Friday, October 31, 2008

Friends at Festival AND exciting news!!

First the news! Drum roll please (smile). As of midnight Thurs 10/30/08 I am now an A-1 Professional Longarm Authorized Dealer for Texas! Actually it was 11:59 PM when A-1 President Stewart Plank called to confirm his offer to represent his wonderful longarm machine and join his network of dealers. (I know that sounds like a weird time to call someone, but believe me, the days are long when you work special events -- it was a midnight call that certainly bore good news!)

I am soooo excited to be a part of this family! I have had my A-1 for three years now -- love it dearly -- and have recommended it to many many quilters who have been in the market for a longarm -- now I not only recommend it, but I will be installing the machines and training new longarm quilters! What a privelage. Thank you Stewart for your vote of confidence by asking me to join the A-1 team! And what perfect timing -- it was sooo much fun to work in the A-1 booth today and visit with folks who are considering purchasing a longarm as well as those who just want to test drive and see how a professional quilting machine works. Quilters are such nice folks -- I met soooo many wonderful people today! Say hello to my first customer, Susan! We are both sew excited about her new A-1 -- the beginning of a new friendship, she and I, but more importantly, the beginning for a long and happyy quilting relationship between she and her new professional longarm! What a wonderful journey!

One of my favorite things is running into friends at Festival -- some I haven't seen since last year's festival - some are friends that I've only known over the internet and now have a face to put with the name. Several quilters from various longarm groups met up for lunch and enjoyed getting to meet each other. Two of these ladies had quilted quilts that were jurried into the show -- their quilts are in my webshots album. Talk about nice to put a face to a name! ow 'bout putting a quilter to the quilt! I loved the treasure hunt of finding "their" quilts later that afternoon. Beautiful jobs ladies - congratulations!

Yep, yesterday was truly "friends day" -- forget the shopping, just meet up with friends and look at the beautiful quilts! Thank goodness it's a 4 1/2 day event -- so many friends, so many quilts, and soooo many vendors!! Thursday I took over 300 photos! Check out my webshots for all the's a few of my favorite photos so far...

Here's my best friend! Sorry gals, he's taken! What a guy to spend his day off with his wife at a quilt show! Couldn't ask for anything better. One of the ladies at lunch asked how involved he was with my quilt business, he just smiled and said "pretty involved" -- I love telling the story of asking once if he thought I had too many quilts, his reply "not yet" (smile). I've got a keeper don't ya'think?

We stopped by the A-1 boot to say hello to Jamie Wallen -- thought it was a great a photo op to get a double of Jamie (that's him in the poster ad above). He's an A-1 dealer as well as a nationally known longarm quilter and much sought after teacher. We had the privilege of hosting Jamie in our home last spring for a several longarm workshops. My whole family loves Jamie. Hum...I think I could say the whole quilting world loves Jamie! You'll never meet a more wonderful person, or a truer friend. Did I mention he was a fantastic quilter? And Pixxie loves him too, so what more can I say!

And of course there's amazing Renae! That's her beautiful quilt in the background -- an award winner several times over. Her current quilt, Beauty from Within, captured a first place ribbon at this year's Houston International Quilt Festival, as well as it has ribboned at other national shows. She's so much fun to be around! Perpetual smile -- that's the beauty from within bursting out -- and so gracious to talk to folks that come to the A1 booth and want to look over her shoulder and ask about her current project. Her work is truly amazing. I wish I could take her home with me and her talent would just rub off!

Next we ran into Stan and Dee, of S&D Stitches, the masterminds behind the CompuQuilter. They are always good for a smile and a hug each year when I see them at Festival.

Time for some local friends! This is Virginia -- a member of my local guild and a wonderful "bag lady" who got caught without her Quilts 'N Kaboodle bag (gasp) I think that's the first time I've ever run into her that she didn't have it...for the "rest of the story" visit my website and read about my bag ladies. She's a great lady and I have truly appreciated her being one of my walking advertisements (grin) - she's has been most supportive of my longarm quilting. thank you Virginia!

While visiting with Jodi Barrows at her Square in a Square booth up walks two of my dear friends and students of the square - Annette and Donna. These ladies have fallen in love with the Square in a Square technique and promise to keep me busy next year with classes -- they've already picked out what quilts they want me to teach next (grin). I call them my cheerleaders because they are always so encouraging and up lifting to me. I'm glad they were able to meet Jodi and tell her first hand how much they enjoy her patterns and method of never cutting or sewing a triangle! Stay tuned gals, new classes are coming up in the spring! Did I mention that Jodi's a Texas gal? (smile)

No doubt many of you will recognize this famous lady -- Sue Garman -- not only did she design a special block of the month program for The Quilt Show but she's a local!! She's a wonderful teacher (I took an applique class from her and actually understood and did a little handwork!), a masterful designer, and a most dedicated quilter. She's an officer in one of the local guilds and gives so much of her time and talent. Truly a remarkable, down home, lady whose work just inspires me.

This is my longarm friend Connie, yep, you guessed it, she's local. And yes, she's a happy camper! My hubby was taking the photo with my camera and didn't realize it was still on zoom from the previous closeup on a nearby quilt -- so guess you get to meet Connie up close and personal. She's been a wonderful supporter of our local longarm group and has attended some of the national quilt teacher workshops we've hosted. It's always fun to bump into Connie! We enjoyed looking at the detailed quilting of a beautiful quilt -- with that never ending question of "how did they come up those designs?" I tell ya' quilting is an unexhaustable subject to study and try to master! That's why we have our longarm group -- to grow together.

Do you recognize Trish from the postings about market?? Well, she's not shopping I can tell ya' that -- nope, this week she's working at the Quilts By the Bay booth. Ah ha, some of you are saying! If you've been to Houston, been to Chicago, been to Paducah or been to Nashville then you've seen Trish! She gets around...or at least used to. She's retired from the road trips now and hangs around Houston. And yes, by the end of the day yesterday she told me "about 4 PM you could put a fork in me, I'm done" She said she never looked up from cutting fabric all day. It took three photos of her to get this one where she actually looked up! Does this lady know her fabric lines! She can look at a piece of fabric and tell you from what collection and what year! She knows quilts and quilt shop business! And besides that, she's just so much fun to be around!

And this is my friend Sara. I sent out an email this morning to the local longarm gals "announcing" my new role with A-1 before I came to Festival -- Sara said that she had a blackberry and got the email while at Festival and made a bee-line to come over to the A-1 booth to congratulate me. If she looks extra happy it's not because of me -- Sara is still on her honeymoon and several friends concur that she "just glows".

By the way....did you notice my Halloween costume? That's numbers on my apron...1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9, makes a statement...can ya' figure it out?? Give up??? You can COUNT on me! A little corny, but it made for some good laughs today. But I'm serious! I hope I can be the type of person you can count on...that's important to me. Part of finishing the race well so to the end hoping folks would say "we could count on karen" ...

So there ya have it, a few of my favorite photos with a few of my favorite friends -- I plan on seeing more tomorrow, just hope I can remember to pull the camera out of my pocket! I forgot to today cuz I was havin' so much fun! Quilters are such fun folks, don't ya'think? I do. I'm happy in my little world of quilters, with my fabric, my square in a square patterns, ALL that wonderful thread, my A1 longarm....oh and my puppy (who really isn't a puppy just the size of one)...and of course, my bestest friend who has been putting up with me for over 28 years.... is good.


Kathy said...

What nice pictures. Looks like ya'll had a great time.

Congratulations on becoming a dealer!

~Angie said...

Wonderful pictures! Congratulations on becoming an A-1 dealer. Looks like you are all having a wonderful time! Love our quilting!

~Nancy~ said...

Congrats! That's my mom, Susan, in the first pic. Looks like you all had a wonderful time!

Karen E. Overton said...

thank you ladies, it has been a wonderful time -- and as of this writing there's still one more day to go! Nancy, I enjoyed meeting your mom and assisting her in her decision to purchase a longarm. She's going to have 'sew' much fun in this new adventure! I'm as excited about her set up and delivery as she is!!!