June 25, 2019

Summer Solstice Mini Art Quilts | Featuring new to me Aurifloss

Summer Solstice Mini Art Quilts | Shannon Fraser Designs

I shared with you not too long ago why I love Aurifil Threads and in that post I also mentioned that I was thrilled to be part of the Aurifil family as an Aurifil Artisan. 

A perk of being an Aurifil Artisan is getting fun mail that has lots of goodies for me to test out!

And test out is exactly how I’ve decided to kick things off!

Aurifil Artisan Collection 12wt and Aurifloss | Summer Solstice Mini Art Quilts | Shannon Fraser Designs

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I’m sure you’ve seen or heard of Aurifil Floss on Instagram or on Facebook, I know I had, but I hadn’t actually seen it in person or even tested it out.

And since I pledged to share all the insights I garner from my experiments, I thought it fitting to give you a full behind the scenes on my first test!

I’ve had these fun oval drunkard’s path set designed by Papper Sax Sten that I’ve been itching to dive into and give a whirl. So, I figured, why not combine them and go for an all out play day!

Which is exactly what I did the other week!
Now, when I’m getting to know something new, I often do a little test – typically in the form of either an improv block or a pin cushion, cause, well, they’re fun and cute! Plus, it means I don’t have to commit a bunch of materials and time if it doesn’t work out.

Summer Solstice Mini Art Quilt in the works | Shannon Fraser Designs #fiberart #miniquilt

Handmade Summer Fold-over Clutch | Shannon Fraser Designs #weddingstyle
Snapped right before heading out for my brother's wedding!

After digging through my scraps, I found this fun floral and linen leftover from my bag making days. This is still my go-to clutch whenever I need some extra styling for a date night in the summer time! (or, as pictured above, for weddings!) But, I digress. What I love about that floral is how happy it makes me.

And curves make me happy.

As does hand stitching.

So, this became the ultimate trifecta of happiness for me!

Now, let me start by saying, I’ve used a couple of different thread weights in this project.

Close-up of Aurifil thread weights used in the Summer Solstice Mini art quilts | Shannon Fraser Designs #aurifilthread

Mini hand quilted Summer Solstice art quilts | Shannon Fraser Designs #textileart #artquilts

The first is 12wt – which I’m very familiar with having used it to stitch my original Pink Lemonade quilt. Scrummalicious is what comes to mind when I think of that quilt and that thread.

But what I had never tried was Aurifil Cotton Floss - AKA AuriFloss.

This is definitely thicker than the 12wt – by quite a bit. I think most people separate the strands, but I decided to go full hog for a nice and chunky finish! I love those bold stitches! And my trusty needles worked like a charm! It does, however, put more pressure on your hand to pull those thicker strands through the layers, and, with my tendinitis, I can see myself reserving these stitches for accents and smaller projects.

But if you’re in the market for BIG – BOLD – STITCHES – then Aurifloss is where it’s at!

Summer Solstice Mini Art Quilt featuring Aurifil Thread in various thread weights | Shannon Fraser Designs #quiltart

Plus, I’m loving these wooden spools. Totally has nothing to do with the project or outcome of your stitches, but they do make me smile and add a nice stylish accent to my sewing room. Certainly not a con 😉

Since this was a play session, I wasn’t really paying attention to dimensions. It was totally improv and I built it up as I went. I intended to make this into a pin cushion. I was in a little bit of a conundrum when I finished her up and realized she was kinda big. Which got me thinking – is there such a thing as a maximum size for pin cushions? Or is having more room for all pins you accumulate during your quilt project just perfect for this larger size? I reached out to you on IG stories for some insight on this dilemma and here’s where you landed – as long as it’s not an actual pillow (although some of you do use your pillows as pin cushions!!(, all sizes are valid. But while I was mulling my options, I realized I really liked the look of the minis on their own. You know how much I love my modern minis

So, that’s how I left them. And decided to frame them up to show off their cuteness.

Framed Summer Solstice Mini Art Quilts | Shannon Fraser Designs #art


Here’s a round up of all the materials and tools I used to make this mini:

Floral fabric (no longer available)
Pink solid 9000-233 Figo Fabrics 
Orange solid 9000-381 Figo Fabrics 
12wt #2425
12wt #2325
50wt #2021 (for piecing) 
Needles (these work great for both thread weights)
Oval Drunkard’s Path templates from Papper Sax Sten

Since my stash of minis is rapidly expanding, I figured it was high time I start sharing them! If you’re in need of a fun mini art quilt for your home you can find these beauties here and here in the shop.

Summer Solstice mini quilt hand stitched | Shannon Fraser Designs #fiberart #miniquilt

Now, I’m curious to know – have you given Aurifloss a go? And if you have, what’s your favourite way to use this chunky monkey?! Share in the comments below!

Happy quilting!




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