Tuesday, May 21, 2019

Anna Maria Horner + Aurifil Showcase!

Hey!  I'm super excited to finally be able to share my project for the Anna Maria Horner (Instagram: @annamariahorner) + Aurifil (Instagram: @aurifilthread) Showcase featuring Anna Maria's beautiful Passionflower collection for FreeSpirit Fabrics (Instagram: @freespiritfabrics)!

Let's get the basics out of the way, and then I'll share more details (plus a few tips)!

Fabrics from Passionflower:  Imposter in Medieval, Migration in Dahlia, & Passiflora in Silver

Thread:  Aurifil 40wt in 1248 (Dark Grey Blue), 2479 (Medium Orchid), & 4241 (Very Dark Grey)

Pattern:  Easy Does It from ByAnnie (Instagram: @patternsbyannie)

For this project, like many of my others, I wanted to match the thread color to the fabric so I added in a few extra colors. :)  My favorite thread for quilting, making bags, and binding is Aurifil's 40 weight Mako Cotton (I do my quilt piecing in 50wt Aurifil).  The 40wt thread is a little more beefy, so it adds definition to the stitches without dominating. When selecting thread, don't forget to choose a needle that is appropriate for the thread and fabric that you are using because it really does make a big difference.  Here's a link to a Aurifil's Product Guide which lists recommendations for needle types and sizes based on the thread weights.

If you've been with me for at least a few posts (or if you follow me on Instagram), you have probably noticed that I have a bit of an affinity for grid quilting, especially when the quilting is set on point.  There is such a beautiful simplicity to it, and it is a great way to add texture without distracting from either the fabric or the pattern.  With the size of the bag and the scale of the prints, I decided to go with a 3/4" grid (I usually use grids between 3/4" and 1 1/4" depending on the project).  I quilted the fabric to the ByAnnie's Soft and Stable® and cut the pieces to size as instructed.

When I am quilting a grid, I like to actually mark the lines rather than using the guide that I can attach to the foot on my machine.  Clover's #5032 Air Erasable Marker (Instagram: @cloverusa) is my favorite tool for most fabrics.  Please note that you should ALWAYS test your fabric + marking tool combo to make sure that you get the intended result.  I love this specific marker because the ink will disappear on its own,  or they can be removed immediately with water using either the eraser on the pen or a spritz of water from a spray bottle.  Factors like temperature and humidity may impact how long the marks will stay, so I like to mark a couple of lines at a time then quilt them right away.  Whenever possible, I also prefer to mark on the lining side of the fabric just to be extra safe.

I find that I have the best results with my quilting if I use a walking foot and a longer stitch length.  The walking foot helps the fabric to move as one unit because pressure is applied from the top and the bottom at the same time.  When using different colors of thread in the top and bobbin, I am extra particular about my thread tension.  If I am sewing with the lining side up, I will often increase the TOP tension VERY slightly (basically the smallest amount that I am able to adjust) so the stitches on the main/exterior fabric look perfect.  The tiny adjustment still allows for the threads to meet in the middle of my "quilt sandwich", but it gives it a nudge toward the lining.  I will fully admit that the change isn't something that most people would notice because it looks excellent without any adjustment, but it's still something that I do.  Maybe try it and see if you think it makes a difference.

Quilting on marked lines with the lining fabric face up in 40wt Aurifil 2479
After I've marked a few diagonal lines (I line up the 45 degree line on my ruler with the bottom edge of the fabric to make it easy for the first line then I use that as a guide for the other marked lines) for my stitching, I start sewing by working from the center toward the edge.  Once that side is complete, I work out to the other edge starting from the center again.  After all of those parallel lines have been quilted, I place my ruler across the piece perpendicular to the sewn line and mark a couple of lines and repeat the process until it's all finished.  If you look closely at the lower left section of the picture, you will notice that the grid is not yet complete.

Main/exterior fabric quilted with Aurifil 40wt color 1248
Remember, this is the side that was underneath when I was quilting (I used the Dark Grey Blue as my bobbin thread).  It looks pretty great, don't you think?

The Easy Does It is a free pattern from ByAnnie (featured in Issue 6 / 2019-2020 catalog) was designed to use 3 fat quarters, so it was great for this challenge.  I love the size of the bag, and I think it would be great for a variety of skill levels especially with their free Add-On Video (the link should be active soon)!

Just to wrap up, I've got a couple of extra pictures for you!

The finished bag interior.  I love the bound seams!

What could be cooler than getting a picture of my finished project with the amazing Anna Maria Horner at Quilt Market?!?!

So now that I've spilled some of my secrets, I hope you may find some of the information helpful!  Much thanks to the wonderful folks at Aurifil and FreeSpirit for providing the fabric and a spool of thread to those of us that participated in the Anna Maria Horner Showcase.  I am so happy to have the continued opportunity to work with Aurifil as I am a returning Aurifil Artisan for 2019-2020!

p.s. (and a reminder to my future self) - lint rollers are only useful if you don't forget to use them to get all of the little bits of charm pack floof out of the interior of your bag before you take a picture!  Oops!

p.p.s. I made the skirt that I'm wearing in the picture with Anna Maria!  It's the Wander Skirt pattern by Gentle Clothing (Instagram: @gentleclothing).

1 comment

  1. This is such a fun bag. I think I am going to make one this week for my daughter to take with her to the hospital when she has her baby in 2 weeks.