Community Quilts from Ray

Ray spent much of February and March scrambling to get quilts finished for the Airing of Quilts which is a fundraiser for his church’s outreach program to help those in need.  So many great things are done with the money that is raised.

Ray writes:
“I finished another quilt to include in the Airing of the Quilts.

The top is a panel that was included in some donated fabric, not sure who it came from, unfortunately. The selvedge says “GUARANTEED DUTCH JAVA PRINT”. A Google search leads me to believe it is a South Africa batik.

The fabric is as pretty on the back as it is on the front which would also make me believe it is a batik of some nature.

Regardless, it is… …

Ask Jo: How I Got Started Longarming -Part 2

Every so often questions and comments come from readers that I think others would like to hear my response to.  That’s when I feature them on the blog.  This is one of those days. Today’s question is about longarming.

I started answering today’s question in the morning post but it got long and I decided to split the post up into two parts…Just as a reminder, this was the original question..Oh, and if you missed the original post, HERE is the link.

Sarah asked: “Loved your post!! How did you get started long arm quilting

I told you that I made a quilt top after my mom died…and that got me hooked on quilting. I looked at all types of magazines and quilting books but then I saw this magazine on the newsstand and I finally saw the kind of quilts I wanted to make. It’s the 1st edition of Quilt Sampler.

Oh my word…I loved the cover quilt. I loved the pictures of that shop. I was head over heels and this was the color and style of quilts I wanted to make. In the article in the magazine, it said that the people featured were from Garner, Iowa and there was a quilt shop there. WHAT??

That was my introduction to Country Threads. My life goal was to get there one day.

At about that time, I was heavy into doll making…and rabbit making. All of those country 90s crafts, I did them. I went to craft shows and sold them but it was always in my mind that one day I would go to Country Threads in Garner.

I can’t remember when I actually went the first time…once I did, it became a destination for me…but the problem, I wanted my quilts to look like their quilts and I just couldn’t. I didn’t have a longarm. That’s when I started dreaming about having a longarm. I knew I could take quilts to a longarmer and they could quilt them but as a young family now with five kids and me not having a full-time job, it just wasn’t something we could budget for.

Crafts started being made in China and the popularity of handmade bunnies went away so I quit doing crafts for money. By then we had moved to the farm where my husband worked and I started doing childcare full-time. Now I was quilting as a hobby obsessively but still really sad. I could only make small quilts.

I had learned to machine quilt them on my domestic machine but it was such a chore. I dreamed of having a longarm but we didn’t have the money. At the time, I only knew of APQS machines and they were $10,000. There was no way we could afford that.

Fast forward a couple of years…Quilting was still my hobby. I had resorted to tying quilts. I just hated it. I wanted my quilts machine quilted. I more or less quit sewing because I couldn’t make the quilts like I wanted them.

Then one day I went into Quilters Window in New Hampton Iowa. They sell Pfaff machines and there was something there called a mid-arm. I could get the machine and the frame for about $3000. WHAT!! REALLY?? I thought we might be able to afford that. Oh, I wanted one. I wanted one badly. I told my husband about it when I got home and we bought one within the month. I was SO INCREDIBLY EXCITED!!

Here it was…

Ask Jo: How I Got Started Longarming -Part 1

Every so often questions and comments come from readers that I think others would like to hear my response to.  That’s when I feature them on the blog.  This is one of those days. Today’s question is about longarming.

Sarah asked: “Loved your post!! How did you get started long arm quilting

Hmm. I guess I’ll start at the beginning. Years ago…likely in 1990 my husband and I were living in Chester, Iowa. He was working for Tom Nagel…Tom’s wife was Marcia. Some of you might know Marcia as the owner of Pine Needles Quilt and Sew in Rochester, MN.

While our husbands were working, Marcia and I would often slip away and go to quilt and crafting shops. At that time I was making clothes for my girls, Kelli and Kayla, and was cross-stitching.

Then one day I went home to visit my parents. My mom could tell the kids were a little overwhelming for me. I was only 24. I had three kids. Kelli was 3, Kayla was 2, and Buck was a newborn. I was overwhelmed.

Mom sent me to town and gave me her list of errands. She told me to stay in town longer if I wanted. I did the errands and when I was in the grocery store I saw this magazine…

I bought it because I had planned on making these…

Meet the “Rat Pack”

While Olive and Twiggy were still here, I got a message from a friend who had a friend type of message…well they had a friend and they had dogs they wanted to surrender. Being I had an “out there” connection I felt like maybe I should volunteer to help with these dogs. I said I would but also said, I wouldn’t take them until Olive and Twiggy were placed as they were a lot of work. I even gave myself 24 hours of time without any extra dogs here…but then came the “Rat Pack”.

They are all some sort of rat terrier. In the front was Pepper, middle Wisser, and in the back a nameless pup.

They came to us because the owner’s life circumstances changed and she couldn’t afford to have six dogs in the house. So she picked these three and surrendered them to Heart Animal Rescue.

It turns out that Pepper and Wisser are siblings…both are full Rat Terrier breeds. The other nameless guy is a pup who is 5 months old. He is Wisser’s puppy. Wisser bred a Puggle that was in the house and this pup is the result. The lady actually explained that she had two litters last fall and was able to find homes for the rat terrier pups and the other puggle/rat terrier pups sold but had this one left. That’s the nameless pup.

Everyone is puppy-pad trained and hasn’t been outside much in their lives so one of my biggest jobs with having them here is to get them to transfer from puppy pads to outdoors. Imagine housetraining three dogs at once.

When we…

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