This month is Quilt Canada month, and we are also celebrating Canada's 150 birthday! WonderFil™ is proud to have been a Canadian company for 29 years, and would like to thank our teachers from all around the world for supporting us and introducing your students to our threads. We couldn't have done it without you!
Our Feature Teacher this month is teaching at Quilt Canada and has been in the WonderFil™ Teacher program since 2010. Meet B.C.'s Julie Plotniko.
Julie says,"I have always been drawn to the beauty and tactile nature of cloth and do not remember a time when I did not sew".
Her love affair with quilting began in the 70's and she has been teaching all things quilting for over 30 years.
Julie's specialties include: free motion quilting, thread painting (with or without appliqué design), thread sketching, bobbin quilting, coloring on quilts, precision piecing, scrap style quilting, designing,
machine embroidery and sewing machine (software) techniques. She also works in the sewing machine industry, so she is comfortable with all machines and teaches on both standard and mid arm machines.
"It is my belief that to see a student go from tentative beginnings to confidence in themselves and their abilities is one of the greatest rewards life has to offer".
Q: You have a wide variety of specialties and classes that you teach. Do you have a favorite technique?
A: I guess I would have to say my favorites are free motion and thread painting. I love my thread!
Q: You have been teaching quilting for 30 years...what changes have you seen in that time?
A: There is a lot more diversity in quilts now than there used to be. We have so many products and choices now. The quality of the fabrics, threads and tools has improved so much and we have so many options in terms of color, that it really opens the door to creativity. When I first started, mid-arm and long-arm machines weren't around. When doing free motion work ondomestic machines, we had to run the machine without a foot; specialty free motion feet weren't available. Also, I am seeing different customers getting into quilting now. People in their 20's and 30's have more time and disposable income now and they are excited to learn, but they are not so interested in following any 'rules'. I have also noticed more retirees starting to quilt, so those two customer groups are really going to change the face of quilting.
Q: Tell me a bit about your sewing background...how did you learn to sew?
A: I grew up in a military family, so we were always moving. When I was small we lived in the UK. My mom used to subscribe to the 'Needleworks and Crafts' magazine, as it was her lifeline to her North American home. I used to grab the magazine as soon as it came and pour over it. In school in the UK, they used to teach us to stitch before we started to write, to improve coordination. I loved that part of the day! My parents always encouraged me to figure things out on my own and be an independent learner, so I learned to hand stitch and use the sewing machine when I was very young. Sewing became my thing!
Q: Tell me what teaching experience stands out for you.
A: Last year's Quilt Canada show was amazing for me. I absolutely loved the environment and the large classes. It is always interesting to teach groups where there are different abilities, because it forces me to grow, and re think my methods of teaching. You realize that there is no such thing as 'wrong' and you learn to approach things in a new, fresh way.
Q: Do you have a favorite WonderFil thread?
A: I was afraid you were going to ask me that! That's tough, as they are like my children and I love them all the same. Right now, though, I am loving working with FabuLux. It has such a gorgeous shine, and the colors are fantastic. I also really love InvisaFil, as you can do so much stitching without getting a buildup of thread.
Q: Besides the Quilt Canada show, what is coming up for you in 2017?
A: For the rest of 2017 and 2018 I am looking forward to travelling throughout the country, meeting lots of new friends while teaching for various Quilting guilds, Sewing Shows and conferences. I really love the travelling. We live in such an amazing country, with new beauty around every corner! Everytime I am exposed to something new it changes my perspective. Sewing and quilting has taken me on such an amazing journey that I could never have predicted!