Island Batik Week: Surf Squirt by Claudia Pfeil

IslandBatikWeek

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

To learn more about Island Batik and the batik process, please visit their website. For a peek at the full range of Spring/Summer releases, click here or on the image below to browse the catalog.

IslandBatikCatalog

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ClaudiaPfeilPromo

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
Surf Squirt
100% Aurifil Cotton
Large – 40wt, 1094yds each, 12 colors, Large Spools
4657 – 4660 – 3770 – 4654 – 3320 – 3817 – 6737 – 5005 – 2540 – 2135 – 2245 – 1320

SurfSquirt

To view this info on our website, click the images above. For purchasing, please contact your local Aurifil Dealer.

THE INTERVIEW
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.

Twist-It by Claudia Pfeil

Twist-It by Claudia Pfeil

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.

Georgina Runner by Fabric Confetti using fabrics from Surf Squirt

Georgina Runner by Fabric Confetti using fabrics from Surf Squirt

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” !

Fern Rising by Claudia Pfeil

Fern Rising by Claudia Pfeil

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)
Screen Shot 2016-07-20 at 3.50.55 PM

Claudia uses her Longarm even for machine appliqué! This is Fern Rising.

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.

Turtle Bay by Claudia Pfeil

Turtle Bay by Claudia Pfeil

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!

The Magical Mermaid's Castle by Claudia Pfeil

The Magical Mermaid’s Castle by Claudia Pfeil

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.

Fire and Ice by Claudia Pfeil

Fire and Ice by Claudia Pfeil

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.

Shadowplay by Claudia Pfeil

Shadowplay by Claudia Pfeil

What do you love most about Batik fabrics?
The points are:

  1. Haptic: feels good – it feels „crispy“
  2. Designs: Blending designs and colors, tons of variations
  3. Usage: nice and easy to sew and quilt, no fraying, solid-colored ( no left or right side
  4. Colors: brilliant, matching, soft transitions
  5. Handcraft : Individual and unique
Camden Bowls by Aunties Two Patterns using fabrics from Surf Squirt

Camden Bowls by Aunties Two Patterns using fabrics from Surf Squirt

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!

Square-It by Claudia Pfeil

Square-It by Claudia Pfeil

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 !

THE GIVEAWAY

ClaudiaPfeil-Rafflecopter

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
Website — Facebook
Claudia PfeilClaudia 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
Website — Blog — Facebook — Pinterest — Twitter — Instagram
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.

120 thoughts on “Island Batik Week: Surf Squirt by Claudia Pfeil

  1. I would just like to make show quilt that shows off my workman ship. Color ,value,something original,and some thing put together well.

  2. Love the Surf Squirt batik fabrics and Ms. Pfeil’s quilts are simply amazing!!! I’m not at that point in my quilting yet but if I were to create a show quilt it would be of modern design, vivid colors and heavily quilted.

  3. My show Quilt would be the Lollipop Quilt that I have on my Quilt Bucket List. It is a gorgeous pattern with beautiful explosion of colour and what would make it even more spectacular is that I would hand stitch the applique pieces!!

  4. Love your “Turtle Bay” & “Fire and Ice” -just breathtaking! My show quilt, and one I will tackle when I feel more confident in my quilting, (I am just a beginner) is a Magnolia quilt. I took a picture years ago, although white, the different shades/contrast are very evident-one day-my show quilt.

  5. I would most like to make a quilt with a praire star design. There are so many ways to present this design. I feel this design makes any color scheme really pop and easily matches any decor.

  6. I am a more traditional quilter and would like to make an art quilt show quilt. That is on my never ending list of techniques to master!

  7. Claudia’s show quilts are truly works of art. I would use the batiks for a modern quilt with graduated shades of color.

  8. I would like to make an applique quilt. I have been slowly learning new techniques and it would be a challenge to make a show quilt.

  9. What amazing quilts!!! I fell in love with “art” quilts ages ago. I’m still waiting for permission to let go and make some on my own. I started 2016 off with a stylized dragon applique done in a fire red batik as a wall hanging for my grandson. What an inspiring collection of threads and fabrics!

  10. Wow…Claudia has a talent I don’t often see! It was great reading her interview and seeing those photos. I especially like Fire & Ice and would like to “try” making something like that with those color and features. Outstanding work!

  11. Hmm not only am I not to that point yet, I really dont have a desire to make a show quilt. I enjoy quilting and giving away too much. But if I were to make a show quilt it would be with bright colors to inspire others

  12. I don’t have the right temperament to make a show quilt. I just want to drool over everyone else’s. That said, I really love the ones with fantastic quilting.

  13. I can’t imagine having the skill level to make a show quilt, but mine would be a single large star because you can use color play so many different ways to create real impact with the star.

  14. I would like to make a show quilt that makes people think differently about something. For example; I made a Pony Club quilt out of all Halloween batiks. It made people think differently about Halloween and Halloween fabrics
    Thanks for the chance to win.

  15. I am very much a traditional quilter but like adding a touch of modern with colors and fabrics that’s what I would like to make a show quilt with

  16. I have entered quilts in my guild show, but do not make quilts for the show. I make quilts that I like, and mostly give them away.

  17. My favorite technique is paper piecing so I would probably make a paper pieced wall quilt. I mostly make quilts for enjoyment though, and haven’t entered shows in a long time.

  18. I’m not sure my technique is up to show quilt standards. I know I am not the kind to make picture quilts. It would probably be a standard 9 patch block but perhaps presented in an unusual way. I love the batiks and threads in the giveaway today. I hope I win.

  19. i would love to have the ability to make these kinds of quilts, but sadly that is way beyond my skills. i do love to see quits like these at the quilt shows.

  20. NEAT QUILTING INTERVIEW! I’D MAKE A BRIGHT COLORED,DENSELY STITCHED QUILT OF FLORALS BECAUSE IT WOULD BE A CHALLENGE! THANKS YOU FOR A GREAT GIVEAWAY!

  21. I am not that interested in making a show quilt, but if I did the ones that I really enjoy are the ones that are based on a book. The quilter takes a scene from a book and represents it in the quilt. I always find that to be so interesting to see how it is interpreted and if I were ever to make a show quilt I would like to do something like that.

  22. I would love to do a landscape quilt of some part of the Rocky Mountains! I can look at them every day from our house in CO.

  23. I am not far enough into quilting, to consider a show Quilt!! Not sure I would want to tho…too nerve racking for me… would rather do simple fun quilting & give to those I love.🙂

    Thank you for chance to win the Give-a-way tho too 😀

  24. I love looking at show quilts, but I make quilts to be used. I think I would like to make something along the modern line. I did take a class from Gail Garber and have a design started, but I have been sidetracked by some other projects. Then hopefully I can get back to my Garber wall quilt.

  25. I would love to make a Baltimore Album quilt as a show quilt. Since they are so labor intensive, it would definitely be for show and not use!🙂 I think they are so much fun to look at and you can personalize them to your preferences, so they can have a lot of hidden meaning in them that only you would know about.

  26. My flower garden is especially colorful this year and I would love to make a quilt like it to hang
    on the wall in my sewing area. It would be just for me — not for show — and colorful batiks would
    be perfect for what I have in mind. Your giveaway is so generous — would love to win.

  27. First I love the quilts shown here. The colors are amazing. I am making a quilt now I always wanted to make, a Red and White Vortex, red batiks. The strips are done and I am off to put it together.

  28. I’d be nervous about entering a quilt in a show…but I’d love to sew something Celtic maybe knots and using transparency!

  29. Love all of Claudia’s quilts — simply fantastic art! I’d love to make a very colorful quilt with those batiks and threads.

  30. Every year at the Northwest Quilt Expo here in Portland, OR they have an exhibit by the Cover to Cover quilters in which they feature quilts that are made to highlight a book read by all the quilters. It’s fascinating to see what different quilters come up with from the same literary work. I’ve gotten some great reading suggestions and some great quilting motivation. I’ve also been inspired to make a mini quilt based on a song title and to consider the quilt I’d make based on books I’m reading. I’d love to be part of that group, although I know they are far out of my league.

  31. Sea colors and animals are wonderful! Great getting to know Claudia and a European viewpoint in quilting.
    Art quilts: well, I would like to make some kind of snow scene, with intricately paper-pieced stars and snowflakes, icicles and snowmen. Lots of swirls and snowflakes and stars quilting to represent a blizzard night.
    reillyr2(at)hotmail(dot)com

  32. Fern Rising is my favorite. Such a stunning quilt. I show my quilts to family when I give them a quilt I have made. That’s probably as close to a show quilt as I will get. Maybe someday….

  33. I would love to make a hand appliqued Baltimore Album because I love the beauty of applique (especially with batiks!) and I love the relaxing process. But until I retire, it will be machine quilting for me!

  34. Wonderful background. So many things I take for granted in the US and then find what a luxury they are in other countries. Congratulations on your successes. Beautiful fabric lines and beautiful quilts.

  35. Most of the quilts I make are utility, meant to be used and snuggled. I do have a sampler style that I may use for a show quilt (smaller shows). I’m not sure if entering a national show is a goal yet.

  36. If I were making a show quilt it would be an art quilt of some kind. I love looking at art quilts. I enjoy the planning stages and seeing the ideas come together.

  37. I’m not sure I could make a show quilt, I’m not as talented, but it would be interesting to do one of those art pieces, with beads and etc.

  38. My show quilt would be a unique art quilt, modern with lovely colors. Thanks for this chance at this awesome prize!!

  39. OMG, the fabrics and threads get better every day. I am currently working on a quilt in bright batiks and it is so fun. It just makes me happy. I would love to have these threads and fabrics to make my granddaughters quilts with.

  40. My show quilt would be a beautiful complex piecing accented with amazing quilting and thread painting and PERFECT beautiful binding. This would be an art quilt. I am dreaming this up because those are all things I am not the greatest at, excluding piecing.

  41. Such a beautiful collection! I would love to add these fabrics to the cathedral windows wedding quilt I’m making for my son and future daughter-in-law.

  42. Your fearless approach to sewing challenges gives me hope I can get past my walls while learning to long arm. You sure have colours that catch my eye.

  43. I’m more of a traditional quilter, but I always admire the creativity and workmanship in the art quilts. I love the Turtle Bay piece. Absolutely stunning. I also love those bowls and baskets. Maybe one day I’ll venture outside of the box to do some of these art pieces. Thanks for the chance to win these gorgeous Surf Squirt batiks!

  44. I’d make a hand applique wall quilt. I love to applique by hand so this would be my chance to make a show quilt.

  45. I have wanted to make a wall hanging quilt for my daughter who loves sci-fy. She loves the series Firefly and would love to have a full size portrait of the character Mal in his trench coat. I hope to get the courage to start a mosaic art quilt.

  46. Pingback: Island Batik Week: Sand Dune & Tide Pools by Kathy Engle | AURIbuzz

  47. I haven’t considered making a show quilt as I consider myself to be a novice quilter. I would probably do a traditional pattern like Ohio Star in modern fabrics or batiks!

  48. My show would be all modern quilts, I just can’t get enough of them!!! What show stopper quilts, oh my, so wonderful…..

  49. My show quilt a sand dune scene w/footprints, in Sand Dune batiks, with a tad of sea glass as an embellishment, densely quilted w/Aurifil 1133, suspended from the ceiling using jute or bamboo type rope. THank you Claudia for your quilt expo, I truly enjoyed the excursion.

  50. I would love to make something bright and with a fairy tale theme. I’m fairly new to crafting and I have quite a way to go to ever make it to this category. Thanks so much!

  51. If I ever thought of making a show quilt I would choose a very clean graphic design and then quilt the heck out of it!

  52. Would design a subtle background with traditional blocks with a bright appliqué design. Lots of negative space for lots of quilting.

  53. My eldest son loves dragons. I have made a few smaller dragon quilts (piecing and applique with embellishment/thread painting). I would love to make one that is sufficiently well done to enter in a show. How cool would it be for my son to have a dragon quilt in his “collection” that was juried into a show.

  54. I’d like to make a show quilt that incorporates a mariner’s compass because I enjoy making them and they always look so outstanding.

  55. Pingback: Island Batik Week! | AURIbuzz

  56. What an amazing, talented artist! The quilts are absolutely stunning! I hope that one day I too can be as talented! Thank you for the wonderful interview! So positive and encouraging to all of us!

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