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Archive for the ‘Longarm’ Category

Meet Road 2020 Faculty: Longarm Quilter Karen Sievert

Monday, September 9th, 2019

Renown Longarm Quilter, Karen Sievert, will be busy at Road to California 2020-25th Anniversary Show as she will be teaching nine classes!!! They include:

Six Partial Day Classes:

8101C – Free Motion Feathers on Monday from 8:30 AM to 11:30 AM

longarm quilter class Road to California Quilt Show

8102C – Trapunto And Shadow Trapunto on Monday from 12:30 PM to 2:00 PM

longarm quilter class Road to California Quilt Show

8201C – Tools Rule! on Tuesday from 8:30 AM to 11:30 AMlongarm quilter class Road to California Quilt Show

8202C – The Finishing Touch on Tuesday from 12:30 PM to 2:00 PM

longarm quilter class Road to California Quilt Show

8301C – Beautiful Backgrounds on Wednesday from 8:30 AM to 11:30 AM

longarm quilter class Road to California Quilt Show

8302C – Whole Cloth, A Different Perspective on Wednesday from 12:30 PM to 2:00 PM

longarm quilter class Road to California Quilt Show

Three Full-Day Longarm Quilting Classes

***Students will receive hands-on experience using stand-up Innova longarm machines***

4017N – Beginning Longarm Quilting on Thursday

longarm quilter class Road to California Quilt Show

5017N – Fantastic Feathers on Friday

longarm quilter class Road to California Quilt Show

6016N – Tools Rule! on Saturday

longarm quilter class Road to California Quilt Show

Get to Know Longarm Quilter Karen Sievert

  Karen Sievert

Karen Sievert proves that just because you aren’t good with something the first — or the second — or the third time — you try something new, keep working at it and things will eventually turn around.

Karen’s path to quilting began with her sister dragging her in to a quilt shop. Her sister told Karen that to quilt, “all you needed to do was sew a straight line.” Karen soon learned her sister had told her a lie. Karen tried domestic quilting first. It hurt her shoulders and she wasn’t very good at it.

With her tax return in 1998, Karen purchased a longarm machine. Starting out as a longarm quilter, Karen said she was terrible at it and knew that no one would ever pay her to quilt their quilt.  So she decided to put some “sweat equity” in to learning how to longarm quilt. She spent a lot of time and effort teaching herself and eventually figured it out, developing her own personal style.193

For the first couple of years, she opened a shop/studio that housed her longarm and spent 8 hours a day quilting. When her family moved to the state of Washington in 2000, she did the same thing and had her business there just 2 years before her Navy husband got emergency orders and was transferred to Italy. There wasn’t any opportunity for her to sew in Italy, so she put her creative efforts in to designing patterns for domestic machine piecing.

When her family moved back to the states in 2007, Karen worked on her first book, Better Together, that featured her patterns. Since she didn’t want to pay anyone to quilt her patterns for the book, she went back to using a longarm machine and spent a lot of time practicing different skill sets to use for the quilts in her book. When she published her second book, Prairie Point Pizzazz in 2011, Karen began to be noticed more for her longarm skills than her pattern making. She soon gave up her domestic piecing and focused solely on teaching longarm quilting which she has been doing ever since.  194

Road 2020 will be longarm quilter Karen Sievert’s fourth time teaching at Road to California. What does she like about teaching at Road to California? Making so many friends, seeing the excitement and enthusiasm on her students’ faces and getting new ideas from her students that “motivate my own creative juices.”

To learn more about Karen and her free motion long arm skills, visit her website.

Shannah's Cameo: The Story Behind The Quilt

Wednesday, February 3rd, 2016

Shannah’s Cameo won First Place in the category, Excellence in Longarm Quilting, for maker and quilter Karen Sievert.

Karen received $1,500 from sponsor, American Professional Quilting SystemsExcellance in Longarm

Road to California was a tremendous experience for author, teacher, free motion longarm quilter, Karen Sievert. She taught three of her own classes, substituted for Linda V. Taylor for two of her classes, and found out that she won first place in the quilt contest for Excellence in Longarm Quilting.

Every quilt has a story and Shannah’s Cameo is no different.

Karen Sievert and her husband, Vince, have three adopted children — Wayne, Shannah, and Travis — that were all drug/alcohol babies. Says Karen, “Raising my children, I have learned more from them than they have from me.”

When the kids were younger, they would help out with Karen’s trunk shows and became very familiar with the quilting world. Shannah had asked Karen to write a book and make a quilt named for her. Karen wasn’t interested in writing a third book, but she was interested in making Shannah “just one quilt” especially for her.

 Shannah’s Cameo served two purposes: not only was it a gift for her daughter, it also provided the background for teaching a new type of fills class using whole cloth. “Teaching and quilting on whole cloth doesn’t distract the students like a patterned fabric would,” shared Karen.

The focal point of the quilt is a replica cameo of Shannah’s face. A friend digitized Shannah’s image and Karen used different fills for the hair.Excellance in Longarm CameoKaren credits Stevii Graves for being the cheerleader behind this project.  It was her support that gave Karen the courage to try new techniques for the quilt that she never would have attempted before.

For classes, Karen gives students her drawing  Karen

And they practice their own fills in simulating Shannah’s hair.Student's work

This technique has led Karen to develop more classes for the future, using different image sketches like a hummingbird to promote the same idea.

[caption id="attachment_3785" align="aligncenter" width="515"]Sketch by Karen Sievert Sketch by Karen Sievert[/caption]

What does Shannah think about her quilt?Shannah Sievert

Karen says Shannah “loves it.” Shannah will be able to keep it after Karen is through showing it,


So You Want To Make A Winning Quilt: Road 2015 Excellence in Longarm Quilting

Monday, October 26th, 2015

Jocelyn Atkinson , from Waiuku, New Zealand, received $1,500 from sponsor American Professional Quilting Systems for her entry, Matilda.Excellence in Longarm Quilting

Years ago, when Jocelyn’s family moved to a new town, she decided to join a night class for quilting so that she could meet new people. Jocelyn had wanted to make quilts for a very long time and finally the timing was right. After she made her quilt top, and it was time to do the quilting, Jocelyn struggled. She started out doing the quilting with her domestic machine but her back ached too much. She figured there had to be a better way. Jocelyn did a lot of research on the internet and decided to import a Hinterberg longarm machine. She didn’t want to spend too much money on a machine as she didn’t know if she could or would even like doing longarm quilting. That machine ended up being a really good work horse yet the learning curve was huge. Jocelyn self-taught herself “the hard way,” reading from books and watching videos on YouTube. After a few years, she outgrew the Hinterburg. She knew she wanted to continue and take her quilting to a higher level but she also knew that she would need a new machine to take her there. Jocelyn ended up purchasing a Sharon Schamber 1709 Prodigy in 2009 and she’s never looked back. Matilda was inspired by Jocelyn’s admiration for Battenburg lace. After seeing what Cindy Needham was doing with old linen, Jocelyn decided that that was what she wanted to do with a Battenburg lace bedspread she had purchased. Jocelyn also wanted the project to be challenging and take her out of her comfort zone. Made in 2013, Jocelyn estimates that Matilda took 600  hours to complete. She used a shadow trapunto type technique to put fabric behind the lace, trimming the excess off, then marked the feathers and quilted. The quilt barely fit onto her 10 foot longarm frame. With only a 17 inch throat, there was a lot of rolling. Jocelyn says she learned “patience and discipline and how to fudge the quilting to fit the space.” At the time she was doing the quilting, Jocelyn had a full time job. She would come home from work each night and quilt for 2 to 3 hours. On weekends, she went “hard out.” Over the several months it took to complete the project, Jocelyn’s husband, Steve, showed his support by always cooking the evening meal. He did all the housework too!! When she heard that she had won, Jocelyn was “absolutely thrilled to be recognized by my peers for my workmanship.” With her prize money, Jocelyn “indulged in purchasing threads — quilter’s candy!!” Jocelyn intends to make more competition quilts. She admits that she has many suitable tops to choose from, but it may be a few years before she enters. In the meantime, Jocelyn will continue doing quilting for her customers and of course, continue to learn.]]>

Meet Road 2016 Platinum Sponsor: Gammill

Wednesday, October 7th, 2015

Gammill Quilting Machine Company has been an innovative leader in machine quilting. They were the first to develop a large-throat sewing machine on tracks which could be operated from both sides and move in any direction on a specially-designed stand. This revolutionary idea enabled pantograph patterns to be traced directly onto fabric, therefore making it possible to complete a quilt or bedspread in a matter of hours rather than days.download Gammill has continually worked on improving the machine quilting process, creating new models and sizes for different quilting needs.  Gammill recently celebrated the 25th Anniversary of the Statler by Gammill. [caption id="attachment_3511" align="aligncenter" width="565"]The original Statler design by Paul Statler The original Statler design by Paul Statler[/caption] After an extensive career in the Air Force and in biomedical technology, inventor Paul Statler began a new career when he built the first Statler Stitcher for his wife, Mildred, in 1990. They began production quilting as Paul continued improving the system, eventually selling his first Statler Stitcher technology to Gammill in 1994. Paul and Mildred continue today to build and advance the Statler by Gammill.Paul and Mildred 2015 Color Gammill has long been associated with Road to California, becoming their platinum sponsor in 2015. As a platinum sponsor, they have the opportunity to support the show and the prizes that are awarded. Says Gammill representative, Shandi Brinkman, “Road to California attracts such outstanding talent. We are excited to be able to recognize the creativity, hard work and dedication of quilters.”Print Gammill is always “thrilled” to be at Road. The company appreciates the show’s great mix of education, vendors, special events, quilt showcases and fun. One of their favorite parts is meeting so many of the nearly 40,000 attendees that come each year. And, they don’t mind the beautiful California weather either!! For 2016, Gammill is excited to sponsor both classrooms and a vendor booth as well as support the Best of Show award, a $10,000 prize to the winner!!  Next year’s lineup includes classes taught by Georgia Stull that will focus on the Statler by Gammill machine. This will be a fantastic learning opportunity for Statler owners or those who are interested in learning more about computerized quilting. They also hope attendees stop by their booth to test a Gammill Vision 2.0 or Statler by Gammill.Vision with Wunderlust by Karen Marchetti Road to California is grateful to Gammill for their generous contributions to the show. To learn more about their products and quilting community, please visit their website.]]>

So You Want To Make A Winning Quilt? 2015 Outstanding Modern Quilt Winner

Thursday, August 27th, 2015

Keep it Simple was made and quilted by Jodi Robinson. She was awarded $5,000 from Robert Kaufman Co., Inc.Best Modern Quilt 2015

How did you get started in quilting? My mother-in-law introduced me to quilting about 20 years ago.  The first quilt I made was a log cabin.  It wasn’t until I had made all of my blocks, and began the layout process, and saw all of the design possibilities that this one stack of blocks had …. I was hooked.  A couple of years later, we purchased a longarm machine and I found my passion. I have been machine quilting for others ever since. What inspired you to make Keep it Simple? My inspiration for this entire quilt came straight from the pattern on the backing fabric.  I actually started with an idea for the quilting, and kind of made the quilt to fit the quilting designs.  I wanted to see if I could make a very simple modern quilt that would still have a very strong visual impact. How long did it take to make your winning quilt? I made and quilted my original design for Keep it Simple in 2013. The quilt piecing actually took very little time. I had made the small applique blocks and then didn’t actually do anything with them.  Then, a few months later, I needed something to work on at a sewing day I was going to, so I grabbed those blocks and some matching fabric and pieced it into a finished top. What was your reaction when you won? I was so shocked!  I am amazed by how well this quilt has done!  I never in a million years could have imagined winning an award like this, especially knowing the incredible talent that is displayed at the Road to California Show every year. Did you do anything special with your prize money? I did not.  I am hoping to purchase a new longarm machine at some point in the future, and this prize money will definitely help me reach that goal sooner. What quilting will you be working on next? I will continue to explore my love of modern quilts.  I was so happy when I saw that Road to California had added “modern” categories to their show.  I am definitely planning on entering again in 2016!]]>

Mastering The Art of Long Arm Quilting

Friday, July 19th, 2013

Last year when reading student’s class evaluations, many asked for more time on the long arm quilting machines without sharing the machine with other students.  To answer these requests, Road 2014 has scheduled long arm classes that are four hours in length with one student per machine head. These classes will have only 10 students in the class giving everyone more time for individualized training and practice. It’s almost like a private lesson!!  Handi Quilter  is  providing their Sweet 16  machine. Handi Quilter Sweet 16





                                                                                        For the first time at a quilt show, Gammill is providing their Charm model for students to use. This “sit down” machine uses techniques that can be applicable to domestic machines as well.




During Road 2013, acclaimed modern quilter Angela Walters, shared her tips on how to enhance your long arm quilting:

Angela Walter stitching

  1. Use thread that blends with the background. Look at the quilt first and then choose what thread to use. The thread color should lie over the entire top. One of the biggest errors is to use light thread on a dark fabric.
  2. All over quilting adds interest to a quilt. Stitch the biggest components first, and then go to the smaller areas. Highlight what you notice the most. 
  3. Contrast comes in the quilting, not the thread colors. Use quilting to echo the lines. Use favorite designs in the borders.
  4. Stitch from top to bottom on the quilt. Float the quilt top and pull in to the middle.
  5. Keep the bobbin loose and don’t use the stitch regulator.
  6. Remember: quilting is a skill and a skill can be learned. Don’t over think your quilting!

The four hour, long arm quilting classes are being offered throughout Road to California 2014.  There are six sessions scheduled on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday, January 20-22; three in the morning and three in the afternoon all days.  Two sessions each will be held on Thursday and Friday nights. There is one evening session on Saturday night and finally, two morning classes on Sunday, January 26th.  The Road to California web site has all the information for exact times, teachers, projects, and machines that will be featured: www.roadtocalifornia.com  Sign up now to take one of these classes that features skilled instructors, quality machines, individualized training and lots of practice to learn or improve your long arm quilting skills.10861

2013 Winner-Excellence in Long Arm Quilting Sponsored by Handi Quilter

Claudia Pfeil  



Marilyn Badger

Monday, August 23rd, 2010

St George, UT
Visit Marilyn’s Website!
Marilyn will be teaching classes 1001, 1007, 2001 & 2007. Matt: How long have you been quilting? What made you begin quilting? Marilyn: Over 30 years. I picked up a copy of “Quilter’s Newsletter” in the late 1970’s and I was hooked. Matt: Do you have a quilting studio? Marilyn: Yes, we built a special room onto our house to house all my quilting stuff.

Matt: How big is your studio, and is there anything unique you keep in your studio?
M: Well, I have 12′ longarm machine, huge bins of thread, bobbins and industrial racks filled with fabric in the main room, then I have my two sewing machines, serger, cutting table, taptop computer and ironing board in a separate room attached to the longarm room. The unique thing I have hanging in my longarm room is a ceremonial kimono that I received as a gift from the President of Bernina Japan on one of my trips there to teach and work the Tokyo and Yokohama quilt shows. Matt: What do you consider your quilting specialty or what makes you unique in the quilting world? M: I was in the 1st class of longarm quilters, along with Linda Taylor, Marcia Stevens and Pam Clarke, who pushed the envelope and made longarm quilting acceptable in the quilting world back in the late ’80s and early ’90s. When we all purchased our machines they were mostly used to quilt bedspreads with edge to edge quilting all over them. We all saw no reason for that to be the case and each of us independently came up with out own way of dealing with our machines to make our quilting not only acceptable but competitive as well. Matt: What is your favorite color schemes to work with? M:I love color, period! All colors! Right now I seem to be doing lots of red/rust/green/blue combinations. Matt: What books or articles have you written? M: No books – not enough time to quilt and write books. I have written several articles for “Love of Quilting” magazine and contributed to articles about my quilts in other magazines. Matt: What do you do while you quilt? Do you listen to music? M:At one time I listen to lots of music but now I seem to like the silence when I quilt. I do listen to the radio sometimes when I’m pinning a quilt on or during one of my ripping sessions that can take quite a while. Matt: What is your quilting inspiration? M: I would say my partner, Claudia Myers, is a big inspiration to me. She comes up with fabulous designs just one after another. There are so many of them up there in her head and they are all so totally different. That keeps me on my toes because I want to have my quilting original on them all as well. Of course, there are some other big names in quilting who have been truly an inspiration to me as well as thousands of other quilters. Two that I can come up with from my early days of quilting are Charlotte Warr Andersen, and Caryl Bryer Fallert. Their work is perfection!! Matt: What was the best class you ave ever taken? M: I have not taken very many classes, but the ones that stand out to me were classes I took in Oregon in the early 90s from Moneca Calvert, Margaret Miller, Nancy Pearson and Marilyn Doheny and a 2-day class at Houston from Charlotte Warr Andersen.