September Designer Spotlight Amy Smart

September Designer Spotlight Amy Smart

Aug 21, 2015 By OLFA Creates

This month, we are excited to get to talk to Amy Smart. Amy blogs at Diary of a Quilter and used to teach beginning quilting classes at her local quilt shop, which she loved! We have been secretly stalking Amy online for several years, and jumped at the chance to get to know her better. 


A few years ago Amy wrote a beginning quilting series of tutorials and it’s her favorite thing ever when people tell her that they learned to quilt from her tutorials. (Check out Amy’s tutorials here.) Amy lives with her husband and four kids in Utah, where they love to travel and hike. Amy learned to sew from her mom when she was growing up, but began sewing and quilting in earnest after the birth of her first baby 16+ years ago. Like with many of us, it is the perfect creative outlet for her.


Amy, how do you describe yourself?


I consider myself a contemporary quilter. I love modern quilting, but my quilts are usually based in traditional quilting motifs using contemporary fabrics. I’m not quite as abstract as true modern quilters. I also enjoy making bags and household sewing, but I don’t consider myself a confident garment sewer. (and I hate mending.)


What is your favorite OLFA tool & why?


How do I pick just one? My Splash rotary cutter is probably my most used quilting item, but I really love my 5″ scissors. They are perfect for snipping threads but are equally great at cutting fabric for big projects. I use them ALL the time. My new favorite though are the frosted rulers. They don’t slip!


What is your favorite OLFA rotary cutter & why?


I love my Splash. Looks cute, easy to change blades, great price. What’s not to love??


What size ruler could you not live without?


I’m a sucker for useful rulers, but the one I probably use most is my 6″ x 24″.


Which comes first: the pattern or the fabric?


For me, it’s the fabric. I LOVE pretty fabric. It’s looking at the fabric that inspires me to come up with just the right project or pattern to make that fabric shine.


Is there a time of year that you barely touch needle & thread?


Summer is my trickiest time for sewing. Between traveling, kids home from school, more yardwork, etc., it’s hard to get to the sewing machine. But I always have a hand-work project that I take with me on the road or when I can snatch a minute to sit!


What is the dominant color in your stash?


Red. I’m always surprised at how much red I have in my stash! And I haven’t even used any red in the last 4 quilts I’ve made! But I’m still so drawn to that color. I need to plan a red and white quilt just to bust through some of that stash.


How many WIP’s do you have lying around right now?


A lot. I’ve totally lost count. At the beginning of 2015 I was determined to finish as many of them as I could, and I even made a list. It was good motivation and I knocked out a few. But then I got distracted and started new things. It looks like I need to pull out that list again…


What important piece of advice would you offer someone on the brink of quilting?


Don’t let fear of perfection hold you back. Just jump in and remember that you learn by doing. The more you cut and sew, the more it will become second nature. Plus, no one will notice your mistakes like you do. All they’ll see is the color and patterns and effort put into a beautiful creation.


 Want to get to know Amy even better? You can find her through the following links:



Modern, clean lines are a great way to add sophistication and graphic interest to a pillow.  Amy created this free project to share with you, using the lines of a zipper as inspiration. The stark black and white make the “teeth” of the zipper really stand out, but also think of other color combinations that might be fun to try. Follow Amy’s instructions to create your own Zipper Block Pillow Cover.



September Designer Spotlight Amy Smart

Aug 21, 2015 By OLFA Creates