Aurifil 2016 September Designer of the Month Katarina Roccella

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I’m Designer, Author, Radio show host Pat Sloan.. Our September Designer is the super talented Katarina Roccella, fabric designer for Art Gallery, see all her collections.

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We have had an instant connection from the first time I walked in her booth. It is the highlight of my day anytime I can stop and have a chat with her!

This May we talked for my show..Listen to my June 6, 2016  talk show CLICK to Listen or subscribe by Itunes

Let’s get to know  Katarina!

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Where do you live and what is your favorite spot there?

I live in downtown Belgrade, the capital of the Republic of Serbia.  Belgrade is situated in South-Eastern Europe, on the Balkan Peninsula. It lies at the confluence of the Sava and Danube Rivers in North Central Serbia, where the Pannonian Plain meets the Balkan Peninsula. Belgrade is one of the oldest cities in Europe and since ancient times it has been an important traffic focal point, an intersection of the roads of Eastern and Western Europe. Its history goes back 7,000 years. The area around two great rivers, the Sava and the Danube has been inhabited since the paleolithic period.

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The hill overlooking the Sava and Danube confluence is called Kalemegdan and it’s Belgrade’s central park and my favorite place, just a short walking distance from my house. It is home to several galleries and museums, restaurants, kid’s playgrounds, sports courts and the Belgrade Zoo.

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From there you can easily reach Knez Mihailova street, the main walking street and center of Belgrade. As the epicenter of culture and history, Knez Mihailova was named one of the most beautiful pedestrian streets in Eastern Europe.

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When was your FIRST quilt sighting? 

Not counting the many amazing quilts I was able to see online via Flickr, my first quilt sighting was a beautiful vintage French quilt (made by hand in the early 1900’s) that served as a prop for the film “In Secret”, that was filmed in Belgrade in 2012.  I was lucky enough to work on art props for the film and it absolutely got me thinking about the idea of making some quilts myself.  I have enjoyed sewing kids clothes since the arrival of my first daughter, 15 years ago, but my love for quilts is a more recent passion.

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 Did you have a career prior this, what was it? 

I was a freelance graphic designer, printmaker and painter (doing mainly linocut prints, calligraphy, illustrations and paintings).

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After getting my Master’s degree in Arts, I also worked as a teaching assistant for the Drawing and Painting department at the Faculty for Philology and Arts in Kragujevac (a city near Belgrade) for ten years.

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I am currently working towards my PhD in Applied Arts and Design and my goal is to combine printmaking and painting with textile and quilt design.  I am dreaming about making a huge exhibition (hopefully next year) with installations that would integrate these fields of art and design.

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Have you had a ‘light bulb’ moment in making 

The first quilt I made was in 2013. It was made with some of my fabrics (printed through Spoonflower) in combination with some other designer fabrics I had in my stash. I tried to draw some ideas on paper and to develop them further on my computer to get better idea about the shades and colors.

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Since I didn’t know much about the proper quilt making and quilting techniques I pieced it entirely on my serger (lol)!  I was also naive enough to think that Drunkard’s Path is a great beginner unit, ha!

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Well, the final result wasn’t so bad, considering the fact that I pretty much didn’t know what I was doing. Of course, I learned a lot from those mistakes, but I still didn’t realize that the serger is not a proper way to piece quilts.

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So, it was only after making my first quilt with Indelible fabrics for my first booth at Quilt Market and meeting Cristy Fincher (who was kind enough to point out to me that little mistake and tell me about the Quilt Police too, haha), that I understood that a serger isn’t used for quilts. That was probably my “light bulb” moment in quilt making, together with learning all the fabric preparations prior to piecing, like good starching and ironing.

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What does your studio look like, and what would you change in it? 
We have a small house with a beautiful garden in the countryside hills, called Fruska Gora, near Belgrade, where I have a tiny studio where I paint, draw and have my printing press.

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In our home in Belgrade, I don’t have a proper sewing room or a table that is all just mine (except the for small one that has my computer on it), so any corner of our home can easily become my work space: it can be a couch, the floor or a table.

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I love creating in the open air, so the porch of our countryside house is one of the most inspiring places for my creativity, being surrounded by the sounds of the nature and the happy voices of my kids playing nearby.

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Both of my parents and my sister are also artists (my father is a painter, my mother is a pottery artist, while my sister is a production designer), so having a home that works partly or entirely as a studio as well, is a way of life for me (ask my husband what he thinks about that though, the fabrics jumping out from every closet and the mess in the house, haha).

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Of course, I would love to have a bigger space where all my creative work could be gathered and accomplished, so I dream about that option. My husband does too.😉

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Do you have a GREAT storage, organization, or label making tip?

I love my Ikea magnetic rack & tin jars that are used for handling my sewing labels.

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What are your 3 favorite colors of Aurifil thread?

Although the1148 (2BH) would possibly be my all time favorite Aurifil color, and the most beautiful shade of teal blue, I am equally in love with the 1240 (2LC) (deep plum).

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It was included in both of my Aurifil thread boxes: Indelible and Voluminous. Besides those colors, my absolute must haves are 2021 (2DQ) and 5004 (1MP).

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Anything else you’d like to share?

I am so excited about what’s to come next in my fabric design area. I cannot share much about that yet, but I can say that the color blue will be a great part of it. Also, my AGF family never cease to amaze me with new, exciting projects and ideas, and I am looking forward to seeing them come to life.

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What is it about blue that inspires you? 

My favorite shade of blue is teal or turquoise. If I could, I would place it in each fabric collection, because I never get bored of it.

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It’s the most beautiful color of the sea and a color that looks so live, intense and refreshing.

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DOWNLOAD ‘Into the Blue’-Katarina Roccella

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•    Right handed or left handed.. And can you use the other at all? Right handed, only.

•    What is your Favorite childhood TV show? Little house on the Prairie. I enjoyed watching it, especially seeing the dresses that the girls were wearing.

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•    Are you a Dog or Cat person? We have a golden, named Noa who is a true family member. He’s my faithful helper, always putting his paws on whatever I create.😉 We also have a gecko lizard, two guinea pigs and two fish tanks. My son is dreaming about having a Zoo when he grows up, lol.

•    The snack you crave – Pistachios and all kind of dried fruits and nuts.

•    The Color you have always LOVED.…. Teal and purple.

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All the links that you want to share.

Visit Katarina at

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I am having so much fun with these blocks, using a totally different colorway. I am deciding on my colors. Should I do one shade like Katarina? or several?    click over to my site, which is where you enter YOUR block in our Monthly Challenge .. you could win a box of my thread next month!

ENTER YOUR Challenge BLOCK HERE

Are you on Facebook? I have a fantastic quilt group with the most incredible show and tell going on! You should see it! JOIN me HERE … I’d love to meet you!

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******* 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

For more Aurifil project photos visit our FLICKR PAGE  HERE

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Our RANDOM picker this month selected Kathy!  She has WON a BOX of Aurifil thread! Such gorgeous blocks entered .. see all the great versions HERE

REMEMBER – The Photo entry is moved to my website where more people can enter, right HERE

Aurifil 2016 August Designer of the Month Angela Walters

Aurifil 2016 Design Team August Angela Walters collage

I’m Designer, Author, Radio show host Pat Sloan.. Our August Designer is Angela Walters of Quilting is my Therapy.  The first time Angela and I had a chance to chat was at a trade show. It has been exciting to watch her grown as an artist and designer.

Angela has a wonderful series of articles called ‘The Business of Machine Quilting’. If you are looking to create a business quilting for others, I recommend you read her series.

I chatted with Angela 10/8/12 and 5/14/12  on my talk show CLICK to Listen or subscribe by Itunes

Let’s get to know  Angela!

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Aurifil 2016 July Designer of the Month Wendy Sheppard

Aurifil 2016 Design Team July Wendy Sheppard collage

I’m Designer, Author, Radio show host Pat Sloan.. Our July Designer is Wendy Sheppard of Ivory Spring, as her motto says “Where treasures of past and present connect”. Wendy and I live in the same area and we discovered we have a love of Applique, quilts with great color, Aurifil thread, and  days without rain!!  We both noticed that when we had a regular Tuesday evening meeting.. it seemed to ALWAYS rain!

What I love is how Wendy’s patterns spam a great many techniques and styles. Besides her applique, my favorites are the pieced patterns that look amazing, but are very easy to do! Wendy is a master at that, which I think you’ll see today.

I have talked with my friend Wendy  2/15/16 on my talk show CLICK to Listen or subscribe by Itunes

Let’s get to know  Wendy!

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Aurifil 2016 June Designer of the Month Jacquelynne Steves

Aurifil 2016 Design Team June Jacquelynne Steves collage

I’m Designer, Author, Radio show host Pat Sloan.. June is coming in with sunshine and flowers, which is a perfect fit for our June Designer Jacquelynne Steves She is a beautiful artist and very clever designer! You will want to go right to her website to join her Free Sew Along “Maggie’s First Dance”

I have talked with my friend Jacquelynne a few times on my talk show.. —> 4/20/15, 9/29/14, 3/4/13 and 12/10/12 CLICK to Listen or subscribe by Itunes

Let’s get to know Jacquelynne!

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Aurifil 2016 May Designer of the Month Amy Friend!

Aurifil 2016 Design Team May Amy Friend collage

I’m Designer, Author, Radio show host Pat Sloan. The Merry Month of May is here and our  May Designer is Amy Friend who creates incredible quilts!

Amy creates magic with fabric. I am a huge fan of how she changes up the look of a quilt with the fabrics she puts together.

She also has a great book out, and we chatted about it on my talk show.. —>  5/2/16 click to  listen

Let’s get to know Amy!

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Aurifil 2016 April Designer of the Month Kate Spain

Aurifil 2016 Design Team April Kate Spain collage

I’m Designer, Author, Radio show host Pat Sloan. We are finally in spring in my part of the world and our April Designer is the amazing Kate Spain!

The quilt world is so lucky to have the talented Kate Spain design gorgeous Moda fabrics and curate yummy Aurifil thread collections for us! She designs for many places, you can find rugs, stationary and much more with her beautiful patterns on it.

We have become good friends over the years and I’m really happy she is on our design team for 2016!  You can listen to my chat with Kate on my talk show.. —>  3/17/14 click to  listen

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PLEASE READ — We are CHANGING something!!

Our Monthly quilt block Challenge will now be at my website with a Photo sharing party! This will be much easier for everyone.  If you want to look first, It’s HERE

We LOVE our MONTHLY thread BOX giveaway (seriously folks… you could win a box of my thread which is over $120.00 value.. JUST for making a quilt block… you have to join in!). Each month we pick one random winner that has made a  block from our featured designer of the prior month. That person receives a FULL BOX of my Aurifil thread as the prize!

Grab your Kate Spain fabric and let’s get to know her!

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Aurifil 2016 March Designer of the Month Christa Watson

Aurifil 2016 Design Team March Christa Watson collage

I’m Designer, Author, Radio show host Pat Sloan. We are jumping out of winter in my part of the world and I couldn’t be happier!  Our March Designer is Christa Watson of Christa Quilts!

Christa is an Author, Teacher, Shop owner, Designer, and Aurifil thread lover for many years. She has a passion for quilting, which she shares at her website and Facebook group via sew alongs and tutorials. She is always sharing something great! 

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We have become good friends over the years and I’m really happy she is on our design team for 2016!  You can listen to Christa and I chat on my talk show.. —>  Christa was on 6/3/14 and 9/8/15, take a listen

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PLEASE READ — We are CHANGING something!!

Our Monthly quilt block share will now be at my website with a Photo sharing party! This will be much easier for everyone.  If you want to look first, It’s HERE

We LOVE our MONTHLY thread BOX giveaway (seriously folks… you could win a box of my thread which is over $120.00 value.. JUST for making a quilt block… you have to join in!). Each month we pick one random winner that has made a  block from our featured designer of the prior month. That person receives a FULL BOX of my Aurifil thread as the prize!

Let’s get to know Christa!

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Aurifil 2016 February Designer of the Month Kari Carr

Aurifil 2016 Design Team February Kari Carr

By the end of the year you will have 12 blocks and I’ll have a setting for you!  I’m Designer/Radio show host PatSloan. February is my favorite winter month, and this year I have a chance to interview one of my favorite designers, Kari Carr of New Leaf Stitches!

I have known Kari for a few years and I loved hearing about where she lives and how that location has influenced what she creates, and it relates to our them of BLUE so well!  Plus she is a wealth of technical knowledge on sewing! When  I need to know something she is one of my go-to people. Her quilts are really fun to do with a range of styles to suit you, or you, or you!  I have chatted with Kari on my talk show.. —>  Kari was on 3/4/13 and 11/21/11, take a listen

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PLEASE READ — We are CHANGING something!!

Our Monthly quilt block share will now be at my website with a Photo sharing party! This will be much easier for everyone.  If you want to look first, It’s HERE

We LOVE our MONTHLY thread BOX giveaway (seriously folks… you could win a box of my thread which is over $120.00 value.. JUST for making a quilt block… you have to join in!). Each month we pick one random winner that has made a  block from our featured designer of the prior month. That person receives a FULL BOX of my Aurifil thread as the prize!

Let’s get to know Kari!

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Aurifil 2016 January Designer of the Month Heather Valentine

Aurifil 2016 Design Team January Heather Valentine

It’s a bright shiny new year and we have a whole new team of designers for 2016! We are making a block a month and I asked each designer to create a blue and white block. They are going to share their inspiration and tell us about themselves in my interviews on the 15th of each month.

By the end of the year you will have 12 blocks and I’ll have a setting for you!  I’m Designer/Radio show host PatSloan, and I can’t wait for you to meet these 12 Designers this year and get to know them.

My January interview and quilt block is with Heather Valentine of The Sewing Loft.   I’ve been doing projects with Heather and really love what she shares at her website. She has so many great tips and tutorials, you need to sign up for her newsletter!  I also interviewed Heather on 8/11/14, take a listen

Pat Sloan Perfect Colors3

We continue our MONTHLY thread BOX giveaway (seriously folks… you could win a box of my thread which is over $120.00 value.. JUST for making a quilt block… you have to join in!). We will pick one random winner that has made a  block from our 2014 designers and that random person receives a FULL BOX of my Aurifil thread as the prize! Winners are all contacted via Flickr email and posted at our FLICK GROUP HERE

Let’s get to know Heather!

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Aurifil 2015 December Designer of the Month Celine Perkins

Aurifil 2015 Celine Perkins Dec designers logo

Welcome to our last interview and Mini Quilt for 2015 in our Designer of the Month program!  I’m Designer/Radio show host PatSloan, and it’s been wonderful to meet these 12 Designers this year and get to know them.

Our December interview and mini quilt is with Celine Perkins of Perkins Dry Goods.  Celine’s quilts are warm and cozy and you just want to curl up in them! Celine is a master piecer and has great use of fabric in her designs.  This past year we’ve gotten to know each other and I really love seeing a peek into her creative life  at her Instagram account, take a look.
Pat Sloan Perfect Colors3We continue our MONTHLY thread BOX giveaway (seriously folks… you could win a box of my thread which is over $120.00 value.. for making a quilt block… you have to join in!). We will pick one random winner that has made a  block from our 2014 designers and that random person receives a FULL BOX of my Aurifil thread as the prize! Winners are all contacted via Flickr email and posted at our FLICK GROUP HERE

Let’s get to know Celine!

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