Amy Friend

MQU‘s Cheryl Sleboda talks with quilter and contributor Amy Friend.

Originally posted on May 10, 2018 by Cheryl Sleboda

We caught up with quilter and designer Amy Friend, whose adorable pincushions are in the latest issue of Modern Quilts Unlimited #23.

Thanks for taking a minute to chat with us, Amy! When did you first learn to sew? When did you make your first quilt?

I grew up with sewers – the women in my family were makers before it was on trend to be makers!  I had dresses that were made from old dresses of my mom’s.  My Barbies had dresses refashioned from my old dresses.  So….when did I learn to sew?  Hmmmm….probably as soon as my grandmother felt I could handle needle, thread and scissors (aka I don’t remember!).

What is a technique that you have never tried that you would like to?

I have never tried needle turn applique.  I would like to do that at some point but it’s hard to tear me away from paper piecing.

What about the Modern aesthetic appeals to you?

I like so many things about the Modern aesthetic. I love minimal palettes and gradient/ombre color schemes.  I love alternate gridwork and negative space more and more each day.  And I like quilts that are a little more edgy and interesting than pretty, if that makes sense!

What advice would you give to a beginner in quilting?

Don’t be afraid to jump right in. I taught myself to quilt and to paper piece, with some help from online tutorials.  You will learn more with each project.  And don’t be afraid to try new things but remember to give them some time.  For example, if you haven’t paper pieced before, don’t give up after one class.  Go home and practice and before you know it, it will be intuitive and you will be paper piecing while watching Netflix!

What kinds of fabrics are your favorite to work with?

I am particularly drawn to tone on tone prints and solids.  The majority of my stash is fabric that reads as a solid and is one color.



Pincushion Trio by Amy Friend

What kind of projects are you working on next?

Right now, I am madly sewing my 4 new spring quilt patterns from my new fabric collection, By Hand.  By Hand is a tonal watercolor collection, painted with watercolors and a brush. By Hand will be shipping in June from Contempo, a division of Benartex LLC.  My patterns will be available very soon.  After that, I am returning to a paper pieced quilt that I designed featuring a very subtle palette of neutrals.

Thanks for talking with us, Amy!  To see how to make these pincushions, check out the latest issue of Modern Quilts Unlimited! To see more of Amy’s work online, check out her website at!

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