Monday, 10 December 2012

Aurifil Aurifloss Review {& Quilting Gallery Blog Hop GIVEAWAY}


Blog Hop Party with Give-Aways

The Quilting Gallery is turning 5, and to celebrate they're hosting another Blog Hop Party with Giveaways! Last time there were over 200 blogs participating, with some incredibly cool giveaway items on offer.. make sure you don't miss out this time!


I recently completed a quilt for one of my husband's friends as a thank you for helping us when we moved house. He spent a few days welding framework together for some custom desks that my husband installed in his office, and my husband asked me if I could make him a quilt as a thank you gift (Sure, no worries love! Let me just whip that up for you!).

I'd been dying to try out the "Raspberry Ripple" pattern out of Pam & Nicky Lintott's "Layer Cake, Jelly Roll & Charm Quilts" book, which I'd received as a Mothers' day gift. This is the third pattern I've made from the book (and I've now made 4 quilts using patterns from the book, but that's another post!).. anyway, considering the book was an incidental purchase I'm very impressed with it!

My husband's only directive was that "Fritz likes blue".. so straight away I knew that Deb Strain's "Spa" range would be perfect. Not my personal style, but I am SO pleased with how the quilt top turned out. Having said that, I'm not sure that I'd make this pattern again because it felt like I was piecing FOREVER and it wasn't until the very end that I had blocks that were larger than 6.5". It was enormously satisfying to complete, but it seemed to drag on and I think next time (if ever!) I wouldn't bother making all the 9-patch blocks first and I'd just make large HSTs instead. (The effect of the 9-patch blocks is stunning, don't get me wrong.. I just prefer to see tangible progress within a few of hours of piecing, not what took me DAYS over WEEKS of piecing.)

But enough whinging, I really love this quilt and I'm a bit sad to be giving it away.. luckily I know it's going to a good home that will appreciate all the time, effort and love I've put into making it!

Once I completed the quilt top it was time to move onto the larger issue of how to quilt it? My domestic machine has a very small throat space, so the thought of anything other than SLQ was far too daunting, and even that would have been struggle town. I decided to think outside the square and try something I'd never done before.... hand tying!


Being an Aurifil convert (this quilt was pieced with Aurifil 50wt #2024) I contacted the rather debonair face of Aurifil, Signor Alex Veronelli to see if I could try out some of his new Aurifloss stranded cotton.

Aurifloss is a 6 strand embroidery floss made from long staple cotton that is gorgeously presented on a wooden spool. It's suited to all types of needlecraft including cross stitching, embroidery, crochet and applique as well as scrapbooking and hand tying quilts (and many other things I'm sure!).

Alex very generously sent me three spools, and despite this quilt being 64" x 80" I didn't even use a whole spool! So I'm giving one away for one of you to try out :)

Pinned, basted and ready to go!


Having never hand tied a quilt before, I watched a number of youtube videos, googled a few blogs and referred to a couple of books to get a general idea. From there I went with the method where you take a small "bite" of fabric approx 1/4" apart with your needle (I recommend using a wool needle), and then do a little back stitch move where you take a second "bite" (as shown above).


I left "tails" of approx 2-3 inches, which I then tied using a surgeon's knot (which my research suggested was more secure than a square knot). The Aurifloss was a delight to work with. It didn't twist and knot itself while I was trying to feed it through the fabric. It was easy to knot and none of my knots have magically undone themselves - always a good start! I look forward to trying out Aurifloss in my cross stitch and embroidery projects (I just need to stop quilting for long enough to get back to them!).

A close up of my (untrimmed) hand tied knots.

And a closeup of the trimmed, completed ties.


This quilt exceeded my expectations - it turned out exactly how I envisioned it would. I love the clean crispness of the blue and white, it makes me think of Wedgwood china! I think the hand tying was the perfect way to "quilt" it so as not to detract from the overall design, while still keeping the layers secure. As an added bonus, hand tied quilts are supposed to get softer and snugglier as they're washed so it's sure to keep Fritz and Margot warm and cosy on these cold Summer nights (oh wait, you mean it's meant to be warm in Summer? hmm.. I don't think Perth got the memo this year!).

Finished just in time for Christmas...
Now that you've made it to the end of my post, I think you deserve the chance to be rewarded, don't you? I'm offering up a charm pack of Summersville by Lucie Summers and a spool of Aurifloss so that you can try it out for yourself. The giveaway is open from the 10th December until the 17th December (Perth time). The giveaway is open internationally, although I can't guarantee that you'll receive it before Christmas!




81 comments:

  1. just love your quilt. I hope your friend will be very happy with it.

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  2. Thanks for the chance, Tracey :)

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  3. I have not tied a quilt, but I have some quilts made by my grandmother that are tied and I love them! I would love to make a tied picnic quilt. Thanks for the chance to win!

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  4. Thanks for the give a way. Luv the quilt too.
    Lis Martion

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  5. I would be honored to receive your quilt. I have made jean quilts for relatives and hand-tyied them. It just makes that quilt evey more precious and looks like it really took a long time to make and a lot of hard work. Thank you for the wonderful giveaway and helping to celebrate the Quilting Gallery's 5th birthday.

    Sandi T.
    sandit1@sbcglobal.net

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  6. Great quilt! thanks for the chance to win!

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  7. I really want to try hand-tying, it looks great on your quilt!

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  8. I've never tried hand tying. I think it would be awesome to try.

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  9. That is a gorgeous quilt, and I think I may have to look for that book.

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  10. I haven't tried hand tying but have seen quilting friends do it - love the look and must try it - one day! Thanks for the opportunity! :)

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  11. Have never tied a quilt before. But a good friend makes lots of charity quilts that she ties, so one day I'm going to have her show me how she does it. Thanks.

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  12. Oh Trace, it's turned out so so beautiful! You have done an amazing job. Love it xo

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  13. Love the blue and white quilt.
    Thanks for the chance to win. I can't wait ;-)

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  14. The very first quilt I ever made was a tie quilt. A group of friends and I all made memory quilts for each other and they were all tie quilts!

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  15. Blue and white quilts are perfect in every season! Lovely quilt!! My very first quilt years ago was a combination of quilted fan and corner tied with purple threads.

    sowingstitches [at] gmail [dot] com

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  16. I would love to try hand tying a quilt.

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  17. What a striking quilt - can't go wrong with blue and white in my opinion..
    Have tied a lot of quilts - some are just made for it - not only is it an enjoyable task - but it adds another dimension to your quilt. Left another comment earlier but not sure if it arrived. Thanks for the chance to win.
    Mary Lou

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  18. I have never hand-tied quilts, but it seems like a really efficient way of finishing up those UFOs.

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  19. I have made hand tied quilts...and I like them...they have a place. =) Thanks for a chance to win.

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  20. I love your story about this quilt. I'm sure it's much appreciated! I love scrap quilts and a charm package would be great for that. Thanks for giving me an opportunity!
    Best regards from the Netherlands, Marjo B-W

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  21. Love your blog and website! Thanks for the chance to win!
    hand tie gives a quilt that vintage look and feel

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  22. I've never tried it. looks labor intensive. Thanks for the chance to win!

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  23. Lovely quilt I am sure it will be loved , great colors too !!

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  24. I don't even really understand what tying quilts is!

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  25. I would love to win that charm pack, thanks for the giveaway.

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  26. I haven't tried hand-tied quilting yet. It's not something that really interests me at this point. I'm learning to fmq on my machine. Your quilt turned out beautiful! :)

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  27. I never have done one this way. I like the complexity of quilting, but I certainly think there are times when I would use hand tying instead for speed and ease.

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  28. lovely charm pack and thread, your quilt is fabulous! I would like to know how you numbered the comments :)

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  29. I made a hand tied quilt and I tied it with wool yarn. I gave it to my mother.

    ktreve (at) hotmail (dot) com

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  30. I have hand tied a quilt but I am not sure it is any better or worse than machine quilting but I do like the look of it.
    I would certainly use it for other quilt if the style suited it.

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  31. What a great give-away! I have hand-tied small baby quilts and enjoy the process, especially on cold evenings ~

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  32. Just tried my first spool of Aurifil for piecing, love the smoothness of the thread. TIA! B-)

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  33. A very nice give away! And your blue quilt is beautiful!

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  34. Great quilt! Blue is one of my favorite colours. Thinking of doing a jean quilt and tying it.!

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  35. Your blue quilt turned out nicely. I have thought of tying one but always chicken out and quilt them.
    I have never seen those packs of cut fabric in Japan nor have I seen Aurifil on sale here ... though I was once given some by a fellow blogger and it is quite nice to work with.

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  36. That blue is gorgeous as is the pattern. I have tied quilts in the past and they hold up well.

    I did not realize they made an embroidery floss like that. Great idea.

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  37. Thanks for the chance. I have only done the tack by machine.

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  38. What a beautiful quilt, I've tried hand tying once and really enjoyed the process.
    Thank you for the chance to win your great giveaway

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  39. Hello from Minnesota! I look forward to hearing more from you!

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  40. Beautiful quilt! I tied denim quilts years ago for my nieces and nephew. Thanks for the chance to win.

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  41. It's beautiful. I have a collection of Spa FQs and I'm looking for a great pattern for it. Thanks for the suggestion.

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  42. Beautiful quilt, thank you for the opportunity to win.

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  43. I always used to tie but I prefer to FMQ, I love the swirls and quick moving of machine quilting. Thanks.

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  44. I tied a water resistant baby pad one time, I decided I prefer sewn quilts, seems more permanent to me

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  45. I hand tied a mini quilt when my daughter was born - I love seeing her snuggle with it daily in the car!

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  46. Such a sweet gift for your husband's friend!

    Deborah
    pinkscissorsdesign @gmail .com

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  47. Amigo é para guardar no lado esquerdo do peit,e você está lá.Obrigada.Feliz Natal!tiacarminhapezzuto@gmail.com

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  48. Love your quilt! :) Thanks so much for such an awesome giveaway! Happy Holidays to You! :)

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  49. I haven't tried a tied quilt... yet! Never say never though!!!

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  50. I hand tied my DDs wedding quilt. It was a LOT more work than I thought it was going to be.. LOL.

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  51. I hand tied one quilt and hated the process. This thread looks like it would be so much easier to use! Beautiful quilt!

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  52. I have tied quilts but I'm not thrilled with the outcome. The ties have come undone and disappeared inside the quilt or worse have worn through the quilt top and left a hole :(
    Thank you for he chance :)

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  53. I have hand tied quilts. I prefer quilting over tying.

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  54. I would like to try hand-tying a quilt! Maybe I would start with a doll quilt though...Thanks!

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  55. I've never tried tying a quilt, and I don't have any immediate plans to do so. I like machine quilting, so I'll stick with that.

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  56. Never tied a quilt. I always looked at them, especially antique ones. Thanks for the chance.

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  57. Beautiful quilt. I never tied a quilt either. Thanks for the opportunity to win!

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  58. Beautiful quilt. I have tied a few, and I think they are beautiful.

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  59. Lovely giveaway, thank you.

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  60. I have done hand-tying, but it isn't my favorite way to finish off a quilt. But in a pinch it works!

    thanks for the chance to win!

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  61. I've hand tied a lot of quilts/comforters. "It's a lot quicker and when I've tied the comforter I've added lots of batting.
    nicolesender(at)yahoo(dot)com

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  62. I would love the thread and the Summersville!

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  63. Lovely quilt. Merry Christmas!

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  64. My mom always hand tied quilts and for that reason alone I haven;'t been the biggest fan of it. However I did it one time to a baby quilt and it turned out adorable

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  65. Tried had quilting- it is more satisfining (and can be done in front of teh TV), but somehow- machine quilting is more accurate :) Thanks for the great givaway!

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  66. Never hand tied, will have to give it a try sometime. Beautiful quilt. Is the thread you are giving away good for hand quilting? thanks and merry christmas. I follow you via GFC and email. vickise@gmail.com

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  67. I have not tied a quilt!Thanks for the givaway!

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  68. I have hand tied a quilt once - a gift for my nephew, and it turned out really well!!

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  69. Love the color of your quilt. Thanks for the giveaway.
    Happy Holiday!

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  70. lovely quilt. thank you for this chance. hugs Alessandra

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  71. Thanks for the chance!
    Erin
    (p.s.: I'm not sure if you'd be interested or not, but I've started a new bee: Simply Solids: a modern {bee}, and we're looking for Australasia members...here's my blog if you want any more info!
    http://mummyquilts.blogspot.com/2012/11/members-wanted-simply-solids-modern-bee.html)

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  72. Stunning quilt, you did a beautiful job! Thank you for the chance at your giveaway.

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  73. I never have hand tied a quilt...nor have I actually quilted a quilt...so this was a fascinating post for me

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  74. Beautiful quilt!! I will have to try hand tying sometime!

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  75. Great quilt! love Aurafil threads. Thanks for the great giveaway!

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