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Sunday, September 25, 2016

New and Re-purposed...

Just to catch up...the research phase of purchasing a longarm quilting machine went on for several years. No really. Elaine tactfully suggested that I go to numerous quilt shows and different stores that were longarm vendors. While there we would view, touch, test drive and discuss longarms. Not that I was really paying any attention. I may be slow...but not stupid. I did it all with a smile on my face, love in my heart for the greatest thing that ever happened to me, knowing that her final decision would add to her love and pleasure she had found in quilting. Just another avenue in her crafting journey. It would also provide her with the ability to be more productive in her commitment to Quilts of Valor. She would add the ability to longarm QOV's in house and not have to search for a longarmer and deal with the necessary delays and shipping associated with sending them out to be quilted and waiting for their return.

It would all come to fruition at the Mancuso Mid-Atlantic Quilt Fest in February 2012. A Virginia quilt shop longarm dealer made the switch form Gammill to Innova. Innova, parented by ABM International, a pioneer in commercial machine quilting since the late 1940,s. They had been in the home longarm market now for several years. They had also just released PanotVision. This changed my outlook on longarm quilting. Until PV you were a free motion quilter or you were a pantograph quilter if you used a longarm. PV moved the pantograph operator from the back of the machine to the front. I can't tell you what that meant. Having worked with power tools, chop saws, table saws, lathes, radial arm saws and numerous power hand tools for decades, longarming suddenly made sense. It placed you on the correct position of your work project, in the front. The longarm was now and to me will always be a "power tool."  

With more than two years of research Elaine had it narrowed down to Gammill and Innova. I'm a longarmer today because she chose Innova. There are some sub plots...Heidi, from ABM, Valerie Schlake the dealer at then Virginia Longarm, now The Longarm Network with facilities here in Virginia and South Carolina. Their flawless customer service and an abundant amount of time shared with us before the purchase only complimented the product that was manufactured by ABM. That brings us to today.

A man's work place deserves the best accoutrements. I have finally completed my quest to compliment my love of quilting, power tools and a well equipped work space. In this case it's not the garage but the longarm room. Although you may see some similarities. Introducing this longarmer's dream for organizing the storage of equipment, spare parts, tools, and supplies associated with longarming. Please raise a glass...or thread a needle...whatever fits your fancy.

It doesn't get any better than this. 

Well that's the the re-purposed. Elaine and I have decided to donate all of our DVD's to the library. Well that left us with the DVD Cabinet. I guess one might think a trip to Salvation Army would be the next step. Oh how wrong that would be. to the sewing room you go...

Wouldn't you know it...a perfect fit...

Good bye DVD's. Hello Fat Quarters.Welcome to the world of quilting.

Well time for me to hit the showers. Need to go do some grocery shopping and then get busy on a quilt. If for no other reason than to spend some time with my new tool chest and one of the greatest power tools ever manufactured. Innova and Craftsman...not two names often used in the same sentence. Till now.

In case your wondering...what will he be quilting? Oh I don't know, how about a QOV...

Quilt till you wilt...we do.

Thursday, September 22, 2016

A Wet & Wild Julia...

Well we can vouch for the wet...I'm guessing based on some of the news channels and social medias some will vouch for the wild. According to the local weather reports our area got 13.5 inches in the last two and a half days. This time we missed everything but the wet. Well and one golf day. Other than that business as usual, quilting, hair cut for me, perm for Elaine, some shopping and a little more Netflix and Amazon Prime than usual.

The last longarm phase wasn't the usual.

They are not always new quilts. This one belongs to a friend. A friendship that developed when he was our contractor during our remodel in 2007 and 2008. We recently had him over to redo our front porch railing. It was apparently new in 1974 when the house was originally constructed. To say it needed replacing would be one of those understatement things.
The quilt was made by his grandmother in the early fifties. Machine pieced and quilted. Elaine appliqued several pieces of material over ones that were, well let's say well loved and worn. Then I loaded it on the ever dependable Innova and restitched those areas where the stitching used to be. Not as simple as it sounded when I said, "No problem." Now don't repeat this, I'll deny it. Don't what anyone getting the idea I'm a soft touch. As I worked on the quilt it became very clear that it was a labor of love. Apparently she made one for all of the grandchildren. That sounds very familiar.

Familiar pattern and very period fabric.

According to my stitch counter...16K. Well loved, well worn and plenty of missing stitches.

Not uncommon to see this. It is well loved, well used and well cherished.

This one is a monster...It took almost every bit of usable space on the longarm at 110'x110". It was in fact the second largest I've done and certainly the most difficult. Four quilting patterns, two thread colors and I lost count of tie offs. It is a pattern from Fons and Porter designed by Julie Popa. As I recall published around 2008. The pattern can be downloaded via the Fons and Porter website. I found it on their site under Two Color Quilts. 

Of course I worked on a couple of Quilts of Valor, made numerous awards since the last post and with Veteran's Day rapidly approaching getting ready for more.

Yes the last one is a QOV. We, Not Forgotten QOV, work with Serendipity Quilt Shop in Dagsboro, DE. They handle the supply and distribution for Quilts of Valor to the Joint Personal Effects Depot. These are the personnel that handle the necessary duties for our war casualties. At the completion of their tour they are awarded Quilts of Valor. This is one of those instances where the typical patriotic materials and patterns vary. Some of the recipients would prefer more traditional colors and patterns. Considering the commitment and sacrifice they make to our country and to those that have paid the ultimate price in defense of our nation we provide several different type quilts when ever possible. We believe it is the least we can do considering how these individuals have been 'touched by war.'

Update...Lighting Stitch...everything it is advertised to be and so much more. I can't even tell you how much it has improved the quality of what I do. No more skipped stitches and the tie off feature is worth it's weight. Huge improvement to my Innova. 

The flag like a champ. Yes, no matter what...I stand. 

So throw in a couple of friends quilts and it's been a pretty productive period since the last entry. 

I know...Christmas already. 

So until I get around to posting they say...

Quilt till you wilt...we do.