Yesterday, I spent the afternoon with my quilting family who have adopted me as not only their Long Arm Quilter but as a family member. Each person is a quilter ranging from Master, Expert, Experienced, Novice, Beginner and every aspect I didn’t mention. It is such a joy for me to see the love of sewing and quilting being passed on through these 3 generations as it was in my own family; from my Grandmothers, Mom and on to me.
I have been away from my quilt studio recently along with anything remotely related to today’s communications. I only feel it is fair that along with my long arm quilting that I share with you some of the beauty of the great state of Alaska. While out in the wilderness, I enjoyed picking wild blueberries, sitting back to enjoying the scenery and harvesting my very first Caribou. My hobbies are of a unique blend such as hunting, fishing, camping, hiking, sewing, quilting, crafting, motorcycle riding and football. I am the third daughter and my father’s tomboy, so I grew up spending much of my time with my dad, uncles and the guys. My mother took every opportunity to make sure that I received enough girl time to understand and learn how to be feminine when necessary. So to sum it up…I enjoy a bit of both worlds. Here are some photos of my recent happenings:
Here is the first piece taken off the Gammill Statler Long Arm Quilting Machine. The machine has been deemed a male and has offically been named “Ezekiel”. He and I have spent a couple days together since finishing up my week at my real job. I wanted to share with everyone the original practice piece that I did; I am going to put a binding around it and hang some place in my sewing room. Tinkering with several different aspects of the computerized stitching capablilites, made for an interesting original piece.
I am looking forward to sharing many more quilted pieces with you in the future.
It is here and I continue to pinch myself to make sure I am not dreaming! The scheduled arrival date came one day early without any complaint from me. The delivery, setup and initial training made for a long day for all involved. However, my excitement kept me from feeling exhausted until I finally shut down the lights and then I didn’t think I would make it to my pillow. To shed a bit of light on the matter, I have been battling a severe cold over the last few days and just feel like my head wants to explode. Beyond that little matter, nothing was going to stand in the way of my Gammill being delivered. Of course there are pictures; there always must be pictures to commemorate such an occasion!
I have decided that this new arrival has to be a boy, considering it has umph and considerable power to tough through the largest of quilting projects. I am at a loss for giving him a name…any suggestions?
Thank you for sharing in this exciting time for me; becoming the owner of one of the elite longarm quilting machines is a dream come true!
My previous post with the necktie quilt, was the last quilting I have done. My sewing room currently stands mostly empty and waiting is now the name of the game. So for those of you that are not in contact with me daily here is the story.
I decided it was time to upgrade my longarm quilting machine. After weeks of mind bending deliberation, my choice fell on the Gammill Statler Stitcher 30-12 Optimum. To break it down for those who are not familiar with machine lingo, it is just a big sewing machine on a 12 foot long table. In my eyes it is the “cream de’ lacream” (sp) and every time I think about owning it, I get shivers. Yes, I may be sounding a bit childish in my verbage; but that is how I feel about having another of my dreams about to come true.
The new machine was ordered on March 8th and was tentative for delivery in about four weeks. I still had my Nolting Fun Quilter that was for sale on the well-known Craig’s List. I had not received a single call for two weeks and then got three calls within two days. The first showing brought its new owner to light, within a few hours it was taken apart, loaded, transported and reconstructed at its new location. That evening although delighted with the sale of the complete Nolting machine and frame, instead of just trading in the machine; I was not sure if I felt happy or sad that my first longarm machine was gone.
I contacted my Gammill dealer to alter my invoice since I no longer had a trade-in on my new machine; then, several days passed when I got the bad news. My new machine was delayed due to bad weather and would be an extra two weeks out. I was bummed…making the best of it, I decided to attempt to complete a few UFO’s (unfinished objects) in my sewing room. I decided on a new technique for making fabric note cards, purchased the needed fabric to finish my “Kwik Krazy Quilt” pattern, reorganize the stuff on the book shelves to more efficiently hold my quilting items and be more diligent at the process of completing the “Octagon Flower Bed” quilt for my mom that I am hand quilting. Speaking of hand quilting, I totally give credit to those with healthy backs who can undertake this task for more than an hour at a time.
Back to the main subject, so here I sit typing this post and thinking that my new machine is still two weeks out. The telephone rings and it is the Gammill dealer calling to tell me that she had info that I was probably not going to like. My heart sank in my chest as I asked using all the strength I could muster, what the news was? She said that she just checked on the machine and it is going to be delivered on Monday. OH MY GOODNESS, that is only three days away!! Her laughter rang in my ears, as I expressed my joy at her joking about the bad news. The new machine is currently scheduled to be assembled in my Sewing Room on Wednesday, which is only five days from now; not two weeks!
I have been busy preparing for my first craft event the Christmas Arts & Crafts Emporium in Anchorage. I suppose I should have started out small, but then again I never seem to do much of anything unless I go all out. I have been sewing all day everyday that I don’t go off to my real job. I softly whisper to my machines to hang in there and I promise after the show I will take them in for cleaning and tender loving maintenance. I never knew how handy having a serger could be until now, I find myself using it for so many projects that I never thought I would. The Sewing Room as I now refer to the room I have acquired in the house for all my machines and stuff looks as if a tornado went through.
I had two friends over a couple days ago and we worked on projects for eight hours; taking a brief snack break as we walked past the spread of salmon spread wraps, veggies with ranch dressing, crackers and spinach dip. It was a day filled with fun, laughter and joy. We parted that day feeling fullfilled with friendship and projects in hand to complete.
There is still much to do as I find myself thinking of each thing almost every waking hour and sometimes in my dreams. Since this is my first show there are displays to create and prepare, table coverings to think about, Christmas tree lights to dig out, space layout to design; calculators, pens, receipt books, change box, and many other details to numerous to mention. Of course this is above the items made to sell; I ask myself have I made enough but maybe made to much? Then there is the whole concept of pricing the items, this has to be one of the worst aspects of selling my creations. I keep hoping in time puting a price tag on something that has been made with joy and love will become easier.
I should really get these machines to humming so I will close for now. Just wanted to drop a post to let everyone know what I have been up to. As soon as I have an opportunity to take some pictures I will post them.
I have always admired machine embroidered items at craft shows or events. My decision to include an Embroidery Machine to my sewing room was during a weak moment. I had been tossing around the idea of purchasing a machine and doing all the research, but never really making the decision to purchase one. One day I went to the local Sewing/Vacumm Store that carries a variety of threaded machines and supplies. I believe I just needed to purchase some bobbins for my sewing machine and managed to come home with an Embroidery Machine…I think I forgot the bobbins!
Please enjoy the slideshow of various embroidered pieces I have made since my “weak moment” purchase.
On November 15, 2003 I agonized over the purchase of a Janome Memory Craft 6500 sewing machine. Do I need it? NO Do I want it? YES Should I buy it? NO Is it a good investment? YES, and the list went on. I spent hours in the store watching the sales lady use the machine and walking through the isles debating with myself on what to do. When I finally asked myself the most important question; Will I use it? YES and the purchase was made. I remember driving home that day with a smile so large, that no harsh words could have wiped away. I cherished each moment of unpacking and setting it up; as I think back there was a bit of time that passed while I just stared at it sitting so stately on the dining room table. When my state of awe passed, I did a short peruse through the owner’s manual on how to load the top thread, how to wind/load the bobbin and there were so many stitches to choose from. A straight stitch is always a good starting point and so the road was paved for me to explore my creativity.
I would like to invite you to travel along with me as my adventures take on various perspectives of Quilting Concepts. I will be sharing my personal projects along with those of my customers from near and far. I am new to the world of Blogs, so I ask that you be patient as I learn to share with you. As with many quilters and crafters, I have what is referred to as a real job. The real job can be very stressful and my sewing studio previously known as the “dining room” is one of the places I find peace and relax. I also love nature and the great outdoors; living in Alaska affords me many exciting experiences along with some great photographs that will be included periodically.