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Archive for the ‘Texas’ Category

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.

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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.

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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!

Susan

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A quilt made from  a wedding dress?!?  Sure.    We can do that.

That’s what we said to Dana when she brought us her almost 25 year old wedding dress, still in the box from the dry cleaners from all those many years ago.  But her request was a little different;  she wanted a wall hanging completely made from the fabric in her gown.  She also wanted a very minimalist design, making the fabric itself the star of the quilt by using as much of the uncut skirt fabric to define the size limits.  We also decided that the flowers needed to be three dimensional. 

Since this was to be a Memory Quilt, she wanted to evoke the colors of the entire wedding, including her flowers. And she wanted us to find a way of including the calla lilies she carried on that special day.  One more requirement:  use only very muted colors.   We were able to meet all these requests, especially the beautifully perfect straight background lines, using the channel lock feature of our APQS Millennium longarm machine.

This wall hanging is the result and we are happy to say that it exceeded Dana’s expectations!  Lots of tears and hugs were shared when we recently presented the final product to her.

But there’s more to the story.  When we first met Dana, we were able to share

 the excitement of freeing her wedding dress from it’s box in our Studio. That of course led to many stories of Dana, her dress (all hand made with beautiful lace and beads) and her current life.   We noticed a very unusual  and colorful tattoo on her leg – it  was of a chef holding a salt shaker with salt drops coming of it in 3D!   We then discovered that Dana has been trained as a chef and in particular as a baker.   In fact, she is developing many creative and intriguing recipes for brownies and expects to be publishing a cookbook with these recipes very soon.  To get a preview of her delicious treats, sign up for her blog at http://cookingwithintensity.blogspot.com.

The technical definition of quilting is the joining together of three layers of fabric with stitches.   We at Over The Top Quilting Studio continue to discover how rich that world can be – rich in the joy of the end product, rich in the ‘discovery’ of new people, and in this case, rich in the tastes of succulent baked brownies!

Susan

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A mother’s love is one that we see so often in our studio, be it a pending birth,  timeless capture of childhood to a joyous and heart tugging graduation gift as she sends her child off on their own.

It was a hot July day in Austin …oh that’s right, all days in Austin have been HOT.. and this wonderful beaming mom came to our studio filled with t-shirts ready to hand them over to us so that we could make a quilt for her son as he leaves for college.

As we usually do, we asked the Mom to give us some details of her son. She painted a picture of one fine young man. Reid is an athlete and a Latin scholar. He has a great love of music and  is a Texas Ranger fan. His Mom wanted to capture all of these interests and put them to great use since he was leaving the sweltering heat of Texas for a northern school.   Mom knew she wanted a large double-sided t-shirt quilt to keep him warm and wrap him in those wonderful journey of life memories.

The details of the layout were carefully selected by both the Mom and son and we were even given a schematic on its layout.  It was a joy to work with a family that had such a strong connection to each other.

When the quilt was finally completed and quilted on our APQS Millennium,   we were ready for Mom to pick it up. She asked to us wait  until she was able to come with Reid.   In came the beaming Mom and the very handsome strong young man.   As we stood waiting for the reaction, we knew we touched a Mom’s heart by the tears that she shed as she gazed upon the completed quilt.  The emotions that flowed at that moment were so bittersweet. Seeing her son’s full and productive young life and knowing that he was about to venture on his own. Frankly, I had tears too!

This is the part that we love so much about what we do.    It is not just about a finished product but of a completion of the circle of life, a moment of closure, a symbol of time passed and cherished. These are the things that bring us joy knowing that the finished product is oftentimes  a journal page of one’s life.   Here is Reid at school, moving into his next phase of life, with this wonderful quilt to comfort him.   

Chris

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Traditions

1. the handing down of statements, beliefs, legends, customs,information, etc.,
from generation to generation, esp. byword of mouth or by practice.
There are many traditions that each of us celebrate and at this time of year we celebrate many!  A lot of you have met both my sister/partner Susan and me but there is another special employee, our Mom,  Thelma.
Mom has developed a tradition

that we have enjoyed for 60 years ; it is our annual stufoli making. Stufoli is a Sicilian cookie that is fried and made with simple ingredients of  flour, sugar, butter, cinnamon and vanilla but the joy and the sense of tradition comes in the making of the dough.
A few years ago we encouraged all the younger members

of our Texas family to share in the making of the stufoli with Mom. The “kids” have embraced this tradition and now begin to call it one of their own.
Mom carefully oversees the amounts of ingredients that we mix – we will hear “uh oh too much cinnamon”… or “keep kneading the dough to make it smooth”.
Matthew, Susan’s son is the frying general – he is the keeper of the oil making sure that it is at just the right temperature.  He will shout the orders of making the pieces bigger….smaller…just as long as it is just right! There is always someone in the kitchen rolling out the long strips of dough slicing it into tiny pieces that will fry
up to beautiful balls.  Kya the youngest of the brood really is the go between the kitchen cutters to the outside fryer. Bonding between the cousins gets deeper each year! This year we were blessed to share in this tradition with our wonderful nieces Caitlin and Leila who visited from New York City! They were busy mixing the dough, cutting and tasting.

When ever we are preparing the flour to accept the liquid mom is carefully watching that we do not break the wall….when the wall collapses we scream with fear that it will spill all over the table, laugh with much joy at excitement of it all.   Watching mom’s 90-year-old hands manage the spill is like a conductor directing an orchestra with strength and dedication.   It is an accident I hope happens every year so I can see and hear Mom pull us back to getting it done just right.
The time is filled  with much laughter, stories are shared and memories are made.
Merry Christmas!  And Buon Natale.
Chris

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Honoring The Alamo heroes

 

Teresa found us almost two years ago and began describing her desire to have a quilt made to honor the heroes of The Alamo.  For those of us who live in Texas, these men and women are viewed on the same level as the rest of the country may view those who died in the American Revolutionary War.

Teresa was intimately involved in the creation of the quilt;  she had a very clear vision of what she wanted.  She commissioned someone to embroider each name on all the upper squares,  she worked with a wonderful artist, Mark Barnett (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pPb1SbL-Rkc&feature=related) who painted the portraits to have them transferred to a material that would work in a quilt and she even researched the origins of the blue flag at the bottom of the quilt – it is a replica of the only flag which flew over The Alamo church during the battles.  Our role was in the creation of the quilt itself and the quilting of course.  We did this all via phone and never even met Teresa until a few weeks ago when we found each other on Facebook!

We frequently spoke to Teresa during the process and she kept reminding us of the importance of this project.  In fact 2011 is the 175 Anniversary of  Texas Independence from Mexico in 1836.  But it was only until the final days of completion that she told us why she had us do this work and why.   We were knocked off our feet when she told us for whom she had it made and for what reason.     Since this is a gift for someone whose birthday in not yet here, we will not tell you for whom the quilt was made but urge you to come back in a few weeks to hear the final part of this story.   All I will say is that the recipient is extremely passionate about The Alamo and that you will likely recognize the name when you hear it – since ‘hearing’ it will surely ring like the sound of music in your ears!

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