October Aurifil Designer Sherry Shish

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’ collectionI 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 October we have regal shades of purple for Amalfi, those gorgeous Aurifil shades of plum are perfect for fall sewing.

Our super talented designer this month is Sherry Shish of Powered by quilting who has a wonderful style and is so fun to follow! She encourages, teaches and sews right along with you. I love that she does streaming videos on Twitch so you can stitch along with her.

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 Sherry!

Where do you live and what is your favorite spot there?
I currently live in Albuquerque, New Mexico, but I only recently moved here. I haven’t been able to explore as much as I’d like with the pandemic. Unfortunately, I’ve moved several times in quick succession and the last place that I lived for more than 2 years was Minneapolis, Minnesota where I first learned to sew on a machine. I got engaged and married in Minneapolis 5 years ago and Minneapolis’ Stone Arch Bridge and surrounding areas will always hold a special place in my heart

When was your FIRST quilt sighting?

I don’t actually remember my first quilt sighting, but I initially started sewing bags and other odds and ends on my sewing machine. Eventually, I ended up getting some really cute fabric and wanted to make a quilt for my nephew. I designed and figured out how to make a simple quilt top, but when it came to actual quilting or binding the quilt… it was a disaster! It wasn’t until I went to a sewing expo that I learned you are supposed to baste your quilt and use a walking foot. This quilt has so many puckers on the back and I was attempting to make the binding over 1” finished. My nephew, fortunately, loves this quilt!

Do you have a GREAT tip on either storage, organization, sewing, stitching, or a tip that works for you.
I most recently got a thread rack and I LOVE IT! I used to store all my thread in my Aurifil Boxes, but I had so many boxes stacked up, it was a pain to find the color that I needed. Having a thread rack is not only pretty, but super-efficient!

Have you had a ‘light bulb’ moment in making?
My light bulb moment was realizing I am not a scrap quilter. I love and appreciate scrap quilts, but I am just not one to make one myself. This realization let me take my bins of scraps and sell them for the cost of shipping to get them out of my house! I reclaimed bins and shelf space for things that made me happy!

Sherry tell me about your ‘Simply Series’

I have not been quilting for THAT many years, but I noticed I had already fallen deep into the fabric collecting part of quilting. With moving twice in the last 2 or so years, the size of my stash caused me lots of anxiety.

The Simply Series was formed out of my want to have simple projects that I can complete in a day, but still showcase the beautiful fabrics I love! In short, how to sew my stash faster and actually enjoy quilts rather than look at a bunch of fabric bundles. I stream on Twitch where I make a quilt top from start to finish on stream with a precut. The pattern gets written up and posted on my Patreon page for free for my subscribers. A month later, the pattern then gets released to the general public. It’s been a great series for me as a designer and I’m using my stash pretty quickly!

Twitch: https://twitch.tv/poweredbyquilting

Patreon: www.patreon.com/poweredbyquilting

What is your studio like?
In short, my current studio is a hot mess. Embarrassing really…and I only “clean” the portions that show up in my webcam when I’m streaming on Twitch (and even THEN it’s messy). I had a better set up when I took over the entire family room when we lived in Kansas City, but now I’m shoved in a normal-sized bedroom. I also longarm and unfortunately that is in the master bedroom across the house. I lost the pitch to make the master bedroom my quilting studio, but the longarm doesn’t fit anywhere else.

If I were to build my own studio from scratch, I would want more space and windows for natural light with an abundance of design walls! I’m not sure how I would accomplish that without some temporary design walls since I want windows everywhere, but a girl can dream, right?

What’s on your play list?
I listen to podcasts! Planet Money, How I Built This, The Indicator, Code Switch, Our Fake History, and Factually.

What do you collect?
I’ve collected many different things through the years. Some things I’ve stopped collecting, but I still collect foreign coins, pressed pennies from locations I’ve been to, and…does fabric count? If so, fabric. Lots and lots of fabric!

What else would you’d like to share?
I stream every Saturday on Twitch. I’ve taken a little detour to making bags in addition to quilting. Come hang out, chat, and sew with me!

The Simply Series will continue through the end of 2020, but for 2021 I’ll be working on other ways to sew up my stash. Be sure to check out my Patreon page for all the awesome rewards my Patrons receive.

My first Signature collection with Island Batik is shipping to stores in November. There is a new 9-month block of the month pattern with it, Lucky Stars, that I’ll be hosting starting in January using my new collection. All these announcements will be happening later this year on my blog!

Tell us how you used the Amalfi Purples for your block.
When we were asked to select colors at the beginning of the year, I decided that I wanted to use purple. Purple was my grandma’s favorite color and she was the first person that I gifted a quilt to. She holds a special place in my heart and unfortunately passed away earlier this year.

When I was designing my block, I wanted to commemorate playing Mahjong with her which is played with 4 people around a table, similar to Gin Rummy but with tiles.

I went through several iterations of design for the block before landing on the final version. The grey is representative of the table we sat around and pinwheels represent the turns we took!

I also love secondary designs so this block repeated will give you really fun secondary pinwheels where the blocks meet.



Visit Sherry online:
Blog: www.poweredbyquilting.com

Facebook: www.facebook.com/poweredbyquilting

Instagram: www.instagram.com/poweredbyquilting

Twitch: https://twitch.tv/poweredbyquilting

Patreon: www.patreon.com/poweredbyquilting

Each year I make the Aurifil blocks in a totally different set of fabrics.

CLICK TO Here Visit my Website to see all the designer blocks together and link to the thread holder!

Enter your block BELOW by Nov 14, 2019 to be in the running to win a SET of 3 Aurifil Color Builder Thread BOXs!

An InLinkz Link-up


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

random number picker selected Mia’s  block! You’ve been emailed

CLICK to see all the great versions for last months HERE


  1. Thanks for introducing Sherry. When I saw the first photo, I immediately recognized the Sandia Mountains, as I grew up in Albuquerque. I will definitely follow Sherry and her quilting journey.

  2. I love this interview. I love everything Sherry does and have been a patron since the beginning because I don’t want to miss a thing! Sherry is so delightful and so talented. I always like doing what she designs, and this block will be no different. I like Mahjong, though I’ve only ever gotten to play it on computer. It was the first computer game I ever had when I bought my first IBM 286 computer. Thank you for choosing Sherry this year!

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