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
Posted in APQS, APQS longarm quilting machine, APQS Millennium, custom quilting, design, longarm, longarm quilting, Longarm quilting blog, Machine quilting, Memory Quilts, Millennium, quilting, quilting machines, Quilting studio, quilts, quilts from clothes, stories, T-Shirt Quilts, T-shirts, Willie Nelson Birthday | Leave a Comment »
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!
Posted in art, custom quilting, healing quilt, Memorial Quilts, Memory Quilts, quilting, Quilting studio, quilts, quilts from clothes, T-Shirt Quilts, T-shirts, Uncategorized | Leave a Comment »
We ran into Audie, one of our favorite male quilters, awhile ago. He asked if we were able to get one of his quilts done in a quick fashion because it was to be auctioned off to support the school where he teaches. We are suckers for anything related to fund-raising for the school system, so we promised we would squeeze it in as long as he got it to us by a certain day. Poor Audie! he made the date but had to stay up almost the whole previous night to get it finished in time. But oh what a great job he (and his students) did! We did the quilting for him, maintaining a minimalistic design so as not to overshadow the piecing. And then it was time for the auction. When he told us that the quilt had gone for $1950, we almost fainted.
Here is more about the quilt and about Austin Montessori School in Audie’s own words… “Terra’s project this year is a scrap quilt made almost entirely from pieces of fabric donated by Terra families, staff, and others in the AMS community. A playful print of musical instruments was also selected and used to accent the quilt with the letters “AMS” as part of the design. The large inner portion of the quilt top was made solely out of 765 identically-sized rectangular pieces, which the children cut from the various fabrics and then laid out together in rows, using light and dark contrasting fabrics to create interest. This is a warm keepsake ‘AMS’ item that is as practical as it is beautiful! Enjoy!” Some additional details: My classroom at Austin Montessori School is known as the Terra community. The children are 9 to 12 years old — 4th thru 6th graders, essentially. They did virtually all of the cutting and the “layout”; I did the stitching together of the pieces. The design was adopted from one in the book Successful Scrap Quilts, by Judy Turner and Margaret Rolfe.
We would love to hear about the quilts that you have made or participated in that were intended for a charity or important cause. Send us your link so we can support these efforts!
Posted in APQS Millennium, custom quilting, fund raiser, Machine quilting, quilting, quilting machines, Quilting studio, quilts | Leave a Comment »
What do you use for lighting in your Longarm studio? You can resort to this.
Or you and your work can ‘shine’ under the beautifully designed APQS overhead lighting system.
Posted in APQS, APQS longarm quilting machine, APQS Millennium, local quilters, longarm, longarm quilting, Longarm quilting blog | 1 Comment »
Remember the days when you would hear that word as advertising repeated over and over, trying to get your attention? Well, this time it’s true!
We are excited to announce three new things.
We have completely redone our website – overthetopquilting.com, making it cleaner, easier to read and navigate and featuring a slew of new quilts to feast your eyes on.
Here we are as proud owners of the newest APQS Millie longarm machine, with overhead lighting and the computerized system Quilt Path, all wrapped up in a new owners lovely red bow!
This is Chris assembling the new table with Millie with touch pad controls. We even got Matt to help us finish up the construction.
APQS machine, Millie, has gone to a new home and we have replaced her with one of the newest generation APQS machines. She’s all white, she loves to be caressed using her touch control panel, she shines under her new overhead lighting, and she is a completely independent woman on the days she allows the new computerized system, Quilt Path, to guide her. In keeping with our machine update and to make your visit to our studio more pleasant, we have repainted the walls, moved around some quilts and added some more design space.
And speaking of the new generation of APQS machines, you must check them out. Both the Millennium (now named Millie) and the Freedom (Freddie) have replaced the hand controls with a slick, smooth, technologically improved flat panel touch pad. Both have a new low bobbin indicator and top thread break indicators. Best of all, they now come with a LIFETIME WARRANTY, as does the new Lucey, Lenni and George models. Go to apqs.com/new-generation-machines for more details.
Please come visit us – go to our website, come to the studio to see the new machine and stop by the APQS website.
Did I whet your appetite enough to make the NEW! NEW! NEW! worthwhile??
Posted in APQS, APQS Millennium, longarm, longarm quilting, Longarm quilting blog, Machine quilting, Memory Quilts, Millennium, quilting, quilting machines, Quilting studio, quilts, sisters, T-Shirt Quilts, T-shirts, Uncategorized | 2 Comments »
We were so excited to be a vendor at the first Modern Quilt Guild show called QuiltCon in Austin TX on Feb 21-24, 2013. A lot of work goes into the preparation for such a large event and even though we were a small part, we too had lots to do to get ready.
1. Secure a space
This was much harder than expected! The excitement surrounding this show made demand for space quite high so when we submitted our initial request, there were no vendor spaces available. But through the magic and creative spirit of Heather Grant, the coordinator, she was able to find more vendor spaces and we got one.
2. Fill the space
Given the expected attendance at this event, we decided to go with a larger size booth of 10′x20′, which is double our normal show booth size. We decided to show our APQS Millennium and Lucey Longarm machines but decided that we would include APQS’ sit down machine, George, too.
3. Decorate the space
Although we had created a quilt especially for entry into the QuiltCon competition (it didn’t make it), we knew we would not have enough appropriate quilts for the walls. So, every time we ran across a wonderful quilt from our client, we would beg to borrow it for the show. Thank you Georgia for letting us show off two of your babies.
4. Work the booth
We had an absolutely amazing, enervating and exhausting four days! So many people from so many different places. Our APQS machines were items of fascination, admiration and lust. Chris and I never stopped demoing the machines throughout the full 8 hours of the show almost every day.
QuiltCon was so different from any other quilt show we’ve attended. As blogger Meg Cox has written, many of the attendees sported strollers and tatoos. But there were also a large proportion of the more traditional show goers. When the younger set saw and tried our APQS machines, we heard things like ‘Wow, I’ve never seen anything like this. So that’s how some of the award winning quilting is done’. From the older set, we heard again and again about the flawless reputation and quality of the APQS brand of machine. Both sets of comments made all the work and fatigue worth it! We look forward to doing it again.
Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged APQS George, APQS Lucey, APQS millennium, Austin tx, longarm quilting, quilt shows, QuiltCon, quilting | 1 Comment »
Since Over The Top Quilting Studio is located in my house, many of our longtime clients have come to know and love Bella, our yellow Lab. We lost her on Monday after almost 13 years of pure dog love, affection, loyalty and companionship.
Thanks to all our clients who loved her as much as we did.
Posted in Uncategorized | 2 Comments »