Paul Krampitz – From Traditional to Modern Quilter

Our April meeting featured a presentation by Paul Krampitz, who has made the creative journey from traditional to modern quilter.

Paul’s quilts illustrate how new and exciting designs can happen when quilters change up conventional blocks and layouts.

This was a lively presentation, with a great trunk show, and lots of ideas for modern quiltmaking.

More information:
Paul’s Blog
Vancouver Modern Quilt Guild Member Spotlight – Paul Krampitz
Vancouver Modern Quilt Guild
Weeks Ringle and Bill Kerr, Modern Quilt Studio, pioneers of the Modern Quilt Movement
Color Catcher Sheets, protection from colour bleeding


A quilt made by Paul’s grandmother.

Paul KrampitzPaul Krampitz

One quilt – two sides.

Paul Krampitz

Changing up the log cabin block.

Paul Krampitz

Paul made this quilt with fabrics he acquired on a journey through Africa.

Paul Krampitz

Paul’s Vancouver Modern Quilt Guild quilt.

Paul Krampitz

Paul’s award winning quilt.

Paul Krampitz

Playing with circles.  This is the front.

Paul Krampitz

Playing with circles.  This is the back, with special effects from Paul’s fabric processing technique.

Workshop possibilities.

Julie Plotniko – Popcorn Can Quilts

popcorn cans
popcorn cans

Julie Plotniko, Vancouver Island quilting instructor, gave her presentation called “Popcorn Can Quilts” at our March meeting.

As someone who makes their popcorn on the stove top in an old pressure cooker with a tin pie plate for a lid, I was unfamiliar with popcorn cans.  Julie, however, had amassed a collection of popcorn cans over the years as a result of providing snacks to many young people who billeted at her house.

The popcorn cans were often decorative, and she found another use for the empty cans – storing scraps of fabric.  Julie stores her scraps by colour, and they are often used for community quilts and quick-and-easy projects.

Julie’s presentation was full of ideas, tips and techniques for turning scraps into interesting quilts.

These are some of Julie’s quilts made with patterns suitable for scrappy projects – Chinese coins, four-patches, half-square triangles, log cabins, and other designs.

Fabric Art by Daniella Amit

Daniella AmitDaniella Amit gave a presentation at our February meeting.  She began her career in landscape design, and now works in fibre art, jewelry, and interior design in her business La Penna Design.

She has been featured on the North Shore Art Crawl, and her art has been shown at the annual Harmony Arts Festival in West Vancouver.

Daniella teaches techniques for working with many mediums that can be used to create clothing, personal accessories, and soft furnishings.

Her creations incorporate a variety of mediums besides fabric such as metal and beads and a variety of techniques such as fabric dyeing, eco printing, and embroidery.

Delicate silks, textured materials, washes of hand dyed colour, glints of metal, decorative stitching, and other touches come together in works of intriguing fabric art.

Ilse and Isabelle brought their fabric art inspired by one of Daniella’s classes.

Our October Meeting – Creating with Scraps

Our October meeting was a busy one, and quilting with scraps seemed to be a common theme.  There were lots of ideas for creating something new out of scraps and keeping us stitching over the winter.

Anne gave a presentation about making watercolour quilts.  She has a clever system for storing small squares of fabric that are easy to access whenever the creative urge strikes.  She cuts pieces from fabric left over from projects and stores them in foil pans, which stack nicely.  She “paints” her quilt on her design wall, taking her time with the creative process.

Diane introduced us to a new project called “Mystery Scrap-it.”  Part 1 started out with an unconventional way of cutting fabric into scraps.  As Diane says, “this mystery project is to free your mind from conventional patterns and to try new techniques, embellishments and stretch the imagination.”

Eleanor talked about Canada’s Biggest Quilt Bee, initiated by the Canadian Quilters’ Association for Quilt Canada and Canada’s 150th anniversary in 2017.  Our guild will be making slab block quilts for Ronald McDonald House.  It was suggested that including some children’s fabric in these blocks would be a good idea.

CQA quilt bee
Eleanor’s slab blocks

Karen Johnson Workshop

Karen Johnson WorkshopKaren Johnson is a textile artist and an instructor with the Fibre Art Network.  She taught a workshop for the guild on April 13 called “Textured Backgrounds” where we learned several methods for creating interesting visually textured backgrounds for art quilts.

These backgrounds are made from two or more fabrics.  They can be woven, assembled with snippets of fabric, or pieced together in various ways.   The backgrounds complement surface designs created with such things as applique, thread couching, embroidery, stamping, fabric paint, machine quilting, and other embellishments.

She sometimes quilts the background before using it in a quilt.  She puts backgrounds she has made onto her design wall, where they serve as inspiration for future projects.

As Karen told us, ideas for creating a textured background for your quilt are limitless, and by making your own “background fabric,” your quilt will really be one of a kind.

It was a stimulating and enjoyable workshop, full of new ideas, resources, and tips for learning about construction, colour and design.  Karen brought lots of her own wonderful quilts to illustrate some of the many techniques and materials she uses as a quilt artist.

Karen mentioned the following quilters in her presentation:

Gloria Loughman – contemporary quilter, teacher and author, Australia
Judy Villett – textile artist, B.C.
Jan Krentz – quilt designer and teacher, California

Here are some photos of the day, with thanks to Sonia for some of the pictures.  Click on any photo to enlarge and view in a gallery.

Here are some of Karen’s quilts, which illustrate her ability to create magic with fabric and embellishment.  Click on any photo to enlarge and view in a gallery.

Stacey Day, Quilt Designer

Stacey DayStacey Day came to our March meeting.  She talked about how her life today as a quilter, pattern writer and quilt designer began with her love of  fabric as a very young girl.  She sewed her own clothes and did crafts, and remembers her grandmother at her side encouraging her to have confidence in her own ideas and talents.

A book deal that didn’t happen turned out to have a silver lining for Stacey.  She was able to keep the many quilts she had made for the book.  One of her quilts came to the attention of an American publisher, and her designs have now been published in various magazines.

Other opportunities have followed, and Stacey is busy in the quilt world.  In addition to magazines, she works with fabric companies such as Windham Fabrics, sells her patterns on Craftsy, and is looking forward to exciting, creative projects ahead.  All this, together with a young and growing family.

Stacey Day

Stacey is a member of the Vancouver Modern Quilt Guild.  A favourite pattern is ‘Lone Star’ and she admires the work of fabric designer Tula Pink.  She designs her quilts using Electric Quilt 7.

Stacey told us she makes things she enjoys, which keeps her quilting spark alive in the face of deadlines.

Drop in to Stacey’s website.  There is lots to see and inspire you there.  Here are some of Stacey’s quilts that were part of her enjoyable and informative presentation.

Quilt Rescue with Carol Piercy

Carol Piercy
Carol’s pattern – “Everybody Gets the Blues” – a quilter’s favourite

What is a quilter to do when a project just isn’t working out?  Carol Piercy, a local quilt teacher and enthusiast who has designed many patterns, came to our February meeting with some ideas about how to rescue quilts.

Carol told us that the following design elements contribute to the success of a quilt:

  • pattern of the quilt
  • fabric – colour, contrast, saturation
  • balance
  • movement – flow and focal points
  • scale

She talked about some reasons why your quilt might not please you and offered the following advice for tweaking a quilt, or for planning future projects.

  1. Did you use lots of a fabric in your quilt that you didn’t like quite enough, perhaps because it happened to be in your stash?  In this scenario, Carol gave us the brutal truth – there is probably no hope that you will ever like that quilt!  Looking ahead, consider giving away those fabrics you don’t really like – they may be pleasing or of use to someone else.
  2. Are there small amounts of “orphan” fabrics in your quilt that seem out of place?  Next time, try to repeat fabrics in a quilt.  Repetition unifies the design.
  3. Is your quilt just too plain? Perhaps adding sashing in a different colour or some applique would make it more interesting.
  4. Is your quilt too busy? You might be able to calm it down with borders.
  5. Is there a lack of contrast in your quilt?  Using too many fabrics can result in not enough contrast.

Carol also told us that quilts can sometimes be rescued with machine quilting, by both design and thread colour choices.  Since perfect tension can be difficult to achieve, she uses the same colour of thread for spool and bobbin, but may combine different thread weights.

Carol Piercy
Nova’s quilt – talking about borders

Carol generously showed us some of her own less favourite quilts that were learning experiences for her.  Some members brought their own quilts for rescue advice from Carol, and members were invited to offer possible solutions, too.  It was a lively discussion, and not surprisingly, many of us appeared to have experienced similar dilemmas with our projects!

Keeping it light in the face of our various quilting conundrums, Carol told us that when it comes to rescuing a quilt, remember … “It’s only fabric!”

Carol is an active member of the Lions Gate Quilters Guild on the North Shore and told us  to mark our calendars for their June quilt show.

Here are some photos of Carol’s very successful quilts.  Click on any photo to open gallery.

Barb Mortell – Breaking the Rules

Barb Mortell came to our May meeting from Denman Island, where she follows her passion for innovative and improvisational quilting, and other creative pursuits.  The theme of her presentation was “Log Cabins – Traditions & Innovations.”  As we admired and studied her quilts, Barb talked about how the traditional log cabin block can be reinvented with such techniques as stretching the blocks, varying the widths of the logs in one block, and incorporating our own “made” fabric.

Barb told us that she had been strongly influenced by the African American quilters of Gee’s Bend, Alabama, and she also mentioned Nancy Crow, an Ohio quilt artist, and Sherry Lynn Wood, an Oakland, California artist and quilt maker.

We were given some tips about expanding our quilting brain, such as working and playing with one block for a while, trying not to overthink, going with your intuition, and working on a small project when you are stuck creatively.  Barb has sometimes encouraged quilters to ditch their rotary cutters and rulers and cut their fabric with scissors — imagine that!

Her unique and captivating quilts illustrate what can be achieved when we escape from our quilting boxes and break a few “rules.”  Barb is a charming and relaxed presenter who reminds us of the joy to be found in creating with fabric.

See a selection of Barb’s quilts in the gallery below.  Some of the quilts were made by Stacey Armstrong, Barb’s neighbour and quilting collaborator.

Visit Barb Mortell’s website here.

Circle Play Workshop

For two days in January fourteen of our members participated in a workshop with Lorna Shapiro and played with colour, shading, and circles.

On the first day backgrounds were designed with either rectangles or half square triangles.  Those working with rectangles brought rectangles from 12 fabrics in colour runs from light to dark.  Those working with HST’s brought two main colour runs and one accent colour run, light to dark.

LornaS1 LornaS2 LornaS3 LornaS4 LornaS5 LornaS6 LornaS7

It was good to be able to take home the background and play with the pieces a bit more for the two weeks until the second day.  Lorna demonstrated setting in the quarter and whole circles on the first day and we finalized the placement and set in our circles on the second day.

Here are a few pictures from the second day.  These show mostly the triangle option.

LornaS21 LornaS22 LornaS24 LornaS25 LornaS26 SornaS23