March Designer of the Month, Victoria Findlay Wolfe

Hi I’m Pat Sloan the Aurifil Designer of the Month coordinator.

I’d like to introduce you to our March Aurifil Designer,  Victoria Findlay Wolfe of “BumbleBeans” Inc.  Victoria is one of those people that as soon as you meet her you are friends. I am personally in love with her use of color … which is not only exuberant but it is brilliant. She willingly shares the steps she takes.. and her community work is beyond gracious.

Listen March 7, 2011 when I interviewed Victoria for my radio show! CLICK HERE and look for the date.

Remember to post your photo at our Flickr folder of a project given by one of the Aurifil Designers of the month (see tab on right for all the profiles). One quilter EACH MONTH will win a prize of Aurifil thread! Just post a photo of your completed block. Everyone in the Flickr folder is in the running! We have a new folder for the 2012 projects

Flickr folder –

Let’s get to know Victoria……

When did you first start to do embroidery or stitching? Where did you learn?

I learned to embroider at a very early age.  I must have been about 6 or 7.  I was one of those kids who had to learn everything crafty. My grandmother was very good at embroidery, but I think I enjoyed cross-stitch more at a young age. It wasn’t a favorite thing of mine to do, but the more I quilt, the more I’ve been incorporating embroidery into my designs.  I like to make sure I have hand and machine techniques in all my quilts…

Favorite go to stitch? Chain stitch.  My list of stitches is not very grand, But I am learning more and more each day as I grow more patient with learning.  My default is the chain stitch.

Did you work at another career prior to this … what was it?

I graduated from College in Minnesota with a BA in Fine Arts. Painting, sculpture and photography are the areas I’ve focused on all these years, but somehow, quilts have taken over!  I guess we go back to what we first learn?  It seems the things that first got me excited creatively is the thing I’ve really found my passion in. Since my father did upholstery and farming and my mother was quite a good seamstress, a needle and thread in my hands, seems the most natural. (Quilt is my “Tiny Dancer”)

What does your studio look like?  

I have a nice large studio with loads of windows, two huge design walls which are always covered with 10 projects… Every year I reorganize it to make sure I am fully maximizing the space. It’s taken me 5 years but I think I have finally found the best way to make my space work. (note the hand quilting frame stored in the window!)

What is your favorite storage tip or place?   I wouldn’t consider myself great at organizing… BUT, my Fabrics are always in great condition stacked on open shelves facing away from direct light.  I use a cardboard template to fold my fabrics around so that they fit perfectly in my shelves. I find that If I can’t see it, it doesn’t get used. Scraps  and everything else gets stored in large clear plastic containers.

How do you fill your soul?  What I mean by this is – what makes you SO HAPPY that you know that if you do this you are experiencing a little ‘Heaven on Earth’.

I MUST CREATE.  I just need to MAKE to be happy, and have my family close to me. Whether I am cooking, creating, baking, sewing.  As long as things are being put together in some sort of way, I find my soul is happy to it’s core.  I’m always looking at things wondering, “how can I make that?”  I recently started making embroidery patterns. These birds are for sale on my main website,

How do your ideas develop? Do you sketch, doodle, put ideas on a mood board?For embroidery, I make several quick sketches of ideas before I finalize an image…draw and redraw, my light box is my greatest tool for this…

What are your Aurifil  ‘go to’ thread colors?

The primary colors… red yellow blue with pink white and black.

What is your favorite stitching tool?

My needle & needle case, so I can “make” wherever I am! Have needle will travel! I have it hanging on my purse, so I am never without a needle and thread.

If you could train with, or work with, or follow one person for a day.. who would it be and why?

I’d love to go back and make a quilt with my grandmother. I learned so much from her and I now realize just how much she has influenced my creative life. I think She’d be so excited seeing that I am making quilts full time.

Anything else you’d like to share?

My Quilt drive.  It started with a small idea, and it continues to grow and flower into this big beautiful thing…  I am currently in the Blue print phase of working with the Acacia Network where they are building a brand new facility to help women and their families during Rehabilitation in the South Bronx, New York. I will be organizing a “Women’s Room” where creativity can help women learn sewing skills, form positive bonds, and explore their creativity in a way that will also give back to their community.

And remember, if you have a quilt you can donate, please keep them coming! We continually have a need to give quilts to families being taken out of Shelters and put back into transitional housing.  We THANK YOU for all your Beautiful quilts that have already been donated!

Some Fun “Facts” about Victoria

  • Favorite Expression…Being from Minnesota, I say, “Oh yeah?”  a lot… it still sneaks out of me… But I leave off the “You Betcha”… At least I hope I do!
  • What was your last book you read? Breakfast Lunch Tea: Rose Bakery…  Yes, I read cookbooks… I have a crazy huge library of cookbooks which I LOVE to read cover to cover…

Why did you select the image you did for your block?
I had to go with the shamrocks and flowers designing “Spring if We’re Lucky.” March used to mean “Spring”, so I added flowers to the shamrock. Although these days… it might be wise to start adding in some snowflakes….


12 Wt Aurifil Threads Used in Victoria’s block

  • 2140 – Golden Yellow
  • 2865 – Dark Green
  • 2888 – Light Green
  • 4660 – Variegated pink

CLICK HERE to Download “Spring Shamrock” by Victoria Findlay Wolfe


I thought you’d enjoy seeing how Victoria used her new embroidery patterns  in an improvisational quilt.. amazing! You can buy the Stitchery patterns at her website

Visit Victoria Findlay Wolfe at her Blog

Her Website

Shop (for those wonderful bird embroideries!)

Charity work

Creative community

Creative community

NYC Modern Quilt Guild

Victoria at FACEBOOK


Looking for Aurifil 12 wt?  There is store list HERE and Roseann is selling kits for all the designer months. Email or call  her from her website HERE

We would also love for you to ask your Local Quilt shop to carry Aurifil thread!

Bari J. is one of our Designers this year, and she has a website called “We Love French Knots” with loads of stitchery inspiration! If you need to freshen up your stitching skills, she has a series of videos

EACH MONTH we will pick one random winner that has made a stitchery block.. that person will receive a special Aurifil thread prize! Winners are all contacted via Flickr email and posted at our flickr page in the winner topics.

You can make ANY of the 2012 blocks to be in the running (and we hope you make them all!). Share your photos at our Flickr Folder… we can’t WAIT to see what you do!
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  1. Thoroughly enjoyed reading this interview with Victoria … truly talented, genuine and generous.

  2. I love doing chain stitch. Can’t wait to get started. We have a holiday on Monday here in Western Australia this weekend. It is going to be 37 degrees Celcius (almost 100 degrees Farenheit) so will sit in the air conditioning watching an old movie and stitch my block.

  3. I have never been interested in shamrocks, or anything “Irish”, since we are of German descent. But, our darling granddaughter was born on March 17, and will be 3 this month, so my eyes have been drifting towards these things more often! This one is very cute, as I love florals! I’m not a huge embroiderer, but I may just try the chain stitch this once! Thanks, for the pattern, and the interview and photos.

  4. I got my love of quilting and flower gardens from my grandmother too! I wish she had been around longer so see could see what I do with her crafts. These embroidery blocks are darling! I’ll be trying the Shamrock!

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