A Challenger Appears: Wonderfil Invisafil vs Aurifil Monofilament

Friday, June 16, 2017

At this past Quilt Market in St. Louis, my friend Jessee introduced me to a brand I wasn't familiar with: Wonderfil. Not Aurifil. Wonderfil. (My reaction to the name.) Okay.

Jessee convinced me to check out the booth for their 12wt "Spagetti" (she said it makes pretty top stitched details and I'll check this out in a future review), but it was the Invisafil that I ended up talking to Calista, Wonderfil's marketing director, about at length. She had asked me what I like to quilt with. Easy! Aurifil's monofilament is BAE. That's when she pitched me InvisaFil as a superior alternative for quilting, applique, and piecing. (My reaction.) It's going to take a lot to make me abandon my boo! She gave me a pastel mini pack (six 400m spools) of InvisaFil to take home and put to the test, along with a pre-wound InvisaFil bobbin.

I jumped into testing it when I got home, so let's go over how it performed for each test.

Test 1: Will it blend? 

The primary reason I use invisible thread is to do away with the pain (and cost) of color matching thread to fabric. My first indication that InvisaFil might not be an apples-to-apples comparison is the fact that it comes in sixty colors. (MRW when I was told an "invisible" thread comes in sixty colors.)

So if that hasn't tipped you off...I wouldn't call this an invisible thread at all. When I went to stitch an orange applique piece, none of the thread colors in my mini pack blended well. Clearly color matching is still in play, which is something I was hoping to avoid.

To me, a thread that is marketed as "invisible" should adequately (not perfectly) blend with a wide range of fabric hues. Wonderfil has a different take on it. Calista says in her email:
"Monofilament threads in the market today are available only into two shades, clear or smoke, which don’t cover the breadth of all the different fabric colors. And also due to the nature of the material it looks 'plastic-y’ to some people and reflects light, which are characteristics we want to move away from when using InvisaFil. The reason why we sell 60 colors is because people can match the thread to the tone of their fabric and when you do so, the thread blends into background, showing only the texture of the quilting and not seeing a lot of the thread. No thread can be 100% invisible and that is not the concept we are trying to sell to customers, we want to offer a thread that can blend into fabrics with ease."
So rather than trying to be a one-size-fits-all solution, Wonderfil's idea of "invisible" thread is how well it blends into fabric when appropriately color matched. I can buy that point. So if you're looking for that perfect match and have no hang-ups about color matching, I'd say it's worth a shot. If you hate color matching, move on.

Test 2: Can I use it as a bobbin thread with my monofilament?
No. Just...no. It's too fine. The tension does not work. Calista says they do not reccommend using it as a bobbin thread, so turns out I was just being a dummy on this test.

Test 3: Piecing, you say?
By this point, I was feeling pretty smug. No one can dethrone my monofilament baby! Well, what about that claim about being awesome for piecing. I made my first seam with InvisaFil in the top and bottom of my machine and...my reaction.

It's one of those things where you can't un-experience the beauty that you just witnessed. InvisaFil makes some sexy seams. Like you can see there is a seam, but it feels non existent on your block (in a good way) Things feel more accurate, more flat, more right. I actually felt like a disgusting traitor to Aurifil...I really love this for machine piecing. I've already purchased a couple spools for exactly that purpose.

Calista told me that this thread is also popular for English paper piecing, so I gave it a shot when starting out on my Tula Nova. After the first round of pentagons, I ended up switching back to Aurifil 50wt. The Invisafil wasn't a very "obedient" hand piecing thead (see this doodle I did of it in my visual journal). It felt slippery and kept coming unthreaded from my needle. Not fun! The thinness of the thread also means the knots I'd make when starting to sew weren't very large. They'd pass right through my fabric unless I spent time making them super bulky. Finally, I experienced issues with my thread shredding and breaking while sewing. No thanks.

In conclusion
Is Wonderfil a replacement for monofilament thread. No? they're different animals. I will stick with Aurifil monofilament for machine quilting and applique. If you have the budget and patience for color matching, it might be worth your time and money to try it out if you don't like monofilament for some reason. BUT, it is a disgustingly nice machine piecing thread, and I've already purchased more for that purpose alone.

New Blog Name and Domain!

Thursday, May 25, 2017

Hi guys! I was at Quilt Market this past weekend, and during a conversation I had with Angela Pingel and Allison Harris, AKA Cluck Cluck Sew, I got some confirmation on an issue I've been struggling with. We were talking about how we came up with our Instagram/blog/pattern company names, and Allison mentioned how important it is for those names to be consistent.

When I started this blog and my Instagram, I was just making things up as I went. I had no clue what my future would hold. My Instagram was IAmLunaSol and my blog became Sew Scatterbrained. As my following as grown, I've started to worry more and more about the conflicting names. I tried to reconcile it as Sew Scatterbrained being the name for sewing-specific endeavors, but now it's at the point where I felt I had to choose. And the choice was simple.

I think my Instagram name is more connected to who I am overall. I've been using the nickname Luna Sol since 2012, before I even got into quilting. Sew Scatterbrained was a name I came up with on a lunch break at my first job. To top it off, I love the logo for I Am Luna Sol 10x more than the old Sew Scatterbrained logo.

So there we have it. I'm unifying the branding. I've redirected the site to the new domain, so everything should be operating as normal, but if there are any hiccups, let me know. I've changed my name on Craftsy as well, but it would appear that change may take some time to update on their end. The only "loss" here is my old hashtag #SewScatterbrained. I think I'll use the hashtag #IAmLunaSol or #IAmLunaSolPattern from now on.

If this has caused any confusion for anyone, I sincerely apologize. There's never going to be a great time to do this, so might as well rip the bandaid off now. 

Well...now to go update all my PDF patterns. That should be fun!

Modern Triangle Quilts Blog Tour

Thursday, April 6, 2017

If my blog name is any hint, I don't have the longest attention span. Anything repetitive is bound to bore me. One block quilts? Snooze. Give me a sampler though and I'm game! That's why I've been dying to get my hands on my dear friend Rebecca Bryan's second book, Modern Triangle Quilts.

In late 2015, when Becca was scrambling to make all of the quilts for the book, we decided to do a trade. I'd piece one of the Skylines quilt for her book, and she'd make a quilt for the Luna Sol Quilt Market booth in spring once all the triangle quilts were taken care of. I was a little skeptical when she sent me a box full of Kona solids, (I'm a print girl for life), but I had a blast sewing that quilt and I love the way it turned out. Leave it to Becca to choose the perfect color palette, am I right?
I had another fun "interaction" with the book when I did a pet portrait of Becca's pupper, Bruce Wayne, lounging on the Isosceles Sampler. 

Since getting my physical copy of the book earlier this week, I've already started on the Upstart quilt in a girly pink, peach, and red palette. I love pulling a pile of prints out of my stash and diving right in. Samplers are perfect for that.

Well Wishes Charity Quilt

Most recently, I contributed a block to a the Well Wishes charity quilt to benefit Living Water International. Even if I my block only took me 10 minutes, it feels cool to be a part of such a stunning project! (My block is the one touching the bound corner below.) And guess what? You have a chance to win the quilt!

Check out Becca's blog post for full contest details. To be entered to win the quilt we made, purchase the $5 Well Wishes quilt pattern via Becca's shop (100% of the proceeds of this pattern will go to Living Water International). Each purchase equals one entry. 

Book Giveaway

As part of the blog tour, C&T is giving away one copy of Modern Triangle Quilts to one of my readers. To win, just leave a comment on this post and I'll pick a random winner on Saturday April 15th at 10am CST. I'll contact the winner via email. 

(Note: Only addresses within the U.S. receive a hard copy of the book. Due to the extreme cost of international shipping, international winners receive the e-book version.)

Winner has been contacted!

Blog Tour Schedule

Don't forget to check out the rest of the blog tour for more chances to win this book!

Why I Love Aurifil Monofilament Thread

Friday, March 17, 2017

In the current age of social media "brand influencers," there's always some blogger talking about how much they "LoOoOoVeEe this amazing new product from Brand X" in their sponsored blog post filled with affiliate links to what is probably a not-so-life-changing product. Well, at the risk of sounding just as obnoxious, I REALLY HAVE TO TELL YOU ABOUT THIS PRODUCT I'VE BEEN USING THE CRAP OUT OF: Aurifil's monofilament thread.

Disclaimer: Aurifil did send me two free spools of the thread for this tutorial, but this was at my request after I months of using it, having purchased a cone with my own money. I mainly wanted to make sure that the spools didn't suffer from the issues I experienced with a different brand I'll mention later.

You may remember "Quilt Purgatory" from my Instagram late last summer. I had a stack of like...seven or eight quilt tops that I felt obligated to finish before I could move onto new projects. Faced with the task of rapid fire quilting so many quilts, I turned to invisible thread as an alternative to buying a ton of new thread colors to match all these quilt tops. I ended up falling in love with Aurifil's monofilament thread and I've used for every single quilt I've made since I discovered it.

What it is and how to use it:

image source: craftsy.com

It's a nylon "invisible" thread available in two colors: clear (for use on light fabrics) and smoke (for use on dark fabrics). Thread your machine with the monofilament, loosening the top tension slightly. For the bobbin, use a 50 weight cotton thread in a color that matches (or is close-ish to) your quilt top. You match the bobbin to the quilt top because sometimes the bobbin thread pulls up and becomes visible from the top as little dots, which you'll see below. But guess what this means? Wherever you'd normally be changing thread colors and rethreading your entire machine, all you have to do is switch out a bobbin color. Huge time saver!

The time saving aspect isn't the only benefit. Monofilament means I can get away with having a smaller selection of thread colors for applique and quilting. Example time!

Let's say I want to applique these Kona Gumdrop shapes onto a white background. I need a color to match my applique, but these are the only two pink thread colors I have. Poop, both are terrible matches. If you put a gun to my head, I guess I'd pick the lighter color, so let's give that a go with my preferred stitch, the blanket stitch.

No surprise here. It doesn't look great. BUT, what if I switch the top thread to the monofilament and leave that light pink in the bobbin? It looks way better! The bobbin thread still pokes up slightly, but becomes less obvious as I reduce the thread tension (on the top half of the circle) a little from my normal setting. Having the perfect thread match may be the best option, but I'd say this is pretty good without having to buy any more colors.

The other reason I like this thread for applique is that it hides your mistakes for you. Even if you're using a pretty close color for your applique, if you get off course, it will be painfully obvious. Not the case with monofilament!

As I said earlier there are two colors to choose from, clear and smoke. Smoke looks black on the spool, but it's a tricky chameleon. Personally, I have zero problem the way the clear shade looks on dark fabrics, but I will concede that smoke blends better. Unless you're a lot of super dark fabrics, I think you can get away using just the clear. If you want proof, look at this album of my Overwatch quilt, which I appliqued and quilted with only the clear monofilament and handful of bobbin colors.

Here's two test quilt sandwiches I made to show what the two colors look like on a dark charcoal fabric and white fabric. I think the clear thread on dark fabric looks worse in photos than it does in person.

So now that I've shown you that monofilament is awesome, why Aurifil specifically? Well, I actually started off trying the Coats & Clark monofilament. It looks almost exactly the same as Aurifil, but sewing with it makes me want to tear my hair out. It's unruly and tangles if you even look at it funny. It constantly would unspool prematurely and get tangled in my machine. It was seriously nightmare. Plus, it feels much stiffer, almost like a thin fishing line. Any untrimmed threads feel horribly pokey and scratchy. Ick. Coats & Clark is like a nasty feral cat to Aurifil's sweet and gentle lap cat.

So yeah, if you hate having to buy matching thread, this stuff is magic.

Open Wide Pouch Pattern Hack: Sun-Star Delde Slide Pen Pouch Dupe

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

In the past two months, I've gone bananas for Copic markers. I can't say enough good things about them. They look so great that I'm more motivated than ever to draw. My collection was on the verge of outgrowing my small, boxy zip pouch I'd been keeping them, so I had to think of a home for them.

While browsing Jet Pens (one of my favorite shops for art supplies), I came across the Sun-Star Delde Slide Pen Pouch. The pouch stores pens vertically and converts to a standing pen cup. Cue heart eyes! Perfect! The only issue was the size. I needed a taller size to accommodate some of my pencils, so I went the DIY route.

It took some experimentation and guess work, but eventually I figured out a serviceable dupe solution.

My version measures 8" tall, 4" wide, and 2.5" deep.

A few notes on materials:

Firstly, for your exterior pouch fabric, I suggest using something more durable than quilting cotton. A cotton/linen canvas or something like Essex linen would be good.

Second, interfacing matters. I tested this bag multiple times with different interfacing options, and Peltex and or a double layer of Craft Fuse are the only options that yielded a functional slide pouch. Substituting fusible fleece, Soft & Stable, or Shape Flex will not work properly.

  • (2) 7.5" x 10" for Main Pouch Exterior
  • (1) 4" x 5" for Pull Tabs
  • (1) 2" x 3" for Zipper Tab
  • (2) 7.5" x 10" for Main Pouch Lining
  • (1) 13.5" x 9" for Contrast Band
  • (2) 7.5" x 6.25" Pellon 71F Peltex or (4) 7.5" x 6.25" Pellon 808 Craft Fuse
  • (1) 13.5" x 9" Pellon SF-101 Shape Flex interfacing (optional)
  • 8" zipper or longer
To make your pouch, start by fusing your interfacing to the wrong side of your Main Pouch Exterior pieces, aligning the long bottom edges. If using the Craft Fuse, you'll be fusing two layers of interfacing directly on top of each other.

Now follow the the instructions for Noodlehead's Open Wide Pouch. There are only a few differences. First is the dimensions of your pieces, but that doesn't affect the process. (Note, all my measurements are width x height.) Use the same seam allowances she calls for as well. Second, you'll want to leave a smaller, 3" opening in the lining for turning. Third, when boxing the corners, the marked line should measure 2.5" long instead of 3.5". Follow her instructions but stop BEFORE you topstitch around the pouch opening at the end. Skip to the end of her instructions and attach the Zipper Tab.

Fold the Pull Tab in half vertically, WST and press. Unfold and then fold the edges in to meet the crease and press. Refold in half, yielding a 5" long piece of 1" wide double fold tape. Stitch 1/8" along each 5" edge, then cut in half to yield (2) 2.5" long tabs. Fold Them in half horizontally, press, and baste closed. 

Fuse the interfacing to the wrong side of the Contrast Band. Press the 13.5" edges your Contrast band .5" to the wrong side. Fold the contrast band in half wrong sides together (WST), aligning the folded edges and press. This will make it easier to get your band in the proper position later.
Unfold the Contrast Band and fold it in half vertically, right sides together (RST), aligning the 9" edges. Pin and sew with a .25" seam allowance. Press the seam open and turn the tube right side out. The previous pressing you did should make it easy to fold the tube in half WST so that you have a 4" tall tube with the raw edges folded in. Set aside.

Measure 6.5" from the seam on the Contrast Band and mark with a water soluble marker along the top and bottom edge. Insert the basted end of one Pull Tab .5" into the open side of the Contrast Band, centering it with the seam. Baste in place. Do the same with the remaining Pull Tab, centering it with the line you marked. Pin the open edges of the Contrast Band closed and topstitch with a 1/8" seam allowance.

Slip the Contrast Band over the pouch with with the pull tabs pointing towards the bottom of the pouch. Align the top folded edge of  the Contrast Band with the top edge of the pouch. Don't cover any more of the zipper tape. Line up the side seam with one of the side seams of the pouch and pin. Line the marked line up with the opposite pouch side seam and pin. Pin around the remainder of the pouch, lining the Contrast Band up with the top edge of the pouch. Make sure your pouch lining is neatly pressed inside, then topstitch the band to the pouch with 1/8" seam allowance. You're using the topstitching step from Noodlehead's tutorial to attach the Contrast band. Your pouch is finished!

The pouch at the top of the post was made with my Witchy Objects print from Spoonflower, black linen, and Craft Fuse. The pouch below was made with Cotton + Steel cotton/linen canvas prints and Peltex.

And here's a video of the bag in action. Just pull the tabs to convert use as a pen cup, then pick it up by the zipper and give it a little shake to go back to its full height.

A post shared by Felice Regina (@iamlunasol) on


Wednesday, February 8, 2017

It's time for a contest/giveaway! #LunaSolFabric has been in stores for a few months now and I want to see what pretty projects you guys are making with it. Share your creations featuring Luna Sol and win some stellar prizes!


  1. Post a photo of a project on Instagram that prominently features Luna Sol with the hashtags #LunaSolFabric and #LunaSolFabricContest
  2. Deadline is April May 1st, noon central time. 
  3. Make as many entries as you like, but only one entry per project.
  4. WIPs are allowed but you may only enter a project once, so the closer to completion, the better your odds are. 
  5. You must be one of my followers. 


3rd Prize
2nd Prize 
  • Scrap bag of fabric from my upcoming fabric collection
  • Small Luna Sol #Aurifil thread set
  • Comet Bunny Enamel Pin
  • PDF pattern of your choice from my shop. 
1st Prize 
  • FQ bundle of my upcoming fabric collection
  • Large Luna Sol #Aurifil thread set
  • Comet Bunny enamel pin
  • PDF pattern of your choice from my shop.
Winners will be announced on Instagram!