The Pennsylvania National Quilt Extravaganza is thrilled to welcome Vickie Clontz back to the event, held September 14-17, 2017 at the Greater Philadelphia Expo Center in Oaks (Valley Forge area), Pennsylvania. Clontz will be vending, teaching and moderating the two PNQE Fashion Shows: a show featuring her own works, Celebrating Art and Fashion on Thursday, and the Sew Batik Challenge Fashion Show on Saturday. Both fashion shows begin at 2:00 pm and are included with show admission.
When Vickie Clontz was five, her mother taught her how to sew. That simple mother-daughter activity has led Clontz to a life in fiber craft and art. Her mother stayed close by to supervise her young daughter on the sewing machine, but Clontz clearly had a natural ability and a passion for creating with fabric. Clontz eventually sewed her own clothes and started her own business. Annie’s Keepsakes sells patterns for simple-to-make crafts, from napkins and placemats to a menagerie of pincushions and other items.
Connections that Clontz made through the craft business introduced her to other fibers, and this led her to start creating felted wool art, including wet-felted flowers, scarves and clothing that incorporate other fabrics.
In 1990, Clontz started her pattern-making company. “I knew how to make patterns,” she said and “I’d always wanted my own company.” She started with dolls and accessories, then added a pincushion of the month that corresponded to a theme, such as a heart for February. “If you sew, you need a pin cushion,” Clontz said. “They’re decorative, too. All my patterns I market as quick and easy. I want people to be successful when they make my designs.”
Vickie next discovered wool fiber and that opened another opportunity. “I had to figure out what to do with it,” she said. She started needle felting: creating art by interlocking wool fibers on the felt, and she began “painting” with wool. “Felting is physical,” she said and described rolling felt and other fabrics together with 1-inch dowels on bubble wrap. “It’s easy — kids can do it,” she said. “That’s how I started with felting and fiber art.
Then she discovered wet felting using the same fiber but instead of using needles to connect the fiber, she used soap and water. All sorts of fiber can be incorporated, including wool, curly Angora and bamboo. “Bling can be added with sparkly Angelina. You can’t control it completely,” she said, and that creates new design opportunities. “This was like a whole other career to me. I became obsessed with it.”
Vickie’s knowledge of her art, attention to detail and interest in her students are what make her an excellent instructor. She strives for quality in her work, but also seems to thrive on the limitless possibilities of fibers. “I am totally immersed in teaching my students. I just want to encourage them to create and let their artistic energies out and have a good time and be pleased with the art they created.”
Pennsylvania National Quilt Extravaganza XXIV
The Center of It All for Quilts, Wearable & Textile Art
September 14-17, 2017
Thursday, Friday & Saturday 10am – 6pm
Sunday 10am – 4pm
Greater Philadelphia Expo Center
100 Station Avenue, Oaks, PA 19456