Archive for the ‘APQS’ Category

Baptist Fans on a simple striped piece quilt. Loopy figure 8’s on a modern quilt. Each are ‘forever classic’ in their own way. To the maker of the quilt the quilting designs fit perfectly. Although one is a very traditional quilt with a very traditional quilting pattern, once the quilt maker paired it with some shams in her newly decorated room, it looked fresh and up to date.

Baptist FanThe second non-traditional, that is, modern quilt, was made specially to showcase the fabric. (it was commissioned as a way of highlighting a new fabric line). Since the fabric was modern, the design needed to be so too. Loopy eights it was!

Both patterns were executed using our APQS Millennium and the computerized feature, Quilt Path. It’s so delightful to work with high quality fabrics, highly interesting quilt designs and superior tools!


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A few years ago, here in Texas, we met a delightful couple, Katie and Brian, who needed help completing a few quilts. We watched them create a family with each new baby. And we helped complete the quilts for those new babies.


Then we got the news that they would be moving to Brooklyn, NY. But before they packed up and left, Katie brought over a large box of Brian’s old sports T-shirts and asked us to make them into a quilt. We were given full creative license on the sashing, border and backing fabrics and we had a ball picking them out. Although the quilting is simple, it went so easily using our APQS Millennium longarm machine.Brian's sport shirts

The sashing is a combo of whites and grays, signifying the edginess of Brooklyn living. The border is a more subdued gray, almost corporate-tie-like to recognize Brian’s work in Texas. And the back is special. It looks like birds on a wire, ready to soar which is exactly what we expect from this young, beautiful, vibrant and talented family.

So, are Katie and Brian Texans per their birth or New Yorkers per their current location? We say they are both – the best of both at that too.


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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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Things have been very quiet here on our blog for the past few months.   Chris and I have been inundated with quilts to be built and quilted in time for many celebrations.  And then finally, when summer came, we were able to have Chris’ daughter Kya, help us out.   And she sure did that!

Not only did Kya help with cutting and fusing, she sewed blocks together for our projects, she carried heavy loads and assembled machines for a local quilt show and she even longarm quilted one of our personal pieces.   She learned a lot and was a big help.

The OTT-ers!Kya helping assemble our APQS table for the Temple TX Quilt ShowBut we learned even more.  While the family escaped to beautiful New Hampshire, we explored the different aspects of blogging and other media.   Kya, as an almost 17 year old, really taught us about the power of social media and about the most effective way to use it.     Thanks to Kya’s tutelage, we are now quite active on our Facebook page (Over The Top Quilting Studio),  Instagram (overthetopquilting), Twitter (@OverTheTopQuilt) and Pinterest (ottquilting/quilts-we-love ).    For all her help, we have now promoted Kya to the Director of Social Media Marketing for Over The Top Quilting Studio!

We’d love to have you LIKE us on Facebook,  FOLLOW US on Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest too.   We urge you to engage in conversation with us and share our links with your friends too.

See you in the new world!


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IMG_0345Here 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 Nelsons Family memory quilt

Willie Nelson’s Family memory quilt


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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.


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