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Handi Quilter Classes at Road@Home May

Friday, May 14th, 2021

Handi Quilter Classes at Road@Home May include the following Longarm Lecture/Demo classes, all taught by teachers who are National Educators with Handi Quilter:

On Friday:

F116 – Build Your Own Edge To Edge Design with Debra Brown

Handi Quilter Classes

F117 – Feathers, Feathers, Feathers! with Alllson Spence

Handi Quilter Classes

On Saturday:

SA115 – Using Rulers On A Longarm Machine with Debra Brown

Handi Quilter Classes

SA116 – Free Motion Quilting: The Five Basics with Allison Spence

Handi Quilter Classes

On Sunday:

SU116 – To Form A More Perfect Feather with Debra Brown

Handi Quilter Classes

SU117 – Free Motion Quilting – Beyond The Basics with Allison Spence

Handi Quilter Classes

SU120 – Fun Fills And Overall Quilting Designs with Megan Best

Handi Quilter Classes

In addition, Megan Best will be teaching this Hands-On Longarm Class on Sunday:

SU119 – Linework: A Modern Take On Longarm Quilting

Handi Quilter Classes

Handi Quilter

Since 1999, Handi Quilter has been a worldwide leader for longarm machines, for both stand-up and sit-down quilting.

It all began when the company’s founder, Laurel Barrus, was looking for a way to do her quilting at her family cabin. She couldn’t find what she was looking for – a portable quilt frame that could be used with her home sewing machine. Laurel came up with a prototype and took it to the International Quilt Festival in Houston. On the first day of the festival, she called her fabricators and told them she had received enough orders to keep them busy until Christmas!!!

Since that beginning, Handi Quilter continued to evolve, creating a longarm machine (the HQ Sweet 16) for the home environment. Today, the are industry leaders in safety, customer relations and technical solutions.     

Meet the Educators

Handi Quilter has made three remarkable educators available to present their longarm skills to attendees in Handi Quilter Classes at Road@Home May:   

Megan Best: A native of NW Washington, Megan has always loved fabrics and made her first quilt while in high school. She continued to foster this love throughout her education, achieving degrees in apparel design and merchandising/textiles. Thousands of quilts later, she still loves to create.

Megan’s career in the fabric industry includes experience in fabric stores, retail management, quilt shop ownership, and as a professional longarm quilter. She excels in both computerized and free-motion quilting, winning many ribbons at local and national shows. She loves her HQ18 Avanté® and HQ Pro-Stitcher®.

Megan’s teaching career includes experience as a college instructor, a quilting teacher for local guilds and retail shops, and an instructor at national and international machine quilting shows.

Debra Brown: The last time Debra was at Road to California was at Road’s 25th Anniversary Show in 2020.  Debra started sewing at a young age and transitioned into quilting while expecting her first child. Over thirty years and thousands of quilts later, she is an award-winning quilter who has published quilts, patterns, articles and columns in major quilting magazines, and authored 2 books. She teaches at national and international quilting shows, has filmed HQ Sweet Sixteen® instructional DVDs and has taught multiple machine quilting classes on Craftsy.

Since Debra’s relationship with Handi Quilter began a decade ago, she has owned almost every machine produced by Handi Quilter. She currently quilts using the HQ Sweet Sixteen®, the HQ Simply Sixteen®, the HQ Fusion® with Pro-Stitcher® and the entire family of HQ Stitch® machines. Debra is obsessed with the precision of ruler quilting on domestic, sit-down and longarm machines and spices up those lines with whimsical free-motion quilting that appeals to quilters of all skill levels.

When not traveling to spread her fun brand of quilting, Debra creates in her studio in New York’s beautiful Hudson Valley.

Allison Spence: Allison currently lives in Calgary, Alberta, Canada and has had a long association with crafting in the form of knitting, sewing and quilting. Her introduction to quilting was a tied quilt given to her newborn daughter by her sister-in-law almost 40 years ago. Allison enjoys all areas of quilting but prefers simple piecing designs, so she can get to the quilting part!

After quilting many large quilts on a domestic sewing machine, Allison purchased an HQ Sweet Sixteen® sit down machine which was well used for many years.She now owns an HQ Avanté® with Pro-Stitcher Premium and an HQ Amara and loves the freedom of quilting both smaller and larger projects with ease.

Allison has an education degree from the University of Manitoba and many years’ experience teaching aquatics. She began teaching sewing and quilting while working at a sewing machine dealer in Calgary, Alberta. She has owned her own fabric store and sewing school. She now has a studio and classroom in her home and does customer quilts, as well as longarm machine rentals, and offers a variety of sewing and quilting classes.

Taking great pleasure in teaching the basic and intermediate skills in all areas of quilting, Allison encourages students to go further and see what they can do on their own. She especially loves to quilt and teach feathers.

If you’re looking to begin longarm quilting or want to improve your current longarm skills, you won’t want to miss these Handi Quilter Classes with exceptional Handi Quilter Educators.

Double Quilt Winner, Sachiko Chiba

Tuesday, May 11th, 2021

Sachiko Chiba was a double quilt winner during Road@Home. Both quilts were entered in the category, “Could Be Grandma’s Quilt.”

First Place – RONDO

Double quilt winner

Honorable Mention- Flower News

Double quilt winner

Meet Sachiko Chiba

Japanese double quilt winner, Sachiko Chiba, will be the first to tell you that “I’m not good at English.” But that doesn’t matter when it comes to her award-winning quilting.

A quilter for over 29 years, Sachiko first got interested in quilting when she moved to the country. She saw a small quilt exhibition featuring “very beautiful” quilts. Sachiko recalls, “I was so impressed that I got goosebumps and I was fascinated” by the beautiful quilts on display. She knew right then and there that she wanted to make a beautiful quilt by herself. At the time, she thought she was too old to start; she was “already 32 years old.”

Sachiko is a veteran of several quilt contests. She has entered her work in the Tokyo International Great Quilt Festival in Japan, Road to California, AQS Quiltweek, and IQA in Houston.

Making Flower News

Flower News is Sachiko’s original design. Sachiko carefully chose the fabric to accurately represent the actual color of the many kinds of flowers. The flowers are appliqued onto the quilt while the leaves and other flowers are embroidered.


For this first-place winner, Sachiko wanted “to express the competition of flowers in a quilt, just as flowers dance in a circle. And I wanted to use orchids to create an acanthus pattern.” It took Sachiko one and a half years to make this second quilt that was a double quilt winner.

The techniques in both quilts used hand applique, hand quilting, hand embroidery, machine piecing, beading, and Trapunto.

Road@Home Quilt Contest

Sachiko was aware that quilters from all over the world have entered Road to California quilt contests. She had previously entered in the 2018, 2019, and 2020 contests. Each time, she found the experience to be “very inspiring for me” and she gained “valuable experience.”

As a double quilt winner, Sachiko wanted to thank the judges and sponsors and was looking forward to receiving her prize winnings.

What’s up next for Sachiko? “I will finish the applique of my new flower quilt” and she is going to look forward to entering in the next in-person Road to California Quilt Contest.

Jenny K. Lyon Road@Home May Teacher

Friday, May 7th, 2021

Jenny K. Lyon will be teaching 2 classes on Sunday, May 23rd during Road@Home May:

SU108 – Free Motion Fills And Frills 1 from 8:00 AM – 11:00 AM

Jenny K. Lyon

SU112 – Free Motion Fills And Frills 2 from 12:00 PM – 3:00 PM

Jenny K. Lyon

Jenny will also be presenting a lecture on Saturday, May 22nd from 12:00 PM – 1:00 PM

SAL04 – Quilting Is A Contact Sport!

Jenny K. Lyon

Overcoming Sports Boredom

Jenny K. Lyon said she got into quilting because she “needed something to do while Hubby watched sports.” She wanted to be at home, doing something enjoyable and creative. Since three generations before her quilted, it wasn’t a big stretch for her to take up quilting.

Jenny made her first quilt in the 1980’s. which to her “seems so long ago.” When she and her family moved to California in 1999, she took a quilt class and hasn’t stopped since.

Jenny is quilts on a domestic machine. She started quilting when they moved to California because they “were house poor” and sending out her quilts to be quilted was not a option. Jenny recalls, “I think that, more than anything else, made me the free motion quilter I am today. There was no choice – I HAD to get good at free motion quilting.”

Jenny Lyon started out making traditional bed quilts, then moved into art quilts, a natural progression for her. She didn’t want to work from patterns and she quickly realized that she only needed a few bed quilts. Because she enjoyed the quilting process so much, she immersed herself in making whole cloth quilts. “The line created by thread essentially sculpts the surface of the quilt and I love that.”

Creative Space

Two bedrooms in Jenny’s home have been converted into an office and a studio. Both rooms are bright and edited – because Jenny says, “I get distracted by clutter.” She is mindful about every item that she brings into her space. She strives to have her office and studio be a place of joy and creativity. Comments Jenny, “I love being in there.”

Her BERNINA sewing machine faces a window with a gorgeous view.  She has a custom cutting table made for her at just-the-right height. Fully extended it is 36 x 72.  Jenny’s stash lives in a small walk-in closet and some of it spills into her office space next door.

Jenny K. Lyon

Teaching Online

Jenny K. Lyon shared that her greatest joy comes from teaching. It is a special moment when she sees her student “get it” and they realize they CAN free motion quilt their own work on their home machine. “The joy and creativity that comes from that is priceless and a beauty to behold.”

A teacher since 2006, Jenny is constantly improving her delivery style. She says that her “biggest improvement has been in my videos. I found that videos work so much better for my students than live stitching. I put my camera right in front of the needle (not to the side) which gives a perfect view, one you would see while sitting at your own machine. I speed up some parts and pull in very close in others. I’m proud of these new videos!”

For Road@Home May, Jenny can’t wait to meet her students, helping them achieve confidence and joy in free motion quilting as well as adding more designs to add to their quilts.

To learn more about Jenny K. Lyon, please visit her website.  

A Winning Quilt by Barbara Korengold

Tuesday, May 4th, 2021

Barbara Korengold won Honorable Mention for Threads of Friendship (Carol`s Gift) in the category, Could Be Grandmas Quilt, during Road@Home.

Barbara Korengold

Quilting Path

Winning quilter, Barbara Korengold, has NEVER taken a quilt class and says she is “self-taught.” She has been quilting for about 15 years, following a lifetime of other needle arts (knitting, needlepoint, etc.). Bobbie’s focus is on applique quilts.  She draws on the literature for her theme ideas and does her own designing. 

Although most of her work is intended for her family, this humble quilter, does enter some of them in competitions including multiple AQS shows, Mancuso shows, Quilt Odyssey, and the Vermont Quilt Festival. Bobbie says that she is always interested in judges’ critiques of the technical side of her work but is pretty confident about what she wants to do aesthetically.

Entering the Road@Home Quilt Contest

Bobbie said she entered Road to California’s first ever online show, Road@Home, because of the ease provided by the virtual aspect. “It was really just on a lark – I figured I had nothing to loose, including the quilt in shipping.”

She entered Threads of Friendship (Carol’s Gift) in the category, “Could be Grandma’s Quilt,” because it was hand quilted using inspiration from original 19th century Baltimore album quilts. This quilt took Bobbie two and a half years to complete.

Barbara Korengold

The techniques Barbara Korengold utilized in her winning quilt included traditional needle turn applique, hand embroidery, trapunto, and hand quilting.     

Barbara Korengold

Future Quilting

When asked what she was going to do with Threads of Friendship (Carol`s Gift) after she won, Barbara Korengold replied, “It’s folded up in the linen closet with the rest of my quilts.”

For 2021, Barbara Korengold intends to “Just to enjoy the process, which I do.”

To see more of Barbara Korengold’s work, you can go to this Pinterest account.

Catherine Redford – Road@Home May Teacher

Friday, April 30th, 2021

Catherine Redford will be teaching a one-hour lecture on Friday, May 21st from 1:00 – 2:00 PM

FL05 – Walking Foot Quilting – Steps To Success

Catherine Redford

And two, three-hour classes on Sunday, May 23rd

SU109 – Walking Foot Quilting – Beyond The Ditch

Catherine Redford

SU114 – English Paper Piecing: Traditional Techniques, Tips And Tricks (This class has a kit available which must be ordered by May 7th)

Catherine Redford

Meet Catherine Redford

Catherine Redford is a quilter, teacher, speaker, author, and as she says, “Proud to be a BERNINA Ambassador!”

Catherine shared that she has “always been a maker, preferring crafts to homework for most of my teens, which led to a lot of homework getting finished on the bus!” She cross-stitched while her children were small and learned to quilt after her family moved to the United States. Her eldest daughter needed to make a block for a Girl Scout project and Catherine says from helping with that little project, she has never looked back.

Catherine’s current focus is on teaching machine quilting classes. This interest started in 1968 when she took a beginner class to make a four-block sampler. The class hand quilted it, which according to Catherine “was OK, but that class was followed by another one, and then another one… I realized I needed to learn to machine quilt to keep up with all the tops. So, I did! I quilted everything I could until my skills improved to a level I was happy with. I still learn something every time I finish a quilt.”

Quilting and Teaching Through Coronavirus

When the Coronavirus lockdowns began, Catherine Redford started making lots of small quilts to keep herself busy and to try out some ideas that she had “brewing for a long time with no time to investigate.”  She hand stitched a series of embroideries to stay calm and give her “pause for thought in the summer.” It was during this period that she also began teaching and lecturing via Zoom, keeping up with all the little tasks associated with on-line teaching.

Catherine describes her sewing studio as “a lovely large room. It used to be our daughters’ room and is painted daffodil yellow, so it is always bright and cheery.”

Catherine Redford

Being a BERNINA Ambassador, of course her BERNINA sewing machine is her favorite quilting tool and is “a very important part of my life.”

Teaching at Road@Home May

Catherine Redford started teaching in her local quilt store in 2003 and taught there until 2013 when the owner retired and closed. She taught up to 20 classes a quarter, always learning as she went. At about the same time, several opportunities arose that led her to teaching nationally and that is where she is at today.

Catherine says that “quilters are a great group to work with. Classes bring people together and are just so much more than a pure learning experience. Creativity, and being a creator is such an important part of all of us. I am so appreciative to be able to play a role in promoting that in my students’ lives.”

Students taking Catherine’s classes during Road@Home May will find Catherine in her dedicated Zoom studio in her home which has great lighting and HD cameras. “Everyone gets a front row seat whether I’m showing my work table or stitching at the sewing machine. I will include a slide show for a close-up view of my finished quilts.”

What does Catherine hope her students will learn from her classes? “I strive to be a life-long learner. If I learn something new, I have always wanted to tell people about it. It was the same with learning to quilt. I love teaching technique classes that give my students new tools in their stitching tool box. I want every student to leave class energized and ready for their next project.”

To learn more about Catherine Redford, please visit her website.

Winning Road@Home Quilter, Claire Wallace

Tuesday, April 27th, 2021

Claire Wallace won 2nd Place in the category, Could be Grandma, for her entry, African Sunset, during Road@Home

Claire Wallace

Meet South African Quilter, Claire Wallace

Claire Wallace is the South African Distributor for Handi Quilter in South Africa. She moved to South Africa from England in 1996 and it has been her home ever since. 

Claire has always enjoyed doing crafts but had never tried quilting until about 2004.  Her family had moved to a different city and she stopped working fulltime to look after her daughter. Claire and her daughter would visit her husband’s Gran and Aunty who were both “keen quilters” and they introduced Claire to quilting. Around 2009, Claire decided to buy a longarm machine and ever since then, her passion for longarm free motion quilting has taken hold.

Claire Wallace

Several of Claire Wallace’s quilts have won prizes in the South African National Quilt Festival, as well as at the World Quilt Competition and the Virtual Quilt Show before winning at Road@Home.

Making African Sunset

African Sunset was inspired by the colors of the South African sunsets. The patterns Claire quilted were taken from traditional African painting.  The center motif is Claire’s take on an African woven basket.

When Claire was asked how long it took to make the quilt, she had a hard time answering. “It was many months in the thinking and planning stage, and I drew out a full size pattern which I then transferred to my fabric.  The quilting took about 30 hours but that is just a small part of the total process.”

African Sunset is a wholecloth quilt utilizing free motion quilting. Claire used a Handi Quilter Simply Sixteen. She says, “I love this smaller machine for detailed work because it is nice and light.”  Double threads were used in some places as well as Glisten, some Razzle Dazzle couching and a piped border.

Entering African Sunset in the Road@Home Contest

With Covid, Claire Wallace discovered some advantages- especially when it came to entering quilt contests. Remarked Claire, “Normally, for me to enter quilts into overseas competition is expensive and there is risk involved in sending quilts from Africa.  The advent of virtual, online competitions makes it so much easier for us to enter.”

Claire went on to say, “Road2California is a well-known and respected show as I was keen to enter.  My quilt was a wholecloth so it seemed obviously that it should go in the “Could be Grandma” category.”

She was “amazed and humbled” that she had won. The quilt is currently “living with my Mum in Wales as I had wanted to enter it into Festival of Quilts in 2020 but of course that didn’t happen!  So it will have to stay with Mum until international travel is allowed again and I can retrieve it!”

What does the Future hold for Claire Wallace?

Claire says she will have her hands full with her work as the South African Distributor for Handi Quilter, looking after as well as quilting for customers.  “Time to do my own projects is pretty limited but I am currently working on a new quilt that I started before our lockdown kicked in in March 2020.  For a long time I was not inspired to do anything on it but after attending some of the online classes at Road@Home I started to work on it again.  I am making good progress and like what I see so far, so hopefully I will be able to get it completed before too long.”

To learn more about Claire Wallace, please visit this website.  

Melissa Marginet Loves Her Walking Foot

Thursday, April 22nd, 2021

Melissa Marginet will be teaching 2 classes at Road@Home May

On Friday, F105 – Wonky Wedges

And on Sunday, SU113 – Delectable Mug Rugs

Melissa Marginet

Meet Melissa Marginet

Melissa Marginet is a Janome Canada Artisan. She has sewn and done many other crafts since she was a young girl growing up next door to her grandmother. In 2001, she saw an ad for a quilting class through the local recreation commission. Melissa had some fabric that she wanted to get rid of, so she signed up for the class. Melissa says that she was instantly hooked and “needless to say I have way more fabric now.”

Melissa shared that she is filled with “so many ideas and not enough time to do them all.” Consequently, her quilting area is usually quite cluttered.

Before COVID-19, Melissa retired from her office job and had plans to travel and teach quilting. When all of that was “thrown out the window,” she began investigating the “online route.” The first thing she did was run some mystery quilt-a-longs on Facebook which “lifted the spirits of many people who were feeling locked up.” She prepared some of her already developed classes for an online teaching format by buying new equipment and learning how to use it. That enabled her to start booking lectures and classes as well as be prepared for teaching during Road@Home.

Walking Foot Expert

Through the years, Melissa Marginet has tried all methods of quilting. She tried free motion, made a lot of “quilt as you go” quilts to be able to manage the quilting herself, and bought a track machine. Melissa was in the habit of finishing all her quilts herself. “I didn’t know you could ask someone to do it for you.”  It wasn’t until she discovered walking foot quilting that she knew she had found her niche. A walking foot “changed my quilting life.” Melissa says that today, “I could not live without my open toe walking foot.”

Melissa has authored two books on how to use a walking foot for quilting: Walking Foot Quilting Designs and Edge-to-Edge Walking Foot Quilting Designs.

Melissa Marginet was one of the presenters at Roundabout 2.0 during the first Road@Home held last January. She shared some of her popular tips in her segment, “Walking Edge to Edge.” When using a walking foot for quilting, Melissa stressed that preparing your quilt well before you quilt is key. Baste the quilt and make sure there is plenty of room so that your quilt does not fall off your sewing table. While free motion quilting starts in the middle, quilting with a walking foot goes edge to edge. The density of your quilting is decided as you go along.

Teaching During Road@Home May

Melissa Marginet has been teaching locally since 2006 and began teaching nationally in Canada in 2016 when she was accepted to teach for Quilt Canada. She is looking forward to being a part of the Road at Home May family. She relates that “it’s an opportunity I may never have in person because of US laws.” She hopes her students will gain the knowledge and confidence to quilt their own projects on their home sewing machines.

To learn more about Melissa Marginet, please visit her website.

Meet Quilt Winner Ayako Kawakami

Monday, April 19th, 2021

Ayako Kawakami won Third Place in the category, “Could Be Grandma’s Quilt” at Road@Home for Santa Claus Has Come To Kirara`s  Home Town!

Ayako Kawakami

Japanese Quilting

According to an article written on the blog, Flower Power Daily, “The Japanese have always been connoisseurs of textiles.” It didn’t take long for quilting to catch on in Japan and “whereas other textile arts are a male domain in Japan, quilting is almost entirely female. It has become a national obsession.” There is a festival every January in Tokyo that attracts hundreds of thousands of people. The range, imagination and skill of work is astonishing. Perhaps not so astonishing, considering the beauty of Japanese kimonos and embroidery over the centuries. Those skills have just found a new canvas. The article went on to say that, “increasingly, Japanese quilters are entering American quilting competition.”

One of those Japanese quilters who has found her way to Road to California’s quilt contest– and was a winner — is Ayako Kawakami. She started quilting at the age of 18 under the influence of her mother who was an embroiderer. Today, Ayako quilts every day making family themed quilts.

Ayako Kawakami

Ayako is a veteran of quilt contests, both in Japan and in the United States. In Japan, she has entered quilts in the Tokyo International Great Quilt Festival. And in the United States, at the American Quilter’s Society (AQS) Quiltweek and at the International Quilt Association (IQA) in Houston.

Road@Home was the first time Ayako Kawakami had entered a Road to California contest. A fellow quilter let Ayako know about the details of the contest. Ayako researched previous winners and felt she could enter the competition.

Making a Winning Quilt

The Christmas themed quilt, Santa Claus Has Come To Kirara`s  Home Town!, was originally made for Ayako’s daughter as her birthday is in December.

The quilt features several hand quilting techniques: hand piecing, hand quilting, hand applique, and hand embroidery.

Ayako Kawakami

Ayako was “very surprised” to hear she had won an award at Road@Home. Of the experience, Ayako offered, “Lots of quilters from all over the world are entering the competition. It is very inspiring for me and I have gained valuable experience.  So I would like to keep entering the contest.”

Heidi Pridemore – Road@Home May

Friday, April 16th, 2021

During Road@Home May, Heidi Pridemore of The Whimsical Workshop, will be teaching two Quilt Professional Development Classes:

On Saturday, SAP01 – Getting Started On Setting Up A Successful YouTube Channel

Heidi Pridemore

And on Sunday, SUP01 – What Makes A Great Pattern With Heidi Pridemore

Heidi will also be teaching two, one hour Professional Development Lecture Classes:

On Friday,  FL04 – Designing Patterns For The Fabric Industry

And on Sunday, SUL05 – A Few Of My Favorite Things

Getting to Know Heidi Pridemore

Heidi Pridemore is a creator. Art was her first passion; she went to college for Industrial Design (specifically, Product Development).  Heidi didn’t learn to sew until she was 29. She recalls, “Once I made my first quilt, I was so excited to create something that was beautiful and useful.”

It didn’t take long being in the quilting space that Heidi realized there was a whole industry that needed designs to promote and sell their fabric collections. She started The Whimsical Workshop Design Studio to fill that niche. After 20 years, The Whimsical Workshop has designed and made 1000’s of quilts and patterns for the quilting industry as free projects, marketing and for magazines and books.

Where Designing Takes Place

Heidi’s Design Studio is in her home which really came in handy in today’s Coronavirus climate. There is an office that Heidi shares with her husband (and partner) as well as a cutting and shipping area.

Heidi says that “the jewel” of it all is her sewing room, which was once the formal living room of the house.  “I do most of the design work from the office and the sewing room has become a studio for videos over this past year. I am very lucky to have so much space.”

Favorite design tools in Heidi’s creative space include Heidi’s Bernina sewing machine, her laptop, her Creative Grids Ruler Collection and the newest addition, a Cricut maker that she uses to cut most of company’s appliques.  

Teaching During Road@Home May

A teacher for over 20 years, Heidi spent the Coronavirus pause learning everything she could about teaching virtually, how to create videos and editing with Premier Pro. She feels that her biggest accomplishment during this time has been “building our YouTube Channel from 100 followers to over a 1000 followers in 9 months.”

For her Road@Home May classes, Heidi Pridemore will be utilizing an overhead camera set up “which is so much better to watch the tutorials for the class.” She feels that this is a beneficial way to engage with her students if she can’t do it in person.

Meeting all the new students and sharing with them is what Heidi Pridemore is most looking forward to at Road@Home May. She says, “I learn as much from each student and I hope they are learning from me.”

To learn more about Heidi Pridemore, please visit The Whimsical Workshop as well as her YouTube Channel.

Meet Quilt Contest Winner Lise Belanger

Monday, April 12th, 2021

Lise Belanger won Judge’s Choice for Once Upon a Time during Road@Home

Lise Belanger

Meet Lise Belanger

Canadian, Lise Belanger, began her quilting journey in fashion design school. She went on to work as a costume maker for many years in the major theaters of Canada. Eventually, she changed careers because sewing clothes didn’t ”excite me so much anymore.”

Lise Belanger

One day, her mother gave her a magazine, and while looking through it, Lise saw an art quilt and that’s when her sewing interest returned. Lise started quilting in 2011, but it wasn’t until 2015 that she started quilting full time. Her first quilts won the Trend-Tex challenge in Canada three years in a row. Lise has since participated in over twenty-five quilt contests.

Making Once Upon a Time

The inspiration for Once Upon a Time came from one of Lise’s quilts she had made the year before, Colourful Dream, an elephant quilt. She wanted to expand on those techniques and when she decided upon the owl subject, “the rest fell into place.” Lise commented, “I wanted to create a quilt where people could tell their own stories.”

When Lise was asked how long it took her to make, Once Upon a Time, she replied, “This is the question people asked the most, but I never have a good answer to this question. When I work on a quilt, I do so many other things in between that every time I try to keep track, it never works out. I mainly work on my show quilt at night, and it takes me less time than most people would think. I work out most of the problems in my head ahead of time so when I start, I usually can do it pretty fast, however, I don’t over plan anything and let the quilt show me the way. I can tell you how many pieces there is in the quilt: 3766 and how many stitches: 232,271.”

The techniques Lise used in the quilt is called, “separate fused appliqué.” Lise read an article about it once, and “liked it!” She says that the quilt is made of raw edge appliqué; the background fabric is hand-dyed, the castle is snow dyed, and the shading is accomplished by changing values in the fabric. The entire quilt was quilted on a sit-down machine.

Lise Belanger

Entering Once Upon a Time in Road@Home’s Contest

Lise Belanger had entered a quilt once before in Road to California’s traditional quilt show, so she said, “it was easy for me to participate in Road@Home. Due to the isolation and the lack of in-person shows, I wanted to stay connected and keep sharing my creations. I guess I need a reason to make quilts. The online application was also easy and convenient. Because I make art quilts, there are fewer categories that I can enter, and often it is the size that will determine where I can enter. I try to stay away from traditional quilt categories.”

The quilt was awarded Judge’s Choice by Road@Home Judge, Linda V. Taylor. Lise had never won in this category before. She was familiar with Linda and was “delighted and honored” that her quilt was Linda’s choice.

Once Upon a Time has already found its forever home, so it will no longer be available for in-person shows.

Future Quilt Plans

Lise only does a few quilt shows a year, and she already has a few quilts on hand. Lise usually frames her quilts if they are not for shows, which she feels gives her a broader audience. Lise shared, “Strangely enough, for me, Covid has been very good for art quilt sales, so in 2021 my goal is to quilt to replenish my portfolio because I am sold out.” She lives far away from anything related to quilting, so Lise has never taught or lectured much in her career.  With all the online platforms, Lise’s challenge for 2021 will be to give presentations that highlight her knowledge. She has started lecturing and is working on making online classes.

To learn more about Lise Belanger, please visit her Facebook page.