Monday, September 7, 2015

Handi Quilter or Bust!!!

Well, I've been back just over a week now...but you know, life is busy, editing photos takes time, computers have glitches...
Where was I?  Well, I flitted off to Handi Quilter HQ in Salt Lake City, or more specifically to celebrate my being chosen as one of the
We were graciously hosted by Vicki Hoth, Education Coordinator; Marie Eldredge, Studio Coordinator, Cheryl Duncan and Kerri Rawlins, Studio Educators.  Every one of them sweet, patient, talented and wonderful.  They are a well rounded team!
Photo snatched from & courtesy of Handi Quilter's Facebook page.
I knew I should have taken that little bag of Tiara's with me!
My co-winners were,
Miss Nebraska, with her Nebraska Husker quilt!
She is the only one of the 4 of us who owns a longarm, and was the only one who finished AND got her binding on!  Speedy little woman she is!
Here's Miss Florida, in red, with Handi Quilter Educator, Cheryl assisting with some programming on the HQ Pro-Stitcher and the quilt she will be gifting to her nephew and his fiancé for their wedding.
The all over design of this quilt is called Round Pegs in a Square Hole...and then there are 2 skulls stitched in the center squares, because sometimes you just have to appeal to the peeps you're quilting for.
and finally, Miss New Mexico!
Hers was a Southwest Quilt that incorporated screen printed motifs by an artist from her area.  I apologize to her and to all of you for failing to get a photo of her finished quilt in it's entirety...but I have snatched one from Handi Quilters Facebook page of her very large, flimsy.  At the time her quilt came off the frame we were otherwise consumed with getting my quilt fact, I'm sure there was a pool going on somewhere in the building betting on when and if my quilt, the smallest of them all, would be coming off the frame. 
Miss New Mexico, left, receiving instruction from Handi Quilter Educator, Kerri.
 My little quilt wound up having the densest quilting motif which was selected by me at the "Quilting By Committee" meeting and it was the one and only Mizz Vicki Hoff, HQ Educator, who suggested we use metallic thread to give my quilt a little frosted glitz!  Well heck yeah...I'm not arguing with brilliance, experience and the opportunity to have a new sparkly to swat at!!!!
We moved forward, in spite of what I already knew about the challenges of metallic thread...
I have a history with metallic threads in my cross stitching past.
There's no way I could resist this kind of temptation!
Soft Threadcone, Sweet Threadcone...
Little Balls of "Fur"
Happy Threadcone, Pretty Threadcone,
Purr, Purr Purr!
Day One became all about tension...
both that of my breaking metallic thread and that which I could see the ever patient Handi Quilter Educators were developing about the shoulder area! (and it wasn't all me...just sayin'...)
I looked upon the snapping of thread and repositioning of the machine as an opportunity to observe how their committee of well oiled trouble shooting brains work!  I was, after all, there to become educated!
By the end of Day 1, we had the tension figured out, and things were humming along steadily.
Dinner was amazing family style Chinese...oooo happy camper!
Day Two...more humming along with only one thread breakage issue the entire day...unless you count the ones I made while sewing my sides down to secure them at the start of the day.  And then there was an overlapping incident that Educator Cheryl couldn't live with and sat and picked out then restarted the machine so that the little swirls would "kiss" appropriately. 
We kinda had a kindred spirit, perfectionism thing going on when all was said and done!
Progress was slowish, but rewarding at one pass an hour.
Dinner was specialty "Chick" pizza rubbing elbows with Nationally known quilters who were there taping segments for QNN.  More about a couple of them in a coming post...or two. 
Vicki and Marie were spending much of their days working on the QNN tapings, lugging machines in and out of the studio, setting up shots and herding guests.  We watched each morning while Vicki sat in hair and make-up right there in the classroom with us to prepare for her close-ups. Cheryl and Kerri, bless their sweet hearts, were in the trenches finishing our quilts with us.
A snowflake begins...check out the cool little flying saucer Glide Foot!
The same little snowflake all assembled!
Love all those swirly swirls!
I admit...I got a little verklempt, when I saw my tree in the center start coming to life with the swirling variegated snow and the most adorable snowflakes ever...I had my own little sentimental Hallmark commercial moment there for a second!
 Day Three...there was a little stress going on...I was leaving ahead of everyone and we knew my quilt was going to come off the machine dead last...tick tock tick tock. 
While I got to spend some time away from the tension in the sweatshop, playing on a little free motion project, "My Hero",  Educator Cheryl, babysat my quilt all day long.  She took a chance and sped the machine up a little, and suddenly we were clipping along at one pass every 50 minutes!
The hotel shuttle was scheduled to pick me up for my return flight at 3:00!  Would we make it?
I was feeling like Sweet Nell tied to the railroad tracks...would my Dudley Do-Right (Cheryl) rescue me?
Ahh Relief!  The last stitch completed at 2:27 pm...just in the Nick of Time!
You've never seen such a scramble to get a quilt off the frame, trimmed and hung up for it's official photo!
Stayed tuned for Handi Quilter Big Finish Part 2!
~Nancie Anne



  1. Wowwee, what a fantabuulistical experience. I'm not jealous. No, not at all. The green tinge to my face is reflection from by sweater!

  2. Congratulations! I am thrilled for you and so excited that you are one of the winners of this fantastic award. The quilting is exceptional. Looking forward to part two! What a gorgeous quilt...takes my breath away. Yay you!