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.
Our Designer this month is Tiffany Sepulveda of Sew Tiffany, owner of Pasadena Fabric Co. She is so talented and perfect for this our travels in Italy this year as she is has been to Italy several times. You will love meeting her!
For November we are inspired by the Fall colors of Florence with those perfect shades of tan and bown.
Did you miss 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 Tiffany!
Where do you live and what is your favorite spot there?
I live in Pasadena, a suburb of Los Angeles, home of the world-famous Rose Parade! Pasadena is a big small town with lots of museums, restaurants, and shopping. My favorite place to visit is the Huntington Library and Gardens, which is a world class research library, a museum, and a garden. The gardens include plants from all vegetations zones’ This place is really special because it is a slice of paradise in the middle of a city. You can get lost in a desert like area, take a walk in an amazing Japanese garden and/or Chinese gardens, see a hundred kinds of roses and feel like you are a million miles away from the hustle and bustle of a city. There is also a fancy tearoom that serves amazing scones and clotted cream and if you follow me on Instagram you know I love food.
When was your FIRST quilt sighting?
I kind of feel guilty because my first quilt sighting was when I was a child, which I had actually forgotten about until a few years ago. My great grandmother was a quilter because she quilted with sheets, old clothes, and whatever was available to her. I vividly remember a simple, hand quilted patchwork work quilt made in dark pinks and red. I, unfortunately, do not have any of her quilts :(. Fast forward over twenty some years later and I saw an ad for Anna Maria Horner’s Color Dive quilt and decided I wanted to make it!
I had virtually no sewing experience except taking a tote bag making class, but I was determined to make this quilt, so I DID! I shopped online and at a local big box store, purchased everything I needed, proceeded to make said quilt and the rest is history! Six years later and I’m beyond hooked!
How important is it to you to pass along quilt making to someone in your family?
I have already started showing my almost 3-year-old nephew Max how to sew! He absolutely loves to “make masks”/sew, we’ve made a few tote bags and several masks. Unfortunately, Max associates sewing with making masks which is a true sign of our times, but as he gets older I’ll start to correct him and let him know there are a lot of other things to make besides masks.
I love that Max is excited to learn to sew and I hope that I can nurture that excitement into a full blown quilting hobby.
I also have a dream of teaching quilting to other Hispanic people. When I started quilting, I felt a little out of place because I was a 26 year old Mexican-American quilter.
I would walk into shops and be ignored by staff because I was either young and/or maybe they thought I didn’t have money to spend; either way I always felt unwanted. So, I would love to teach other Mexican/Hispanic individuals to quilt.
Have you had a ‘light bulb’ moment in making?
My “light bulb” moment was realizing that CHANGING your machine needle more often can really make a difference! I learned this when my brand new Tula Pink Bernina 770 started skipping stitches and having tension issues, I tried everything to fix the solution and right when I was about to give up and take my machine in to be serviced my friend asked if I had changed my needle. NOPE, not since I got my machine, which I had been using for several weeks! My poor needle was as dull as a ball point pen.
After changing the needle my machine started working like an absolute dream, so change your needle and change it often. It is recommended to change your needle after about 8 hours of sewing and to think I would only change my needle when it broke, oops.
You do a lot of traveling, how does that show up in your designing?
Traveling to over 33 countries has been such an incredible gift and inspiring beyond words. I have dozens of notes and sketches saved for future quilts that I want to make, and at some point, I will get to all of them.
One dream of mine is to take finished quilts to different countries and take photos in front of famous monuments. I did this when I went to Paris with my family in 2017.
I made a quilt with Tula Pink Parisville fabric that was inspired by Paris and Marie Antoinette. It was amazing taking a line inspired by Paris to Paris and to Versailles where Marie Antoinette lived. Yes, I got some weird looks from people, but it was an amazing experience.
What is your studio like?
Okay, so truth bomb here, I am a MESSY crafter, like my room is a DISASTER 90% of the time! I do try to keep it clean but it always seems to turn into a disaster zone after a few days and at this point I’ve accepted my fate, lol.
I wish I could be more organized but I function better with chaos, I also have A LOT of stuff! One thing that is changing next year is that I am going to build a 12’ x16’ (more like buy one) she-shed as my sewing studio, another reason why 2021 can’t come soon enough.
What’s on your play list?
I don’t have a music playlist since I’m a Netflix/Hulu/Disney+/Prime binge watcher. If I’m sewing I usually watch something that I’ve watched before so I don’t get distracted and make mistakes, ask me how I know, lol. My go to shows are Golden Girls, Friends, The Office, Bones, Jane the Virgin, Stranger Things, or Frasier. Some of my favorite movies to watch (by now for the millionth time) are Pride and Prejudice, The Addams Family, Zootopia, Starlight, Harry Potter movies, Wreck it Ralph, Tangled, Moana, Frida, and a lot of others. A lot of people find it so weird that I watch shows and movies all over and over again, but it’s the only way I can concentrate on sewing but still sort of be entertained.
What do you collect?
I collect everything Tula Pink! I’m a Tula Troop (Tula Pink super fan) and I collect all her fabric and special edition releases. Tula Pink comes out with special edition items for some of her fabric releases. I have a deck of playing cards, pins, iron-on patches, and quilt labels. They are some of my most prized possessions. I even took one of the patches with me to Paris!
Are you are Dog or a Cat Person?
I am 1000% a dog person, I have 4! I have a cocker spaniel family with mom Gigi, dad Oliver, and kids Winston and Sweet Pea! I can’t get enough of my fur babies!
The kids are my favorite of the four dogs, it’s not that I don’t love all of them but the kids are just super sweet and want constant attention. The parents are more independent, want space, and won’t cuddle as easily as the kids.
What else would you’d like to share?
This year has been a roller coaster of loneliness, sadness, anxiety, and grief.
With the way this year has gone, I am taking next year off and will be focusing on a project that is dear and near to my heart. I was in Armenia in January and had a fantastic time traveling and exploring the country, so I was completely devastated when I found out that Armenia was attacked by an aggressive neighboring country. Six weeks later and Armenia had to surrender lands that they have been living on for thousands of years in order to save the lives of over 20,000 soldiers.
My goal is to make a huge remembrance quilt for Armenian soldiers who lost their lives defending their homeland. I plan on hand embroidering all the names of the fallen soldiers and mail the quilt to Armenia for display. Since the world ignored what was happening to Armenians, I want to show them that someone outside of Armenia cares about what happened. My ultimate goal is to make as many quilts as possible for the 100,000 plus refugees who were forced to leave their homes and ancestral homeland. Since there are so many refugees and there is no way I could make that many quilts, I will focus on making quilts for children. Eventually, I hope to enlist volunteers to help. If anyone is interested in helping send me an email at SewTiffany@gmail.com.
Tell us how how Florence Inspired your block
When I was approached about becoming an Aurifil Designer of the Month, which would be based on Italian cities, I was ecstatic! It felt like it was fate because I had a trip planned to Italy in November 2019.
So, once I was assigned the city of Florence, I changed my travel plans and decided to go to Florence for inspiration. Florence was a city I had been to several times, but I noticed different things this time around!
For centuries, Florence, the birthplace of the Renaissance has been a source of inspiration for many.
I found inspiration in its magnificent churches; the Duomo, Santa Maria Novella, or Santa Croce, with their intricate marble floor designs.
Despite seeing endless possibilities, I kept coming back to Ponte Vecchio, Florence’s most famous bridge.
While making my block I did not want to make an exact replica of Ponte Vecchio using foundation paper piecing or applique, so this block is completely pieced. So, when making your block I hope it transports you back to Florence or takes you there for the first time. Happy sewing!
Visit Tiffany online:
Each year I make the Aurifil blocks in a totally different set of fabrics.
CLICK TO Here Visit my Website to see a few tips!
Enter your block BELOW by Dec 14, 2019 to be in the running to win a SET of 3 Aurifil Color Builder Thread Box!
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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Welcome Tiffany. So nice to get to know a little about you. Thank you for sharing this wonderful block. I was born in Pasadena. Moved when I was nine. Oldest of five. But I remember the Rose Parades well. Dad always got us front row seats by the street. My grandmother was like yours. She used anything that was fabric to make her quilts. She made two quilts for me from scraps of many of my clothes. She did the same for my sister and three brothers. Hope you get that chance to teach Mexican/Hispanic women to quilt. They can be quite vibrant with their colors and choices. LOL I love your ‘Light Bulb Moment” I have had the same. Wow what a difference it makes. LOL Ohh but I love your sewing machine table. Just last night a friend was telling me about someone she knew who put her sewing machine on a table and had her hubby make it so she could change heights. Cool idea. Have fun with your nephew. I taught both of our kids to sew. Heather really took to quilting like duck to water. At age 33 she will still quilt. Our son wasnt interested in quilting so much, but sewing? He flew. At age 35 he is a taylor in his own right and well known. He sews and sells clothes for men for civil war reenacting and WW2 reenacting. Both of which he does along with his wife. I really love where we get all of our inspiration. When we share this it many times helps others to be inspired.
Thank you for featuring a quilter of color. So many of Aurifi’s designers are white. As a quilter of color myself, I am watching if there will be more well-known minority quilters.
Love to see Tiffany’s messy work space and read her “confession” that she works best in chaos. Many of us do, but the quilting world is filled with images of Nordic-stark, pristine quilting rooms that are lovely but will never be my reality. It’s reassuring to see the beautiful quilts that came out of that “lived in” room.
Thank you for the wonderful Ponte Vecchio block! I was fortunate enough to see it in person. Your representation of the bridge is terrific and I’m looking forward to making it myself. Congratulations on becoming an Aurifil designer, Tiffany!
BTW, Tiffany, I made MY first quilt using the same Los Novios fabric you used for your tote bag! Still love it!
I love that you look like me. I am also a Mexican-American woman. I love your design!