Let it slide

My husband came to me (several times) last year and told me that he thought the kids really needed a 3D printer… Mind you, they do not know how to use 3D modeling software yet. 😉

Well, he did finally purchased a printer and some filament. We have small plastic fidget spinners, and utilitarian tools floating around the house now. (I admit, it is really fun to watch it print, and way more useful than my eggbot!)

When I was loading and marking new leaders for my Handi Quilter today, I decided that I should load a ruler tape to help keep quilts square. (I’ve seen lots of videos of people using them, i just haven’t ever tried one). I sketched up what kind of markers I needed to fit my flexible centering tape, and asked if he would help 3D print some.

Voila’! I love what we came up with. I guess his machine could prove to be useful after all!

If you are so inclined, and have a 3D printer, check out his design on You could print some too!

Sliding Longarm Tape Markers

Update:   If you don’t have a 3D printer, or just want some without the extra effort, I now have sets of three available for sale (Limited Quantities!).  Check out my new SHOP!

He is going to try to make the next batch thinner, but I’m going to test these out tomorrow. They seem to stay in place very nice. Long arm Quilters out there, what do you think? Do you see any drawbacks to these or ways to improve them?

Now, I need to dream up the next useful quilting tool for the printer. The one I have in mind might just accompany a new pattern!



HQ Elevated – Part Two

HQ Quilting Elevated (cont.)

Day Two:  (Thursday)
Day two began with a fantastic presentation by Sew Batiks, Bruce Madison. IMG_8492.jpg

He talked about his visits to see batik manufacturing using the ancient Indonesian wax “resist” process.  I will NEVER look at batiks the same way again.  The craftsmanship and labor that goes into the fabric is difficult to imagine next to modern fabric print / dye techniques.  My favorite part of the process was seeing how the copper stamps for the wax are made.  Repeating prints on the fabrics are made by manually stamping wax onto the fabric.  The registration required,and achieved, by the artisans is amazing.   After wax is applied, then the fabric is dyed.  And here, we thought quilters were talented…

Bruce doesn’t have his videos or photos posted, but he shared some of his collection during his travels.  Look at some of the tiny dots.  From what he showed us, some of the intricate designs are still created by hand with wax in tiny TjantingsIMG_8494IMG_8493.jpg

My Classes;

1.  Spinal Twist  – Megan Best
My best description for this class is Spines Unabashed.  Placement of repeating designs on a spine can result in a finish with a different attitude than traditional feathers.  If you have “had it” with feathers, or want a more modern or lacy look, spinal twists are for you!
If you want to learn more, and devour some eye candy ideas for your quilting, check out Megan’s books.     Spinal Twist Books By Megan Best

2.  Border Magic – Lynn Blevens
Border magic made good use of Pro-Stitch ability to align designs to start and end points.  I found this technique easier than the traditional zoom and nudge technique I had been using.   Lynn suggested breaking borders into smaller sections and demonstrated another new Pro-stitch feature which allows you to swap start and end points.  Woo Hoo!  I am (almost) excited to create the three custom borders on my Mom’s next quilt.  We didn’t have time to finish the exercise in class, so I would have been nice to be in both this one and one of her others that finished that project.

3.  Fearless Custom Quilting with HQ Pro-Stitcher – Vicki Hoth
Placement and design manipulation are king for custom quilting with HQ pro-stitch.  The classroom was full of Avante Machines with the latest installation of Pro-stitch.  She gave tips for creating borders and skewing designs in triangles for framing designs.  We paired up and were able to practice stitching, manipulation & placement.

Now, as if these classes were not enough fun, I attended an optional outing to Antelope Island State Park Thursday evening for a picnic dinner and a hike.  The hike was fantastic after a day of classes.  It was just what I needed to stretch my legs.  I have posted images that some of our group took during their visit. IMG_0018.jpg
We rode bus across the causeway and stopped at the Fielding Garr Ranch for a picnic.   The evening was lovely.   While I wandered the ranch, I read that the first foreman (Fielding Garr, Died in 1855) had four wives and twenty seven children.

After the ranch, we travelled around the point and hiked Buffalo Point Trail at sunset.

*** Now… day three was my digitizing day!   I plan to put together a few goodies to share in the next post. ***



Quilting Elevated 2016 – Part One

Travel and vacationing is not always fun.  Crowded airports, hauling luggage, waiting in lines, and being away from our creature comforts can bring out the cranky in the best of people.  Sometimes you come back more tired than you began.

However,  I have to say that my latest adventure to the Handi Quilter HQ Academy event, HQ Quilting Elevated, was a blast.  Quilters are great people to hang out with.  I wasn’t ready to leave!  I am back among my family,  and my creature comforts, excited to try a few of the new techniques that really struck home for me.    I wrote a post, but it was WAY too long.  So, I plan to break it up and share a little portion over multiple days to keep you interested.

*Keep your eyes peeled for some links to some free downloads!   I plan to share some of my practice work as free downloads.
** Note:  I am not an affiliate of HQ and am providing my unbiased opinion of my experience. 

My goal at this event was to become more confident in my quilt design, digitizing abilities and tools, expose myself to the HQ Pro-Stitch Software Updates, and dabble in some free motion and ruler techniques that I have not spent time on at home.

I will post about the classes that I attended, but know, that there were many others!  A big THANK YOU to all of the organizers, instructors, event sponsors, speakers and assistants in the classes!  I know from experience that a big event is time consuming to plan and execute.   I think there were at least 150 in attendance.  IMG_8491 (1).jpg

The tools we needed were available, the speakers were wonderful, and technical support was great.   Handi Quilter put their best foot forward to make our experience positive.
Oh, and did I mention prizes! It was like Christmas!

Day One:  Art & Stitch Boot Camp  (Wednesday)
 Art & Stitch is a digitizing software that is bundled in purchases of HQ Pro Stitch
The software is a powerful tool just a step down from CAD software.  It allows you to open, manipulate and create digital quilting designs for all of the major quilting and embroidery formats.

This class was great for new users of Art & Stitch, and even for those that had dabbled in designs, but wanted to learn about some quick uses for all of the tools.

After a full day of learning, there was a reception to meet other attendees, and visit six different demonstrations of HandiQuilter machines and tools.  I visited a couching demo, saw their three new sewing machines, saw the new HQ little foot machine set up with a Simply Sixteen, ruler demos, pole cradles and the glide foot.  I have to say that the last one hurt my wallet the most!   After this, I couldn’t resist picking up their new Handi Pole Cradles, and the Glide foot.

Hands Pole Cradles are designed to attach to your existing HQ frame to allow you to hold the top several inches above your backing to make inserting your batting and smoothing easier.

The Glide Foot is a bowl shaped foot that is supposed to work well for quilting over thick seams, around appliqué, and I hope will be great for thicker batting quilts and wall hangings.  I am excited to see how this works!   I wish it was brought back in my checked luggage!