Introducing Our 2020 Aurifil Artisan Team

Today we are thrilled to welcome our 2020 Aurifil Artisan Team. We were incredibly humbled by the enormous response that we received to our call for applications. We had a very tough job in narrowing nearly 200 applicants to a team of 36. We are so thrilled to share that team with you today and cannot wait to work with this amazing group of quilters, sewists, and makers!

We’ll be collaborating with these creative visionaries throughout the coming year to promote their work with Aurifil thread, engage them in creative challenges, and share their work far and wide.


Wendy Chow

Quilting is an art form that has continued to thrive after centuries. Today, quilts are not only seen as a utility to provide warmth, but they also represent us and our story. I hope to pass down this creative legacy through my modern designs. My name is Wendy and I’m an Aussie modern quilter and pattern designer based in New York City, and a co-host of Quilt Buzz podcast. I have a deep love for prints and patterns. My designs feature bold, unique colour combinations and geometric shapes inspired by architecture, interior design and nature. With the basics from school, I taught myself how to quilt. Quilting was introduced to me in 2015 when my sister spent most of her spare time making quilts for friends and family in my parents’ dining room. Eventually quilting became my escape from my hectic corporate job. It was a creative outlet and the thought of my projects helped me get through the long hours in the office. This was the start of the.weekendquilter.


Chris English

I love making quilts from scraps, recycled and found fabric. I enjoy mixing different prints and patterns to create unique quilts. I love mixing hand and machine quilting to add texture and colour. I’m influenced by travel, street art and vintage quilts.


Martha Woollard

Based in Dorset, England, Martha has been sewing since she was a small child let loose with an abundance of felt and her mum’s Liberty offcuts. She enjoys creating quilts and smaller items, often using a quirky mix of fabrics. Whether sewing by machine or hand, a vibrancy of colour is never far away.


Allie McCathren

Allie is a stay a home mom of three boys, has a degree in Marine Biology, and enjoys writing science fiction. She loves to create, and her love of science and nature find their way into her work as a quilter. She loves to play with different combinations of fabric and texture in her quilts.


Isabelle Selak

Isabelle designs quilt patterns and executes other sewing adventures at South Bay Bella Studio. She loves the creativity and community that quilting has brought to her life, and enjoys supporting that community through her creative work.


Jennifer Pickett

Jennie is a pattern designer and fabric hoarder who loves small, patchwork projects with a purpose. A homeschool mom to three crazy children, who love to craft and create as much as she does, she can often be found sewing her latest design and hoping to write the pattern someday. Her patterns are useful items with a unique twist and some pretty patchwork too. . She


Raven Pratt

Sewing blogger obsessed with retro styles from the 60s and 70s.


Kathy Ross

Kathy Ross is an Irish textile artist who works from her sunny studio in rural County Galway. Kathy Studied Fine art and Art History in the National college of Art and design Dublin, before moving back to her hometown of Galway. ‘My work is inspired by both the beauty of my surrounding and local wildlife, alongside the methods and materials I use in each piece. I strive to achieve realism in an original and eye catching way. ‘


Elise Baek

Hey there! My name is Elise and I am an author, pattern designer and teacher. I am originally from South Korea, but I grew up in Sweden, where my passion for making and designing began. I live in southern California with my husband and two dogs and an ever growing fabric collection!


Laurel Ryan

Laurel is the maker behind the Porcupinesews Threads brand. Laurel has a lifelong creative passion for quilting, designing and teaching. She lives in the PNW with her husband, son and a pile of animals.


Amanda Carye

A New Englander who now calls New York home, Amanda has been quilting since middle school and sewing since forever. A serial entrepreneur, she spent most of her career in the arts world before starting her first company, Idoni. In 2017 she started her second company, Broadcloth Studio, a collection of bold and modern quilt patterns that are designed to be enjoyable to make. Amanda is also a founder and co-host of the Quilt Buzz podcast.


Amy Ball

Quilt designer and creator of modern sewing patterns, magazine contributor and workshop creator.


Audrey Esarey

Audrey is a modern graphic quilt artist from Louisville, KY. Always a maker, she learned to sew at a young age and made her first quilt in 2005. In 2018, she set a personal goal to exhibit her work in a juried quilt show, which motivated her to design and create a series of original quilts. She shares her creative process online at http://www.cottonandbourbon.com.


Sherry Shish

Sherry Shish has been a crafter her entire life. She started with hand sewing when she was younger, then expanding to crocheting, knitting, needle felting, paper crafts, and finally quilting. She fell in love with the variety of quilting! She is an engineer by schooling and day job, but quilting definitely energizes and motivates her the most. Hence, her blog: Powered by Quilting.


Jen Belnap

I live outside of NYC with my husband and six kids. With a large family and a husband who works a lot of hours, I found quilting to be my creative outlet. Sewing is my sanity! There is something about the hum of my sewing machine that is so therapeutic. I love the design process and enjoy creating new patterns. I also love the amazing creative people I have met along this journey. When I’m not sewing, you will find me planning our next family trip or adventure! Our family motto is “make beautiful memories.” And we try to do just that!


Eliane Bergmann

Eliane is a quilt pattern designer and avid modern quilter. Her brand, Patchwork & Poodles, embodies the two things she loves the most. Her miniature poodle, Riley, plays a critical role in quality control and is a professional snoozler. When not quilting, Eliane is usually exploring her home state of Wisconsin with her husband Jason. Find her online via her blog, Instagram, Facebook, and shop!


Alison Holt

UK based textile artist with a Hons degree in Fine Art Embroidery. Specialising in freehand machine embroidery of the natural world in a detailed painterly way. Exhibitor, author and international tutor


Amista Baker

I’m a stay-at-home Mom of three living my best creative life. I love sewing modern designs for quilts and bags and sharing my creations online.


Lisa Hofmann-Maurer

I got introduced to quilting 2015 in a sewing circle while living as an Expat in Kansas City Missouri. I fell in love with modern quilting immediately and havn’t stopped since. I love designing patterns, but my most favorite thing to do is teaching. I do also organize the Swiss Quilt Retreat and am super excited about all the international quilting knowledge and friendships that can be made at those Retreats.


Erin Kroeker

Erin Kroeker is a modern quilter, pattern designer and fibre artist. She spends her time creating from her home studio in Winnipeg, Canada, where she resides with her husband, two children and golden retriever. Erin made her first quilt, with the help of her mom, at age four. Since then, creating and working with her hands has always been part of her life. However, she continued to come back to quilting because quilts are timeless and made to last. Quilts are to be passed down and cherished, a textile embodiment of home, of memories, of tradition and sentiment. Quilts are a combination of function, art, history and culture. She launched The Blanket Statement in 2017, and hasn’t looked back. Find her online at http://www.theblanketstatement.ca or on Instagram at @theblanketstatement.


Kymona Tracey

Hello, I’m Kymona Tracey. Who am I, you ask? I am a woman who never slows down and loves it. Yes… I am the energizer bunny’s sister! I keep going and going (which is something that I am working on if you follow my weekly wishes on my blog). I am a single mother of two beautiful children who are eight years apart. My 22-year-old son is a true self-made jock who plays every sport you can think of! He is off at college, learning how to be independent. My 13-year-old daughter is a real-life princess who loves anything crafty and girly and hates anything related to sports. Talk about yin and yang! …but I love it!! Besides running from one activity to another with them, I work full time at a hospital (public health background), facilitate a reading group at work, teach high school students on the weekends, and have an immense love of learning new things. I’ve taken classes in photography, web design, knitting, scrapbooking, and card-making. In 2017, things changed for me. My daughter taught me how to sew, and I haven’t looked back. I instantly fell in love with fabric, thread, and the sewing machine. I love the feeling of creating projects that someone will call their own.


Pam Holland

Quilter, Quilt Designer, Pattern designer, fabric designer, photographer, illustrator, film maker, Judge, Author. “Artists are inventors, shaping the new from the already established” Some of my ideas about quilts come to me through the whisperings of those who came before me and things unknown. I call them my Whimsy ideas ! Other inspiration comes from nature, my photography,  my experiences in travel and the light in my expression as I see the world as a very special place. To be really honest, I just love sharing and enthusing students to look at the world just a little differently and express it through Textile Art.


Steph Skardal

Steph Skardal is a quilt designer and maker who loves finding the balance between order and chaos in her quilts, mixing hard geometric lines and structure with an element of randomness in texture, color, or layout. With a background in software engineering, she is motivated to experiment with different techniques to create original quilt designs.


Henrik Müller

I am an IMC Nurse, a father and a quilter. In 2014 I have seen a quilt somewhere on the interwebs that was used as a bedcover. I knew right there that I needed that same bedcover and when I found out that it is homemade and would be rediculously expensive to have made I decided to start sewing. So with no experience in sewing whatsoever I bought an old sewing machine and made a 90×90 inch quilt that was completely wonky but I loved it. And I have not stopped quilting since. My quilts have become a little better since then I like to believe


Heather Black

Heather’s passion for quilt design is founded in her past as a landscape oil painter and her desire to be creative. She first tried quilting in 1995 but didn’t catch the quilting bug until 2011 when she designed, pieced and hand quilted her first queen size quilt. Shortly after that she discovered modern quilting and from that point on Heather has been designing and making quilts whenever possible. Her quilts and patterns have been featured in various quilting publications and is an active member in local and national guilds. Heather has had quilts displayed at international, national and regional quilt shows. Her quilts have hung at International Quilt Festival, AQS QuiltWeek, QuiltCon, MQX, Road to California and many more. Along with quilting Heather is a single-widowed mom of a beautiful young girl and lives in Spokane, WA. She grew up in the Pacific Northwest and attended college in Pennsylvania. Many of her designs are inspired by the landscape in her home state.


Jamie

Jamie (she/her/hers) is an enthusiast of natural fibers, textiles, and the color brown.


Kate Toney

Kate Toney is a Florida based Aurifil Artisan who loves all things sewing and DIY but particularly machine embroidery. Kate maintains her own sewing blog called Tough Kitten Crafts where she teaches machine embroidery and shares fun projects to expand your creative and technical arsenal. In her free time Kate loves to spend her days at Disney with her boyfriend, Brad, or snuggled on the couch with her pets while she knits and watches her favorite TV shows.


Lucy Brennan

Lucy is a quilter and blogger at ‘Charm About You’, she is a pattern designer and regularly teaches quilting classes. Lucy worked for two years as a designer and demonstrator on TV and often has projects featured in magazines. Inspired by the history and varied techniques of patchwork and quilting, Lucy enjoys mixing modern and traditional to create her miscellaneous style. She actively encourages crafts on social media as one of the three global hosts of the #saturdaynightcraftalong on Instagram each week. Her passions are combining fabric, learning new skills and giving confidence to beginner quilters.


Lucy Engels

Lucy Engels is an artist, quilter, designer, printmaker based in Edinburgh, Scotland. With a background in Fine Art she studied printmaking traversing into quilting in 2013. Her work is full of colour. Combining bold and contrasting palettes with an experimental edge. Lucy creates functional quilts, wall quilts and quilt patterns. Always pushing to try new techniques and processes. She also designs and screen prints limited edition fabric collections and works on paper.


Paula Steel

Paula Steel is a modern quilter, pattern designer, author, teacher and Technical Editor from Lancashire in England. With a love of bold colours, geometric designs and a fondness for quilt maths, Paula took up quilting in 2015 and hasn’t been able to stop since. Paula loves to spread the joy of quilting and released her first beginner friendly book, ‘Modern Rainbow Patchwork Quilts’ in February 2020.


Madeline Bonner

Madeline is a textile graduate with a passion for colour and fabric. She made her first quilt in 2010 and discovered her love of English Paper Piecing and hand sewing. Madeline particularly enjoys the process of working on her quilts, and the challenge of projects which require a variety of skills.


Susan de Vanny

I am largely self-taught, armed with the basics and the doctrine of numerous artistic techniques. In the last 13 years passion for fabric based art has blossomed and it is exciting to see the transition of art principles of painting and perspective being introduced to fabric. I still continue to participate in weekly painting classes with a group of like-minded artists locally. I have completed Certificate II in design at the renowned City And Guilds Institute in London. I like to create pieces that have perspective in a painterly fashion, with the use of light, shadows and intricate thread work giving extra texture and dimension are what make the works pop. As well as winning numerous awards around the world my works continue to exhibit quilt/textile shows and special exhibits.


Sarah Ruiz

Sarah Ruiz is a quilter and aerospace engineer from Houston, TX. Her creative and technical sides have always been intertwined, from drawing Disney characters and memorizing constellations as a kid to taking humans back to the moon and dreaming up new quilts today. Quilting perfectly combines her engineering and artistic mindsets, and she loves the puzzle-solving required to turn an idea into reality. Her quilts feature bright colors, bold lines, and graphic shapes that are easy to make but pack a visual punch.


Shannon Fraser

Shannon is a modern quilter designing patterns that inspire and encourage sewists of all levels to pursue the joy of quilting! Known for her love of colour and bold graphic designs, her patterns have been featured in various publications including Love Patchwork and Quilting and the 2019 Quilter’s Planner. Based in Montreal, Canada, you’ll normally find Shannon working in her home studio hanging with her trusty sewing companion Pips (a ragdoll cat) and drinking copious amounts of coffee, all while trying to wrangle her fabric stash! A self-taught quilter, Shannon loves sharing what she’s learned through her quilty trials and tribulations 😉 You can find free tutorials, inspirational projects and loads of resources to help you succeed in your quilting journey on her website (www.shannonfraserdesigns.com). For daily inspiration, you can find her on Instagram @shannonfraserdesigns


Tighe Flanagan

Tighe Flanagan has a background in visual arts and Middle Eastern studies and loves to combine these passions through patchwork and quilting. His creative work is greatly influenced by a sense of place — those he has visited and researched as well as his home in Washington, DC. In addition to quilting and patchwork, Tighe enjoys sewing menswear and teaching others new skills and techniques.


Lauren Wright

Feeling the urge to get creative but not sure where to start? I’m Lauren; the friendly face behind Molly and Mama, the author of ‘Pretty Handmades’, a designer of whimsical sewing patterns, a mother, a maker and a lover of pretty things! I’ll inspire you with beautiful sewing patterns for projects made with felt, patchwork, appliqué and stitchery. My designs are perfect for all sewing levels, lots of fun to make, and great to get the creative juices flowing!


We hope that you enjoy following along with us and would encourage you to check these makers out, click each Artisan’s name above to be taken to their website and to join them on their own creative journeys!

8 comments

    1. If you read the bios, these artists represent a diverse skill-set and a variety of cultural demographics. It’s worth noting that England, Ireland, Scotland, Canada, Australia, and the US are represented as countries of residence. I’m excited to see what this talented group of creatives share with us this year!

    2. Thank you for your comment.
      Diversity represents the full spectrum of human demographic differences — race, religion, gender, sexual orientation, age, socio-economic status and physical disability. Our 2020 Artisan team was selected from a group of 200 artists whom applied to the program — Aurifil is committed in our efforts of improving diversity and inclusivity, like many allies in our industry, we are learning and growing in our support of the BIPOC quilting and sewing community and believe with our continued work and outreach we’ll have an further diversified list of applicants to welcome in the future.

  1. Thank you for introducing all your followers to these talented creative artists. This will be fun to check out their page also. You do such a great job and I look forward to this airbuzz every week.

  2. As a quilter of color, I would have liked to have seen more like myself. How about a Latinx fiber artist? Please consider more diversity in your future groups of artists.

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