Up & Away, Emily Herrick‘s latest line with Michael Miller Fabrics, is a sweet collection of blue, pink, yellow and green prints. Featuring hot air balloons, butterflies and ticket stubs, it reminds us of all the best parts of a Summer fair. Emily’s coordinating Aurifil thread collection is a perfect accessory!
THREAD COLLECTION DETAILS
Up & Away
100% Aurifil Cotton
Large – 50wt, 1422yds each, 12 colors, Large Spools
2130 – 2882 – 2425 – 2775 – 4140 -2134 – 2884 – 1154 – 2785 – 5009 – 5007 -2710
Small – Aurifloss, 18yds each, 10 colors, Small Spools
2130 – 2882 – 2425 – 2775 – 4140 – 2134 – 2884 – 1154 – 2785 – 2710
To view this info on our website, click the images above. For purchasing, please contact your local Aurifil Dealer.
What first drew you to the world of quilting?
I’ve always been the crafty/creative type. I’ve dabbled in quilting here and there throughout my life; tying quilts for my friends in high school, making simple baby quilts when my kids were born, etc. But I really fell in love with quilting back in 2003/2004 when I visited a local quilt show that showcased quilts from all levels of quilters. Right then I decided I just needed to start and I would learn as I went along.
What was the first thing that you made on your own and what did that mean to you?
Aside from little projects here and there the first real quilt I made was a baby quilt for a friend. I was inspired by a quilt I saw at that local quilt show and designed my own version. It featured 12 nursery rhyme blocks that were hand embroidered. They were set on point and had 25-patch blocks with various prints from Nancy Halvorsen’s Best Friends collection between them. I bordered the quilt and scalloped the edge. I learned a lot of things making that quilt but I loved every minute of it.
Where did the ‘Crazy Old Ladies’ name come from?
When I really dove into quilting I decided that having all my sewing stuff at the kitchen table wasn’t very practical. So one day while my husband was at work I moved the rooms and furniture around so that my boys would share a room and I would have a sewing room all to myself. When my husband came home from work that day I didn’t even get up from the machine. He walked to the door of the room with a surprised look on his face and said “Are you going to become one of those crazy old ladies that sits and sews all day long?” A few years later when I was starting my pattern business I thought of all those quilter stereotypes and decided to name my company Crazy Old Ladies. Many people think it’s in reference to myself, but it’s really a reference to my husband’s comment and ALL quilters.
Who has been your biggest creative inspiration?
I have lots of inspiration and gather inspiration from all around me. There are many people in the quilting/creative world that I admire and I couldn’t begin to list them here. But really my biggest inspiration and supporter is my Dad. I remember watching him work on various design related projects as a kid and wishing I could do those types of things. At one point I wanted to be a history teacher and my parents questioned that Idea. I was a stubborn teen at the time and felt they just “didn’t understand me” but they shared that they saw me doing something more creative. 20 years later I’m following that creative career and definitely see the wisdom in my parents’ advice. I still go to my Dad with design questions and bounce ideas off of him. He even comes to market with me when he can to help me in my booths. He’s a pretty rad Dad!
How did you first get started with fabric design and how did you connect with Michael Miller?
Once I fell in love with quilting I dreamed of seeing my name on the selvedge. I had thryoid cancer 6 years ago and took the time during a period of isolation treatment to draw my first collection. I had talked with a fabric company about submitting designs but when I did they weren’t interested. With some encouragement from my friends I pitched my designs to several companies. I actually wasn’t going to approach Michael Miller because they were so amazing and I was a nobody. One of the companies that I approached that wasn’t a good fit suggested that I talk to Michael Miller. I decided at that point that if I didn’t go talk to them I would never have the guts to do it later. So I marched over to their booth and was able to sit down with Kathy and the rest is history! I’ve been with Michael Miller fabrics for 5 years and just released my 7th collection with them- Up and Away!
Tell us the story of Up & Away — what inspired the collection and how did it come to be?
Most of my collections are inspired by a single thing -this collection was the hot air balloon. I remember as a kid driving to Napa California early on a Sunday morning and seeing the hot air balloons floating over the valley. I wanted fabric that evoked that feeling I had as a kid but still spoke to me now as an adult. I was inspired by the fascination and discovery of flight in a more vintage era and the amazement and wonder of all children and adults with all things that fly. I could see kids and adults in line holding on to their tickets waiting for a chance to rise a few feet into the air in a hot air balloon still tethered to the ground at a vintage fair. I started with the balloon print and went from there. I pulled in the airplanes and butterflies for more variety. I chose a color palette and coordinating prints that weren’t typical of juvenile collections because I wanted to add some versatility to the individual pieces. I wanted pieces that would stand alone individually but work together as a collection as well. I love the journey a collection takes me on as I design it and as it evolves and I’m extremely pleased with Up and Away.
When did you first discover Aurifil threads?
I first discovered Aurifil threads a few years ago at market when my friend Jill Findley showed me her first designer collection for Aurifil. I loved all those gorgeous colors in one case and had to buy it right then! Once I started sewing with Aurifil I was hooked.
Do you have a favorite weight/color?
My favorite go-to it 50wt 2021. It’s the perfect white- not too bright but not cream either. I use it ALL. THE. TIME. For piecing and quilting.
How did you go about selecting colors for this collection?
Selecting colors of thread is much like selecting colors to place in a fabric collection; you want thread colors that work together but also stand alone. The good thing about choosing thread colors is that all the hard work was done months ago when coloring the collection. At the point of choosing which colors of Aurifil to include in my thread set I already had swatches of fabric so it was a matter of matching fabric to thread. It’s a bit more than just matching swatches though because I really want the box of thread to be beautiful, too. Going back to the first time I opened a designer box of aurifil thread I was in love with the beauty of the set itself, not with what I would sew with it. So I wanted to make sure that my thread choices would be a box of pretty on their own. Since I wanted to include an embroidery floss collection I had to think of the individual projects I would create and offer a nice variety that people could use for those projects but include colors that they would want to use on other projects as well.
Do you have a favorite project that was made for the collection release?
One of my favorite projects is the FESTIVAL playmat/quilt found in my book- Grow With Me. I already had a sample made in the boy colorway but I a few days before market I decided to have one made in the girl colorway, too. I didn’t have time to do it so I enlisted the help of a friend. She whipped up the quilt in no time (It is a fun and easy quilt) and then added hand quilted accents using the embroidery floss. It adds just enough detail to accentuate the quilt design and fabrics. I’m so glad that my friend had the spark of creativity because I absolutely LOVE it!
Grow With Me, Emily’s new book of patterns, ships in the first week of July. The book features projects using fabrics and threads from the Up and Away Collections from Michael Miller and Aurifil.
To enter-to-win 1 Large Up and Away Aurifil Thread Collection and one Fat Quarter Bundle of Up and Away by Emily Herrick for Michael Miller, click here to head to the Rafflecopter entry page, or simply click on the image above. You do not have to complete all the options to be entered but the more options you choose, the more entries you have! Entries will be accepted from now through 11:59pm Eastern Time on Thursday, June 30! Winner will be randomly selected and announced here on Friday, July 1. Good luck!
Update (7/1): This giveaway is now closed. Congratulations to Merrie Lohn-Council!
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Emily has been designing and marketing quilt patterns for the last 6 years. Her style is simple and fun and she likes a project that’s quick to finish and full of character. She has been a licensed fabric designer for Michael Miller Fabrics since 2011.