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A New Leaf: Color for all Seasons

April 29th, 2013

I have a friend called Jean. She comes over to my studio once a week to help me out - doing whatever needs to be done. For the longest time, she kept telling me "You need to design a quilt for Fall." And for the longest time, I kept telling her "No I don't!" Given what I'm about to share with you, you can tell who won!

I'd like to introduce you to "A New Leaf: Color for all Seasons". Not only a quilt for Fall, but also one for Spring, Summer and Winter too.

A New Leaf: Color for all Seasons

You can see all of the "official" photos by clicking here

Below are some of the "unofficial" photos, most of which were taken while I was quilting the pieces in this collection.

Spring

Spring

Spring

Spring

Spring

Spring

Summer

Summer

Summer

Autumn/Fall

Fall

Fall

Fall

Fall

Fall

Fall

Winter

Winter

Winter

Winter

Winter

Winter

Leave me a comment below and tell me - which is your favorite season from "A New Leaf"?

Are you feeling inspired to make your own? Click here to purchase the pattern.

Sarah


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Sedona Star Quilts

November 29th, 2012

Are you a member of TheQuiltShow.com, with Alex Anderson and Ricky Tims? If you are, you will probably know that I designed the 2012 Block of the Month quilt for them, Sedona Star.

Sedona Star by Sarah Vedeler

The quilt is 88" x 88", and actually splits up pretty nicely to be create a month at a time for 12 months. Two color-ways were made - the "bright" version (above) and a "naturals" version (below - pieced, appliquéd and quilted by Lisa Sipes). 

Sedona Star by Sarah Vedeler

I have loved looking at the Show and Tell on TheQuiltShow.com, and watching a number of quilts coming together - using all sorts of color schemes. Click on the image below to watch the "Smilebox" and see how beautiful these quilts are turning out to be!

Sedona Star by Sarah Vedeler

Leave me a comment and tell me - which is your favorite of the 17 quilts in the Smilebox?


Category: Miscellaneous | Read 12 Comment(s)

Sarah's European Adventure - Part 9

November 21st, 2012

The AURIfil Twisting Process

The twisting part of the process happens off-site, away from the main AURIfil factory. It turned out to be an outing for not just me, but also for Roberta, Dario and Elly, none of whom had seen this part of the process before.

As soon as we arrived, Alex went off to find Dario, one of the owners of the company that does the twisting.

The AURIfil Twister

Lots of machinery in this place - and it was pretty loud too!

Thread arrives from the spinner in single strands. The final weight of the thread depends on the thickness of the strand. The 4 weights of thread that AURIfil makes are all 2 ply - i.e. they all consist of 2 strands. But the strands that make up the 50 weight thread are a lot finer than the strands that make up the 12 weight thread!

Before twisting of two strands can occur, the thread first needs to be "doubled" - i.e. two strands are put together. Hence, two cones of strands are on the right hand side in the photo below, and they are "doubled" onto one cone on the left hand side.

The AURIfil Twister

Two strands are coming down in parallel.

The AURIfil Twister

The yellow ended cones of doubled thread are then sent to the twisting machine.

The AURIfil Twister

The twisting machine...

The AURIfil Twister

The twisting machine takes the double thread (i.e. two strands) and literally twists it to form the thread that you use.

The AURIfil Twister

Closeup... the rate that the drum spins determines the amount of twist in the thread. 

The AURIfil Twister

After the thread has been twisted, it is steamed to fix the twist. If it wasn't steamed, it would untwist. 

The AURIfil Twister

The cones that the twisted thread is wound on have holes in to allow the steam to penetrate all the way through.

AURIfil Twisting

After the thread has been twisted, it is singed to remove the tiny hairs that are on the thread. 

The AURIfil Twister

The thread passes directly through a flame...

The AURIfil Twister

The speed of the machine determines how long the thread is exposed to the flame. The finer the thread, the faster it goes through the flame.

The AURIfil Twister

After it has been twisted and singed, the thread is wound into hanks which are then sent to the dyer.

The thread is hooked onto the front roller... 

The AURIfil Twister

and then the machine starts up...

The AURIfil Twister

The AURIfil Twister

The thread is then separated and tied into bundles...

The AURIfil Twister

Which are removed from the machine...

The AURIfil Twister

The AURIfil Twister

Packed into bags, labelled and sent to the dyer.

The AURIfil Twister

When the thread has been dyed, it comes back to the twister where it is wound back onto 1kg cones that are sent back to the AURIfil factory to be wound onto spools.

The AURIfil Twister

Unlike the AURIfil factory, which is in an industrial area, the twister is out in the countryside!

The AURIfil Twister

I hope you've enjoyed this journal of my visit to Europe. I've certainly enjoyed telling you about it!

I wish you a very happy Thanksgiving!

Sarah


Category: Miscellaneous | Read 3 Comment(s)

Sarah's European Adventure - Part 8

November 20th, 2012

Winding - getting the thread onto the spool

Before it is wound onto spools of various sizes, the thread is stored on cones, each one weighing in at 1kg (2.2lbs). 

AURIfil Winding Process

There are machines for winding small spools (including the wooden ones).

AURIfil Winding Process

There are machines for winding large spools.

AURIfil Winding Process

Closeup...

AURIfil Winding Process

AURIfil Winding Process

AURIfil Winding Process

AURIfil spools are cross wound (the other option being stack wound). This is the part of the machine that achieves the cross wind - the thread runs through a groove on the black "wheel". The wheel is the same width as the spool and the groove feeds the thread onto the spool so that it goes from one end of the spool to the other - over and over again.

AURIfil Winding Process

The blue buckets catch the wound spools as they pop out of the back of the machine.

AURIfil Winding Process

There are three main processes that take place to create the thread that is wound onto the spools: 

  • spinning the raw cotton.
  • twisting the spun cotton - all 4 weights of AURIfil thread are 2 ply, which means that they consist of two strands of thread twisted together.
  • dying the twisted thread.

It wasn't possible on this trip for me to see the spinning or the dying processes, so it looks like I may have to go back to Italy to see those! I did get to see the twisting process, so that will be up next.


Category: Miscellaneous | Read 1 Comment(s)

Sarah's European Adventure - Part 7

November 19th, 2012

The AURIfil Warehouse

As you might imagine, there is a LOT of thread stored in the AURIfil warehouse. It's the kind of place that I'd like to have next door, or just down the street, so I could stop by to pick up thread whenever I need it!

I didn't realize before that there are two sizes of cone. Each shelf houses one color - in all 4 different weights: Orange = 50wt; Green = 40wt; Grey = 28wt; Red = 12wt.

AURIfil Warehouse

Standing back a bit...

AURIfil Warehouse

Of course there is a way to reach the thread up on the top shelf...

AURIfil Warehouse

I think Alex likes to get to play with the fork lift!

AURIfil Warehouse

Upstairs in the warehouse are the more familiar boxes of large and small spools.

AURIfil Warehouse

Green = shelves and shelves of 40 weight thread organized in color number order.

AURIfil Warehouse

Orange = shelves and shelves of 50 weight thread organized in color number.

AURIfil Warehouse

This is Giorgia who is in charge of creating all of the kits that AURIfil sells.

AURIfil Warehouse

Looks like she's been pretty busy here!

AURIfil Warehouse

A stack of Silk Hearts kits ready to be shipped off!

AURIfil Warehouse

Each spool of AURIfil thread is individually wrapped. It gets fed into the machine...

AURIfil Warehouse

... which pops it into a plastic bag ...

AURIfil Warehouse

and pops out the other end with all the air sucked out.

AURIfil Warehouse

Boxes of shrink wrapped thread!

AURIfil Warehouse

When the large and small spools are sold to the stores, they are sold in boxes of 6 (for the large spools) or 10 (for the small spools). These boxes are packed by hand. If a spool doesn't meet the exacting standards, it doesn't get packed into a box.

AURIfil Warehouse

There are various stages in the process of making a spool of thread. Today you've seen what happens to the thread when it is on a spool. Tomorrow I'll show you the winding department at AURIfil - the process of getting the thread onto the spool.


Category: Miscellaneous | Read 5 Comment(s)
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