Are you having fun with Island Batik week? We’ve so enjoyed learning more about these amazing designers and are just smitten with the richly colored batiks. It’s been wonderful to partner with Island Batik and we of course love showcasing our latest thread collections. We have two more designers and three more collections for you this week which means three more giveaways! Make sure to come back daily to learn more about our talented designers to enter-to-win some gorgeous prizes!
ISLAND BATIK WEEK SCHEDULE
7/18 – Introduction to Island Batik
7/19 – Seashore by Tammy Silvers
7/20 – Equinox by 4th & 6th Designs
7/21 – Surf Squirt by Claudia Pfeil (Today)
7/22 – Tide Pools & Sand Dune by Kathy Engle
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The Surf Squirt collection by Claudia Pfeil Designs for Island Batik features colors from daisy yellows to coral reef greens to deep sea blues offering something for any sunny day fan. The coordinating Aurifil Thread Collection offers a gorgeous variety of both solid and variegated 40wt threads.
THREAD COLLECTION DETAILS
100% Aurifil Cotton
Large – 40wt, 1094yds each, 12 colors, Large Spools
4657 – 4660 – 3770 – 4654 – 3320 – 3817 – 6737 – 5005 – 2540 – 2135 – 2245 – 1320
To view this info on our website, click the images above. For purchasing, please contact your local Aurifil Dealer.
How did you first get involved with this wonderful world of textiles?
Growing up in Hemer, a small town in the woods with 30,000 inhabitants, in a family of bankers (Mother, Father AND Brother), I was NOT involved or educated in handcrafts at all! My teachers were a bit desperate about my future after school as I was not really a genius in mathematics, physics or latin language (normal classes in our German school system.) Handcrafting and arts were not on the teaching schedule, but I loved to draw and paint, and tried everything like pottery, silk painting, watercolour painting, and knotted carpets outside of school.
After school, I moved to Dortmund and started my apprenticeship as a display designer in a warehouse and discovered “Patchwork” in 1985 at a Creativa-Show.
Do you remember the first quilt that you ever made and how you felt once it was complete?
The quilt ‘Number One’ in 1985 came into being without the now common rotary cutter and rulers as such tools were unknown in Germany at the time. My basic sewing machine only had the use of securing the layers for hand quilting. There was much “trial and error” as I taught myself the tricks of making templates and seams to complete Number One.
That first quilt would hold it’s place as my only large sewing project. My move from Dortmund to Krefeld where I began studies at the University of Applied Sciences Niederrhein and my work as a textile designer drew my interests into different directions – I had the quilting fever – I just hadn’t fully discovered the wide world of quilting.
What inspired you to open up your quilt shop?
In 1992 my life changed with the birth of my first son, Julian. I decided that the work I had done in the textile arena would now change into getting the “hoarded” treasures that I had been collecting all those years out from the drawers and bins. I found my handwoven fabric pieces, done while at university on a 16 shaft loom, and I remembered “Patchwork” to give those fabrics a new life in a quilt!
These 30x30cm (almost 12 inch) unique blocks offered themselves immediately to be made into a quilt. Not having the proper “yarn” for sewing, I went to the local sewing shop where I was introduced to my first rotary cutter, mat, and quilting ruler. Again I set about the perseverance to “learn by doing” and these experimental times gave me the courage to improvise! I was soooo happy and convinced about those new tools in a second. And… I got hooked ! 🙂
Showing this “quilt” in the sewing shop, the owners immediately asked if I would teach Patchwork for them… I said “Of Course!” Today, looking back, I have to smile about my self confidence without having any clue! 😉
The classes were running well and the students were continuesly asking where to find real Patchwork Fabrics? Remember, in 1992/1993 there weren’t many quilt shops in Germany/Europe. I started buying fabrics (I remember Debbie Mumm was the first fabric line I bought). I opened my little shop in the basement of my home, collecting more and more fabrics. In 1997 it was time to move the fabrics into a real shop location, still individual and unique in a historical 19th century house: Quilt & Co.
Who has been the most inspiring person within your creative career?
I am not able to name one special person as an inspiration, it was more an collective absorbing. Ideas out of American magazines and books, learning the techniques – again trial and error, sharing ideas and thoughts with other German and European quilters .
What do you love most about quilting to show? Do you have a favorite quilt that has been completed?
I was a student of textile design in the 80s, an independent textile designer in the early 90s, a patchwork quilting teacher through the 90s, a quilt shop owner since 97, and a single mother of two strapping boys. But then, my world changed completely in the Fall of 2004: I attended a quilt show, “Carrefour du Patchwork” in France as a vendor with my shop Quilt & Co and the booth next to us was APQS. From the first day that I played on the Millennium quilting machine, I was hooked. I got my longarm machine in March 2005 and I had found a way to express myself through fabric and thread that was exciting, addictive, and fun.
Before falling in love with my APQS Millennium 11 years ago I quilted with my DSM. I wasn’t really happy with uneven stitches, limited space to move my (mostly) large quilts. It was only a little step for me, but a large step for my further life!
I am now spending my days running my quilt shop in Krefeld while furiously piecing my next show quilt at night. A busy schedule only allows me to make one show quilt per year with each quilt taking the best part of nine months to complete. I have been consistently creating original quilts that have taken the worldwide show floor center-stage since 2006.
To name my favorite show quilt: I can’t! At the stage of piecing and quilting and see it hanging at the shows – the newest one is always the closest to my heart – probably as the memories and the efforts are the freshest ones 😉 But they are ALL my “babies” !
What is your favorite quilting technique and why?
Using my APQS Freedom! It’s like flying like an eagle over the mountains… there is no quilting/space limitation! My favorites are for sure the freemotion and feather quilting, as thread and structures give the finish to a quilt. The quilt is always the base for playing with spaces and quilting designs. It’s not a quilt until it is quilted! The top changes completely while quilting! I am following the piecing, using it as a guide: creating spaces, working with contrasts and design elements.
My quilting philosophy is to use simple and effective designs, but the size and the filling/high density of quilting and the combination of all elements upraises the quilting from daily quilting to show quilt format.
I am always working in quilting with contrasts as one of my design elements:
- Size (Large/Small)
- Density (Positive/Negative spaces)
- Direction (Horizontal/Vertical)
- Design (Round/Straight)
- Style (Modern/Romantic)
You recently had two majors wins for your quilts ‘Turtle Bay” and “The Magical Mermaid’s Castle” at the Dubai International Quilt Show. What inspired those quilts and about how long did each one take?
Turtle Bay 2012, Theme: Underwater — The inspiration for this quilt was my desire to pay tribute to that great creature of the sea, the sea turtle. This endangered creature is beautiful in its natural habitat. To capture the beauty of the sea, I combined silk and gauze fabrics, along with machine quilting, to give movement to the water, seaweed and corals. The shells and star fish are made from silks with hand painted designs using Stewart Gill acrylic colors and then were machine appliquéd. The waves in the water were created using a template that I created to give just the right ebb and flow. The coral reef was cut freehand and then machine quilted to give texture and movement. The sea turtles were made from hand-dyed and printed fabric and were hand appliquéd. The white seaweed is a net type fabric that had been painted with acrylic paint and then couched with Razzle Dazzle thread to make it shimmer. The net and the gauze give a mystical effect adding to the mystery of the sea.
The Magical Mermaid’s Castle 2011 Theme: Magic — Welcome to the Mermaid’s Castle. It is a magical place filled with beauty and wonder. Here, at the Magical Mermaid’s Castle, you will find the beauty of the corals, reminders of the Great Barrier Reef in Australia. Look closely to discover the bubbles, plant life and underwater wonder land. Watch as the Mermaids invite you in to visit this magical, underwater oasis. Take a long look and discover the magic for yourself.
The Mermaids were printed on silk, and then stitched with filler stitches to give texture and bring the Mermaids to life. This process was a very spontaneous idea on one Saturday in the quilt shop. With my friend Edith we were thinking how to add the mermaids, seahorses and fishes onto the quilt, though it wasn’t pieced yet. One possibility would have been repeating the drawings several times… mmmmh… I wasn´t very happy with that idea, so we figured out how her office copy machine functioned, scanned the motifs, resized them, flipped them and printed them on transfer paper (usually used for t-shirt prints). The colors came out nearly original and we were really excited about the results. I transferred the motifs onto white silk, put a fusible web underneath and cut out the mermaids very carefully — cutting out all the tiny little open spaces was a real challenge!
Now with the original size of the mermaids I could start the sewing process. Beginning with the windows, the size was related to the size of the mermaids! Every step further in the sewing process was a logical development. My goal with every quilt is to have an extraordinary border. I pieced an 11 yard long line of rectangles together, light and darker lime green silks, cut the tops with a 45° angle, sewed a silk backing onto the border and flipped it to the right side.
My challenges with adding the border to the inner part of the quilt took many attempts before I was satisfied with a square top as the silk “walks” as you sew it.
True to form, I am always trying to “stretch” the creativity with my “Show Quilts”. This quilt features many couching and 3-D techniques. And I am always on the lookout for yarns, threads, beads and baubles that can be used in my quilts. These items are stored for quilts that have not been thought of yet. Threads used on this quilt were Superior Thread, Rainbows and Highlights. Embellished with Razzle Dazzle thread for couching and fancy yarns for the sea weed. Around 40,000 Swarovski Crystals were added onto the quilt. I pay individual attention to each crystal in it’s color and exact placement. I spent about three weeks in my “Rhinestone Quarry” for this quilt.
How did you first get involved with Island Batik?
Roughly 3 years ago I published a picture of “Shadowplay”, a quilt I made for Quilt & Co, on Facebook/Social media. Quilters love to share and so do I! I received a message from Elizabeth at Island Batik asking whether I would be interested to publish this pattern. I received the fabrics and so everything started. Island Batik is a great company to work with and their fabrics are fabolous! 🙂
Meanwhile I designed about 10 original quilts for Island Batik and I am always eager and anxiously waiting to hold the new fabric lines in my hands to start the design and sewing process. I need to see and touch the fabrics/colors to get ideas for the new quilts/projects – I am not planning a quilt in advance.
What do you love most about Batik fabrics?
The points are:
- Haptic: feels good – it feels „crispy“
- Designs: Blending designs and colors, tons of variations
- Usage: nice and easy to sew and quilt, no fraying, solid-colored ( no left or right side
- Colors: brilliant, matching, soft transitions
- Handcraft : Individual and unique
Do you have a favorite project that you’ve made using the fabrics and threads of Surf Squirt?
Yes 🙂 “Square-It” and “Twist-It”, the new projects for Island Batik. “Twist-It” is based on the traditional twister pattern, with a watercolor effect. “Square-It” is a modern quilt with squares in different sizes, sewn blockwise with a white background. The Surf Squirt collection is outstanding in their color variation – the full rainbow, it is so much fun to work with!
How did you first discover Aurifil threads?
Aurifil is a European company (Italy), so for us Europeans it was logical to use their threads for sewing from the beginning. Also, Aurifil is very supportive and always developping new threads for the market. When I met Alex Veronelli the first time at Carrefour du Patchwork, a big and wonderful Quiltshow in France, he asked me to try a new thread on the Longarm.
What is your process for selecting the colors for the coordinating Aurifil thread collection?
That is a dream and a nightmare at the same time! Combining and playing with the thread spools and fabrics on the one side… deciding between hundreds of color options on the other side! The size of the box (number of spools) is the limit. But finally, you have to reduce it to the required number – that is the hard thing! I am always asking myself: What will I use? If I am happy with that – that is my final decision !
To enter-to-win 1 Large Surf Squirt Thread Collection and one Fat Quarter Bundle of Surf Squirt fabrics from Island Batik, click here to head to the Rafflecopter entry page, or simply click on the image above. You do not have to complete all the options to be entered but the more options you choose, the more entries you have! Entries will be accepted from now through 11:59pm Eastern Time on Wednesday, July 27! Winner will be randomly selected and announced here on Thursday, July 28. Good luck!
UPDATE: This giveaway is now closed. Congratulations to Colette LeFever!!
ABOUT CLAUDIA PFEIL
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Claudia Pfeil has been sewing and piecing since she was a teen. She made her first quilt in 1985 but didn’t discover her absolute obsession with quilting until 1992. It was at that time that she began teaching and eventually opened a small shop in her home. By 1997, it was time to move the shop into a proper business space and Quilt and Co. was born. Claudia became the first European APQS dealer in 2005 and runs the entire European APQS showroom in Krefeld, Germany. In addition, she makes at least one show quilt a year, and recently took home first place prizes in two categories in addition to Best of Show and Best Long Arm Quilted at the International Quilt Show in Dubai.
ABOUT ISLAND BATIK
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Island Batik is a manufacturer, importer and distributor of cotton batik, rayon batik and hand-printed cotton from Indonesia. Originally established in 1997, Island Batik’s mission is to share the ancient cultural art of batik and hand-dyed fabric with our many valued customers around the world.