In the four months since fall Quilt Market, Sheri Cifaldi-Morrill has been as busy as the bees on her iconic Bzzzzzz quilt. We caught up with our 2016 Quilt Designer Fellowship Winner to hear about all of her latest successes — and we couldn’t be prouder of all that she’s done.
When we chatted with Sheri, she was on her way to QuiltCon in Savannah, Georgia, where big things were about to unfold! Not only were three of her quilts (Back Wall, Big Island Blossom and Cabana) exhibiting there, but she also unveiled two big collaborations with Aurifil.
For Aurifil’s 10th anniversary in the U.S., Sheri created her first commissioned design, a 70” x 85” quilt that features all of Aurifil’s 270 thread colors. “That kept me super busy!” she says. “I hit the ground running right after Market. That was the big focus in November and December.” The colorful quilt, which debuted at QuiltCon in February, will travel around the country with Aurifil. Keep an eye out for it at spring and fall Quilt Market!
That’s not all for Sheri and Aurifil: The two also teamed up to launch a free pattern of Sheri’s design featuring 10 spools of thread. Quilters can download the mini-quilt pattern (from Whole Circle Studio or Aurifil), create their own version with their favorite colors and enter it for a chance to win a bundle of awesome prizes from Aurifil.
As if these projects didn’t keep her busy enough, Sheri has also been designing new patterns, making guest appearances on podcasts (including the American Patchwork & Quilting Podcast and Sit & Sew Radio) and teaching workshops.
While we have no doubt Sheri would have found all this success on her own, she says the Fellowship helped accelerate it. “It really helped me solidify connections and create really strong collaborations that grow my visibility,” she says.
Building brand recognition at Market also helped advance her work: “Because of the visibility I got at Market with distributors and local quilt shops, I’ve been selling a lot more patterns.” Today, you can find Whole Circle Studio patterns in quilt shops in 27 states, and five major distributors help even more quilters find her designs. (Don’t forget you can get them here on Craftsy, too!)
As for now, Sheri is looking for new ways to leverage her designs and grow her business. “I’m working really hard and designing lots of new things and seeing where it all goes,” she says. Not knowing exactly what’s ahead is most exciting for Sheri: “If you would have told me this time last year that I would get the Craftsy Fellowship or that I would have six patterns published or that I was working with Aurifil, I never would have believed you. You just never know what opportunities are going to come up.”
You Could Be Next!
Are you an up-and-coming quilt designer? We want to see your work! Enter our second annual Quilt Designer Fellowship, and you could win your own booth at Fall Quilt Market, $1,500 to build your brand and tons more.