Sweet Quilts – Zero Calories

by Mary Beth Krapil

I’m hungry to share some of this collection that was on display at the Original Sewing and Quilt Expo last week in Lakeland, FL. A group of sweet quilts, and like the sign says, “Zero calories”! This special exhibit is the result of a juried and judged challenge issued by Wisconsin Public Television with Nancy Zieman Productions in conjunction with the 2018 Quilt Expo in Madison, Wisconsin.

The variety of techniques and materials used was delightful!

 

Katherine used raw edge applique and the chef’s hat and apron are 3 dimensional. She employed fabric covered pipe cleaners for the chef’s hair and the stars are made from glow in the dark fabric.

Galactic Goodies
by Katherine Dossman
Belton, Texas

 

Marianne used creamy fabrics, lace and luscious trimmings to create her delicious looking cake.

I Do…Love Fabric
by Lois Knaack
Beaver Dam, Wisconsin
quilted by Marianne Belier

 

Phyllis added sparkly gold candles and shiny pearl buttons to make her birthday cake shine.

Birthday Cake
by Phyllis Campbell
Rockford, Illinois

 

Linda celebrates cupcakes with her quilt and rows of colorful cherries to salute!

Mega Cupcakes with Saluting Cherries
by Linda Marcangelo
Oak Park, Illinois

 

Renate is honoring her parents and German heritage and traditions with her sweet quilt. Her father was a pastry chef who would bring home an assortment of pastries on Sunday afternoon.

Sunday Afternoon Coffee
by Renate Diedrick
Green Bay, Wisconsin

 

Bonnie took fabric and lace from wedding gowns and satin from a gown for the binding. The cake topper is a wedding veil!

Let Them Eat Cake
by Bonnie Zahnow
Cedarburg, Wisconsin

 

Gloria managed to take all the guilt away! She used her vast collection of food themed fabrics. What a great way to get your “5 a day”.

All Major Food Groups in One Birthday Cake
by Gloria Welniak
Cottage Grove, WI

 

Deb wanted to create movement in her quilt, so she had some of her cupcakes tumble from the old-time carnival glass cake stand.

Oooops!
by Deb Kipp
Gillette, Wyoming

 

Laurie’s quilt really made me smile with her pin-up girl complete with tattoo. (It says, “Bake Gluten Free”.) She found fabric with baking words for her dress. The quilt is embellished with loose glitter, nail polish, donut themed buttons, silk flowers, rick-rack, bugle beads, fabric marker and a vintage earring!

Cupcake Betty
by Laurie Ceesay
Menominee, Michigan

 

Birgit’s sweet twins were created with pen and ink sketching on cotton, then colored with colored pencils, paint and markers. Everything was assembled on the background, then thread painted.

Baking Us Some Mischief
by Birgit Ruotsala
Green Bay, Wisconsin

 

Lori’s modern quilt honored the tools used to create our sweet treats. The whisk was made with hand sewn 1/8th inch bias tape and the rest is machine pieced.

Tools of the Trade
Lori Schloesser
Watertown, Wisconsin

 

Yummy!

2019-03-22T09:40:15-06:00March 22nd, 2019|Categories: Uncategorized|0 Comments

Getting to Know Stuart Hilliard, Handi Quilter International Ambassador

by Mary Beth Krapil

 

Stuart Hillard is a quilt designer, maker, and home décor expert and a Handi Quilter international ambassador. He has more than twenty-five years’ experience and hundreds of published patterns to his name. His approach is fun and fresh, inclusive, and achievable. Stuart is the star of BBC Two’s “The Great British Sewing Bee“.  His first book, Sew Fabulous, was published in August 2014 by Orion. His latest book, Use Scraps, Sew Blocks, Make 100 Quilts, was published by Pavilion and he has a new book coming out in August called, Simple Shapes, Stunning Quilts, also published by Pavilion.

 

I visited the UK recently and sat down with Stuart to get to know him a little better. Here’s what he had to say:

HQ: What does being an HQ Ambassador mean to you?

SH: It’s a massive honor and a thrill of course.  The very first time I tried longarm quilting on a Handi Quilter frame I was completely hooked. The ease, the comfort and the endless creative possibilities were apparent the moment I grasped the handles!  You could say it was love at first stitch!  I’ve always cherished the quilt making process from start to finish but as a magazine columnist with four columns to produce every month and the author of three quilting and sewing books, the pressure is always on to make quilts that are beautiful but can be turned around quickly!  I’m also a TV presenter on both live and pre-recorded television and my Handi Quilter enables me to produce a vast array of samples with ease.  Working with my Handi Quilter Avante and Pro-Stitcher allows me to create beautiful, professional quilts in a fraction of the time it would usually take and I get to inspire more quilters than I ever dreamed possible.

HQ: How did you get started in quilting?

SH: I was a very early adopter!  I learned hand piecing when I was a little boy at school. Hexagons and log cabins mostly. Very traditional stuff which is still where a lot of my passion lays. I’ve been making quilts for 41 years now and I haven’t run out of ideas yet!  That’s what’s held my interest for so long, the shapes, the blocks, the fabrics and styles are ever changing and becoming fresh again but the elements that make up my quilts have remained the same.   I didn’t “quilt” anything by machine until I was in my 20’s and took a class.  I was given two options: “in the ditch” with a walking foot or “free motion meander”.  The free motion won and I’ve loved bringing a quilt to life with quilting ever since.

HQ: How would you describe your style of quilting?

SH: I’m definitely eclectic and inclusive in my approach.  There really isn’t a technique or style I haven’t tried and I love having a vast “tool-box” of skills to draw on whenever I need it.  I’m definitely a piecer but I love to applique too and combining them both in one quilt is about as close to perfect as I think you can get.  I love the traditions that our craft is based upon but I also love the innovations and ever changing boundaries.  I can’t wait to see what happens to quilting in the next 10 years!  When it comes to quilting my quilts, possibly the greatest asset I have in my Handi Quilter longarm is the Pro-Stitcher. The majority of my quilts for books and magazine publication are quilted with an edge to edge design.  I love scouring my library to find a design that will harmonize perfectly with my top, but not only that, I can alter the density of the design to perfectly complement my quilt. The thread weight and color too to create something that will truly inspire other quilters to get their fabrics out and start cutting!

HQ: What is the most fun thing you have done as an Ambassador?

SH: I just can’t wait to finish a quilt top these days. I’ve always loved the quilting process but now it’s painless, easy, dynamic and fun. The magic happens right before my eyes and there’s no “down side” anymore.  I get to meet thousands of quilters every year at shows and sharing our quilty passions is pretty hard to beat.

HQ: Of all your quilts, which is your favorite?

SH: That would be like choosing a favourite child, but if pushed, I would say that my favourite quilt is always the one I’m working on right now but ask me tomorrow and everything could have changed!

HQ: Do you still have your first quilt?

SH: My first quilts are all long gone I’m afraid, although I can still picture the little hand pieced hexagons I spent hours sewing together.  I hope those memories never fade!

HQ: Who is your inspiration/muse?

SH: My inspiration isn’t one person, it’s many. I’m inspired by, and design for, the thousands of quilters I meet in person or online every year. They’re the quilters who want to make a special something to wrap their son or daughter in when they leave for college, or their new grand babies; the quilters who have a precious few hours once a week to do the thing they love so much and need a bit of inspiration.  I listen and I hear the voices of those quilters when I’m designing and making my next project. I hope I fulfill at least some of their desires. That’s my intention anyway!  I also take a huge amount of inspiration from fabric and nature…there are patterns and color combinations all around us, we just have to see them!

HQ: Of all the “tasks” in creating a quilt, which is your favorite and least favorite?

SH: Bringing ideas to life is the very best part of quilt making; whether that’s choosing fabrics, piecing blocks, turning a flat quilt top into a quilt with beautiful stitching and thread, or even sewing on the binding. There’s nothing that doesn’t give me pleasure.  I don’t like making hanging sleeves or sewing them on..it’s such a small thing in the great scheme of things but most of my quilts are minus a sleeve…oops!

HQ: Do you have any other hobbies or interests?

SH: Teaching in one form or another has always been my job. Now it’s really a very enjoyable hobby and I get to hang out with my quilty friends and share ideas and skills.   When I’m not sewing I love to knit (I’ve been doing that since I was 3 years old). And I also spin yarn on a wheel. It’s kind of my meditation!  I love to cook British classics, like roast beef with Yorkshire puddings and steak and kidney pies!  I love my garden but I’m more motivated to grow fruit and veggies than flowers. Travel is a huge passion of mine.  I visit Asia and Australia most years but so far my trips to the US have been a bit limited.
HQ: Thank you Stuart for spending time with me.  We all hope that you will put the U.S. and Handi Quilter in your travel plans soon. Many thanks to your photographer, Rachel Whiting, for the fantastic photos of your quilts.
Follow Stuart on Facebook here.
Instagram – @stuarthilliardsews

 

2019-03-12T16:04:14-06:00March 15th, 2019|Categories: Uncategorized|0 Comments

New! Pro-Stitcher Premium update with Opti-Stitch!

by Johnny Barfuss and Mary Beth Krapil

As some of you may have noticed, we released a new version of our Pro-Stitcher software recently. You can find it here. It was released as Beta Premium version 00.00.2378. We made a video explaining the newest features and we will share those features here as well.

What does Beta mean? A “beta version” of software means it is still in testing and development, usually for a limited number of people. At Handi Quilter we have a team of engineers who develop the software, as well as a team of people who test it. We released this latest update as a beta version because wanted to get it onto the machines of the people who will be using it most, our customers, so that we could get your feedback. Remember, you can always rollback to a previous version if you find you are having difficulties.

New Features

Opti-Stitch: This feature automatically calculates the speed and acceleration to match a chosen design and responds with optimal stitch performance. With Opti-Stitch your Pro-Stitcher will smoothly slow down and speed up, in and out of corners and curves. Designs will stitch out with improved accuracy – even with the most intricate patterns.

Manual control of speed and acceleration:  You’ll have more control, so that you can modify performance if necessary. That means you can get the most accurate stitch from your machine and your chosen designs. The default is set for an Acceleration of 40 and Speed Percent of 100. Control these by pressing the customize button and setting each to whatever you desire.

 

Basting stitch button: When you select the baste button, you can adjust the size you prefer for your basting stitches. Then, every time you want to baste, you can simply click the button on the screen and toggle back and forth between basting and regular stitching.

 

You can also assign this button as one of your favorites on the left side of the screen. It will always be at your fingertips!

Motors locked or unlocked at the end of a pattern: This is something many of our quilters have been requesting. It makes tie-offs and transitions faster and easier. This can be changed in the settings tab > advanced button > general, then look in the side bar on the right.

Design Points view: When selected, this shows all of the design points of a pattern. It’s a new button on the ribbon under View. This will be especially helpful when selecting a new start or end point. You will be able to see exactly where the design will start to stitch after using Start Auto or End Auto.

 

Changes and Improvements

We have improved the integration of the Infinity thread cutter use at the end of a row or end of a pattern.

Simulation license will no longer be required. This will make it easier to load Pro-Stitcher onto another tablet or computer.

Some user-interface icons have been updated. We wanted to make a clear differentiation between the Information tab and the On-screen Help button (blue question mark) in the upper right hand corner. The icons chosen are more in-line with other user interface icons you’re accustomed to.

We rearranged the side bar on the right under the Modify tab > Align button. The “Center” tool is placed by itself (a more logical place). We also changed the layout of the sidebar under Modify tab > Rotate button to be more logical.

Under the Repeat tab the “Fit” tool on the sidebar is now called “Fill”. It functions the same, it’s just a more descriptive name for that tool.

We are super excited for this release and look forward to hearing your feedback. Please let us know what you think by using the form here.

2019-03-07T10:05:51-06:00March 8th, 2019|Categories: Uncategorized|0 Comments

Ruler of the Month Club 4 – You don’t want to miss this one!

by Mary Beth Krapil

Have you heard about the Ruler of the Month Club? We are on round 4 starting this month (January 2019)! The HQ Ruler of the Month club is a great way to challenge your quilting skills and build ruler work confidence. Each month in the six-month series features a debut acrylic ruler paired with mentorship from your local shop, step-by-step video instruction and design ideas. You get exclusive access to a brand new ruler, and at a discounted price! And you will receive a special club member gift.

You can get involved at your local HQ retailer shop and learn along with fellow quilters, or if you don’t have a nearby retailer you can participate by mail. You can find a participating retailer here. Simply add your zip code and check the box for Ruler of the Month. If you are too far away or cannot visit the shop, simply call one of the retailers closest to you and inquire whether they provide a “by Mail” option. Many (but not all) do.

I am writing about the HQ ROTM4 because it is really special! These rulers are something you have never seen before. You can create amazing, perfect designs with this new technique. Handi Quilter has teamed up with Leonie West to create these new exciting rulers and this round you will get your club gift first thing, since it is a tool you can use along with the rulers.

Here’s a preview of the rulers:

They look a bit strange, but you won’t believe the amazing things you can do with them!  Here’s just one example of a design created with January’s Ruler:

So COOL! and So Easy to do. I wish I could show you more because each design is cooler than the last. But that’s for club members only.

So take my word for it, you do NOT want to miss this ROM Club 4!

 

2019-01-21T09:21:57-06:00January 18th, 2019|Categories: Uncategorized|0 Comments

Quilting Makes the Quilt

by Mary Beth Krapil

They say that quilting makes the quilt. Sometimes, that is more true than others. Of course it’s very true in the case of a whole cloth quilt. After all, in a whole cloth quilt, quilting is all there is. A single piece of fabric for the quilt top, made fantastically beautiful by quilting.

At the 2018 Houston International Quilt Festival I saw some quilts that were technically not whole cloth quilts, there was some piecing and/or applique or painting or dying. However the quilting was certainly the star of the show on these quilts.

Pink Oyster Mushrooms was created with dyed and painted white cloth. The quilting created real depth and texture.

Pink Oyster Mushrooms by Sarah Ann Smith of Hope Maine

detail of Pink Oyster Mushrooms

 

This quilt is actually pieced! Karl used a single fabric, Quilter’s Linen. He carefully changed the direction of the fabric to provide subtle variation in color and texture. Quilted with silver circles and rays. The thread creates amazing highlights.

You’ve Got to Start Somewhere by Karl Burkett of Houston, Texas

detail of You’ve Got to Start Somewhere

 

There was a beautiful display of Cathy Wiggins lovely quilted leather made into saddles. Cathy uses paints and dyes after quilting the leather.

Red Roses of Texas by Cathy Wigginsnof North Carolina

Jackson’s Sunday-Go-to-Meeting Saddle by Cathy Wiggins of North Carolina

Bentley and Saddle by Cathy Wiggins of North Carolina

 

Stephanie used multi-colored threads to add depth and texture to this minimally pieced quilt.

Clyfford-Still Life by Stephanie Ruyle of Denver, Colorado

detail of Clyfford-Still Life

 

Cristina did not share what she used to create this adorable quilt. My guess is ink for the stripes on the bathing suit. What do you think?

The Jump by Cristina Arcenegui Bono of Alcala de Guadaira, Seville, Spain

detail of The Jump

 

This quilt definitely has some fantastic intricate piecing, but in my mind the star is Bethanne‘s wonderful pictorial quilting.

Into the Westward Sun by Bethanne Nemesh of Allentown, Pennsylvannia

detail of Into the Westward Sun

 

Another quilt with lovely piecing and over the top quilting. Sorry the detail photo I took was blurry.

Oh, My Bleeding Heart by Lisa H Calle of Pottstown, Pennsylvania

 

Vicki manipulated a photo of a Bird of Paradise bloom and then had it professionally printed on silk charmeuse. Her quilting creates the detail of the leaves and bloom.

Dancing Bird by Vicki Bohnhoff of Culver City, California

detail of Dancing Bird

 

This quilt was machine pieced and hand appliqued, but the dramatic use of contrasting thread really steals the show.

Blue Moon by Mary Lorenz of Austin, Texas

detail of Blue Moon

 

Here is one of my own. It was a challenge issued to the Handi Quilter Educators in 2015. It is a single friendship star block and I added quilting in a contrasting thread color along with some couched yarn.

Friendship star challenge by Mary Beth Krapil of Duncan, NC

 

You should add this to your list of quilts you want to make: a minimally pieced or appliqued quilt where quilting makes the quilt. Are you game?

 

2018-12-31T14:05:48-06:00January 12th, 2019|Categories: Uncategorized|3 Comments

Quilting Mistakes to Stop Making – Fast Five

by Mary Beth Krapil

This is the season of New Year’s resolutions and self-help advice. The time when we take stock and resolve to improve some area of our lives. The first step is to eliminate habits that are holding you back and quilting is no different. We can sometimes fall into bad habits that steal our success and joy in our quilting endeavors.

Here’s a fast 5 things to avoid while quilting, to improve your results and your quilting happiness.

No.1 – Looking at the needle when free motion quilting. You will get much smoother quilting lines and prettier designs if you look ahead to your goal rather than looking at the needle. It’s learning where to look that takes some thought and practice. Here’s some ideas to get you started. If you are quilting a zig zag design like this:

You start your line of stitching at 1, right away your eye should be on 2. When you reach 2, your eye goes to 3 etc……..

Or quilting clamshells.

Same thing. You start your line of stitching at 1, right away your eye should be on 2, the top of your clam, your goal. Your brain knows you are quilting a curve and you will quilt a nice smooth curve. If you look at the needle you try too hard and you will end up with wiggles. When you reach 2, your eye goes to 3 etc…….. To apply this to any design, break the design down into basic shapes, straight line, curve, S-shape, etc. Start at one end of that shape and the other end will be your goal.  Keep your eye on the goal!

No.2 – Putting items (scissors, marking tools, rulers, chocolate….) on the quilt. Or on the little area between the top pole and the belly bar (backing pole). This will distort your quilt. This is especially bad if you are a Pro-Stitcher user. Placing items on the little shelf between the top bar and the belly bar can be very dangerous! Those things can be forgotten and will slip between the layers of the quilt when you advance your fabric. It’s not fun to hit a pair of small scissors that are hidden beneath the top fabric. Or, as once happened to me, I managed to miss hitting the scissors only to discover them while applying the binding to the quilt! Get a tool tray to keep all those things handy, but off the quilt!

N0.3 – Using the wrong thread for the project at hand. There are so many threads to choose from. Why not take advantage of the one that will make your quilting be its best? The best tool for the job, as they say. For instance, stitch in the ditch on a quilt with high contrast between the fabrics.

Think, if you will, of a black and white checker board. What color thread would you choose to make your stitch in the ditch sink into the ditch? White will show on the black fabric, and black will show on the white fabric. Gray will show on both black and white. Give monofilament thread a try, it’s nearly invisible (which you will find when you try to thread your needle) (Small tip: take a sharpie marker and color the end of the thread, then you will be able to see it when you are threading the needle.)

That’s just one example. Take a bit of time to visit the Superior Threads website. There is a ton of information for you to learn about thread and you can see all the yummy thread possibilities. I’m sure you will get some ideas for your next project.

No.4 – Leaning on the poles while using Pro-Stitcher. When you lean against the poles of your frame you distort the fabric. So when you are creating an area for positioning your design or when you are doing your stitch-out, stay away from the poles. That slight movement of fabric can cause designs to not line up as perfectly as they should. Teach your family to never touch the frame while they watch your Pro-Stitcher at work too!

No.5 – Being overly critical of your work. We are all at different places in our quilting journey, beginner to advanced. When you finish a quilt, you can take a good look at your quilting and decide where you want to improve. Once you have set that goal, celebrate that you made the time to quilt (something you enjoy). Celebrate that the quilt is finished! Congratulate your self on small improvements.

Happy New Year!

 

2019-01-02T12:37:12-06:00January 5th, 2019|Categories: Uncategorized|7 Comments

Geometric Quilts

by Mary Beth Krapil

 

I saw quite a few quilts at the International Quilt Festival in Houston this year that were strikingly geometric. I know from my teaching travels and interacting with thousands of quilters all over the world, that quilters are not fond of math. But there is no getting around it. Math and Geometry play a huge part in quilts. Math is how we arrive at the beauty. Maybe you remember my post from a while back, Math or Art?  The more you know about the math behind the quilt, the better your quilts might become. There is a great post on the Quilt Pro blog about 3D quilts and understanding the concept of three dimensions (a little more math).

Or, maybe you just want to enjoy making and viewing quilts and let someone else worry about the math. So here are some markedly geometric quilts that I enjoyed. Maybe you will too. Many come from a Retrospective of Classical Quilts in a Modern Style by Brigitte Morgenroth.

The first quilt is a favorite tessellation. The name, Never Again – Or Maybe?, stems from Brigitte’s struggle with working with seven layers of fabric.

Nie Wieder – oder doch?
(Never Again – Or Maybe?)
by Brigitte Morgenroth of Kassel, Germany

detail of Nie Wieder – oder doch?

In the next example, I love how Brigitte used different sized triangles together. The same simple shape but differing sizes created motion in this piece.

Flammenmeer (Sea of Flames) by Brigitte Morgenroth of Kassel, Germany

Ocean Waves is another great tessellation quilt with palpable motion.

Meereswogen (Ocean Waves) by Brigitte Morgenroth of Kassel, Germany

detail of Meereswogen

This simple geometric shape, some call orange peel, used with the unique fabric and color gradations creates a soothing pleasing quilt.

Blauer Pfad (Blue Path) by Brigitte Morgenroth of Kassel, Germany

Can you feel the Autumn wind blowing these leaves? All created with triangles.

Wirbelwind (Whirlwind) by Brigitte Morgenroth of Kassel, Germany

detail of Wirbelwind

This quilt by Lisa-Marie Sanders has a striking 3 dimensional appearance with simple circles and only 2 colors.

Internal Combustion by Lisa-Marie Sanders of Cocoa Beach, Florida

This quilt by my friend, Jenny Bowker of Australia, creates depth and drama with simple triangles and expert color choices.

After the Last Sky by Jennifer Bowker of Garran, Australian Capital Territory, Australia

detail of After the Last Sky

 

You may not love math, but you gotta love the quilts! Which is your favorite?

 

2018-12-14T14:25:18-06:00December 29th, 2018|Categories: Uncategorized|9 Comments

Warm wishes and Cheer

by Mary Beth Krapil

 

However you celebrate at this time of year, we at Handi Quilter want to wish you all the best times.

 

We are looking forward to another great year of serving you. We love providing you what you need to finish more quilts; and it is our goal to equip, educate and inspire you in even better and more innovative ways in 2019. Thanks for making us a part of your creative life. Together we can make magic.

CEO Darren Denning with another guy whose job it is to make dreams come true

 

 

 

2018-12-20T20:17:42-06:00December 22nd, 2018|Categories: Uncategorized|1 Comment

The (Quilt) Faces of Houston

by Mary Beth Krapil

Autumn is a really busy season for a quilter. Lots of shows and quilting events happen in the Fall before the Holiday Season takes up all our time. I’m done with my travels for 2018, so I finally got time to share some of the quilts I saw at Houston.

These portrait quilts were amazing! And I found it interesting to see the varied techniques used in creating the quilts. This first quilt, Ruby by Roxanne Nelson of Calgary, Alberta Canada was likely my favorite of the entire show. The colors were vibrant and Roxanne captured the inner light of her subject, Ruby.  She used raw edge, fusible applique.

Ruby by Roxanne Nelson of Calgary, Alberta Canada

detail of Ruby

In contrast to the vibrant colors of Ruby, is A Bright Idea by Lynn Czaban of Eugene, Oregon. Lynn expertly used value in this monochromatic quilt that was created with fused applique and enhanced with thread, ink and water color pencil.

 

A Bright Idea by Lynn Czaban of Eugene Oregon

detail of A Bright Idea

Carol Morrissey of Double Oak, Texas created Kora with fused applique of hand dyed cottons, using simple circles of differing sizes, multiple colors and values. It reminded me of the tests that optometrists use to check for color-blindness, but much more fun!

Kora by Carol Morrissey of Double Oak, Texas

detail of Kora

Our very own Handi Quilter International Ambassador, Helen Godden, created this portrait, Lindsey, completely with couched yarn! Helen developed the couching foot for Handi Quilter. She sure put it to great use stitching the yarn in directional layers as if it were paint for this amazing portrait.

Lindsey by Helen Godden of Canberra, Australian Capital Territory, Australia

detail of Lindsey

Heidi Proffitty of Bridgewater, Massachusetts, created Is She Ready Yet? with a mosaic technique using a photograph.  There are over 5000 digitally cut and fused pieces on this quilt.

Is She Ready Yet? by Heidi Proffetty of Bridgewater, Massachusetts

detail of Is She Ready Yet?

Portraits don’t always have to be of people. It’s so easy to feel the emotion of Eternal Expectation. Lioudmila used machine applique, paint and thread painting to create the realistic depth in the fur.

Eternal Expectation by Lioudmila Malchow of Fort Laramie, Wyoming

Stay tuned for more quilts from the Houston International Quilt Festival!

 

 

2018-12-14T12:10:18-06:00December 15th, 2018|Categories: Uncategorized|1 Comment

Getting to know Telene Jeffrey, Handi Quilter’s newest International Ambassador

by Mary Beth Krapil

We would like to welcome our newest International Ambassador, Telene (Hester Helena) Jeffrey! Telene lives in Krugersdorp, Gauteng, South Africa. She is an amazing quilter, teacher and artist. She is an SAQG (South African Quilters Guild) Accredited Quilt Teacher after successfully completing the Teachers Accreditation Course.  Telene has won numerous prizes for her quilts and attained Master Quilter Status from the SAQG. She has proudly had a quilt juried into the IQA Houston Quilt Show 2016 where it was displayed in the exhibition.

Free motion quilting is Telene’s absolute passion, and she is a firm believer that everybody can quilt. Her goal is to inspire students to simply try, as she knows they will never look back!

We sat down with Telene and asked a few questions to get to know her a little better.

HQ: What does being an HQ Ambassador mean to you?

TJ: Simply put it means 2 immensely important things to me. Firstly, to be able to represent a phenomenal brand and fantastic products on an international level. Secondly, that this international organization recognizes my work as good enough to represent their brand.

It is an incredible privilege for me to work with Handi Quilter.  I specifically appreciate and admire their focus on education and training of quilters and not just the sales numbers. When I started quilting, I never ever thought, for one single moment, that I would venture into teaching quilting. Yet I now feel like it is part of my purpose on this earth. Sharing my gifts and skills and spreading inspiration is what I enjoy doing daily and to be recognized for those skills and gifts is extremely gratifying but also very humbling. Little me, way down here in South Africa…

For me to spread the quilting love, I need to work with a reliable product. One that can do what I want to do. One that does not fail me when it’s Sunday evening and the quilt is due on Monday morning. A brand that provides incredible back-up service should I run into a problem. A brand that listens to the needs of the consumer and happily develops products to suit those needs. A brand that constantly seeks to improve and provide the latest in technology.

Being a HQ Ambassador means I would hopefully be able to reach more people; Inspiring quilters of all walks of life, styles and places! I love it when a quilter has the ‘ah-ha!’ moment or as I call it: when-the-penny-drops-moment.

Of course, the HQ people are just incredible. I have been welcomed with open arms from the first day I met the South African Importer and Distributor, Claire Wallace, and the first time I had direct contact with Handi Quilter head office personnel at Houston Market 2017! I cannot wait to see what the future holds!

HQ: How did you get started in quilting?

TJ: I have been sewing since 1986 with my mother and because of a problematic overlocker, my parents ended up buying a sewing machine dealership instead of just a new overlocker! My mother discovered the world of quilting and subsequently arranged for 2 of South Africa’s top teachers, Wendy Burtenshaw and Susan Bornman, to teach a beginner sampler quilt in her shop back in 2000. I joined the workshop and that was that! I fell in love! Unfortunately, I didn’t get to make many quilts during my time in the corporate world, 2001 – 2009. In January of 2011 I took over the quilt teacher role at my parents’ shop and fully immersed myself in the quilting world.

HQ: How would you describe your style of quilting?

TJ: Feathered! Don’t you think we should start a new style called Feathered? 😊 I’m addicted to feathers. I think I would place my style as sometimes contemporary, not really modern nor completely traditional. Although I am happy to be called an artist, I don’t think I’m an art quilter. Well, maybe not yet! Certainly ornamental. Certainly NOT minimalistic. I struggle hard with quilting just a little bit. See, I think we need a new style name! So maybe the style “Ornamental” would be most appropriate to me.

HQ: What is the most fun thing you have done as an Ambassador?

TJ: Meeting my quilting idols and sharing silly moments of laughter with quilters from all over the world. It is in those moments that we discover the power of the global quilting community and share a common love of all things pretty.

HQ: Of all your quilts, which is your favorite?

TJ: My current favorite is my Dream Big quilt called ‘Ode to Kelly’. I initially wanted to do something completely different with my Dream Big panel and I designed 5 or 6 different options, but when it came down to picking my favorite design I kept going back to this feathered option in Kelly Ashton’s style of feathers in the petals. It just didn’t feel right to me to do something dramatically different. Kelly has inspired so many quilters across the world to have a go at the fabulous Dream Big Hoffman panel and I thought it fitting to dedicate my quilt to her. I also don’t get very many opportunities to quilt for myself and so this quilt is mine, ALL MINE! I do, however, have drastic plans for the next panel.

HQ: Do you still have your first quilt?

TJ: Yes, I do! It was the quilt I made in the sampler quilt class taught in my mother’s shop in 2000. My son loves to use it in winter time. I have wondered several times if I should put it on the frame and quilt some more, but then I won’t have a visual reminder of how far I have come.

HQ: Who is your inspiration/muse?

TJ: Everything. Everywhere. I have learned to really look at my surroundings, where ever I go, because inspiration is everywhere! I do however have several quilting idols that I look up to and continue to be inspired by;  Kimmy Brunner, Ricky Tims, Judi Madsen, Karen McTavish, Kathryn Harmer-Fox, Debra Linker, Carol Selepec, Sophie Standing, my 2 best friends Claire Wallace and Jane Renton, there’s too many to name them all.

HQ: Of all the “tasks” in creating a quilt, which is your fave and least favorite?

TJ: I totally LOVE free motion quilting! I LOVE machine work! I don’t particularly love piecing, not anymore. I don’t like handwork and I especially despise sewing/working away thread tails. Does that make me a bad person? 😊 But did I mention that I LOVE free motion quilting?

HQ: Do you have any other hobbies / interests?

TJ: Yes! Several actually!

I’m interested in quilting and sewing machines. I’m fascinated by quilting history. Creating quilting designs to free motion is one of my favorite down-time things to do. I really love taking photographs for quilting design or quilting project references and inspiration. Researching and experimenting with new techniques for quilt creations are also top of the list. Oh, and I like to read…fiction.

HQ: How can our readers get in touch with you?

TJ: You can find evidence of my quilting lifestyle on my:

website – www.ladyjanequilting.co.za 

Facebook page – https://www.facebook.com/ladyjanequiltingshop/ 

Instagram – @teleneljq

HQ: Thank you Telene! We are proud to announce that Telene will be our keynote speaker and guest teacher at Handi Quilter Academy in June 2019. What a great opportunity to take classes from this awesome teacher.

2018-11-27T13:03:03-06:00December 7th, 2018|Categories: Uncategorized|Tags: , , |3 Comments