This Week in Studio Time –

Six fat quarters and you can have a quick baby quilt using the Yellow Brick Road quilt pattern. I added a border. I love the way this goes together. If you have a friend who is learning to quilt, this is a fantastic pattern for them, and it is so fun to put together that even experienced quilters will enjoy piecing this one! I come back to it again and again.

This week I also recovered a couple outdoor cushions. I’m happy with how they turned out.

I also made two of these quilt backing extenders. They are helpful when you are short on backing fabric so the machine carriage doesn’t run into the clamps. I took 2 fat quarters (one for each side), finished the long edges, and then folded it in half, right sides together, and stitched the end opposite the fold with a 1/4′ seam, and turned it right side out. Then I inserted a clean paint stick at the folded edge and marked the sides and the bottom of the paint stick. I stitched across the width and one side, inserted the paint stick, then stitched the other side to hold the paint stick in place. To use it, pin the end with the 1/4′ seam to your backing fabric, and use your clamps on the paint stick to stabilize your backing.

Labrynth Walk Quilt

This has been on my list for quite awhile and I’m so happy I moved it to the top of my list. This was gifted to my grandson for his high school graduation. I was trying to think of a more masculine pattern to suggest to him. He liked the pattern and chose the colors. It went together so much easier than I thought. I hadn’t noticed that it’s really just two different blocks! If you’ve been considering making this one, I would encourage you to do so. I quilted this on my Handi Quilter Infinity using a design from Wasatch Quilting.

Handi Quilter Educator Challenge – Do You See What I See?

The Handi Quilter Educator Challenge for 2020 was to quilt a Debra Linker ice dyed piece of fabric to emphasize the faces or figures you see in the fabric. This is called pareidolia, but we decided to call it simply, Do You See What I See?

This is the piece that I chose from the options. I didn’t “see” anything at the time, but liked the colors.
After gazing at it for awhile, the green areas became green jackets and I took it from there. I used Handi Quilter Preview Paper and dry erase markers to sketch out some ideas. Easy to wipe off and start over til I liked what I saw.
This is how I began. You can see I changed my mind on the center area once I began. At this point, I had decided the green jackets would be on aliens and this center point was going to be their regeneration point. There you go, the name of my piece was Regeneration Station!
Here’s my finished piece. The aliens are coming in to renew their energy. The design on their jackets match the grid in the center and indicates their energy level. The closer the grid in their jackets, the more energy they have. Some are coming in to energize and others are on their way out, having just finished energizing. Swarovski crystals for the eyes. I left the background unquilted as I thought it made them seem as thought they were floating in nothingness in outer space. Crazy, I know, but I think I was writing a novel about these guys while I was quilting them.

Handi Quilter Educator Challenge – Vintage Quilts

At our training, we accepted a Vintage Quilt Challenge. Brenda Groelz, Director of Education for Handi Quilter, has been collecting vintage quilts for years and now it’s time to get them quilted. Our directions were to quilt them in a way the original piecer would not have imaginied. You may add a border, but you are not allowed to wash them because they are fragile. We drew numbers and when our number was called, we could have our choice of around 30 quilts. There were only 11 of us. I loved the salmon color of this one. It was machine pieced and not in too bad of shape.

I added two borders and quilted it on my Handi Quilter Infinity. I think the dark teal blue border really sets it off nicely.

Close up of the quilting. I used Pro-Stitcher in the solid areas and borders and free motion on the rest.

Day 3 at Handi Quilter

Day 3 was our photo shoot day.  Photographers Jared and Heidi escorted us to the State Capitol Building.

Utah State Capitol Building

Beautiful marble everywhere. Adam, Diana, Rhonda, and I were in this small group together. It was a surreal experience to have photographers trying to make you laugh, look natural, and clicking away.  I did not have one inkling that this would be my experience from entering my 3 minute video online.

Fabulous lunch at Buca di Beppo and then off to a shop hop with money in hand to spend!!  Could this get any better??

Our last dinner was at Brenda’s (head of marketing) favorite Chinese restaurant.  The next day we would be flying home soon to be joined by our new play toys that HQ would be shipping.  Three full days and two half days/travel days at HQ came to a close.  I couldn’t have dreamed it any better.

Day 2 at Handi Quilter

Day two was a day of learning, rulers in the morning and stencils in the afternoon.  Sprinkle in playing with different feet and other goodies.  Every few hours we were gifted thread, rulers, stencils, scissors, bobbins, DVDs, you name it!  Craziness!!  All goodies to try out and to help up us with our quilting.

Marie gifting us!

Commotion in the hallway and someone closing the classroom doors cued me that something was going to happen during lunchtime.  Soon enough we were called to lunch.  Jared, the photographer, was on hand, as was Darrin, the CEO.  Hummm.

We were met with a beautifully decorated cake and discovered our name was going to be the Quilt Your Desire Inspiration Squad.  Love that!

Placemats with our group photo shoot from 2:00 yesterday afternoon were on the tables.  Marilyn, my roommate, is on the far left.  We are pictured with vintage quilts the studio educators quilted.

Quilt Your Desire Inspiration Squad

Darrin again welcomed us to the HQ family and said we had birthdays to celebrate.  Five of us (yes, I was one) have birthdays in January.  The closest to that day’s date would win a prize.  Becky’s was the closest and they brought out a very large white box with gorgeous purple metallic ribbon.  It was a sewing machine!!  But then Vicki said, “Wait, we all have birthdays!” and they wheeled out those fabulous boxes for each one of us!!

A new sewing machine!?!!!

Darrin with the machine we received.  It’s an HQ 210 Stitch 8 pound travel machine!!

Back to the classroom for more hands on practice on the wonderful Avantes.  And more swag!  Did I say more swag?  Yes, more swag!  We learned they would be shipping it home for us!

At this time I just have to introduce you to Jace, the13th member of our squad.  He is the 12 year old grandson of Helen Kay.  She mentioned in her application video that she had taught him to quilt and showed a quilt he had made, so HQ invited him, too.  He was a perfect addition!  He carried his new sewing machine and thread home on the plane with him because he couldn’t wait for it to be shipped!  Here he is hard at work micro quilting after trying his hand at couching.


At 5:00 we were taken by a luxurious shuttle bus to the Joseph Smith Memorial Building for a fabulous gourmet buffet at the Roof Restaurant overlooking Temple Square. This is a view from the restaurant.

Temple Square

The Tabernacle

What an experience this was!

Tune in to my next post for Day 3 at Handi Quilter!

Handi Quilter Quilt Your Desire 2017

In December, Handi Quilter announced their Quilt Your Desire campaign for 2017.  Quilters were invited to send a 1 – 3 minute video of themselves with their HQ longarm telling how they quilt their desire. From these entries, HQ would select 12 quilters to become a part of their marketing campaign for 2017.  Included was an all expense paid trip to the Salt Lake City HQ headquarters in Utah for a week of training, including a photo and video shoot!  The quilters would then, in return, send in video updates regularly during 2017 showing just how they were quilting their desire.

As you’ve probably surmised, I was one lucky girl!!  Things happened rather quickly after being notified. I had only had my Simply for a week and I was off and running.  The trip to Utah was the second week of January and we were to bring a quilt we wanted to speak about in our video shoot!  I had about a dozen quilt tops ready to be quilted, so that part was easy, but I had only quilted one quilt on my Simply and that was just a meandering pattern on my least favorite top, so I sure didn’t want to talk about that one in my video.  I chose my favorite top which lended itself to fun, organic shapes and just had fun playing with it.  I quilted a different design in each block, sometimes using the fabric design for inspiration.  I quilted cursive L’s in the sashing (my maiden name initials were LL so I used to doodle those all the time in school), and a wonky Greek Key in the border.

Park City by Crazy Old Ladies


Full speed ahead!

We were treated like royalty from the moment we landed in Salt Lake City and were in Handi Quilter’s care.  We were adopted into the HQ family, treated to the best restaurants, and showered with swag!!!

HUGE chocolate bar waiting for us in our hotel rooms!

The next day when the 12 of us arrived at Handi Quilter headquarters, the four studio educators in their matching bright pink blouses greeted us outside the doors with applause.  I was giddy with excitement; they were the famous educators from the HQ videos we had all watched: Vicki, Cheryl, Marie, and Kerri.

Cheryl, Vick, Kerri, and Marie the following day in their matching orange shirts!

Stepping through the front door, we were showered with confetti, horns, popping balloons, and cheering.  It was the most amazing welcome I could ever imagine.  I don’t think I’ve ever cried tears of joy before!  Every employee was on hand and holding signs with our names on them.  Wowsa!!

After catching our breath, we were ushered upstairs to the classroom.

Classroom full of longarms

CEO Darren spoke to us and took us on a tour of the entire building, including the manufacturing area.

Next we were shuffled off to our video shoots!  No wasting time here!  We were all so nervous!  We were each others’ audience and supported each other.

Here I am with my quilt during my video shoot.

Happy to have that behind us, we lunched together and then began some classroom learning about TNT – thread, needle, and tension.  About 2:00, Jared, the photographer, came to get us for a photo shoot!  More on that in my next post.  We finished our classroom time and were whisked off to Mandarin, a most excellent Chinese restaurant.  Arriving back at the hotel emotionally exhausted, it was an early bedtime for my roomie, Marilyn, and I.

Stay tuned for my next post – Day 2 at Handi Quilter!


Time to TWIST – This Week in Studio Time ~

Renewed excitement in my studio this week.  Sorting my dozen or so finished quilt tops into those needing pieced backings and those needed front borders as well as pieced backings.  Getting ready to roll on that Handi Quilter Simply Sixteen!

First up was this Ugly Duckling. Just not a fan of 30s fabric. Pieced this in a class to learn the “twosy-foursy” method of putting squares together. The striped border helped brighten it up immensely.

I’ve practiced for a week. Time for the real thing. Take a deep breath and go for it!

Meandering is a good pattern for this first quilt. Squeals of delight! SO fun!

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