Up and Away by Emily Herrick


Up & AwayEmily 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!

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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

Up&Away SM

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.

Ticket to Ride Quilt by Emily Herrick

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.

Embroidery by Emily Herrick
Embroidery by Emily Herrick

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!

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Up and Away booth at Spring Quilt Market, 2016

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!

Flutterby Quilt by Emily Herrick

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!

EmilyEmily 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.



  1. HI, nature and on-line quilters are my inspiration! Thank you for a neat interview+giveaway !

  2. My biggest creative inspiration has been bloggers. Seeing all of their awesome creations always gets my creative juices flowing. Thanks!

  3. The pink and gray are inspiring to me they are my favorite colors of Aurifil and my go to for most of my piercing is definitely the 2021. Reading blogs and IG is also inspiring. I was first drawn to quilting when I saw a bookcase quilt many years ago.

  4. I am in love with all of Emily’s designs <3 Such lovely talent! The Ticket to Ride Quilt is perfectly fun with the vibrant prints. I am so happy to be introduced to this designer, her story of coming into the creative business is inspirational, one I can learn from 🙂 hope she reaches higher goals than what she originally set out for. And she is blessed to have such a sweet father 😀

    My biggest creative inspiration is definitely my mother. She showed me how to bring different scraps together to make the most amazing and beautiful art pieces.

  5. Fun fabrics! My inspiration comes from a lot of different sources, but reading blogs tops the list.

  6. Oh my!!! I love the colors in the thread box (look at those lovely blues and pinks!) and the fabric line looks so fun!! I really like the quilt that is sitting draped over the crib: my hubby works at an airport, and that quilt is definitely not too juvenile! Good job Emily!!

  7. I really like the designs and colors of this fabric line. My mom was my greatest creative inspiration.

  8. My biggest inspiration are the wonderful blogs, along with my neighbour who has been a mentor to me.

  9. There are so many inspirations today. Nature, obviously, but social media has made designers and creators so accessible! I love seeing what others create.

  10. My friend, Barb, who taught me to quilt. She also is great with color, and has taught me so much.

  11. This collection is cheerful and fun. I have to say the media inspires me; magazines, blogs, emails, you tube, etc.

  12. My biggest creative influence these days is all the Quilters and sewists I read about on the internet and in the books I buy. Right now Amy Ellis, Jenny Doan, Christa Watson, Molly Hanson, Gertie, Nancy Zieman, Angela Walters, and the list could go on. I have found so many creative influences via the internet and books that I can’t name them all. There’s just so much talent out there and that I can’t choose one person!

  13. My quilting friends have been my biggest inspiration. We’ve been getting together to quilt once a week for years. We inspire each other to try new patterns and new techniques.

  14. All of the wonderful, creative, fabric designers, fabrics companies, thread makers and the quilters on the internet influence my desire to sew.

  15. What a lovely selection of fabrics and threads and a very interesting interview . Thanks.
    My creative inspiration has been my two local quilt guilds – regular and modern. Such inspiring creativity in these two groups.

  16. My quilting friends have been my greatest inspiration. I enjoyed reading your interview.

  17. my biggest creative inspiration was my mom. she not only quilted she did it all when it came to creativity.

  18. I am inspired by the ladies in my quilt guild. They come with the most beautiful show ‘n tell.

  19. My mom and my friends are my biggest inspiration. I’m always amazed at their creativity!

  20. Such cute fabrics and patterns! Thanks for the chance to win them.

    My biggest inspiration was my grandmother. She always was working on something and often found uses for fabric scraps that I would never had thought of!

  21. My creative inspiration first started with my mom and has now continued with fellow quilters, whether online, quilt shop owners, fabric mfgs, bloggers that quilt and teach, all the websites that share patterns, etc. Inspiration is everywhere!!!!

  22. My inspiration comes from many places, but mostly from my sister who dared to create a whole new life for herself after an unexpected divorce when she was 61 years old. She is now an artist living in an art community and has never been happier. She inspired me to go after my love of quilting.

  23. My biggest creative influences would have to be all the quilters who blog about their craft so enthusiastically.

  24. I am disappointed, rafflecopter is not working. Ihave tried 4 times. This is not the first time I have had trouble with it.

  25. My greatest inspiration comes from other quilters on Instagram and other social media!
    What a lovely collection!

  26. My inspiration comes from blogs that I follow, I enjoy following fabric and thread manufacturers, they share the newest colors, and fabric lines. Thank you for an amazing giveaway.

  27. Great designs. My biggest inspiration has been quilters like Eleanor Burns, Bonnie Hunter and Edyta Sitar, and all the things others show.

  28. I can’t say any one person has given me the most creative inspiration. I read lots of blogs and quilting magazines and books, so I gather my inspiration from them as a whole. Anyone who loves color is inspiring to me!

  29. Many of my female relatives have been creative. My nana was a fantastic knitter, my mom sewed and crocheted, and we had many beautiful embroidered linens handed down from others. That has inspired me to make beautiful things to make me happy.

  30. I think my inspiration at this point in my life is not a person but the Internet. I’m old enough to remember not having a TV at my house so it amazes me what is available. In a spit second I can see quilts from everywhere in the world, now that’s inspiration.

  31. My mother has been my biggest creative inspiration. Although she made only one quilt, she was an excellent seamstress who took great care in everything she created, and was an enthusiastic cheerleader for all of my artistic efforts. Even now, when she has been gone for years, I hear her voice, encouraging me when I begin a new project.

  32. Jenny Doan is my biggest creative inspiration. She has so many great ideas! A very close 2nd is Kim Diehl.

  33. Not a who but a what! The internet and all that it holds has been a wonderful source of inspiration and creativity!

  34. My creative inspiration would be my Mum, my Grandma and my Dad and things around me that I see or read.

  35. I love the fabrics and the thread collection. Thank you for sharing your story. I especially love the “Crazy Old Ladies” part. 🙂

  36. My inspiration has changed since I began quilting. When I first started quilting it was my grandchildren that were my inspiration. Now I am a Pat Sloan follower, I love her fabric, designs, her Aurifil thread sets, and her energy.

  37. I continue to be inspired daily by following blogs. Pat Sloan, Bonnie Hunter, and the Modabakeshop.com is daily inspiration. 🙂 Thanks for the wonderful giveaways.

  38. So many different designers inspire me by their endless ideas and creativity. I really enjoy reading quilter/designer blogs for LOTS of inspiration. Crazy Old Ladies is a blog I frequently check for new information and inspiration. Great fabric and thread colors, Emily!

  39. Most inspired by my wonderful Daughter…and then the many blogs I stalk..I mean follow!…giggle

    Thank you for chance to win your give-a-way too! 🙂

  40. There are so many places I get inspiration from; fellow quilters, quilt teachers, bloggers, and nature. Glad to live in a time where there’s inspiration everywhere we turn. Thank you for the giveaway opportunity. Love hot air balloons…bucket list is to go up in one!

  41. Beautiful! I’m inspired by so many things. Graphic design, architecture, and of course, this amazing quilting community. Such a creative, giving group of people! Thanks for the chance 🙂

  42. Inspired to quilt by my only remaining Auntie, to sew by my mom. I love Aurifil Thread, for piecing and garment construction and love that it doesn’t fuzz. Your Blog is a total inspiration also, the block of the month designer is my favorite. Thank you.

  43. I love the fabric designs & the colors of the thread! I also enjoyed the tail of how you named your business.

  44. I love these projects and fabrics, many great ideas. My Grandma used to be my biggest inspiration. The past few years it has been my children. They are so fun to sew for.

  45. My biggest creative inspiration is quilting bloggers. There are so many creative people out there!

  46. I read all those blogs out there and I am continually amazed at the creativity and persistence of these quilters of all ages. Thank you for providing such detailed interviews with your quilters.

  47. My biggest creative inspiration is my children. I am very often inspired to make clothes, bags and quilts for them and their enthusiasm for what I make is unmatched by anyone else. 🙂 They often inspire me with their own creativity as well.

  48. I love reading blogs as sources of inspiration! But the person who has inspired me the most was my granny – always able to make something from next to nothing! She gave me my first quilt made from flour sack fabric (some of the pieces were pieced in her most thrifty manner!!). Always have loved that quilt!

  49. My biggest inspiration comes when I see a new fabric line that clicks off something in my head – then all my creative juices start flowing!!! Thanks so much for the chance to win. This fabric is just adorable!! 🙂
    Debby E
    samtaylorcjsmimi at yahoo dot com

  50. Modern quilt bloggers and quilt artist have been my biggest inspiration. I spend way too much time browsing & reading quilt blogs.

  51. My biggest creative inspiration has come from my mom and both of my grandmas, all in different ways. I also like to look at things and see if I can “make it myself”.

  52. Tough question! Most recently, Instagram, but my mom has been inspiring me creatively since I was a kid. She was constantly learning something new, and as a result, I’m (usually) not afraid to try something new.

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