Hi I’m Pat Sloan the Aurifil Designer of the Month coordinator. September’s Designer of the month is Author, Quilt Judge and amazing designer Kimberly Einmo! She rocks the precuts, makes amazing modern quilts and her tips are awesome.
When was your FIRST quilt sighting? Did it inspire you to start quilting?
My wise mother grew up in the depression era and hated anything to do with sewing
because she had never owned a store-bought dress until she graduated from high
school. But when I was small, she decided I should learn some basic sewing skills so
she signed me up for sewing classes when I was seven years old at the local Singer
Sewing shop in Massillon, Ohio. I loved sewing from the start and it wasn’t long before I
was making many of my own clothes. I joined a 4-H group when I was eight years old
where I learned even more about garment construction and crafts. For Christmas when
I was 10 years old, my parents bought me a Singer sewing machine and a cabinet to
hold the machine. However, it wasn’t until I walked into that quilt shop in Alexandria in
1991 that I realized you could piece and quilt on a sewing machine. I was absolutely
This Five-piece, coordinated ensemble made when I was 11 or 12 years old. This
leisure suit won a blue ribbon at the county fair. Check out those wide lapels, nifty self covered buttons and double-knit polyester fabric! But back in the 70’s, I was really in
Do you still have your first quilt you ever made?
I do still have the first quilt I ever made and oh my goodness…..what a learning
experience it was for me! It was a small, four-block wallhanging made entirely by hand
using hand-traced, plastic templates. It didn’t turn out square and there are so many
mistakes that I have rarely shown it outside of my family! But I was so proud of it.
Really. I thought it was the prettiest quilt ever! Now, for the first time, I will share it with
you all. Of course, I thought you might like to see one of my more recent quilts —
— Modern Sampler
When you go to a quilt show, what types of quilts are you drawn to?
Honestly, I am not drawn to any particular types of quilts because I love finding the
beauty in every quilt. As a quilt judge, I view many different types of quilts and I enjoy
discovering the “process” the quilter went through to construct it. I enjoy seeing quilts
that are dynamic and wildly colorful but I also enjoy seeing precision piecing and
intricate appliqué up close. I can be just as inspired by exquisite, two-color quilts,
modern quilts and folk-art quilts, too.
I especially like it when I can “feel the love” that a quilter has put into making his or her quilt. You know the ones: the quilts that viewers are instinctively drawn to that tell a story or project a feeling without the use of words. I was one of the three judges at AQS Quilt Week in Paducah this past spring 2013. Here I am with Libby Lehman (center), and Velda Newman.
I could feel the love and I appreciated the fine workmanship that went into the
quilt I chose as my Judge’s Choice at AQS Quilt Week in Paducah, 2013. Quilt made by
We all have parts of the process we ‘prefer’ more than others. What part of quilt
making do you ‘Prefer’ most and why?
For me, the design process if the most fun, the most challenging, and also the most
rewarding! I absolutely love to design quilts and I’m amazed at the different places and
times I find inspiration for my designs. I also love the fabric and color selection process
because I find it wildly invigorating to choose just the perfect fabric and also to ensure
that each and ever fabric has the best placement within my quilts.
I’m tenacious when it comes to designing. I enjoy stretching myself as a designer to create something new and different and a bit “out of my box;” yet always with the thought in my mind that I am designing quilts other quilters will hopefully want to make. So each design has to be functional — meaning, that it has to translate to my being able to write a pattern that will make quilters say, “That’s beautiful! I want to make that quilt!”
My least favorite part of the quilting process is blocking a quilt after it has been quilted
and trimming it prior to adding the binding. I find this part tedious because its hard to get
down on my hands and knees with a laser light level, rotary cutter, mat and ruler and
measure accurately to ensure my quilts are flat, straight, even, and truly square. It is a
difficult but necessary and important part of the process and one step I wouldn’t skip.
This is one of my most popular quilts, Lone Starburst
Did you have a career prior to making art, and what was it?
I earned a Bachelor of Science degree in communications at Miami University in Oxford,
Ohio. My first job was for an ABC television affiliate in Florida. I worked in the
newsroom, ran one of the studio cameras for the 6 and 11 o’clock news, and also for a
late night, locally produced talk show. While it was fun, it didn’t take me long to realize
this was not what I wanted to do for a career.
Several years later and shortly after I got married, my husband and I moved to the Washington, DC area for our first tour of duty assignment. I got a job as a graphic designer for a trade association. I was very lucky because the my boss believed in continuing education and he very willing to send me to classes to learn new and cutting edge design software programs. I learned as much as I could and I enjoyed creating the trade association’s monthly magazine, show programs,and various other printed items. The more I learned about graphic design, the more I felt as though I had found a way in which to use my talent.
Shortly after I began quilting, I discovered Electric Quilt software. At the time (in the
early 90’s), it was version EQ3. This amazing software was a revelation to me! It
allowed me to design quilts I envisioned in my mind and so I could make them a reality
in fabric. At first, I designed fairly simple quilts but as the EQ software developed and
improved (it is currently EQ7) so did my designs! To this day, I continue to design all my
quilts using EQ software. Although I do know how to design using graph paper, pencil, a
ruler and compass, I find it much easier and more fun to design beautiful quilts on the
computer screen and then create them in fabric. The entire process is very gratifying!
When you want to ‘recharge your batteries’ what do you do, where do you do this?
My family and I love to travel and see the world! On top of all the traveling I do to teach
workshops and lecture, we take several trips a year and combine them whenever
possible with my business trips. My husband’s military career (he retired in 2006 from
the military after 23 years in the Air Force) took us around the world and we moved a
total of 14 times in the past 25 years. We have raised our two sons to enjoy seeing new
places and experiencing new cultures, meeting new people, and tasting new cuisines.
They are still in their teens and have over 35 stamps in their passports! One of my
favorite things to do is to teach classes on quilting cruises (www.quiltcruises.com). We
take at least one cruise per year and sometimes two cruises in a year and we love it!
We try to always take our sons if possible so they can have the fun of seeing more of
the beautiful world in which we live. (Our family on top of the Empire State building)
One of my other passions is scuba diving! My husband, our boys and I are all certified PADI divers so we try to take vacations where we can scuba dive together as a family. We have many places and oceans around the world on our “list” of dream dives and we are checking them off one by one.
Our most recent dive trip was to Aruba. Next stop –Hawaii and then Belize!
Do you have a tip or trick to make your quilt making easier?
My biggest tip for making quilting easier and more enjoyable is quite simply
organization. I keep my studio, threads and fabrics really organized because I don’t
work well in clutter and disarray.
I need things to be neat and tidy even while I’m in the process of creating and construction so I can think clearly. Isn’t that funny? Most creative people throw caution to the wind and create in a whirlwind of chaos. ( Collectible tins for storage in drawers)
Unfortunately, my mind doesn’t work that way. I’m very methodical, organized, and
detail-oriented. I find that I can accomplish so much more when I keep things in their
place even as I’m working. (Fabric stash organized by color, fabric line or projects)
Then I can find whatever I need at the moment when I need it most and I don’t waste time looking for it! I find a design wall is also an essential part of the process.
( My quilt storage room. I store my quilts, battings and projects in progress and
sort them so I can find everything easily)
Do you have a process you go through to get your ideas started?
My ideas are usually dictated by my most pressing and imminent deadlines! One of my
biggest weaknesses is my inability to say “no” to opportunities. Typically, when an
exciting opportunity comes along I immediately say “yes” and then worry about figuring
out how I’m going to make it work in my schedule later on. I have to work hard to budget
my time and commitments because if I don’t, it gets me into trouble!
But deadlines are also a great motivator for me and as much as I hate to admit it, I do work well under pressure. When I need a clever, creative idea, many times I’ll get them after a good night’s sleep and I’ll wake up with ideas floating around in my head. I also enjoy walks
outside with my dog, Divot, when the weather is nice. Then I race to my computer and
try to plan them out using my EQ software.
I’m also influenced and find many ideas by our travels, the photographs I take of
amazing scenery and landscapes, and even by the things and colors I see during our
underwater dives. I’m always on the lookout to be inspired by unique and exciting color
And I truly believe that Mother Nature never gets it wrong when it comes to combining colors. So I take my cue from nature and try to combine colors that I see in the beauty in flowers, landscapes, and even by some man-made things such as architecture.
What are your 3 favorite colors of Aurifil thread?
Oh my! That’s a hard question to answer because I’ve never seen a color of Aurifil
thread I didn’t love (really)! But currently, my three favorite colors of Aurifil thread are:
2735 (royal blue), 2810 (turquoise) and 5015 (chartreuse).
Here’s why: I’m fond of any shade of blue (it’s been my favorite color since I learned to walk)! I love turquoise because it represents so many beautiful shades found in nature from opulent colors of stones, beautiful flowers and many shades of ocean water.
As for Chartreuse? Well, this zippy color has grown on me by leaps and bounds in the past three years. I absolutely love adding it to my quilts! I think almost any quilt can benefit from a small addition of Chartreuse to add a lively shot of sparkle and zing! I believe Chartreuse is a ‘new’ neutral. In small amounts, it goes with so many other colors and gives them added pizzazz!
Do you travel to teach?
I love to teach and being able to combine it with traveling has been a wonderful
experience for me. I have taught for many guilds and national and even international
quilt shows over the years! I find it very rewarding to meet quilters and get to know them
— even if only for a brief visit. I enjoy hearing their stories and finding out why they quilt,
or seeing their quilts, their creativity and the light bulb moments and excitement in their
eyes when they learn a new method or technique and really “get it.” I feel honored to be
able to share bits of their lives with them, individually.
I’m afraid to admit that my website is a bit outdated at the moment and in serious need
of updating my travel and teaching schedule. So this is a good reminder that I need to
get that done soon! My teaching schedule is pretty booked through 2015 and I’m
already booking events into 2016 and 2017!
What does your studio look like?
As I said, we’ve moved 14 times in the past 25 years and I’ve had a studio in each and
every place where we’ve lived. Admittedly, some studios were much better and more
functional than others, though! But I’m very proud to say that after we moved to our
current house a year ago, my sweet husband told me to pick any room in the house and
make it my dream studio (what a guy — he’s a keeper!) So I did. I chose a room on the
main floor that the former owners used as a music room. (My studio before)
We stripped it down to the bare plank floors and removed the heavy draperies and started from scratch. We hired an electrician and a contactor, and I worked with a cabinet designer at Lowe’s to design custom cabinetry to meet my needs. (I asked to work with one of their designers who also sews.) The electrician added built-in lighting on the ceiling (I asked for it to be full spectrum lighting and also to be as bright as the surface of the sun!)
He also added an extra circuit so my professional grade iron wouldn’t trip the other circuitry and blow fuses, and he installed an outlet on the floor where my sewing machine is plugged in beneath my Koala cabinet.
I’m thrilled with the end result and I was absolutely honored when Studios Magazine wanted to include my studio in the Fall, 2013 issue of their magazine, which is on newsstands right now.
What is the Rock and Roll Song that Inspired your Quilt Block
I went to high school and college in the 80’s and remember music from that era as some
of the best ever! I really love Electric Light Orchestra and their song, Mr. Blue Sky, is
one of my favorites. So even though the fabric colors aren’t blue, I love this block
because it is cheerful and just a bit different while still being quite easy to construct! And
I listened to ELO’s greatest hits while I pieced it which was a lot of fun and brought back
a lot of good memories.
(I found the ORIGINAL promo for the song.. click HERE and listen!
And Kimberly has a BONUS step by step for you! CLICK HERE for the photo step by step
AND!! Kimberly is hosting a GIVEAWAY of a big spool Thread kit! CLICK HERE to her blog, leave her a comment by Sept 9 (her birthday!)
Here are all the blocks together!
And a few on the light side…
• The book you are currently reading — two biographies on the Kindle app on my
iPad at the moment: “Considering Doris Day” and “My Life in France” by Julia
• Your favorite movie — Out of Africa or Pride and Prejudice. I admit it: I love epic
• The song stuck in your head –– Live Out Loud by Stephen Curtis Chapman. An
oldie but goodie.
• Do you like to dance? Hmmm…..not recently……
• The color you have always LOVED…..Periwinkle!
The pin collection began because I wanted to collect them for my sewing chatelaine. However, I now have so many pins now that my chatelaine is completely full and I have dozens more of them displayed in a magnetized pin dish!
- Something most people don’t know about me — I studied organ as a child and all the way through college, and was a classical church organist for many years