Aurifil 2015 May Designer of the Month Lynn Harris

Aurifil May 2015 Aurifil Designer Lynn Harris collage

Welcome to our 2015 Designer of the Month program,  I’m Designer/Radio show host PatSloan!

Our May mini is by Designer Lynn Harris of The Little Red Hen. Besides being a wonderful designer with her first book just out, she is an amazing photographer. What I love about Lynn’s work is the COLOR! She makes amazing quilts with loads of color and lots of resting area to see it. She also does great things with scraps, which is what her new book is all about.  I highly recommend you start following her website to see what life on the farm for a modern day quilter is all about!  In my interview we’ll get a glimpse of this and I tell you I’m hooked on Lynn’s designs and site!

Pat Sloan Perfect Colors3

We continue our MONTHLY thread BOX giveaway (seriously folks… you could win a box of my thread which is over $120.00 value.. for making a quilt block… you have to join in!). We will pick one random winner that has made a  block from our 2014 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 FLICK GROUP HERE

Let’s get to know Lynn!

01 aurifil designer 1 coming home

Where do you live in?
I live in an old farm house just outside of Chelsea, Michigan.

02 aurifil designer 1b fall prairie
When was your FIRST quilt sighting? Did it inspire you to start quilting? 
The first quilt I remember was the one my grandmother had spread in the back of her station wagon. It was a double wedding ring quilt made by my great grandmother. The background was lavender and the rings were lots of different
sweet 1930’s prints.

03 aurifil designer 2 first quilt

Back in the days before child restraining car seats, my sisters, cousins, and I would ride in the back of the station wagon on the quilt. When I left  home, I eventually rescued that quilt when my grandmother was going to toss it out. It still has purple melted crayon spots on it. My sisters and I learned to sew in 4H and made our own clothes. With the coming US bicentenial celebration in the news I started making a quilt.

Using leftover garment scraps I traced around a square cardboard template with an ball point pen and cut the squares with scissors. I made a strip of squares and stretched it over my bed to test for the correct size. I kept building strips and adding them until the quilt covered my bed. I still love that quilt because all of the fabrics in it hold memories for me. Memories of clothes that my mother made for me and my sisters. Memories of my sisters and I spreading out fabrics and pinning patterns for our 4H projects. That quilt takes me back in time. I finished the quilt in time for the 1976 bicentenial celebration.

04 aurifil designer 3 stacks of stars

When you go to a quilt show, what types of quilts are you drawn to? 
At quilt shows I am drawn to antique quilts. I love to study old quilts and think about what keeps those designs relevant today. I am especially drawn to scrap quilts or quilts that have many different fabrics in them. Tiny pieces also make my heart skip a beat. I get weak in the knees looking at antique quilts with tiny half inch sawteeth borders. I incorporate scraps and tiny triangles into my own quilts when I can.

05 aurifil designer 3b red and white
Two color quilts are also a favorite of mine, the design elements are boiled down to just the basic lines of dark and light. They are so visually striking and can have a lot of visual energy.
06 aurifil designer  tooltools of the trade
Did you have a career prior to making art, and what was it?
I have an engineering degree but am not a working engineer. I do use the skills I learned in my Industrial Engineering
work in setting up my studio space and my work habits. My favorite class in school was Geometery. I always loved the homework that involved a compass and straight edge.

07 aurifil designer new sock project
I also worked for a time as an activity therapist at a children’s hospital and always had crafts for the children to work on while in the clinic. All along, I’ve had a love for making. I enjoy all kinds of needlework, sewing, quilting, knitting, crochet, tatting. My family will be quick to tell you that I can’t just sit with my hands still. I am always working on or making something.

08 aurifil designer 5 jiffy storage
What is your favorite place to visit in your hometown?
Chelsea, MI is the home of Chelsea Milling. It is the only place in the world where Jiffy Mix is made. I take all of my out of town guests on the Jiffy Tour. I love watching the old equipment at work. The box builder machine is mesmerizing.
09 aurifil designer canoe

When the weather is nice we also like to take early morning outings in our canoe or kayaks on some of the small lakes in the area.

10 aurifil designer 6 studio fabric storage
What does your studio look like, and what would you change in it?
I am lucky to have an entire room of our house devoted to my sewing adventures.
11 aurifil designer 6b
When I got my newest Bernina I also got a sewing table that the machine sits down in. This was a huge change for me and made a big difference in the quality of free motion quilting I am able to do. I love all of the space the table has around the machine to support the quilt.

12 aurifil designer 6c working with scraps

The large sewing table is also a big help when I’m string piecing with scraps. It is nice to have a place to spread out the scraps and to easily see which piece I want to add next.

13 aurifil designer 7 storage
Do you have a GREAT storage tip?
I struggle with keeping my studio tidy and organized. Scrap quilts are my passion so there are often large piles of fabric and scraps out. It does help to keep the smaller tools and notions where I can find them. I keep my sewing machine feet organized in an old aurifil thread box.

14 aurifil designer 7b notions
Ribbons and trims are stored in an old suitcase. My daughter loves to make things in the sewing room too and knows that she can use most anything in this suitcase to add to her creations.

15 aurifil designer 7c studio storage
I also use old glass canning jars to keep small miscellaneous sewing items organized and visible.

16 aurifil designer super bowl treats
What are your 3 favorite colors of Aurifil thread?
It is so hard to choose a favorite color, they are all so pretty. Aurifil is like sewing candy to me.

17 aurifil designer 8 favorite aurifil colors
If I have to choose, I’d say my favorite Aurifil thread colors are 5015, 2588, and
4651. I go through 2021 by the cone; it is a great neutral that goes with just about
everything. I use it for both piecing and quilting.

18 aurifil designer 9 Every Last Piece cover
Anything else you’d like to share?
I have a new book, Every Last Piece, that is making its debut this month.

19 aurifil designer sewing
The designs in my book will help you sew your scraps into beautiful quilts

20 aurifil designer 25 quilts

and use every last piece in your scrap bin.

24 spring tiles aurifil
What about your Month Inspired your Quilt Block?
After a very long and cold winter here in Michigan, this mini quilt is inspired by the hope of bright spring colors and warm outdoor sewing weather. The background is built from a collection of bright scraps. The black and white triangles, reminiscent of winter, tie it all together.


DOWNLOAD the May Aurifil Mini Spring Tiles


22 aurifil designer rooster
And a few on the light side…
● The Book you are currently reading – On our spring break trip we listened to Pilgrim at Tinker Creek by Annie Dillard. It was very enjoyable and made me homesick for the mountains in southwest Virginia where I grew up. I highly
recommend it.
● Favorite TV show –  My current favorites are Call the Midwife, and Bletchly Circle.
● Are you a Dog or Cat person? We currently only have chickens.

21 aurifil designer girl and her chicken
We enjoy raising a new crop of chicks each year.

23 aurifil designer fresh eggs
Fresh eggs are the BEST!



Here is my Mini… It’s getting exciting to see them all together!

Come visit my site for a look at all my Mini’s together! 

Are you on Facebook? I have a fantastic quilt group with the most incredible show and tell going on! You should see it! JOIN me HERE … I’d love to meet you!

1 Watermak-Needle-Black

*************************** JOIN our Aurifil Family  ****************************

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  HERE

2015 may charlotte maxwell

Our RANDOM pick this month grabbed Charlotte’s sunny block! She has WON a BOX of Aurifil thread!

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  1. Is that quilt with the solid purple background made from a pattern in your book? It’s beautiful!

  2. Nice meeting you! Its always fabulous to get to know the people behind the quilts and blogs!

    I love Jiffy muffin mix! We use it all the time.

  3. thanks for a great interview Pat – lovely to get to know Lynn – love her scrap quilts and the little stars are aweome – love her mini for the month – I can’t wait to use all my favourite scraps !

  4. Love your hens. Fresh eggs are the best I agree.
    Love your Mini Quilts with all that fabulous colour.

  5. This introduced me to Lynn! Following her on Bloglovin and just purchased her book.. Thanks so much for the inspiration!

  6. Pat, I enjoy your designer interviews, and Lynn is very engaging – love her quilts! – but can you possibly humor a techie and have all designers use a standardized file naming format when they submit their blocks? Maybe “Aurifil 2015 Month Block Name”. Or Designer Name. Doesn’t matter as long as they’re consistent. It would make searching for them on my computer SO much easier. At least I was organized enough to set up folders for each year! Thanks if you consider it, kudos if you can actually DO it!

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