I’m Designer, Author, and your host for this program, Pat Sloan. This year we challenged each designer to create a block inspired by our ‘Aurifil Color Builders’ collection. I assigned each month a color/city and the Designer can work their magic using either the City, the colors or both! Each designer has their box + matching Kona Cotton Solids from Robert Kaufman in the shades of the thread. I also gave each designer a charcoal linen from Robert Kaufman for them to use if they like.
I’m delighted you will get to know my friend Blair Stocker of Wise Craft Handmade this month! She is super talented with needle and thread. Weaving not just a finished product, but a story into each quilt.
Her books are full of ways to bring those very special pieces of fabric to life. I have her book Wisecraft quilts in my permanent collection
Blair is also the creative mind behind the Ruby Ruler and the Ruby Minder. Two tools that you must have for easily working with value and thread in your projects.
Missed a month from previous years? CLICK FOR PRIOR DESIGNER interviews
We have a Challenge portion of our Designer of the Month interview. Each month we select one random winner to receive a 3 boxes from our Color Builder series.
All you have to do is making the challenge block that you download below and share it at the link! Details at the end plus last month’s winner!
Let’s get to know Blair!
Where do you live and what is your favorite spot there?
I live in the Pacific Northwestern. Seattle, Washington. My husband and I moved here in 1996 from North Carolina, where I’m from, and we’ve been here ever since. My two children are Pacific Northwesterners through and through. (My daughter once proclaimed “Ah, yes, I smell RAIN! Thank goodness!” when we landed home from a trip to the Southwest).
I love that you can drive a short distance in one direction to beautiful mountains, and in the other direction to reach water. The Winters are very green. It’s almost a glowing green. I really love that.
Years from now when a quilt historian is looking through your things, sketches, papers, notions, quilts, what might they surmise about the type of quilt maker you are?
I hope that years from now when others look at any of my quilts, they see that I truly love what I do. I have been known to let perfectionism get in my way of finishing alot of things, but never quilts. Because of that, they may see that I never let lack of the “exactly right” fabric stop me. Hopefully my passion for trying new things in my work, and celebrating where I am at with each quilt, will show through. I would hope they would also see that I use fabric that is special to me, even if I only have a little of it, and have encouraged others I’ve taught to do the same. Special fabric that holds significant memories is worth being in our everyday life.
Have you had a ‘light bulb’ moment in making?
I have a few rulers that I use nearly every time I make a new quilt, one of them is almost 20 years old. Imagine my aha when I decided to replace that ruler and realized how much more precise my cutting? Over the years of cutting and squaring up around the same ruler corner had worn it down enough to make it every so slightly “off”.
Blair how has your journey to sew memories into quilts influenced your quilt making?
I don’t consider having a large stash of fabric as inspiring these days. I look hard for special fabric, or work with a family on a commission, and I try to utilize as much of the fabric as possible. Once its used up, I move on to something new.
** “Star” quilt made of men’s dress shirts from my book Wise Craft Quilts
Also, all of my original quilt designs are block-based primarily because if you run out of fabric, you can be done with the design. Or it there’s more fabric, you can add blocks. For example- the quilt above was a commission from a family who originated a popular music festival here in the Pacific Northwest. New artwork was made each year of the festival. My restrictions were- I couldn’t cut into the band lists (important!) and the t-shirt needed to be in order from oldest (top left) to newest (top right). I came up with a block that could be repeated, easily made from knit fabrics, and could be the size they wanted. I ended up having very little leftover from the tshirts, which was everyone’s hope.
** Sasquatch Festival commission tshirt quilt
What does your studio look like, and what would you change in it?
I love my studio, because it’s my own.
But it is in the basement of our home and if I could change one thing it would be that it would have more natural light.
Basement windows (tiny) and gray Pacific Northwest Winters make you crave natural sunlight.
I am a true crime podcast junkie. Other than that, I listen to all kinds of music and tend to turn it up when I hit a lull in my afternoon energy level.
What do you Collect?
I collect vintage photographs of people sitting on quilts obsessively (you can see the collection of them on instagram under #vintagepeopleonquilts hashtag). I also collect vintage sewing notions.
Are you a Dog or a Cat person?
I worship our cat Toby. He’s by far my favorite non-human.
Favorite Quote” – “Don’t borrow trouble.” I heard that alot growing up in the Southeast.
Favorite snack food – cheese and crackers, and coffee. Always coffee!
Where’s your favorite place to take an out-of-town guest?
There’s so many interesting places to take an out of town visitor in Seattle. Of course there’s Pike Place Market, Pioneer Square, and downtown but I also love the Nordic Heritage Museum and the Locks in the Ballard Neighborhood
What else is new?
I have several new patterns coming out this year, and a Block of the Month program starting at the end of January. It’s different than anything I’ve ever done, and I’m really excited about it!
Find out more by signing up for my newsletter- http://eepurl.com/c9Fwj9
Tell us how you used the Milan Grey for your block
It’s fitting that my block was from the “Milan Grey” color builder collection. When I worked in the apparel industry years ago, it was Milan that we went to when stopping in Italy to shop for new trends in clothing, style, and color. (I saw Andre Leon Talley, the Vogue Editor, there on my first trip, I was so excited).
The city itself is gritty, full of energy, and filled with so much beautiful architecture. When I started thinking about the details for this block, I immediately thought of all of the pointy tops of the buildings and beautiful linear effect of the architecture in the city. This block is a play on interesting angles both literally and figuratively.
So much of the quilt blocks I do these days are improv. I really enjoyed making this one a little more regimented by making the stripped units using foundation paper piecing method. I’d love to try a whole quilt of these blocks one of these days.
Download Blair’s Aurifil January Block
Visit Blair at:
- My website- wisecrafthandmade.com
- Instagram- https://www.instagram.com/blairs/
- Facebook- like the Wise Craft page
- or join the Wise Craft Quilts private FB group
- Sign up for my newsletter- http://eepurl.com/c9Fwj9
Each year I make the Aurifil blocks in a totally different set of fabrics.
CLICK TO MY Website for TIPS on sewing the block!
Enter your block BELOW by Feb 14, 2019 to be in the running to win a SET of 3 Aurifil Color Builder Thread BOXs!
And JOIN my fantastic online quilt group with the most incredible quilt show each day… I’d love to meet you!
******* 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
random number picker selected Lutzcatz’s block! You’ve been emailed
CLICK to see all the great versions for last month HERE
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- For more Aurifil project photos visit our FLICKR PAGE HERE
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I love Blair’s work, follow her on IG and any book she publishes, I buy! This was a great interview and post 🙂
Glad she has a furry supervisor for her studio, I have one too!
It was great to “meet” Blair!
Glad to met Blair and she’s right Seattle is a beautiful place. Glad to hear if things aren’t perfect in her quilts that’s okay. Thank you
Nice to meet Blair and fellow Washingtonian! Love the block…I’ll have to give it a try!
It’s nice to meet Blair. I’ve never done foundation paper piecing but it looks interesting. I’m wondering about the first piece and how you secure it. I’ve saved the pattern. Thank you Pat Sloan for another block to try.
use pins 8machine just like you would pin 2 pieces of fabric. you have 3 pieces of fabric AND paper
Is the darkest grey also the background fabric that we needed 2 yards of?
Diane there is no supply list for this project.
Thanks for the block design.
Thanks for your interesting block
I am very pleased with Blair’s work. She is a lovely woman and invites us to experiment, play and enjoy the process. I do have question. I am new to quilting and not sure I understand instructions. Why do we need the paper. Could we not just sew strips together?
I did just sew the strips together, and did not use the paper, it came out correctly.
Great interview, very interesting. I’m from Seattle originally but am currently attempting to quilt in Chelan in Eastern Wa. Nice to meet Blair!!
What a fun interview and an interesting block.
Are we welcome to make ours in any colorway we like?
I enjoyed creating the block so much, I made a second one in Christmas colors.
Thanks for the block, Blair! It has been nice getting to know you this month.