Coming Up Roses: Penny in the City

Penny in the City by Kate Brennan

We were thrilled when the amazing team at Penny Rose Fabrics asked if we’d like to join in on Jill Finley‘s Coming Up Roses blog tour. You see, we love Jill. ❤ Not just because she is one of our treasured Aurifil Designers, but because she is an incredibly talented fabric designer, quilter, maker, and generally an all around lovely person. Also, Coming Up Roses, her latest line with Penny Rose, is absolutely stunning. Just look at these feature prints!!

While we don’t have a new thread collection to coordinate with Coming Up Roses, we were happy to see that some of the colors from her Meadow Sweets collection work incredibly well! Take a peek at those colors right here.

To feature Jill’s fabrics, we turned to Aurifil’s own Kate Brennan, based in our Chicago office. Kate is a talented quilter with a keen eye for color and pairing patterns. She focused on Jill’s blue colorway, opting for the Roses Main, Roses Vine, Roses Hexi, and Roses Buds prints and added in a few Riley Blake coordinates with Swiss Dot Tone on Tone White & Confetti Cottons Color Riley Royal Blue. Kate says that she loves working with Riley Blake fabrics and is particularly taken with this collection. It has a lot of flexibility, a good range of scale and color in patterns, featured saturated solids, and is super high quality.

She grabbed a spool of Aurifil 6735 (Plumtastic) in 50wt for piecing and quilting and added in a spool of 2783 (Medium Delft Blue) in 40wt for additional quilting.

While Kate did not use a pattern to make Penny in the City she did use a Mariner’s Compass Ruler from Robin Ruth Design. The ruler allowed her to achieve a stunning Mariner’s compass block by strip-piecing.

We are in LOVE with Kate’s finished wall hanging and had so much fun checking out her photos of the piece around the city of Chicago. 😉 (with a bit of added help from her daughters!)

Coming Up Roses will be available in stores soon!  Make sure to check out the fabulous free Simple Circles Quilt pattern by Andy Knowlton, shared last week and keep an eye on the blogs below for more great projects and patterns to come!
July 6:  Andy Knowlton / A Bright Corner
July 13:  Aurifil / Auribuzz
July 20:  Amy Chappell / Ameroonie Designs
July 27:  Carrie Burnett / Beri Bee Designs
Aug 3:  Kari Steiger / That’s-Sew-Kari
Aug 10:  Kimberly Einmo / Kimbery Einmo Designs

Coming Up Roses Fabric by Jill Finley for Riley Blake Designs
Meadow Sweets by Jill Finley for Aurifil in Large & Small
All about Jill Finley & Jillily Studios
Robin Ruth Design, Mariner’s Compass Rulers

Meadow Sweets by Jill Finley


Jill Finley of Jillily Studio debuted Meadow Sweets, her first collection as a designer for Penny Rose Fabrics (a division of Riley Blake) at Spring Quilt Market. The fabrics are in stores now, available alongside her coordinating Large and Small Aurifil Thread Collections. We just love the range of colors and have simply fallen for the feature quilts!

Meadow Sweets
12 Large Spools, 50wt (1422yds/spool)
2425 – 2265 – 1103 – 1135 – 2140 – 1147
2887 – 6720 – 2775 – 2710 – 2024 – 2692


10 Small Spools, 50wt (220yds/spool)
2425 – 2265 – 1135 – 2140 – 1147
2887 – 6720 – 2775 – 2024 – 2692


To view this info on our website, click on any of the images above. For purchasing, please contact your local Aurifil Dealer.

Can you tell us a bit about yourself and how you first got started in the world of sewing and quilting?
I was always a sewer, and mostly did garment and home dec sewing. Then about 20 years ago I was asked to teach a quilting class at my church. I said OK. (How hard could that be?) So, long story short—I learned a lot and then fell in love with quilting!

Meadow Weaver

Meadow Weaver in Midnight

Do you remember the process of making your first quilt and how you felt once it was complete?
It was awesome! I loved the idea of doing something old–that women had been doing for centuries. It was something that was important to keep in the tradition of things, and to use my own creativity.

Spring Fling

Spring Fling

Who or what has been your greatest creative inspiration?
I think that life in general has been an inspiration to me creatively. When I have an experience or see something beautiful, I want to create to share that.

How did you first connect with the lovely folks at Riley Blake and what have you loved most about the process of creating this latest fabric collection?
I have known many of the people a Riley Blake for many years. When I finally decided to make the move over to the Penny Rose company, it was like coming home. I love working with these people—we are on the same wave-length!

Cabin Fever

Cabin Fever

Meadow Sweets is your latest collection, available in stores now. Can you tell us a bit more about what inspired the line and what excites you most about it?
I live near the mountains and in a matter of minutes I can be up one of our beautiful canyons enjoying nature. In the spring and summer these mountain canyons are filled with colorful wildflowers—it looks like a candy store—with so many colors and textures!

Do you have a favorite project made with the collection? 
Oh, I have made so many—and there are more coming, too. But one of my favorites has to be the Meadow Weaver quilt because the piecing is so unusual and intricate. And I love that it comes in 2 colorways. I can say that I LOVED piecing that, and watching it come together. The applique was so much fun to do—very simple shapes with big impact!

Meadow Weaver in Midday

Meadow Weaver in Midday

What is your favorite thing to make? Do you prefer quilting over creating smaller projects like home accessories or handbags, or vice versa? 
I think I probably prefer quilt-making, but it sure is fun to whip up a small project like a bag or pin cushion for a change of scenery!

Strawberry Tart

Strawberry Tart

When did you first discover Aurifil threads and what do you love most about them?
I always tell Alex and Elena that I am their oldest US customer! The first Market that they came to—to introduce Aurifil threads to the US market, my booth was across from them. They didn’t speak much English, and I didn’t speak Italian, but we managed to get some thread to take home and try. Of course, after using it, I became a fan for life. I ran out and had to call Italy to get more because when I went back to my previous thread, I felt like I was sewing with string! At the time they didn’t have a US distributor, so it was hard to get but worth it!   I have not sewn with anything else since!


Do you have a favorite color/weight and why?
I love the 50 wt for all my piecing, by machine or by hand. I also use 50 wt. for my hand applique. On my machine I use a neutral color as I am piecing, but when I applique, I like to match the thread color to my applique piece. So, I have TONS of colors, and love them all!

I also use the 28 wt for making yo-yos, some hand stitching, etc. I have all the weights, too. You never know what you are going to need.


How did you go about selecting threads for your latest Aurifil collection?
That’s easy. I just picked colors that matched the fabrics in the collection so I can applique and top-stitch with confidence that the thread will be perfect.





To enter-to-win 1 Fat Quarter Bundle of Meadow Sweets by Jill Finley for Penny Rose Fabrics, a division of Riley Blake AND 1 Large Meadow Sweets Thread Collection by Jill Finely for Aurifil, click here to head to the Rafflecopter entry page, or simply click on the image above. You do not have to complete all the options to be entered but the more options you choose, the more entries you have!  Entries will be accepted from now through 11:59pm Eastern Time on Thursday, December 22! Winner will be randomly selected and announced here on Friday, December 23. Good luck!

UPDATE: This giveaway is now closed. Congratulations to Judy Rianprakaisang!


jillfinleyprofileJill Finley is the owner and designer behind Jillily Studio. She has been designing quilt patterns for over 15 years and currently designs and sells quilt fabric, patterns, kits and notions. Her quilt designs show off her fresh style using high contrast fabrics and usually have a bit of applique to soften and finish each design. Jillily Studio produces the popular notions, Appli-Glue and Poke-A-Dots, along with numerous kits and patterns. Jill is the author of several books on quilting; Home Sweet Quilt and Stitched Together.

She is a Master Designer for Aurifil Threads and is also a BERNINA Ambassador. Her designs have been featured in several magazines including American Patchwork and Quilting, Quilter’s Home and McCall’s Quilting. Jill stays busy traveling and teaching about her quilt designs and applique methods. Jill designs fabric with Penny Rose fabrics, part of Riley Blake designs. Creating fabric collections for quilting has been one of Jill’s favorite projects. Jill loves to spend time with her family; eating, reading, gardening, sewing, cooking, and learning. She and her husband Randy live in Herriman, Utah and are the parents of seven children and eleven grandchildren.