Slice & Stitch Challenge: Allie McCathren

We’re back with our second week of the 2021 OLFA/Aurifil mini Slice & Stitch! Throughout the month of October, we’ll introduce you to 4 Aurifil Artisans and 5 OLFA Experts who have been challenged to create and share small projects that could be created in an afternoon and gifted for the holidays. They were provided with 1 of 4 OLFA tools in addition to Earth Views, Astronaut Karen Nyberg’s debut thread collection featuring 10 small spools of Aurifil’s 50wt thread. These makers have truly knocked it out of the park and we can’t wait to share their work with all of you!

Allie McCathren AND Cindy Staub

OLFA: Chenille/Textile Cutter
AURIFIL: Earth Views by Karen Nyberg

Allie McCathren and Cindy Staub are our featured makers for week 2! Their projects are absolutely spectacular and we’re super interested in trying out OLFA’s Chenille Cutter! We’re excited to showcase Allie’s project here, and don’t miss more about Cindy’s project over on the OLFA page.

As an artist with a background in science, there’s a special place in my heart for when the two intersect. I was thrilled to get to work with the Aurifil thread set curated by Karen Nyberg, an astronaut and quilter. Earth Views is inspired by the colors of our planet, seen from orbit. 

Another thing I love is playing with texture on art quilts. There’s something magical about the way the light catches different textures and patterns, and the untethered nature of loose threads means that every aspect of the piece is a tiny study in movement. No two areas can be exactly the same.

I’ve explored texture in many different ways, cutting with scissors and using thread to create layers, but using the OLFA Chenille Cutter was a new experience for me. The process of using it is very satisfying—slicing through multiple layers of fabric to create something new. There are so many different ways to use it that once I finished this art quilt, I just want to try more. 

I made my “Organic Flare” art quilt to call on the Earth tones that Karen saw from space, while the texture from the OLFA Chenille Cutter allowed me to represent the spaces of chaos and order found on the planet below. For the full tutorial, click HERE to head to my blog!

Thank you to Aurifil & OLFA for supplying me with these tools.

Head on over to OLFA’s blog to check out Cindy‘s project!

To enter-to-win OLFA’s Chenille Cutter & Earth Views by Karen Nyberg, click HERE or on the image below. We’ll select one winner for this week’s giveaway on Monday morning and send notice via email. Good luck!

ABOUT Allie McCathren
Website —  Instagram — Facebook

In Allie’s words:
I love to use fabric and thread to “paint”, and quilting is my happy place.

I have a degree in marine biology and am currently a stay at home mom to three boys. My love of science and the ocean finds its way into my work, whether I mean it to or not.

I am all about using scraps whenever possible, and I love playing with texture and color to create interesting art pieces. I love challenging the limits of what I can do, and I’m not afraid to make mistakes in the process.

Quilting is my art form, my way of expressing my voice. My work is an expression of me and all that is important to me, and I want to create safe spaces in this community for BIPOC and LGBTQIA+ people. Everyone deserves to express their own voice, and I want to encourage people to find confidence in their own creativity.


  1. Allie, I plan to make your sea glass quilt for my niece at her request. I would like to take your course, but I see you are relocating from the Course Craft platform. Can you please let me know where and when this course will be available? I did not want to enroll and pay money if you are moving. Thank you, Karen Bower

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