July Designer of the month, Sarah Fielke

Hi I’m Pat Sloan the Aurifil Designer of the Month coordinator. July in Australia is winter and our July featured Designer Sarah Fielke was inspired to do a Summer stitchery for you!  I have loved Sarah’s quilt style since I first found her. I’m lucky to have meet her and interviewed her for my radio show.

You can hear my interview with Sarah on Nov 21,2011  HERE.. scroll down and on March 22, 2010 HERE

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 –www.flickr.com/groups/2012_aurifil_featured_designerofthemonth/

Let’s get to know Sarah!

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

My mother taught me to embroider and sew in general when I was very small. I can remember her looking at the front of my embroidery and saying, “Very nice” and then turning the hoop over to look at the back and saying, “Pull it out”. The back always had to be as neat as the front.

Favorite go to stitch?

I love the simplicity and starkness of backstitch, but if I want to do something eye catching I love Turkey Stitch or needle weaving.

Did you work at another career prior to this … what was it? Do you
still do that career while having your design business?

I worked in advertising before I had my boys and started my crafting career, and also as a nanny for a while. I don’t do either of those things any more thank goodness!

What does your studio look like?

My studio is the smallest room in the house, and the messiest. I have a whole wall of design wall, an ironing board that folds into the wall and a TV which is mounted on the wall too. Floor space is at a premium so I try and keep everything off it, it really is a very little space for the huge quilts that come out of it. I also have a whole wall floor to ceiling that is my stash, colour coded so that I can see things at a glance. I love looking at it.

What is your favorite storage tip or place?

Probably the tool board that my husband put up. He built in my whole studio for me, and this was his idea. I have all my scissors  and rotaries on a knife magnet, baskets for rulers up high out of the way and bits and pieces hanging in buckets and drawers.

And my TV of course -I spend hours and hours in the studio at a time (sometimes up to 10 or 12 straight) and so DVDs are my sanity.

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’.

A sunny day, a good novel, nowhere to be and no work to do.

How do your ideas develop? Do you sketch, doodle, put ideas on a mood

My ideas develop in so many different ways. I keep a lot of notebooks that I doodle ideas and sketches in, so sometimes when I’m stuck I leaf through those to find a place to start. Often though I start with fabrics I’ve fallen in love with. I just start cutting and playing around on the design wall and things happen as I go.

Frequently the idea I started out with turns into something completely different, but that’s part of the fun. When I’m designing for a book and I have to actually SHOW someone what I’m thinking about (yikes!), I use graph paper and sketch blocks out and colour them in with felt tips or coloured pencils. That’s what I did with the quilts for my fourth book – although not all of them have turned out as planned, there are always deviations.

What is your Aurifil ‘go to’ thread color?

With the amount of hand applique I do I’m always running out of my favourite Aurifil Mako 50 weight- cream, white and grey go fast – but I do seem to use up 5015 the fastest. It’s a kind of acid yellow colour that works well on yellows, mustards and weird greens, so it ends up stitching down a lot of my stems and leaves!

What is your favorite stitching tool?

Probably my applique gear. I have a bit of a different method of needleturn applique that makes it so much easier. I use a silver gel pen, liquid applique glue and very fine needles. Theres a kit of all the “bits” available on my website if you want to give it a go!

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

I really want to say something arty and profound like Nancy Crowe or the designers at Liberty, but in actual fact right now I need to train with someone who can teach me how to use computer graphic design software, so lets go with that!

Do you travel to teach? And if so, how often and what types of groups? Guilds, stores, retreats, big shows? Is there a schedule on your blog or website?

I travel to the US and Europe to teach, and I also teach all over Australia. All my classes are listed in the sidebar of my blog and they are updated regularly – there are things in the works not on there yet so be sure to check back. And if you want me to teach near you ask your local quilt shop or guild! You’d be surprised what happens from a simple request 🙂

Anything else you’d like to share… new fabrics, books, teaching event?

For sure! I have a new book coming out in April 2013, a new fabric range which is due in shops in Australia and New Zealand in September of this year, and a stack of teaching events lines up for 2013 – even some in the US!

All the details of those are on my blog. You can also look out for some online classes from me in various places next year, watch my blog for info on those because I’m not allowed to tell you yet!

And a few on the light side… 

  • If they made a movie of your life, what actress will play ‘you’? People say I look like Meg Ryan. I do not see the resemblance.
  • The Book you are currently reading – Bring Up The Bodies by Hilary Mantel. It’s the sequel to her book Wolf Hall which is about Thomas Cromwell, Henry VIII’s minister who helped bring about the end of Anne Boleyn.
  • Your Favorite Movie – Has to be The Castle. It’s a little Australian movie you may not have heard of, but I can watch it a thousand times and still laugh at all the same jokes. How’s the serenity.
  • Dream Vacation spot – While you’re all reading this I will be there – Africa! I’m in Tanzania for most of July with my dad –  I will be turning 40 and he will be turning 70. Happy birthday to us 🙂
  • The Color you have always LOVED….. I’m a green girl. A really good lime or grass green will set me right up.

Why did you select the image you did for your block?

I wanted to go with something seasonal – which is obviously seasonal for the USA not for Australia as it’s freezing cold in Sydney right now! The top of the words are the sunshine and heat and the bottom is the water and the middle section and knots are the sand at the beach. My idea of summer!


12 Wt Aurifil Threads Used in Sarah’s blocks

1103 – red
2140 – yellow
2810 – light blue
1125 – dark blue
2240 – orange
2865 – green

CLICK HERE to download “Color of Summer”

Visit Sarah at her Website http://www.sarahfielke.com/

Blog http://thelastpiece.typepad.com/

Facebook http://www.facebook.com/sarah.fielke

Twitter https://twitter.com/#!/sarahfielke


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 http://www.welovefrenchknots.com/stitch-videos.html

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!

***************************Join us at FACEBOOK ****************************

Sign up for the Aurifil Newsletter HERE at the bottom of the page

Become a member of the AURlfil fan page on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/aurifil.quilt.thread

and I hope you join me, Pat Sloan,

at my facebook FUN PAGE

And read my daily blog http://www.PatSloan.typepad



  1. I enjoyed reading the interview, as always. I am looking forward to getting the new block ready for stitching today. I love my new aurifil threads I have purchased to use on these blocks.

  2. Hello, Neat post. There is a problem together with your website in web explorer, could check this?
    IE nonetheless is the marketplace chief and a huge part
    of other people will leave out your great writing due to this problem.

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: