May Designer of the Month Jackie Kunkel!

2013 Jackie Kunkel May Aurifil designer button

Hi I’m Pat Sloan the Aurifil Designer of the Month coordinator. May’s Designer of the month is the fantastic Jackie Kunkel!

Jackie and I have known each other for many years and when we finally meet in person it was in the ladies room at a restaurant in Houston.. really! I can’t make this stuff up.  What I love about Jackie is her use of color. BOLD use of color. She is a master at combing fabrics and making outstanding quilts.

Jackie is so full of information I’ve had her on my radio show several times. She did a super segment on paper piecing that you will want to listen to! CLICK HERE to listen 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 April 8, 2013 and July 16, 2012,


EACH MONTH we will pick one random winner that has made a  block from our designers and that random person receives a FULL BOX of my Aurifil thread as the  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 Jackie!

jackie kunkel pic 1

When was your FIRST quilt sighting?

That is really a difficult question. I am not sure I really remember. However, I can tell you that I made my “first patchwork pillow” in my 6th grade Home Economics class. Remember when they had Home Ec? Now that dates me a little bit.

jackie kunkel pic 2

Did it inspire you to start quilting? At the time, I was most interested and made TONS of clothing. I loved making garments. It wasn’t until…fast forward many years later… I was pregnant with my daughter that my husband suggested I take a class. So I took my first quilting class.

That first quilting class didn’t inspire me at all. The teacher wanted us to learn “the old fashioned” way. You know cardboard templates and scissors. I knew this wasn’t right for me. So I persisted and took another class. This is where I learned all about rotary cutters and rulers. My first “official” quilt was a Star Log Cabin from Quilt In a Day. I no longer own this quilt, I gave it to a friend of mine. But after that class I was hooked!!

jackie K quilt

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

I tend to be drawn to quilts that have very vibrant, bold, bright colors. But also they tend to have an element of lots and lots of  pieces. They could be appliquéd, or pieced… it really doesn’t matter. Mostly they have more of a traditional design or are interpreted from a traditional design.

jackie kunkel pic 4

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

If you really want me to choose, I guess I would go with the piecing. I get a TON of satisfaction seeing the design come together. When it is completed, it is that “AHHHHH” moment, when I sit back and enjoy!

And which the least.. I suppose I would have to say that the worst part for me is the label. I don’t usually like to put labels on. Probably about half of my quilts have them and the other half don’t. I am not sure why this is for me. It is like knowing the dishes have to be washed and you put it off until you have a pile sitting there staring you in the face.

jackie kunkel pic 5

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

I actually did… I have a Bachelors and Masters Degree in Vocational Rehabilitation. Sooooo totally different than what I do now. I loved what I did, helping people, but when I had my daughter and then my son right after her, I stayed home to take care of the kids.

As before, I had said that I had taken a quilting class to occupy any down time I had. Any of you who have children, know there isn’t much down time, but you find a way to squeeze the quilting in… I totally don’t work as a Vocational Counselor any longer. I probably never will again.

jackie kunkel pic 6

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

I love to go to Arizona to the warmer weather with family. We love to be outdoors and hiking. Often I will sit outside and just read as well.

jackie kunkel pic 7

Good to get away from technology and the computer… unplug and recharge for sure. I seem to sleep pretty well then too.

jackie kunkel pic 11

Do you have a process you go through to get your ideas started?

Color always starts my process. I may see a color that really strikes me, I can see it anywhere… outside in the garden, on a walk, or just in my daily travels. I then usually find myself thinking about that color (almost obsessively) then I have that urge to start pulling fabrics out and playing with them.

jackie kunkel pic 10

I also do many of my designs on my Mac utilizing their numbers program. This program is equivalent to Excel. In fact right now I have 4 tutorials up on YouTube for Mac Users on just this subject. You can find them here…

Jackie kunkel favroite thread

What are your 3 favorite colors of Aurifil thread?

These are my go to shades

  • wine  4030
  • yellow  2123
  • gray 2615

jackie kunkel pic 13

Do you travel to teach?

Oh yes, and love it!! And if so, how often and what types of groups? Pretty often, I teach/lecture/and do trunk shows at Guilds, Shops, retreats, and shows!!!

Is there a schedule on your blog or website? You can find my schedule here….

jackie kunkel pic 8

What does your studio look like?

Ahhh… that is the big question. My home studio is pretty messy right now.

jackie kunkel pic 9

It serves as an online quilt shop, long arm studio and my place to sew. I also have a Classroom Studio where I teach locally.

jackie studio with students

This is very neat! I have tons of design wall space for my students and they really seem to love it. It is full of light and talented people who come to play all day with me!

jackie kunkel pic 3

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

I already do… I have trained, worked with and followed Judy Niemeyer for many years. I love her design sense and am constantly drawn to her work. I recently became one of her Nationally Certified Teachers!

Jackies aurifil block

What is the Rock and Roll Song that Inspired your Quilt Block (and it’s name)

I love pinwheels and everything going round and round. All I could think of was “Rocking Round the Clock”, so Rock Around the Clock by Bill Haley and His Comets was the song that inspired this block.

Check out the video… They were on American Bandstand in 1960… Wow… Dick Clark always looked sooooo young! You can find it here: (from Pat.. you have GOT to watch this.. see the girls, and boys, chewing gum to the ‘beat’.. cracks me up!)


CLICK HERE for the May Aurifil_Block_of_the_month


jackie kunkel pic 14

And a few on the light side…

The Book you are currently reading –  Marie Bostwick’s newest book Between Heaven and Texas

Your Favorite Movie – I am a sucker yes, I am… Somewhere in Time with Christopher Reeves and Jane Seymour

The Song Stuck in your head... That is a funny question, because I always have songs going round and round in my head. The current one… don’t ask why… is The Locomotion

Do you like to Dance? I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE to dance!!

The Color you have always LOVED.…. Pink and any shade of it…the brighter, hotter and bolder the better!

Visit Jackie online at these spots!

Pat Sloan May Aurifil Block Final

My block! Go to my blog for a little color placement audition and a different way to assemble the block that might be a tad less challenging .. wink!  Plus see all my blocks together! CLICK HERE for my tutorial.

and I hope you join me, Pat Sloan, at my facebook FUN PAGE

And read my daily blog

Sign up for my Newsletter CLICK HERE

or join my quilt group!


Looking for Aurifil?  CLICK HERE to our shop finder!
We also would love you to ask your local quilt shop to carry our thread if they do not do so already. If they do carry our thread, yippee!

If your local shop carries our thread and is not on the shop finder list, write to me 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 love your work Jackie, fabulous designs & colours. Is there a pattern available for the autumn/peach coloured geese quilt please?

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