Sew Karen-ly Created...

If you have arrived here via a link (such as to a tutorial) click on "Sew Karen-ly Created" to return to the latest blog post. I invite you to my website to see a gallery of quilts and patterns available for purchase. Pictured is "Red Work Strippy", from the book Canadian Heritage Quilting.
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Wednesday, 29 July 2015

I am Auri-filled :)

I've been playing with Aurifil thread over the past few months, and I have to say I really like it.  This Italian thread is super-fine, totally lint-free, and is a pleasure for both hand and machine sewing.  I've stitched up a ton of samples in all the different weights, and even tried it out on silk.
This is the Mako 50 weight and it looks lovely on dupioni; I would not hesitate to use this cotton thread for quilting my silk projects.
 The sheen of the thread is a nice complement to that of the fabric.
I also went through my (ahem...rather extensive...) thread collection and selected 3, 50 weight cottons to compare to the Aurifil. As you can see, the colours aren't a match but it gives a general idea of how the threads perform.  Mostly where you can see the difference is in the thickness of the centre stem, where I travelled back and forth the same number of times.  The Aurifil is in the top left corner. Because the thread is finer, the travel lines blend in and don't show as prominently when you are doing free motion.
It's fun to see the difference in the 4 weights of the cotton Mako thread, running from the finest (50) to the heaviest (12).  By the way, the weight number assigned to a thread is actually a length measurement:  in a 50 weight thread, 50 kilometres weigh one kilogram.  In a 12 weight thread,  12 kilometres weigh one kilogram.  Therefore, the smaller the number, the thicker the thread. It's the opposite in sewing machine needles, where the smaller the number, the thinner the needle so if you remember that, it's helpful when you are matching needle to thread.  A 12 weight (heavy) thread needs a 16 (large) needle.
I am working on designs using the various weights of thread, both for publication and for workshops, and have ordered in some Aurifil thread for sale. So far, I have the basic colours in the 50 weight, as well as a few variegated spools. This is a great thread for both piecing and quilting.
If you are in the area and feeling "unaurifilled", drop me a line. There will be more colours arriving soon, as well as different weights.
Oh...and by the way...if you are wondering what "Mako" means, well...I was too.  I was pretty hopeful it had nothing to do with sharks (even though that's what came up in my Google searches) so I emailed Alex Veronelli - Mr. Aurifil himself- to ask! He very graciously answered that "mako" denotes a particular extra-long staple cotton variety from Egypt. The longer staple gives a stronger thread, which can be very finely spun.  The name Mako derives from Mako-bey, in whose garden a cultivar of this cotton was discovered.
Aren't you glad I asked? :)


  1. Indeed I am! I like Aurifil, especially the cotton Mako 40 for machine quilting - been using it for several years, and 50 for hand piecing.

  2. Love the thread but the craftsmanship also!

  3. I'm glad you asked Karen. I wondered about the origin of the name.