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Posts Tagged ‘Long Arm Quilting’

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.

Meet Road 2017 Faculty: Amanda Leins

Saturday, November 12th, 2016

Amanda Leins is one of the teachers in Road 2017’s new industry room classes where students will be able to experience firsthand, quilting on both domestic and long arm machines. Amanda’s classes include: Monday 1007C  Refined Rulers: Using Templates With Domestic & Sit Down Machinesa-leins-rulers Tuesday 2010C  Blended Quilting: Combining Ruler-work With Free Motion Quilting On A Domestic Machinea-leins-blended-quilting Wednesday 3012C  Fundamentals of Free Motion Quiltinga-leins-fundamentals Thursday 4012C  Improv Quilting: Creating Curves Using Straight Linesa-leins-improv-quilting Friday  5012C Aqueducts: Piecing Curvesa-leins-aqueducts How did a trained classical archaeologist like Amanda Leins become a well-known quilter? a-leins4It all began with the men in Amanda’s family. Her maternal grandfather remembered carding the batting as a 6 year old boy during the Depression, listening to the ladies gossip as he sat underneath the quilting frame. Amanda got started in quilting on a visit to her grandparents about 14 years ago. Her “fella” (now Amanda’s husband) had to work while they were visiting so she had days to sit with her grandparents and listen to her Grampa Johnny share his love for quilts and how much he admired the ones left to their family, many of which Amanda had never seen before that trip. Her Gramma Nita had an in-cabinet Singer that many family members (mom, dad, aunts and uncles) had sewn on and Amanda wanted to be part of that tradition. Amanda made her first quilt on Gramma’s Singer, cutting things out on a coffee table, and never looked back. Amanda’s background in classical archaeology comes through with her quilting. Much of what she designs and makes is based upon the art and architecture of the ancient world. Her book shows how to take those ancient things that are timeless and still make fresh and modern designs. Amanda also appreciates how classical design principles are based upon observations of the natural world. She is thrilled to know that she is carrying on a grand tradition of working with her hands to make beautiful and functional things. She believes that “this creative act is something that is an integral part of what it is to be human.”a-leins2 Amanda has traveled all over the United States to take and teach quilting classes. Her two favorite classes that she has taken have been a practical class taught by Kimmy Brunner on trapunto and a class taught by Karen McTavish. While Amanda has yet to make a trapunto quilt, what she learned has helped with some tricky quilts that Amanda says “were less than perfect and had some extra fabric in some places and not in others.” Regarding her class with Karen McTavish, Amanda says she likes how Karen “approaches quilting design and finds her artistic process so very interesting.” What is Amanda’s favorite quilting tools?   For piecing, she cannot “live without” her glue basting and starch. For quilting, she adores working with rulers and templates, and is “wildly in love” with her BERNINA Q24 longarm which she says is “so fun to use.” Amanda’s best quilting tip is to relax and smile. She shares, “If your shoulders are down and you’re actually smiling a real (smile) and not gritting your teeth, you get less stress headaches and your quilting designs will be more fluid. If you find yourself tensing up, get up, walk around, shake out your muscles, and smile! Your body and your quilting will be grateful! [caption id="attachment_4465" align="aligncenter" width="839"]Quilt designed by Janet McWorkman and quilted by Amanda Leins for Janet's book,  "The ABCs of Quilting "(C&T) Quilt designed by Janet McWorkman and quilted by Amanda Leins for Janet’s book, “The ABCs of Quilting “(C&T)[/caption] Amanda got into quilting because “it brings me delight and being able to share that is, well, delightful!  Whether that’s providing a solid knowledge base, my tips and tricks, or sharing my love of the whole process, I want each student to come out of that class thinking ‘that was worth it. I can do this!’” You can expect Amanda to try and give as much information and time to practice in class as she can so that each student has what he or she needs to be successful and delighted in their work when they get home, not just those first few days, but as they continue to grow in their quilting abilities. To learn more about Amanda, please visit her website.]]>

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.]]>

Road 2016 Faculty: Meet Modern Quilter Natalia Bonner

Tuesday, June 9th, 2015

Natalia Bonner will be teaching two long arm quilting classes: 1203C Beginner’s Guide to Free-Motion Quilting; 3018C   Next Steps to Free-Motion Quilting and three piecing quilt classes: 4020C Incline; 5018C A-Maze Me; and 6019C Typhoon10937_NataliaBonner

Natalia Bonner is a self-proclaimed quilting addict. As the second of five children, Natalia grew up watching her mom, grandmas and even her great grandmothers sew and quilt. For over 20 years, she has been creating here own award winning quilts.

[caption id="attachment_3232" align="aligncenter" width="393"]Typhoon Quilt by Natalia Bonner Typhoon Quilt by Natalia Bonner[/caption]


Natalia’s favorite quilting tool is her sewing machine. She learned to quilt on a conventional home sewing machine. It wasn’t until eight years ago, when she was pregnant with her daughter, that she got the crazy idea to quit her job and pursue a career as a longarm quilter.

[caption id="attachment_3227" align="aligncenter" width="396"]Cabin Fever by Natalia Bonner and Kathleen Whiting Cabin Fever by Natalia Bonner and Kathleen Whiting[/caption]


Together, with her mom, Kathleen, (also an award winning quilter and the first McCalls Quilting Quilt Design Star), they own and create for their web site, Piece N Quilt. Says Natalia about the relationship with her mom: “When I returned to quilting after I was married, my mom, Kathleen, became a huge source of inspiration. I had my studio in her studio for several years. It was one of the best things I could have ever done; she helped me grow in more ways than she will ever know. Kathleen and I co-wrote Modern One-Block Quilts and Cabin Fever: 20 Modern Log Cabin Quilts. Also, I couldn’t live without her. I don’t bind quilts; actually I’ve only ever bound one quilt. She binds them all for me….I know I’m super lucky!”

[caption id="attachment_3231" align="aligncenter" width="391"]Peaches and Cream Quilt by Natalia Bonner and Kathleen Whiting Peaches and Cream Quilt by Natalia Bonner and Kathleen Whiting[/caption]


Natalia is “beyond words excited” to be teaching at Road 2016. Her very favorite part of teaching is seeing her students achieve a goal. “The excitement that they feel is just as exciting for me!” She also loves seeing the way each student makes a quilt their own.

[caption id="attachment_3229" align="aligncenter" width="381"]Dappled Quilt by Natalia Bonner and Kathleen Whiting Dappled Quilt by Natalia Bonner and Kathleen Whiting[/caption]


Natalia wants her students at Road 2016 to feel inspired and accomplished. “I want every single person in my longarm quilting classes to walk away feeling like they can do this, it is possible!” In her piecing classes, she feels the same way. Her goal is have every student leave with something finished – whether it be just one block or a whole quilt.

[caption id="attachment_3228" align="aligncenter" width="364"]Cabin Fever Quilts by Natalia Bonner and Kathleen Whiting Cabin Fever Quilts by Natalia Bonner and Kathleen Whiting[/caption]


What is Natalia’s best quilting tip? “When it gets frustrating, take a deep breath, and walk away. Come back later and the problem will be much less significant.”

Learn more about Natalia on her website, Piece N Quilt.  



Road 2014 Faculty Spotlight: Meet Lisa Sipes

Thursday, August 22nd, 2013

Lisa will be teaching the following all day, hands on long arm quilting classes: Thursday #4012 The Great Feather Debate; Friday #5011 Line It Up; and Saturday #6011 Back to the Basics. She is also teaching a half day hands on long arm quilting class Sunday #7007 Flat Factor. Portrait

Personal- A Vegetarian with a “very spoiled fat cat” named Lily, Lisa Sipes was introduced to quilting by her mother. She had been “basically bored with life,” and her mom told her to give quilting a shot.  Lisa originally thought that her mom was nuts, because “of course, I had that stereotypical idea of what I thought quilting was.”  The first time she saw a long arm quilting machine, she did some custom quilting on a quilt top.  As Lisa says, “The rest is history.”  Interestingly, Lisa learned to long arm quilt before she learned to properly use a rotary cutter. Quilting

Where do you find inspiration for your quilting? Everywhere.  I don’t even really have to look for it.  Most of my greatest quilt ideas come from my beliefs and ideals.  None of them have come to fruition yet (who has the time?), but when they do, it will sort of be an unveiling of a type of quilting that most don’t expect from me.

What is the one quilt tool that you can’t live without? I’m going with two, because they’re both equally important.  One is the Sewline Air Erasable ballpoint pen.  I don’t mark motifs, and really don’t mark much at all when I’m quilting.  But I like to have some registration lines or reference points and I don’t want to have to remove them.  I’ve tested the Sewline pen with several different types of fabrics and never have to worry about it becoming permanent (unless it’s pressed).  The other is Janet-Lee’s Other Favorite ruler from The Gadget Girls.  SMy quilting has transformed exponentially over the last year and a half with my use of straight lines, all accomplished with that ruler.

What do you like to do when you aren’t quilting? I think the better question is, “When are you not quilting?” Seriously!  If I’m not physically quilting, I’m planning for quilting, writing about quilting, talking about quilting, teaching quilting… You get the idea. But when I allow myself to have a life beyond quilting, I really enjoy live music and really good food.  Preferably simultaneously.Lisa and quilt

What do you like most about teaching? My absolute favorite thing is seeing that “light bulb moment” where you can tell just by the look on someone’s face that they *get it.*  I love encouraging others to find their own path and their own quilting voice.  I think that for most people, half the battle is giving themselves permission to try something new.  And I’m more than happy to be a cheerleader.

What is the funniest or most embarrassing moment you’ve had while teaching? I was quilting on a machine brand I’d never used before.  The hopping foot was really skinny, and backwards (or, I guess sideways) from what I was used to on my Gammills.  I was demo-ing ruler work and since the foot was skinny and weird to me, the ruler kept slipping over it; the needle got stuck on the ruler and seized up the machine.  That happened three times before I put the ruler down and switched to free motion.  I think I recovered okay!

What has been the best class you have taken? I haven’t really taken any classes.  I did take a whole-cloth class with Karen McTavish in 2011, but I mostly helped the other students (read/ talked with other students) with their quilts and came home with the same blank piece of fabric I went to class with. 

What is the farthest you have traveled that is quilt related? I haven’t been out of the country, and I really don’t plan to as of right now.  But considering I’m in middle-USA (for now!) I suppose each of the coasts would have to be the farthest I’ve traveled.  It seems I have done a lot of work out on the east coast. I’m looking forward to adding more fun quilty goodness to my schedule on the west coast.

What is your best tip for quilters? Stop talking about it and just DO IT, already.  You’ll never know what you’re capable of until you try.doodlecollage

What do you want your students to get out of your classes? Well, that of course depends on the class.  Of course I want all of my students to have a good time, to walk away from the classes with bits of knowledge or inspiration that will help them in their journey, and I want them to leave feeling comfortable with their direction.  I also try to remind them that if they ever have any questions or need any additional help, I’m only an email away.  And even if they don’t need additional help, email me pictures of creations inspired by the class! It makes my day. 🙂Modern Quilt

You can visit Lisa at:  http://thatcrazyquiltygirl.blogspot.com



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