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WonderFil Specialty Thread Blog

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Our Teacher of the Month: Vikki Pignatelli

Calista Ngai

"Wildflower Meadow" using WonderFil InvisaFil

"Wildflower Meadow" using WonderFil InvisaFil

Vikki has been part of our Teacher Program since 2008.

Vikki has been part of our Teacher Program since 2008.

Vikki Pignatelli

Vikki is a full-time professional national/international teacher, lecturer, quilt-artist, designer and author. Vikki and her quilts have been featured in many books, national publications and exhibitions. She has won 32 awards in national and international competitions and exhibitions. A self-taught artist with experience in painting (watercolor and oils) and sculpture, Vikki is known for her flowing designs and passion for color--as well as breaking all quilting "rules." She is the author of three books  "Quilting Curves” , “Quilting By Improvisation” and "Nurture Your Creative Spirit: Wisdom and Insight Learned From the Art of Quilting", and has produced a DVD, “Crazy About Curves".  Vikki has written many “how-to” articles published in Quilter’s Newsletter, AQS and Quilting Arts magazines. Vikki is also the founder (1999) of the national biennial Sacred Threads Quilt Exhibitions, a two-week display of original artwork that explores themes of spirituality, joy, inspiration, healing and grief. Deeply influenced by her husband’s bout with cancer and his recovery in 1993, most of Vikki’s artwork now focuses on the themes of healing, spirituality, hope, and inspiration.  Vikki lives in Reynoldsburg, Ohio.


Q: How long have you been quilting? How did you start?
A: I started in 1991. I actually hated sewing when I was growing up. My sister decided to take a beginner's quilting class and hounded me to take it with her. I resisted for a long time then finally caved. I loved it right away. My sister lives next door to me and still quilts, but she went the traditional route, while I went more towards art quilts. I started doing what I now call
" Healing Quilts" when my husband was ill. I made a quilt I called 'Breaking Point',  with a tree clinging to a cliff, because that is what I felt like at the time.

Q: You do a lot of appliqué work. Do you prefer hand or machine appliqué?
A: I actually do a combination of both. I wanted to do a lot of curves in my quilts, but I found the traditional methods for piecing curves didn't work for me. I developed a method of stitching one piece down without turning it under, then stitching the adjoining piece over top with the allowance turned under. Once I found a good stabilizer, it worked very well for me. I submitted my quilt to 'Quilter's Newsletter' and it was published in 1996. When they asked me to describe my method, I ended up writing a 4 page article about my technique. My whole career has stemmed from that article, as I started to get requests to teach. I love travelling and I love creating, so I feel so lucky to do both.

Q: Do you do your own quilting, once the quilt is constructed?
A:  Yes, I do it all myself. I have purchased a mid arm machine for some of my work, but I find I still do a lot of the quilting on my old domestic machine. When I start the quilting, I often have no real plan before I start...I just start to sew!

Q: You seem inspired by nature. How do you find your inspiration?
A:  I use nature as the metaphor for emotions. For example, in my quilt 'Life Beyond', I depict a tree in the winter, with its roots in a frozen pond. Winter is really the season after the growing cycle, a sort of 'death' of nature. I remember walking in the park one winter and noticing that I could still see the gold fish swimming under the frozen surface of the water. And that was the metaphor...that even if we couldn`t see it, there was life in that seemingly dead park.

Q: What is your favorite WonderFil Thread?
A:  My clear favorite is your 100 wt thread, InvisaFil ( Vikki designed WonderFil's InvisaFil color sets in 2008). I also love to quilt with your slitted polyester, Hologram. I like to use two strands through one needle to make the quilting work 'pop'. Some of my quilts have open spaces that I fill with 'webs' of thread, that I create using a wash away stabilizer and Hologram and InvisaFil.

Visit Vikki's Website

"Sacred Waters" using WonderFil InvisaFil (Detail below)

"Sacred Waters" using WonderFil InvisaFil (Detail below)