Tag Archives: Modern Quilting

Meet Road 2018 Vendor and Special Exhibit Curator Latifah Saafir

While Latifah Saafir Studios LLC is new to Road’s vendor floor, owner Latifah Saafir is not. This innovative Modern Quilter and founder of the Modern Quilt Guild, presented a Lecture and Trunk Show to kick off Road 2017. Her special presentation was held Tuesday evening,  January 17th at the Ontario Museum of History and Art in conjunction with the exhibit being held there, Modern Quilts Redesigning Traditions. 

How did Latifah Saafir Studios LLC begin? After Latifah was laid off from her technology job with a Fortune 500 company, she decided to “try my hand at doing something I truly loved.” Already having a ton of contacts in the modern quilt world, Latifah added the resources received from a Kickstarter campaign two years ago to help her launch her product line. Latifah remembers it was a whole lot of work but she wouldn’t have “given up for anything in the world.”

A Los Angeles resident, Latifah and her husband help take care of her 96 year old grandfather. Latifah spends most days building her quilting business. When she does have some free time, she likes to slip out to her guild meetings and hang out with her guild friends.

What does Latifah like about being a new business owner? Creativity. Latifah loves creating products that help people tap into their own beauty and creativity.

Meeting and seeing people is what Latifah is most looking forward to at Road 2018.

In her booth, new and classic Latifah Saafir Studios patterns will be featured as well as her Hoffman fabric line. Latifah will also be demonstrating her “Clammy templates,” showing guests how easy it is to cut and sew all kinds of curved shapes.

Latifah is also curating the Special Exhibit, Expanding Tradition, which will be located at 713/717 during Road 2018. As Latifah commented, being “surrounded by quilts and quilters for a whole weekend—what could be better than that?!”

To learn more about Latifah Saafir Studios LLC, please visit the website.

 

Modern Quilting Unplugged

Modern Quilter and Founder of the Los Angeles Modern Quilt Guild, Latifah Saafir, presented a Lecture and Trunk Show during Road to California. She gave the history of Modern Quilting then shared some of her modern quilting work along with some insights on why modern quilting is unplugged i.e.; “cool, hip, original, fascinating, and likeable.”

The 2 A’s of Modern Quilting

Attitude and Aesthetic

One’s Attitude and Approach to modern quilting should be: “I don’t have to be perfect to start.” Never be afraid to try. With Latifah’s first modern quilts, she followed a pattern.Latifah Saafir Modern Quilting

Experience brought confidence, where today she makes her own designs. Latifah’s signature pattern is the Glam Clam: clam shells blown up to 12 inches.

The Aesthetic of Modern Quilting has distinct qualities that incorporate:

Functionality – Made to snuggle, give as a gift or as artwork

Asymmetry

Reinterpreted Traditional Designs- Take traditional blocks and motifs and mixes it up

Minimalism and Simplicity – which are harder to designLatifah Saafir Modern Quilting

Negative Space

Modern Art and ArchitectureLatifah Saafir Modern Quilting

Improvised yet Intentional Construction

Bold colors, on-trend color combinations, and graphic printsLatifah Saafir Modern Quilting

Gray and White is neutral

Incorporates Solids – cheaper to use and can better express the quilter’s voice

Binding can also be used to frame the quiltLatifah Saafir Modern Quilting

When quilting her own quilts, Latifah shared that she “loves walking foot quilting” with her domestic machine. She encouraged the guests that they “can do it” too. Her tips for walking foot quilting: “Be Conscious. Take Breaks. Have your machine on a table.”

In the end, Latifah pointed out, modern quilting is like all quilting: “cutting fabric and sewing it together like everyone else.”

   

 

Meet Latifah Saafir And Modern Quilting

Starting off Road to California 2017’s Special Events was a Lecture and Trunk Show featuring Latifah Saafir, modern quilter, pattern designer, and founder of the Modern Quilt Guild.

Her special presentation was held Tuesday evening, January 17th at the Ontario Museum of History and Art in conjunction with the exhibit being held there, Modern Quilts Redesigning Traditions.  

The lecture began with Latifah giving a brief history on how the modern quilting movement began in 1998 when it became “cool” to use solid fabrics again. Quilters Gwen Marston and Nancy Crow

along with the Quilters of Gee’s Bend and Yoshiko Jinzenji,

were some of the artists that championed the return to using solid fabrics. The first modern quilt book was published by Weeks Ringle and her husband Bill Kerr also around 1998.

Latifah shared that she “always loved quilts.” While she learned how to quilt from her mother when she was 6 years old, when Latifah got her first sewing machine at age 10, she sewed mostly garments. At age 15, she checked out quilting books from the library. Their designs were basically the traditional, Amish quilt kind. In 2008, Latifah saw her first modern quilt and said to herself, “I can do this.”

About the same time Latifah made her first modern quilt, the modern quilting community was also getting started. First, an informal Flickr Group was formed in 2008 to share digital images of the work being created by modern quilters. It was an instant hit among younger quilters. Then, after the Long Beach Quilt Show in 2009, Latifah started the Los Angeles Modern Quilt Guild with 25 members.

Other areas around the world wanted to duplicate what the LAMQG started and today there are over 100 guilds worldwide.

It’s been almost 10 years since the modern quilting movement began. When asked where does Latifah see the future of modern quilting going, she replied, “Who knows–!!” One thing is for sure: the interest and skill level in modern quilting continues to increase.

Jan has been a modern quilter for 7 years and belongs to the Temecula Valley Modern Quilt Guild. She was attracted to modern quilting because it is “non-judgmental.”  She is self-taught, doesn’t use a pattern and just “figures things out.”

(ltor) Sharon and Jan

Sharon came from Los Angeles and has been quilting just 6 months. She takes classes with Jan. She started quilting after she retired from nursing and has made one baby quilt. She heard about the lecture through Road’s social media and was interested in learning more about modern quilting.

Debbie, Maria, and Pat all belong to the Inland Empire Modern Quilt Guild. The guild was started in September 2016 by a group of friends and now has 20 members. They came to the lecture and trunk show because they are big fans of Latifah.

Even long-time quilters are turning to modern quilting. Denise lives in Orange County, California and has been quilting for over 30 years. She considered herself a “traditional, Quilt-in-a-Day quilter” and fell into modern quilting because she wanted to do something “different, new, refreshing and colorful.”

Latifah’s signature “Glam Clam”– clam shells blown up.

Latifah hopes modern quilting will continue to inspire quilters to take ownership for their work and most of all, that it will inspire a new generation of young sewers.

Meet Road 2017 Faculty And Vendor: Jessica VanDenburgh

Jessica will be teaching on Thursday and Friday evening, 4561C  Stitch Sling Bagsling-bag

and on Saturday night, 6065C  Diva Walletprima-diva-clutch-wallet

This native New Yorker, Jessica VanDenburgh of Sew Many Creations, has always loved to sew and discovered quilting about 10 years ago.  She started making bags around the same time using her quilting fabric and tools.  Her friends and family loved the bags she made so much that she began selling them as a small side business.  Within a few years, the business grew so much that Jessica couldn’t keep up with the demand. She decided to try selling the patterns instead of the finished bags. According to Jessica, “it was a wonderful switch, much more rewarding and less stressful.”  A couple years later, she designed her first quilt pattern and the rest “as they say is history.”jessicavandenburghheadshot

What does Jessica like most about her business, Sew Many Creations? “The fabric!  I just can’t get enough!” Jessica is inspired to design more patterns because of the beautiful fabrics available.  She loves how fabric speaks to her and tells her what to make it into.

Jessica “absolutely” loves to teach. To her, “there’s no better feeling than to see someone accomplish something they didn’t think they could do and know that you helped them do it.”  Bags are Jessica’s favorite because they tend to have a reputation of being difficult but she breaks it down into easy steps. The Stella Sling bag is the perfect purse size with lots of pockets and includes Jessica’s favorite – a recessed zipper.  The Prima Diva wallet also has lots of pockets and a beautiful metal frame closure.

Jessica hopes her students learn that bags are not as hard as they might have thought.  They should be prepared: Jessica likes to have fun and laugh a lot during class.  And she gives lots of tips and tricks.

In addition to teaching her classes, Jessica and Sew Many Creations will have a vendor booth featuring lots of patterns, purse hardware, fat quarters, 1 yard cuts and bag kits.syracuse-2016

What is Jessica looking forward to when attending her first Road to California? “Meeting lots of new people.  That’s always the best part of being at a quilt show.” And to this New Yorker, coming to California in January “sounds pretty good too!”

To learn more about Jessica and Sew Many Creations, follow her on Facebook, Pinterest, or Twitter.

Meet Road 2017 Faculty: Amanda Leins

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!

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)

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 Faculty’s Three Sisters

When you sign up for these classes, you get to enjoy the expertise of the three sisters behind Sew Kind of Wonderful and their Quick Curve RulerHelen Robinson, Jenny Pedigo and Sherilyn Mortensen.

Wednesday Evening: 3064C  Mini Kitesmini-kites

Friday Evening:  5070C Mod Pineapplesmod-pineapples

Helen Robinson, Jenny Pedigo, and Sherilyn Mortensen are three of four sisters that share their love of quilting through their business, Sew Kind of Wonderful. Currently, they live in three different states:  Sherilyn in Cedaredge, Colorado; Jenny in Everett, Washington; and Helen in Mesa, Arizona. Between them they have 14 children, 3 grandchildren, and 2 dogs.

(l-r) Helen, Jenny, and Sherilyn

(l-r) Helen, Jenny, and Sherilyn

How did these three sisters get started in quilting? About 20 years ago, Helen taught herself to quilt from a Fons and Porter book when she had to teach an after school sewing/quilting class to junior high students. She taught Jenny how to quilt soon after that.  At about the same time, Sherilyn was teaching herself because she wanted a big quilt for her bed.

Helen, Jenny, and Sherilyn’s quilts mostly have a modern feel. They find inspiration for their designs in everyday objects: patterns in floor tiles, weaving, nature, and also through a desire to challenge themselves to go to a different place than the usual.helen-robinson

Their business, Sew Kind of Wonderful, began with Jenny’s brain child, the Quick Curve Ruler. She wanted it to be a family affair that would give the three of them a chance to see each other more often as none of them (and their other three siblings) live close to each other.quick-curve-ruler

All three sisters are equally involved in the design, piecing, and quilting process.  They have a constant group text running and lots of FaceTime.  Jenny manages the distributor orders.  Helen does the online store and wholesale orders, and Sherilyn does the blogging and trunk shows.

Of course, the Quick Curve Ruler and the QCR Mini Ruler are their favorite quilting tools.  They haven’t sewn a quilt without a curve in five years because their Quick Curve Ruler made quilting fun again!  Each sister also has a longarm — a Gammil Classic – that they love.  It allows them to do the whole creative quilt process from design, fabric selection, piecing and finishing it off with the quilting.

Teaching classes together says Helen “is the cherry on top” because they get to see quilters when they have their ‘lightbulb’ moment; when the methods and processes they use click and their students fall in love with sewing curves. Helen adds that the sisters ‘have a great time being together!  It is the best part of our business.   If you spend any amount of time with us there is way too much conversation about ‘gluten free’ and ‘bathroom issues’….LOL”

What can their students expect to get out of their classes? “Lots of energy, conversation, hands-on help, and uniquely different snacks,” reports Helen. “We want students to enjoy a no stress approach to quilting and piecing curves.  There are not any quilt police that will knock on your door at 11 pm and tell you you did it wrong.  Enjoy the quilting process.”

Besides teaching their classes, you will also find Helen, Jenny, and Sherilyn during the show in their vendor booth for Sew Kind Of Wonderful.  helen-robinson2

To learn more about Sew Kind of Wonderful and the Quick Curve Ruler, visit their website.

 

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.

 

 

So You Want To Make A Winning Quilt- 1st Place Modern Piecing

Rebecca L. Smith of Rapid City, South Dakota won $1,000 from sponsor Clover USA for winning 1st Place for Road 2016 Modern Piecing.

Modern Medallion

Modern Medallion

Rebecca L. Smith says she was “very fortunate” to have had a grandmother that quilted who patiently taught her to hand piece and quilt many years ago. Rebecca added, “I miss her every day.”null

Modern Medallion was started in 2014 and finished in 2015, taking 60-70 hours to quilt. The quilt was inspired by Rebecca’s rather large collection of beautiful gradated fabrics and from the interesting curved patterns from Sew Kind of Wonderful. She said she learned a lot about curved piecing on this project.  The quilting on Modern Medallion is mostly free hand.

What did Rebecca think about winning 1st place for Modern Piecing? She was ‘so excited” when she found out and was pretty sure she spent her prize money on buying more fabric.

Rebecca is hoping that her future quilting endeavors will challenge her to design an original pattern for her next quilt .

Meet The Friendship Square Quilt Guild

When friendship is in the name of your guild, you know that there is a lot more than quilting going on each month.4c7ff3_114e218c07a242a086c28837df35789a-mv2_d_2744_2787_s_4_2

The Friendship Square Quilt Guild was started in 1981 when a group of women in the Whittier, California area wanted to get together to share their love of quilting. Today, with over 120 members, the guild meets monthly, sponsoring  guest speakers on both traditional and modern quilting. Every other year, the guild holds a quilt show at the La Habra Community Center. Their next show is scheduled for March, 2018.

At Road 2016 showing off their Opportunity Quilt

At Road 2016 showing off their Opportunity Quilt

The friendship activities that the guild is most proud  of is their community and philanthropic outreach. One of their longstanding projects is with Quilts for Wounded Veterans. Members work together on red, white and blue themed quilts quilts that is part of a nationwide effort to thank wounded veterans for their service.  The Marine Corps Family Foundation distributes the quilts to the Veterans Hospital at Camp Pendleton.118

Another adopted organization is From Maddi’s Closet which is dedicated to the memory of little Madison Holmes, whose brief life touched so many and continues to inspire others to reach out to children and families who still struggle in search of a cure for pediatric cancer. Guild members make pillowcases and Beads of Courage Bags for children undergoing treatment for cancer.  The Beads of Courage Bags are used to store the beads they receive for their courage in undergoing treatment. Pillow casesEach December at the guild’s holiday meeting, local non-profit agencies are honored and receive a donation from the guild along with quilts to be used in their programs. Agencies honored last December included  Women’s and Children’s Crisis Center, St. Matthaias Episcopal Church, Interfaith Food Center, Salvation Army Transitional Living Center, Rosie’s Garage, and From Maddi’s Closet453

Friendship Square Quilt Guild is so much more than a love of quilting. It is reaching out in friendship to those less fortunate, providing them warmth and security through quilting.

To learn more about the Friendship Square Quilt Guild, please visit their website.

 

Road 2016’s Top Modern Quilt

Modern Mojo Two was made and quilted by Linda M. Thielfoldt of Troy, Michigan. Linda received a $5,000 award for Best Modern Quilt from sponsor Riley Blake Designs.Outstanding Modern QuiltWhen Linda Thiefoldt was 12 years old, she tried her hand at quilting for the first time. Her sister was having a baby and Linda wanted to make her a quilt.   It was an original design and tied with embroidery floss. Her winning quilt at Road 2016 has come a long way from that first simple quilt.

Modern Mojo Two was very special to Linda.  She had a bad ski crash and broke her ankle and shoulder.  It was very painful and she couldn’t quilt or sew for 6 months. It was a full 10 months before she was done with physical therapy.  There was a point where she thought she might never be able to machine quilt again. It was a very dark time for her.  Modern Mojo Two was the first quilt Linda made after her physical therapy where she felt like she was back. She had a lot of charity quilt practice but she felt her quilting was pretty awful due to her limited range of motion. Linda was fearful that she might never get back to competitive quilting again. It took a long time as she could only quilt for an hour or so a day due to the lingering pain. The quilt was in the machine for 4 months.  Linda learned “that you have to make the most of every day and push harder through adversity.   Had I given up, which trust me I wanted to on many days, this quilt would have never come to fruition. It was a very humbling and soul searching time where I had only my faith to rely on. The thought of losing something so central to my life was very scary.”

The winning design was most influenced by the white fabric with the different sized dots she found. She had previously drawn out the stripes in the layout and was planning on doing some quilting in the background “white” space in a grid type format. But when she found that one print with the “spikey circle things,” the design changed and the spikes and circles really took center stage.

When Linda found out her quilt had won, she was “beyond thrilled.” Linda said, “I live in Michigan and I’m sure if you had been paying attention, you could have heard me squeal all the way to California.  I was stunned that this quilt which has so much meaning for me was chosen for this award and to make it to the “top tier” of awards was such a welcome. I have been competing a long time and have been blessed to have won many ribbons but this one by far has the most meaning to me.” Linda used some of  her prize money to pay off the balance on her embroidery machine and set the rest aside for a future longarm machine. LindaThielfoldt_headshotCropped

What is next for this modern quilt winner? Working on another modern quilt, of course. Even though she has been a traditional quilter all her life, Linda has found that she is most inspired by the open and negative space that is such a huge part of modern quilts.  Linda plans to keep the same name, developing a series: Modern Mojo One, Modern Mojo Two…..stay tuned.