Tag Archives: Quilt Teacher

Meet Road 2018 Teacher Lee Chappell Monroe

Because color and value are a huge part of making a successful quilt, Lee Chappell Monroe incorporates these principles in to every class she teaches. Says Lee, “I try to intersperse color, piecing and quilting tips throughout my classes. It’s not just about learning how to make that one project, but expanding their quilting skills.”  All of Lee’s classes are very hands on. She wants all her students to have an enjoyable day and leave her class with lots of new knowledge, as well as a project they’re excited to finish.

Lee Chappell Monroe will be teaching four classes at Road 2018:

On Wednesday, 3019C  Understanding the Rainbow

Thursday, 4017C  Lulee’s Garden Quilt Pattern 

Friday, 5016C  Precision Piecing All Squared Up 

And on Saturday, 6014C  Blooming Dresdens   

Quilts are a big part of Lee’s life in Winston Salem, North Carolina. She lives in a “cute little 1929 cottage” that she loves spending time renovating and filling with quilts. Her “main partner in crime” is her pup, Mack the Chihuahua. He’s a frequent user of Lee’s quilts, taking daily naps on giant piles of quilts that Lee calls “Mount Mack.” And every year, Lee makes a quilt for her one and only “awesome” older brother.

Lee’s mother taught Lee to sew at a young age. A master garment maker and of all things, Lee refers to her mom as “The Guru.”  Lee says her mother felt sewing was an important life skill that everyone needs to master. Before quilting, Lee only sewed if she needed something. When she was moving into her first apartment, Lee wanted a patchwork quilt. She asked her mom to make it but she wasn’t interested so that was how Lee ended up making her first quilt, using her mother’s stash!!

Where does Lee find inspiration for her quilts? “Everywhere! From a walk through the neighborhood to a cool tile floor, I find inspiration all over the place. I’m never without a sketchbook.”

A lifelong learner, Lee says she loves to “take classes that are out of my comfort zone.” Once, she took a map improv class with Timna Tarr. It definitely was totally out of her comfort zone, but she loved it. She learns something new in every class she has ever taken.

On her blog, Lee has a series called Terrific Tip Tuesdays where she passes along things she has learned that makes sewing and quilting easier. One of Lee’s best tips is to label your batting scraps right after you cut one. Lee says, “You’re way more likely to use them if you just have to look at the label and grab it! It’s so simple, but makes a huge difference.”

What does Lee like most about teaching? “Seeing all the different interpretations of my patterns. I love to see how different the projects look with different fabrics. Plus, I get to meet so many amazing quilters! Teaching is my favorite part of my job!!”

To learn more about Lee, please visit her website.

 

Patriotism Runs Deep With This Road 2018 Teacher and Vendor

Deb Granger is all about patriotism and giving back.

She and her husband, Duane, own Freedom Star United, a quilt supply company featuring military and patriotic quilt fabric, kits, and patterns. They started their company in 2008 after she had lost her job. She knew she wanted her next venture to be something that “would make a difference.”

Why a military and patriotic theme? Because two of the Granger’s sons and one daughter-in-law have served in the Marines. In fact, Deb made her first quilt for one of her sons during his first deployment. Says Deb, “Our hearts are with the military.”

Michigan residents for the past 25 years, the Grangers are on the road most of the time, attending 30-35 quilt shows a year. “Road to California is our favorite,” said Deb. “The people are great.” Wherever they go, Deb and Duane are on the lookout for a veteran to give a patriotic quilt to. When they attended Road to California 2016, they resented a quilt to then 88-year-old Morrie Hegg from Apple Valley, California. The Grangers learned that Mr. Hegg was a World War II veteran, having served in the 11th Air Force Army Air Corp in Alaska. He came to Road 2016 with his wife and daughter who are both quilters.

Besides having a vendor booth, Deb will also be teaching a class on Monday:

1006C   Sewing Tool Caddy

One of Road 2018’s “non-quilting” classes.

Sewing machines for the class will be provided by Bernina.

Deb says she enjoys teaching and the “one on one time I spend with each of my students.” She believes her students will gain “confidence” if “they are willing to try.” Her word of sewing advice to her students? “Take your time.”

When Deb isn’t teaching or working in her vendor booth, she likes to spend time with her grandkids, bake, and run in half marathons. We hope our guests will run right over to Freedom Star United’s booth for an added boost of patriotism during Road 2018.

To learn more about Deb and Freedom Star United, please visit their website.

 

 

 

Meet Road 2018 Teacher/Vendor and Hurricane Harvey Survivor: Cynthia England

Cynthia England is an international fiber artist, pattern designer and author who is known for many things in the quilting industry:

She has won Best of Show at the International Quilt Festival in Houston 3 times. Her latest award-winning quilt was this past Spring for her work, Reflections of Cape Town

Her quilt, Piece and Quiet was distinguished as one of “The Twentieth Century’s Best Quilts.”

She owns England Design Studios, where she promotes a technique she has developed called Picture Piecing

And as of August 25, 2017, Cynthia England is survivor of Hurricane Harvey, the catastrophic storm that sent record breaking rainfall to southeastern Texas.

Cynthia has lived in Houston, Texas her whole life. She currently lives in Dickinson, Texas; halfway between Galveston and Houston. When Hurricane Harvey hit, Cynthia and her family were at home. She remembers, “We have a two-story house. My studio and our garages are on the lower floor and all of our living space is up above. We had 7 neighbors who had one story houses come and stay with us. We watched the storm from our deck up above; very scary. I live on a creek, but our house is built up high. We still got a foot of water in the downstairs area. At one point, there were minnows in my laundry room; very freaky.”

There was lots of discussion with Cynthia and her family whether or not to leave when the mandatory evacuation was called. In the end, they felt safe because they were up high. Her neighbor had a canoe tied to their post so they could get out if they had to. Two of the neighbors staying with them were elderly; one in her eighties; one ninety. They also had an engineer and a nurse with them. So, they felt that it would be best to ride it out. They never lost power and their water was fine.

Because she is “always a quilter,” (Cynthia has been quilting since she was 13), as she and her neighbors were waiting out the storm, Cynthia taught two of the ladies that were stuck at her house how to piece a lap quilt!! Cynthia related, “They are making a Texas charm quilt and were excited about it. It took their mind off of things. We all got to know each other better and I feel like I have made some fast friends. Nobody ever bitched, moaned or cried. They took the canoe to their houses and brought back food. We even had turtle cheesecake one night. They were awesome!”

How did Hurricane Harvey affect her quilts and her business? “All of my Horn sewing furniture is toast; sewing tables, cutting tables. I had 13 book cases that were ruined; file cabinets, computer desks. A lot of my booth supplies for quilt shows are ruined. I had time to move my fabric up, so I didn’t loose any bolts. Two were damp and I have washed them. About 20 yards of my personal stash got wet, but my friend helped me wash it and I am good there. I did have business files fall into water. All my sewing machines were taken upstairs and all my quilts are fine.”

Of her Hurricane Harvey experience, Cynthia says, “All in all, we feel extremely fortunate. Because we didn’t leave we were able to start cleaning up immediately. The water went down overnight. This has been an amazing experience. Not one I want to repeat, but this too shall pass.”

England Design Studios will have a booth at Road 2018 and Cynthia will also be teaching 2003C Sandy Shore on Tuesday at Road 2018.

Cynthia hopes her students realize “how much easier her technique, Picture Piecing, is than paper piecing. There is no paper to pick out.  You work on the right side of the fabric. If you don’t sew perfect, you remove the freezer paper and re-iron. Lots of cheating!”

We wish Cindy well as she continues her Hurricane Harvey recovery and look forward to seeing her at Road to California next January.

 

 

 

Meet Road 2018 Vendor And Teacher Lora Kennedy

“Life has a way of turning you upside down”

At least that ‘s what Lora Kennedy has experienced. At one point in her life, she found herself a single mom living 200 miles away from any family during a time that her father also passed away.  As time healed these wounds, Lora married again and her new husband brought her back home to Smithboro, Illinois, five miles from the home she grew up in and where her mom still lives.

Lora and her mother, Virginia

Lora had previously worked with her mom, Virginia, in her mother’s custom drapery business. When Lora returned to Illinois, her mother had opportunities come her way that led her to buy a Nolting long arm quilting machine and open a small fabric shop on her farm. Lora fell in love with long arm quilting and has been doing it since 2005.  After a couple of years, they outgrew the shed and moved their business, Farmland Quilting & Embroidery, to town.  It was there, during a class they were teaching, that their featured product, Stable Piecing™ was born.

That was 10 years ago.  Since that time,  Stable Piecing™ has grown “tremendously.”   Designing, making samples, writing patterns, doing shows & teaching has taken Lora and Virginia around another corner that has included moving the retail location and their work back to the farm.

The newest Stable Piecing™ release is due at the time of Road to California 2018 so their booth will be featuring this new product at the show.

In addition to working in her Farmland Quilting and Embroidery vendor booth, Lora is also scheduled to teach four evening classes at Road 2018:

Wednesday: 3062C  Twisted Log CabinThursday: 4062C   Pineapples Galore

Friday: 5065C   Drunkards Path

and on Saturday: 6063C   Storm at Sea

Lora loves to teach because she gets “to see the students get to that moment where they all of a sudden get the idea and then the creative ideas start rolling.  I want my students to learn a new skill, or revisit an old one in a new way and then be able to use that in whatever they want, however they want.”

What is Lora’s best quilting tip? “To take time to do something for yourself.  Take time to just play and not expect any sort of outcome.  Just be creative and see where it leads you.”

To learn more about Lora and her company, Farmland Quilting & Embroidery, visit their webiste and Facebook Page.

Meet Road 2018 Teacher Cindy Seitz-Krug

Cindy Seitz-Krug will be teaching 4013C  Gorgeous Gridded Quilting Level 1 on Thursday

and 5601C  Fabulous Trapunto Wallhanging on Friday and Saturday

Cindy Seitz-Krug specializes in using a home sewing machine for her heirloom quilting. She owes her love of quilting to her mother. When she was 28 years old, Cindy and her mom took a beginning quilting class, taught by Jenny Carr-Kinney, at the community college in Ventura, California. After that class, Cindy says, “I was completely hooked on quilting.” Unfortunately, today, Cindy’s mom suffers from Alzheimer’s and doesn’t remember that she “used to be quite the quilter.” Luckily for Cindy, both of her half-brothers’ wives quilt, so she is still able to quilt with some family.

An author and award-winning quilter, Cindy won $1,500.00 for Excellence In Machine Quilting at Road 2017 for her quilt, Blush. A wholecloth quilt, Cindy said that her biggest challenge was finding “just the right balance of larger motifs that will dazzle, and subtle but beautiful backgrounds to make the main motifs pop, and also make the viewer delight in the detail.”

Cindy says she gets inspiration for her quilts from quilt shows.  “Seeing all those amazing quilts gets my wheels churning and gets me excited to create something beautiful of my own,” shared Cindy. She has also taken quilt classes from three different instructors that have had an impact on her quilting technique: Diane Gaudynski for Machine Quilting; Sally Collins for Piecing; and Elly Sienkiewicz for Applique.

What is the one quilting tool that Cindy can’t live without? “Well, I’d have to say a small, sharp pair of scissors, and a thimble (two tools).  And of course, my BERNINA.”

Cindy’s best quilting tip is to persevere if you really want to be able to do something.  “When people tell me, ‘I could never quilt like that!’, I say, ‘Yes you can; it just depends on how badly you want to do it.  If you want it badly enough, you can!’

What does Cindy like best about teaching? “I love when my students tell me that my classes are the best they’ve ever taken!  And amazingly, I hear that a lot.  It makes me puff up with pride!”

Cindy hopes that after her students leave her classes that “they will feel empowered and confident in their ability to quilt their own quilts beautifully.”

In addition to her quilting, Cindy enjoys hunting and fishing in the Rocky Mountains. She holds a Bachelor of Science degree from Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo, in Environmental and Systematic Biology, with a concentration in Fisheries Biology. For more than 20 years, Cindy and her husband owned their own aquaculture facility in Bakersfield, CA, raising catfish for sale to grocers and restaurants. They recently sold their fish farms and relocated to the White Mountains of Arizona.

To learn more about Cindy, please visit her website, Quintessential Quilting.

So You Want to Make a Winning Quilt-  Outstanding Innovative Quilt

REBORN was the 2017 Road to California Outstanding Innovative Quilt winner.   Made and quilted by Molly Y Hamilton-McNally, Molly received $5,000 from sponsor, SewBatik.

Molly Y Hamilton-McNally is a familiar winner at Road to California. In 2012, she won Best of Show for Everlasting Bouquet, a quilt she made and that was quilted by Cindy Seitz-Krug.

Fear, loneliness and deep depression brought Molly to quilting in 2000 when she was diagnosed with cancer and later her mother and husband passed away. Molly realized that she had to find some way to bring her back to the light. An acquaintance encouraged Molly to take a class in basic quilting. Unexpectedly, she found herself developing a passion for this art form.

Now remarried, life is bright again for Molly. Reborn depicts the rising of the ancient phoenix and represents Molly’s rebirth as well. 

It took Molly roughly 1-½ years (the equivalent of 1600 hours) to make Reborn. Molly enjoyed the opportunity to continue to improve her abilities using her favorite technique, needle-turn reverse applique.

What was Mollie’s reaction when she heard she had won Outstanding Innovative Quilt? She says she was appreciative and happy. Also, she was pleased to have been honored by Road to California and gratified that her hard work had paid off. She plans to use part of her prize money to help pay off her longarm machine.

What does Molly’s quilting future hold for her? Molly wants to continue designing large, award winning quilts as well as small quilts which she will use to teach others her techniques.  To learn more about Molly, please visit her website.

Outstanding Art Quilt – Road 2017

Emma in the Looking Glass was made and quilted by Lenore Crawford who won $5,000 from sponsor, Handi Quilter.Winning Quilt by Lenore Crawford

Lenore Crawford is no stranger to Road to California. She has been a member of the teaching faculty in the past and in 2014, she won in the same category, Outstanding Art Quilt, for her work, Capturing Brittany.

Lenore started quilting in the late 1990’s using 2” fabric squares as her art medium in the watercolor quilting style.  She created impressionistic art quilts with the squares.  Up until that time, she hadn’t done any quilting; just lots of other things with different mediums.

What inspired Lenore to create Emma in the Looking Glass? Lenore along with her friend, her friend’s daughter and granddaughter were visiting Lenore’s mother’s gardens where there is a beautiful lily pond that Lenore’s step-father had built.  Emma, the granddaughter, was playing around the pond when Lenore took her picture.  It was a beautiful sunny day in mid-summer and Lenore was “really inspired by the whole scene.”

Lenore spent several months in the winter of 2016 creating Emma in the Looking Glass.  It was one of the very first quilts Lenore had done of a person using her fusing technique.  The most difficult part was finding the perfect flesh tone fabrics which in the shadows and water were very purple.  Lenore ended up using her fabric paints and painting the colors and values of fabrics that she needed for them.

When Lenore found out she had won, she thought that it was “very exciting to win a prize like this!  I like to have my art quilts in large shows so others can see what can be done with fabric.  If I win a prize that is the icing on the cake!” She is planning to use her prize money toward the purchase of a new car where she can “enjoy it every day!”

What does the future hold for Lenore? She has already finished a large piece this past winter that she plans to enter either in 2018 or 2019 at Road to California.  She loves to have a large piece in the works.  For Lenore, the larger the piece the more detail she can add to it which “makes it all the more fun!”

We can’t wait to see what Lenore has created next!!

To learn more about Lenore, please visit her website.

 

Meet Road 2017 Vendor and Teacher: Janna Thomas

A Thanksgiving dinner in 2006 is what got Janna Thomas started with her business, 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

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 Father/Daughter Teachers: John Flynn and Kate Flynn Nichols

John and Katie will both be teaching Tuesday classes.  

John will be teaching 2003C  Double Wedding Ring2003c  and Kate will be teaching   2004C   Storm at Sea2004c-2In addition, Kate will be teaching a Friday night class5061C   Half Rail Fence

5061c

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.

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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 and kevin

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