July Designer of the Month Laurie Simpson

2013 Laurie Simpson July Aurifil designer button

Hi I’m Pat Sloan the Aurifil Designer of the Month coordinator. July’s Designer of the month is the one half of the Minick & Simpson design team, Laurie Simpson. Sisters Polly Minick and Laurie Simpson design fabric together for Moda, you might have seen it.. actually look on your fabric shelf I bet you have some!  Laurie is the quilt maker and Polly is the rug hooker.  They teamed up with Aurifil recently to design thread kits that work perfectly with their fabric lines with Moda.

I had a super time interviewing Laurie and Polly on my Radio show on January 23, 2012. We talked about how they got started and how they work together as a team to develop the fabric and wool lines.  The ‘division of labor’ comes in when you get to making things. Laurie only does quilts and Polly only hooks rugs! They are so fun! To Listen to my show CLICK HERE. then scroll down until you see the Green “Disco” ball. Once the shows load.. scroll the radio player and listen!

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.


Polly and Laurie decided to let Laurie take over this project, because it’s a quilt, wink! Let’s meet Laurie Simpson


When was your FIRST quilt sighting?

1972, in a Woman’s Day magazine. I had to have one!

first quilt

Do you still have your first project you ever made? 

Not first project (I was stitching something by the age of 7) but the first quilt.  It is in shreds – polyester shreds.


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

Antiques or interpretations of antique quilts


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

When I am just starting to hand quilt – it’s all about relaxing, listening to books on tape or watching murder mysteries or baseball games while I quilt.

M&S Small Thread Box

Did you have a career prior to making art?

Many – if you want to be generous and call them careers….. library assistant, managed a ski shop, bar tended, medical assistant, and secretary.


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

Vacations are nice, but not always practical. We did have a few days in Paris this year – THAT was fun.


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

 It’s never one thing – But it is always something. A photo of an antique quilt, something totally unrelated but in a pleasing color palette, a pile of fabric that I think works well together


What are your 3 favorite colors of Aurifil thread?

2230, 1126, 2612.

aurifil thread

I use these the most and I would be hard pressed to NOT use at least one of them in a quilt. (This is the Minick/Simpson thread kit from Aurifil!)


Do you travel to teach? 

 Yes, occasionally.  Guilds and special retreats.  I always post on the blog


What does your studio look like?

The “studio” (the whole house) is an evolving organized mess.


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

Kaffe Fassett.  We met Kaffe in France this year and it was so inspiring. While our styles are very different – I so admire his color genius and I know every minute spent with him would be golden. (that is Polly and Kaffe in the photo)

2013 July Aurifil block chain of fools by Laurie Simpson

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

Chain of Fools by Aretha Franklin – she was the first woman inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and I grew up listening to Motown music. – the quilt block is named Chained Star.

2013 Aurifil blocks July 1

Listen to ‘Chain of Fools’ here on Youtube, it is a live performance in 1968 .. check out the outfit!

(From Pat:  I really like this 1998 version she sings with Mariah Carey The energy is amazing in this video!  I LOVE Youtube! If you want some more ‘vintage’ Aretha, 20 minutes from a 1976 show..it’s GREAT! CLICK HERE)


CIick HERE to download Laurie’s July block

Laurie is taking us “Back to the Basics” with her block. She hand pieced her block, but you can easily do this English Paper Piecing style (just like you do Hexagons). I put some photos on my blog of my block in progress CLICK HERE to see my block)


2013 Aurifil blocks july 2

And the back of Laurie’s block

And a few on the light side…


  • Book currently reading – Possession by A. S. Byatt – for about the 4th time.


  • Favorite movie – so many, but at least once a year, when my husband and I want to be cheered up and reminded about the good in the world we watch Stranger Than Fiction.


  • Song stuck in my head – I try to use mental floss so that doesn’t happen
  • Do you like to dance – No, but in an alternate universe I can jitterbug like a champ


  • Color always loved – red

Visit Laurie Simpson and Polly Minick

Blog – http://minickandsimpson.blogspot.com/

Website – http://www.minickandsimpson.com/

2013 Aurifil blocks Jan through July

All the Designer blocks.. they look wonderful! (from Pat- my brain is starting to develop a setting that will really show off each block.. I may leave these up on my design wall for awhile)

Pat Sloan July 2013 Aurifil block

My block so far! Go to my blog for a some step out photos of how I put the block together. I’ll update this picture when my block is done. CLICK HERE to my Blog Post

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


And read my daily blog http://blog.patsloan.com

Sign up for my Newsletter CLICK HERE

or join my quilt group! http://www.quiltmashup.com

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 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 love Chair of Stars. I love the fabric you chose. I feel the wiggling around in my brain, the addictive part for the need to make this one. Can I get the directions to make this block larger than what is printed? Want the 12″ .

  2. Hi! I a, having trouble downloading the July block. Will you please make sure the link is live?
    Thanks! Cathy vJ in MA

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