We love every chance we get to collaborate with designer, author, and all around textile genius Victoria Findlay Wolfe. She is a steadfast Aurifil champion and we are so grateful for that mutual love and respect.
We love that Victoria is always pushing the boundaries of quilting, playing with color and design, testing out new techniques, and blurring the lines between traditional and modern. She is a wonderful educator and is ever eager to share her knowledge with her students. Her fabrics are truly the perfect partner to her quilting passion. We get a little giddy every time she has a new collection to introduce, each one lovely and unique, but somehow perfectly partnered together. We were intrigued and excited when she shared plans for Astrid, a self-produced and exclusively available fabric line that she launched in April.
The collection is absolutely stunning, rich with bold florals and geometric musings, everything we’ve come to know and love from Victoria. Her coordinating thread collection features 4 Large spools of Aurifil’s versatile 50wt thread in the absolute perfect neutral hues.
We’re delighted to welcome Victoria back to Auribuzz today, so share a little about herself and dive into the inspiration behind this gorgeous new range!
HUGE thanks to Victoria!
For our readers who may not know your history, what brought you to this wonderfully creative industry?
I’ve been sewing all my life. It was when my daughter came along that I started blogging about my journey. I was part of a couple sewing groups, one was called the Rebels, and the other the Mavericks. These were quilters who were making quilts without patterns. Everything I had been doing was improvisational, cutting and sewing as I go. This is the work I was showing on my blog, and I got asked a lot to show more of how I was working, so I started a website called 15 Minutes of Play. It was an interactive website, where I’d give challenges, and they would play along and post their work and we all supported each other. I must say it was a lot of fun! That concept turned into a book, 15 Minutes of Play, which released in 2012. The rest has snowballed since. I work hard and sew hard and fast, I haven’t been able to stop! Sewing, designing and creating is just so much fun!
Have you ever had one of those ‘aha’ moments in quilting and if so, what was it?
I constantly have aha moments when I’m working. I work on several projects at once. I can be working on one thing, and that might give me a moment of aha, that doesn’t work on this quilt, but it might work on another. I am always open to looking for those moments in my work. If I’m not getting them, then I have not pushed far enough. I design quilts on my design walls. I cut shapes, I push them around, I wait for the connections to be made, then I figure out how to write a pattern after the fact. I need to enjoy the journey and the process a quilt takes me on, or I have no interest in sewing it.
This past year has been a challenge in so many ways… How did the changes in the world affect your day-to-day? What have you missed the most? What are you most looking forward to once the world starts to open up a bit more?
What has been the biggest benefit of a year of staying home? I have been in planes, trains, and automobiles, nationally and internationally teaching pretty heavily for the past 4-5 years. I had already planned three years ago to take a break from teaching so I could be home to create works that I make for exhibits, my personal work. Seems Mother Nature decided we all needed to stay home and have a break. As crazy as this last year has been, it’s been just what I needed. I have finally had time to work on a lot of new quilts. These quilts are concepts I have been thinking about for a few years, and I’m now able to get them out of my brain and visualize them. I’m super excited that many of them are being exhibited this year, including my Retrospective exhibit at the Wisconsin Museum of Quilts & Fiber Arts opening Sept 2nd, 2021.
We’re dying to learn more about Astrid! What inspired the designs and how did you go about bringing it to life?
I am never NOT looking for inspiration. I’m an avid gardener, and have loved growing plants and flowers this past year… many of which I send off to my friends, or grew for my garden. I have been dreaming of flowers! Astrid grew from looking through seed catalogs, and thinking about what I can grow, and where it will live in my garden. Button Flowers, Ground Cover, and Spray– the names of the prints– are a reflection of what my past year has been like. Thinking, imagining growing, and drawing flowers and designs.
Are there particular patterns of yours that lend themselves particularly well to this collection?
I design a collection to always connect to my other collections. I make scrappy quilts that are modern aesthetic but with a strong traditional base. I love all genres of quilts, and I make all styles of quilts. Modern, Traditional, and Art based, and often combining all those elements. When I’m making a quilt I am looking for certain kinds of prints. Always love a floral, and supporting small prints with a lot of colors in each, so they will always play nice with others. My Elise fabrics play excellently with Astrid, as do my older fabric lines.
Your coordinating Aurifil thread set includes 4 LG spools of 50wt thread. What inspired you to include these 4 colors? Do you use them for piecing, quilting, or both?
I’m always looking at what kind of colors I can use that will always blend. I personally love a variegated thread. I use #4651 Bari for piecing and also for Quilting. I love how the thread will disappear on any scrappy quilt I am piecing. The other three colors, #2021 White, #2110 Light Lemon, and #5007 Gray Blue are just great classic colors that look fresh in the field of flowers!
You’ve been an Aurifil Designer from the start. What is it that you love about working with Aurifil thread?
I go with tried and true! I’ve always used Aurifil. My machine loves it, and when I find something I love, I don’t venture off the path. If it’s not broken, why fix it? Right? From cone sizes, to variety of colors, to spool distinction… It’s all thought out carefully and works for how I work. I love Aurifil thread.
Just so we have a tiny bit of education in here… what is your absolute TOP TIP for someone just getting started with their own maker journey, in need of a little expert guidance?
You must learn to just play with your fabrics, and tools. Taking 15 minutes to play each day before you start allows you to explore the what if questions… Cut, sew, and spend time looking at how things cut up, how they sew together, and learn from trial and error. You don’t need to be perfect, but you do need to just keep making. 15 minutes of play each day to try something new means each day you are open to learning something new. Soon that 15 minutes will turn into hours, but never forget to keep playing before you start each creative day.
What’s next for you in 2021? Where can fans find you?
I’ll be at the opening of my exhibit at Wisconsin Museum of Quilts & Fiber Arts for Sept 2 opening of “Playing with Purpose: A Victoria Findlay Wolfe Retrospect”– 30+ quilts, including many new works not shown before. Learn more HERE.
Then I’ll be teaching for three weeks at Woodland Ridge Retreats in Wisconsin– My Popular Double Wedding Ring Classes and my To The Nines Class. Learn more HERE.
After that, I’ll head back to NYC to teach my 3-day retreats from my NYC home.
My teaching will be limited going forward, so if quilters want to catch one of my classes they should sign up for my newsletter at vfwquilts.com as they get announced there first. They can also catch my online classes and lectures on my website.
Cats or Dogs: DOGS of course! Agatha and Edith would nip my ankles If I said otherwise!
Shoes or Barefoot: Barefoot.
Country or City: BOTH
Camping or Glamping: A mix of both? I love roughing it but I love a good bed & pillow too…
To the Mountains or to the Sea: Mountains or lakes…
Favorite Notion: I already mentioned Aurifil #4651 as my favorite, but if I make a oops, I need my Havels seam ripper!
Go-to sewing room playlist: no music
Current binge-worthy show: Crash Landing on You (kdrama)
THREAD COLLECTION DETAILS
4 Large Spools Cotton 50wt
Colors Included: 2021, 4651, 2110, 5007
Meet Victoria right here on her website.
** Images courtesy of Victoria Findlay Wolfe