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Monthly Archives: August 2016

  • Getting to Know Meissner Sewing: Shashari Kiburi

    Shashari Kiburi is a quilting instructor at Meissner Sewing and Vacuum Center. “’I’ll be leaving the Safeway parking lot and I’ll see how the textures change on the trunk of a palm tree, and I’ll be like ‘that is the coolest texture’ or ‘that pattern would make an awesome quilt’,” Kiburi said of finding what inspires her quilting creations.

    By Emily Achondo

    For Shashari Kiburi, the path to quilting wasn’t a straight stitch.

    In fact, her path to Sacramento wasn’t even a direct one.

    She is from Marin and was born into a family of sewers, so it was likely that she would have a needle and thread in her hand at some point.

    But her interest in quilting? Well, that didn’t come inherent to her.

    “I grew up in a sewing household, but I never sewed anything myself because my mom said everything had to be straight,” Kiburi said. “But I was always kind of around it.”

    It wasn’t until she gave birth to her fourth child that she found an interest in quilting. And even then she says she found quilting through the “back door.”

    Kiburi attended University of California, Berkeley for her undergraduate studies, where she received a degree in Anthropology.  She and her family moved to Monterey around 10 years ago and then settled in Sacramento in 2014.

    Most of her work in the beginning was in photography, more specifically in music photography and documenting, Kiburi said. She worked in magazines, as well, but once she became a mother, time didn’t allow for her to work nights and weekends and be a mom, she said.

    And then, of course, her route took a turn toward the quilting world.

    “What kind of got me into (quilting) was I was looking for ways to print my photos onto fabric,” she said. “Then at that point I just started looking at different quilting patterns, and I just started getting obsessed.”

    Now, she’s working to determine the connection between her background in fine arts and her quilting style.

    “I bring more of a fine art component to (quilting),” Kiburi said. “So right now I’m just kind of figuring out what my path is between quilting and fine art, and it’s just been really fun.”

    In doing so, Kiburi has discovered unique ways to construct her quilts. One way she does this is by dying her own fabrics, and she has recently been working with indigo dying.

    “I guess, for me, I see every quilt as a painting,” she said. “So when I’m dying fabric, it’s just kind of part of making that composition very original, and that’s really what got me excited about it.”

    Kiburi will use obscure items to create her dyed fabrics. “There are so many different tools you can use,” she said. I’ll go have my kids gather rocks in the back yard, and then they’ll help me prep all the fabric.”


    In addition to working on her own quilts, Kiburi also shares her passion for quilting with her students in the classroom at Meissner Sewing and Vacuum Center.

    Her experience as a teacher actually started after graduating from Berkeley when she took a multimedia education course, she said, and she discovered a profound interest in education.

    “I just fell in love with the experience,” she said. “I’ve taught so many different art forms and so many different groups of people between the Monterey area all the way into Sacramento, and I think for me it’s just helping people find a way to make their own lives better.”

    After listening to feedback and in order to guide her students in finding their own unique voice in quilting, Kiburi will be teaching an introduction to free-motion quilting class, she said.

    “It’s just a combination of helping quilters find their own creative voice and then also how to pick up specific skills that will help them do that,” Kiburi said. “I think that once you learn how easy some of these different techniques are, then you can just take off with your work.”

    Img3 “For me it’s helping quilter walk away with something new and something that they can actually use for their work,” Kiburi said of what she enjoys most about teaching.

    Where her path will take her next is in a few different directions. Kiburi would like to perfect her free-motion quilting, design her own fabrics and continue teaching she said.

    And eventually, Kiburi’s path will bring her back to where she started: printing her photos on fabrics.


    To learn more about Shashari and her classes offered at Meissner Sewing, click here:

  • Embroidery Garden Party

    Meissner Sewing and Vacuum Centers hosts an embroidery party. Meissner Makers came together to use new machines and craft up designs from the Embroidery Garden Collection.

    The past few days have been busy here at Meissner Sewing and Vacuum Centers as we have just wrapped up Embroidery Gardens, the most recent event held at the Sacramento store.

    Meissner’s had never hosted an Embroidery Garden event before, and a third session was added after receiving large interest, making for six days of embroidery fun.

    As part of the Meissner Maker Celebrity Series, Reen Wilcoxson, the driving force behind Embroidery Garden, traveled all the way from Indiana to share her designs, knowledge, and “in-the-hoop” expertise with as many Meissner Makers as possible.

    Wilcoxson’s history with embroidery goes back about 20 years, when she bought her first embroidery machine. She was taking her machine in for repair and spotted an embroidery machine on display, she said, and she walked out of the store with a new machine in hand.

    After some time and practice, she decided that she wanted to create her own designs.

    After embroidering some towels and shirts and things, I knew I wanted to create my own designs,” she said. “And I really just started working with the software, and I started out with appliqué, and then I came upon in the hoop.”

    With some help from her sons she set up a simple website and began selling her designs online.

    That was 15 years ago, and since then, she has been using her time and energy to create unique pieces that appeal to her customers.

    I try to create designs that are really unique and really different and put a lot of thought into them and try to come up with new techniques,” she said.  

    Reen Wilcoxson of Embroidery Garden brought six of her original designs to guide guests through the process of creating.

    Wilcoxson brought six of her original designs to the event at Meissner’s. The projects varied in level of difficulty and included a hand sanitizer holder, a coaster and a mesh bag, among other items.

    Along with Wilcoxson’s embroidery expertise, Embroidery Garden event guests got the rare, one-on-one opportunity to get their hands on a few new machines.

    By clearing a space in the long-arm center we were able to unpack the combined total of 50 Baby Lock Destiny II and Brother Dream Machine 2 machines so that each guest could sit down and create Wilcoxson’s designs individually.

    We were very excited to offer this chance to our Meissner Makers, and the timing was great because these top-of-the-line machines also provided guests with the right tools for assembling Wilcoxson’s “in-the-hoop” designs while individually working with the machine.

     “I think it’s great because in the hoop designs are different from the other designs,” Wilcoxson said. “So people actually get to make it, to use it, instead of having two on a machine and one is just kind of sitting there watching. You really get the feel of how the in the hoop designs are made.”

    “Who doesn’t like to sit at a machine and sew and press the buttons and follow along?” she said. 

    Our next event will be the Wilmington Trunk show, and Meissner also invites you to spend more hands-on time with us at the Floriani Hands On Event in September.

    For more information on all events and to register, visit our website.

    And remember keep checking our Facebook for more information on products, events, classes, and for updates on what’s happening in our stores.

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