Archive for the ‘sisters’ Category

 The baby seems to be happy with the final result which made the math challenge worthwhile!


Finding the angle

Jeanne really challenged us with this one!  She wanted this elephant quilt wall hanging to be quited with lines indicating rain showers on the entire piece, including a very specific backing. But the lines of rain needed to be at a strict 60 degree angle. Geometry to the rescue.

IMG_5886We used the formula for a 30/60/90 triangle which helped me know the proper positioning of the quilt top on the backing/batting. It was necessary to ‘pad’ Jeanne’s quilt top with triangles which ’tilted’ the piece on our longarm machine so the 60 degree angle lines were straight-across lines,  Although it looked weird when loaded on the longarm leaders, the quilt was at the angle Jeanne wanted and gave me a perfectly straight line (using my APQS Millennium channel lock!). Thank you Euclid or Pythagoras (I don’t remember which).



Have you ever had to use geometry to get a quilt done in a unique way?



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Chris, Mom, and I are so excited! We’ve opened a new, spacious studio in Cedar Park, Texas – for clients from all over Central Texas. Our new location is:

Over The Top Quilting Studio
The Commons Shopping Center
200 Buttercup Creek Blvd – Suite 111
Cedar Park, TX
(Here’s a map)

We will continue to see clients by appointment at our studio in Westlake Hills, Texas.











IMG_2722Our new studio has 4 APQS longarm machines for you to try and to rent, longarm essentials on sale, and a classroom for us to exchange ideas and knowledge.






The expanded services at the new studio include:
♦ Machine rental on 4 APQS longarm quilting machines:
— Millennium
— Lucey
— Lenni
— George
♦ Longarm quilting classes:
— Beginner’s Longarm Quilting Class
— Advanced Beginner’s Longarm Quilting Class
— Longarm Rental Certification Class
♦ APQS Certified service on your longarm machine
♦ Longarm supplies and accessories

Of course we still are very proud to longarm quilt your quilt, our quilt creation: t-shirt quilts, memorial quilts, and custom quilts.

Thanks to everyone who made our grand opening a success – and a fun and educational event! For our friends who were not able to attend, here are some images from the day.

A video of the Grand Opening ribbon cutting and first visitors.

Slideshow of the Grand Opening – a fun event for all ages.

We’d love you to come visit us at our new studio location!

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Sisters cropped rectangleWhat a busy two weeks! First the grand opening of our new APQS longarm studio in Cedar Park, Texas for all of our Central Texas clients. Now Quiltcon at the Austin Convention Center – Thursday, February 19th through Sunday February 21st.



QuiltconPlease come visit us at booth 211. We like to see you and hear your experiences using longarms in unusual ways, from assembling quilts, quilting quilts, to creating quilted fabrics for so many uses. And having fun doing it. We’d love to hear what you think we should be doing, now that we’ve expanded our services for you. Chris and Susan will be there along with a number of experts from the APQS family.

We’ll have 3 APQS longarm machines for you to see and experience.

We were mentioned in the Austin American Statesman article on Quiltcon and modern quilting. We think that’s pretty cool!

See you at Quiltcon?! We hope so!

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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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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.Maria 5


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.IMGP8005

 IMGP8024APQS 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??



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Better said – what is OUR blog?    That is a question I have been pondering for about a week now. 

We had an encounter with a delightful young woman who helped reshape our thoughts on the value of our blog.    We realized that it could be made into much more than it is right now.  Before we go off into a different direction, I thought I’d ask YOUR opinions as to what you’d like to see and hear from us.

Right now, it is a repository for many of the stories behind the quilts that we work on for our clients.

To us, all of the stories are meaningful and poignant and definitely of interest to the women and men for whom they are made.    However, our business is much more than those stories.

So, you will see a shift in our posts.   We will talk about techniques.   We will show instructional videos.   We will talk about being in business with our family members.   We will make you laugh a lot and yes, we will also talk about  our clients’ stories.

So, what do you think?   Please let us know what you would like to see from us.

Chris and Susan

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Hearts filled with prayers

I believe there are a handful of times when we are able to truly make a difference in someone’s life. I know that we are called to do that on a daily basis, but do we? I imagine our actions however subtle CAN make a difference. We can share a smile, allow someone in our lane, pat someone on the back. Those are gentle touches that oftentimes subconsciously touch someone’s heart and soul.
I had the privilege to do a bit more than that over these past few days. A previous client contacted me this past Friday with desperation in her voice. “Chris, I need a big favor”…was how the voicemail started. I had just checked my voicemail sitting in the parking lot after leaving a funeral for a friend who had suddenly and quite unexpectedly passed away. Needless to say I was spent and somewhat raw from the morning. This message reminded me of how precious life is and I had to set myself aside. I listened to the message and the urgency made me realize this was not the “typical” urgent message from a client who may have dragged her feet in getting a quilt done for a baby shower or birthday gift. I knew this was different.
I called Debbie back and she said to me that she and her mom were working feverishly on getting two quilts done for her sister. Her sister was just diagnosed with a very aggressive form of breast cancer. Through her tears I understood how important it was to have these quilts made and finished for her sister. I promised her that if she were to get the tops pieced, I would quilt them over and above our queue of quilts.

I have sisters. I know the connection you feel for them. I would bleed for them and I felt this way about this. My sisters, Susan, MaryEllen and me!I had planned on being out-of-town on the weekend so I asked that she drop them off the first thing on Monday. While at the studio, the doorbell rang and Debbie stood there with these two beautifully colored quilts. She handed this bag of love over to me and I hugged her and said I’ve got this. Go take care of your sister, I will have these done as soon as possible. I hugged her and off she went. I came upstairs and

No time awastin’

realized I was to do them NOW. I put on an extra wide backing, found the exact size batting (end of roll right amount needed…!!) and off I went. I had the two quilts on the machine at the same time and I said prayers for Debbie, her mother and especially her sister. I thought of my own mother and sisters, and realized that we are truly all sisters in one family. On one quilt I added twists and turns, hearts and swirls, thinking of the journey that they were about to embark on. I had pulsating hearts, triple hearts to symbolize the three women. I added her name and surrounded it with hearts, so she knew that she is surrounded by love and prayer. I quilted the other quilt with more curves, spirals, something more elegant, how I see Debbie. Beautiful, lean, elegant. As I trimmed them up, took out the pins and smoothed out the edges I shed a tear imagining the struggle this family was to endure.

For my sister

Today Debbie picked up the quilts explaining to me why two… One for her sister and one for herself. Since they both tend to be cold they knew they would be spending many hours in doctors’ offices. The quilt was made in part with their mom, who is not a huge hugger but wanted to surround her daughter with her love. Her ‘hug’ was this quilt that she will wrap around her daughter during the many hours spent waiting.

I feel so blessed to be part of this journey. I hope they all know that although I am not a true member of their family, I am one with them.

I believe in the extreme power of prayer. Through this quilt story and if every one of you if you would offer a prayer or positive energy for Debbie’s sister, for the family, for the doctors for everyone that will care for them together they will get through this.
I believe we all can make a difference. Thanks for listening.


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