August Designer of the Month Jill Finley

2013 Jill Finley August Aurifil designer button

Hi I’m Pat Sloan the Aurifil Designer of the Month coordinator. August’s Designer of the month is dynamo designer Jill Finley!  Jill designs fabric for Henry Glass, has her own line of patterns, a book, and an Aurifil thread kit that blends with all her beautiful fabric lines.

I had a super time interviewing Jill on my Radio show on January 21, 2013.  I learned all about her love of fabric and applique, and about the ‘poke-a-dot’ product she designed!

 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.

Let’s meet Jill Finley…


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

When I was young I often spent time at my friend’s Grandma’s, playing under her ever-present quilt on the frame in the front room. I had no idea that I would end up in this industry one day!   


Do you still have your first project you ever made? What was it? 

Many years ago I was asked to teach a class on a quilted wall-hanging at my church group. I did a lot of sewing then, but I had never made a quilt. I thought, sure, I can do that. So I designed a little project and taught it to several church groups. I really was making it up as I went—I had no idea of the techniques and tools that we use today. I made a lot of mistakes and several “interesting” choices, but that is when my love for quilting began.

The next year we started a quilting group in our neighborhood and I designed a quilt for us to make in celebration of the Utah Statehood Centennial. These blocks were very complicated, but I didn’t know that as I was drawing it up. Being a new quilter, I didn’t even realize that this may be hard to do!! (Ignorance is bliss!)

book 2

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

I love all kinds of quilts—I am especially drawn to the technique and skill of the artist. I love to look at fine hand work and am amazed at the talent many quilters share. Applique quilts are a favorite because I appreciate all the effort, time and expertise that goes into a quilt. But if I really think about it, it is the colors I am drawn to. I love clear crisp colors with high contrast. Warm colors with cool, lights with darks, etc. I can see color from afar, and it pulls me in!


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 really love the whole process, but I guess my least favorite part is the cutting. I just can’t wait to get sewing! Having said that, it is fun to cut into new fabrics and see those little piles of quilt pieces stacking up together.

And for my favorite part, I guess it would be hand applique. I find it really relaxing to just sit and stitch—of course it is a joy to stitch with Aurifil threads!!


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

Before starting my design business I was busy being a Mom. (I have 7 children) You never get “done” raising a family, they just get bigger and more of them!


Of course I was also constantly creating and learning, and that just got me ready to start my business. I actually was a Math major in college, so I guess that helps when it comes to writing patterns—which is one of my least favorite things to do!


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

I love to garden and I love the mountains. It’s fun planning and planting my garden and imagining how it will look in a few months. Even if it doesn’t turn out, I still try again next year!

The mountains are so inspiring. Just watching the clouds gather over those peaks and seeing the sun on the slopes. It is beautiful to just take a drive up into the nearby canyons. I am lucky that it is not far from me.

book 5

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

Oh, I have lots of tips! When you’ve made as many mistakes as I have made, you tend to eventually learn something! My newsletter has tips in every issue, (sign up on my homepage at and there are several tutorials on my blog and website. One of my best tips is to enjoy the process. Don’t be so focused on getting your quilt done that you don’t enjoy doing it. After all, that is the fun part!


Do you have a process you go through to get your ideas started? I use a theme and words. Some people use photos, fabric swatches… etc

Sometimes I turn to my sketch book or see something somewhere that inspires me, but usually it is the fabric that generates ideas for me. I love when I first get my new collections of fabric—I put them all out on my cutting table and start pulling things together. Then I start drawing a quilt concept. It is interesting to me that this doesn’t really work for me with just the artwork. It has to be the actual fabric to get me thinking! It is a challenge for me to design a quilt for a new collection before I have fabric because for some reason, I need to touch the fabric to get ideas rolling!


What are your 3 favorite colors of Aurifil thread?  

Red 2250, Green 1147, and Yellow 2130 These are three that I use often, and they are in my Aurifil EVERYDAY COLORS COLLECTION.

meet jill

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?

Yes, I do travel to give trunk shows, lectures, and teach workshops. It is one of my favorite things to do. I love meeting quilters everywhere and seeing their work. I come to guilds and to shops for special events, and I do vend at a few wholesale and retail festivals. You can see my schedule on my website under the EVENTS tab.


What does your studio look like?

Right now?! Could you wait a minute while I clean it up?! Usually every surface is covered with piles of projects, orders, new inventory, etc! I don’t have a huge space, but I have found that whatever space I do have, I tend to fill it up! My mess expands to the size of the designated space. If I clean up and stay organized, I can get by in this space, but it doesn’t take long. . .  


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

How about you! Time with Pat Sloan would certainly be inspirational! And we would have a good time laughing, too, don’t you think? (ohhhh… I am blushing Jill.. and yes.. we’d laugh for sure! But you have to give me this red cupboard in trade.. wink!)

Aurifil block of the month Aug by Jill Finley

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

“Take it Easy” by the Eagles. I love anything from the Eagles, and I don’t think we should take ourselves too seriously. Old time Rock and Roll is a favorite of mine. I have a musical family—my husband and kids play guitar and keyboards and drums and have been in several bands. I am often found at rock concerts with a crowd more than half my age so I can see my son’s band play. (The things we do to support our kids!!)

CLICK TO LISTEN to the song!


CLICK HERE to download the Take It Easy


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Jill made the block up in her fabric line

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And in her NEW fabric line!

full quilt

And.. she is making a quilt up with it too!

Image 9

And a few on the light side…

  • Your Favorite Movie:

There are so many! “Much Ado About Nothing”, “October Sky” , “You’ve Goy Mail”, “Pride and Prejudice”


  • The Song Stuck in your head:

Well, today it is “Take it Easy” because I am writing this!

book 1

  • Do you like to Dance?

Of course! But it embarrasses my kids.

DSC02267 (1)

  • The Color you have always LOVED…..

RED. You can tell that by looking at my quilts or visiting my home!

Jill is hosting a giveaway until Aug 8, 2013 at her blog CLICK HERE to enter to win!

2013 aurifil jan to aug blocks

January to August blocks! I love putting them up on my design wall each month to see what the color flow is going to be like. You will notice I move them around so the color works, they are not in month order.

pat sloan aurifil aug bom

My block! CLICK HERE to my blog for how I auditioned the fabric selections for this block AND to see all my blocks all together!. I hope you join me, Pat Sloan, online at….

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 really enjoyed reading your article. I met you in both Houston and Chicago and you are so fun to talk to. Your work is beautiful. I have never used Aurifil thread but will be buying some very soon.

  2. Oh my Goodness! What beautiful thread!! Those colors are just so beautiful. I have always loved your fabric collections and I am so glad that you have designed these Aurifil threads as well!

  3. What a great interview. I chuckled when you said your favorite thread colors were red, green and yellow. Just looking at most of your quilts and a person would know that!!! Fun, fun.

  4. I use white and gray Aurifil and it is very clear I need to expand and put some color into my piecing.

  5. red and black are some of my favorite colors but I really love them all… green yellow blue it is just too hard to pick one…

  6. Jill, I love your fabrics, colors and quilts. I can’t wait to see what you share every blog post.

  7. I love the colors of your fabric. I am just learning to quilt and taking the challenge of machine quilting.

  8. Oh my,your talent and imagination is incredible! I am totally in awe and I would LOVE to own those beautiful threads!

  9. I cannot get the first page of Jill’s Take It Easy block to print properly and I have tried it on three printers. Most all the written information is a smear of black ink! Anyone else have issues with just the first page? The other two pages print just fine.

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