Sunday, 10 July 2011

In which Lynne learns about Aurifil - part I

I mentioned a couple of weeks ago that I was interested in finding out more about Aurifil threads.  The name has been cropping up all over blogland for a while now as the thread everyone seems to use and I hadn't tried any.  So, I have got my hands on some and will take you through a series of posts as I try out the different weights.  For all you super experienced quilters out there, I may often state the mind blowingly obvious during these posts because I am still a very new quilter and still have a lot to learn.  So please do correct me. provide me with more information and insight, tips and hints.  I particularly like to know what threads people like to use for different sewing tasks: machine piecing, hand piecing, straight line quilting, FMQ, hand quilting, machine applique and hand applique and I will be trying to find my favourites for each of these.  I also like to know what size and type of needles you use those threads with. what issues you've had and how you resolve them.

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So the first thing I found out (and of course you all know this already but I didn't) was that there is a series of thread weights and the spools are colour coded.  Starting from the left, grey is 28wt, green is 40wt, orange is 50wt and red is 12wt which comes in cotton or wool.  I'm going to try these different threads out one by one using them for different purposes and projects and will start with the orange 50wt.  Here four different spools are modelling in front of my chubby dresden block which will shortly be a new LQ tute.  I sure do love a chubby dresden.  There's a sentence you don't hear every day of the week.

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Firstly, what did you tell me.  The main message I got in the comments on the last post is that people's favourite Aurifil thread is the 50wt, that it is wonderfully fine, goes through your machines like butter and leaves very little lint.  Aurifil recommend this thread for machine piecing, hand applique, hand piecing, fine detail machine quilting so that you do not get a build up of thread bumps where you are going repeatedly over the same small area and machine quilting where you want the thread to disappear so that the texture made by quilting the fabric becomes the feature.  I will be trying the 50wt out for each of these tasks over time and will let you know how I get on.  I have some piecing to do today so will be starting there.

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One thing to add here is that, like for Kona and Moda Bella solids, Aurifil make colour cards, one each for the cotton and wool threads. I cannot imagine life before my Kona, Moda Bella and Aurifil colour cards.  Again, not a sentence you hear every day of the week.  Here is Britain's next top model demonstrating that the Aurifil cotton colour card is nearly as big as a small child - who is not yet dressed, hasn't done her teeth, hasn't had her breakfast and is probably now watching tv and doing Hama beads but then it is the weekend.


And finally, if you want to get your hands on some aurifil thread, you can find stockists on the Aurifil app (just go to the app store, type in "aurifil" and you will find it).  The app gives you information on where to buy it online in your country and where your nearest bricks and mortar stockist is.

And one sneaky little final question for anyone who has read this far, if I could get my grubby hands on some Aurifil for you, would you prefer one big prize where on person wins something outrageously wonderful like the Aurifil suitcase (I'm making no promises here about what I might be able to persuade Aurifil to let me give you!) or several smaller prizes so we have several winners.  BTW, If you haven't seen the Aurifil suitcase, take a peek at this:

54 comments:

  1. I didn't realize that Aurifil was special until you mentioned it... that probably tells you how much of a newbie I am :) I use the 50wt for everything because that's what my LQS sells but it does work much better than some of the random threads I've tried every once in a while. Now I want/need a colour card... off to start searching.

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  2. Aha, I knew it, you really don't sleep! x

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  3. I use Aurifil now and so far it hasn't given me any problems. From a purely selfish view I would prefer smaller prices as I live in France and you would probably ship small prices but not a great big suitcase!! Linda

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  4. OMG the Aurifui suitcase is a dream come true, but I won't be greedy and will not be wonton if you want to divide it up and share it with many!

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  5. Divide and rule baby, divide and rule!

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  6. I of course have heard about Aurifil and its wonders before but haven't really had an urge to test the thread as I am kinda a Gueterman thread girl. But I like to try new things so I just ordered myself the colour card as a start.......a girl cannot have to many colour cards.As to a potential give away...the selfish me says "Suitcase" but as I have had no luck with giveaways in the past 6 months I have to say lots of smaller presents would be increasing chances for everybody.

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  7. I've been following Aurifil's progress on Facebook - looks like it's a really good product and of course, it would be lovely to have the suitcase full - but let's not be greedy!!

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  8. I have been using auriful for about 2 years now and love it; sharing with many would be fun.

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  9. I think smaller prizes and sharing the bounty would be wonderful. I asked my lqs about aurifil and they didn't have a clue what I was talking about.

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  10. Thanks for the post. Look forward to hearing how it is to work with. I think smaller prizes would be better to give more people the opportunity to try rather than just one.

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  11. I've been using Aurifil threads since I started quilting, about 10 years ago.
    The 50wt is my favorite and I use it for hand/machine piecing, applique, etc. The thread melts into your fabric, and makes especially hand piecing very accurate. When hand piecing I use size 12 or 11 sharps. It lasts a long time, so even though it's a bit more expensive than other brands, it's good value. I love it!

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  12. Does the Aurifil case come with Aurifil man?

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  13. Great idea, really look forward to your reviews. I've only tried the 40wt because that's what my LQS stocked, but next time I'll try out the 50wt.

    And please don't apologise for stating the mind blowingly obvious - if it is something we already know it makes us feel like we know what we're doing and we love that!!

    Prize wise - I think a mixed pack where the winner can try out the different threads in the range would be great. Ooooh so would one of the colour cards as it's something I wouldn't normally indulge in.

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  14. Plus Britain's next top model stands a good chance of winning as she looks pretty darn pretty in a dressing gown and un-brushed teeth

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  15. I've heard of Aurifil, but not had the chance to try it yet. At the moment I'm using Bottomline for everything and it works really well. I don't think I'd find room in my little sewing room for the suitcase, so smaller prizes would be best. If it did come with the Aurifil man he'd have to keep quiet though as his accent was driving me round the bend!

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  16. I haven't tried this thread so I will be interested in your opinion Lynne. I machine piece but so far haven't had much success with machine quilting - at the moment I'm a convert to big stitch quilting with cotton perle because it has suited the quilts I have been making. Small prizes please!

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  17. hi lynne!
    i'm looking forward to your test results.
    i've never tried aurifil (yet), because i hadn't seen it in more local (online) shops and i refuse to pay on bigger boxes' shipping costs from the u.s. (so thanks for the tip with the app!)
    but i've tried several other thread brands. my favourite so far is superiorthreads's 'masterpiece' (machine piecing & quilting, 100 % cotton, 50 wt) and 'Oh so fine', an even thinner thread which is from polyester (?) but just a dream to piece with; also their 'king tut' cotton thread (variegated) is great, but you really have to stick with a top stitch needle (size 90) to prevent skipped stitches.
    if i can't get the mentioned above, i can always get gütermann thread, but it's only 40 wt (at least the 100% cotton i can get here), and i'm not much a fan of thicker thread.
    for hand appliqué, i LOVE a french thread, which says 'fil a gant, cotton glacé, au chinois' which is quite thin but also strong because of the waxing coat. another choice is yli silk thread, but there your have to take care not to break it.
    for hand quilting, i love yli handquilting thread (and the french appliqué thread, too!).
    oh, now i've spammed your comment section full enough, i'm going to find some aurifil thread to test myself! :)
    have a great sunday,
    julia

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  18. Your initial post intrigued me so much that I went ahead and ordered a little spool to see for myself! I just started using aurifil 50 in natural to piece ... it's so fine you (I) can sew a scant 1/4" like a dream ...

    My top tip for threads in general is that to use the correct needle size for the thread weight/brand you're using. It makes a big difference, and can make cheaper threads do the job much better.

    As Flying Blind says ... Divide and Rule baby!
    Michelle @ thequiltedtortoise's idea of a selection of weights is really nice too ....

    Can't wait to see how you get on ... Yay! Thread obsession ... woot!

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  19. Very informative as I knew nothing about aurifil. I like the idea of your 'which' type trials and reporting back to us - good work Lynne! But what are hama beads? Your daughter is so cute and cuddly-looking in her dressing gown!

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  20. Yes, please test all the Aurifil threads and then tell me what I need to be using :)
    Be a crowd pleaser and share among the masses!

    Dare I admit to being totally clueless about Apps?!!

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  21. The thread sounds great. would love to try it and see. I like the many winners way ! Lots of people getting to try it out. thanks!

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  22. You have piqued my interest in Aurifil threads and I will be asking about them at my LQS. I've not seen them before, so your post was great.

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  23. Great post. I've also been hearing a lot about Aurifil but am a complete virgin as far as it is concerned. Thanks for lesson 1. Smaller prizes would be good, especially for the likes of me who would be keen to try it out without having a shed load to get through! Jxo

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  24. Love this post as I have only recently learned that different size threads makes such a difference. (Being a new, self-taught quilter and all.) I have learned that 50 wt thread should take a 80 needle and a 40wt thread, a 70 needle. That has been helpful (maybe this is obvious to other folks?)
    At any rate, a giveaway would be lovely and I say divide the loot! :)

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  25. thank you for the Aurifil lesson, Lynne! I really like the fat stuff when I quilt most of the time. I like to be able to see the thread. I wonder what that says about me?

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  26. p.s. Since I like things big, I'd definitely go for the one big crazy prize if I were you!

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  27. I'm slowly moving towards Aurifil. I don't have a quilt shop close that keeps a variety of colors in stock. Those kits are just dreamy!

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  28. Several smaller winners would be great! I love Aurifil for FMQ my quilts!

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  29. School's in session for all of us! I think spreading the wealth is the best idea.

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  30. I love seeing the beautiful quilt hanging on the wall behind your lovely model. What are Hama beads?
    I have used the 50wt Aurifil thread for piecing for years and absolutely love it. Our LQS do not carry any other weight so I will be looking forward to hearing what you have to say about them.
    The suitcase of Aurifil is gorgeous, but in truth, do most people have a need for that many colors of thread? I bet many of the spools would languish in their special drawer for years. I have to admit, if I won it, I would open it up every day and stand before it like an altar and just marvel at all of the colors.
    Better to have multiple winners to avoid idolatry.

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  31. The suitcase would be wonderful to have, but I think that having a bunch of smaller prizes would be nice. I say, spread the wealth around, make as many winners as possible!

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  32. I'm sorry Lynne-a, I'll have-a to rea-a it agai-a some other day-a
    This Italian bloke-a is-a making me-a laugh-a BIG-A TIME-A
    I love-a his accent-a
    LOL

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  33. I'm also an Aurifil newbie, having won some last year. I find that the Aurifil 50 wt thread seems thinner than other brand's 50's. (I think I read somewhere that it's a different in how it's finished). I've used it successfully for piecing, machine quilting and hand applique. My only negative experience was thread breaking when I was working on combining blocks for a QAYG.

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  34. that suitcase is absurd-- no one needs that much thread!

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  35. Split it up for more winners!!!

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  36. I haven't tried Aurifil yet. With the search feature on the Aurifil app for my iPad I found out there is a quilt shop close to me! Thought they had all closed. So will have to make a trip over and get some to try! I think several smaller prizes would be nice--spread the wealth!
    Donna in NW Florida

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  37. Since I already won four sppols from Erin Russek's blog giveaway, I think you should split it up and make lots of people as happy as I was.

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  38. I have been trying to find these in the Uk very hard !
    Would love to try all the different weights ,as I am sure lots of others would . vbg:)
    Jac

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  39. I have pieced with 50 wt with a size 70/11 machine needle for years and I will never go back! Love 30 wt for free motion and straight line quilting with a 90/14 Inspira quilting needle. The suitcase is impressive, maybe we could share, though!

    Oh! I also use the wool for wool applique (by hand). I've never tried it through my machine, but I bet it would be LINTY.

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  40. For half a year now I have converted to aurifil threads - I've yet to try the wool though but I use the 50 wt and 60wt for piecing and the 40wt and 28 wt for quilting and the 12 wt for stitchery. I would love to get my hands on a colorcard for the threads.
    I love grand prizes but I think sharing will reach more people to try Aurifil thread and get them hooked!

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  41. So glad to read this, especially about the 50 weight. Also thanks for the tip on the app. I'm just moving this weekend and really don't know anywhere in my new location (well, I have made one discovery about a very large, well-stocked quilt shop not far from here). The app will be quite helpful!

    Oh, and I guess I'd rather see lots of winners rather than one grand prize. You know, share the love and all that. ;)

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  42. I'm looking forward to your posts about Aurifil! As for a giveaway, I'd say let more people win.

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  43. Oh spread the joy. Lots of little surprises rather than one big one.

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  44. Love, love, love Aurifil! Especially 50wt! Use it for machine piecingm it's so fine, use it for free motion both on the domestic and on the frame. I'm not an applique fan, but i'm sure it would be perfect for this too :) Yes, I'd love one of Alex's suitcases, but I think you need to spread the love around :)

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  45. WHOA NELLY, gimme the SUITCASE!! LOL But yes, like others before me have said, it would be nice to spread the love around a little!! HA I LOVE Aurifil!!!

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  46. terrifc thread color card is great and sharing is better

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  47. I think spreading the love is the best way to go - that way lots of people can try Aurifil!

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  48. Since I'm going to win, the suitcase please :) Ha, right, I wish. I think sharing with as many people as possible would be delightful.

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  49. I recently purchased some aurifil and I'm looking forward to trying it. Lots of winners sounds like fun.

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  50. I have never seen Aurifil at the store, but perhaps I haven't had my radar out looking for it. I would love to try it. If you divide the give-away, perhaps there is a better chance for many to win.

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  51. I like the 50wt and also have some of the variegated for machine quilting... I don't have one the color charts but buy a dark gray, light gray, white and off white for piecing...

    I would prefer more smaller prizes...maybe by color? or a set of different colors? More winners, more smiles!!

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  52. you know...one thing I don't like about Aurifil is using it for hand piecing...it seems to twist and knot faster than gutterman... just my opinion...

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  53. I've been absent from blogland for a while (both reading and blogging) so this is the first I've heard of these threads. Thanks for bringing them to my attention, I think I will have to go and investigate. I do love to have a good excuse to stash and quilt :)

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