behind the scenes… celebrating 5 years of Whole Circle Studio!

Numbers made from Typecast Fast, a foundation paper piecing pattern by Whole CIrcle Studio

It’s official… it was five years ago, February 5, 2015 to be exact, that I started Whole Circle Studio as a blog. I was interested in exploring how I might be able to turn design and quilting into a business, but my main goal at the time was to share my work and process with others. I distinctly remember writing the very first blog post. I was on vacation at a coffee shop in Key West, Florida. While sitting there sipping a latte, I started planning on paper some of the things I wanted to share on the blog. Thankfully wifi was available because I then got up enough courage to put this short post into the world.

It’s been an amazing, unexpected journey since 2015. I never would have predicted that I would be doing what I’m doing today—enhancing people’s lives through beautiful, meaningful design in the form of quilting. Eight years ago, I didn’t even know how to properly use a sewing machine. I feel incredibly fortunate to have made a career out of design and quilting and none of it would be possible without YOU (even if this is your first interaction with me).
Without you doing the following, none of this would be possible:
• encouraging me
• buying a pattern or product from me
• attending one of my presentations
• participating in one of my workshops
• telling a friend, shop or guild about me
• sharing a blog entry, social media post, or newsletter

I truly love meeting and connecting with you (both in real life and online), sharing my work and learning what you’re working on. I’m here for you—whether it’s delivering a delight, teaching you something new, inspiring you, encouraging you, or making piecing or quilting a bit easier and more pleasurable. I love hearing from you—by email or through the blog comments (comment below!) Let’s keep the conversation going!

Here some of the highlights from the last 5 years:

2015

• Launched Whole Circle Studio with a single blog post
You have to start somewhere, no matter how small or awkward it is. Read “Here we go…”

• Attended my first QuiltCon in Austin, Texas
I entered my first quilt into a juried show and had three accepted. Imagine my surprise when one, What’s the Frequency, Love?, won first place in the Small Quilts category at QuiltCon 2015.
Sheri Cifaldi-Morrill of Whole Circle Studio with her award-winning modern quilt, What's the Frequency, Love?, first place winner in the Small Quilts category at QuiltCon 2015 in Austin, Texas.

• Awarded first place as well as Mark Lipinski’s Judge’s Choice award in the Quilt Alliance “Animals We Love” Contest for Bzzzzzz.
Bzzzzzz is an award-winning modern, graphic wallhanging/mini quilt featuring a combination of traditional machine piecing and foundation paper piecing. Make additional blocks to make a larger quilt (layout ideas are provided to make a lap, twin or queen quilt). This tested pattern contains both detailed instructions and diagrams, making it easy to piece.

• Designed and independently published my first quilt pattern
My very first published pattern was a Row by Row block for one of my local quilt shops, The Bolt. I loved the block so much, and so did other quilters, that I decided to explore what it would look like as a quilt. From there, Little Fishies launched.
Row by Row quilt block - fishes - by Sheri Cifaldi-Morrill of Whole Circle Studio
An easy, cute, modern fish quilt using half square triangles (HSTs) and strips. Little Fishies quilt pattern by Whole Circle Studio.

 

2016

• Awarded the first annual Craftsy Quilt Designers Fellowship.
I will be eternally grateful for this amazing opportunity that accelerated the growth of Whole Circle Studio.

• Exhibited at my first International Quilt Market in Houston.
What’s it like to have a trade show booth at Quilt Market? See for yourself here. Jason and I are looking forward to returning to Quilt Market for the first time since Fall 2016. We’ll be at Spring Quilt Market in Pittsburgh in May. More to come soon!
Whole Circle studio booth at International Quilt Market 2016 in Houston, Texas

2017

• Debuted, 270 Colors, a quilt designed and made to commemorate the 10th anniversary of Aurifil in the United States
This quilt was just the beginning of a wonderful, collaborative relationship I have with Aurifil.
270 colors, a modern quilt designed and made for Aurifil by Sheri Cifaldi-Morrill. Features all the thread colors they offer.

• Challenged myself to do handwork each day for 365 days
While some days it was really challenging to keep up the motivation and energy, I am really glad I did it and documented the process each week. I’ve slacked off a bit with this lately and looking back at this time period reminds me I need to make more time for it!

• Filmed my first online videos
Take a peek behind the scenes and check out the segments I filmed for Season 2 of Fresh Quilting. 
On the set of Fresh Quilting Season 2: Designing your own Hawaiian inspired patterns by Sheri Cifaldi-Morrill | Whole Circle Studio

• Saw my quilts for the first time in a hardcover book
Have you seen Modern Quilts: Designs of a New Century? If not, it’s worth checking it out. You can also see more about the book here.
Sheri Cifaldi-Morrill | Whole Circle Studio showing her Cabana quilt. One of two quilts included in Modern Quilts: Designs of the New Century book by the Modern Quilt Guild

2018

• Taught at my first major conference, QuiltCon 2018 in Pasadena, California
I’m super excited to be back to teach at QuiltCon 2020!

• Resigned from my “day job” to make Whole Circle Studio my one full-time job
It was a bit scary, yet super exciting at the same time. It wouldn’t have been possible without a loyal, supportive quilting community. Thank you!

• Collaborated with wonderful quilters and companies like, Mathew Boudreaux (aka Mister Domestic), Leah Day, and Makers’ Mercantile
I love working with other talented makers—everything is better when we pool our creativity!

Check out this live stream video with Mister Domestic and Sheri Cifaldi-Morrill of Whole Circle Studio as we chat and demo parts of the Block #1 of the Patchwork Petals foundation paper pieced pattern. Join the party!
Mathew and I had a blast with our Patchwork Petals Sewing Party!

Looking for a fun, nature-themed quilting project?Join Leah Day and Sheri Cifaldi-Morrill of Whole Circle Studio in this easy fall quilt along. Leaf Peepers is the perfect table runner or wall hanging for Thanksgiving. Join us as we give tips and tutorials as we make these quilt blocks together!
Leah and I really enjoyed sharing how we each pieced and quilted our Leaf Peepers quilt with weekly videos and blog posts over the course of 12 weeks.

Kona sunset leggings, designed by Sheri Cifaldi-Morrill, inspired by her Big Island Sunset quilt

Who says quilts are just for beds or walls? My friends at Makers’ Mercantile and I teamed up to offer two of my quilt designs, Big Island Sunset and Hexie Blues, printed on beautiful leggings.

 

2019

• Launched my first English Paper Piecing (EPP) pattern—Typecast
To celebrate, 26 of my quilting friends stitched up a letter, A-Z. Check out all of their beautiful work on the Typecast of Characters Blog Tour (and I bet you’ll know at least one of these quilters).
Typecast of Characters Blog Tour hosted by Whole Circle Studio

• Filmed my first long format online class
It was so much fun to visit the “Disneyland of Quilting”, Hamilton, Missouri. I’m super proud of the hour-long Piecing Curves with Confidence online class I filmed at Missouri Star Quilt Company. Take a peek behind the scenes here.

 

We’ve only just begun!
2020 and beyond…

I have lots of fun projects planned for 2020 and beyond—I can’t wait to share even more with you. I’m also scheduled to present and teach all around the United States in 2020/2021. Hopefully, I’ll be in a location near you! I’d love to connect in person. You can see my schedule here.

Go make something great,


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2 Comments

    1. Thanks so much Kathie. As with any business, it’s definitely been like a roller coaster ride but I really enjoy it and love sharing and meeting other quilters. –Sheri

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