Author, Designer, Instructor

Let me introduce you to….

The phenominal, master quilter,

Birgit Schuller!

I’d like you to get to know my dear friend, Birgit. She is one of the dearest, loveliest people I have ever had the privilege to get to know and call my friend. And she is also one of the most incredibly talented quilters I have ever worked with! Birgit helped me not only piece two of the quilts for my next book, but she machine quilted six of them as well. I know you’ll be as excited about her quilting talent as I am when you see some of the photos of her work.

Birgit recently returned from a very busy and ultra-successful trip to the US where she picked up some major awards for her work. Rather than have me try to share her exciting news with you, I asked her to explain in her own words what transpired on her recent trip to the states. She graciously agreed to be the “guest blogger” for today, and even has photos to share with you all! So, make yourself a cup of tea (iced or hot), sit back, relax and get ready for a virtual, exciting show and tell from Birgit!

After more than six months of planning and preparations, finally, May 2009 was here and my long-awaited trip to the USA to attend not one major machine quilting show, but two!

 

The first stop of my trip took me to Salt Lake City, Utah, where the Home Machine Quilters Show (HMQS) was held. I had been chosen to be one of the show’s featured artists and had agreed to give a lunch hour presentation and trunk show of my work on Friday. This was a first for me! What was this quilter from Germany supposed to tell people in the homeland of quilting anyway? As everybody assured me that I’d do just fine, I went ahead. Since I traveled internationally, my trunk show was basically a virtual slide show from my laptop computer. I had a wonderful audience who commented on how much they had liked my presentation whenever one of them saw me on the show floor throughout the following days!

 

On Sunday, May 10th I continued my trip which took me to Overland Park, KS, the home of the Machine Quilters Showcase (MQS). I have entered quilts and – starting last year – garments in this annual show ever since 2006 when my wall quilt Trinity was awarded the Rookie of the Year award! This year, I not only entered my 2009 show quilt Shooting Stars and my current quilted garment Chocolate Orange Cocktail in the competition, but also had proposed and was chosen to teach three longarm quilting classes – another first for me!

 

Detailed image of one of the quilts from Birgit's class

My Tuesday afternoon hands-on class Fabulous Freehand Fun for Blocks, Borders & Backgrounds had been completely booked a few weeks before the show. Attendance in my two demo classes – Whole cloth Quilting – Efficient, Yet Spectacular and Exploring the Potential of Freehand Fillers – was great as well. Judging from the comments during and after the classes and from remarks I came across on some Internet blogs, people must have enjoyed themselves, taking home new ideas they were eager to try. When teaching, my goal is to try for every student to get at least one new idea to take home. If this is achieved, I consider a class to have been successful.

Another detailed photo of Birgit's exquisite quilting. This is from the back!

When you travel all the way from Germany to attend quilt shows like HMQS and MQS, having an extended shopping list is part of the fun. I brought home quite a number of cones of thread, some batting packages (I’m thankful for those vacuum bags to reduce the bulk!), a few rulers, gadgets and fabric! I’m proud to be able to say that I have joined the Sew Batik Longarm Associate Program allowing me to promote the beautiful Sew Batik fabrics with my longarm customers and friends.

 

Well, I’ve saved the absolutely best, most thrilling and still quite unbelievable piece of information for last. I had entered my quilt Shooting Stars in the theme category. This year’s theme was Fire & Ice. I designed, pieced, quilted and embellished this quilt with more than 8,000 hot fix Swarovski crystals over the past few months and then had to realize at the show that the competition in my category was stiff – to say the least.

Photo graciously provided by the official MQS photographer, Marilyn Karper

Photo graciously provided by the official MQS photographer, Marilyn Karper

The awards night came and excitement rose. The organizers worked their way through the categories with the theme category being the last to announce the winners. Three wonderful quilts by three of the most talented quilters in the business won the three top awards in the category. As I said, I had realized before the competition was stiff and it was absolutely likely that my quilt would end up without a ribbon. Not a problem at all. The Rookie of the Year award was announced next and my excitement started to settle, then it was time for the Solitaire Award, and it came as a complete shock when my quilt and my name were announced as the winner! My original quilt, Shooting Stars, had been awarded the highly prestigious Solitaire Award!!! I stumbled up the stage and accepted the ribbon, check and congratulations in sheer disbelief. This was so much more than I ever had dared to dream! Honestly, if I didn’t have the ribbon with me to prove it is a reality, I would still feel like it’s a dream! All I can say is, wow! To see my quilt and some of the other winners, click here.

 

Detailed image of Shooting Stars

Detailed image of Shooting Stars

Detailed image of Shooting Stars from the back. Birgit's quilting is breathtaking! Detailed photos kindly provided by Thilo Schuller, Birgit's terrific husband.

On Thursday, the fashion show was scheduled during the lunch hour where I had agreed to model my garment. As only two ribbons were awarded in the judged competition and my outfit had ended up in 3rd place, the fashion show was an additional option to win something with my garment after all. The event went smoothly, the audience seemed to like my cocktail dress, jacket and clutch ensemble very much and they cast their votes. I had to leave immediately after the fashion show to change and hurry to set up my classroom for my next class.

Birgit modeling her exquisite cocktail dress, jacket and coordinating clutch. Photo provided by Marilyn Karper.

Birgit modeling her exquisite cocktail dress, jacket and coordinating clutch. Photo provided by Marilyn Karper.

When the awards were announced during the evening event, I was absolutely thrilled to have been awarded the 1st place ribbon in the Master Class category! But the moderator wouldn’t let me leave the stage again – not before she also handed me over the ribbons for Best Choice of Color and Best Embellishment! This again, left me stunned in disbelief!

Detailed image of Birgit's amazing cocktail dress. Photo provided by Thilo Schuller.

Can you believe that I had a hard time getting to sleep these two nights? This entire trip had taken turns I never in my wildest dreams would have thought possible. Everybody seemed to be celebrating with me. Calling a country – Germany – my home where quilting is considered just a hobby, I absolutely enjoyed the recognition of my work I was allowed to experience during my stay in the USA. Thank you ever so much! And thank you, Kimberly, for allowing me to share the excitement of my recent trip with your readers!

 

My contact information is as follows:

 

Creative BiTS

Birgit Schüller

Schachtstr. 5

66292 Riegelsberg

Germany

phone: +49 (6806) 920 447

fax: +49 (6806) 920 448

email:  zib.stibevitaercnull@relleuhcs.tigrib

Internet: www.creativebits.biz

Webshots: http://community.webshots.com/user/birgitquilts (not quite up-to-date right now, but soon!)

 

Thank YOU, Birgit for being my guest blogger today and for sharing your absolutely thrilling news with all of us! I am so excited for you to receive the awards and recognition you so richly deserve! Many, many congratulations.

 

And to all you readers, please come back here for another visit soon for ‘part two’ of this installment, where I’ll share some more of Birgit’s quilts including her studio and the space where she creates all the machine quilting magic in her home!

17 Comments
  1. Dear Kimberly,
    Thank you so very much for having done this feature on my recent success. I feel so very fortunate to have you as a friend and it has been my absolute pleasure – as I have told you repeatedly already – that you have allowed me to help you work on your soon-to-be-published book!

    Lots of hugs to you, Kent and the boy,
    Birgit

  2. Hey, Birgit! Those warm feelings are completely mutual! I’m just delighted to share this momentous news with the world!!!

  3. Birgit we told you so!!! Congrats for the recognition of your work.

  4. Robin — thanks SO much for leaving a comment today to congratulate Birgit. I know she’ll be absolutely delighted!

  5. Birgit,
    It was such a pleasure to meet you and get to know you a bit in real life. The internet is just not the same as talking with a real person! Your work is beautiful!! Congratulations!

  6. Hi, Renee!

    Thanks so much for taking a moment to read my blog and leave a comment for Birgit — I just know she’ll be thrilled!

    How are you doing? Busy as ever, I’m sure. Being an award winning quilter-extraordinare yourself, I know you’ve been creating wonderful new quilts! Hope I get to see them (and you!) in person, soon!

  7. Congrats, Birgit,
    You are too modest. I knew that your quilt would win! It is stunning. Same goes for your ensemble.

  8. Hi Birgit,
    We had such a great time with you at HMQS! You are a delight! Only wish we lived closer so we could “hang out”. You are such a creative delightful person. You really made an impact at our show. Thank you so much for coming and presenting your quilts at our hour spotlight! It was fantastic. I enjoyed getting to know you a little better over dinner…one fun part was hearing you order Mexican food with your German accent.. Come to Utah anytime!! We’d love to have you. And congratulations on all of your awards!! Happy that you got home safe and sound. I know you were missing your family. Your Quilting Friend Patsy

  9. Ilona — Thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment! You are so right — Birgit is way too modest! 🙂

  10. Hi Patsy —

    Thanks so much for stopping by to share in Birgit’s exciting news! I think it would have been great fun to hear her order Mexican food with a German accent. Next time I see her, I think I’ll ask her to say enchilladas, or fajitas or something like it! Just kidding….

    Thanks again for leaving a comment today. I know she’ll be just thrilled to hear from you.

  11. Kimberly,

    I never had a chance to meet you….but I did have the privilege of making a Rhein Wein mystery quilt that you designed for the Rheinland Pfalz Quilt Guild. I also LOVE your book published with APQS on your travels of Europe (Carla C. got you to autograph a copy for me on her trip to Houston). I want to thank you so much for this blog of my friend Birgit. I am so excited for her. I met Birgit in Germany when I was the President of Rheinland Pfalz Quilt Guild. I have some of the best memories spending time with the guild members at retreats, with Birgit and seeing her gorgeous work. She is the one that did all our long-arm quilting for all the QOV (quilts of valor) quilts that went to Landstuhl. How honored these wounded are to not only get a beautifully pieced quilt but a quilt designed and quilted by a now famous and elegant quilter – Birgit. I had planned on meeting Birgit at MQS but my husband was deployed and I was unable to go. I so wanted to take a class with her and get to visit with her again. Your blog at least allows me to share a little of her adventure to my country as she allowed me the privilege of visiting hers. Thanks again and best of everything to you and Birgit.
    Lisa C.

  12. Congratulations Birgit !!
    I had no doubt when I saw the quilt and the dress that you would win something !!
    You are the best !!!
    I hope to be able to take a class with you!!
    all the best to you and your family
    Christine

  13. Christine — thanks so much for leaving a comment for Birgit! Coming from you, I know it will mean a lot to her!

  14. Dear Lisa;

    Thank you SO much for stopping by the blog to leave such a lovely message! I appreciate it VERY much! 🙂 I know Birgit will be very touched to read all your kind comments, and I, too feel a warm and fuzzy at all the nice things you had to say. Thank you!

    I also want to thank YOU and your husband for your service and dedication to this country; especially during this time when he is deployed. We’ll hold him up in thoughts and prayer while he is away from home defending our nation and freedom.

    God bless you — and thank you again for writing such a lovely letter. It made my day!

  15. Oh, what a talented lady!!! Birgit, thank you for sharing you wonderful pictures with all of us, and for being Kimberly’s guest blogger. The thing I like best about your work is that it is so dynamic. What color & what movement!

  16. Thanks so much, Pat! You summed up Birgit’s unique style of quilting perfectly!

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About Birgit

Wherever I go, I am asked about the exquisite machine quilting on my quilts. I’m happy to share with you that most of my quilts have been expertly quilted by the internationally award winning quilt artist, Birgit Schüller! Read more