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Posts Tagged ‘Quilt Teacher’

Meet Road 2017 Vendor and Teacher: Janna Thomas

Friday, December 23rd, 2016

Bloc Loc Rulers. Janna’s mom came with duct tape stuck to a ruler because she was tired of the rocking and slipping. Janna’s husband, Paul, being Mr. Fixit, took the ruler out to the garage and filed a groove in it. At this point the Thomas’ knew that they had to start their business. It took a couple of years to get their seed money to start things up and their company began selling rulers in 2009. Janna and Paul live and run their business in Loveland, Colorado. Janna says that people might think that when she’s not running the business with Paul, there would be other things that she would like to be doing. But she insists that she “absolutely love(s) quilting and “ and isn’t interested in doing anything else. Janna keeps thinking “that when I’m an old woman I’ll try to take in some knitting and gardening, but honestly, I know there’s no room for that..quilting is too much of an obsession.” What does Janna like most about her business? “I love seeing the happiness quilters have when they use our rulers because their projects turn out better than the way they’d hoped. The most wonderful thing is, they will come up to us at shows and show me photos and talk about how Bloc Loc has made their quilting an absolute joy. The Bloc Loc Rulers vendor booth will be featuring a new ruler, the Pineapple Ruler. It gives the quilter two strip width options, any size center for the square in a square, any pineapple block size and rulers can be combined for special effects. The Pineapple Ruler is very easy to operate and making the block is very easy. Another new addition in their booth is Bloc Loc’s Traction Tape, a completely non-slip material that quilters can peel and apply to rulers they already own. The most wonderful aspect to Traction Tape is its ability to stay adhered to a ruler for a very long time and can turn up to 8 layers of fabric without a turning mat. In addition to working the Bloc Loc Rulers booth, Janna will be teaching three classes that incorporate many of the company’s rulers. Janna will be teaching on Monday, 1010C Millefioiri Tuesday, 2014C  Blooming Cogwheels and on Wednesday,  3019C A Tarted Up Pineapple  Janna says that she loves “helping students learn in any way possible. Seeing them get excited about doing things they never thought they could do is extremely rewarding.” Janna feels it is important that her students  realize they can do anything in quilting; there’s always a way to achieve what they want to do and it doesn’t have to be difficult. Janna and Paul can’t wait to come to Road to California 2017.  They consider Road to be “theworld’s biggest and best quilting bee, filled with friendship, learning and magnificent shopping.’ Whether in the classroom or the demoing in their booth, Janna is always ready to teach how to pull off the best techniques at the right time, and how to set her customers up for success in every quilting situation To learn more about Bloc Loc Rulers, please visit their web site.  ]]>

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 2017 Father/Daughter Teachers: John Flynn and Kate Flynn Nichols

Thursday, September 8th, 2016

Tuesday classes.  

John will be teaching 2003C  Double Wedding Ring


and Kate will be teaching   2004C   Storm at Sea


In addition, Kate will be teaching a Friday night class5061C   Half Rail Fence


What could be more fun than sharing your passion of quilting by giving workshops, creating innovative templates and kits, and bouncing off new ideas with someone from your own family? That is exactly what John Flynn and his daughter, Kate Flynn Nichols, have been doing for over 17 years. Both residents of Montana, they spend a lot of time together fine tuning patterns, assembly directions and pressing techniques so that their templates and laser pre-cut kits go together as easily and smoothly as possible.


John got in to the quilting scene in the 1980’s when he was testing the quilt frames that he was designing and building for his wife Brooke. He soon discovered how relaxing hand quilting was and has been working at it ever since.

Kate started quilting in 1988. She grew up watching both her parents quilt.  She went to guild meetings with them and started stashing fabric at a young age.   Kate entered her first quilt show when she was just 8 years old!! As she grew older, she was “actually surprised to find out later in life that not everyone quilts!”

They each find inspiration for their designs in different ways. For Kate, it comes from nature and her parents’ old magazine collection. John has an engineering background so he finds inspiration in the geometry of objects and from old traditional quilts. John and Kate have different preferences when it comes to working with color. John’s favorite palette is the colors of the rainbow; bright primaries and secondaries.  Kate likes strong pastel combinations and monochromes. Interestingly, Kate is the company’s fabric buyer; she has a sure hand in color selection. While they enjoy their partnership, working closely with each other can have its drawbacks. Kate says, “It’s hard not really having a separation between work and family.  Who wants to plan their next business trip at Thanksgiving dinner?”  John admits his challenge is that since he and Kate both have engineering minds, “they think alike most of the time” which can be both positive and negative. When they aren’t working together, John likes fly fishing, fly tying, and biking.John_Flynn bike riding

Kate, who has been married since August, 2003 to graphic designer Kevin Nichols, enjoys reading, rockhounding, gardening and watching either Animal Planet, the History Channel or the Discovery Channel.

What are their favorite tips for quilters?  From Kate: “Relax and be forgiving with yourself.  You are a human, not a machine and your projects should reflect your humanity!” John adds, “Accuracy, accuracy, accuracy. It is easier to take your time and do it right the first time rather than rush through and do it over and over.” There is still limited space in both of their classes. You can learn more about this dynamic father-daughter quilting duo on their website: www.flynnquilt.com

Meet Road 2017 Teacher Gudrun Erla

Friday, August 19th, 2016

Gudrun Erla will be teaching 4013C Scandinavian Style on Thursday; 5013C Stripology Squared on Friday; 6011C Mastering Quilt as you go on Saturday; and 7009C Strip Your Stash on Sunday.Gudrun Erla

Gudrun Erla  is fond of the cold country. She was born and raised in Iceland and currently lives in Minnesota with her family: Atli (23), Gisli (16), Svana (15) and a puppy Koby. When Gudrun isn’t quilting, she likes to cook, enjoy outdoor activities, run and exercise or just relax with friends.Gudrun Erla3

Gudrun got into quilting by happening to take a class.  She gets inspired for her quilting from just about everywhere. She says she never knows what will spark an idea; she is open to anything. Her Stripology Ruler is her favorite  quilting tool. It saves her so much time cutting anything and makes everything so accurate and easy.Gudrun Erla Gudrun has taught quilt classes as far away as her native Iceland and in Alberta, Canada. She likes teaching because she likes to get to know her students and share in their success in class She can adapt quickly to any class situation, One time when she was teaching, Gudrun was doing a lecture on Stripology and had planned to show all the quilts out of her newest Stripology book. The only problem was, she left the bag with all the quilts at home so she had to quick-like reorganize her lecture around the quilts she did have with her. She is hoping that all her students at Road to California 2017 will have a fun day of sewing with her, meeting new people and learning a few things in the process. Gudrun wants everyone to go home confident in continuing and finishing the projects they started in class.Gudrun Erla4 What is Gudrun’s favorite quilting tip? Relax and enjoy the journey. Practice does make perfect but she adds that you should always have fun while you are practicing, because nothing is ever perfect. To learn more about Gudrun, please visit her website.    ]]>

Meet Patt Blair: Road 2016 Winner and 2017 Teacher

Wednesday, April 13th, 2016

Patt Blair won 3rd Place in the category Art, Critter for Summer Hunt at Road 2016Patt Blair-3rd place

Patt Blair is no stranger to Road to California. A resident of the mountain community of Mt. Baldy, California, she is surrounded by inspiration for her quilt designs. The idea for Summer Hunt came several years ago from another piece of hers, Winter Hunt, where an elusive mountain lion hunted in the late afternoon snow. Patt knew for years that Summer Hunt would come into being; it just took a while to come up with the look she wanted.   An east coast artist, B. Hautman, had produced a similar piece and was kind enough to allow Patt her own modified interpretation of his image. It took Patt about 11 weeks to finish Summer Hunt. First, she immersed herself in paining the subject so that she could really come to know it. Patt spent 8 weeks on the quilting. The further along she got on the quilt, the fewer hours were dedicated each day in the project. The blocking and facing only took a few days.Patt Blair-summer hunt detail As a quilter, Patt puts a lot of introspection in her pieces. She feels that it “absolutely pays off to really think about the elements of a piece; to decide what importance they will play in telling the quilt’s story. For example, Patt normally loves quilting airflow (the sky) using a motif that draws attention to its easy movement across the horizon. No such attention was warranted in Summer Hunt’s sky so a much more subdued motif was used. Patt was happy to hear she had won third place in the Art, Critter category, which had the highest number of entries for the 2016 show. “A piece becomes like one of my children; I was proud of it.” As a teacher, Patt LOVES the peaceful, playful rhythm that comes from a classroom of people all working and learning together.  She has just one classroom goal: that when students leave class, she wants them to feel just a bit “cocky.” In other words, that they will have the realization that they did the project and they’re proud of their work.Patt Blair-cardinal Patt will be teaching painting and quilting classes at Road 2017.  She is teaching both a two-day version of Painted Quilt Art as well as a one day Painting with Inks. In these two classes, students can use one of Patt’s many drawing options or bring one of their own as instructed on her web site. ( www.pattsart.com   button:  EZ drawing). Patt will also be teaching The Filling Station, a skill building class on quilting motifs,. This class will allow students to learn and practice stitching motifs that they can use in their own work. Patt Blair-windsong Finally, Patt will be doing a Media Mixer class exploring variety and freedom in using several surface design techniques.  Patt says this class is “totally fun and represents what my former teacher Robert E Wood Jr. coined as the meaning of CREATIVITY:  a winding path to an unknown destination.  We’ll all learn where we were going once we get there!!!”    ]]>

Road 2016 Faculty and Vendor: Meet Michele Crawford Plus A Giveaway

Wednesday, December 16th, 2015

Michele Crawford will be teaching on Monday, 1003R Carpenter Star, and an evening class on Saturday, 6066C  Crumb Quilting

Michele’s company, Flower Box Quilts, will have a booth on the vendor floor.Michele Crawford - head shot - 5 x 5

Michele Crawford has a long history with sewing, crafting, and pattern making. Since the age of 9, she has always had a needle and thread in her hands whether it was stamped cross stitch, crewel, crochet, knitting, embroidery or sewing clothes. Michele taught herself to sew. Her first projects were sewn on her grandmother’s featherweight sewing machine. Michele’s first business was making woven potholders on a loom and selling them in her neighborhood. While in high school, she wanted to be a fashion designer and go to New York City to school. She ended up being an elementary school teacher, getting married, starting a family, and then began her life as a self-employed designer and business owner. Michele’s first business was Cross ‘n Quilt. Started in 1986, Michele designed and sold her patterns combining counted cross stitch and quilting. Through this experience, Michele has created over 4,500 published sewing, needlework and quilting designs in over 40 different publications. She has worked with over 35 fabric, thread and batting companies to date. In 2002, a few quilting magazines started offering kits for the projects in their magazines featuring new fabric collections, and that was the start of Michele’s internet business, Flower Box Quilts. By 2008, she began designing her own quilt patterns to sell on her website as Flower Box Quilts, and also offered other quilt fabric kits exclusive to her site.Michele Crawford booth The Flower Box Quilts booth is known as the “happy booth.” She likes to showcase many different styles and techniques to inspire her customers. Featured in her booth are seasonal and non-seasonal fabrics as well as 100 of her original quilt patterns including those for quilts of all sizes, runners, place mats, pillows, Christmas ornaments and tree skirts, and other decorative items. She still likes to combine counted cross stitch with quilting and has started to offer other types of handwork including working with wool felt and embroidery, and hexagons.Michele Crawford quilt Michele is looking forward to teaching her two classes. She enjoys interacting and being with the quilters, and sharing her tips and techniques for quilting. She wants her students to have FUN and reminds them that there are many ways and techniques to achieve the same results in quilting. Her motto?  “We cannot achieve perfection but we can strive for excellence.” She especially loves it when she sees the “light bulb” come on in a student’s face when they have tried something new that she taught them and it works for them. There are several sewing tips that Michele likes to share. One is Don’t wash fabric before piecing. She believes that the finishes help achieve a “cleaner” cut with a rotary cutter. Some other tips: Iron as you go; It’s OK to sew over pins; and Use 100% Cotton thread. To learn more of Michele’s tips, you’ll just have to take one of her classes!! Michele is looking forward to being at Road 2016: “I LOVE the amazing and positive energy of all the quilters – vendors – staff at Road! The extreme excitement of being at the cutting edge of quilting and being inspired by so many incredibly talented and creative people is mind boggling, humbling, and fabulous!” To learn more about Michele, please visit her web site.Michele Crawford JCTS cover Now for the giveaway: Michele is giving away 5 copies of her book, Just Cut The Scrap. To enter, simply comment below what you are looking forward to the most at Road 2016. You have until midnight on Sunday, December 20, 2016 to enter. Five lucky winners will be chosen using Random Number Generator and will be notified on Monday, December 21, 2016. Good luck to all who enter.  ]]>

Road 2016 Faculty: Meet Weeks Ringle of Modern Quilt Studio

Friday, November 13th, 2015

Third in Road’s video series introducing their newest faculty, you are invited to listen to fabric designer and author, Weeks Ringle, of Modern Quilt Studio

Weeks Ringle will be teaching on Thursday, 4014R  Improvisational Piecing; oon Friday, 5011R  The Role of Color in Your Quilts, on Saturday, 6010R  Working with Large Scale Prints, and on Sunday, 7010R  Understanding Value & Piecing Curves

Who is Weeks Ringle? [youtube]https://youtu.be/WVkepLtSRr0[/youtube]

Weeks has a unique story on what led her to quilting: [youtube]https://youtu.be/Ds654b9_0Ms[/youtube]

Weeks explains “Modern Quilting” [youtube]https://youtu.be/aqQnAbS5YYI[/youtube]

Where does Weeks find her quilting inspiration? [youtube]https://youtu.be/s4Ff-CBpOGM[/youtube]

What are the quilt tools Weeks can’t live without? [youtube]https://youtu.be/8rYeJ4el6LU[/youtube]

What does Weeks like best about teaching? [youtube]https://youtu.be/VKMF52LpYB4[/youtube]

What is Weeks looking forward to at Road to California? [youtube]https://youtu.be/em_R3GE-_V4[/youtube]

Weeks talks about her classes at Road 2016:  [youtube]https://youtu.be/oDPJiwIADAo[/youtube]

What is Week’s best quilting tip? [youtube]https://youtu.be/uVmOh5stVEY[/youtube]

Weeks has a message for her Road 2016 Students: [youtube]https://youtu.be/RO8bcWFZJP0[/youtube]

To learn more about Weeks, please visit her website.


Road 2016 Faculty: Meet Sew Kind Of Wonderful's Jenny Pedigo

Wednesday, October 28th, 2015

Jenny Pedigo will be teaching on Friday, 5008C  Chic Kisses and on Saturday 6007C   Metro Rings.  Her company, Sew Kind of Wonderfulwill have a vendor booth during the show.

***This is our second in a series of video interviews of some of our Road 2016 faculty.

Jenny starts off our interview by telling us a little about herself: [youtube]https://youtu.be/ElMvaXcJOno[/youtube]

What was Jenny’s path to quilting?  [youtube]https://youtu.be/euXwCBXPjZA[/youtube]

Jenny is not the only quilter in her family: [youtube]https://youtu.be/fzj409iGZUc[/youtube]

What inspires Jenny’s quilt designs? [youtube]https://youtu.be/ogPCuuyT_ek[/youtube]

How does Jenny keep her skills sharp? [youtube]https://youtu.be/RoAK_f18t2g[/youtube]

What is the one quilting tool Jenny can’t live without? [youtube]https://youtu.be/O5HQBi7NZrE[/youtube]

Why is Tuesday Jenny’s favorite day of the week? [youtube]https://youtu.be/cY8Vqa3z7P4[/youtube]

Jenny loves to teach quilting: [youtube]https://youtu.be/vbrMwWgjjk4[/youtube]

What was one of Jenny’s embarrassing teaching moments? [youtube]https://youtu.be/tLlP44adJsg[/youtube]

Jenny describes the classes she will be teaching at Road 2016: [youtube]https://youtu.be/B_mA-Z2G30k[/youtube]

Jenny has high hopes for her students: [youtube]https://youtu.be/Ur__IbQ1cUg[/youtube]

What is Jenny’s best quilting tip? [youtube]https://youtu.be/saBTh10jVsI[/youtube]

Road 2016 is Jenny’s first time at the show. What is she looking most forward to? [youtube]https://youtu.be/u-PTlFnQi_s[/youtube]

To learn more about this modern quilter and her company that creates contemporary quilt designs, please visit Jenny’s website.


Road 2016 Faculty: Meet Laura Heine

Tuesday, September 29th, 2015

Laura Heine is going to be super busy at Road to California 2016. She will be teaching a class on Tuesday, 2010R  Paisley Bear Quilt.  Her company, Fiberworks, will have a vendor booth, and Laura will be curating her Collage Quilt Exhibit on the front wall in the main exhibit hall.Laura Heine Head-shot1

Road 2016 marks the third year in a row Laura Heine will be coming from Billings, Montana to participate in the show. Previously,  she traveled to Road in her pink trailer, “Flaura.” But Laura recently retired her 1956 Shasta that she had totally fixed from the inside out. Laura now uses the trailer to go camping a few times in the summer. It is mainly become a popular feature in her quilt shop, Fiberworks.  She put in an overhead door in the shop so she could get Flaura in and out and still protect her from the elements. If you visit Laura’s shop in Billings, you will certainly recognize the trailer, complete with Laura’s floral collage logo!!

Laura loves coming to Road. She says, “The timing of the show is great as the holidays are over and everyone is ready to get back into the quilting mode!  Customers have loved our products and looked forward to seeing what we have new each year.  It is a long trek for us; it takes three days to get there. But it is well worth the trip when we see our new friends each year.”Laura Heine3

What will guests find new this year in the Fiberworks booth?  “I have new collage quilts of course and I have new pieced and hand applique quilts.   My booth may also have a new look too…”

Laura will also be one of Road’s 2016 faculty. She is teaching her Paisley Bear Collage Quilt. When asked what inspired Laura to make this quilt, she replied, “I am from Montana so it was only natural for me to make a collage quilt with a bear!  My bear quilt is the easiest of all my collage quilts to make, and it turns out it is great for the California area too. In the beginning, I designed patterns that I thought would sell and be generally popular to everyone.  This is very hard to do because I have to at least like what I am doing.  Now, I design collage patterns of the things that I love, for example, Pinkerton, the flamingo and Flaura, the vintage trailer.  I am just following my heart and I find that my customers love them as much as I do.”Laura Heine1

Being able to share her creative talents with her students is something Laura loves to do. Teaching collage is actually quite easy for her. She finds it much easier to show her students how to group colors and focus on value rather than writing instructions on how to do this.Laura Heine2

What will students in Laura’s class learn? “They will leave knowing more about color and value. They may not even realize they are learning this while they are doing it!  And they will not be afraid of using large scale prints.  This class will open them up to a whole new world on how to look at fabrics.” Laura says her students always leave happy and that in itself is very rewarding for her.

New this year will be Laura curating her own exhibit, Collage Quilts. How did she put together this exhibit? “Last year when I was asked to do a special exhibit, I asked all of my students who were in my classes this year if they would like to have their finished quilt in the exhibit.  They were all honored and I went on to accept the first 30 quilts entered.  The show will consist of collage quilts that use my patterns.  Quilters may have purchased one of my kits or they may have come up with their own fabrics.  Guests will see how different a collage quilt can look even if they were all purchased from the same kit!  Finished quilts will be shipped to me in December and I will bring them with me to Road in January.”

Laura has a special quilt that she made just for the exhibit and it will be unveiled at the show.  It is a quilt made of all of the leftover motifs that did not get into any of her previous quilts. “Many times,” remarked Laura, “you cut more flowers than you actually use and this quilt, Wildflower Mix, has all of those flowers.  There are over 300 flowers in this quilt! Nothing ever goes to waste!” Be sure to visit Laura in her booth or at her exhibit.]]>

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