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Posts Tagged ‘Gammill Quilting Systems’

Meet Road 2018 Teacher Kristin Vierra

Monday, August 28th, 2017

Gammill stand-up longarm machines on a stationary frame. These classes are on Monday 1014R   Fun Feathers that Fit Anywhere and Tuesday: 2014R  Easy Background Fillers for Longarm Quilters Kristin will also be teaching a class on Wednesday where Brother machines will be provided for each student’s use: 3016C  Easy English Paper Piecing by Machine  Then, on Wednesday evening, Kristin will be teaching a design class (no machine necessary) 3068C  So I got it pieced, now what?  A Lincoln, Nebraska native and former University of New Mexico nursing teacher, Kristin Vierra has also lived in California, Arizona, Florida, Colorado, Iowa, D.C., Tennessee, and Louisiana before returning back to her roots in Lincoln about 10 years ago. Kristin’s great-grandma taught her mom how to quilt and in turn, Kristin’s mom taught Kristin how to sew. As Kristin says, she has always sewn in one form or another, and even made an occasional baby blanket.  Kristin tried hand quilting but thought hers “never looked right; instead of nice even stitching, I had Morse code. You know, dot, dot, dash, dash, dash.”  She also felt that she never seemed “coordinated enough to quilt on a domestic.”  Plus, it always made her shoulders ache on big projects. When Kristin moved back to Lincoln, she “was lucky enough to find a used Gammill Longarm. That was when I really actually started quilting. My longarm and I just clicked and the rest as they say is history.” Kristin finds inspiration for her quilting literally “everywhere.”   It drives her husband and kids nuts because she has been known to come out of a bathroom and ask for the camera because there was a particularly cool tile that she wanted to use as inspiration for a quilt.  Architecture, carpets, nature, designs on people’s clothes— all are fair game to Kristin when it comes to quilting.  While she uses many quilting tools, Kristin’s favorite is her design board.  She had it custom made out of clear plexiglass with registration marks to help her divide up blocks.  Kristin places it on top of a quilt and draws on it with dry erase markers.  It makes it really easy to audition designs, without having to mark the quilt or even worse rip out stitches. She’ll be demonstrating this tool in her “So I got it pieced, now what?” class. Her best quilting tip is “don’t be afraid to try.”  Kristin admits that “some of my coolest creations have come from my biggest mistakes.” Kristin’s favorite aspect of teaching is “that moment when you can see the ‘light bulb’ go on in someone’s head.” All of a sudden, “some concept or technique they have been struggling with becomes clear and they get so excited.” For Kristin, that’s the absolute best feeling to be a part of. What does Kristin hope her student get out of her classes? “I want them to go away inspired and excited about whatever project they are going to work on next.  It doesn’t matter if you are making cuddle quilts or the next BOS winner.  All that matters is that you are enjoying yourself and having fun.” To learn more about Kristin, please visit her website.]]>

So You Want To Make A Winning Quilt: Road 2016 Best of Show

Friday, April 1st, 2016

Melissa Sobotka of Richardson, Texas made and quilted Silk Road Sampler, the 2016 Best of Show winner sponsored by Gammill Quilting Systems. Melissa received $10,000 for her winning entry depicting an ancient Istanbul spice bazaar.

[caption id="attachment_3944" align="aligncenter" width="403"]Silk Road Sampler by Melissa Sobotka Silk Road Sampler by Melissa Sobotka[/caption] You had to see Road to California’s 2016 Best of Show winner in person to believe that it was truly an art quilt!!! At first glance, some of our guests actually thought that winner, Melissa Sobotka, just stitched over and around a piece of fabric. That’s how intricate and amazing the appliqueing was for Silk Road Samplers. Melissa got in to quilting by accident. “I was making some banners for my church when a friend suggested if I put some batting in the banners and added some stitching, I would have an art quilt. I had never heard of Art Quilts. I did some research and was fascinated by this art form so I got some scraps of fabric and taught myself.”Melissa Sobotkaheadshot It took Melissa 5 months to complete Silk Road Sampler which was inspired by a picture she took in the spice market in Istanbul. She thought the designs on the pillows were something that many appliquers would appreciate and that it would be a busy enough design for her to enjoy working on for many months. About 4 months into the project, Melissa wondered. “What have I got myself into?” The detail on the bottom section nearly put her into “a straight jacket.” But as with all her quilts, Melissa just “faced the challenges head on, a little more each day, until it was finally completed.” Melissa confided that she was in “total shock” when she heard she had won Best of Show. “Road to California was the quilt’s debut show and you never know how a quilt will be received. I feared people would look at it and wonder why anyone would create a quilt of pillows.” What did Melissa do with her prize money? She took a trip to India for the color festival, Holi, searching for an idea for her next quilt. Melissa hopes that her quilting will continue to evolve; that it will build off what she learns from each quilt that she makes and from the innovations and techniques of her fellow quilters.  ]]>

Winning The Statler Educational Program At Road 2016

Friday, February 12th, 2016

Thanks to Road’s Platinum Sponsor, Gammill Quilting Systems, and to Road to California, Barbara Atwell from Reno, Nevada, won class registration for the Statler Educational Program. Barbara attended four classes taught by Georgia Stull, Thursday through Sunday, January 21-24, 2016. The prize also included entry to the show all four days. download

Barbara Atwell saw the Statler Educational Program Giveaway advertised on Road’s Facebook Page and was chosen as the winner from 279 total entries!! Barbara said she was “shocked and amazed” to have won. She had never attended Road before and winning the contest gave her the encouragement she needed to attend.

[caption id="attachment_3805" align="aligncenter" width="543"]Teacher Georgia Stull with winner Barbara Atwell Teacher Georgia Stull with winner Barbara Atwell[/caption]

A quilter since 1979, Barbara had been quilting on a domestic machine for the past 4-5 years and was considering purchasing a longarm machine. She had actually been looking in to the Statler by Gammill and after attending the classes for four days, her desire for this machine was reinforced. “I learned a ton, a lot more than I had expected.”

[caption id="attachment_3514" align="aligncenter" width="600"]Statler Creators Paul and Mildred Statler Statler Creators Paul and Mildred Statler[/caption]

When Barbara first saw the Statler by Gammill up close, she thought it was “a thing of beauty.” After working on the machine, she found it to be “a lot easier to use” than she expected. Of her experience, Barbara said, “The software program is amazing. The creative studio is easy to play with before you actually go to quilt a project. If you don’t like something in the planning stages, you can go in, figure out what you want to change, then make the change before you get started.”

All of the students in the Statler Educational Program received a thumb drive to take home with notes from their training and some coupons too.012 Barbara came away feeling more confident with her quilting skills. “I’m going to be a better quilter after attending these classes.” She felt that some of the training she received could be applied not only to longarm quilting with a computerized system but with quilting in general. In particular, she learned how to best attach quilts to a machine and the order in which to do the quilting.

The classes were taught in a lecture hall format by Georgia Stull. Barbara thought Georgia was an “excellent instructor. She encouraged questions and gave answers right away. Georgia knew what she was talking about!!” 010

Georgia was thrilled that Road was offering computerized quilting classes. “Today’s quilters are more comfortable with electronic devices so they aren’t as fearful of the Statler. Also, they appreciate how it is a less physical way to quilt.”  She loved teaching in the lecture hall setting. “The seats were comfortable, everyone could hear what I was teaching and they had a good view.”  Georgia also felt the set-up provided “a great opportunity for the students to build a relationship with each other and share one another’s viewpoints.”013

The first thing Barbara was going to do when she got home was “soak in the tub and then brow beat my husband to buy me a Statler.” She also couldn’t wait to share what she learned with her quilting group, the board of her quilt guild, Truckee Meadows Quilters, and her Soroptomist group.

Barbara shared some closing thoughts: “I am so grateful for this experience. Thank you Road and Gammill for sponsoring the contest. And I have some advice: Enter Road Contests!!”


So You Want to Make a Winning Quilt? Meet Sandra Leichner, Road 2015 Best of Show Winner  

Tuesday, July 28th, 2015

Sandra Leichner, from Albany, Oregon, won $10,000 for her Road to California 2015 Best of Show Quilt, sponsored by Gammill Quilting Systems. Sandra started and finished her quilt in 2014.Best of Show

How did you get started in quilting? When my children were toddlers, I could no longer balance my painting and their instantaneous needs. I had learned to do handwork, sewing and embroidery at a very young age and after seeing a quilting magazine on my mother’s sewing table, I realized I could focus my art and sewing skills into one creative outlet.

What inspired your winning design, Vivaldi by Moonlight?  I wanted to make a different style of wholecloth and at the same time, challenge my skills to the fullest and beyond. I am known for my handwork skills and my machine quilting skills were inevitably overlooked because the viewer focus was always on my handwork.

I knew I did not want feathers etc. I wanted to create a totally original design in my artistic style using only machine quilting to create the overall design. Although it is a wholecloth, I have used a subtle monochromatic thread color palette to create added depth and incorporate more visual dimension to the intricate twining quilting design.

I had originally made this for my bed but the quilt became too fancy to allow my neurotic kitty Milo, who lives on my bed, to sink his claws into. So I decided to enter it and see what would happen.

It took you a year to complete the quilt. What did you learn along the way?  This was an extremely difficult quilt to create using a domestic sewing machine. The quilt took six months to quilt and two months just to cut the trapunto. The hand embroidered dragonflies took one month alone to complete.

I used a jacquard fabric for the wholecloth and I will never do that again. It intensified the difficulty level by several percentage points. With a sewing machine, I do not have a large frame to keep the quilt sandwich taut and the tension always perfect so my fabric choices can make or break the experience. This almost broke me and more than once.

What was your reaction when you won Best of Show? Absolute dumfounded open mouthed shock—seriously. I had to read the email over and over a few times to see if I was misreading the news before I would let myself get too excited. Then I started running down the stairs and through the house to tell my husband. When I reached him, I paused and then said, “I better go check that one more time to be sure” and ran back upstairs to my computer to re-read the email again. Then I went crazy –bouncing around the house with supreme happiness crazy. 

I have been competing for ten-plus years and have many prizes but this one meant a lot to me. This quilt was a totally different technique focus and direction and I was thrilled that the judges got it. As with all my quilts, the closer you get the more detail you see.

What are you going to do with the prize money? College always sucks the coffers dry and this fall I will have two children in college so the money will definitely come in handy.

What are you going to do next with your quilting? I will go back to my “day job” of applique and designing applique patterns as well as continuing to teach applique and my embroidery techniques internationally.

The diversion of a wholecloth was fun and I am off on a new challenge to keep my quilting process continually interesting and prevent it from becoming formulaic and monotonous.

 I will continue to step out of my comfort zone because if I don’t fail from time to time, then I am not discovering and learning something new that may lead to a prize like this one or the pleasure the process brings in making a quilt.

Congratulations Sandra on your stunning Best of Show quilt!!