Designer Interview: Minki Kim | OLFA - Craft OLFA – Craft

Designer Interview: Minki Kim

A trained artist and self-taught sewist, Minki Kim uses her sewing machine as a creative outlet to capture the beauty around her.


Where are you from? What is your community like?

I am originally from Korea but I call California my home. It’s been 17 years living here in California as well as in the United States. My community is a slow and quiet place. You can hear the dog barking and UPS truck comes and goes.

Do you specialize in a specific look or technique?

I have developed a technique called “Sewing Illustration”. It’s thread drawing using a sewing machine. It’s done differently than traditional raw edge applique or free motion quilting. I design fabric for Riley Blake.

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How have your quilting and sewing tastes changed over time?

I am self-taught. I didn’t even know how to thread the machine. I started with hand sewing and wonky coasters. Then I realized I can draw anything with my sewing machine. Now sometimes it seems easier than hand embroidery to me. I have adopted quilt techniques ever since I met a quilter friend down the street. Now I enjoy adding my sewing illustration onto a pillow, bags and pouches, and quilts!

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 Do you have a favorite color? 

Mustard Yellow

What craft or hobby did you do prior to sewing? Do you still continue?

I was into card making and scrapbooking. I stopped papercraft once I found out that I am good at sewing and now I collect miniature sewing machines.


Besides OLFA, what are your go-to quilting tools?

I am grateful to whomever invented the Frixion pen as I often draw on fabrics.

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Please give us a quick tip.

I use my iPhone as a lightbox. When I have to transfer small design, I set my iPhone to the brightest setting and transfer. It’s good especially when I can’t use a bright window.

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Read more about Minki in an earlier OLFA interview. And be sure to check out her exclusive OLFA project you can make, here!


Minki’s new book, Zakka From the Heart, is out in October from C&T Publishing. Her next fabric line, Moments,  will be available in February 2020 through Riley Blake.