I may have mentioned that I host a longarm bee in our area (Clearlake,TX). We meet at Pinwheels and Posies monthly and usually have about 35 participants. Each month we have new members and it is such a fun bee. We have a few experienced quilters and several newbies. I love to see the newbies take the ideas they see at bee and bring back their show and tells the next month! This month we had a special treat, Kim Norton, from A Busy Bobbin was our speaker. I became familiar with her work through one of my students (who is also one of Kim’s friends and customers).
When I found out Kim had only been longarm quilting for 4 years I just knew she would be an inspiration to our group and SHE IS! Kim has a website at http://www.abusybobbin.com One of Kim’s sons is in the Navy stationed on a medical ship as a Medical Tech. Her other son is in high school. Kim’s husband is retired Navy and now works locally. He is very supportive of Kim’s career choice!
This is Kim – she lives about an hour away from our bee and she agreed to speak at our bee in exchange for a dinner prior to our meeting!
Kim began by telling us a little bit about how she started, she bought her first longarm with the intent of having a business and had her first customer quilt on the frame within days of receiving her machine. She now has 2 Innova machines so she can work leave a “custom” quilt on one frame and churn out other quilts on the other frame.
Kim loves templates and showed us how she uses these to design her quilting. Sometimes she uses them for marking, but usually she guides her longarm around the templates.
How does Kim keep the template from moving and how does she “ditch” around her appliqué?
This quilt belongs to Kim’s mom and it was a block exchange. Some blocks were pieced some were applique. To tie them all together with a common quilting theme she used one of her “Gadget Girl” templates to add and additional frame around each block, then custom quilted each block.
Ok Kim we see HOW you do some of these techniques – but we want to know where do the ideas come from? Kim uses her iphone and ipad to take photos of quilts that inspire her. She keeps these ideas in folders on those devices to refer to later. She also prints ideas and keeps them in a notebook where she can flip through them until “THE” idea jumps out. She also taught us that we all have the same tool for conjuring inspiration – in fact we are born with it.
SAS – STAND AND STARE – she explained her SAS technique is stand and look at the quilt, put hands on hips, cock her head to the right, cock her head to the left, repeat as needed!
Once she has some ideas in her head she uses a reusable auditioning medium to draw the design over the quilt to see if it plays on the quilt as well as it did in her head. She will also sometimes take a photo of the quilt and then using tracing paper audition designs over the photo.
This beautiful quilt was made by Kim’s mom – mom’s applique is beautiful! And Kim really knows how to make it shine. Kim used 2 battings on this quilt, a thin cotton against the lining and wool on top. Kim reminded us that if you are going to do dense quilting in the blocks you MUST quilt those little sashings too – keep your quilting density consistent.
And here is Linda’s Quilt – yes I have included this quilt in previous blogs – but now I get to share some of the secrets behind the quilting!
And of course the question we all wanted to know – how was the scalloping on the border on this quilt accomplished?
And now a little show and share
Then we all put our thinking caps on for “How Would You Quilt This!”
I also brought a quilt top for ideas. No photos because I was talking – but when I started to open it up Kim and Linda started chuckling – Kim had recently completed the quilting on this same quilt for the Peace by Piecing Quilt Guild. She shared how she quilted theirs and then Cindy G came up with some really fun ideas – I think I will be doing a combination of both ideas. But first I must finish this blog and get back to work!
I hope you enjoyed our meeting as much as I did!