Aurifil 2017 September Designer of the Month Vanessa Goertzen

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I’m Designer, Author, Talk Show host Pat Sloan.


This year we are celebrating the rainbow of colors in our color wheel. Each designer is assigned a color to create their block in.

This month we land on Sunshine Yellow! Vanessa Goertzen is a fabulous Moda designer that has a fantastic way with ‘yellow’.

Yellow also happens to be my ‘FIRST favorite’ color and my upstairs hallway is painted BRIGHT yellow!

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Our color wheel of fabric is so interesting. Each designer has such a unique taste in fabric, and in the end, I’ll put all their blocks into one quilt!

Missed a month? CLICK FOR PRIOR DESIGNER interviews

Remember we have a Challenge portion of our Designer of the Month interview.

Each month we select one random winner to receive a 12 spool BOX of Aurifil thread for just making the challenge block and sharing it at my website! (details at the end plus last month’s winner!)

Let’s get to know Vanessa!


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

I live in southern Utah with my two spunky kidlets.

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It’s a short drive to Zion National Park, so Angel’s Landing is a favorite spot to visit. (Vanessa and her brothers)

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When was your first quilt sighting? Did it inspire you to start quilting?

I’ve been surrounded by quilts and shelves of fabric all my life so my first sighting was probably birth! I always enjoyed playing in my mom’s fabric stash but didn’t take an interest in quilting until I was a young teenager. I guess it took just the right project to pique my interest–a sunflower mosaic block my mom was working on. I was smitten and decided I needed to make one too! It was a pretty small project, so I designed smaller mosaic blocks to go in a large border around the main mosaic. My mom gave me the basics to get started but I was largely unsupervised. It’s the best gift she ever gave me! If she had made me pick out stitches, I wouldn’t have ever wanted to finish.


Did you have a career prior to this?

Yes, I worked as a banker for several years. I started out getting my investment licenses in Manhattan. For months, I studied in a basement with 40 other bankers during the winter holiday season. There were days when we all struggled to stay awake studying for our exams but there were a lot of laughs and friendships formed. I moved around with the bank for a few years but eventually earned the promotion of “Mom” and quit the bank to stay at home with my first baby. That’s when I started quilting again…


Have you had a “light bulb moment” in making?

I love that creating does not demand perfection to be fulfilling. When I started quilting, my piecing technique was atrocious. I didn’t mind inconsistent seam allowances or misaligned seams–I was having too much fun to worry about any of that. Over the years, my process has become more refined, but I have yet to make a perfectly pieced quilt. What matters to me is progress, and I love that I have a whole lifetime to keep growing.


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

It’s still a work in progress–I bought a fixer upper back in May. My studio is in the front sitting room because of the beautiful natural light and space. I’d love to put in a barn door so visitors don’t have to see any mess when they stop by 🙂 I’m also thinking I’d like to add built-in shelving in place of where a mirrored wall was.


Favorite Aurifil Threads

I use Aurifil threads for the quilting–I am using 5001 (golden yellow), 2882 (green), 5011 (taupe), and 2309 (off-white).

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What about yellow Inspired your block? 

I am a sucker for a beautiful golden yellow palette. I love the warmth and cheerful nature of yellow. It conjures up images of fresh honeycomb, buzzing bees, billy buttons, dandelions, and fresh sour cream lemon pie.

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As I mentioned earlier, sunflowers are what drew me into quilting. I have always looked up to sunflowers and their literal turning of the heads to follow the sun. Such a beautiful reminder for us all to seek the light. I’ve wanted to revisit the idea of my first quilt for some time now, and this was the perfect opportunity. So here is a free scrappy little sunflower block called Sunflower Power. Gather all of your favorite golden yellows to make this happy block. I’ve used prints from Olive’s Flower Market/Sugar Pie/Farmer’s Daughter to make mine. I could imagine this block being made into a pillow or even framed to put on a wall.


DOWNLOAD Vanessa’s sunflower power pattern


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​After designing this Sunflower Power block, I decided that I needed an entire quilt full of scrappy sunflowers… I kept building upon the idea and came up with a quilt pattern. If you like the Sunflower Power block, you’ll LOVE the Scrappy Sunflowers quilt pattern (available in my shop here). DISCLAIMER: the Sunflower Power block is a slightly modified version of the blocks used in Scrappy Sunflowers.

I hope you have as much fun stitching up scrappy sunflowers as I did! Happy quilting.

Visit Vanessa at:

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I Did a group photo, take a look and tell me what color I need more of… gold? blue? None?

ALSO ENTER YOUR BLOCK so you can be in the running to win a box of thread, last month’s winner is below

And  JOIN my fantastic online quilt group with the most incredible  quilt show each day… 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

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Our RANDOM picker this month selected is Heidi of redletterquiltsShe has WON a BOX of Aurifil thread! Such gorgeous blocks entered .. see all the great versions HERE


  1. I think your blocks look fine. I’m still too new and have trouble choosing fabrics evenly. , myself. Sorry, I’m no help!

  2. I can’t tell what color you need. It depends on what block I focus on. Sometimes I think gold, sometimes blue and sometime none.

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