Tag Archives: Hand Quilting

Meet Road Vendor WonderFil Specialty Threads

WonderFil = Thread (and only thread)download

WonderFil Specialty Threads offers products that enhance both the quality and appearance of stitching results, as well as expanding embellishment possibilities. They have a diversity of thread weights, textures, finishes, and materials. A family run business based in Canada, their 17 specialty thread lines are distributed in 8 countries: Canada, USA, the United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand, Norway, Sweden, and Denmark.

They carry several different lines, ranging from 8 – 100 weight, that can be used for any project. All of their cotton based threads  are made only from Egyptian Cotton which is lint free so it doesn’t gunk up their customer’s machines.  

Photo by Gregory Case Photography

Photo by Gregory Case Photography

One of their most popular products lines is InvisaFil, a 100 weight cottonized polyester thread. The number one seller in the United States, Invisafil is available in 60 colors and is a great alternative to fine silk thread. It’s unique texture is a result of combining preshrunk cotton with strong, colorfast polyester. It’s the perfect thread for all kinds of sewing, including free motion quilting.  

WonderFil prides itself in working with teachers, like Vikki Pignatelli, to create color palettes that coordinate with their projects.1-Invisafil3a

 

New in 2017 is Wonderfil’s partnership with Sue SpragoEllana is a wool fabric line combined with 28 weight wool thread that comes in 60 matching colors.

Another line, Efina, is a lighter weight thread designed for hand quilting .  

WonderFil is also committed to helping their customers learn how to use their threads. They call this Threaducation. On their website, they offer how-to videos for all their thread lines as well as share contact information for qualified teachers standing by to assist customers in Canada and the United States. 

Road to California 2017 appreciated Wonderfil’s employee, Joanne from Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, supporting their philanthropy project, Roadies Give Back. Joanne is had a good friend pass away from Cancer in June, 2016 and appreciated the opportunity to contribute to a worthy cause. “It’s always fun whenever quilters get together,” remarked Joanne during the event.   

 

So You Want To Make A Winning Quilt? 2016 Excellence In Hand Quilting

Elegance was made and quilted by Elsie M. Campbell. She received $1,500 from sponsor, World of Quilts Travel.Elegance-Excellance in Hand Quilting

“Quite pleased,” was Elsie’s reaction when she found out she had won the prize for Excellence in Hand Quilting.

Elsie Campbell’s love for quilting is in her genes; from her mother, grandmothers, aunts…… and even back several more generations.

Inspiration for Elegance came when her son took Elsie in September, 2007 to an exhibit of antique quilts from the Henry duPont collection at Winterthur, duPont’s childhood home. The collection had been opened to the public more than 60 years ago as a museum. There were some exquisite boutis (trapunto or stuffed work) quilts that fascinated Elsie. She decided that if women from the 18th and 19th century could do this form of quilting, “I surely could, too.”

Work on Elegance began soon after Elsie returned from the exhibit and continued until September of 2015 – a total of 8 years to complete. During those 8 years, Elsie also made 50+ other quilts AND wrote 2 books ALONG with her traveling schedule, teaching quilt making techniques to others across the nation. Elsie said she never doubted that she would complete Elegance. She would stitch when  she had a few moments here and there, usually in hotel rooms while she was on the road and at other odd times. Says Elsie, “A little bit of time here and there really will allow you to accomplish something significant. Just keep at it. If you enjoy the process (and I do!) it doesn’t matter how long it takes to make something of lasting beauty.”

Close up of Elsie's work

Close up of Elsie’s work

Elsie also makes heirloom machine quilted quilts, quilting them on a domestic sewing machine. While she loves to do all kinds of quilt making techniques, she started off quilting everything by hand and still loves taking the time to hand quilt.

What is Elsie working on next?   Elsie is a new iquilt.com instructor. Her online workshop is based on another award-winning quilt, Aunt MiMi’s Flower Garden quilt. The first version of that quilt won the Judge’s Special Merit at Road to California in 2009, and the second version won Best Traditional Quilt in 2014, and several top awards at the AQS Shows.

Aunt Mimi's Flower Garden II - 2014

Aunt Mimi’s Flower Garden II – 2014

The workshop features 7 online lessons, complete with patterns and professionally produced instructional videos.  Elsie still travels to teach quilting to guilds and at quilt shops and national quilt shows across the USA, delivering programs, and workshops, and generally enjoying herself. She sums it up by saying, “I love it ALL!”

To learn more about Elsie, please visit her website.

 

Supporting Local Quilt Guilds: Meet The Valley Quilters

Valley Quilters Past President Mary Fidler is so proud of her quilt guild, she wears their logo on her vest:145

The logo was designed by one of the founding members of the guild in 1981 and depicts areas of interest around Hemet, California where the guild is located. Those symbols include nearby Idyllwild in the San Jacinto mountains, clouds, dairies and local agriculture.

Mary joined the guild in 1992. She has appreciated the “fellowship, knowledge, and hand quilting skills” that the guild has provided.

Past Presidents Mary Fidler and Sandra Dougherty

Past Presidents Mary Fidler and Sandra Dougherty at Road to California 2016

Providing quilts for those “in need of comfort” are donated from the guild to hospice patients and to the local police and fire departments to use in trauma situations.

Their Yakkers group promotes hand quilting and meet each Monday. While either hand quilting the guild’s opportunity quilt or tying security quilts, it gives members an opportunity to have someone to talk to.

The Valley Quilters just celebrated their 36th Annual Quilt Show February 12 and 13. Funds collected at this event goes to their scholarship fund. Five, $1,000 scholarships are awarded to local high school seniors at their April Meeting. Their opportunity quilt, Flowers for my Wedding, was won by Hortencia Roesler.  2016Opportunity Quilt

Next up for the Valley Quilters Guild is their annual Quilt Retreat March 14-17 at Vina de Lestonnac.

To learn more about the Valley Quilters Guild, visit their website or their Facebook Page.

 

 

 

 

So You Want To Make A Winning Quilt? 2015 Excellence In Hand Quilting

White Bouquet was made and quilted by Mariko Duenwald of San Francisco, California. She received $1,500 from sponsor World of Quilts TravelExcellance in Hand Quilting

A quilter for almost 25 years, Mariko Duenwald, came to the United States from Japan in 1983. When Mariko was a young girl living in Japan, she found a “rather unique fabric store” in Tokyo that had an American antique quilt on display. At the time, Mariko didn’t know what a quilt was but she fell in love with what she saw and began researching quilts.

After coming to America, Mariko taught herself how to quilt by reading books. Mariko prefers hand quilting. She has said, “With machine quilting, you really have to concentrate. But with hand quilting, you can sit on the couch and watch TV, so I like that. Quilting is the best part of making a quilt, for me.”

White Bouquet was started in 2011 and finished in 2013. It was an original design made by Mariko and her third trapunto quilt. After completing this quilt, Mariko says she now feels more comfortable with this type of quilt.

So You Want To Make A Winning Quilt: Road 2015 Best Use of Color

Cheryl L. See received $1,500 from sponsor, Primitive Gatherings, for StarletteBest Color

Cheryl See has had a needle in her hand since she was 3 or 4 years of age. However, she didn’t start quilting until the early 1990’s.  Her foray into quilting was inspired by all the small scraps of bright colored fabric that were too small to make anything else except to use in a quilt.

Starlette was inspired by her big sister, Star Struck, which is in the National Quilt Museum.  Cheryl wanted to make a smaller version to use when she gave lectures and taught. Starlette is  entirely made by hand using English Paper Piecing, applique, trapunto, embroidery and hot fix Swarovski crystals. It is reversible with the back having woven appliqued bias strips in a triangular pattern. Starlette includes 4,582 hexagons, 335 circles and 192 ovals.

It took Cheryl 9 months to complete Starlette. Cheryl recalled, “It took only 9 months, but I put in a lot of hours in those 9 months.” During that time, she was writing her book, Star Struck & Starlette, and wanted some great step-by-step photos.  She found it very helpful to be working on a quilt while she was writing because it helped her to find just the right words to describe to others how to do each step.  Cheryl believes, “We continue to learn as we teach others along the way.”

Cheryl was happily surprised to win the Best Use of Color Award as she usually competes in the Hand Quilting or Innovative categories. Cheryl used her prize money to buy more fabric to make more quilts. “It’s funny how the next quilt doesn’t ever seem to use up much of my stash!” remarked Cheryl.

What is next for Cheryl? “I love all handwork and I love innovative quilts or the unexpected.  With my next quilts, I hope to surprise and inspire more quilters to see hand quilting as more than just traditional.  I want to keep hand quilting alive and continue to teach new quilters how to quilt by hand.”

Another one of Cheryl’s future plans is that she will be teaching  four classes at Road 2016: on Thursday, 4015R    English Paper Piecing Technique, on Friday, 5013R    Innovative Hand Quilting, on Saturday, 6012R    Hexie Daisy and on Sunday, 7012R    Innovative Hand Quilting.  

To learn more about Cheryl, please visit her website.

Aloha!! Meet Hawaiian Quilter, Carrie Fondi

Carrie taught two Traditional Hand Quilting classes and a Traditional Hawaiian Applique class at Road to California 2015Carrie Fondi Bio Pic

A mother to 9-year old twins (a boy and a girl), Carrie Fondi of Aloha Quilt Designs, self-taught herself at the age of 12 (or 13) how to quilt. She has been Hawaiian Quilting nonstop since then, studying under many Master Hawaiian Quilters over the last 15 years.Carrie Fondi Lanai-pine

Carrie finds inspiration for her quilting at her second home in Maui, Hawaii. She says, “I can walk down the street and find inspiration in everything from the man’s shirt in front of me to the flowers that have fallen in the sand.” When she isn’t quilting, Carrie likes to swim and surf in the ocean with her family.

Needles (and thread) are the one quilting tool that she can’t live without. A small applique project always travels in her purse. She even quilts on the beach in the sand!Carrie Fondi-huladance2

Carrie travels about 30,000 miles in her car each year teaching. Of course, Hawaii is the farthest distance she has gone to teach a quilting class. Because she has young children, she “cannot leave {her} family for long or often.”

When Carrie is teaching, she enjoys watching her students learn the art of hand applique and quilting. She remarked that, “Most students walk into my class scared or intimidated by hand work and then leave with a confident smile on their face.” Her best quilting tip to her students: Relax!!

What did Carrie enjoy most about her classes she taught at Road 2015? “All the happy students!!” She was appreciative for the full classes and the great students she had.Carrie Fondi-bidgred

Look for Carrie to return to Road 2016; she can’t wait to meet her new students. Will one of them be you?