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Meeting the Aurifil team in Milan

Hello again,  My last post talked about Aurifil products in some detail - in fact my friend Nicky kindly said I sounded like quite a nerd.  However, my main reason for visiting Milan was to meet the team and find out more about the company and its history. Here I am going to share some snippets from my day. Aurifil CEO Elena Gregotti grew up surrounded by the sewing industry.  In 1957 her father Angelo founded Studio Auriga, and the company started producing punched program.  In their neighbouring factory she showed me a vintage multi needle embroidery machine similar to that purchased by her father in post-war Italy. In that period the designs were each individually punched into paper by a manually operated punch, and decorative patterns would...

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My trip to Aurifil HQ in Milan

Recently I spent a day at Aurifil HQ in Milan, invited by the very lovely Brad Mitchell who is the UK sales manager and, as it turns out, grew up just down the road from me in West Yorkshire. During my day in Saronno I learnt about the history of the company, saw the production process at the factory and planned my first collaboration with them at the Craft, Hobby and Stitch show in the UK next February (yippee).  I love Aurifil thread like so many other people out there and bought my first batch from Lisa and Justine at Simply Solids who have a really good supply here in England. I not only use it for quilting but also...

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Yorkshire and Proud Part One - Inspiration from the Local Landscape

I was born in Leeds and though I have travelled a lot in the past, my home is now in Ilkley, on the edge of the Yorkshire Dales.  My friends would say that I have a fairly strong Northern accent and I see myself very much as a Yorkshire lass: I am pretty hardy in cold weather, I love a brisk walk on the wild moors just like the Brontë sisters many moons ago, and I drink a lot of tea.  A lot of my recent quilt art has been directly inspired by the landscape that surrounds my home.  First up are the very famous Cow and Calf rocks on Ilkley Moor. These huge formations are made of millstone grit and...

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#My Liberty - The Edwyn Collins Quilt

The quilt pictured here covers my bed at home and my husband Paul and I sleep under it every night. It features three Liberty prints including Ornithology by Edwyn Collins from the Art Rocks Collection, as well as some remnants from my wedding dress. I made it in 2012 whilst heavily pregnant with my third child, and there is a story behind how and why it came about. I met musician Edwyn Collins and his wife Grace Maxwell in 2011 when helping with an exhibition of his bird drawings at the 108 gallery in Harrogate. I knew his music because of the 1991 hit 'A Girl Like You', rather than his earlier career with Orange Juice.  I had also been greatly...

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Kristin Davis commission - the story

I recently featured in an article in my regional newspaper The Yorkshire Post, partly because of a celebrity commission I made for US actress Kristin Davis.  For those of you who don't live up here in the beautiful North, here is the story. Last summer I was quite new to Twitter and overexcited at the thought of following interesting people who I admire and enjoy hearing about. Sex and the City is my favourite TV series of all time.  I watched it with my lovely friend Johanna at University and later with my husband Paul.  I loved the characters, New York and the costumes by Pat Field. I still watch it now, and I am instantly happy and want to...

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