Aurifil 2016 May Designer of the Month Amy Friend!

Aurifil 2016 Design Team May Amy Friend collage

I’m Designer, Author, Radio show host Pat Sloan. The Merry Month of May is here and our  May Designer is Amy Friend who creates incredible quilts!

Amy creates magic with fabric. I am a huge fan of how she changes up the look of a quilt with the fabrics she puts together.

She also has a great book out, and we chatted about it on my talk show.. —>  5/2/16 click to  listen

Let’s get to know Amy!


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

I live in coastal Massachusetts, north of Boston. I love it here! I actually live on the same road that I grew up on, just a few miles down the street. The small town, tight knit community makes me feel at home. My favorite spots in town to spend time are my garden, the public library, and walking along the backroads.


Did you have a career prior this, what was it?

I worked as a collections curator for about a decade before deciding to stay home with my children. First, I managed a collection of antique carriages, automobiles, motorcycles, bicycles and automobilia of all things! Then I landed my dream job, caring for an art collection on a college campus. When I made the decision to stay home with my kids, I turned my attention back to making art rather than caring for it. I studied art all through high school and college.

Drawing and printmaking where my favorites so I picked up printmaking again for a bit. I found it hard to pick up and put down and my job as mother required that. So I turned to sewing. Once I discovered the modern quilting movement online, I quickly discovered my second dream job—designing modern quilts. Fortunately, my mom taught me to sew when I was younger so I had the basic skill sets I needed and learned the rest “on the job.”


Have you had a ‘light bulb’ moment in making

Let’s see…I think discovering Superior Titanium Topstitch needles in size 90/14 for paper piecing (they make a larger perforation, don’t dull quickly even though I am stitching through paper, and can handle all the thick layers) was a light bulb moment for me.


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

Our home was built about 1835. My sewing space is the sunroom located off the dining room. It’s the perfect spot for me to sew while supervising the kids who are often at the table eating, crafting or working on homework. The room has ten windows on three walls and is full of wonderful light. I can also look up and see the activity in the neighborhood, the school bus coming, etc. I have a nice view of my garden too. I don’t feel isolated and I love that. The drawback is that there is no wall space. I have room for two storage units against one wall and that is it! I guess it is good—I have to control my stashing!


My husband is a woodworking hobbyist and has made me two beautiful sewing tables, one for each of my two machines. One doubles as a cutting table. Both include salvaged/repurposed wood and therefore really fit into the style of our old house.


So, would I change it? I would love it if it were just a little bit bigger but otherwise no, I am content!


Do you have a GREAT quiltmaking tip?

I love to paper piece and am always on the lookout for fabrics that will work well for heavily seamed backgrounds. To test them out in the store, I will fold the fabric on itself multiple times to get an idea of how it will work.

(Amy’s book explains how to do this!)


What are your 3 favorite colors of Aurifil thread?

At the risk of sounding corny, my favorite color of Aurifil is usually the most recent perfect match! For example, I just discovered that Aurifil 5007 is the perfect match for Kona Dusty Blue which completely made my day while working on a recent quilt. I use Aurifil 2600 a lot and love the colors of Aurifil 2435 and 2830.


Anything else you’d like to share?

I am thrilled to announce that my first book, Intentional Piecing, published by Lucky Spool, is available this spring. The book focuses on fussy cutting using paper piecing, applique and traditional piecing methods. There are 7 new quilt patterns and 5 smaller projects as well as 10 original pictorial paper pieced block designs. All the photography was styled in MA, within 20 minutes of my home! I hope that this book will help you find the perfect project for all your favorite prints!  (Amy’s book !)


What is it about blue that inspires you? 

I happen to have more blue prints in my stash than any other color. I think I am drawn to blue because it is soothing. It also reminds me of the nearby ocean. My wedding flowers were blue Delphiniums and I have always loved growing blue Hydrangeas. But when I hear “blue and white” I think of china and dishware. I started my block design process by looking for a traditional block with tea cup in the name. I came across the Cups and Saucers block and thought it might be perfect. I adapted the dimensions to make a 12” finished block and updated the coloring a bit to include a gradient from light to medium to navy blue with a white background.



DOWNLOAD cups and saucers directions



And a few on the light side… 

  • Right handed or left handed.. and can you use the other at all? I am right handed.

  • What is your Favorite childhood TV show? Going way, way back, I was a Mister Rogers fan in preschool!

  • Are you a Dog or Cat person? Umm, I am going to get people mad with this answer. I am not a pet person.

  • The snack you crave I have a weakness for Peppermint Patties.

  • The Color you have always LOVED…..I have always loved shades of white mixed together.


Visit Amy at

pat sloan peek

I am having so much fun with these blocks, using a totally different colorway.  I am auditioning for my block and I want to show you something interesting… so click over to my site, which is also where you enter YOUR block in our Monthly Challenge .. you could win a box of my thread next month!


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 email

For more Aurifil project photos visit our FLICKR PAGE  HERE

May winner Eahorgan

Our RANDOM picker this month selected EA Horgan’s block!  She has WON a BOX of Aurifil thread! Such gorgeous blocks entered .. see all the great versions HERE

REMEMBER – The Photo entry is moved to my website where more people can enter, right HERE


  1. Great block and colors. Do you the different colors of Aurifil thread in the bobbin and different one from the top? I have been sick, but soon hope to enter the contests. I want to subscribe to your emails.

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