I love my APQS Quilt Path! Our client wanted the simplest of designs on her modern quilt: just randomly spaced parallel straight lines. What could be easier, especially with the horizontal channel lock on our APQS Millennium! I prepared the quilt and prepared myself to spend the next few hours setting the lock and walking my Longarm machine across the quilt top for as many times as necessary to enhance the overall design. Easy as could be. But other undone work began nagging at me.
Quilt Path to the rescue! I created a design of a simple straight line, set the starting and ending point of each pass and voila! I was able to get the customer quilt done as well as
- creating and attaching borders to a king size quilt
- cutting strips for binding and creating it
- creating a backing for a third quilt
- cutting pieces for blocks for a fourth quilt
Yes, I had to keep popping up to reposition the Millennium but in between, I got an awful lot of work done while still producing a high quality designed quilt.
Did I mention that I love my APQS Quilt Path computerized system attached to my Millennium? I sure do!
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This wonderful color gradation quilt with all it’s curves and points, presented a variety of quilting design challenges. With Betsy’s counsel, we decided on free floating circles of all sizes and intersections. This design followed the modern quilt feel of the piecing and was a true departure from other quilts we had done for Betsy.
But making free hand perfect circles was beyond our skill, that’s for sure! APQS’ Quilt Path to the rescue!!! Once we learned that a circle is no more than a many sided polygon, we programmed that into Quilt Path and the rest was super easy.
The creativity and excitement came with the varied placement of the circles, how they could change in size and connect. It was fun to dance across the quilt, enhancing the flow of the design with celestial orbs completing the theme of flow and movement
Susan and Chris
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That was the reaction from Lisa when she saw the memory quilt celebrating the early years of her daughter Bella. It was also accompanied by her literally jumping up and down with joy. Nothing could have been more fun and satisfying for us.
The creation of this quilt was not an easy journey. We first met with Lisa in 2011 with a full year hiatus before we have enough direction to continue. However, each visit with Lisa was such fun that we didn’t mind the extended design sessions at all. Lisa always kept us entertained with tales of Bella’s early childhood. She told us of the first time she held Bella as her adopted Mom. About the clothes she first wore home. About the ballet sessions. About the dance recitals. About the family dinners (Lisa even brought us a container of her delicious ‘gravy’ or sauce since she is from the northeast like ourselves).
Like so many trips in our lives it’s not about the destination but about the journey and this trip was filled with much laughter, tears, communication and friendship. This quilt, like so many of them that come to our studio are filled with stories that make the quilt not just filled with fabric, thread and batting, but with love and friendship.
Take a moment to read this song verse which perfectly describes Lisa’s love for her Bella.
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Jean is a long time client of ours who has thrilled us time after time with her intricately designed pictorial quilts. She is an aficionado of McKenna Ryan’s work, among others. We have quilted many 3 dimensional pieces, including an elephant with big floppy ears, fishing scenes and historical items of note about Texas and California. So when Jean brought us this purely graphic design, we were both surprised and thrilled to see her expanded skills.
Her instructions to us, as always, was to ‘make it sing’ which is both a thrilling and scary statement. Chris took up the challenge and did just that!
Look at Jean’s precise points and excellent use of color. Look at Chris’ fun quilting designs, both enhancing and softening the dramatic points. Note the varied interpretation of fills she used across the quilt face.
We are all pretty proud of this one. And proud of Jean’s growth and proud to be a part of the visual success of this beauty.
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Here in Austin TX, Willie Nelson is a big deal, a hometown boy. So very well loved and respected. And today is his 80th birthday!
So, when Tommy asked us to make a quilt from his T-shirts and so many of them featured Willie, we were immediately hooked. Tommy told us he was a member of Willie’s ‘family’ and being from NY, we had little understanding of what that meant. Boy, did we quickly learn! Tommy has been associated with Willie Nelson since the mid-1970s and has the T-shirts and many backstage passes to prove it. Once we explained that a quilt could be made of almost anything, including photos, Tommy came back with dozens of ephemera and memorabilia. With each item came a story or two and we were regaled with tales of the adventures of Tommy, Poodie, Willie, Delbert, Kris, Jimmy, Darrell, Ed, Clint and Waylon, among others. He even added photos of his Mom, Dad and beloved dog.
This quilt proved to be a construction challenge. The ending piece had to be precisely 108″ wide by 72″ tall, to fit the wall in Tommy’s kitchen set aside for it. This necessitated lots of crawling around on our design ‘floor’, measuring and re- measuring before the pieces could be cut and sewn. After that, the quilting itself was easy! This was the first quilt we quilted using our newest APQS Longarm Machine, with the new front panel touch controls and the new features. It was a breeze.
Take a look at some of the rest of the quilt and enjoy Tommy’s march back through time.
Might you have drawers full of memories that you’d like to preserve?
Willie Nelson’s Family memory quilt
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Although today is officially Earth Day, at Over The Top Quilting Studio, we seem to be in Earth Year! That’s because so many of our projects involve the recycling of T-Shirts into graduation/special occasion quilts. This is a wonderful way to clean out your drawers and closets while still preserving the memories associated with the shirt. Our clients bring us bags and bags of shirts and walk away with a wonderful, soft quilt. A perfect combination of memory and practicality.
And then there are the memory quilts which frequently are a composition of clothing from a loved one. We are privileged to be able to use old clothes which would likely wind up in a landfill somewhere and reconfigure the pieces into a useable quilt. This allows the receiver to wrap themselves with the feel of their loved one or have a wall hanging to preserve the thoughts forever.
We have lots of fun with the clothing quilts where a Mom wants to preserve the memories of her child’s younger years. These types of quilts really let creativity to flow, trying to figure out ways to highlight some of the more interesting aspects of a piece of clothing.
Our message to you on this Earth Day is – clean out those drawers and closets and make a quilt!
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