Tag Archives: Claudia Pfeil

Road 2018 Best of Show

Congratulations to Claudia Pfeil  who won $10,000  from Sponsor Gammill Quilting Systems for her quilt, Fractal Claudia Pfeil is a quilting pioneer in Germany.

She made her first quilt in 1984 without the now common rotary cutter and rulers. As she remember, “There was much “trial and error” as I taught myself the tricks of making templates and seams.” This quilt ended up being her only large sewing project for many years.

Claudia studied textile design at the University of Applied Sciences Niederrhein. This work drew her interests into different directions. She got the “quilting fever” –  but didn’t know it at the time.

In 1992, with the birth of her first son, Julian, Claudia decided that the work she had done in the textile arena would go in a new direction.  She started by going through her drawers and bins, uncovering  her “hoarded” treasures that she had been collecting over the years.  One of her treasures that she found were handwoven fabric pieces that she made while attending university, on a 16 shaft loom. She was dedicated to giving those 30×30 cm (almost 12 inch) blocks a new “right to exist“ in a quilt! Because she didn’t have the “proper ‘yarn’ for sewing,” Claudia went to the local sewing shop where she was introduced to her first rotary cutter, mat and quilting ruler.  Content with her  “learn by doing” approach, those experimental times gave her the courage to improvise.  She took her finished quilt to the sewing shop and immediately, the owners asked her to teach them her technique!!  Looking back, Claudia says she has “to smile about my self confidence without having any clue!”

It didn’t take long for Claudia to start buying and selling fabrics; first in the basement of her house, then in 1997, renting a small location in town where she opened Quilt & Co.  In 2002, the shop was moved to a larger – and current – location in Krefeld, Ritterstrasse.

The fall of 2004 totally changed Claudia’s world. She had brought Quilt & Co.  as a vendor to the French quilt show, Carrefour du Patchwork. Next to her booth was APQS. She played everyday on their Millennium quilting machine and was hooked with longarm quilting. She purchased her longarm machine in 2005, finding a way to “express myself through fabric and thread that was exciting, addictive and fun.” Claudia says free-motion quilting gives her the freedom–“like an eagle flying over the mountains”– to play with spaces and quilting designs.

When Claudia begins a project, she likes to work with a theme. Themes challenge her, get her out of her comfort zone, and start her thinking “out of the box.” Her theme for Fractal was kaleidoscopes. Claudia searched Google for pictures of kaleidoscopes and endless links introduced her to fractals. She admits that before then, she really didn’t know what fractals were.  She became fascinated by their dynamic , vitality and vibrancy.

Before falling asleep at night, she would collect dreams and visions of her theme and began thinking about how she could translate her visions into realistic designs. She began by preparing circles in different sizes out of white Dupioni silk on freezer paper templates. Next, she drew designs on to the circles, first with pencil, then if she was satisfied, she drew them with a black pen (Faber-Castell)  filling in the details and painted them with acrylic colors              (Stewart Gill) and Tsukineko ink pens. Playing and creating  the layers is one of the main parts of the quilt. She tried to enhance this impression with the choice and placement of quilting designs. Using 100 wt black silk thread, it took several backtracking stitches around the outlines of the circle designs to repeat and enhance the  black drawing lines. The design was couched with different yarns ( for example Razzle Dazzle and Yli ) around all outlines, respecting again the different layers to create a foreground and a background. Her final touch? 30,000 Swarovski Crystals!!! Claudia says her entire process took approximately 10 months to complete.

Besides learning about fractals, Claudia also learned by trial and error how to use mixed types of ink and paints and pens while making Fractal. She commented, “I learned that it is hard to get rid of pencil drawings on silk.”

When she received the news that Fractal had won Best of Show, it was around 5:00 AM in the morning in Germany. Claudia said she woke up “unintentionally” to check the time on her cellphone and saw that she had received several messages on Facebook telling her of her award. She went downstairs, opened her email and saw the official announcement from Road. Claudia said she was “shocked” when she found out she had won.

Where does Claudia go from here with her quilting? “I am working on my new project for 2018. I am bit behind my own time schedule this time. But the quilt is loaded on the machine and waiting to be quilted. In May, I will travel to the USA  to teach at several APQS Showrooms in Raleigh, Louisville, Austin and Dallas. In November, I will be at Quilt Festival in Houston and…. I am soooo hoping to be back at Road to California next year!”

Congratulations Claudia Pfeil for your outstanding entry.

 

 

 

 

Road 2018 Was A Huge Success!!

How to describe Road to California 2018?

The sun was shining.

Teachers and their classes were creating.

The vendor floors were busy.

Guests kept coming.

And best of all, the quilts were amazing!!!

Best of Show, “Fractal,” by Claudia Pfeil

Not only was Jenny Doan, of Missouri Star Quilt Company, a popular teacher…

…her Trunk Show was inspiring.

Road’s Founder, Carolyn Reese, was honored by the Ontario Convention Center’s President and CEO, Michael Krause, for being a loyal business partner to the City of Ontario, the Convention Center, and the Community.

The new App, QuiltSpace, was enjoyed by thousands of users. The winner of the App’s Quilter Choice Award went to “Your Place or Mine” by Marva-lee Otos. She received $500 for receiving the most votes from the App users.

“Your Place or Mine,” by Marva-lee Otos

And Road’s new owner, Matt Reese, still found time to give 5 month old son, Braden, a tour of the show.

Thank you to everyone who contributed to making Road 2018  “The Happening Place to Be.” We can’t wait to start planning next year’s show!!

Meet Road 2017 Teacher Claudia Pfeil

Claudia Pfeil will be teaching six, hands on, stand up  longarm classes that allow for two students per machine head:

Pimp My Quilt! on Monday 1012N and Saturday 6015Npimp-my-quiltPaisley Parade on Tuesday 2017Npaisley-parade

Bubbles, Curves & Straight Lines – A Way to Modern Quilting on Wednesday 3016N  bubbles-curves-and-straight-lines

Claudia’s (P)fantastic (P)freemotion Borders on Thursday 4015Npfantastic-pfreemotion-borders

And on Friday 5016N Modern (P)freemotion Wholeclothp-freemotion-whole-cloth

At Road to California 2017, several of the class instructors are coming from outside the United States and Claudia Pfeil is one of those teachers. Claudia is from Germany. She grew up in Hemer and has lived in Krefeld since 1985. A town with a population of 240,000 in the mid-west part of Germany, close to the border of Belgium and Netherlands, Krefeld is known as the “Town of Velvet and Silk” because of its history of silk weaving.

Growing up in a family of bankers, Claudia was the one who loved to draw and paint. She tried everything from pottery, silk painting, water color painting, and even making carpets out of knots.  When she graduated from school, she moved to Dortmund and started an apprenticeship as a display designer in a warehouse. It was through that job that in 1985 she was first exposed to quilting by attending Creativa –Europe’s leading exhibition for creative design.claudia-vor-quilt

The biggest sewing project Claudia has ever done was the first quilt she ever made. It was made without using any rotary cutters or rulers and the basic sewing machine she used could only secure the layers for hand quilting. She taught herself the tricks of making templates and seams. According to Claudia, “there was much ‘trial and error’.”

After the birth of her first son, Julian, in 1992, Claudia delved in to quilting. She found some fabric pieces she had stored away; 12 inch squares she had woven on a 16 shaft loom while attending  university. She just knew they belonged in a quilt. Needing thread to put the quilt together, Claudia went to a local sewing shop and they introduced her to her first rotary cutter, mat and quilting ruler. With perseverance, Claudia set out to “learn by doing.” She recalls that those “experimental times gave her the courage to improvise. I was soooo happy and I got hooked.” Looking back, Claudia says, “I have to smile about my self-confidence without having any clue.”

Claudia has been a student of textile design, an independent textile designer, a patchwork quilting teacher, and a quilt shop owner. But she says her world changed completely in the spring of 2005 when she bought an APQS Longarm.

Having taught throughout the United States, Australia, and Europe, Road 2017 will be Claudia’s first time at the show. She says, “I am really happy and proud to be invited.” All of her classes are hands on, longarm quilting classes. Her goal is to set her students free to think out of the box. She hopes they will leave the classroom with a big smile on their face, happy and proud of themselves, and remember her tips when they go home to work on their projects.

To see more of Claudia’s work, please visit her Facebook Page.