light mix features white, light gray and a light yellow.

Aurifil Carolyn Friedlander Light Mix Thread Set

The dark mix includes black, dark gray and navy.

Aurifil Carolyn Friedlander Dark Mix Thread Set

With the 12wt thread being so great for big stitch hand quilting, there are 5 spools in each set. That gives you some creative options! Whether you’re going for a highly contrasting color or you’re wanting to match things up, the threads that you quilt with can be a wonderful detail full of texture and color.

The light set includes pale shades of melon, peach, lilac, blue and mint.

Aurifil Carolyn Friedlander Light Mix Thread Set

The dark set includes deep tones of hunter green, denim blue, navy blue, plum and spice.

Aurifil Carolyn Friedlander Dark Mix Thread Set

These threads are fun, because light threads don’t only have to be for light projects, and dark threads don’t only have to be for dark projects. Mix it up!

Both of the new sets are in the shop, and I was also able to restock some of my previous collections that are now discontinued. You can grab them while there are some left!

Aurifil Carolyn Friedlander Light Mix Thread Set

Check out Carolyn Friedlander Light Mix thread set for Aurifil.

Check out Carolyn Friedlander Dark Mix thread set for Aurifil.

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