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Archive for the ‘Uncategorised’ Category

Creating a Quilt Talk Show

Thursday, February 25th, 2021

In the age of Coronavirus, when Road’s traditional in-person show was put on hold due to California and San Bernardino County regulations, Road to California had to become very creative very fast to hold its strong community together.

The first step was developing Road@Home, an online quilt show presented during the time the in-person Road to California was supposed to happen, January 21-23, 2021. This virtual version was shorter in length than Road’s traditional show but still packed with over a hundred classes, unique quilt exhibits, and even a quilt contest (though it was scaled down). A big success of Road@Home was that it was able to reach participants and enlist instructors who knew of Road’s wonderful reputation but have never been able to travel to the in-home show.

After Road@Home ended, the next way Road’s staff came up with to stay engaged with Road’s vast community was to present a LIVE talk show where there would be interviews with quilt superstars, reviews of quilt products, and a lot of fun too!!  The result: It’s Sew Road.

What is It’s Sew Road?   

talk show

It’s Sew Road is a weekly, one-hour talk show hosted by Road to California’s Owner, Matt Reese, and Quilt Personality, Linda Hahn. Its debut episode will be on March 3, 2021 at 11:00 AM PST with kick-off guest, popular Road@Home teacher, Heather Kojan.  

It’s Sew Road originally started as a Zoomcast on Linda’s YouTube channel, and was called Sew What! Linda’s vision of Sew What! was to be a community service for quilters during the pandemic. She presented over 30 talk show episodes in 2020 which “were pure fun.”  

Discussions began in late 2020 to broaden the success of It’s Sew Road into a Road to California brand. Linda had originally met Matt when Linda was a first time Road to California instructor several years ago. They were reintroduced when Linda taught at Road for a second time and since then, have spent a lot of time together at different quilt market events. Sharing incredible meals has become one of their favorite pastimes. Linda shared that what will make their upcoming talk show a success is that, “I think we all have the same warped sense of humor, have fun and work well together.”

Besides working together, what else are Matt and Linda looking forward to with the talk show format?  “Learning about our various guests – not only what they do in the quilting world, but in their life outside of the quilting world.” That “other life” begins with the hosts themselves. Did you know that Matt Reese was a professional tuba player? Or that Linda Hahn not only teaches quilt classes but Zumba classes too?

Linda and Matt are hoping that It’s Sew Road will allow “folks” to be able to “turn off the world for a little bit each week to laugh and learn with us!”

March Talk Show Line Up

Celebrity Quilter Guests have been lined up for each Wednesday in March. Besides Heather Kojan on March 3rd, the other guests will be:

March 10th is Patience Griffin

March 17th is Charlotte Angotti

and on March 31st, Diane L Murtha.

Plan to make a date with your computer every Wednesday in March at 11:00 AM PST for a little silliness and a lot of quilting fun this the new quilt talk show, It’s Sew Fun.

Sew Smart

Friday, February 19th, 2021

Healthy Quilter, Rose Parr, was one of the presenters during Roundabout 2.0 – a round robin event where 20 of Road@Home’s instructors gave 20-minute workshops on a variety of topics. Rose’s topic was Sew Smart – The Ergonomics of Healthy Quilting.

Sew Smart

Ergonomics relates to designing elements for efficiency and comfort in the working environment. Rose holds several certifications including ones in Ergonomics, Arthritis Pain Management, and Active Aging. She lives in Canada so being seen virtually during Road@Home was the perfect venue to share her vast knowledge on how to sew smart.

Maintaining Good Circulation is Key

When you disrupt normal blood flow while sewing, you are making it easier for chronic health conditions to take root, shared Rose. The key for quilters to sew smart is to find ways to keep their blood flowing freely. As Rose says, “Quilting shouldn’t be a pain in the neck!”

The first thing to consider when you want to sew smart is the chair you are sitting in. The average sewing machine is 3½” from bottom to sewing surface. Since you can’t adjust the table it sits on, the best way to avoid a sore neck, shoulders, wrists, and back, is to use a chair where you can adjust the height, has an adjustable back with lumbar support and an adjustable seat base depth.  Using a cushion is also helpful.

Sew Smart

To promote good circulation, there should be a 2″-3″ finger gap from the front of the chair to the back of the knees. If the chair has armrests, they should be positioned just below your elbows to help keep your shoulders relaxed. Rose says that actually, “No armrests are better than the wrong armrests.”

More Tips to Sew Smart

Rose shared these other simple tips to maintain a healthy quilting environment:

  1. Keep shoulders down. Rose said that when individuals sew for long periods of time, shoulders tend to roll forward, the head leans, the neck gets bent, and the back is hunched. To keep shoulders relaxed, she recommends for quilters to sit tall, roll their shoulders back by drawing the shoulder blades together and avoid tensing up.
  2. Invest in 99 cent readers. Avoid eye strain by utilizing magnification.
  3. Bring the sewing machine to you – or bring your chair to the machine. Don’t reach forward.
  4. Have something in front of your sewing area (a picture or window) that causes you to look up.
  5. Stretch periodically. Get up and walk around. Open your chest. Try switching feet on your pedal.  

When you sew smart, Rose says not only will you be pain-free while sewing, there’s a good chance you can be quilting until your 100th birthday!!

To read more sew smart tips from Rose, visit her website.

Road@Home Best of Show Quilt

Tuesday, February 16th, 2021

Remembering by Linda Anderson won Best of Show Quilt during Road@Home 2021

Best of Show Quilt

Linda Anderson’s Quilt Journey

Linda Anderson has been creating art quilts since 2009, when she returned from living in the Caribbean for 10 years and saw her first art quilt.  For Linda, art quilts are the perfect comingling of her passions: drawing, painting and sewing. She started entering contests in 2010.  Of the art quilt experience, Linda says, “It’s still amazing at this age and chapter in life to experience such positive acknowledgement from peers and judges I could not have predicted.”

Making Best of Show Quilt, Remembering

The inspiration for Road@Home’s Best of Show Quilt, Remembering, came from a travel photograph. Linda remarked that she is a “fiend” for good composition and that this photo had perfect composition. Linda also has a “love affair with everything Oaxacan,” where the subject of her quilt is from. “We all get lost in our thoughts, and the woman in Remembering captured that perfectly for me,” said Linda. 

Linda’s art quilts usually take a full 5 months from start to finish, working 6-8 hours a day, at least 6 days a week.  She says, “It is very labor intensive with a myriad of steps.  And I love getting lost in the detail of each step.”

Best of Show Quilt

What techniques did Linda use in the Best of Show Quilt, Remembering? “Every square inch of my work is hand painted, usually on white on white printed fabric.  It is not whole cloth, which sometimes is thought.  It is all raw edge applique pieces that are painted before assembling.”

Entering Road@Home’s Quilt Contest

Linda attends the in-person Road to California annually. She loves to “soak up all the art inspiration” which fuels her for the coming year. In addition to going to the show regularly, another Road tradition for her is to enter a quilt each year.

Her most recent entries (that were also winning quilts) were in 2019, for Outstanding Artistry

and in 2017 for Director’s Choice.  

Road@Home had only three categories for quilts to be entered in. Remembering was originally entered in the category, “What You See.” Why did Linda choose that category? “My work is figurative and storytelling, so it is straightforward to know which category to enter.”

Linda said she “was stunned, to say the least, when I heard I won Best in Show.”

What’s Next for Linda Anderson and her Quilting?

Remembering is scheduled to show in other exhibits throughout 2021, including one in France in September.

In the coming year, Linda intends to “wake up each morning to working in my studio.  Since each piece takes so long, my goal is to just keep on working.”

While Linda was glad that Road to California was able to offer an alternative to their traditional event, she noted that “nothing can replace a live opportunity to see art work.  Something is always lost when viewing art online.  Fingers crossed we will all get together safely next year.”

Congratulations to Linda Anderson for winning Road@Home 2021’s Best of Show Quilt.

Add Quirk to Your Quilts

Thursday, February 11th, 2021

Looking for new ways to change up your quilting style? This Lecture at Road@Home presented by Teresa Coates had lots of ideas to add quirk to your quilts.

Add Quirk to your quilts

Who is Teresa Coates?

Teresa Coates has a penchant for sewing, quilting, teaching, and adventure. She has worked at Fabric Depot, The Fabric Shop Network, Robert Kaufman Fabrics, and American Quilt Retailer magazine. Currently, she lives in Los Angeles where she works for Shannon Fabrics as their  as National Educator, teaching at educational events nationwide and producing video tutorials, in addition to managing educational and material support for small quilt shops and fabrics stores.

Teresa is also a writer and quilt pattern designer. She has been quilting sine the early 90’s. Her quilts, sewing projects and writing have appeared in numerous magazines. Teresa has also presented at local and national conventions, including Road to California.

Be Brave

Teresa noted that when we start our quilting journey, we are often afraid to break the rules. She argues that it is actually “freeing” to try new ideas with your quilt fabrics. “There is no quilting police.”

To add quirk to your quilts, Teresa believes that there is “always more and more you can learn and do.” All it takes is to look at fabrics in a different way and play with various techniques.  

Teresa says it takes lots of PRACTICE to add quirk to your quilts. Never be afraid of FAILURE – it’s part of the learning process. And above all, BE BRAVE.

Tips to Add Quirk to Your Quilts

Some of the ideas Teresa shared to add quirks to your quilts included:

Add quirk to your quilts

Try using charm packs (which are 5″squares) to make oversized quilt blocks

Add quirk to your quilts

Single out a square or leave out squares randomly.

Add quirk to your quilts

If a pattern calls for piecing, do applique instead.

Combine different stitch styles. Machine quilt on plain fabrics. Hand quilt on color fabrics.

add quirk to your quilts

Explore everything in one quilt: paint, fabric, feathers, stitches — you name it. Anything goes.

When you add quirk to quilts, Teresa recommends three things to always have on hand:

  1. Lots of starch to add body to whatever fabrics you are combining and experimenting with. Teresa’s favorite is Stay Flow. She recommends diluting it to different levels for different fabric types.
  2. Pellon SF101 is an all purpose, woven, fusible interfacing that provides crisp support. It’s intended to be used for light to medium woven and knit fabrics but Teresa uses it to stabilize everything.
  3. Using a 1/4″ foot keeps your work consistent.

Teresa Coates was enthusiastic, inspiring her class to use fabric in a different and creative way.

add quirk to quilts

Meet The Valley Modern Quilt Guild

Monday, February 8th, 2021

Road to California has a long history of supporting quilt guilds. Traditionally, at the in-person show, quilt guilds man tables in the main hall of the Ontario Convention Center each of the four days of the show. Quilt guilds are there to advertise the accomplishments of their guild, upcoming guild quilt shows, as well as display their opportunity quilt and ask for donations via their quilt guild drawing.

With the postponement of the in-person show, Road@Home still found a way to include quilt guilds into the online show. Interested quilt guilds signed up to virtually bring attention to the great work they are doing in their communities, including the Valley Modern Quilt Guild.

Valley Modern Quilt Guild

Supporting Quilting in the San Fernando Valley

The Valley Modern Quilt Guild (VMQG) supports quilters throughout the suburb areas located in the vast San Fernando Valley, north of downtown Los Angeles.  The guild became a member of the Modern Quilt Guild in 2015 with the intention for members to come together to hear lectures from modern quilters, sew together as a group, and inspire one another.

The mission of the Valley Modern Quilt Guild is to:

  • Develop and encourage the art of modern quilting.
  • Work with other guilds and groups with a similar purpose.
  • Encourage new quilters in the aesthetic of modern quilting.
  • Offer educational opportunities through classes, workshops and sharing of information.
  • Support and provide opportunity for charity or other works that provide back to the community through the use of modern quilting skills.

They meet monthly in Van Nuys on the fourth Monday of the month in the evening. The Sunday afternoon before the General Meeting, the guild hosts a Zoom Sew-In that allows members to connect while sewing at home.

Charitable Contributions

Community Organizations that the Valley Modern Quilt Guild support include:

FOSTER CHILDREN’S RESOURCE CENTER- Located in Northridge, the Center helps children from Newborn to age 21 (about 1800 annually) in the foster care system for the San Fernando Valley and Santa Clarita Valley areas.  VMQG sews pillowcases as an ongoing project for the Foster Children’s Resource Center. “The clients get to pick their new pillowcase and fill it with the new items that are provided at the Center. When they go home, they put their new pillowcase on their pillow and have a constant and positive reminder that others are thinking of them.”

HAVEN HILLS – Since 1977, Haven Hills in Canoga Park, has provided safety, shelter and support to all victims of domestic violence while working to break the cycle of abuse. They service over 3000 people a year.  The Valley Modern Quilt Guild creates quilts on an ongoing basis for Haven Hills.

OPERATION MEND – With dignity and respect, powered by volunteers, MEND’s mission is to break the bonds of poverty by providing basic human needs and a pathway to self-reliance. Located in Pacoima, the guild donates pillowcases.

CATS: Another organization that the guild supports by donating pillowcases isThe Center for Assault Treatment Services, a 24-hour response for sexual abuse or assault based out of Northridge Hospital.

Thank you, Valley Modern Quilt Guild, for inspiring quilters and giving back to your community. To learn more about the Valley Modern Quilt Guild, please visit their website.

Collage Quilts

Friday, February 5th, 2021

One of the hottest quilting trends is collage quilts.

A collage quilt borrows a technique from the fine arts world where quilting is paired with applique to create unique designs. Collage quilts take advantage of print fabrics, different methods, and a lot of creative imagination. Several collage quilt fiber artists have taught at Road to California and recently, during the online show, Road@Home.

Laura Heine

Laura Heine is a pioneer of collage quilting. She has taught to sold out classes at Road to California since 2014.

Arriving in her pink, 1956 Shasta trailer that she restored, Laura has also been a vendor at Road to California Shows with her Fiberworks booth.

Laura was scheduled to teach 2 collage classes during the in-person 2021 Road to California before it was cancelled due to the Coronavirus Pandemic. We look forward to having her return when we present our 2022 in-person show.

collage quilts

Phyllis Cullen  

A resident of Hawaii, Phyllis Cullen is an anesthesiologist turned quilter. She is also a trained artist. Phyliss is known for combining painting and fabric in her fiber art creations.

Phyllis taught 5 classes during Road@Home, with two them focusing on collage quilts: It’s All About the Face

collage quilts

And Wild (Fabric) Animal (Or Bird) Collage

collage quilts

During her classes, Phyllis told her students, “Don’t expect to be done” with your project by the end of class. “It takes a couple days.” “Go at your own pace.” She also instilled confidence in her students by telling them to “make all your mistakes in class so that next time you go to work on the project, you’ve got the technique down.”   

For Phyllis, a must have notion for creating collage quilts is Steam-A-Seam-2. Steam-A-Seam-2 is a fusible web that allows for perfect placement every time. It does not stick to your sewing needle and when pressed, it permanently bonds fabric together.  “Use a sharpie to trace your pattern on the front of the Steam-A-Seam-2 and cut around the design.” It makes it easier to see what you are doing when creating your collage pieces.

She also presented during the popular evening class, Roundabout 2.0. The title of her class was Wild and Easy Animal Collage. Phyllis shared an easy way to get a variety of colors incorporated into your collage quilts is to use jelly rolls. “They offer a variety that varies in values from light to dark.”   

Jane Haworth

Jane Haworth is an award winning professional quilter specializing in making nature inspired raw edge fabric collage quilts using her own hand dyed fabrics and commercial fabrics. She taught 2 quilt collage classes during Road@Home, Succulent Love Fabric Collage

collage quilts

And Pink Cosmos Fabric Collage.

collage quilts

Collage quilts are a perfect fit for Jane because her favorite aspect of quilting is color and fabricKaffe Fassett has had a big influence on her. She heard him speak while attending college in 1984. His ability to blend and select “all those colors” is the same technique Jane uses for her raw-edge college appliqué.  Jane shares, “This allows me to cut, layer then glue the fabrics before machine quilting.”  

During Roundabout 2.0, Jane’s presentation was, “Fabric Collage Fish.” She encouraged students to follow her lead and use a variety of colors with a range of values to give contrast in their design. She also recommended using Alene’s Tacky Glue to hold the pieces down on the foundation fabric. “Gluing pieces together can extend the amount of fabric and is an easy way to start a collage.”

collage quilts

Road@Home was a great place to learn trending quilt techniques – like collage quilts – from experts in their field. Participants will find the same quality of instructors and class content at Road@Home May. Registration for those classes will begin soon.  

Meet Road@Home Teacher Heather Kojan

Saturday, January 30th, 2021

Heather Kojan lives in Baltimore Maryland. In years past, she was a vendor at Road to California selling Japanese fabric. She was glad to be back with Road, teaching at Road@Home.   

Heather Kojan

Heather Kojan’s Quilting Journey

Heather started sewing garments in high school but didn’t start quilting until her mid 20’s. Her first quilt was an Eleanor Burns Quilt in a Day Log cabin in shades of mauve and dusty blue (“Very 80’s!” Heather remembers.) She made a king-sized quilt because she had a king-sized bed. Heather says, “It never occurred to me to start with something small!”

Heather moved to Baltimore about 10 years ago and founded the Baltimore Modern Quilt Guild. It was the early days of modern quilting, so she was able to find her niche by introducing modern quilting to the traditional quilting world. A lot at first was “trial and error.” Heather’s motto: “Fake it ‘til you make it!”

Heather does her quilting in 2 areas of her home. She created a classroom when the quilting world pivoted to Zoom lectures and classes. That’s where she led her classes for Road@Home. She also has a large studio in her finished basement that is filled with fabric plus treasures that have been gifted to her from her quilty friends.

Heather Kojan and her Coronavirus Pivot

At the beginning of the pandemic, Heather was sewing at a furious pace, thinking, “Well, if I have all this time (which I thought might only last a few weeks) I may as well make good use of it. When it became apparent that it could last a bit longer, I slowed down a bit.” She took some time to submit to some magazines. Then the magic of Zoom classes and lectures came about, and she’s spent the past 8 months teaching and lecturing on-line.

What have been Heather’s life lessons learned during the pandemic shut down? “Be flexible. Be prepared. Be generous.”

Teaching During Road@Home

Prior to Raod@Home, Heather was looking forward to first, having “a good time.” Second, she was hoping her students would “learn some techniques.” And third, Heather was hoping that her students would “challenge themselves to stretch and grow.”

Heather Kojan

In any class Heather Kojan teaches, she especially enjoys fostering community. “Seeing friendships form and continue, passing on skills that I’ve had the good fortune to learn from others and recognizing that “aha!” moment when it happens.”

One of Heather’s classes that Road Staff sat in on was, “Improv Log Cabin.” There were 7 students and it became very apparent that they were indeed forming friendships as the class went on. Most of the students have been regular attendees of Road to California so they knew about the quality of teachers and classes Road is known for for the past 26 years.

Heather Kojan

Heather began her class talking about the technique of “Improv Piecing.” She said assured everyone that they have been doing improv already in their lives. “Whenever you cook or get dressed, you are doing things without instructions.” Heather warned her students that it might feel “uncomfortable or clunky” at first, but like with any new thing, “the more you do it, the more you’ll get used to it.”

Heather Kojan

The goal for the class in the 3-hour time frame, was to have everyone learn Heather’s process and complete at least 3 – 4 blocks. The process? “Don’t get bogged down so make quick decisions and Sew-Trim-Sew-Trim.”  

Heather Kojan

Road@Home was pleased with the success of Heather Kojan’s classes. To learn more about Heather, please visit her website.   

The Debut of Road@Home

Tuesday, January 26th, 2021

Were you part of the historic debut of Road@Home?

January 20 – 23, 2021 was the debut of Road@Home, Road to California’s online quilters conference. Road@Home wasn’t simply a virtual version of our premier in-person event. It quickly became a stand-alone experience enjoyed by participants from all over the world.  Teacher Heather Kojan commented, how the debut of Road@Home provided the opportunity for many teachers (including herself) and students to participate in a Road to California show where in the past, it was too time and distance prohibitive to join in.

Debut of Road@Home

Debut of Road@Home Classes

Offering an online show enabled Road to offer the most classes ever along with the most teachers than ever before. The faculty roster listed over 130 instructors teaching well over 300 classes. Quilt Making, Professional Development for Quilters, and Fabric Art classes provided a well-rounded offering to choose from.

Attendance varied from class to class. Some classes were “sold out” (like Road to California’s award winning quilter Nancy Prince’s) and others just a handful of students. Cyndi McChesney’s “Math for Quilter’s class” had just four students who appreciated the “individual attention” they received. Said one student, “This was a really great class. I was so glad there was only four of us.”

Debut of Road@Home

In addition to the half-day and all-day classes, the debut of Road@Home also offered Road’s traditional Lecture Classes. The Lectures were presented by Road@Home faculty and lasted any where from one to one and a half hours. Participants could sign up for a lecture up to one hour before the session started and the cost was just $20.  

Debut of Road@Home Vendors

Even though it was an online show, participants could still shop with over 40 vendors who offered special Road@Home deals throughout the show. Sponsors like Moore’s Sewing Center, SewBatik, and Cherrywood Fabrics delighted participants with videos of their featured products.     

Special Exhibits

What’s a quilt show without quilts? Road@Home participants were treated to 1,000’s of quilts to view. While scaled down, awards were still presented to quilts entered in the debut of Road@Home’s quilt contest. Entrants submitted their quilts in three categories: “Could be Grandma’s Quilt,” “What You See,” and “What you think you see.”

The unique Special Exhibit was presented by Martingale and featured the professional photographs found in 33 of their new and popular titles.

Road@Home Best of Show, Remembering by Linda Anderson

Special Announcements

The debut of Road@Home also provided a platform for three new Road to California projects:

It’s Sew Road, a weekly talk show format featuring Road to California’s owner, Matt Reese, and quilt personality, Linda Hahn. Beginning in March, tune in to Road’s YouTube Channel to see interviews of famous people in the quilting world plus lots of quilt silliness.

Road@Home Education is happening May 21 – 23, 2021 and will be a show that traces its origin back to the beginning of Road to California when it was simply an educational conference.

The International Sewing Arts Festival will debut January 13 – 15, 2022, the weekend before the traditional, in-person Road to California happening January 19 – 22, 2022 at the Ontario Convention Center in Ontario California. ISAF is a first of its kind conference dedicated to sewing: sewing for garments, sewing for home décor, and general sewing.   

Debut of Road@Home

Look for blog articles soon that will dive deep into each of these events.

The debut of Road@Home was a leap of faith to meet the need of providing a quality online quilt show in the time of a worldwide pandemic. We were pleased with the results and look forward to expanding Road to California’s online presence as we prepare for our traditional offering in-person show in 2022.

Meet Road@Home Teacher Lynn Koolish

Saturday, January 16th, 2021

Lynn Koolish will be teaching 3 classes during Road@Home:

A handwork class on Wednesday, W132 – Make A ColorPOP Quilt

Lynn Koolish

A design class on Friday, F128 – Intentional Improv

Lynn Koolish

And on Saturday, F128 – Intentional Improv

Lynn Koolish

Lynn Koolish will also be giving a one hour, $20 Lecture Class, on Wednesday, WL04 – Make Design Principles Work For You

Lynn Koolish

Baby Quilts to Improvisational Design

When Lynn Koolish’s friends began having babies, she started making baby quilts. A seamstress for years, she figured, “I have fabric,” “I know how to sew,” “No problem.”

Lynn Koolish has become a fiber artist, teacher, and author that is most known for her bright colors and hand-dyed fabric. She also creates mixed-media fiber art. The thing that made improvisational design and piecing click for Lynn Koolish (in terms of being able to make quilts that she really liked and was proud of) was understanding basic design principles. She then used those principles as she worked, and problem solved. Until she figured that out, Lynn felt her improv quilts were “very chaotic” and she never really liked them.

Working from Home

Lynn has created an in-home studio for sewing and uses the attached utility/laundry room for her fabric dyeing and painting. Her work does not require anything more than basic sewing tools: a reliable sewing machine (her’s is a Pfaff 7570), a good iron (hardware variety Black & Decker), a supply of sharp rotary cutter blades, and her Grabbit pin magnetic holder.

During the Coronavirus lockdown, Lynn Koolish has “really gotten into exploring composition through photography—including getting a much better understanding of my mirrorless camera that gives me more control of photos.” She has also enjoyed learning all the new capabilities of the camera on her iPhone 12.

Teaching During Road@Home

A quilt teacher for the past 18 years, Lynn really likes being able to share what she knows with others. Her favorite part is seeing the “aha” moments when students understand something new.

Lynn Koolish is looking forward to meeting her Road@Home students who will be watching and learning from all over the world. To prepare for her Road@Home classes, Lynn has created short videos for the how-to demo portions of her classes. She feels that these videos will make it easier for students to see what she is doing during the class and that the students will be able to watch the videos again and again, if they want to.

The most important thing Lynn hopes her students will gain from her classes is to be able to learn to trust their instincts and not worry about what other people think of what they are doing. She is hoping to provide a comfortable setting where her students will feel open to trying new things, and not worry about their final outcome.

To learn more about Lynn Koolish, please visit her website.  

Meet Road@Home Teacher Tammy Silvers

Friday, January 8th, 2021

Modern Quilter, Tammy Silvers, is teaching 3 classes during Road@Home:

On Wednesday, W131 – To The Point

Tammy Silvers

On Thursday, T126 – Compass Points

Tammy Silvers

And on Friday, S130 – Marys Contrary Garden

Tammy Silvers

Living the Quilt Designer’s Dream

Tammy Silvers discovered quilting when her sister-in-law invited her to take a quilting class with her. It was a slow start, but Tammy never gave up and today, she is “stitching up a storm.”

Tammy started teaching quilting to help pay for her second stint in college of getting her high school teaching certificate.  Her quilt students kept asking for new projects, which led to designing.  Teaching them – and designing for them – led to Tammy’s passion for teaching quilting, which further spurred her desire to design. Tammy remarked, “Why would you want me to come teach at your guild or show unless I’ve designed something you like, right?!” And now twenty years later, Tammy Silvers is still designing patterns and fabric. As she joyfully says, she is “Living the dream!”

Under the label Tamarinis, Tammy’s designs are regularly published in a variety of quilt magazines. She worked with some of the major fabric manufacturers, designing projects to showcase and promote their fabric lines, including Northcott, Free Spirit, Maywood, Dear Stella, Timeless Treasures and Island Batik.  

Tammy Silvers

A Cozy Quilt Studio for Tammy Silvers

Tammy Silver admits, “I have a lovely quilting studio now.  It has room for tons of fabric storage, a dedicated pressing area, a huge sewing table, large, lovely windows, and even a fireplace.  No matter the time of year, it is a cozy, inviting space to create.”

Tammy Silvers

Her iron is Tammy’s favorite quilting tool. She says, “I firmly believe that no matter how inaccurate your piecing is, your quilt will look 100% better if it is well pressed.” Another favorite is her Aurifil thread. She uses it “for EVERY project!”

Tammy Silvers

Lessons Learned from COVID-19

Pivot is Tammy Silvers word for how she has survived the Coronavirus lockdowns. She defined pivoting as “learning more about producing videos, teaching online, and adjusting my class offerings and my guild offerings to work better in an online platform.” It has been more difficult for Tammy to stay connected with students, customers, and friends, and to “be there for them.”   

Tammy also has discovered more appreciation for her family. She has “been made more aware of how amazing my family is, and reminded of how grateful I am to have loved ones in my life.  This forced time at home has also helped me rediscover the joy in creating – big projects, small projects – and in sharing with others.”

Teaching at Road@Home

Tammy Silvers has lots experience teaching quilting, first at a local chain store and then at local quilt shops, community centers, at large shows, and for guilds.

Tammy realizes that online classes have a different pace and a different level of expectation than in person classes.  Slowing down, repeating, showing processes in greater detail have all worked well to make her online classes work for her students this past year. She plans on utilizing all those experiences in her Road@Home classes. Tammy says that her Road@Home classes are some of her favorite projects. “I know you aren’t supposed to have favorites – but I’ll confess, they are.  I love the freedom these projects have and I’m excited to see how students take the techniques and expand on them.”

Students in Tammy Silvers’ classes can expect “to become empowered to express themselves through the art of creation.  The satisfaction – and often sheer joy – of completing a task, mastering a skill, making something that expresses who they are is so rewarding.  I am always fascinated to see how others interpret my designs as well.  Sometimes it is a change in color, or a combination of prints.  Sometimes it is a change in design, such as adding or leaving off sashing, or changing the borders.  Mostly, I love sharing my passion for quilting and helping others discover the fun in quilting too!”

You can learn more about Tammy Silvers on her website.