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 Machines
Tuesday 2010C Blended Quilting: Combining Ruler-work With Free Motion Quilting On A Domestic Machine
Wednesday 3012C Fundamentals of Free Motion Quilting
Thursday 4012C Improv Quilting: Creating Curves Using Straight Lines
Friday 5012C Aqueducts: Piecing Curves
How did a trained classical archaeologist like Amanda Leins become a well-known quilter? It 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.”
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!
Quilt designed by Janet McWorkman and quilted by Amanda Leins for Janet’s book, “The ABCs of Quilting “(C&T)
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.