An Interview Lee Heinrich – Designer, Author and Blogger of Freshly Pieced

I have always enjoyed Lee Heinrich’s blog Freshly Pieced, and participating in WIP Wednesdays. I finally had a chance to catch up with her and am really excited to share our interview with you, and a give-a-way too. 

We are celebrating my belated 2nd Blogaversary, which was on June 6th. We both tried to have this posted on June 6th. And in all fairness, we both were busy with family matters. Lee was busy with her family visiting from out of town, and her kids were finishing up with school. 

My husband and I were awaiting our third grandchild, who was 8 days late, and finally arrived on Monday, June 9th. Then we ran up to Boston for 24 hours to meet Nolan, our new grandson. I will save that story for another post, because this is post is about Lee. 

We both know how busy quilt bloggers and quilters are, and the point is that no one is immune to changes in schedules. We just do our best to handle them gracefully. 

So it is an honor for me to interview Lee. Her blog was one of the first few blogs I started to follow two years ago. I learned so much from her, and finally got to say “hello” in person at QuiltCon this past February. 

Anne : Where did you grow-up? 

Lee: Grand Rapids, Michigan. 

Anne: Where did you go to school, college, post-graduate? And what is your design background?

Lee: I got my degree in journalism from Michigan State University (go Green!) I logged in a few years as a reporter/editor/publishing-jack-of- all-trades before realizing that my design-related duties were what I really enjoyed the most. So I taught myself Photoshop and Illustrator and transitioned over to the graphic design side of things, full-time. 

Anne: Tell us what you want to share about your family now, and how motherhood has affected your quilting and designs. 

Lee: I live with my husband and two daughters, who are 8 and 6. I guess I would say motherhood is the whole reason I started quilting—when I quit working to stay home with my daughter, I needed a hobby, and quilting was perfect. 

Anne: When you were growing up did you sew/quilt? Did you have any influences, such as a Grandmother, Aunt, Mother, friends, etc.? If so, how did that grow and evolve.  

Lee: I did not sew or quilt at all when I was growing up! My mom sewed things like curtains for our house, Halloween costumes, etc., but I had zero interest in it at the time. However, I did have a quilt on my bed while I was growing up that was made by my great- grandmother. I wasn’t a great sleeper when I was a kid, so I remember spending a lot of time lying in bed staring at that quilt, for lack of anything better to do while I wasn’t sleeping. LOL. I remember trying to decide what my favorite prints were in that quilt. So who knows, that may have subconsciously influenced me! 

Anne: Tell us about your design process. Do you choose to work with certain color palettes? If so, how do you decide which ones you will work with? Would you discuss your style, and some of the fabric collections which are your favorites?

Lee: People ask me this question a lot, and it’s so hard to answer! Sometimes I start with a certain color palette (usually something I found online), sometimes I start with certain fabric, and sometimes I start with a design and then plug colors/fabrics into that. I guess it depends on which of those elements is inspiring me at the moment. I love any fabric by Alison Glass, Carolyn FriedlanderViolet Craft, Cotton+Steel, and much more! 

Anne: Describe your sense of style. If it has changed or evolved over time, please expand upon that. If you can discuss and share your next projects, that would be great. 

Lee: Hmm. That’s a good question. Honestly, I think writing Vintage Quilt Revivial, 

with Faith and Katie was a big turning point for my style. I always loved taking traditional blocks and making them “modern,” but I think coming up with great designs for the book forced me to get more creative with the overall layouts of the quilts than I had been before. 

And working with Faith and Katie inspired me in a way that I couldn’t have been if I had written the book alone! The three of us are hoping to collaborate on another project in the future, although I don’t know if it will be a book or something else. 

Above, Sugar Snow, from, Vintage Quilt Revival; 22 Modern Designs from Classic Blocks

Anne: What influences you when you design and create quilts and other sewing projects? Physical, written, scenery, spiritual, elements, etc.? 

Lee: Anything and everything! I’m constantly on the lookout for any kind of geometric repeating pattern. You can find them anywhere if you look! 

Anne: What design elements are your favorites or signature elements? Are there certain; colors, shapes, prints, fabrics, or embellishments you tend to like and use most? 

Lee: Well, I’m guessing there aren’t many quilts of mine that don’t have aqua in them somewhere : ) I also loooooove a good color-gradient quilt (my Terrazzo and Sparkler patterns are two examples of that). In fact, recently I had to resist the urge to do yet another color gradient quilt. I don’t want to return to that well too many times. LOL. 

Above, Terrazzo 

Above, Wavelength 

Anne: Describe a typical day for you at your studio, if there is one. 

Lee: Like you said, there is no typical day! And with my kids starting summer vacation next week, there will definitely be no typical day for several months! Honestly, just sitting down to sew is often my biggest challenge. It seems like there are so many immediate tasks that are just the day-to-day responsibilities of running a business. Between that and all my mom duties, I have to be very protective of my sewing time. Sometimes it happens, sometimes it doesn’t! 

Anne: What fabrics are your favorites to work with and why? 

Lee: I gravitate pretty strongly toward tonal prints and blenders, because I think those have the most graphic impact in a finished quilt. For me it’s all about the overall look of the completed quilt, rather than the individual fabrics! 

Anne: What artists, architects, designers, etc., (not in our industry), have influenced you? 

Lee: I can’t really point to any specific influences, but I love design in all its forms and I’m constantly looking at interior design and graphic design websites, so I’m sure what I see makes its way into my quilts in some form or another.

Above, Moroccan Lanterns 

Above, Fair Isle 

Anne: What other hobbies/guilty pleasures do you have?” 

Lee: I bought a power miter saw to work on a few small projects for my quilt market booth, and it’s gotten me very interested in woodworking! I wouldn’t call it a new hobby yet, but I’m hoping to try a few small projects soon! Guilty pleasures: Reality TV and Candy Crush. : ) 

Anne: Do you find that it is mostly the more modern/contemporary quilters and sewers purchasing your book, or participating in WIP Wednesdays, or are you crossing that divide into ‘traditional’ fabric buyers and quilters as well?  

Lee: It was definitely a goal of ours for Vintage Quilt Revival to be appealing to both modern and traditional quilters alike. We believe that both groups can learn a lot from the other! I’ve spoken at many traditional quilt guilds in my area, and I am constantly impressed at how willing most of those ladies are to consider new styles of quilting. I think most people out there just sew what they want and aren’t too concerned with labels. And that’s how it should be. 

Anne: Is there something you can share with us that you made, that you are most proud of? Please tell us about it. Do you have a photo? 

Lee: Wow, tough question to pick just one thing! I think my projects for Vintage Quilt Revival, collectively, would have to be what I’m most proud of, simply because I think that was a period of real creativity for me. 

From the top – Spin it Again Quilt, from p. 86 of Vintage Quilt Revival

Middle quilt – Diamond Tread – Click here to see this quilt on Lee’s blog. 

Bottom quilt – Make the Sugar Snow Quilt, from p.66 of Vintage Quilt Revival

Anne: What do you see for the future of Modern Quilting in fabrics, fabric and quilt designs, and “just” the quilting? Are you working on another book? Please share what you can. 

Lee: I’ve learned a long time ago not to try to predict 🙂 But I think the future of Modern Quilting is exciting, and the industry, to keep bringing exciting new things to quilters. 

Thank you so much, Lee, for sharing your time with us. Your quilts are so original and fresh, (LOL), but I’ve always thought of them that way, even before the book came out. And thank you for sharing a bit of your life with everyone. It is true generosity of spirit, and that’s what my grandma Lo would say, when people do that with you. 

And Lee has generously offered a give-a-way today; a free pattern of the winner’s choice. Please leave a comment in my comment box, and tell us which one is your favorite pattern from Lee’s shop. The winner will be announced on Thursday, June 18. Please make sure I have your e-mail address, if you are a no-reply blogger. 

Please check out the 2015 New Quilt Bloggers Blog Hop.  You will discover some wonderful new quilters and new quilt bloggers. 

I read every post, and reply by directly by e-mail. Happy Quilting!!

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I love reading your comments, and will respond directly by e-mail.


  • Reply Yvonne @ Quilting Jetgirl June 12, 2015 at 12:24 pm

    Very nice interview, I really enjoyed getting to know Lee a bit better. I think right now the pattern that appeals mos to me from Lee is Terrazzo, but they are all so lovely it is hard to choose!

  • Reply Iris June 12, 2015 at 10:48 pm

    Another great interview, must have been nice to meet Lee in the flesh as well. My favourite pattern from her has to be the fair isle. I already drooled over it when she hosted the QAL, but I need to finish some of my WIP before I am even allowed to buy any more patterns.

  • Reply Anne Beier June 13, 2015 at 12:47 am

    I follow Lee's blog, too and love her patterns! Thanks for the interview, I feel like I got to know her even better! My favorite pattern of hers is Cathedral Square. Sandy A PS…congrats on the new Grandson! on An Interview Lee Heinrich – Designer, Author and Blogger of Freshly Pieced
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  • Reply Anne Beier June 13, 2015 at 12:20 pm


  • Reply Anita June 14, 2015 at 2:58 pm

    Great interview! My favorite pattern is Cartwheels.

  • Reply sherry June 14, 2015 at 2:58 pm

    i love Moroccan Lanterns…

  • Reply Ann June 14, 2015 at 2:59 pm

    I love the chevron star. I missed her release sale as PayPal had issues that day. I made her diamond tread with liberty prints and Essex linen and it is a favorite of mine.

  • Reply Barbara June 14, 2015 at 4:20 pm

    It is a challenge to pick just one pattern, but I've always admired her Terrazzo quilt. The design, colors, and quilting work together so well. I saw it in display at the Portsmouth (NH) Fabric Shop and it was stunning.

  • Reply gigi June 14, 2015 at 4:23 pm

    I love the Terazzo pattern. Thanks!

  • Reply Margaret June 14, 2015 at 5:27 pm

    Thanks for a great interview with Lee. I was really tickled to learn that she grew up in Grand Rapids, as I live just an hour away from there. Also, I was intrigued by her comment about how she uses fabrics, particularly tonals and blenders. I really like many of her quilt designs, but one of my favorites is Moroccan Lanterns.

  • Reply holly June 14, 2015 at 5:29 pm

    Great job on the interview. Also interesting to hear about the influences of individual designers. I really like the Moroccan lanterns pattern

  • Reply Karen June 14, 2015 at 6:41 pm

    I really like the gridlock quilt, but live the cartwheels one too…. oh my . I would pick gridlock. Thanks for hosting this give away. Mrscummings2u at Gmail dot com

  • Reply M.W. June 14, 2015 at 8:14 pm

    Moraccan Lanterns is fun as well as gridlock.. It is hard to pick just one. Love her designs

  • Reply Anne D June 14, 2015 at 8:25 pm

    All her patterns are great but sparkler is my favourite! Great interview

  • Reply Anonymous June 14, 2015 at 8:28 pm

    Hi Anne, thank you for the great interview with Lee. Her Terrazzo quilt most appeals to me and I am actually already planning to make one myself. I love a great solid quilt!
    Thank you for the chance to win.

  • Reply Faye Nettles June 14, 2015 at 8:42 pm

    I really enjoyed reading the interview. I am having a hard time choosing a favorite. I love the negative space in Sugar Snow.

  • Reply Betsy June 14, 2015 at 10:46 pm

    Enjoyed the interview. I've loved Fair Isle for a long time. Thanks.

  • Reply Lisa E June 14, 2015 at 10:59 pm

    I agree, Lee's sense of style is awesome. I own a few of Lee's patterns already. Sooo, of those that are left, I would pick "Moroccan Lanterns".

  • Reply Bella Quilts June 14, 2015 at 10:59 pm

    Really like Chain Reaction. This was a great interview and I really appreciated reading more about Lee. rmgsummers@yahoo.com

  • Reply Heather June 14, 2015 at 11:00 pm

    I love Fair Isle and several other patterns by Lee! She's just a fun designer!!!

  • Reply Rebecca June 14, 2015 at 11:00 pm

    I check the blog all the time and I love the Fair Isle pattern!

  • Reply Terry June 14, 2015 at 11:00 pm

    My favorite pattern is Cartwheels. Enjoyed the interview and thanks for the sweet giveaway 🙂

  • Reply Georgi June 14, 2015 at 11:00 pm

    It's SO hard to decide ~ I have a few of Lee's patterns already, but I think Sparkler or Wavelength would be the next one I'd choose! Thanks for the chance ~ fingers crossed!!!

  • Reply Karen June 15, 2015 at 12:43 pm

    I've been eyeing Diamond Tread for a while, but I haven't purchased it yet. Thanks for a great interview.

  • Reply Cathy L June 15, 2015 at 6:50 pm

    I would love to make the Sparkler pattern! All the patterns are cute.

  • Reply Cathy L June 15, 2015 at 6:53 pm

    I would love to make the Sparkler pattern.

  • Reply Brita June 15, 2015 at 10:06 pm

    Gridlock is fascinating, and I'd love to win it. Thanks for the interview, I'm glad. I found your blog.

  • Reply Tina Short June 15, 2015 at 10:07 pm

    My fave pattern is Fair Isle, I bought it in March but havnt started it yet…..plenty of time 'till Christmas right???

  • Reply bvcope June 15, 2015 at 10:10 pm

    I enjoyed the interview. I followed along on line with her on the Fair Isle quilt. I would like to make her Spin it Again pattern. Thank you for the chance to win!!

  • Reply Karen June 15, 2015 at 10:11 pm

    Very nice interview. Thank you for sharing. Lee's Chevron Star quilt was my favorite of everything I saw in my IG feed from Quilt Market. I just love the bold stars on the neutral background.

  • Reply DaisyLiz June 15, 2015 at 10:13 pm

    I think my favorite might be the Moroccan Lanterns!

  • Reply bookworm June 15, 2015 at 10:15 pm

    Lee's patterns are so fun! It's hard to pick just one. Cartwheel looks fun to me. I can see it in rainbow colors too!

  • Reply the running hare June 15, 2015 at 10:22 pm

    Hard to choose as Lee has so many great patterns, but if you twist my arm I'd say Gridlock.

  • Reply Jessica June 15, 2015 at 10:23 pm

    Fair isle is my fqv. Great interview

  • Reply Jennifer June 15, 2015 at 10:24 pm

    I have always enjoyed learning more about my favorite bloggers. Thanks for sharing this interview! While all of her patterns are fabulous, Wavelength has always been my favorite!

  • Reply Renea June 15, 2015 at 10:26 pm

    I really like all the quilt patterns. If I had to choose just one it would be the Fair Isle pattern. Thanks for the giveaway.

  • Reply Donna W June 15, 2015 at 10:29 pm

    It was a hard choice, but I will have to say Moroccan Lanterns.

  • Reply Cheryl June 15, 2015 at 10:30 pm

    Excellent interview! My favorite of Lee's patterns is her Chevron Star pattern she just recently released.

  • Reply Laurel09 June 15, 2015 at 10:33 pm

    I love Lee's patterns, generally, and I would really like to try out her new Chevron Star pattern.

  • Reply Kitty June 15, 2015 at 10:35 pm

    Great interview of one of my favorite designers!! If I must choose only one, I really love her Terrazzo pattern!

  • Reply June Smith June 15, 2015 at 10:42 pm

    Love Lee's Shooting Star pattern. Thank you.

  • Reply Gloria Cotten June 15, 2015 at 10:43 pm

    Wonderful interview! hanks! I love Sugar Snow but If I have to narrow to one favorite I will choose Moroccan Lantens

  • Reply Rosalind Gutierrez June 15, 2015 at 10:48 pm

    I favor "Diamond Tread" and it looks jelly roll friendly.

  • Reply Anonymous June 15, 2015 at 10:54 pm

    I love the Diamond Tread! Beautiful! They are all wonderful!
    mabay1981 at gmail dot com

  • Reply Melanie Hudgens June 15, 2015 at 10:56 pm

    I like them all, so hard to choose. Moroccan Lanterns and Sugar Snow quilts catch my eye though!

  • Reply curious June 15, 2015 at 10:57 pm

    My favorite is spin it again. Sincerely, Paula K?

  • Reply Julene June 15, 2015 at 10:59 pm

    I follow her blog, too! My favorite pattern is chevron star!

  • Reply Cassandra June 15, 2015 at 11:00 pm

    Thanks for the great interview!! I am an aqua lover just like Lee, and I'm a huge Vintage Quilt Revival fan too. It's a hard job to choose, but I think I have to go with Wavelength as my favorite pattern!

  • Reply Quilt girl June 15, 2015 at 11:02 pm

    Enjoyed your interview with Lee and love her patterns too! One of my favorites is Cartwheels. Thank you for the opportunity to win!

  • Reply Shayna @ Wife. Mom. Creator. June 15, 2015 at 11:04 pm

    I absolutely LOVE all of Lee's patterns. I hope to own and re-create them all one day. My favorites are Chevron Star & Gridlock. I also really like Picnic Plaid. 🙂 My email is shayna@wifemomcreator.com. I enjoyed learning more about Lee here!

  • Reply ronnie June 15, 2015 at 11:07 pm

    Great interview. Thanks for the opportunity to win. I like Diamond Tread. I have several of Lee's patterns and am participating in a QAL of Fair Isle at my LQS!

  • Reply Judi G June 15, 2015 at 11:14 pm

    Lee came and spoke at our quilt guild meeting. I was so in awe of this new style of design that I made the wavelength one right away. I love it! Would love to make more. Thanks

  • Reply Julie June 15, 2015 at 11:15 pm

    Fair Isle

  • Reply Kim Sanderson June 15, 2015 at 11:19 pm

    Thanks for sharing the interview – I follow Lee's blog and love her patterns. I have Wavelength and Sparkler, both of which I haven't made yet. I also have & made Shooting Star. I think my favourite right now is Fair Isle – so much fun.
    Thanks for a chance to win a pattern.

  • Reply Brenda June 16, 2015 at 9:45 am

    I enjoyed reading and learning more about Lee. I recently discovered her blog from a link (forgotten which site) and after reading a few posts signed up to follow her blog. She is a wonderful quilter and designer. It is hard to choose just one pattern. Chain Reaction will be my choice though, just picturing the various fabrics that could be used with this pattern making each one unique plus thinking of various ways it could be quilted…what about trapunto for the chains. I love the way she uses such bright and brilliant fabrics to make each one of her quilts astounding. Thanks for having this post and the give away. Will be next be choosing to follow your blog. Another brilliant and exciting blog to learn from.

  • Reply Denise in PA June 16, 2015 at 9:57 am

    I love Lee's patterns! Fair Isle is a particular favorite! Great interview and thanks so much for the chance to win!

  • Reply Crafty Coffin June 16, 2015 at 5:14 pm

    Fab interview! It's hard to pick one but I really love the new Moroccan Lanterns pattern.

  • Reply Jacqueline Frances June 16, 2015 at 10:54 pm

    Hi there, I love Lee's patterns and have 3 on my 'to buy' list: Gridlock, Sparklers and Wavelength!!!
    Quilty Huggs,
    snausages22 at yahoo dot CA

  • Reply Judy V June 16, 2015 at 10:55 pm

    I really like the Moroccan lanterns, is that in the book? Enjoyed your interview with her.

  • Reply Neil and Lorelei June 17, 2015 at 2:23 pm

    First, congrats on the new grandbaby!
    Lee has some interesting patterns for sure. I like Chain Reaction!

  • Reply Marly June 17, 2015 at 4:59 pm

    My favourite of Lee's patterns is Terrazzo. I like both rainbows and colour gradient designs, so this is for me the number one, although they are all wonderful.

  • Reply Judy V June 17, 2015 at 4:59 pm

    Wow, nice interview. I really love the Moroccan Lanterns pattern. Is that in her book?

  • Reply MaryAnn Guappone June 17, 2015 at 8:07 pm

    I love Lee's Terrazzo pattern. maguappone@gmail.com

  • Reply Kare June 17, 2015 at 8:07 pm

    Terrazzo would be colorful and fun!

  • Reply Anja @ Anja Quilts June 17, 2015 at 9:26 pm

    What a great interview…thanks for sharing. I think Chain Reaction is my favourite.

  • Reply robin June 17, 2015 at 9:52 pm

    I love Lee's FAIR ISLE pattern which I have. Second choice is MORROCAN LANTERNS if I were forced to choose! I thoroughly enjoy reading her blog.

  • Reply Lori June 17, 2015 at 10:13 pm

    I loveTerrazos. Actually they are all wonderful. This is difficult to chose only one. LOL Wow, this was great learning about Lee. Thanks for sharing the interview.

  • Reply Donna Hollingsworth June 17, 2015 at 10:17 pm

    I love all of the patterns but Moroccan Lanterns is my favorite. Thank you for a chance to win!

  • Reply TisaIrish June 17, 2015 at 11:08 pm

    I really enjoy Lee's blog, too, and am in LOVE with the Fair Isle quilt.

  • Reply Chris Cole June 17, 2015 at 11:10 pm

    Great interview and great book!

  • Reply ladmquilter June 18, 2015 at 1:39 am

    I love terrazos thanks for the chance

  • Reply Yvonne June 18, 2015 at 1:42 am

    Spin It Again has always appealed to me. I love the design of geometrical patterning. Enjoyed reading more about Lee in your interview and have always enjoyed her blog.

  • Reply KMSC June 18, 2015 at 1:09 pm

    I would love to stitch the Moroccan Lantern pattern. Thanks for the giveaway!

  • Reply Donna June 18, 2015 at 1:35 pm

    My fav is Cartwheels. Thx for the opportunity!

  • Reply Robin McCallister June 18, 2015 at 1:39 pm

    Oh too many to choose from but Morrocan Lanterns is my new fave!

  • Reply Terri Faust June 18, 2015 at 1:50 pm

    I have loved the Cathedral Square pattern for a while now, and I actually already have it and am currently working on making it! I would like to try Moroccan Lanterns. Really enjoyed reading your blog. Thank you.

  • Reply Sewmotion June 18, 2015 at 1:51 pm

    A great interview, I have always admired Lee's work, even when I didn't realise it was her! I do like all her patterns, but I think Chevron Star is a favourite.

  • Reply Cathy Howell June 18, 2015 at 1:53 pm

    I can't wait to make the Spin it Again quilt. I agree that most quilters just love to make quilts and don't worry about being labeled.

  • Reply Renee Newbanks June 18, 2015 at 1:54 pm

    Lucky you to be doing an interview with a great quilter and blogger. Thank you for sharing.

  • Reply thebiasedge June 18, 2015 at 4:01 pm

    I love Moroccan Lanterns. From afar the quilt looks like lanterns shining. LOL

  • Reply thebiasedge June 18, 2015 at 4:01 pm

    I love Moroccan Lanterns. From afar the quilt looks like lantern shining. LOL

  • Reply Michele June 18, 2015 at 4:02 pm

    It's hard to pick just one, but I think mine would have to be Sparkler. Thanks for this interesting interview with Lee!

  • Reply Bella Quilts June 18, 2015 at 6:47 pm

    What a great interview. I've admired both blogs and think you are both talented ladies. Wavelength would be the pattern of choice for me. rmgsummers@yahoo.com

  • Reply Anne Beier June 18, 2015 at 9:20 pm

    Hi Anne,
    Congratulations. You are the lucky winner of a pattern from Lee Heinrich's shop, blogger of Freshly Pieced. Please send your e-mail address and snail mail address to acbeier71@gmail.com, so we can send you your pattern. Please specify which pattern you would like, and if you prefer digital or paper. Enjoy.

  • Reply Lynn McIndoe June 19, 2015 at 11:27 am

    Terrazzo looks great lynnmcindoe at gmail dot com

  • Reply Mary Graff June 26, 2015 at 8:11 pm

    Hard choice, but I love Moroccan Lanterns!

  • Reply Cathy June 26, 2015 at 8:11 pm

    Moroccan Lanterns is my favorite I think, although I also like the Fair Isle one.

  • Reply Lydia Baker June 30, 2015 at 1:06 am

    I absolutely love the Terrazzo pattern!

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