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!

Merry Christmas to Me!

My wish for each individual is to live in harmony and be in good health.  Those are the big two for me.  Wouldn’t that be amazing if everyone had those two things?  So I remind myself to live in the moment, be mindful, and do what I can to control my good health.


Quilting, sewing, and creating make my heart happy.  Simply said, it is my thing.  Now that I’m retired, I get to spend even more time doing my thing.  I began sewing garments at age 12 and progressed to counted cross stitch, general crafting, and finally discovered quilting 15 years ago.  I just love playing with fabric!!  I have pieced many, many quilt tops and started many more (Hello, UFOs!).  I discovered and fell in love with Cotton Theory, which allowed me a way to finish my own quilts (quilt first, then assemble) using my domestic machine.  But I still have at least a dozen quilt tops sewn before I learned about Cotton Theory.  How am I going to finish those?  I just could not look forward to trying to wrestle them under my sewing machine needle.  I didn’t want to send them to a longarmer to finish; I want to do it myself.  I want to put my final signature on my work.


My new baby

Enter the Handi Quilter Simply Sixteen (cue singing choir of angels!).  I first laid eyes on her at the Houston Quilt Show 2015 when she was introduced.  A smaller 6′ frame and certainly more affordable than the larger models.  I came very close to adopting her right then and there, but decided to give it some more thought.  Then a couple weeks ago, my LQS, Always in Stitches, dangled a sprig of mistletoe over her and I welcomed her with open arms.  Merry Christmas to me!

My new baby
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