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Posts Tagged ‘Karen McTavish’

So You Want To Make A Winning Quilt: Outstanding Modern Quilt

Tuesday, May 30th, 2017

Z is for Zoey won Outstanding Modern Quilt at Road to California 2017. Sponsor Riley Blake Designs awarded $5,000 to maker, Mary Kerr and quilter, Karen McTavish.

Family and quilting goes hand in hand for Mary Kerr. She grew up in a family of quilters and her latest winning quilt, Z is for Zoey, was made for her granddaughter, Zoey Rose, Mary’s “very own mini-me.”

A Road 2016 faculty member and curator of the special exhibit, Quilt As Desired, Mary has a special affection for vintage designs. She wanted this piece to reflect the convergence of the past….her love of vintage with the excitement of the future….Zoey’s place in the modern world.

Z is for Zoey was inspired by a a single long strip from the 1930s. Tongues of fabric had been hand appliquéd with black thread on both sides of a muslin strip. It was never incorporated into a quilt and at one point someone even cut out one of the fabrics to reuse. The quilt married Mary’s “love of vintage textiles with the freshness of the Modern quilt aesthetic.”

Mary thought long and hard about the design. Once she decided how to create the “Z,” the top came together in just a couple of days. Then, according to Mary, Karen McTavish “added the perfect background with her distinctive lace quilting.”

While both Karen and Mary were “very pleased” that Z for Zoey won Outstanding Modern Quilt, Mary says, “My Zoey takes full credit for the win!”

For the near future, Mary plans to continue to teach, write books and hopefully inspire others to work with vintage fabrics.

You can learn more about Mary on her website.


So You Want To Make A Winning Quilt? Road 2015 Director’s Choice

Friday, August 7th, 2015

Juanita’s Pearl was made and quilted by Sue Hawkes of Pocatello, Idaho. The Director’s Choice award was sponsored by Moore’s Sewing Center who presented Sue a check for $5,000. Director's Choice

Sue grew up watching her grandmother cut up any fabric (most of which was recycled from something that was no longer usable as its intended use) she could find into little bitty pieces and then stitch them back together by hand. Sue was always fascinated with the colors and patterns her grandmother created and knew that for sure, someday, she was going to be just like her.

The inspiration for Juanita’s Pearl was Sue’s mother, for which the quilt is named.  The two center roses represent Sue’s mother and dad.  The nine circling roses are for their children.  The long stemmed roses are for their grandchildren.  In the border are sixty-four roses, one for each year her parents were married.  And the strings of pearls represent the never ending love Sue’s mother had for her family.Director's Choice2

It took two and a half years to complete this project.  Sue reflected on her work: “I have never taken on such a challenging project both mentally and emotionally.  I’m not an artist so the idea of drawing intimidated me a bit. But with all the great tools at hand, I pushed on.  My mother loved roses and her favorite color was pink.  Her middle name was Pearl so the designing process was easier than I thought it would be with these elements to work with.”

Sue had never done cut away trapunto before, let alone the color trapunto.   “The cutting was intense and very time consuming. I had the quilt on my longarm four different times for stitching in the color and then cutting away. During this process, I learned a lot about patience and pacing myself especially around all those pearls, just not once but twice. One wrong snip would end it all.  The fifth time on the longarm was for the final quilting.”

Getting to the end of the quilting stage, Sue said she was able to “see the light at the end of the tunnel.” She found that “it was very time consuming and challenging but I used this time to reflect upon all my memories of my mother. Lots of times I had to shut off the machine because I couldn’t see through the tears.” 

Her “wow I did it!” moment was when she took the quilt off the longarm and was ready to soak out all the markings and water soluble thread. She prayed it would all come out and that there would be no seepage of color around the trapunto – and there wasn’t!!  All her work and worry paid off.

Sue learned many things along the way. What kept pushing her on was what Karen McTavish tells her students and admirers, “Do the hardest thing and push yourself; it will pay off in the end.”

When Sue received her email that she had won Director’s Choice, it was the night before she was to fly out to the show.  She remembers, “As I read it I couldn’t believe the words.  I just handed off my iPad to my husband to see if he read the same words that I had read.” She spent her winnings on what “every other quilter would do — I bought more fabric!”

Where does Road’s 2015 Director’s Choice winner go from here? “The quilting world is growing in every direction and I plan on growing with it.  My biggest obstacle is not enough hours in the day for all I want to do and learn.”

Congratulations Sue Hawkes on winning the 2015 Director’s Choice Award sponsored by Moore’s Sewing Center.


Quilt Ink

Friday, April 10th, 2015

One trend that we noticed at Road 2015 was the popularity of quilt tattoos.

Husband and wife Steve and Pam Dransfeldt own a longarm quilting business in Camarillo, California. They have attended Road for several years and appreciate the familiarity of Road. Says Steve, “I like seeing all the stuff at Road. The quilts are incredible. I work in a paper mill and I try to tell the guys how great quilting is but they have no idea.”  IMG_8803

Both Pam and Steve sport several quilt inspired tattoos. Steve even has a tattoo design on the back of his  leg that came from a Karen McTavish quilt. “Her quilt work is natural for tattoos,” says Steve.

[caption id="attachment_3050" align="alignnone" width="518"]IMG_8795 Photo by Gregory Case Photography[/caption] [caption id="attachment_3046" align="alignright" width="426"] Photo by Gregory Case Photography[/caption]











Pam always asks permission from the quilters before they use their artwork for a tattoo


Linda M. Posle also asks permission before she uses a design from a book for a tattoo. She writes the author and has never been turned down.  

Abbie Van Buskirk, teacher and advisor of the Quilt Club at Innovative Horizons Charter School, has an Eleanor Burns inspired Block of the Month design on her leg. Abbie showed Eleanor her tattoo when Eleanor helped out with the quilt tours for the elementary school students. Eleanor was speechless; that was a first for her!!_I4C8038

What do you think about quilt inspired tattoos?


We're Sponsoring Some Fabulous Weekly Giveaways!!!!

Friday, November 14th, 2014

You don’t see this very often on our Blog, Facebook, and Twitter accounts: a chance to win not one but NINE GIVEAWAYS!!!

Starting today and every Friday until the second week in January, we will be offering prize packages made up of books, patterns, DVD’s and novels– all written and signed by our distinguished Road faculty. The final giveaway on January 9th will include free passes to Road to California 2015 – 20th Anniversary Show, event tickets, and other show surprises.

Here is a preview of what we will be giving away:

Week 1 Giveaway

Week 2 Giveaway


Week 3 Giveaway

Week 4 Giveaway


Week 5 Giveaway

Week 6 Giveaway


Week 7 Giveaway

Week 8 Giveaway

Entering is Easy!! There are up to three ways you can enter to win each week:

1)      Write a comment on the weekly blog post featuring the giveaway and tell us why you want to win that particular prize.

2)      Write a comment on Road to California’s Facebook Page post featuring that week’s giveaway and let us know why you want to win.

3)      Tweet out that week’s giveaway on Twitter using the hashtags #road2ca2015 #giveaway and @Road2CA

Entries for a particular week are accepted beginning on the Friday the giveaway is posted until the following Wednesday. Winners will be chosen each week using Random Number Generator and will be announced each Thursday for the previous week’s giveaway on Road’s Facebook Page.  Any questions? Contact Caryn at carynpayzant@roadtocalifornia.com

A HUGE THANK YOU to all our faculty who contributed to our giveaways and GOOD LUCK to all who enter!!! 

Now, for our first giveaway for November 14,2014:Week 1 Giveaway

Here’s what’s included in this week’s giveaway:

Modern Quilts and More by Kimberly Einmo *** Zen Quilting Workbook by Pat Ferguson***Mastering the Art of McTavishing by Karen McTavish***Mastering the Art of Longarm Quilting by Gina Perkes***Four different technique CD’s by Lenore Crawford.

Ready — Set — Enter!!!