Saturday, April 16, 2011

Freight Trucks, Friends, Family & Furniture!


So, what's the deal here? Freight trucks? I'm kidding, right?

Friends and Family is easy to figure, but Furniture?

What's the common denominator here? It had better be quilt related you say...

Well....get comfy at your computer, pour yourself that second cup of coffee, perhaps nibble on a (healthy) snack for a bit - sit back, relax, and reflect with me on the happenin's in the life of this Quilt Rambler...

Okay, so you saw the truck..but you'll have to wait a tad to see what was inside. The above photo is the friends part and you'll have to wait on that part too if I'm going to tell this tale in chronological order..

And before anyone wonders, here's Pixxie - my blog/life wouldn't be complete without including a photo of my favorite pup preforming her job as a Professional Quilt Model (thanks Dot for understanding that she's just got to pose, I hope there wasn't any Pixxie dust on your beautiful quilt)...but this too is out of order...so let's move on to FAMILY!

Here's my girls, and my guys --- I just love it when we can all get together and enjoy our favorite local establishment...A night out at LaBrisa is always a night to remember! We started the month of April off in style!

Yeah, yeah, that's part of the family part, but the big news this month was getting all of us together ( my guys and gals) along with my sister, brother-in-law, nephew, nephew's girlfriend to celebrate my mother's 75th birthday.

And yes, I can publicly declare that mom's a cute 75 - in our family we've always been proud of our age, counting each year as a special blessing from the Lord. No one denying all those years of His grace. Mom loves the Astros - when she and dad lived in the Houston area they would go to a lot of the home games, especially around her birthday...so it was only fitting.....

Now you have to know, we are known for being cheap dates and don't mind at all sitting in the nose bleed section...hate to admit the stairs took a little longer to navigate, but exercise keeps one young, right?! Up until this date the Astros were on a losing streak...they must have got the memo that it was mom's birthday celebration and they rewarded her with a fine win! It was truly a good birthday celebration (love those Super Pretzels!)

Adding to an already busy month, on Tuesday April 12th we celebrated our 31st Anniversary with a lunch date at Joe's Crab Shack in Kemah on the boardwalk. My how time flies when you are having fun!


And yes, that's my hubby cleaning the carpet in my studio....what a guy! The story behind this photo had to do with some clean up due to my precious pup's few rough days of tummy upset....Nuff said (and yes, she's back to normal, thank you for asking). Of course, if furniture gets moved for any reason it's my excuse to move more!

You guessed it, this is where the furniture part of this ramble comes in.

Time to re-arrange the studio...below is just one of many messed up studio photos. My youngest never understood why I messed up to clean up...but that's how I operate. Move everything to the center of the room, find a new place for it and before you put it up sort through to organize, discard, rearrange, etc. Spring cleaning at it's best...

Ah, but I'm not telling the whole story behind the rearranging...that's where the freight truck enters back in....This is one of several rather large crates that arrived this past week...can you guess what's inside this 10+ foot crate???

My new longarm! Actually my Second A1 - yep, I love my machine so much that I bought a second one (grin). This one is 10 feet whereas the first one is 12 feet... And how convenient that my studio is right off the carport....


My fellows must love me.

My youngest has been wanting to go on a set up with us to learn how we put together the longarm tables...well, he got his training this week by being his dad's helper. I got the day off (yea, right - that studio was all tore up remember?)

Oh, and did I mention that I have guests coming so the machine has to be put together AND the studio all put back together...by the next day!! ah, but I'm getting ahead of myself again (grin)


Normally the Professional Favorites package with A1 comes with our patented Eurgo-Lift hydrolic system already installed on the table - since I special ordered a 10 foot table instead of a 12 foot and since the company just happened to have one already crated without the Eurgo-Lift installed and since we are dealers......well, we had a extra step, a good learning experience on how to install the Eurgo-Lift to the table, something that is normally done at the factory....It wasn't hard, but took more time that normal so it made for a long day...

Oh! I neglected to mention why a second machine....
drum roll please....

For several reasons....one because my husband would like to join me in the quilting adventure (above is his "training" on how to load a quilt)...other reasons include work load - having one longarm for all over/edge to edge quilting and the other one for custom quilting - this allows me to have two waiting lists - since all over quilting is typically faster that line will move faster, where as custom quilts can sometimes tie up the frame for weeks....my idea of working more efficiently which will reflect in a better turn around time for my customers...

AND! One of the exciting reasons - to be able to offer more open studio days for demos to those inquiring about longarms and offering longarm classes here in the studio! Two machines means more hands on time for students. Plans are to begin this summer. (If you are interested in either a demo or classes please visit my website www.quiltsnkaboodle.com and let me know of your interest).

So, back to my narration... by the time the machine was together, the studio cleaned it was well into the night. But there was still a little time to train on using the panto (edge to edge) side of the machine...other lessons will follow. By the way, he was a good student (grin).

Here's a look at the new studio red0....less than 24 hours old as of this writing - and subject to rearranging as I live, work, and settle into a new layout....

The above view is at the doorway coming from the kitchen entering the studio. The first machine is the 10 footer with the 12 footer behind.

If you were to look directly right as you entered the room you'd be at the sewing side of the room...this is a temporary arrangement as the wall behind the tables will "come tumbling down" soon as we enlarge the room to take in the laundry room behind it. For now, a little crowded, but it will do (grin).

Standing at the edge of the sewing side (by the laundry room door) you have the view above of the larger longarm - again, still some work to do - I've got to rearrange the quilts on the wall too!
The photo below shows what's behind the machine...my "tunes", necessary fan (this is hot humid Houston remember), and plenty of fun fabrics to encourage me to finish up my work so I can take time to sew!

Here's another view from the laundry room vantage point that shows both my machines. There's a love seat/sleeper sofa at the window which is fondly called "Pixxie's perch" - she loves to look out the window, so when shopping for a new couch we had to audition the back to make sure it was wide enough for my precious pup.

Here's a peek behind the new longarm - the top shelf is loaded with my personal quilts (and batting) with part of the lower shelf housing finished quilts as well as my personal "quilts in waiting" - again, a visual reminder that I want to finish what I've started...don't want my kids inheriting unquilted tops...but then again, they'd at least inherit the machines to finish them (grin). The drawers behind are my thread drawers - the same ones that used to be behind the original longarm (see photo where the carpet is being cleaned for reference).

Okay, here's a look at the unfinished area. The door to the right with the lilac trim leads into the kitchen and the door to the back is the wall that will come "tumbling down" (I keep thinking about Jericho and the song I learned back in vacation Bible school as a kid). Needless to say, this is a work in progress. But hey, never let it be said I hold anything back! I show the good, the bad, and the ugly - er - potential!!

Whew, if you've hung on this long through my ramble you are to be commended! Now comes the friends part....getting the studio back together last night was well worth is as the Bayshore Longarm Quilters joined me this morning for our quarterly gathering.

Not everyone that came is in the photo....a couple of gals had to leave early and if you'll refer back to the photo above you'll notice that two of us "switched places" to take the photo (grin).

A little history...I founded this group as a gathering of like minded folks who wanted to be "community instead of competition" And we are true to our motto! We gather, share, encourage, laugh, talk, breath quilts! My favorite part is show and tell....I'll let the photos speak for themselves of the many talents of our group - many driving well over an hour to attend!

Show and tell includes "how would you quilt this? (above)

(This pattern of Texas above is an original of Mary pictured below - if you are interested email me karen@quiltsnkaboodle . com and I'll put you in touch with Mary to purchase the pattern)



Some of us really get into sharing our show and tell (grin)

After show and tell we moved to the studio and several were able to play on my new machine...yes, my mom taught me, "it's nice to share".

I realized today, and not for the first time, how truly blessed I am. I'm blessed with a fabulous network of friends and family who love me, support me, encourage me, and sometimes "set me straight" (grin). It's truly amazing how many things have come together just recently for me to see a light on the path I'm on. Sometimes things haven't been as clear...but all God asks is for us to trust Him one step at a time. It's my goal to continue to grow - in my skills as a quilter, as a quilting teacher, as a person, and in my faith. I like the way Paul put it in Philippians 3:12-13.

Not that I have already attained, or am already perfected, Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended BUT RATHER - I forget those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead.

Truly the days ahead are full of unending joy - because I walk with the Lord and am grateful for the precious gifts He's given me. The gift of life and enjoying His creation!



15 comments:

Susie Q said...

It looks great Karen! I'll have to let my sister know about the group if you are accepting new members. Kenny had to quit her job & see about starting with SSDI due to her rheumatoid arthritis.

Carol said...

Enjoyed your blog so much this morning! You are blessed! Wonderful family, great friends - and 2 A-1 Quilting Machines. Life just doesn't get any better than that.

Karen E. Overton said...

Yes, Susan - the Bayshore Longarm Quilters is open -have Kenny click on the yahoo link either on my blog or website www.quiltsnkaboodle.com to join the forum - that's where we post meeting dates.

Karen E. Overton said...

Thanks for the encouraging confirmation Carol, you are right, this side of heaven it doesn't get much better than this!

Margaret said...

Wow, lucky girl. Tell us about your work space. White plastic bins and the wood top.

Karen E. Overton said...

Margaret, thanks for the suggestion, stay tuned and I'll do a walk around the studio to show how I store things.

rosemalr said...

stumbled on to your spot and loved seeing your studio and also your hubby's work. what a guy!!!!

Anonymous said...

that's how my friend Virginia did it.....through the window and when she had a room built in the back of the house...it went back out the window and into a bigger window in the back of the house.

Melanie said...

I enjoyed your story! And I know we should not envy - but WOW what a wonderful sewing room and 2 long arms - how blessed you are.

h20girl@sbcglobal.net said...

I really feel connected to you and your family. Thanks for sharing this peak into your world. My husband and I also celebrated 31 years on April 12th! My Mom also is 75 and I love to quilt as well. 2 long arms = giant hug!

Beverly said...

Fun to see your studio and your family and friends. I'm originally from Houston, so it's especially neat to see someone from my home town! I just got a new studio--big yay--and still don't have it completely put together. Best to you!

Lenore said...

Love your room, I keep mine in the room next to the garage. I only do it for my self and family and friends so far.

Karen E. Overton said...

I truly appreciate everyone sharing their similar stories - we are all connected somehow, either with quilts, the great state of Texas or even special dates!

Stay tuned, the studio will be changing again soon!

karen said...

Oh how I wish I lived near you. I would love to join your group. I am here in Oklahoma City. If there is a group out my way, someone please tell me. Karen,

Karen E. Overton said...

Karen, I'm sure there are longarm quilters in Oklahoma City, I know there are quilt guilds....check with your local quilt shop and if not, start a group! visit my website www.quiltsnkaboodle.com and use the contact us page - I'll try to put you in touch with someone in the area.