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Posts Tagged ‘Longarm Quilting’

6 Tips For Your Quilt Business

Saturday, February 17th, 2018

Jamie Wallen, has owned a longarm quilting business for over 20 years. During his classes, not only did he help students improve their longarm quilting skills, he also shared advice about how to be a successful lonngarm quilting business owner based on his own experiences.

Practice. Practice. Practice.

Practice your craft at least a half an hour a day by drawing designs on paper, creating “muscle memory” for when you take the design to the machine. As you practice, learn new designs and techniques. Be willing to learn and grow with your talents and skills.

Go Online.

Jamie shared that there are 100’s of quilt block quilting design ideas online.  Search for contour line quilt blocks. Print them off and practice the designs.  Also search for current trends in quilts and come up with three different ways to quilt a particular designed quilt.

Clients Will Come

“No need to worry if you will get clients, ” assured Jamie. “They will come.” He recommended practicing your business pitch right along with practicing your quilting techniques.  You won’t have time to practice when a customer drops off their quilt.

Sharon was a student in one of Jamie’s classes. She has been quilting for over 20 years and started longarm quilting four years ago when her kids got out of school and she had more time. She has owned a longarm business, Bee Squared Quiltsfor 2 years. At first, she quilted for friends and their friends. She is ready to expand her business so that is why she took Jamie’s class. Her first longarm quilting class was with Jamie at Road 2016. She loved learning his design techniques and hearing his stories, so she signed up again in 2018. Her best take-away? Keep drawing.

Use Your Time Wisely In Your Studio

When Jamie first started his business, he found he was spending 10-12 hours in his studio but that he was wasting a lot of time. “There are lots of distractions and interruptions when you work out of your home. It’s takes self discipline to have a successful business,”  stressed Jamie. Some things that Jamie does to stay on track is to have a running timer on his machine. When he walks up to the machine, he hits it on and whenever he walks away, he hits it off so that all through the day he keeps a running total of the time he actually spends quilting. Today, he has cut down his quality time to 7-71/2 hours quilting.

Jamie recommends avoiding television when in the studio. Television causes a distraction because you often look away to see what it on. He prefers books on tape or podcasts because they keep you at the machine. “We need stimulation while we quilt and non-visual is best.”

Another suggestion is to take advantage of answering machines and voicemail. Stop every hour to stretch, check your messages, and do other tasks.

Make Friends With Your Clients.

Jamie shared this observation: “Your clientele are not just there for your services. They are also looking for friends. Make appointments with your clients to show you respect their time. Find out about them, their work, their interests. Offer them coffee. A mediocre quilter who treats his or her client kindly will be more successful than a superb quilter who doesn’t take an interest in their client.”

Another one of Jamie’s students, Chrissy, is new to the longarm quilting business world. She says she puts a lot of love in the quilting she does for her business, House of Threads. Chrissy said she liked “the touch and feel” of the machines during her class. She appreciated the opportunity to meet fellow quilters, see Jamie’s quilts up close, and have him answer questions. “Jamie is amazing.”    Tell The Truth.

“The human eye only corrects 75% of what it sees so the likelihood of your client catching a mistake isn’t that high. Still, it is better for you to bring it to their attention. Always come clean with your client if you mess up. Don’t try to cover it up.  And fessing up to a mistake doesn’t necessarily mean you will have to always undo your mistakes.”

Jamie’s tips can be adapted for anyone who owns their own business but especially for longarm quilters.

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Jamie Wallen And The Art Of Longarm Quilting

Tuesday, February 13th, 2018

Innova machines under the tutelage of Jamie Wallen. Prior to becoming a long arm quilter, Jamie was a Registered Nurse for over 20 years. Burn out with the profession settled in after working 18-hour days, 7 days a week for so long. One day, in the mid-90’s, Jamie went to a friend’s house to help him put up a fence. His friend’s wife was a piecer and had a quilting magazine laying around. Jamie picked it up, thumbed through it, and saw an ad for a longarm quilting machine. He bought the machine 2 days later!! Right from the beginning, it was never about the piecing for Jamie; he was all about the longarm quilting.  He recalled, “I saw the potential for ‘painting on a canvas of what was finished.’” For two years, Jamie did nursing and quilting was his hobby. In those days, there was no support for longarm quilters so “you had to make it up as you went,” shared Jamie. He did a lot of practicing on bed sheets to come up with ideas. Soon, the quilting industry began to boom—and so did his business. How many quilts has he quilted? He stopped counting three years ago when his total reached 6,500!!   A resident of Michigan City, Indiana, he and his partner, Rich, travel extensively with their business, Quilters Apothecary. In 2017, they spent 34 weeks traveling over 60,000 miles driving and flying, including a one-month stint in Australia teaching in five different cities.    Jamie got in to teaching as a way to be a mentor for friends who made a big investment in their longarm machines but didn’t know what to do with them.  Today, he values teaching as a way to be a caretaker for the industry. Jamie teaches at Road approximately every other year (he previously taught in 2013 and 2016), and his classes sell out fast. Being from the East, he enjoys coming to Ontario during the winter. He appreciates the creative energy found at the show and all the inspiration that it has. Jamie says his students are always “happy and ready to learn.” During his classes, Jamie demonstrated drawing and quilting different designs as he shared personal stories of what it like to be a longarm quilter. One thing Jamie stressed with his students was the necessity of putting aside time each day for practicing.  With drawing, practicing at least a half hour to 45 minutes will help build muscle memory which eventually translates over to working on the machine. “Drawing designs is addictive. Anything a pencil can do, a longarm does,” Jamie said. He recommended keeping a TV tray, a folding chair, and some drawing tablets in the family room and use them when watching television.   With quilting, Jamie said that the biggest problem is waiting until you have a quilt before you start quilting. “You need to practice a lot before you lay down a quilt on the machine.” He added, “Every new quilt design is like learning cursive. It will look ugly at first,” but over time, “repetition brings rhythm.”   Looking for new longarm quilting ideas? Jamie recommends going online. “Search for contour line quilt blocks. There are 100’s of quilt blocks to print off and practice.” He also said to look for popular quilts, print a picture of them, and come up with three ways to quilt it.     What are the biggest changes Jamie has seen with longarm quilting since he started?  For one, it has become more of an industry than merely a hobby. People recognize its value and are willing to pay appropriately. Another change is how quilts are looked at in general. No longer are they just functional fabric items. They have evolved into family heirlooms where quilters preserve lasting legacies.  Jamie shared that the current biggest trend is photo quilts—4×4 inch photos on fabric. To learn more about Jamie Wallen and his quilting tools, please visit his website.      ]]>

Meet Road 2018 Teacher Kristin Vierra

Monday, August 28th, 2017

Gammill stand-up longarm machines on a stationary frame. These classes are on Monday 1014R   Fun Feathers that Fit Anywhere and Tuesday: 2014R  Easy Background Fillers for Longarm Quilters Kristin will also be teaching a class on Wednesday where Brother machines will be provided for each student’s use: 3016C  Easy English Paper Piecing by Machine  Then, on Wednesday evening, Kristin will be teaching a design class (no machine necessary) 3068C  So I got it pieced, now what?  A Lincoln, Nebraska native and former University of New Mexico nursing teacher, Kristin Vierra has also lived in California, Arizona, Florida, Colorado, Iowa, D.C., Tennessee, and Louisiana before returning back to her roots in Lincoln about 10 years ago. Kristin’s great-grandma taught her mom how to quilt and in turn, Kristin’s mom taught Kristin how to sew. As Kristin says, she has always sewn in one form or another, and even made an occasional baby blanket.  Kristin tried hand quilting but thought hers “never looked right; instead of nice even stitching, I had Morse code. You know, dot, dot, dash, dash, dash.”  She also felt that she never seemed “coordinated enough to quilt on a domestic.”  Plus, it always made her shoulders ache on big projects. When Kristin moved back to Lincoln, she “was lucky enough to find a used Gammill Longarm. That was when I really actually started quilting. My longarm and I just clicked and the rest as they say is history.” Kristin finds inspiration for her quilting literally “everywhere.”   It drives her husband and kids nuts because she has been known to come out of a bathroom and ask for the camera because there was a particularly cool tile that she wanted to use as inspiration for a quilt.  Architecture, carpets, nature, designs on people’s clothes— all are fair game to Kristin when it comes to quilting.  While she uses many quilting tools, Kristin’s favorite is her design board.  She had it custom made out of clear plexiglass with registration marks to help her divide up blocks.  Kristin places it on top of a quilt and draws on it with dry erase markers.  It makes it really easy to audition designs, without having to mark the quilt or even worse rip out stitches. She’ll be demonstrating this tool in her “So I got it pieced, now what?” class. Her best quilting tip is “don’t be afraid to try.”  Kristin admits that “some of my coolest creations have come from my biggest mistakes.” Kristin’s favorite aspect of teaching is “that moment when you can see the ‘light bulb’ go on in someone’s head.” All of a sudden, “some concept or technique they have been struggling with becomes clear and they get so excited.” For Kristin, that’s the absolute best feeling to be a part of. What does Kristin hope her student get out of her classes? “I want them to go away inspired and excited about whatever project they are going to work on next.  It doesn’t matter if you are making cuddle quilts or the next BOS winner.  All that matters is that you are enjoying yourself and having fun.” To learn more about Kristin, please visit her website.]]>

Road 2017 Faculty: Meet Linda Matteotti

Friday, December 30th, 2016

Linda Matteotti will be  teaching two stand up, longarm classes :

Monday: 1015C  Begin with a Stencil 

Tuesday: 2016C  Simple but Amazing Projects on a Long Arm 

Four hands on, computer design classes:

Wednesday: 3007C  Mastering Electric Quilt Level 1  

Thursday: 4007C Mastering Electric Quilt Level 2

Friday: 5007C Electric Quilt – Foundation and Appliqué Patterns

Saturday: 6006C Art & Stitch for Longarm Digitizing  

And a half-morning drawing class:

Sunday: 7006C  Zentangle Drawing  

A  resident of Tempe, Arizona, Linda Matteotti is a versatile and qualified teacher. She is  a Handi Quilter Longarm Educator, an Art Stitch Certified Teacher, an Electric Quilt and EQStitch Instructor, and a Certified Zentangle Teacher (CZT). Besides Road to California, Linda has also taught as far away as Australia and South Africa.  When she’s not quilting, Linda does Zentangle drawing and book folding. 

How did Linda get started in longarm quilting? “I was not having much success with machine quilting on my domestic machine, so I decided to try free motion on a longarm. After achieving success on that, I am now able to quilt on a domestic machine or sit-down longarm with great results. After purchasing my Handi Quilter longarm in 2008, I became an Educator for them and have enjoyed teaching all over the world.”

Inspiration for Linda’s designs comes from “absolutely everywhere.” She thinks Pinterest is a “most amazing resource.” Some of her work has been quilting her mother’s beautiful embroidery creations.

What is the one quilting tool that Linda cannot live without?  “Electric Quilt (EQ7). I never make a quilt without it. Regardless of whether I’m piecing by machine or hand, applique or whole cloth. Every quilt I make begins it’s life as a layout in Electric Quilt.”

Linda’s favorite aspect of teaching is “watching the “lights go on” with her students, Her favorite moment is when she hears “that was worth the price of admission,” at the end of a class. Linda also hopes her students gain the ability to be independent with their quilting and designing. 

What is Linda’s best quilting tip?  “There are no “always” or “nevers” in your quilting journey. Explore different techniques and adopt the ones that work for you.”

You can learn more about Linda on her website.

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Experience Both Domestic And Long Arm Quilting In These 2017 Classes

Tuesday, November 8th, 2016

the first time, Road to California is offering an industry room where students will be able to experience firsthand, quilting on both domestic and long arm machines. Mel’s Sewing and Fabric Center and BERNINA have teamed up to provide both types of sewing machines for classes taught by Mandy Leins, Paula Reid, and Jenny Bowker.berninamtclogo-600 How did this concept idea get started?  Matt Reese, Road’s Show Director, approached Mel’s Sewing and Fabric Center with the idea and they loved it!! Mel’s has been a BERNINA dealer since 1960 and has been supporting Road to California for many years. BERNINA machines have been requested repeatedly for classroom opportunities because they are easy to use with a proven success record for all levels of sewing interest. Mel’s is providing 10 standard domestic BERNINA machines and 10 BERNINA long arm machines for use in the industry room classroom.bernina-longarm-q20-500x500 The long arm machine being featured is a BERNINA Q 20 – a sit-down long arm machine. This model accommodates the best of both worlds: it can be placed on a frame or set in a cabinet. Using a frame allows the quilter to move the machine while the fabric is stationary. With the cabinet, the fabric can be moved under the stationary machine. Each instructor assigned to teach in the industry classroom —Mandy Leins, Paula Reid, and Jenny Bowker — will share specific techniques on both machines. [caption id="attachment_4457" align="aligncenter" width="383"]Fluff & Stuff will be taught on Wednesday and Thursday by Paula Reid, Class 3401C Fluff & Stuff will be taught on Wednesday and Thursday by Paula Reid, Class 3401C[/caption] On the domestic machine, features that will be highlighted include the walking foot, darning foot, basting stitch, BERNINA Stitch Regulator, pedal control, the Freehand System, and user interface to achieve amazing results. The sit-down long arm will emphasize hands-on work with acrylic templates, the #96 foot, BERNINA Stitch Regulator, user interface, and pedal control [caption id="attachment_4458" align="aligncenter" width="388"]Quilting with a Starter will be taught by Jenny Bowker on Saturday, Class  6001C  Quilting with a Starter will be taught by Jenny Bowker on Saturday, Class 6001C[/caption] Students will be encouraged to spend time on both machines. With the experience on a domestic machine, anyone should be able to apply the skills at home to come up with creative and beautiful designs on their personal machines. And after experiencing the Q 20, students can use their hands-on experience to see what amazing things can be done with templates on a sit-down longarm. Road to California is thrilled to be the first show in 2017 to experience the BERNINA Q 20 in a classroom setting.  ]]>

Meet Road 2017 Teacher Claudia Pfeil

Wednesday, October 19th, 2016

Claudia Pfeil will be teaching six, hands on, stand up  longarm classes that allow for two students per machine head:

Pimp My Quilt! on Monday 1012N and Saturday 6015Npimp-my-quiltPaisley Parade on Tuesday 2017Npaisley-parade

Bubbles, Curves & Straight Lines – A Way to Modern Quilting on Wednesday 3016N  bubbles-curves-and-straight-lines

Claudia’s (P)fantastic (P)freemotion Borders on Thursday 4015Npfantastic-pfreemotion-borders

And on Friday 5016N Modern (P)freemotion Wholeclothp-freemotion-whole-cloth

At Road to California 2017, several of the class instructors are coming from outside the United States and Claudia Pfeil is one of those teachers. Claudia is from Germany. She grew up in Hemer and has lived in Krefeld since 1985. A town with a population of 240,000 in the mid-west part of Germany, close to the border of Belgium and Netherlands, Krefeld is known as the “Town of Velvet and Silk” because of its history of silk weaving. Growing up in a family of bankers, Claudia was the one who loved to draw and paint. She tried everything from pottery, silk painting, water color painting, and even making carpets out of knots.  When she graduated from school, she moved to Dortmund and started an apprenticeship as a display designer in a warehouse. It was through that job that in 1985 she was first exposed to quilting by attending Creativa –Europe’s leading exhibition for creative design.claudia-vor-quilt The biggest sewing project Claudia has ever done was the first quilt she ever made. It was made without using any rotary cutters or rulers and the basic sewing machine she used could only secure the layers for hand quilting. She taught herself the tricks of making templates and seams. According to Claudia, “there was much ‘trial and error’.” After the birth of her first son, Julian, in 1992, Claudia delved in to quilting. She found some fabric pieces she had stored away; 12 inch squares she had woven on a 16 shaft loom while attending  university. She just knew they belonged in a quilt. Needing thread to put the quilt together, Claudia went to a local sewing shop and they introduced her to her first rotary cutter, mat and quilting ruler. With perseverance, Claudia set out to “learn by doing.” She recalls that those “experimental times gave her the courage to improvise. I was soooo happy and I got hooked.” Looking back, Claudia says, “I have to smile about my self-confidence without having any clue.” Claudia has been a student of textile design, an independent textile designer, a patchwork quilting teacher, and a quilt shop owner. But she says her world changed completely in the spring of 2005 when she bought an APQS Longarm. Having taught throughout the United States, Australia, and Europe, Road 2017 will be Claudia’s first time at the show. She says, “I am really happy and proud to be invited.” All of her classes are hands on, longarm quilting classes. Her goal is to set her students free to think out of the box. She hopes they will leave the classroom with a big smile on their face, happy and proud of themselves, and remember her tips when they go home to work on their projects. To see more of Claudia’s work, please visit her Facebook Page.    ]]>

Date Time At Road To California

Monday, June 20th, 2016

Road to California is a great place for husbands and wives to discover together.162

Jim and Trudy West are from Oro Grande, California.  They were spotted wearing their matching Harley Davidson t-shirts at Road 2016– another joint hobby of theirs. Trudy is the quilter in their family; Jim is the ripper-outer. Trudy has been quilting since she was a child. She made her first quilt around 8-9 years old. She quilts all kinds of patterns and also makes quilts for charity causes like Susan J. Komen Foundation, Loma Linda Children’s Hospital, and the Salvation Army. Trudy has been to Road 10 times. As a couple, they have been twice. Says Jim, “It’s always fun to see what Trudy is quilting.”181 Brenda and Jeff Daniels attend Road for the entire week, taking classes and especially enjoying the camaraderie and new friends they meet at Party Time. Brenda has been quilting for over 50 years. She took 5 classes at Road 2016.   Jeff is learning how to do longarm quilting on his new machine and took four classes at Road 2016. Jeff commented, “Road is organized and put together really well. I like the classes.”212 Lee and Ginger Ashworth have been attending Road for the past 7 years from Beaverton, Oregon. It is a tradition they both enjoy.  They both like looking at the quilts on display. Ginger is the quilter in the family and  Lee says he is their driver to Road. They usually spend two days at the show. Their favorite Road memory was the Route 66 Exhibit. Coincidentally, they were traveling on Route 66 that same year, so the exhibit really was meaningful for them.157 Ed Dong and Linda Nakamura are from San Diego, California and have lived in the Far East while Ed was serving as a Foreign Diplomat. While there, they attended the Tokyo International Quilt Show. Road 2016 was Linda’s third time visiting Road and Ed’s first time. He said he was there to be the “driver and bag carrier.” Linda has been quilting for 20 years and calls herself a “utility quilter,” making quilts for family and friends. Linda appreciated how big of a show Road was and loved admiring the many quilts on display. Will we be seeing you and your spouse at Road 2017?      ]]>

Road 2016 Special Exhibit: Quilt As Desired

Tuesday, April 19th, 2016

Quilt as Desired, curated by Mary Kerr, a Road 2016 teacher. [caption id="attachment_3977" align="aligncenter" width="618"]Picture by Brian Roberts Photography Picture by Brian Roberts Photography[/caption] Mary teamed with some of the best longarm quilters in bringing this exhibit to life. Mary found the vintage tops for the quilts. She never paid more than $50 for any of them and they were in all kinds of condition.  Mary passed the tops on to the quilters who donated their time, batting and expertise in bringing the quilts back to life. Sometimes they added to the top; sometimes they took away. As Mary remarked, “It was a unique marriage of old and new, blurring the lines of the quilting world.”  Shows, such as Road to California that display the exhibit, pay to get the quilts shipped to their location and for having Mary come to lead tours and explain the quilts. [caption id="attachment_3980" align="aligncenter" width="615"]Photo by Brian Roberts Photography Photo by Brian Roberts Photography[/caption] The full exhibit has 40 quilts. Twenty four of them were included in the exhibit at Road 2016. In 5 years, when Quilt as Desired is done touring, all of the quilts will be auctioned off for various quilt causes chosen by Mary and the longarmers. [caption id="attachment_3979" align="aligncenter" width="526"]Photo by Brian Roberts Photo by Brian Roberts[/caption] Miss Sally was a top quilted by Sally Garuet, founder of the American Quilt Story Group. The original fan top is circa 1930. The Art Deco quilting was done by M&M Quilting.Quilt_as_desired-12 This Dresden Plate top entitled Melon Smoothie was quilted by Marty Vint of Baltimore, Maryland. Mary has macular degeneration and estimates she will only be able to quilt for 2 more years before she loses her eyesight. When this quilt is auctioned off, the proceeds have already been designated to benefit macular degeneration research. [caption id="attachment_3981" align="aligncenter" width="529"]Quilt_as_desired-8 Photo by Brian Roberts[/caption] As Mary said, “No woman ever started out to make a quilt top. A quilt top deserves to be quilted.” All it takes to finish a quilt is time, talent, and resources – which this special exhibit offered for these amazing quilt tops. You can go to Mary’s web site to find out where Quilt as Desired is going next on its tour. You can also purchase a DVD of the entire exhibit.]]>

Winning The Statler Educational Program At Road 2016

Friday, February 12th, 2016

Thanks to Road’s Platinum Sponsor, Gammill Quilting Systems, and to Road to California, Barbara Atwell from Reno, Nevada, won class registration for the Statler Educational Program. Barbara attended four classes taught by Georgia Stull, Thursday through Sunday, January 21-24, 2016. The prize also included entry to the show all four days. download

Barbara Atwell saw the Statler Educational Program Giveaway advertised on Road’s Facebook Page and was chosen as the winner from 279 total entries!! Barbara said she was “shocked and amazed” to have won. She had never attended Road before and winning the contest gave her the encouragement she needed to attend.

[caption id="attachment_3805" align="aligncenter" width="543"]Teacher Georgia Stull with winner Barbara Atwell Teacher Georgia Stull with winner Barbara Atwell[/caption]

A quilter since 1979, Barbara had been quilting on a domestic machine for the past 4-5 years and was considering purchasing a longarm machine. She had actually been looking in to the Statler by Gammill and after attending the classes for four days, her desire for this machine was reinforced. “I learned a ton, a lot more than I had expected.”

[caption id="attachment_3514" align="aligncenter" width="600"]Statler Creators Paul and Mildred Statler Statler Creators Paul and Mildred Statler[/caption]

When Barbara first saw the Statler by Gammill up close, she thought it was “a thing of beauty.” After working on the machine, she found it to be “a lot easier to use” than she expected. Of her experience, Barbara said, “The software program is amazing. The creative studio is easy to play with before you actually go to quilt a project. If you don’t like something in the planning stages, you can go in, figure out what you want to change, then make the change before you get started.”

All of the students in the Statler Educational Program received a thumb drive to take home with notes from their training and some coupons too.012 Barbara came away feeling more confident with her quilting skills. “I’m going to be a better quilter after attending these classes.” She felt that some of the training she received could be applied not only to longarm quilting with a computerized system but with quilting in general. In particular, she learned how to best attach quilts to a machine and the order in which to do the quilting.

The classes were taught in a lecture hall format by Georgia Stull. Barbara thought Georgia was an “excellent instructor. She encouraged questions and gave answers right away. Georgia knew what she was talking about!!” 010

Georgia was thrilled that Road was offering computerized quilting classes. “Today’s quilters are more comfortable with electronic devices so they aren’t as fearful of the Statler. Also, they appreciate how it is a less physical way to quilt.”  She loved teaching in the lecture hall setting. “The seats were comfortable, everyone could hear what I was teaching and they had a good view.”  Georgia also felt the set-up provided “a great opportunity for the students to build a relationship with each other and share one another’s viewpoints.”013

The first thing Barbara was going to do when she got home was “soak in the tub and then brow beat my husband to buy me a Statler.” She also couldn’t wait to share what she learned with her quilting group, the board of her quilt guild, Truckee Meadows Quilters, and her Soroptomist group.

Barbara shared some closing thoughts: “I am so grateful for this experience. Thank you Road and Gammill for sponsoring the contest. And I have some advice: Enter Road Contests!!”

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Shannah's Cameo: The Story Behind The Quilt

Wednesday, February 3rd, 2016

Shannah’s Cameo won First Place in the category, Excellence in Longarm Quilting, for maker and quilter Karen Sievert.

Karen received $1,500 from sponsor, American Professional Quilting SystemsExcellance in Longarm

Road to California was a tremendous experience for author, teacher, free motion longarm quilter, Karen Sievert. She taught three of her own classes, substituted for Linda V. Taylor for two of her classes, and found out that she won first place in the quilt contest for Excellence in Longarm Quilting.

Every quilt has a story and Shannah’s Cameo is no different.

Karen Sievert and her husband, Vince, have three adopted children — Wayne, Shannah, and Travis — that were all drug/alcohol babies. Says Karen, “Raising my children, I have learned more from them than they have from me.”

When the kids were younger, they would help out with Karen’s trunk shows and became very familiar with the quilting world. Shannah had asked Karen to write a book and make a quilt named for her. Karen wasn’t interested in writing a third book, but she was interested in making Shannah “just one quilt” especially for her.

 Shannah’s Cameo served two purposes: not only was it a gift for her daughter, it also provided the background for teaching a new type of fills class using whole cloth. “Teaching and quilting on whole cloth doesn’t distract the students like a patterned fabric would,” shared Karen.

The focal point of the quilt is a replica cameo of Shannah’s face. A friend digitized Shannah’s image and Karen used different fills for the hair.Excellance in Longarm CameoKaren credits Stevii Graves for being the cheerleader behind this project.  It was her support that gave Karen the courage to try new techniques for the quilt that she never would have attempted before.

For classes, Karen gives students her drawing  Karen

And they practice their own fills in simulating Shannah’s hair.Student's work

This technique has led Karen to develop more classes for the future, using different image sketches like a hummingbird to promote the same idea.

[caption id="attachment_3785" align="aligncenter" width="515"]Sketch by Karen Sievert Sketch by Karen Sievert[/caption]

What does Shannah think about her quilt?Shannah Sievert

Karen says Shannah “loves it.” Shannah will be able to keep it after Karen is through showing it,

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