> ~ Insights by SewCalGal ~

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Free Motion Quilting with Cindy Needham

My number one quilting goal this past year was to improve my free-motion quilting (FMQ) skills.  And today I'd like to share insights with you about a someone I met along this journey, whom has inspired me to continue to improve and have fun with FMQ.

Cindy Needham, is an amazing woman and talented quilter who is a passionate collector of old linens.  She can take an old tablecloth and turn it into an amazing wholecloth quilt.   She has been teaching since 1997 and is also a national educator for Superior Threads.  In addition, she has many inspirational and educational videos on youtube, including a three part trunk show of her spectacular quilts.

Cindy has taught at Asilomar, Road to California, Machine Quilting Expo, Houston International Quilt Festival and Sisters Quilt Show. And she has been on The Quilt Show with Ricky Tims and Alex Anderson (Episode #202),  and she is the author of Whole cloth Linen Quilts published by AQS. She has also published many articles in  Quilters Newsletter Magazine and is the creator of exclusive stencil designs produced by Quilting Creations, Inc. .  And to think this is not a complete list of her contributions to our wonderful world of quilting!

I had the pleasure of meeting Cindy in person, while attending a FMQ class taught by Diane Gaudynski, at Empty Spools (Asilomar) retreat, earlier this year.  Prior to this class I had exchanged emails with Cindy and realized we were both registered for Diane's class.  When I learned Cindy was in Diane's class, I was concerned that I had signed up for a class that was way over my head.  But Cindy quickly calmed my fears, making me realize that quilters of all levels can benefit from taking FMQ classes from a variety of teachers, where they always pick up new tips & tricks, and continually improve their skills. 

While I thorougly enjoyed my class with Diane Gaudynski, and I will share insights with you later on this class,  I felt very lucky to have Cindy in the class as a student with me.  It was amazing to see how fast she absorbed Diane's techniques, and in many cases quickly adapted some of Diane's designs to be unique to her own. 

The more I watched Cindy doing such elegant free-motion quilting, I realized I wanted to continue down this journey of learning free-motion quilting. 

I fell in love with the designs Cindy created in her sample quilt that she made in Diane's class.
And I've enjoyed seeing photos of her quilts on her site and her blog too.  And look at what one of her students (Debbie D'Ewart  of One Stitch Off) created with an old napkin.  I think it is a spectacular quilt, beautifully quilted, and so very cheerful.  Love it!

In addition to Cindy's teaching at quilt shows, quilt guilds, Superior Threads "School of Threadology, she also hosts her own retreats and workshops in Northern California.  Her "My Time" retreats allow quilters to work on their own projects, be pampered with good food and fun (including opportunities to win prizes that have been known to sometimes include one of her wholecloth quilts, or a free quilt retreat).  She also shares her stencil stash, so you can mark your quilts for free-motion quilting.  Prices are reasonable and her retreats sell out quickly.  There is a current list of dates for these retreats in McCloud, Ca., along with recently added retreats scheduled in Rancho Cordova, Ca..

Superior Thread holds their "School of Threadology" in St. George, Utah, at the Road to California Quilt Show, Quilt Hawaii, and various other locations. Cindy is one of their teachers and currently scheduled to teach at the School of Threadology in St. George on March 20-23, 2012.

Cindy also hosts "My Designs" workshops in Rancho Cordova,  California that are 5-day sessions currently scheduled for February 22-26, 2012 and September 19-23, 2012.  These workshops are for the "confident beginner" up to experienced free-motion quilter.  I have signed up for the September '12 retreat and hope you'll come join me!

And, this very talented woman is highly organized and enjoys traveling around the world.  As such, you may want to talk to your quilt guild, local quilt shop, or mention to the coordinators of your local quilt show to have Cindy come teach in your area.  If you want to schedule such an activity, you can email her directly at linenqltr@comcast.net




WoolenSails said...

I love the one cloth quilts with the fancy quilting, would love to do one someday. I do have a program that does quilt blocks, so that would be fun to try with solids.


paulette said...

Fascinating!! Thanks for sharing this, Darlene!! I had NO idea!! Lucky you taking a workshop from Cindy! I am going to be looking at old tablecloths in a whole new light!!
Take care!

Linda said...

Thank you so much for sharing this with us! I had not heard of Cindy. I don't know how I've missed out. She is so talented. I feel newly inspired!

Lynette said...

I sure do wish she was out east!! ;D

Brita said...

Well, wow! I saw Cindy on The Quilt Show and was amazed, but these videos take it to another level! I, too, took a class with Diane Gaudynski, but we sure didn't have any Cindy-class talent in that one. I learned a lot, she's an amazing gal. Aren't we lucky to be able to take classes from these wonderful teachers!

Stray Stitches (Linda G) said...

I would love to be able to do something even one half that beautiful.

Barb said...

Just amazing!!!

What Comes Next? said...

how inspiring! I love how she preserves these old linens for years more to come and they are all so gorgeous! February 2012, hmmm?? - off to check my calendar!

Linenqltr said...

Wow, thank you for such a wonderful article! I absolutely loved taking Diane's class and it was a privilege spending five days with someone who has inspired me for so many years...it was also a treat to spend time with a class full of great fellow students. We all inspire each other, no matter our level of expertise... quilting is an amazing gift for all of us. The "colorful napkin" pictured above was created by Debbie D'Ewart from www.onestitchoff.blogspot.com. She is a treasured friend and original Linen Lady. Hugs, Cindy :)

quilterliz said...

What kind of machine do you use for free-motion quilting?

Superior Threads said...

Cindy Needham does AMAZING work! We are very lucky to be associated with her. A few years ago, she was the featured quilter at Road to California.