April Designer of the Month is Katy Jones!

2013 Katy Jones April Aurifil designer button

Hi I’m Pat Sloan the Aurifil Designer of the Month coordinator. April’s Designer of the month is the creative mind behind Monkey Do and new Quilt book Author Katy Jones! Katy lives in a little village just outside of Wakefield in West Yorkshire, England. She tells me “There’s not much where I live – some woodland, some fields, some with shaggy brown cattle with horns in and some with sheep.”

Because of the internet not only have I gotten to know the fabulous Katy via her blog Monkey Do, but we have been able to exchange ideas, help each other through tasks and become great friends! Katy takes fabric and makes it sings! She is not afraid of a bold print nor does she shy away from a timid fabric. Katy takes them all and pushes the traditional quilt to the outer limits.

On June 5, 2012 I did a super cool interview with Katy about her work and she shared with me exactly the type of fabric that is missing in our world!

CLICK HERE to listen to my podcast, it’s a fun one!. When you get to the page scroll to the bottom until you find the “Disco Ball Player”. Once it loads, scroll down the list to June 5, 2012!

EACH MONTH we will pick one random winner that has made a  block from our designers and that random person receives 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 2013 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!


Let’s get to Know Katy!


When was your FIRST quilt sighting? Did it inspire you to start quilting?

My very first quilt sighting was a quilt my mum made for me from my baby clothes, and scraps of fabric she had leftover from dressmaking as well as little packs of scraps she bought from Laura Ashley and other fabric stores. It was an English Paper Pieced Quilt and it spent the whole of my childhood on my bed, until I left home for college (it came to college too) and eventually was used so much and washed and mistreated that it started falling to pieces. I wish she’d kept it and ‘d repair it now, but sadly it got trashed. There’s no doubt it started my love of English Paper Piecing in genera, although I didn’t make a quilt until I was much older and after I had my second child.


Do you still have your first project you ever made?

The first patchwork I did was English Paper piecing way back when I was small. I don’t think it ever made it further than a few hexagons sewn together, and I don’t have it any more, sadly.  I have the first quilt I finished though! Although it wasn’t my first finish, it was my first start. It took me forever to finish it and it lived without binding for the longest time. My little boy has it on his bed at my parent’s house, and I still love it. So does he.


When you go to a quilt show, what types of quilts are you drawn to?

I’m a huge fan of traditional quilts. The huge heavily detailed fine applique quilts or English Paper pieced ones. Those will always draw me in first. Even if I’m not fond of the fabrics used, the amount of skill and time that goes into a hand pieced or hand appliqued quilt is what impresses me more than anything else.

I think it’s the fact that this is how it all started way back when, and that there are women (mostly!) that keep these traditional skills alive when so many of us (me included) want fast results in most of what we do. A quilt in a day, a Quilt in a weekend – we don’t spend the best part of a lifetime producing a handful of quilts, we make hundreds to their one. I love and admire that kind of dedication and skill, and only hope that one day I will make something a fraction as time-consuming and precious.


We all have parts of the process we ‘prefer’ more than others. What part of quilt making do you ‘Prefer’ most and why? And which the least.. and why?

I love to choose fabrics, and the whole design process. I’m super old-fashioned, I can’t use quilt software so I scribble and use colour markers to fashion out some kind of design that probably only I can decipher. I also quite like cutting and piecing. I especially like hand piecing and find that most relaxing and less like work.

Quilting on the other hand I loathe. I’m not confident enough in my ability to produce perfect quilting. I can do grids and straight lines totally fine, but anything else I want to get it longarm quilted because it looks better than my attempts.


Did you have a career prior to making art, and what was it?

Before quilting I was a full-time mama. Before being a full-time mama I didn’t really do much. I left college and got married pretty fast so I never had a ‘real’ job.


When you want to ‘recharge your batteries’ what do you do, where do you do this?

My recharge activity is really just hanging with my kids, the cats and the dog (and my husband when he’s not working!). Watching some TV or a Movie, eating take out and locking the door so no-one can get in and disturb us. My family is my happy place. That sounds kind of cheesy, but it’s true. I would much prefer just hanging out at home with them and doing nothing much at all than going out.


Do you have a tip or trick to make your quilt making easier?

I love to use a SIZZIX Big Shot Machine, not for everything, but especially for cutting out squares from my scraps or strips and also hexagons. I use my SIZZIX Big Shot for cutting both the papers and the fabrics – I use the smaller size die for the hexagon papers and the larger ones for the fabric. It has saved me so much time and means I don’t end up with that claw hand that you  get from using scissors for too long.


What are your 3 favorite colors of Aurifil thread? (share a photo of them)

I’m a neutrals girl. I like the greys, the creams and the whites. My most used colours are probably

2600, 2615 AND 2326.

I use 50 wt for everything – piecing, hand sewing, quilting, it’s just wonderful and I never have any problems with it. In fact, before I started using Aurifil I had so many issues with broken threads and results I didn’t like.

I think part of my issue with quilting (I don’t enjoy that part so much) is because of thread issues in the past. I really need to make some more effort with my quilting now I’m truly converted to Aurifil. I’d probably have better results.


Do you travel to teach?  Is there a schedule on your blog or website?

I mostly teach within the UK and I also demo for SIZZIX at shows, which is great fun. Last year I went to the Sewing Summit in Salt Lake City which was a wonderful experience. I taught English Paper Piecing and loved every second of it. I’m teaching at Camp Stitchalot this May which is a small retreat in Michigan hosted by Brenda of  WWW.PINKCASTLEFABRICS.COM. There are still some spots available for that. Details can be found here

I really need to get more organized and put a schedule up on my blog of where I’ll be and when. I get distracted easily and forget to do those kinds of things!


What does your studio look like?

I don’t have a designated studio space in our home, I just take over the dining room and kitchen. It’s usually a case of pushing everything to one end of the dining table so we can eat and piling stuff up on chairs and any free space.  I dream of one day being able to convert our garage into a studio, that’s what I’d do first if I won the lottery. I have my one day studio all planned out in my head. It’ll happen one day, I just need to save up first!


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

The designer I admire most is Anna Maria Horner. She has an amazing eye for colour and design and everything she does I want. She is very family oriented and I would love to see how she juggles running her business with running a home. Hanging out with her for a day would be fantastic.


Anything else you’d like to share?

I have a book coming out! It’s called 25 Patchwork blocks and will be released in early May with “That Patchwork Place”. It’s a little book, just 48 pages long, so easy on the purse which is important in these difficult financial times that so many of us are having around the world. It may be the first of a few on the same theme (hint, hint!)


I love block books, and I was really interested in making a book that had some of my favourite blocks as well as some new ones and using those designs in a few inspiration projects. It’s a great book for beginners, although because it is only a small book the how to’s on quilting and patchwork in general are not included. I wanted to keep the valuable space for blocks and projects instead.  All of the how to’s are available as PDF downloads on the martingale publishing site and they’re great. Really great basics on all areas of patchwork and quilting.

katy jones granny quilt
So I hope that people will enjoy it, and I’m excited to see people making stuff using my book. I hope! I’m also super nervous about it, it’s quite a scary thing to put something out there that you’re responsible for.


What is the Rock and Roll Song that Inspired your Quilt Block?

HEART AND SOUL BY T’PAU. Does anyone remember them? They were a British Band from the 80s, the lead singer was a red-haired girl. She had amazing curly red hair, and I always thought she was impossibly cool. I still do, if I’m quite honest. CLICK HERE to listen to Heart and Soul


_CLICK HERE To download the pattern for “Heart and Soul”_


Katy Jones and Pat Sloan

And a few on the light side… and I have to share this photo of Katy and I .. I had to try on her fabulous Glasses!

Your Favorite Movie PRETTY IN PINK
The Color you have always LOVED….. RED


twitter – @ImAGingerMonkey

pinterest http://pinterest.com/imagingermonkey/

Pat Sloan Jan to Apr Aurifil blocks

My 4 blocks!

I will have a little show and tell of making my April block on my blog CLICK HERE!

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Aurifil DOM free jan to apr blocks

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If your local shop carries our thread and is not on the shop finder list, write to me pat@patsloan.com and I’ll be sure they are added!

EACH MONTH we will pick one random winner that has made a  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 2013 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. I used to live in North Yorkshire, and would have loved to see her beautiful work… The work she does is amazing…

  2. Great interview! I follow her blog, so it was nice getting a sneak peek at how she started :). Oh and love her heart block too!

  3. Thank you for a great interview! I was wondering what the name of the pattern is for the quilt pictured by the little doll house? Thanks!

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