“There are no limits to the imagination and creativity of a quilters”, enthuses Claudia Pfeil. Playing with fabrics, colors and patterns is what appeals to them. Hundreds of traditional and modern patterns can be put together in patchwork. The quilter from Krefeld combines fabrics and yarns so artfully that she has already won many international awards – which makes her known in the quilting scene like a pop star.
for Quilting and
“The quilter needs three things: creativity, useful materials and good fabrics.”
From the Life of Claudia Pfeil
When Claudia Pfeil came into contact with quilting over 35 years ago, the scene in Germany was relatively small. At that time, she would not have thought of becoming one of the world’s most popular and sought-after quilters with elaborate Art Quilts.
How everything began
After graduating from high school in Hemer in the Sauerland, Claudia Pfeil began an apprenticeship as a display designer at Kaufhof in Dortmund. She did not yet know where her professional path would lead her and so she gained experience in creative design for the first time. In 1985 she attended Creativa Dortmund, then took part in a course and sewed her first quilt – cut to size with scissors and paper templates. For Claudia Pfeil, the subject of “patchwork” was actually over before it really begun!
The first Quilt
After completing her apprenticeship, she completed a degree in product design with a focus on textile design at the Niederrhein University of Applied Sciences. Claudia Pfeil worked for a few years in a textile studio in Krefeld as a freelance designer for home textiles – until the Pfeil family added in 1992.
She took her thesis – pattern blocks she had designed herself and woven on a shaft loom – out of the drawers and remembered her first patchwork experiences. “These 30 by 30 centimeters unique pieces were perfect for making into a quilt. But she had no thread to sew and went to the local sewing machine shop.
First Classes in Patchwork
While searching for thread in the local sewing machine shop, Claudia Pfeil found the absolute novelty from the USA: utensils such as mat, cutter and ruler. In the shop she was asked if she would like to give quilting courses herself. The first course participants asked them where to buy original patchwork fabrics and so one step followed the other.
Her own Quiltshop
Claudia Pfeil ordered fabrics from the USA, taught her patchwork lessons, organized exhibitions and initially sold in the basement of her own house. She opened her first shop in 1997. Due to the lack of space for the many beautiful fabrics, the move to the new shop “Quilt & Co.” On Ritterstrasse in Krefeld took place in 2002.
Her own Longarm Quilting Machine
Another key experience was the meeting with APQS in September 2004 at the Carrefour du Patchwork in Alsace: She got hooked in the very frst second when she touched the APQS Longarm. That has completely changed her “quilting life” since then. “Finally quilting freely, the stretched area in view – and the long-arm machine like my pen in hand!” Says Claudia Pfeil, looking back.
After six weeks of practice on the longarm quilting machine, she sent a quilt to a competition in the United States. It came back with a small “teacher ribbon”. Then it happened to her- the ambition and the competitive fever grabbed her!
In 2005, APQS established its European showroom in the shop next door to Quilt & Co. As APQS representative, Claudia Pfeil organizes an “Open House” there twice a year with a wide range of classes on long-arm machines: design and training, technology and service.
Claudia Pfeil herself works on her machines every day: patchwork tops are quilted on behalf of customers, freehand or computerized as desired.
Studio & Gallery ”Old Bread Factory”
On February 27, 2020 – her birthday – Claudia Pfeil made herself a very special gift and moved into a 330 square meter, light-flooded studio in the “Old Bread Factory” built in 1908 on Ritterstrasse in Krefeld. Your new studio is also the showroom of the new APQS machines: the free-hand long arm machines Freddie, Millie and Lucey, as well as the George sit-down machine, fit perfectly into the largest room and are waiting to be used in future classes.
Show Quilts and the Journey across the World
A new show quilt takes one year, which she sends on a worldwide trip to the competitions. A lot of passion, creativity, time and material go into such a project. The quiver and nervousness get stronger and stronger the closer the first show gets. All the better when the successes speak for themselves.
Since 2006 she has been drawn to faraway places: as a longarm teacher, artist and tutor, Claudia Pfeil is invited to shows and events around the world: USA, Asia, Australia and Europe – she is always there with enthusiasm!