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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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WainwrightAL #2: Tool Updates and Travel.

WainwrightAL #2: Tool Updates and Travel.

appliqué supplies . carolyn friedlander

We’re moving along with week two! I’m seeing some great starts from many of you on instagram, and I’m moving along (quite literally) at QuiltCon in Pasadena. Since this is a traveling week for me and because handwork is super portable, I thought it’d be fun to put a slight travel twist on things. In addition to going over some of my favorite appliqué supplies, I’ll be making note of some of my favorite travel-friendly tips as well!

It’s been a little while since I’ve updated my appliqué tools-of-the-trade post, and really, not much has changed. Those are all still my favorite things, but I do have some updates to add in to the mix.

wainwright quilt appliqué supplies . carolyn friedlander

First, clover clips! With many of my appliqué designs being folded and cut multiple layers at a time, these little clips are super handy for holding everything together. There’s even a new set with a thinner profile, which is just perfect.

I also have an update with the thread conditioner. I’ve always liked it, but I’ve recently decided that it makes a bigger difference than I was maybe willing to admit. Full disclosure, I’d mostly gotten lazy and wasn’t using it as much in recent years. I always would have it with me, and I’d use it occasionally, but I’d generally just fallen out of the habit of using it. It’s an extra step–not a hard step, at all–but definitely a step that is easy to skip when you’re wanting to cruise through a project. When I was making my first Wainwright, I was having issues and decided to give it a try. Immediately I noticed a huge difference. It’s not that I didn’t notice a difference before, but I think that because I basically made Wainwright in a straight-shot marathon, it was much more noticeable how much of a difference it made. It makes it glide through the fabric much more easily. Without it, the thread feels like it’s dragging, not in a super obvious way, but definitely in an obvious way if you’re really in tune to the process.

wainwright quilt appliqué supplies . carolyn friedlander

Another big update is thread! Since my last appliqué supply post, some magical thread things have happened. Aurifil released their 80wt cotton thread, and it is my FAVORITE thread to use for hand appliqué. I still use their 50wt cotton to baste, but 80wt is the only thing I use for the appliqué itself.

wainwright quilt appliqué supplies . carolyn friedlander

And, I’m delighted to have my own appliqué thread set which I put together to cover pretty much all of the major colors you’ll need–or that was my goal anyway. (And I have some in the shop now too.)

Carolyn Friedlander Aurifil 80wt Thread Appliqué

One more new discovery that isn’t pictured is my new Daylight Slimline light. I’ll have to take some good pics once I get my handwork set-up back in order. I started seeing these lights at QuiltCon last year, and I was very intrigued. Unlike most of the sewing lights, they look really sleek. Plus they offer a wide bar of light that you can adjust in all kinds of ways. Eventually, I picked one up, and it sat in the box while I was making my first Wainwright. About halfway in, I realized that I wasn’t seeing things well, and so I opened the box and was immediately kicking myself for not having done so sooner. It is a game changer. It perfectly lit up my project and was easy to orient so that there were no shadows on my work–which was the issue I’d been having with my other lights. Now, I’m a massive convert. It’s worth the investment.

appliqué supplies . carolyn friedlander

To recap, you can read this post about my favorite appliqué supplies here while keeping in mind the updates mentioned above.

+ Thread for project (such as Aurifil Cotton 50wt for basting and Aurifil Cotton 80wt for appliqué)

+ Appliqué needles (such as Clover Gold Eye Appliqué Needles No. 10)

+ Appliqué pins (such as Clover Appliqué Size 12)

+ Large fabric scissors (such as Kai 7230 9″ tailoring shears, or these other favorites)

+ Small fabric scissors (such as Kai N5100 4″ scissors)

+ Removable marking tool (such as Pilot Frixion pen–always test on fabric before using)

+ Seam gauge (such as Dritz Measuring Gauge)

+ Iron

+ Heavy paper or template plastic (for copying template)

+ Thread Conditioner (such as Thread Heaven or beeswax)

Optional supplies: Thimble (I like the adhesive leather pads), needle threader

Finally, here’s a look at the fabrics that I’ve pulled…

carolyn friedlander wainwright quilt along

I’m wanting to go grey…so we’ll see! I think I’ll probably add in some solids too. Maybe.

carolyn friedlander wainwright quilt along

Tips:

+ Fabric tip – Solids vs Prints in appliqué: In general, solids hide less and prints hide more. If you’re new to appliqué, using a print–even a subtle one–can be a little more forgiving than a solid. Of course, if you’re most excited about solids and you’re a newbie, don’t let me stop you!

+ I always travel with my Nest Egg tote, the very first one I made in fact. It’s still going strong, and I really like how I can zip it up and throw it into my backpack. While on the plane, I take it out, and open it up on my tray table and work away.

nest egg tote and supplies . carolyn friedlander

+ Also handy when traveling is a fold-up thread catcher. The one I use was a gift, but I put together a quick tutorial for you that will be coming out tomorrow. Stay tuned…

nest egg tote and supplies . carolyn friedlander

+ The Aurifil smaller spools are my preferred travel-handwork thread, and the smaller version of the Petal Pouch by Noodlehead fits them perfectly.

Carolyn Friedlander Aurifil 80wt Thread Appliqué

+ This tip skips ahead a little bit, but I know that many of you have already started your appliquéing, and so I hope it will be helpful. Inner points in appliqué can be tricky to turn when you’re just starting out. This is easily the step/shape I demonstrate most in workshops, and while it is helpful to see it in action, it’s also a case of practice really being the key to making it easier. I promise! This is also why I like designs like this, because they can give you great practice in tackling such shapes. After doing several of these, you’ll no doubt see improvement. It is helpful to see this step in action, and so I’ll highlight my Appliqué Quilt Top class on Creative Bug–which you can find here. This block has many tricky inner points, which makes it a great one to watch for seeing how to do it. Hope that helps!

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Aurifil Thread Sets in the Shop.

Carolyn Friedlander Aurifil 50wt Thread Favorites

Thread makes such a difference in a project. I’ve known this to be true as soon as I made the switch from using whatever random thread that I had on hand to making a deliberate effort to use what wouldn’t cause me problems. I know, that sounds super obvious, but as I think we’ve all experienced, you don’t really know this until you’ve experienced it first hand.

Carolyn Friedlander Aurifil 50wt Thread Favorites

After trying many types and brands of thread, I landed on using Aurifil for most everything. I discovered that I had fewer problems with tension, thread breaking and overall consistency.

Carolyn Friedlander Aurifil 50wt Thread Favorites

When the opportunity to put together some sets came up, it was an easy decision, because it was already what I was using. My first sets came out a few years ago, and more recently, I’ve been able to put together some new ones, which I’ve finally added to my shop.

Carolyn Friedlander Aurifil 50wt Thread Favorites

The 50wt cotton is my go-to for

+ basting (in appliqué)

+ any piecing (by machine or sometimes hand–although I’ll hand piece with 80wt also)

+ machine quilting

It’s reliably consistent, strong and the colors are beautiful. With the sets, I also try to cover a useful range that can work with many different projects, coordinate with my fabrics and just be pretty to look at.

Carolyn Friedlander Aurifil 50wt Thread Favorites

There’s a larger set with 12 big spools, as well as a smaller set with 10 small spools.

Carolyn Friedlander Aurifil 50wt Thread Favorites

I basically live off of the larger spools, and the smaller spools I find to be handy for travel–or if you’re just wanting a taste of a certain color.

Carolyn Friedlander Aurifil 50wt Thread Favorites

Carolyn Friedlander Aurifil 50wt Thread Favorites

For appliqué, I’m a MASSIVE fan of the 80wt cotton. I do a lot of appliqué, and it is always what I use. Always.

In fact, I was able to test their 80wt thread while it was under development, and I was so hooked that I basically refused to use anything else even if the color didn’t work. At the time, I only had 1 color–which was similar to the cream (top, right) in the pic below, and in using it, I realized that the fineness meant fewer colors could serve a wider range of needs.

Carolyn Friedlander Aurifil 80wt Thread Appliqué

It’s great, because you get the benefits of it being all cotton, but a thinness that totally disappears into your project.

Carolyn Friedlander Aurifil 80wt Thread AppliquéUsing a thinner thread makes you appear more skillful, because your stitches disappear more easily while still being quite strong.

I thought really hard about this set, because I wanted the most essential range of colors that would be ready for most any project you were working on. With handwork being so portable, the smaller spool is great, and having the right mix of colors is even better.

Carolyn Friedlander Aurifil 80wt Thread Appliqué

And by the way, I recently discovered that the smaller petal pouch (by Noodlehead) fits these spools perfectly!

Carolyn Friedlander Aurifil 80wt Thread Appliqué

This last set is a really fun one–it’s a combination of 12wt cotton and aurifloss.

Aurifil 12wt Aurifloss Set . Carolyn Friedlander

The 12wt cotton is great for big stitch quilting. I love the look and feel of textured, colorful big stitches, and this thread just glides through a project.

Aurifil 12wt Aurifloss Set . Carolyn Friedlander

The Aurifloss is great for embroidery or other embellishments, like what I did here on some Crew pincushions.

Aurifil 12wt Aurifloss Set . Carolyn Friedlander

Aurifil 12wt Aurifloss Set . Carolyn Friedlander

All of these sets can be found in the shop, and all of them come with free domestic and discounted international shipping.

Happy sewing!

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Weekend Thanks (coupon) and Shop News.

Aurifil 12wt Aurifloss Set . Carolyn FriedlanderHi! I hope you’ve had a wonderful Thanksgiving–if that’s something you celebrate. Otherwise, I hope you’re settling in to the end-of-the-year season in whatever form that takes on. For me, this time of year is perfect for reflecting on everything that’s happened so far, figure out what I’d like to accomplish in the remaining weeks, and make plans for what to do in the New Year.

Naturally with it being Thanksgiving, I’m also thinking about gratitude, and I thought it’d be a perfect time to say thank you with a shop coupon. From now through Monday, use the code THANKyou2017 for 20% off digital patterns.

I also have some new things in the shop to note.

Carolyn Friedlander Aurifil 50wt Thread Favorites

First up is some of my Aurifil thread sets here.

Carolyn Friedlander Aurifil 50wt Thread Favorites

Included are 50wt cotton options in both small and large spools, plus my favorite–and most essential–appliqué set (80wt cotton), as well as a fun big stitch/aurifloss set that is perfect for all kinds of finishing touches that are both decorative and functional.

Carolyn Friedlander Aurifil 80wt Thread Appliqué

Aurifil 12wt Aurifloss Set . Carolyn Friedlander

Also new to the shop are my very favorite Kai scissors. Because of how important good scissors are in a project, I decided to offer up a few to you. I’m always being asked what I use, and here they are!

Kai Scissors

In each of the listings, I made sure to note what I use each pair for so you’ll have more of an idea.

Kai 7170 ScissorHappy Black Friday, and happy beginnings to the holiday season!

+ 20% off PDF patterns through Monday 11/27 with code THANKyou2017

+ Kai scissors and Aurifil thread now in the shop

+ Free domestic and discounted international shipping on Kai and Aurifil products

Kai 5100 Scissor

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Euclid Dishtowels

Although I made these Euclid dishtowels a little while ago, they’re a fun favorite that I’ve yet to share much about until now.

euclid dishtowels . carolyn friedlander

One of my favorite things about sewing is that there are many types of projects–big and small, fast and slow, handy and decorative. The variety is nice, because you can pair project with your mood and attention span, meaning it’s never really boring, and it doesn’t have to feel like more of a commitment than you’re ready to take on! This dishtowel project is relatively speedy, super handy and quite pretty…if I do say so myself. 😉

euclid dishtowels . carolyn friedlander

To start, Purl Soho always has inspiring projects and tutorials, and it was this one that got me interested in making these dishtowels from my Euclid fabric.

euclid dishtowels . carolyn friedlander

I love that it’s a simple but very useful project. And fabric-wise, it works super efficiently with 1/2-yard cuts. I made 6 because that’s how many pieces are in the collection, but depending on your needs or fabrics, that is very adjustable.

euclid dishtowels . carolyn friedlander

Dishtowels are a great project for playing around with embroidery, and it doesn’t take much. I just did a little bit of stitching in each of the corners. Sometimes I played off of the design in the fabric, and other times I didn’t. You could do as little or as much as you’d like.

euclid dishtowels . carolyn friedlander euclid dishtowels . carolyn friedlander euclid dishtowels . carolyn friedlander euclid dishtowels . carolyn friedlander

The tutorial made it really easy. I love the clean finish of the mitered corners and the usefulness of the hanging loop at the corner.

euclid dishtowels . carolyn friedlander euclid dishtowels . carolyn friedlander euclid dishtowels . carolyn friedlander

This project also makes a nice gift, which is always fun to keep in mind. I like to keep a running list of giftable projects be it just for fun, a birthday, housewarming–whatever. This one can check several of those boxes.

euclid dishtowels . carolyn friedlander

Now that it’s been awhile since making these, I’m ready to make some more!

Tutorial : Classic Mitered Corner Dishtowels by Purl Soho

Fabric : Euclid

Decorative Threads : Aurifloss by Aurifil

euclid dishtowels . carolyn friedlander

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Euclid Double Zip Wallet

This Euclid Double Zip Wallet is a project from Anna Graham’s Handmade Style book, a project that I’ve been super eager to make. It has always looked so clever and handy. Plus, my own wallet has been starting to show its age.

Euclid and Carkai Double Zip Wallet

In this version, I knew that I wanted to showcase my new Euclid fabric along with some of my Carkai fabric.Euclid and Carkai Double Zip WalletEuclid and Carkai Double Zip Wallet

The first part of  picking out fabrics was great, because there are several parts that will be seen, and I always love planning out what to put where and what to put next to what else. (I loved checking out this post on the Fancy Tiger Blog to see some of their interpretations, as well as Anna’s post here.)

Next, the clever construction made for an entertaining sew.Euclid and Carkai Double Zip Wallet

Plus, there are some really fun detailing opportunities when it comes to the zippers and closure tab. (I got my zippers at Zipit and the snap is Dritz.)

I used metal snaps instead of magnetic, because that’s kind of been my snap mood lately. (Anna has an awesome snap tutorial here, which I have bookmarked and use every time I need to install one.)Euclid and Carkai Double Zip Wallet

So yeah, there she is. The pattern is from Anna Graham’s Handmade Style book, and the fabrics are Euclid and Carkai.

But wait, there’s more…

Since making just one wasn’t enough, and since I knew that the first one would be more of a display item until Market, it was too easy to justify making a second one for myself to start using immediately and everyday.

euclid tangerine double zip wallet

On mine, I decided to add a little embroidery to the tab with my favorite color–Aurifil #1104–the neon orange in their 12-wt cotton. Such an amazing color…

euclid tangerine double zip wallet

I can’t say enough good things about this pattern and the final product. It’s such a smart pattern, and the end result is so incredibly useful. You can really stuff all of your essentials into it–cards, cash, lip gloss, phone–which is why on this version I also added a D-ring (see upper left in above photo) in case I ever want to clip on a strap and carry it around solo and hands free.euclid tangerine double zip wallet

Fabrics for my version include pieces from Euclid and Carkai, plus a little bit of Rashida Coleman Hale for Cotton + Steel.

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Auri-awesome.

Big news today.

 

Botanics Aurifil Thread Set_Carolyn Friedlander

 

I have been so excited about this. 

I consider myself pretty predictable in what strikes my fancy. If it has anything to do with sewing/quilting/making, there’s a good chance that I’m a fan of it–especially when it comes the most important basics that we use every day like fabric and thread. 

 

Fabric is an easy and obvious favorite. The tactile textures, enticing designs, and glorious colors suck all of us makers right in. But thread is super important, too. It may not always be the face of our projects, but it is what holds them together, and that is really important.

 

Not all thread is created equally, either. I’m glad to have learned that little secret early in my quilt-making journey, and as a result, I know that I’ve spent less time dealing with thread issues.

 

Here’s my disclaimer. Before I ever put together this thread set, I have been an Aurifil girl, 100%. This thread works for me and my sewing machine whether I am machine piecing, hand piecing, or machine quilting. Since realizing how much easier my life is when I’m using the right thread, it has been the only thread that I use.

 

My sister recently started to dabble in quilting. She surprised me last year by putting together a top, her very first, using architextures. Here it is.

 

  laurie hall_architextures quilt

 

She’s good, right?! The problem is that she was almost completely turned off from the process, because she struggled with thread the entire time she was making this. She didn’t realize how important good thread was and used thread that she found at a big-box store. Because of that, she couldn’t sew one continuous seam without the thread breaking. I would have quit quilting right then if I had to deal with that. I’m really glad that she persevered. Now, after having told me about her experience, she’s been let in on the good-thread secret. There are no substitutes on some things, and thread is one of them.

 

Aurifil Thead Meets Botanics_Carolyn Friedlander

This is why it has been such a dream to work with Aurifil and Robert Kaufman to put together this custom thread set. For this one, we went in the direction of coordinating with my current fabric line, botanics, but these are also many of the colors that I use OVER and OVER again. That flame color, top and center, is one I should have a massive cone for considering how much of it I’ve gone through over the years. Many of the others are that way too.

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The other thing I really wanted in this particular set were some greens that would work with the green/teal prints in the fabric line. I found those to be a bit of a challenge to find the right match when I was putting together my first few projects. The greens in this set coordinate perfectly with those prints.

.

We’ve got a big-spool set with 12 colors…

Botanics Aurifil thread set_large_carolyn friedlander

…as well as a small-spool set too, with 10.

Botanics Aurifil thread set_small_carolyn friedlander

I think that you can expect to start seeing these in shops soon as soon as March. I’m actually working on building a little shop for my site, so I’ll make sure to stock some here as well.

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