I dearly love quilts, my proof? A photo of me at the tender age of 5 snuggled up in one of my grandmother’s quilts, a quilt that today I own and love.
Even though my grandmother and great aunts were quilters, my mother and I were primarily sewers – making everything from clothing to the kitchen curtains with a few crafty things thrown in for fun.
The quilting bug didn’t bite me until the late 90’s when I purchased Eleanor Burn’s Quilt in a Day Log Cabin from the local Homeschool Bookstore. Determined that I could figured things out for myself, I made a quilt using modern techniques (rotary cutter!), then promptly turned around and taught a class at my church to share with others this wonderful new found passion of quilting. My philosophy has always been to invite others to enjoy the same thing I enjoy, so teaching has always been a natural.
Quilting was put on the sidelines for a few years as my husband and I raised our two teenage sons while living and working full-time on the road in our RV. Believe it or not, we were ice cream vendors at national special events such as the Daytona 500, the Indy 500, the Kentucky Derby, Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo (think of hand-dipping Ben & Jerry's to a never ending line for seventeen straight days) as well as many other special events. It was then that I discovered the Houston International Quilt Show - I had that deer in the headlight look as I realized the endless posibilites of this new found hobby. With my collection of fat quarters I returned to my RV determined to broaden my knowledge and skills as a quilter.
In 2001 we finally settled back in Texas I begain persuing quilting with a passion. I began teaching piecing classes at area churches as well as area quilt shops. Tired of stitching in the ditch with invisible thread, a friend of mine attempted to teach me to do a simple meander on my domestic (home) sewing machine. As I like to say “quilting on a domestic made a good woman cuss", so I decided I needed a longarm.
The decision to purchase a longarm was a long journey. I took hands-on classes and lecture workshops with national teachers and actually started my quilting business, Quilts ‘N Kaboodle, on rented machines. With over 250 hours of quilting on various quilting machines I was certainly doing my due diligence!
In 2004 I took a class and met Jamie Wallen, well known longarm instructor and now a dear friend. Overhearing his comment that he was interested in purchasing an A1 Elite, as well as taking notice of other quilters who were making a switch, I visited the A-1 booth at the 2004 Houston International Quilt Festival to test drive this much talked about machine.
Those hours spent renting paid off. I could tell in an instant that none of the other brands I had previously used could hold a candle to the smoothness of the A1. My husband was impressed with the wheel system as well the ‘suspension bridge’ design of the table - more engineering than I understood at the time that’s for sure- all I knew was I could quilt better on this machine than any other. It went where I wanted it to go, could turn on a dime, and there wasn’t the tension issues nor the vibrations I’d been dealing with on the rentals. I was sold on the A1.
Circumstance prevented an immediate purchase, but patience paid off.A year later, taking delivery prior to the 2005 Houston Festival, I was the proud owner of an A1 Elite Professional Quilting Machine, no longer “quilting for hire” on a rented machine – Quilts ‘N Kaboodle was now a full-time career in my very own studio. It’s like having a private quilt show every day – I have loved all the customer quilts that have graced my frame as well as I am loving quilting my own quilts with custom designs and not being limited to stitch in the ditch or meandering! A1 has been the perfect choice, I’m so thankful that I didn’t rush into buying the first machine I got my hands on – I couldn’t afford to resale and buy again, I had to make the right decision the first time. I did, and I'd do it all over again. I love my A1.
Houston International Quilt Festival has been the highlight of my year since my discovery in 2000. At the 2008 show I was introduced as the newest A1 dealer, representing the Lone Star state of Texas, located between Houston and Galveston, joining a fabulous team of A1 dealers, nationwide and international!
What a journey that began! I love quilting on my A1 so it's natural for me to recommend one for you. I invite you to take a test drive on the A1. Use the form on our contact page to set up an appointment to visit my studio, or meet me (or one of my fellow dealers) at a national show and I’ll share my passion for quilting on an A1 Elite Professional Quilting Machine with you. You’re gonna love it!