Amy Smart has been one of our number one favorites for years… 10 years in fact! She started Diary of a Quilter back in 2009 and has become a key online destination for quilters and sewists alike. Her style merges modern with traditional and her patterns are both stunning and achievable.
Her blog is a hot bed of creative info, from how to care for your quilts to sewing improv trees… tips for sewing room organization to sewing a tote bag, there is truly a little something for everyone, all delivered with Amy’s sweet disposition and impeccable style.
We were thrilled when Amy partnered with Riley Blake and love that her fabrics are the perfect partner to her quilt patterns, merging classic and modern with updated color ways and delightfully sweet accents. Sugarhouse Park is her latest, which came out in October and is available in stores now. We are head over heels for the mini florals but truly can’t wait to see what her fans make with it all!
Everyday Favorites is Amy’s debut Aurifil Thread Collection… something that is a long time coming, particularly since she has been using our threads for 8 years! Amy selected 12 Large 50wt spools (her go-to weight for quilting) in her most used colors, which just so happen to coordinate with her Riley Blake fabric collections. These spools are ones that you’ll reach for over and over again… for piecing and for adding those game-changing quilted stitches in that perfect accent color. It’s a must-have!
THREAD COLLECTION DETAILS
Everyday Favorites by Amy Smart
12 Large Spools, 100% Cotton 50wt
2021 – 2105 – 2132 – 2265 – 2410 – 2311
2886 – 2884 – 2805 – 2730 – 2785 – 2615
What first inspired you to start sewing?
I think it’s in my genes. My mom sewed as did her mother. My other grandma would tell me it skipped her, but her own mother sewed everything. It’s something I’ve been interested in doing since I was little. I’m thankful to my mom for encouraging that interest and teaching me how. (And later lending me her sewing machine and access to her fabric stash when I was getting started…)
What is your absolute favorite thing that you’ve ever made?
I’ve made so many different things that I love for different reasons, but if forced to choose one, I’d probably have to go with my Union Jack Quilt. I lived in the UK twice in my young adult years and loved the experiences deeply. This quilt brings back all of those sentimental feelings. And it was a lot of fun to make.
Can you tell us about how Diary of a Quilter came to be?
In 2007 I was a stay-at-home mom with 4 very little kids. One day my husband was telling me about these things called ‘blogs’ and I read a few by friends and family members. Then I discovered that there were people who wrote blogs about quilting and I loved reading them! I didn’t have a lot of real life friends my age who quilted and finding these other quilters online I suddenly felt like I’d found a bunch of new best friends. By 2008 I decided to start sharing some of the projects I was making and started writing my own blog. I’m so uncreative at coming up with names for things, so I just called it Diary of a Quilter, since it was a record of what I was doing. For years I hated the name, but now it’s grown on me. I can tell you for certain, back in 2008 I never would have guessed the places where this blog would take me or how much I’d love the connections with other quilters that I came to know through this experience.
So many of us have been following along with you for years and were thrilled to see that you’d joined forces with Riley Blake. How did that partnership come about and what do you love most about the process of fabric design?
I worked for years with Riley Blake as part of a Design Team making projects with their fabric. I also happen to live not far from their offices here in Utah. I feel really lucky that they knew me in person and that I get to work with their team. I don’t feel like I’m an artist in the sense that I can draw pictures. But I have a strong sense of color and scale and what works with quilting prints. I also love retro fabrics – especially from my childhood in the 1970’s so I get a lot of inspiration from those prints and color combinations. I also felt like that era was underrepresented in fabric collections and would be a fun niche to fill.
Tell us about your new collection.
My latest fabric collection is called Sugarhouse Park. It’s named after my favorite park near my childhood home in Salt Lake City, Utah. This collection is another one that is reminiscent of my childhood with lots of primary colors and variations on basics like stripes, dots, and plaids. Great quilting building blocks.
Your coordinating thread collection features 12-spools of Aurifil 50wt thread — how did you go about selecting the colors?
I wanted to include some of the primary colors that I typically design around, but I mostly wanted to include a lot of neutral color options. Since the 50 wt Aurifil thread is my go-to thread for piecing, I wanted to include lots of light-colored options for everyday piecing – more than half of the colors are good neural blenders for piecing. The collection also includes vibrant primary colors to match bindings, top-stitching, and other color-matching needs.
When did you first discover Aurifil thread and why is it your go-to for quilting and sewing?
I first discovered Aurifil 8 years ago when Quilt Market came to Salt Lake City. I was hosting an event and Aurifil was the first sponsor to contribute. They also gave me some thread to try and I was immediately hooked! The quality was excellent and the lighter weight 50wt thread helped with my piecing accuracy. It’s pretty much all I’ve used since. In addition to the spools I also love to buy the big 50wt cones because they last forever!
What are you hoping to see fans create?
I always love to see what others create with my designs. I hope these threads will be a handy resource and part of their everyday favorites to go to on a daily basis.
What’s up next — where can we find you over the coming year?
I’m working on my next collection for Riley Blake. It’s another sentimentally-inspired collection, but a little different than the past few. One of my goals this year actually is to slow down a little. I feel so lucky with all of the opportunities I’ve been given, but I’m also trying to take on a slightly slower pace and to make time to sew for fun – including finishing up some of my favorite unfinished projects over the past few years. We’ll see what 2020 brings!
Amy Smart loves all aspects of the quilting world! Growing up, she learned how to make quilts (and collect fabric) from her mom. She’s spent years working in a local quilt shop, teaching quilting (her favorite is teaching beginning quilting), designing patterns, and now designing fabric. Her favorite focus for her collections is the nostalgia of her childhood in the 1970’s and 80’s. (bio via Riley Blake Designs)
Images by Amy Smart.