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Judge’s Choice Winner Telene Jeffrey

Telene Jeffrey was awarded Judge’s Choice during Road@Home by Judge Jenny Bacon, for Pewter

Telene Jeffrey

Meet Telene Jeffrey

What sets Telene Jeffrey apart from the other entrants in the Road@Home Quilt Contest is that she was the only entrant from South Africa!!

Telene Jeffrey

Telene first learned how to sew from her mother when she was 6 years old. She didn’t start quilting until her late 20’s when she joined a beginner patchwork workshop at her parents’ sewing machine dealership. Telene was studying Interior Architecture at the time and taught basic sewing and lingerie classes at their shop on weekends and holidays. After completing her degree, working 7 years in corporate and getting married, when her son came along, Telene said goodbye to the corporate stress and demands. At that point, her parents’ shop was looking for a patchwork and quilting teacher to take things forward and Telene said, “Me!”

At that time, Telene Jeffey also began quilting for customers. She started her own business, opening her own “little quilt shop and studio” in 2014. That same year, Telene completed her South Africa Quilters Guild Quilt Teacher Accreditation Course and has been teaching across South Africa. Telene adds, “Though I am skilled in all things patchwork I started to develop a passion and ultimate obsession with free motion quilting in any format.”

Telene’s first show entry was in 2015. Her quilt won first place in its category at the South African National Quilt Festival (SANQF) and was also juried into and displayed at the Houston Quilt Festival that same year. Since then, she has earned many other quilting awards.

Making Pewter

Pewter came into existence because Telene Jeffrey happened to come across this “incredible fabric” in the dressmaking section of her local fabric store. Telene shared that she often goes “on a walk-about to find interesting fabrics and look for inspiration. When I got back home, I immediately quilted a sample piece to see how it would behave and the result gave me goosebumps as the quilted section looked just like the real metal pewter panels and artwork seen around. It also reminded me of tin ceiling panels and that is where the inspiration for the design came about.”

Telene Jeffrey

It took a total of 100 hours of work over a period of 2 years to make Pewter. An original design influenced by 19th century architectural designs, Pewter is all free motion quilting and ruler work done on a domestic sewing machine. It has a double layer of batting and a “beautiful ice dyed panel” by Debra Linker as the backing fabric. Pewter has a knife-turned edge done by hand and is finished off with a black and silver lace trim and black beads. The quilt also has some black beads on the inside frame.

Winning at Road@Home

Pewter was already a well-decorated quilt before coming to Road@Home. It placed at the South Africa National Quilt Festival in 2019 and was juried into the Paducah 2020 Show. Unfortunately, that show had to be cancelled due to Covid-19. Finally, Pewter also won first place in its category at the Virtual Quilt Show in December 2020.

Originally entered in the Road@Home category, Could Be Grandma’s Quilt, Pewter won the Judge’s Award from Jenny Bacon. Of her award, Telene said, “I am absolutely thrilled and honored that Jenny picked Pewter as her choice. I am familiar with her work since she also enjoys free motion quilting, especially in her abstract modern works.”

Telene felt that “It was a wonderful idea to host the Road@Home virtual show to keep us quilters going, give purpose, entertain, and educate during these uncertain times. I am sure we all long for the personal interaction again, but this format works well to keep us connected in the meantime. It also provides the abilities to reach large audiences and people across the world that would not have otherwise been able to attend the in-person shows. I really hope that some format of the virtual events will still be presented even when in-person shows can continue.”

The Future for Pewter and Telene Jeffrey

Telene’s focus for 2021 is “mainly teaching online and spreading the fmq love across the globe! I have taught several successful classes already via Zoom Live sessions with international attendance and this year there will be more to come.” She will also be working on new designs for her whole cloth pattern series, custom printed fabric panels with Honest Fabrics, stencils with Full Line Stencil Company, digital designs with Quiltable.com and her own range of bespoke merchandise.

As for Pewter, Telene would like to enter the quilt into the Houston Quilt Festival in 2021. It is currently hanging at Road to California Sponsor, Handi Quilter‘s Head Office in Salt Lake City, waiting in anticipation for entries to open. All other plans depend on what the pandemic has in store for all of us.

To learn more about Telene Jeffrey, please visit her website.

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