Aurifil 2016 January Designer of the Month Heather Valentine

Aurifil 2016 Design Team January Heather Valentine

It’s a bright shiny new year and we have a whole new team of designers for 2016! We are making a block a month and I asked each designer to create a blue and white block. They are going to share their inspiration and tell us about themselves in my interviews on the 15th of each month.

By the end of the year you will have 12 blocks and I’ll have a setting for you!  I’m Designer/Radio show host PatSloan, and I can’t wait for you to meet these 12 Designers this year and get to know them.

My January interview and quilt block is with Heather Valentine of The Sewing Loft.   I’ve been doing projects with Heather and really love what she shares at her website. She has so many great tips and tutorials, you need to sign up for her newsletter!  I also interviewed Heather on 8/11/14, take a listen

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.. JUST 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 Heather!

1 Home

  • Where do you live and what is your favorite spot there?

    My family currently lives in a rural area outside of Charlotte, NC. We are in love with the warm weather climate and the small town charm.

2 My Quilt Pile

  • When was your FIRST quilt sighting?

    If you still have your first project, you can tell about that, a photo would be great!) The memory of my first quilt sighting is a toughie for me. Even though I come from a long line of seamstresses, I do not recall any of them making quilts, they were all hardcore garment girls that dabbled in crochet. Let’s just say that we had afghan’s everywhere!

2 Vintage Beauties

These days, I am finding that the artistry of vintage treasures immediately pulls me in. After spotting this stack of beauties over the summer, I am determined to replace the afghan’s in my home with handmade quilted goodness. Now, I don’t expect this to happen overnight but I with time my pile will grow.

3 Girl in Shades Sketch

  • Did you have a career prior this?

    My love affair with fabric and thread is long standing. At a young age, I knew I wanted to be part of this creative community but my journey to get here started in the apparel industry. I was so inspired by the top fashion designers and was determined to become apart of that magical scene. While fine-tuning my pattern making skills at FIT, I quickly realized just how many opportunities were available within the industry and found my passion in the construction process.

    Product Development was where I shined and I spent the next 20 years developing patterns, fit quality standards and helping factories improve their daily productivity. It was a blast and even though I’ve crossed over to the “quilty” side of life, you can still find me doodling the day away.

4 Quilting foot with bar

  • Have you had a ‘light bulb’ moment in making things?

    I have always been amazed by the skill of others and found rows of perfectly straight seams intimidating. Then one day, I discovered the quilting presser foot with 1/4” guide bar and was like HELLO BESTIE! Seriously, I did a shout out to all my quilting friends and asked why they kept this little golden nugget of knowledge from me. This small piece of steel can truly make your straight stitches sing.

5 Folded Fabric

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

    My studio was a hot mess until this summer. Like many, I was struggling with storage and the feeling of the walls creeping in left me uninspired. So, I called a few friends, empty everything out of my space and went to work.

5 Heather Valentine Work Table

  • I sorted, painfully purged, designed a multi functional desk & storage and painted. You would be amazed at the world of difference a 1-gallon can of paint can make.

5 Shelves

  • Now, don’t get me wrong, I’m still dreaming of more space and creative storage solutions to help hide my fabric addiction but overall, I’m pretty happy with the results.

6 Scrap Baskets

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

    Storage is something every fabric lover seems to struggle with and I am no different. I tend to keep every little last piece of my fabric scraps until there is no more room. To help keep things neat and tidy I started sorting my scraps into wire baskets by color range. Think red, yellow, blue and variations of. The openness of the wire baskets allow me to quickly see and pull out different fabrics for projects without the need to dump everything on the floor. Plus, I know that when my baskets are full, I need to get stitching. I’m really trying my best to stay organized this year and not be swallowed up by my stash.

Thread Bowl

  • What are your 3 favorite colors of Aurifil thread?

    2310, 2225 for sneak peak of color inside garments and I’m not why but 2800 is quickly becoming my must reach for color instead of white.

Starry Night Sampler

  • What is coming up?

    2016 is shaping up to be a crazy busy year for me with TONS of stitching on the menu!

Starting in February, I’m kicking off a BOM with Fairfield called Starry Night. The sampler was designed to gradually build your skill level and offers a variety of finished layouts.

Then it’s off to the races with a three book series filled with projects perfect for the budding stitcher launching later in the year, new video classes with BabyLock and plenty of teaching at local shops. I just love to get up-close and personal with others who share my passion for stitching.


  • What blue inspired your block?

    Blue is one of those colors that brings me to a place of calm and reminds me of the soothing sound of the waves crashing on the beach.

Finished Block


DOWNLOAD Aurifil Designer Block 1

VISIT Heather’s Website for MORE details on how she made her block!


And a few on the light side… 

  • Right handed or left handed.. and can you use the other at all?  – Right handed but my penmanship presents as a lefty. (think wildly slanted to the left)

  • What is your Favorite childhood TV show? I loved the Muppets! I would watch them every night before heading off to bed.

  • Are you a Dog or Cat person? dog, Dog, DOG! My family rescued a French Bulldog 2 years ago named Chewie and he is my best buddy! Not only is he constantly by my side but he takes his duties as scrap inspector seriously and is dreaming of one day being promoted to floor manager.

Milk Duds

  • The snack you crave- I’m a salty sweet girl all the way but when the pressure is on, I reach for milk duds.

  • The Color you have always LOVED….. As luck would have it blue is my favorite color, always has been. Something about the soothing effect I just love.

Visit Heather at:

pat sloan 2016 Aurifil DOM program button

Come on over and see which of these fabrics I used for Block!  CLICK HERE

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 is Allison of Mumssewingroom’s lovely red and white version. We adore this mini! She has WON a BOX of Aurifil thread!  Also see her single block up close at our Flicker group HERE  All the quilts at Flickr are HERE


  1. I’m truly in looove with the tiny block on the sewing machine bed! Where can I get that block too? Thanks for the great interview!

  2. Love this new bom! Made the first block. Seems to be little mistake- says on page 5 to trim hst to 2 3/4 in. Should be 2 1/2 or else everything else won’t fit. So happy with how mine turned out! Thanks!!

  3. Thank you. I’ve signed up for everything. I’m looking forward to making my block. First hubby is taking me on a shop hop for my birthday. It will be blue too.

  4. Hello..i just finished my swirl away block ..
    I absolutely love it. .made it in blues. And it turned out so nicely.
    Thank you for sharing your pattern. Anne Grinley

  5. I love the block, but there are a few errors on the assembly instructions. HST’s should be trimmed to 2 1/2″ (not 2 3/4″). Also, the letters on the diagram are mixed up. Block B should be sewn on A and G, not H as shown. Also, letter K should be J and I should be J.

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