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.
For April we take stroll along the strees of Verona Italy where the history is rich the architecture is amazing. Like the Colosseum. Quilters are inspired by our Aurifil Verona Thread box with 3 yummy shades of Sparking Champagne.
I was so excited to work the such talent this month. Carolina Asmussen is a master quilter. Looking at her quilts and quilting you will come away with new ideas. See her work at https://www.carolinasmussen.com/ . You will love her block and once you follow her online you’ll love her sense of humor!
Listen to our chat on how she quilted our Aurifil quilt one year
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 Carolina!
Where do you live and what is your favorite spot there?
I currently live in Wilton, Connecticut, before I was living near Zürich, in Switzerland for about 10 years, where my kids were born. But I was born and raised in São Paulo, Brazil between Oscar Niemeyer’s buildings, Roberto Burle Marx’s parks, Lina Bo Bardi’s and Anita Malfatti’s paintings, Arcangelo Ianelli, Alfredo Volpi, Aldir Mendes de Souza… It is a never ending list.
I had a very rich artistic experience as a child and a young adult (I honestly don’t know how my parents managed this and I’m infinitely grateful for it!). My favorite spot is the Museu de Arte Brasileira (Museum of Brazilian Art) from Armando Alvares Penteado Foundation (FAAP) because you can find some of the work of all my favorite Brazilian artists and also where I graduated as an Architect and Urbanist.
You can see their collection here. The image at the top is from my favorite spot of the campus, and as a quilter you can understand exactly why! The Wall with 59 Stained Glass panels of artists like Candido Portinari, Lasar Segall, Tarsila do Amaral and many others is in the entrance of the building as a permanent exhibition and represents part of the History of Brazilian Art.
When was your FIRST quilt sighting? Did it inspire you to start quilting? If not, what did?.
I bought my first sewing machine in 2010, yes this year I’m celebrating 10 years of quilting!
But it was in 2015, when I had my quilt in a show for the first time ever, that I realized “wow, quilting IS my thing”.
The image is exactly what I saw when I walked into the International Quilt Festival in Houston directly from my attic studio in Switzerland! (Yes, quilting may take you places!)
Have you had a ‘light bulb’ moment in making
When I discovered that I could detach the bottom of the Aurifil spool to find the start of the thread.
Carolina in 2018 you quilted the 2017 Aurifil Designer of the Month quilt for us. How did you plan the quilting design? And was it fun to do part of the quilting in the QuiltCon booth that year??
It was an unusual idea to me, but I’m always up to a good challenge! I quilted the center motive at the booth and people’s response was very interesting. I was using the Aurifil 40wt 3ply, a new thread developed specifically for the high speed of the longarm machines new to almost everyone at that time.
At the booth I was using a domestic sewing machine and it is totally possible with a 90/14 needle and Aurifil 40wt (2ply, the regular green spool) in the bobbin. The thread was sold out before the show was over, as a quilt show teacher I know how good it is to be sold out before the quit show is over 😉
My goal with the quilting was to integrate the center motive with the 12 different Designer’s blocks maintaining their own identity.
What does your studio look like, and what would you change in it?
This is funny, because right now it is a mess because I decided to move the studio to the basement.
So the current status is the longarm on the old place (I need the technician to help me to move the machine to the new place) and all the other machines, computer, drawing display and etc on the new place.
What do you collect?
I always wanted a Singer “Vintage” machine. I love featherweights, they are really stylish and beautiful. But I’m more like a midcentury contemporary oriented, so even after many “rehearsing” I never bought one. The Saturday before my birthday this year I opened facebook and the “marketplace” for my area was showing an add for a Singer Rocketeer 500a, it took 5 min for me to message the seller and say “the machine is mine, can I pickup today?!”
The machine is pretty impressive it comes with all sorts of feet that you can imagine, it has a RUFFLE FOOT! I cannot say that I started a collection yet, but I see a lot of potential in the future. I’m planning to sew garments but the machine also does free-motion quilting/embroidery and you don’t need any special attachment or part to do it. My point is, if you are “sassy” quilter like me, this is your “vintage” sewing machine!
What is your favorite book you have ever read and why??
“For Whom The Bell Tolls” from Ernest Hemingway. I instantly bounded with the story, I could relate with my Grandfather histories when he did fight on the Constitutionalist Revolution of 1932 in São Paulo. The book made me laugh, cry, dream….
Dog or Cat person?
I was a dog person. I had a Chocolate Labrador Retriever and a Golden Retriever that moved with us from Brazil to Switzerland and to United States.
After they passed away, I bought a British LongHair cat and a Ragdoll cat.
What else is new?
Besides my show quilts, teaching classes I am also an Island Batik Ambassador and this year I designed a Block of the Month program for the Island Batik Solids with 14 different colors.
The Design Wall BOM is an original quilt inspired by tangram puzzles and geometric shapes, the designs were adapted to quilt blocks promoting different piecing techniques and building skills from beginner to advanced. Finished quilt size 65” x 85”, starting in May 2020 and running until December 2020.
Tell us how you used the Verona Champagne pinks for your block
Thanks again for the opportunity to be part of such a special project about Italy which in the current world’s situation (covid-19) is even more meaningful. I hope all our Aurifil colleagues are safe and healthy. #forzaitalia
I’m also very grateful for “VERONA” in April and, as my design inspiration! Can you guess why?
Every two years, in April, Verona is transformed into a Museum for Textile Art, (the market show) and Verona Tessile (the quilt festival) is conceived by the Ad Maiora Cultural Association in collaboration with the Municipality of Verona and takes place in museums, churches and other beautiful places of the historic center.
Last year, 2019, they had the 5th edition of the event. The next edition is in 2021, we should totally check it out Pat Sloan!
The inspiration for my Aurifil Designer of the Month block “VERONA, the heart of quilting in Italy” is the historic city center skyline. My goal is to “tele-transport” you from where you are and take you with me to the most beautiful sunset of the Verona Color Builder shades direct to the Piazza Bra with the most spectacular view of the Arena of Verona surrounded by all the outstanding historic buildings.
Would you like to travel with me?
Visit Carolina at:
Each year I make the Aurifil blocks in a totally different set of fabrics.
CLICK TO MY Website for a few tips on how I made this block
Enter your block BELOW by May 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!
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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 Laura B’ss block! You’ve been emailed
CLICK to see all the great versions for last months HERE
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I had a 500-A. I lost it in a house fire, but it was a great machine! I know why you love yous! I bought mine right after high school and used it for over 40 years.
Love your work it’s very spectacular !!! Thank you for a lovely block I enjoyed making it!
Thank you for a fun block to make.