Cindy Walter Shares Her Knowledge of Hand Quilting

Cindy Walter Cindy Quilter Bio

Cindy Walter, Author, TV Host, and Quilting Instructor, is a big fan of Gütermann thread and is not afraid to spread the word! At the International Quilt Festival in Houston, Cindy taught 2 hand quilting classes of 25 students each. Gütermann hand quilting thread was her thread of choice for use in these classes because it allowed her to focus on the teaching and techniques without worrying about thread issues. Cindy Walter Quilt Festival Classes

Cindy was kind enough to share her top 5 tips on hand quilting:

  • Prewash fabric beforehand so it is as soft as possible.
  • Use the thinnest batting possible, avoid dense battings.
  • Use a high quality needle, size 10.
  • Use a concave top needle that fits all the way on your middle finger of your writing hand.
  • Use Gütermann thread; it is easy to thread, do not have to coat it with bees wax, and it won't tangle.

  • Posted November 12, 2018


    Lucy's Stitched Hugs Will Warm Your Heart

    Lucy's Stitched Hugs

    Lucy Crouse isn't your typical ten year old. She's a girl with a big heart and a big need to help others. Being autistic, Lucy has experienced what it's like to not feel welcome. Because of this she has made it her goal to welcome and help others through gifting and sewing. Starting when she was only 9 years old, Lucy began an organization called Lucy's Stitched Hugs in order to provide stitched items for those in need. With her love of sewing and a ton of compassion, she sews quilts and blankets for the homeless, stuffed animals for refugee children, and pocket pillows to those who have fallen on hard times. Creating these "Stitched Hugs", Lucy assists the Second Step Housing organization by providing these items to help welcome families into transitional housing programs.

    While most kids are begging for toys for Christmas, Lucy is asking for fabric and selling her own toys in order to fund these projects. A&E Gütermann was more than happy to send her Gütermann Sew-all thread in a variety of colors to use in her stitched items. This lovely young lady with a big heart continues to spread love and warmth to those who need it most.

    Posted October 22, 2018


    Hartville Cloth Shed - Keeping Women and Children Dry

    Hartville Cloth Shed

    Haley Martinez Aranda started Hartville Cloth Shed in June of 2018. Being a 24 year old stay at home mother of 2 and a challenging childhood gave Haley a great compassion for others and the desire to help them. Hartville Cloth Shed is her way of doing just that.

    "Diaper need and period poverty is real even here in America. Diapers and period products cannot be purchased with food stamps...This is a hidden poverty in the United States. It is not talked about in the media. 5.2 million children aged 3 and under are living in low income families," states Haley. With Hartville Cloth Shed, Haley creates cloth diapers and menstrual pads for people who cannot afford such necessities. She sends these kits along with cloth wipes, wet bags and cloth nursing pads to those in need all over the United States. Hartville Cloth Shed's recent partnership with Jake's Diapers charity assists in the worldwide donations of diapers - helping Haley and her organization to continue making positive changes in people's lives on a bigger scale.

    A lover of Gütermann thread, Haley reached out to us for assistance. A&E was happy to provide her with a variety of thread to keep her doing what she loves - spreading love and compassion. Thank you for all you do.

    Hartville Cloth Shed

    Posted October 8, 2018


    A Six Year Old With a Heart of Gold

    Mason's Hurricane Florence Pillows

    In September, Hurricane Florence struck the Carolinas causing much destruction and pain to its residents. When most people were wandering what could be done to help, six year old Mason Kiliany decided to take action. He quickly brought his idea of sewing "Hurricane Pillows" to his Mother. Armed with sewing notions, fabric, and a lot of love, Mason began his work. Mason's big heart spread quickly through the area and he has currently sold over 100 pillows with the proceeds donated to the American Red Cross for Hurricane Florence assistance.

    To help reduce the cost for Mason, A&E Gütermann donated Intressa Polyester thread so he can continue making his pillows to help others. The sewing community has gained a delightful young man!

    Posted September 21, 2018


    Finding a Cure for ALS - One Quilt at a Time

    Quilters Dream Batting ALS Hopes and Dreams

    Quilters Dream Batting was created by Kathy Thompson when her son was diagnosed with ALS (Lous Gehrig's Disease) at the age of 32. Devestated by the diagnosis, Kathy decided to create this organization to help patients and raise awareness.

    Now an annual event, Quilters Dream Batting is holding their 9th Hopes & Dreams Quilt Challenge for ALS. In this challenge, hundreds of handmade quilts are donated to be given to ALS patients or used to raise money by being displayed, auctioned or raffled. In addition to contributing to a wonderful cause, all donated quilts are eligible to win exciting prizes with seven lucky winners chosen via drawings.

    The purpose of this challenge is to help raise awareness about ALS, bring warmth and hope to the lives of ALS patients, and also help raise funds for research for a treatment and a cure of this debilitating disease. This is yet another way the quilting community shows their love and generosity towards others in need. A&E Gütermann happily donated spools of Signature cotton quilting thread to assist in the cost of making these purposeful quilts.

    Posted September 3, 2018


    More Than Just A Long Acronym

    IFACSTA Meets with Signature and Maxi-Lock Donation

    IFACSTA (the Illinois Family and Consumer Science Teacher Association) is more than just a long acryonym. It is an important organization that accomplishes so much in their community. The main purpose of this association is to encourage and promote Family and Consumer Science education. These family and career oriented programs are integral in providing students with leadership and career opportunities.

    IFACSTA is associated with the Association for Career and Technical Education (ACTE), National Association of Teachers of Family and Consumer Sciences (NATFACS), and the Illinois Association for Career and Technical Education (IACTE). With the help of these institutions, IFACSTA continues to promote leadership in the state of Illinois while fostering relationships with legislators in order to keep members of Congress informed of the needs and accomplishments of such programs.

    Signature 6 pack and Maxi-Lock Value Pack

    IFACSTA provides the resources needed to work with industry partners to help encourage these students to explore these fields of study. The main way they do this is by providing instruction for professional growth of the teachers of Family and Consumer Science courses. Their recent conference this Summer included over 100 teachers being educated on how to better inform and direct these students. Since the teachers were already fans of our products, we donated gift bags filled with measuring tapes, Gütermann thread samples, and helpful thread literature to assist them in their lectures. We also provided a Maxi-Lock serging thread pack and a Signature Cotton thread pack as raffle prizes for the organization to raise scholarship funds. A&E Gütermann understands the importance of educating students in the fields of Family and Consumer Sciences. We strive to always encourage the sharing of this knowledge and the promotion of its field.

    Posted August 21, 2018


    A&E and Education

    A&E Education Foundation Sponsorship

    In 1992, the Education Foundation was created to enhance educational opportunities in the Gaston County Public School system. Their mission is to Fund extraordinary programs and initiatives, which are not funded by the regular budget and to serve as a non profit organization to channel creative funding to these schools.

    The funding for these grants are developed through several fundraising initiatives, including the annual Are You Smarter than a Gaston County Fifth Grader event, the Community Foundation Run (featured right) and private donations. 2018 marks the 26th year of the Foundation which has provided grants of over $50, 000 in this year alone. This money will benefit teachers and professional learning communities at 30 Gaston public schools. American & Efird continues to be a proud sponsor for this organization to show how important our community's education and children are to our neighborhoods.

    Posted August 7, 2018


    Asheville Welcomes the North Carolina Quilt Symposium

    The North Carolina Quilt Symposium (NCQSI) is a non-profit organization formed in 1979 in the town of Raleigh, NC. The purpose of the organization is to promote and preserve quilting in North Carolina, ensuring this historical artform gets passed down amongst generations.

    Every year selected guilds and a Board of Directors host a grand Symposium attended by over 350 participants. Usually a 3 day event with a focus on quilting, the Symposium involves an assortment of classes on quilting techniques, an array of vendors, fun, food, and various activities ranging from dancing to ice cream buffet bars! Another fun aspect of the event is the Door Prizes. With prizes including scholarship discounts on the next year's Symposium, our very own Signature gift packs, and goodie bags for all attendees - everyone is destined to have a ball!

    This year's Symposium took place in Asheville, NC and it did not disappoint! One of the favorite events was the In-house Quilt Show. This magnificent display included prized quilts created by talented artists from all over. The attendants loved walking through the show and marveling over the talent while selecting their favorites.

    All in all, this yearly gathering not only serves to educate and maintain the craft, it also provides a place where everyone can enjoy the festivities and company of other like-minded individuals. Next year's Symposium will be in the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains of N.C. and the theme will focus on the 50th anniversary of Woodstock. A&E Gütermann looks forward to hearing about all of the adventures and fun to come and will be proud to contribute towards the event again. Happy quilting!

    nc quilt symposium 2018 signature thread

    Posted July 23, 2018


    Gütermann and Robison-Anton - Quiet on the Set!

    NBC Making It

    At the end of this month, NBC will be releasing it's six episode, competition-based reality show. Hosted by the hilarious duo - Amy Poehler and Nick Offerman, this delightful and uniquely lighthearted competition celebrates the creativity and craftiness in all of us. Each episode will revolve around a central theme that draws inspiration from popular, nationwide trends in crafting and DIY projects. In every show, the "makers" will demonstrate their specialized skills and talent to impress the hosts and judges to be the final winner.

    Gutermann In Home Spinner

    What will these contestants be using to make these crafts? Thread, of course! A gorgeous Gütermann Sew-all thread tower and a variety of Robison-Anton Embroidery threads were donated to assist in the creation of these crafty pieces of art. Check out the show and try to spot the cameo appearances of our thread - be sure to let us know on social media if you see our thread and name the contestant you're rooting for. Find us on Facebook @GutermannofAmerica and @RobisonAntonEmbroideryThread. The show premieres July 31 at 10/9c.

    Posted July 9, 2018


    A Guild's That Gives

    Nestled in Northern California's Central Valley, the Yuba-Sutter Valley Quilt Guild enjoys providing for their community as much as they love quilting. Starting in 1981, the guild has grown to almost 200 members that enjoy developing quilting techniques, textiles, and patterns while sharing in the history and knowledge of quilting. The organization promotes the appreciation of fine quilts and encourages the growth of this knowledge with the attendance of guests speakers and teachers to assist in education.
    The guild puts on an amazing quilt show every year which raises funds to support local community service programs. This Spring, the guild held their 35th annual quilt show. The theme was "Rhapsody in Red" and as you can tell by the photos, there was an abundance of beautiful quilts in tones of rich red and crisp white. Such a stunning display of craftsmanship! To help the organization continue their charitable work and quilting development, A&E Gütermann donated variety packs of Signature Cotton quilting thread in corresponding shades of red and white. We realize just how important guilds such as this are to aid the community and keep the history of quilting alive and we are grateful to help.

    Posted June 18, 2018


    Sewing Skillathon

    Every year, the Highland County's 4-H program in Ohio has a Sewing Skillathon Contest to aid in the continuation of teaching the skill of sewing to children and young adults. In the Skillathon, contestants are tested on their knowledge of pattern envelope reading, construction techniques, pattern symbols identification, fabric identification, pattern alterations, sewing equipment identification, sewing machine parts identification, and the 7 clues of fashion that 4-H evaluates its projects on. Members are divided into 3 age divisions (Junior, Intermediate, and Senior) with three placings in each division. Each participant received a spool of Gütermann thread after completing the contest. A&E Gütermann was proud to assist this organization in furthering the skill of sewing to young people and promote the growth of this beautiful art form. Just look at those young, future sewers!

    Posted June 4, 2018


    Keeping Sewing Alive - Make It With Wool 2018

    Every year the American Sheep Industry holds a Make It With Wool competition at their annual convention. This competition began in 1947 with only 12 states; the competition has now grown to include 37 statues with four age divisions. The goal of this event is to celebrate the art of creating apparel with woolf fibers and yarns. Participants enter to win district, regional, and state contests with finalists going on to compete for national titles. Challenged to create an original garment using at least 60% wool, these contestants make an ensemble or garment to be judged. Each entry is evaluated on handwork, needlework, embroidery, construction, and design with winners receiving prizes of cash, wool fabrics, sewing resource books, tools, thread, and sewing notions. A&E Gütermann provided a lovely Intressa® spinner filled with Intressa sewing thread to be awarded to a lucky contestant.

    This year, the Make It With Wool national competition marked its 70th anniversary at its annual gathering in San Antonio, Texas. The theme was "70 Years of Making Wool the Star" and yielded such a variety of truly incredible garments. Although all were impressive, only the best could be chosen. Let us all congratulate the hard working winners and hope they continue to create more beautiful pieces:
    Fashion/Apparel Design division - Jason Gagnon of Central Michigan University
    Adult division (ages over 25) - Rachel Siegel of Pennslvania
    Senior division (ages 17-24) - Claire Lee of Indiana
    Junior division (ages 13-16) - Holley Schwartz of Wisconsin

    make it with wool 2018 entries

    Posted May 21, 2018


    A&E and the Environment

    a&e sustainability

    American &Efird has a long history of leading the thread industry in the area of environmental sustainability and in the manufacturing of premium thread. While making all of your favorite threads (Intressa®, Maxi-Lock®, PermaCore®, Robison-Anton®, and Signature®) A&E continues to maintain a strong commitment to keeping our environment healthy.

    To bring our sustainability philosophy to life, we invest in our global workplace because that's what good neighbors do. Since trees are a critical environmental element that contributes to clean air, the Vardham A&E in Ludhiana, India initiated a re-forestation initiative in which it planted 435 trees during June and July of 2012.

    Furthering this initiative, A&E is in the process of launching a re-forestation campaign in Costa Rica. A tree nursery is being developed in the rear grounds of our plant site. Five varieties of trees, environmentally compatible with the area, were carefully selected. The 266 donated saplings will be grown to planting size, an 18 month process. They then will be planted during the rainy season in the mountainous terrain, along a natural spring.

    A&E then combined our environmental and socially responsible commitments with Costa Rica's free zone regulations to create a program sustainable on multiple levels. Waste thread is donated to a local artist who makes hammocks and to a company which alters and repairs personal clothing. Understanding the world's future is in the hands of today's children, we donated the equivalent value of the waste thread to finance projects at 4 educational institutions. These projects are based on our health & wellness and environmentally-friendly Corporate Social Responsibility platforms. Click here to learn more about how A&E excels in the areas of environmental sustainability.

    Posted May 7, 2018


    A Love of Quilts and Travel

    hanover holidays signature donation

    Hanover Holidays is a group of 52 Canadian quilters with a love for quilting and traveling. In the Fall of 2017, this group of women went on an extensive trip to celebrate the 150th birthday of their beloved Canada. They toured exciting, quilting related landmarks such as The Quilters Hall of Fame in Marion, Indiana, The Missouri Star Quilt Company in Hamilton, Missouri, and a Quilt Museum in Paducah, Kentucky. The group also enjoyed some time with the Mississippi Quilt and Fibre group. Ending their trip was a stop at the Quilt Gardens of Shipshewana, Indiana where they took in the sites, attended a musical, and squeezed in a bit of fabric shopping.

    To keep this lovely group of hand quilters and long arm quilters sewing on their trip, they enjoyed donations of Gütermann hand quilting thread and cones of Signature® cotton quilting thread. This kept them traveling and stitching their way across the South East and Mid West.

    hanover holidays gutermann donation

    Plans for a 2018 trip are in the works and we can't wait to hear of their voyage - happy trails and happy quilting, ladies!

    Posted April 27, 2018


    A&E Gütermann Consumer Division Welcomes VDTA

    a&e gutermann vdta

    Preceding the 2018 SDTA/VDTA trade show in Charlotte, NC, A&E Gütermann Consumer Division organized a How Thread is Made Facility Tour on our Mt Holly, NC campus. Over 47 visitors turned out for the event including store owners and designers.

    The tour consisted of two main sessions - a tour of our dyeing and finishing plant and a journey through our consumer building. The plant tour provided everyone with a glimpse into what goes into making Intressa®, Maxi-Lock®, PermaCore®, Signature® and Robison-Anton® thread. Dyeing procedures and finishing processes were demonstrated in our state of the art facility and guests were shown the extensive steps taken to perform this work while leaving little to no mark on our environment.

    While at the consumer building, attendants were shown our lovely Gütermann Sewing Studio overflowing with various Gütermann products and our A&E showroom that provides a dramatic presentation of all A&E thread brands and YKK® zippers. Guests were also given a presentation on our website and social media platforms as well as given brief histories on both American & Efird and Gütermann companies as they came together to form the A&E Gütermann Consumer Division. Finishing up the tour, a professional photographer was on site to capture keepsake photos of each guest and a quilt binding demo was performed by designer, Christine Zane.

    The response we received from our attendees was overwhelmingly positive. We are grateful that everyone had such a wonderful time while also learning about the hard work we put into making quality thread. Thank you to all who came out and for sharing your experiences and joy.

    A big thank you to the following stores for sharing their stories of the event on social media and allowing us to share their photos: Coastal Sewing & Appliance, Corvallis Vacuum & Sewing, DIY Style, Quilts and Lace, Sew-A-Lot, and Sew Suite Studio. Have photos from the tour that you want to share? Email us at or tag Gütermann of America or Robison-Anton Embroidery on facebook.

    a&e gutermann vdta tour

    Posted April 4, 2018


    The Insider on Why YKK®

    a&e ykk zippers

    If you've ever taken a close look at the zippers on your clothes, you've probably noticed the letters "YKK," in all capitals, on a lot of them. They're on everything from jeans, to coats, to sleeping bags.

    YKK® has a reputation unrivaled in the fashion industry. It's completely vertically integrated, which means that the company controls every part of the zipper manufacturing process, from smelting the metal to packaging the finished zippers. As Seth Stevenson wrote in Slate, "YKK makes incredibly dependable zippers, ships them on time without fail, offers a wide range of colors, materials, and styles, and never gets badly undercut on price."

    Because of its reliability, YKK is popular for manufacturers. We've all felt the pain
    of a zipper breaking, ruining an entire garment. It just makes more sense to go with a reliable brand. And that's why YKK zippers are everywhere. Read full article here...

    Posted March 19, 2018
    Writing Credit: Jacob Shamsian, Insider.


    Charity Quilts

    charity quilts gutermann donation

    The Charity Quilt group of Washington began in 2012 with 5 ladies interested in quilting. They all lived in an older community and shared a love of quilting and giving back to the community. Now 15 strong with ages ranging from 55 to 98, they enjoy meeting weekly and creating beautiful quilts for amazing causes. These remarkable women create 200 to 400 quilts and pillows every year for dialysis and chemotherapy patients, the local Children's Outreach Organization, and for various other people going through difficult times. The Charity Quilt group vows to be there whenever needed and to continue to brighten the days of these grateful people while easing their suffering.

    "Your generous donation of Gütermann thread will be in every stitch that goes into our quilts and pillows. Thank you from all of us."
    -Joann Brockmann

    I think we speak for everyone when we say, it is the ladies of Charity Quilts that deserve the thank you for the meaningful work they do every single day!

    Posted March 5, 2018


    VDTA Highlights the History of American & Efird

    vdta highlights american & efird thread

    American & Efird LLC, well known as A&E, has a long and rich history. Pioneered in 1891 by Charles Hutchison under the name Nims Manufacturing Company and built over 126 years, A&E is the largest U.S. manufacturer and the world's second largest manufacturer of sewing thread. Well established in the global markets are the Industrial Sewing Thread, Embroidery Thread, Technical Textiles, and A&E Gutermann Consumer Divisions. The A&E Gutermann Consumer Division focuses on producing threads and notions sold to the independent retailers, which enable today's home sewers and quilters to see their projects materialize. Read more...

    Posted February 23, 2018


    VDTA Spotlight on Gütermann's History

    vdta highlights gutermann thread

    When American & Efird LLC acquired Gütermann Thread Company in 2014, the German-based company was celebrating a rich history of 150 years! Let's explore Gütermann's company timeline and their innovations in the European textile market.

    Max Gütermann established the Gütermann company in Vienna in 1864, producing silk threads. By 1873 at the World Exposition in Vienna, Gütermann initiated the selling of thread by the meter rather than by weight for the consumer. In 1884 Max reached a 20 year-long goal to achieve independent production along with handing the company over to his five sons. Read more...

    Posted February 9, 2018


    Lake Oconee Quilters Guild Head to Georgia

    This past Spring, the Lake Oconee Quilters Guild had their biennial retreat at the Little Oculgee State Park in Georgia. Since 2003, the Guild's purpose has been to promote the art and craft of quilting through encouragement and education, while building fellowship within their community. At these retreats, they bring in talent and expertise from renowned quilt and fiber artists from all over and within their Guild to present classes and workshops for their members. The group uses this as an opportunity to enjoy their shared passion, meet new people, gain more skills, and to be invigorated by the talent and friendships that abound.

    Just look at the great fun these members had! Playing games, winning prizes and working on charity quilts, everyone enjoyed themselves. One of the prize winners received a 24 pack of our Signature® cotton thread so she may continue her passion with great thread.lake oconee quilt guild signature donation

    Posted January 29, 2018


    The Iron Quilter Challenge - Fall Quilt Market 2017

    iron quilter fall quilt market

    Fall Quilt Market 2017 marked the reoccurance of the Iron Quilter Challenge in Houston, Texas. Six teams of hardworking ladies raced to the finish line with their creativity, fabric, and thread in hand. With only two hours to work their magic, the challenge was set. Although the time was limited and tensions were high, these ladies managed to put out some amazing designs!

    When the final bell rang and the votes all tallied, the winner was announced - Pam Holland and Her Possums!

    iron quilter competition fall quilt market

    Not only an exciting event to watch, the contest served a great purpose. The following day, all of the quilt tops created by the contestants for this challenge and the previous Fall Quilt Market IQC are auctioned off to benefit the Texas Quilt Museum. Now that's a double win!

    Posted December 1, 2017


    The Vendor Walk at Baby Lock Tech 2017

    a&e at baby lock tech

    Every year, Baby Lock holds the Baby Lock Tech event where vendors and stores meet to discuss the world of sewing and their products. Always a festive and fun event, this year's event in St Louis, Missouri was no different! A great time was had by all and some amazing vendors came out. If you weren't able to make it, don't fret! Christopher Blakeman from Blakeman Vacuum and Sewing made a terrific Facebook Live video with Nicci Brazzell of Nicci's Embroidery that includes a walkthrough of the entire vendor floor.

    View the video here and take note that yours truly, A&E Gutermann, appears at the 30:01 mark!

    Posted November 8, 2017


    The Iron Quilter Challenge - Spring Quilt Market 2017

    iron quilter spring quilt market

    Twice a year at the Fall and Spring International Quilt Markets, teams of quilters rise from the ashes to compete in the famed Iron Quilter Challenge. These members cut, stitch, and iron their way into the race to make the best lap size quilt possible in 90 minutes. As shown in the photos below, there is some serious concentration and excitement that takes place as these talented quilters work their way through the competition.

    iron quilter competition spring quilt market

    The winner of the Spring 2017 Iron Quilter Challenge was Team Stone Cold Foxes, led by Karen K. Stone. Congrats to all who participated!

    Who will win the Fall 2017 Iron Quilter Challenge? We will just have to anxiously wait as these remarkable contestants show us what their made of next week!

    Posted October 25, 2017


    A Quilter's Retreat

    quilters retreat gutermann donation

    Once a month, quilters from various quilting groups (The Stitching Witches, In Stitches, and Heritage) get together for a day of quilting and comradery. These women have found they enjoy not only quilting, but also the friendships that come from their common interest.

    In addition to their monthly get togethers, they also have a grand Quilter's Retreat once a year in Maine that everyone looks forward to. At this event, all have a great time sharing both their love of quilting and enthusiasm for the craft.

    maine quilt retreat gutermann donation

    Here you see some of the quilters enjoying using our Gütermann cotton quilting thread on their retreat in March.

    Just look at all of those smiles!

    Posted October 11, 2017


    Serging to Win

    pattern review maxi-lock sponsor

    This past March, A&E Gütermann's Maxi-Lock® sponsored a Serger Contest with Contestants were instructed to use only serger thread to sew an item or outfit in its entirety. Out of 26 entries, the final winner was chosen by member vote and that prize goes to Annette Wright!

    Anette created a beautifully constructed cardigan and disclosed, "I chose this pattern as I knew I could sew it completely on the serger and use my conver-stitch machine for interesting contrasting thread work...Super cute little jacket/cardigan. When I make it next time I'll be adding pockets!"

    Congratulations, Annette! We look forward to seeing your next creation.

    View all of the contest entries and comments at Pattern Review Serger Contest.

    Posted September 27, 2017

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