Aurifil 2015 Oct Designer of the Month Sara Lawson

Aurifil 2015 Sara Lawson Oct designers logo

Welcome to our 2015 Designer of the Month program,  I’m Designer/Radio show host PatSloan! Our October interview and mini quilt is from the amazing Sara Lawson of Sew Sweetness.  Sara has such an eye for fashion forward projects that are also doable! She has bags, project containers and more. And I love the way she will combine fabrics, you can learn a lot by following her.


And I’m a TAD partial to the bag she designed for me, the Sloan Travel bag! 

You can listen to interview on 5/5/14 and 10/21/13  with Sara to learn a LOT about bags interfacing. It’s like taking a class with her! You can listen RIGHT at your computer to my podcast 

Pat Sloan Perfect Colors3We 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 Sara!

JAV-727 Elephant Skyline
What City and Country do you live in?

I live in Chicago. I’m actually in Chicago, but I’m a Chicago/suburban border, so it’s not downtown. We actually have the forest preserve right down the street (we see deer grazing all the time), so it’s a great mix of both worlds. (Fabric is Sara’s design)


When was your FIRST quilt sighting?

My friends inspired me to start quilting. Amy Lou Who and Kim from Aurifil (before she started working for Aurifil) got me into quilting because they were doing it and I didn’t want to be left out. The first quilt I made was from a free Amy Butler pattern called ‘Brick Path’. Soon after I participated in a sew along on P.S. I Quilt for a postage stamp quilt which I remember being really excited about. I used solids and a line from Laurie Wisbrun called ‘Tufted Tweets’ which I really loved.


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

I love the use of color. I find that I am most drawn to the use of solids in a quilt. I especially like something with curves or a design that I have not seen before.


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

I worked in a pet store for 14 years, so no, no career in art. I did go to school for art (minoring in advertising), but somehow I feel like I was just phoning it in while I was in school. I took all sorts of different art classes (print making, painting, photography, etc.) but nothing seemed to especially stick.


What is your favorite place to visit in your hometown?

I love going to the park with my kids. I really enjoy going downtown to the great museums we have here in Chicago (Field Museum, Shedd Aquarium, etc.), but with a family it can get kind of expensive so I don’t do those things as often as I’d like.


What does your studio look like, and what would you change in it?

I have a really small house, so I’m lucky enough to have a room that I can fill with my sewing supplies. It’s not a big room, and nothing Pinterest-worthy, but I’ve got room for my computer, sewing machine, and my stash. I also have a table that I use for photographing steps for my patterns.


I have 3 more machines that I don’t have room for, so I have those in the dining room on a separate table (serger, coverstitch machine, and a backup sewing machine – my regular sewing machine is straight-stitch only, and for certain garments I need a stretch stitch and buttonhole stitch, so that’s what the backup machine is for – I know it sounds silly having so many machines, each with a specific purpose, but I love my regular machine and wouldn’t want to trade it for anything else…I use a Juki TL-2010Q it’s amazing).


Do you have a GREAT storage, organization, or label making tip?

I’m not sure I’m the most organized sewist there ever was, but I do try my best. I have plastic storage containers on top of my fabric storage and each has a specific type of item (leather handles, 30-40” zippers, small packs of interfacing mostly for garments, elastics, and a bin for garment patterns I’ve already made, since I keep copies of the pattern pieces [I use Pellon Easy Pattern] as I’ve adjusted them and the envelopes get really bloated with the copied pieces).


What are your 3 favorite colors of Aurifil thread?

Love turquoise, green, and pink, so these are my 3 favorite spools. I use white the most often though.


What is coming up for you?

I have a Craftsy class coming out at the end of October that I’m really excited about and my second book, Windy City Bags, comes out in December with Martingale.


I’m working really hard on some women’s garment patterns right now, so I’m hoping to release a couple of titles by the end of the year.

sara heart collage

What about your Month Inspired your Quilt Block?


I designed this block in honor of my friend Penny.


Download Sara’s Penny Love Mini Quilt Instructions


sara projects

And a few on the light side… 

  • The Book you are currently reading – I’m getting ready to start reading the Harry Potter series to my kids…I read chapter books to them every night before bed (our favorite is Calvin and Hobbes, which I realize is a comic book and not a chapter book, lol). I’m re-reading the books by Susanna Kearsley, which are historical time-travel type books (similar to Outlander but a bit different as in some books the characters are not physically travelling through time).
  • Favorite TV show – Law and Order SVU, Shark Tank, Masters of Sex, Outlander
  • Are you a Dog or Cat person? Dog. My first job was at a grooming/boarding kennel. We’d never had a dog before, and through working there I convinced my parents to let me get a dog. I saved up my paychecks from that whole summer to buy a dog, an Australian Shepherd.
  • The snack you crave – Lately I’ve been digging rice crisps from Trader Joe’s and humus.
  • The Color you have always LOVED…..Green

Visit Sara at these places


pat sloan aurifil oct mini

Over at my page where I share a few tips!..   And see my blocks all 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


Our RANDOM pick this month grabbed hildyinlove! She has WON a BOX of Aurifil thread!  Also see her single block up close at our Flicker group HERE


  1. I really enjoy learning about the different designers. I follow Sara and love it. thank your for sharing with us all out here. thank you for the blocks.

  2. the free pattern from sara laws is not there to see or copy. did something go was a free pattern in honour of here friend penny.

    Date: Wed, 14 Oct 2015 16:24:55 +0000 To:

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