Wednesday, May 26, 2010

The Crazy German Artist!

The quilting in the above photo was done by German Quilt Artist Claudia Pfeil.

Meeting German quilt artist Claudia Pfeil was one of the biggest highlights of my week at MQS. She has such an outgoing, lively and sometimes crazy, personality. She's not afraid to say and do just about anything! It was a delight getting to know her. Ornamental Pfeathers, the class/demo I took with her was nothing short of inspiring. Her creativity drives her to keep stitching at an intense pace. During the whole demo, she rarely stopped sewing. From one feather to the next, her creativity kept building. It was fascinating to see her in action.
        She also made sure to have the essentials handy....she had CHOCOLATE. Not just any chocolate...yummy German chocolates. She passed around a basket of them halfway through class. The Giotto truffles were my favorite. Later in the week, she kindly gave me a whole package of now she is my friend forever :-)
In the photo above we are holding up a feather that I got to help design. After demonstrating several of her gorgeous feathers, like the one seen above, Claudia asked for 3 volunteers to design new, preferably challenging feathers for her. I raised my hand along with 2 other women. We didn't actually sew or draw the entire feather for her, just the spine - simple line drawings for her to follow with her machine. Mine, as you can see from the photo was quite curvy. When she started to stitch mine she asked: "Who's is the drunk one?" I guess you could say it looks that way. The funniest reaction we got from Claudia was when one of the other 2 volunteers handed in a feather design with a right angle in it. *It was certainly challenging! Claudia pretended to be flustered and jokingly glared at her students saying: "Alright WHO gave me this one?!" The student gingerly raised her hand. Pointing her finger at her, Claudia said, "Well, I'm going to remember you!" The whole class laughed. Claudia stitched all 3 of our feather designs beautfully. Then I asked her if we could "pretty please" have them since we designed them...she said yes.
A little bit about the Artist: Claudia has won several major awards at both American and European Quilt shows. She has won several ribbons over the years at MQS, including viewer's choice in 2009. At this year's European Quilt championships, her quilt Cordoba *seen below* won Public Choice and first prize in long-arm quilting. She is the mother of two sons and owns a quilt shop in Germany. She is an APQS representative. She also travels across Europe and America offering classes and workshops.

Favorite Claudia Quote: "Don't breathe! Just quilt!"

The following photos are posted with the permission of Claudia Pfeil. These photos of her award-winning quilt, Cordoba, were taken at MQS.
All photos stitched by Claudia Pfeil

Sunday, May 23, 2010

My First Day at MQS - Gina Perkes

My first class: Fantabulous Feathers and Fills started bright and early at 8:00 Monday morning. I was so excited to finally be starting my long-anticipated week of classes at MQS. Award-winning quilt artist Gina Perkes, was ready to roll when we got to class. I learned SO much from her. She had a variety of her own unique designs to share with us. She not only demonstrated her designs, but also carefully explained the best techniques for how to do them. I highly recommend taking a class with her! The photo above is one her motifs she shared with us.
A little bit about the Artist: Gina has won several awards, such as IQA's "future of quilting" top award in 2008. She has been a guest on both "Linda's Long Arm Quilting" and Ricky Tims' & Alex Andersons' "The Quilt Show." In 2007, Gammill asked her to be their National spokesperson. She does gorgeous quilting and has made several award winning show quilts such as the one seen below. She lives in Payson, Arizona with her husband and three kids.

The best part of Gina's class was Gina. She was so laid back and fun to be with. I enjoyed interacting with her and thought that the way she handled the class was excellent. We learned so many skills, some of which were fairly advanced, without stressing!

Gina brought her award-winning quilt, Silken Defiance, for us to get an up close look at. When I asked her permission to post pictures of it she jokingly said: "Absolutely as long as you mention that I'm a super cool teacher with super cool techniques...LOL!" So let me just's a super cool quilt by a super awesome teacher! To view a full shot of this quilt, go to Gina's website here.

Friday, May 21, 2010

On My Way to Kansas!

Just last Sunday I was in the air headed to the Overland Park Convention Center in Kansas. I have been planning a trip to the Machine Quilter's Showcase for months now. I was so excited when the date for my departure FINALLY arrived. MQS, for those of you who don't know about it, is a fabulous way to spend the week taking classes from international, award winning quilt artists like Karen McTavish, Sue Patten, Claudia Pfeil, Linda Taylor...and the list goes on! There was also an extensive quilt show, vendor mall, and lots of fun evening activities including a banquet with guest speaker Kaye England - she was a hoot and a half! Long story short...I had a blast and did not want to go home. I do not have much time to blog right now and will be posting lots of photos soon! In the photo below my good friend and fellow longarmer Angela and I are our way to MQS. Stay tuned! More exciting stuff coming soon!