Thursday, August 22, 2019

Aurifil Whole Cloth Quilt Challenge

Did you know you can make tiny pompoms with thread? Yep! This month the Aurifil Artisans were given a whole cloth mini quilt challenge using a solid fabric from Painter's Palette Solids by Paintbrush Studio and Aurifil thread. At the time of sign up, I requested the Aurifil 12wt thread because I had yet to really work with a 12wt thread and wanted to experiment with it. Although I didn't know what color fabric and thread I would get, I was so excited to open my package to see that I received the "Shell Pink" fabric (one of their 2019 colors) and Aurifil thread in color number 2425.
I initially wanted to do something like Sashiko when I first began thinking of ideas because the 12wt thread would work great...but things went on a bit of a bird walk in a whole other direction. Because it was pink (even my martial arts sparing gear is pink) and I've loved pink since I was younger, I got to thinking of my bedroom when I was a tween. One summer while my twin sister and I were away, our mom painted a huge pastel rainbow and animal shaped clouds all around our room. When we got back, we stuck glow in the dark stars up on the walls and ceilings for night time effects (what can I say it was the 80's). That got me thinking further back in our past when my sister and I were in Texas and sitting with another girl on the bleachers and she taught us how to make our first pompoms using cereal box templates when we were 7ish. Flashing back to the present, since I also design 3 dimensional toys and quilts, I felt the need to add something 3 dimensional to this project, but with pompoms it is?!

Now if you really want, you could try making pompoms with 40wt or 50wt thread...but that might take a while! You definitely can make them with Aurifil floss, but I wanted to see if I could make them with 12wt. And it just have to add water!

To make my tiny pompoms I used the 12wt Aurifil thread, Clover 3/4" pompom maker, fabric snips, and water. Each pompom took me about 10 minutes to make. Yes - we timed it. lol. Begin by wrapping your thread around the clover pompom maker so both sides are full. 

Using your fabric snips, carefully clip the threads right down the center of the pompom maker.

Cut two 8" pieces of thread and wrap them together through the center to tie the pompom. I double loop my first tie and then single loop my second tie to make a really strong knot. By double looping the first one, it won't easily come undone before you knot it with the second tie.

Carefully open the pompom maker.

Remove the pompom and notice it is oddly shaped. This is where the water comes in...

Get your pompom wet by pressing the two sides together and really get the water to soak into the center of the pompom. Once the threads are wet, they will relax a bit and fall into place a lot easier. Squeeze out all of the excess water and shake it using the attached strings (remember how you would shake the troll (tm) dolls to make their hair puff out perfectly...pompoms work the same way!).

Once it has a little shape to it - set it somewhere to dry. Once it's fully dry, use your snips to shape the pompom into a pretty little ball. The more you trim off, the tighter the threads will appear and the smaller the pompom will end up being. Some sides of the pompoms will appear shiny but other (and most parts will looks super soft and will even look like yarn.

Because I wanted the quilting and the pompoms to play nicely together and not have one over power the other, I decided to quilt the background with a basic 1/2" grid using the exact same 2425 color in a 50wt (thank goodness I had this exact color on hand - yay!) and placed the pompoms in a basic polka dot or cookie sheet layout. I cannot tell a lie though - I decided it had to be a pillow - so this finished pic is without the pillow form since it was supposed to be a mini quilt. I wanted it also to have a more finished and professional look, so I used some of the left over fabric to add piping around the edge. This simple and quick design will spruce up any little reading nook and add a little whimsy to your home decor.

Now that I have a cute pillow, I think I'm going to need a large quilt to go with it! Who's up for making more Aurifil thread pompoms? Thanks so much for visiting and I hope to see some more Aurifil thread pompom/whole cloth pillows and quilts out there!

Disclosure: I received the fabric and thread to help create my project, but the opinions and comments provided are always my own. There are no affiliate links. Thank you.