Monday, March 16, 2009

North Sea Quilters in the Patchwork en Quiltdagen in Rijswijk

Of course it can't be a"North Sea Quilters and Friends" exhibition without showing our own works. We selected "Little Amsterdam" and "Kyoto Nights" to exhibit during the Patchwork en Quiltdagen in Rijswijk.

"Little Amsterdam" quilted by Marybeth Tawfik,
designed and pieced by Maria Laza, Leslie Carol Taylor, Marybeth Tawfik
72” x 72”, 2007

This quilt was conceived by the North Sea Quilters as a tribute to the beautiful and distinctive architecture of the Netherlands, our host country. The house facades are all based on real houses found on the canals of Amsterdam. The quilting was done to replicate all the different textures found around these houses: smoke, wind, vines, bricks, cobblestones, and water.

This quilt won 1st prize for Long Arm Quilting at the Open European Championships, Waalre, the Netherlands, 2007.

Kyoto Nights (2008)
by North Sea Quilters: Maria Laza, Leslie Carol Taylor and Marybeth Tawfik
67” x 73”

Kyoto Nights celebrates the large-scale asymmetrical Japanese floral prints that have been so popular in the last few years. Using a hexagon as a base, North Sea Quilters have isolated vignettes of the fabric to give the impression of looking into a Japanese garden at night through a window. The Japanese crests were stitched from patterns on the Statler Stitcher™, the chrysanthemums were first drafted and digitized by Leslie and the “rain” in the bamboo forest was stitched freehand.

This is the end of our report on the exhibition. Thanks for following it during the last couple of weeks.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Marybeth Tawfik's Quilt at North Sea Quilters and Friends exhibition in Rijswijk

During the Patchwork en Quiltdagen in Rijswijk in our exhibition you could also see a quilt of our friend, Annelies, which were beautifully quilted by Marybeth.

"Simply Delicious" quilted by Marybeth Tawfik,
46” x 46”, 2008

This Piece O’ Cake design, hand appliquéd by Annelies Nijland, reminded me very much of my grandmother’s garden. My grandmother spent many, many hours growing the fruits and vegetables that her family would eat throughout the year. She always put up her vine supports by hand using small branches and twine and I have tried to replicate that look by quilting freehand, not using any rulers or markers, to give it that old-fashioned, homemade look that was so very beautiful to me growing up.

details of the quilt

Marybeth Tawfik received her first electric sewing machine at the age of 10 so that her mother would be able to use her own Pfaff. Originally sewing garments, she became interested in patchwork in 1996 while living in Japan, but was too intimidated by the process to begin patchwork until 2001. She purchased her Gammill Optimum Plus® in 2004 at the International Quilt Festival in the Hague. She “practiced” on the machine for 3 years before attempting to quilt other people’s quilt tops. She tries very hard to sew every day, believing that therein lies the path to sanity and serenity.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Leslie Carol Taylor's Quilt at North Sea Quilters and Friends Exhibition in Rijswijk

As the long-arm quilting exhibition during the Patchwork en Quiltdagen 14-15 February in Rijswijk was organized by us, it is obvious that we exhibited also our individual works, like Leslie's Forbidden Fruit.
Leslie Carol Taylor: "Forbidden Fruit" (2008)
65” x 89”

"Forbidden Fruit was originally made for a challenge entitled “Paradise”. The idea was to create an exotic and mysterious atmosphere using batiks in lime, turquoise and black. The flying geese border mimics the markings of the serpent, and in this Garden of Eden there are lemons as well as apples. The design was simple to leave myself plenty of “open space” for quilting. I first drafted the quilting designs for the different parts of the quilt, then digitized and eventually sewed them, using a Gammill® Optimum Plus with Statler Stitcher™ and the new Creative Studio™ software. The quilting designs mimic the mood of the fabrics used for piecing and the variegated thread enhances the black background."

Leslie Carol Taylor was born in the UK and has been sewing for as long as she can remember. She officially learned to do patchwork by hand in France in the eighties. Whilst living in Japan in the late nineties, she discovered you could also quilt by machine and from then nothing has been able to stop her. She has been back in the Netherlands since 2001 where she later met Maria Laza and Marybeth Tawfik. Together they founded North Sea Quilters in 2007. Her trip with Marybeth to the EMQE long-arm quilting retreat in Ireland in May 2007 was to become the most expensive holiday ever, as it resulted in the purchase of a Gammill Optimum Plus with Statler Stitcher Leslie has been quilting for customers since December 2007. She loves enhancing a treasured object entrusted to her, and turning it into something even more beautiful. She has a scientific background which helps and inspires her to digitize her own quilting designs, which the Statler stitches out beautifully. And she has even been known to still sew things by hand...

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Quilts of Andreas Wolf at the North Sea Quilters and Friends Exhibition

During the Patchwork en Quiltdagen in Rijswijk between 14-15 February you could also see these two quilts, which were designed, pieced and long-arm quilted by Andreas Wolf.

Andreas Wolf: "Elemantals"
47.5” x 55”

"‘Elemantals’ uses hand-dyed fabrics for the applique and is quilted on a longarm every line. This quilt was displayed at the Festival of Quilts in Birmingham, England. The quilt was machine sewn and longarm quilted on a Gammill® Optimum Plus."

Andreas Wolf: "Opal"
59” x 90”

"This batik quilt was made to showcase our acrylic templates and the fabrics. It was machine sewn and longarm quilted on a Gammill® Optimum Plus using an edge-to-edge pattern."
The templates are available from:

Andreas Wolf was born in Hamburg 1965 and grew up on the Lake of Konstanz. He began making handicrafts at a very early age, knitting and cross-stitching. The first quilt show he attended was an exhibition of Amish quilts in Konstanz in 1995. He was then inspired to begin making traditional quilts. In 1998 he opened his own quilt shop in Hamburg and began as a professional quilter. In the shop he has everything any quilter would need. He holds classes, attends quilt shows all over Europe, and produces templates for cutting fabric. In 2005 he purchased an Optimum Plus® long arm quilting machine from Gammill and began to custom quilt clients’ quilt tops. Andreas loves to meet nice, creative people and brings a unique perspective to quilting. You can contact Andreas on 0049.40.22697070 or e-mail to

Monday, March 9, 2009

Quilts of Tracey Pereira at the North Sea Quilters and Friends Exhibition

During the Patchwork en Quiltdagen 14-15 February in Rijswijk you had the opportunity to look at the Birmingham winner quilts of Tracey Pereira.

Tracey Pereira:"It Happened Overnight …" (2003)
70” x 90”

"During the past twenty years or so the mysterious and often overnight appearance of crop circles has fascinated the world over. Intrigued by many of these beautiful and intricate designs I used this quilt to focus on this strange phenomena."

The inspiration for the quilting designs comes from the book "Crop Circles" by Werner Anderhub and Hans Peter Roth. Whilst some artistic license has been employed many of the quilting designs are based on actual circle formations. Quilted on a non-stitch regulated Gammill® Classic.

This quilt was the winner of the 2006 Art Prize for Freehand Quilting at the Festival of Quilts, Birmingham, England.

"Cosmic Cousins" long-arm quilted by Tracey Pereira (2006)
85” x 85”

"This two-colour piece incorporates an "Ohio Star" foundation block designed by Carol Doak and pieced by my cousin Emma Armstrong. The on-point layout was a 'happy accident' after discovering insufficient blocks had been made but left an open door for some bespoke quilting. Tracey developed the quilting design and freehand quilted it on her Gammill® Optimum plus quilting machine."

This quilt won 2nd place in 2006 at the Festival of Quilts, Birmingham, England, for a two-person quilt and for long arm quilting. It was also juried into the 2008 Mancuso World Quilt and Textiles tour.

Tracey Pereira is an award-winning quilter based in the South of England. She has been quilting for many years and has taught at both national and international levels. She is also a published author and has made several contributions to UK patchwork and quilting magazines. Most recently, Tracey has produced a number of designs for robotic and computerised quilting and embroidery systems.
Tracey is also an accredited judge with the Quilters Guild of the British Isles.
You can see more about Tracey and her work at

Friday, March 6, 2009

Quilts of Mary Palmer at the North Sea Quilters and Friends Exhibition

Many of you admired the work of Mary Palmer during the Patchwork en Quiltdagen 14-15 February in Rijswijk. You can look at the quilts again and read about them here.

Mary Palmer: "20th Century Stars" (2006)
90” x 90”, 2006

"This quilt was made as part of a challenge themed “Blue and White Stars”. Having recently made a traditional star quilt, I tried to play with the term “stars”, hence the familiar faces. The two girls in the centre are my daughters, both born in the 20th century, and stars to me! In the quilting, I have tried to complement the image in each area."

"Log Cabin Houses" quilted by Mary Palmer
64” x 88”

"Marie O’Brien pieced this quilt, having purchased Heidi Stoll-Weber’s hand-dyed cotton sateen and having seen the pattern in a book by Favin Glover. She then gave it to me to quilt. I felt that as the houses had such tiny pieces of fabric, then tiny quilting would be most appropriate. The quilting in the “sky” represents wind, and the earth and borders are cobbled like a road."

Mary Palmer: "Grandmaster " (2004)
90” x 90”

"This quilt was made for the Amish Long Arm Challenge. It was inspired by Amish strippy quilts, with colours inspired by 20th century Amish quilts. When it was finished it reminded me of a circus tent, hence the name “Grandmaster”.
It was the second or third quilt I quilted on a long arm machine (Gammill Optimum with stitch regulator and Gammil Optimum w/o stitch regulator!), which a friend very kindly let me use."

Mary Palmer has been an avid quilter since 1990. Her work has been shown in many exhibitions both in Europe and the US. She has been juried into the AQS show in Paducah and has won awards through the RDS competition in Dublin. Most recently, she has qualified as a Quilt Judge through the Quilters Guild of the British Isles.

Yvonne McKee's Quilt in the North Sea Quilters and Friends Exhibition in Rijswijk

During the Patchwork en Quiltdagen in Rijswijk you could also see Yvonne McKee's "Blue Rhapsody" in the long-arm quilting gallery.

Yvonne McKee: "Blue Rhapsody" (2006)
90” x 90”

"I fell in love with the blue batiks especially the flowery one, which I used in the centre of each star and then the outer border. I also enjoyed creating freeform feathers in the main body of quilt and continuing the feather theme in the two inner border."

Yvonne McKee, 53 years old, owns a quilt shop in Belfast, Northern Ireland. She has been longarm quilting for five years now and currently has a Gammill Optimum® with a Statler Stitcher™ and an Optimum. Her shop is called Quilters Quest. She teaches classes and workshops, as well as providing a quilting service.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Quilts of Liesbeth van der Hilst at the North Sea Quilters and Friends Exhibition

This time you can read about the quilts of Liesbeth van der Hilst, which were exhibited during the Patchwork en Quiltdagen in Rijswijk between 14-15 February.

Liesbeth van Der Hilst: Festival of Snowflakes
65” x 77”

"All of the snowflakes are pieced with paper piecing techniques. The big stars are from a book by Paula Nadelstern. The other stars I designed. All the stars are appliquéd then quilted in the ditch using transparent thread. Between the stars you can see quilted stars using free-hand quilting and blue and silver threads."

"Alle snowflakes zijn gemaakt met de paper piecing- techniek. De grote sterren komen uit het boek van Paula Nadelstern. De andere sterren zijn zelf ontworpen. Alle sterren zijn geappliqueerd en daarna met transparant garen in de naad gequilt. Tussen de sterren zijn uit de vrije hand sterren gequilt met blauw garen en met zilverdraad."

Liesbeth van Der Hilst:"Hestia 4"
59” x 62”

"Hoffman butterfly fabrics are the basis for this Stack ’n Whack quilt. The hexagons are quilted in Stitch in the Ditch. In the plain areas I experimented with different background fillings and different (variegated) threads."

"Hoffman vlinderstof stond aan de basis voor deze Stack ’n Whack quilt. De hexagons zijn in de naad gequilt. In de effen vlakken is geëxperimenteerd met verschillende vlakvullingen en verschillende (verlopende) garens."

Liesbeth van der Hilst started quilting on a Gammill® longarm machine in January of 2006. Lots of beautiful quilt tops came in to be quilted. It is really a lot of fun to talk to quilters and explain the possibilities of this machine!! There is always a solution to enhance the quilt tops with quilting in accordance with the wishes of the owner.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Quilts of Robyn Fahy at the North Sea Quilters and Friends exhibition

During the Patchwork en Quiltdagen in Rijswijk you could also see the quilts of Robyn Fahy. You can read more and look at the quilts below.

Robyn Fahy:"Bumblebee"
70” x 90”

"This quilt was created for the Longarm Gallery Exhibition at Festival of Quilts Birmingham 2007. The challenge was to create a quilt measuring 70” x 90” using only black and white and one other colour. I chose yellow. I then quilted the quilt on my hand-guided Gammill® quilting machine using Aurifil 100% cotton thread."

"Chasing the Dragon" quilted by Robyn Fahy

"This quilt was made as a ‘Round Robin’ challenge with a group of friends.
Our group is called ‘The Bags and Tarts’. We all had to make a 24” centre block and then pass it to our next friend to add the next border. Each border size was decided before we began. We then each had to finish our tops with our own 8” final border. I then quilted using various 100% cotton threads on my hand-guided Gammill® Quilting Machine. "

Robyn Fahy moved to the small village of Drumquin, Co. Tyrone, Ireland from Margaret River in Western Australia 22 years ago.
Her interest in patchwork began in 1992. Initially self-taught, she studied every book she could get her hands on. She has since been fortunate enough to travel widely, and take classes with many wonderful teachers in both patchwork and longarm quilting.
About 8 years ago she began her career as a teacher when a local women’s group asked her to teach them patchwork. Since then she has owned her own quilt shop and now holds classes in her custom built studios at home. From there, she felt it was a natural progression to owning her own longarm quilting machine. She now has a hand-guided Gammill® Classic on which she does her own custom work and a Gammill Optimum Plus® Statler Stitcher™ for customer quilts.

Marie-Christine Chammas at the North Sea Quilters and Friends Exhibition

During the Patchwork en Quiltdagen in Rijswijk between 14-15 February you could also see these two quilts, which were designed, pieced and long-arm quilted by Marie-Christine Chammas.

Marie-Christine Chammas: "Arabia Felix: Colorful Desert Dreams"
43”x 61”, 2007

"In the south-western region of the Arabian Peninsula, also known as Arabia Felix, women paint the front wall of their houses in bright colors, thus bringing a very high contrast into the barren landscape. A reportage about the wall paintings in this region was the source of inspiration for my quilt."

Marie-Christine Chammas:"Berry Delight: Almost Whole Cloth"
70” x 70”, 2007

"Do you like ice cream? I do! In winter, I prefer the rich, creamy textures of chocolate and mocha, but in summer, I fancy light, fruity sorbets. In 2007, my favourite flavours were red berries, and a special treat in my favourite ice cream parlor on a warm summer evening was the source of inspiration for this quilt."

In the late 1990’s, Marie-Christine Chammas was looking up special sewing techniques for her hand-dyed silks and velvets when she came across patchwork and quilting. Quilting almost instantly ignited a passion, more specifically machine quilting, and the possibilities of structuring surface and space through quilting lines have been her ongoing subject of artistic pursuit since.
After working for many years in the field of translation and language teaching, Marie-Christine started a longarm quilting business in 2005, being one of the pioneers to offer fine custom quilting services in Germany. In early 2008, the acquisition of additional quilting machines provided the possibility of hosting longarm quilting classes for various levels.
Next to offering quilting services, Quiltissimo focuses on designing quilts and quilted accessories for the modern home.