Monday, October 27, 2008

New Stuff from Sewfest!


I promised to bring you news from the Husqvarna Viking SewFest events across the country. These are special meetings held for Husqvarna Viking Dealers. This year we introduced two new sewing and embroidery models, the Husqvarna Viking Designer Topaz 30 and Designer Topaz 20. The sewing and embroidery machines have many wonderful features. If you have friends or family looking for a Husqvarna Viking Sewing and Embroidery machine that has many features including the Husqvarna Viking exclusive Sensor System and Sewing Advisor but very easy on the pocketbook, suggest they visit a Husqvarna Viking Store soon!

Kim Novak, Dealer Event and Program Manager shared the Education Programs and Events that are taking place all across the US. Go to, USA, Events to find a fun filled Sewing and Embroidery event near you!

Highlight of the introductions was the new Husqvarna Viking Mega Quilter 18 by 8 long arm quilting machine with built-in stitch regulator on the new Imperial Quilting Frame with the “brain” provided by QBOT. See an earlier blog for more information about the Imperial Quilting Frame and QBOT. The new Mega Quilter 18 x 8 has 18” of space between the needle and the machine and is 8” high from the bed of the machine so that you will have loads of quilting space on the frame. If you have unfinished quilt tops or are ready to start quilting, this is the home quilting studio solution for you!

We also introduced some very requested accessory feet and some of the most beautiful embroidery designs I have ever seen! One of my favorites is #200 Husqvarna Viking In Full Bloom. These fabulous designs are for the Majestic Hoop and feature many 3D embroideries. The Talk of the Town Tote project included in this blog was created by Marie Duncan using one of these amazing designs. I also love #204 Elegant Art Embroidery which features a new “long stitch” digitizing that really looks like handwork. You will want to stitch this on garments as well as home dec projects.

The new Cactus Punch collection If Wishes Wore Wings by Nadine Knecht is a wonderful way to make special gifts that tell people you care. Nadine began making angels, wall hangings, notebooks, filled with words of encouragement. She hand dyes beautiful fabrics and has even provided the files on the CD for you to print her beautiful “hand dyed fabric” with your ink jet printer onto printable fabric. Wow! There are words to print and of course darling designs. You need to see this one!

The new Husqvarna Viking accessory feet are four that owners have asked for. First, the mini piping foot has a “tiny tunnel” on the underside which is perfect for the small cording that comes with the Piping Hot Binding tool. This size piping is perfect to insert between a quilt and the binding, into collars and cuffs of children’s garments and to finish edges on just about anything. Marie and I will use it in our class at the Sewing and Stitchery Expo in Puyallup next February.

The Clear A foot set is something many Husqvarna Viking sewers have been wishing for. This set includes a Clear A Foot, Clear A Edge Stitching Foot and Clear A Edge Joining Foot. Of course the clear means you will have the visibility you need for special technique sewing however many people prefer a clear foot for all their sewing and now you have just the feet you need!

The important difference between all Husqvarna Viking A feet and B feet is on the underside. B feet have a "tunnel" on the underside so that the foot will feed smoothly over a satin or decorative stitch that builds up some thread height in the stitch. When you sew lightweight fabrics without stabilizer and/or stitches such as a straight stitch, bridging stitch, etc that do not have a thread build up, the tunnel can allow the fabric to "tunnel into the tunnel" allowing some fabric movement and/or puckering. This is where the A foot really makes a difference in the quality of the stitching.

These new Clear A feet are flat on the underside which holds the fabric flat as the stitch is being formed. This is great for straight stitch sewing and for lightweight fabrics especially. Heirloom sewers will love the new clear A feet set for joining and edge stitching!

After the San Diego meeting we had dinner with our son Bob, granddaughter Lyndi and her friend Cory at a restaurant right on the Pacific Ocean. Bob and Cory came down to visit Lyndi at San Diego State.

Elizabeth Anderson from Stoneybrook Sew and Vac wore a wonderful jacket she had felted with yarn.

She also brought a black shawl with a really neat felting design. She has a great way to mark the design on the shawl. Use quilting stencils and Pounce to mark the outline to felt with roving. If you have not used the Pounce, the white Pounce is like a chalk but it irons off beautifully. Be sure to “prime” your Pounce container the first time you use it. Simply bang it on the table up to 50 times to bring the Pounce into the felt pad. Then wipe the felt pad over the stencil. It is really amazing how well it marks and even more amazing when you iron over it and it completely disappears! In the picture below you see the right and wrong sides of the shawl. Either side could be the right side. With the Huskystar ER10 Needle Felting/Embellishing/Punching machine, one side is brighter and the other side more subdued in color. If you do not have one of these “sewing tools” yet, why not ask Santa for one?

The project below uses the wonderful new Husqvarna Viking embroidery collection #200 In Full Bloom. You will love the way this tote is put together because you make each piece individually and the backing becomes the “frame” around the embroidery. Enjoy!

I went to Sweden right from SewFest so will have lots to share in the next blog.

Happy Sewing!

Talk of the Town Tote
By Marie Duncan, Education Creative Coordinator

Everyone in town will be talking about your beautiful tote! But beware, the stipple police may be there because you “crossed the line!”

Sewing Supplies
Husqvarna Viking Designer Diamond Sewing/Embroidery Machine
Majestic Hoop #920 222 096
Husqvarna Viking Embroidery Collection In Full Bloom #220
3/4 yard Fabric For Background of Embroidery and Back of Tote
1 Yard Silk Dupioni for Lining/Border
40 wt. Rayon Embroidery Thread
Bobbin Thread
Inspira Tear-A-Way Stabilizer
Fab-U-Motion with Stitch Regulator by Cruise Control
Clear Open Toe Foot # 413 03 19-45
Clear 1/4” Piecing Foot w/Guide 412 92 74-45
Dual Feed Foot
1/4” wide Steam-A-Seam
1/2 yard of 1/2” wide Ribbon
Open Toe Free Motion Spring Action Foot #413037646
Purchased Purse Handle
Quick Easy Mitred-Binding Tool #140002480

20” x 22” for embroidered bag front
Cut ribbon into four 4” long pieces

Stitch your favorite embroidery! Think BIG! We used design 2 from the In full Bloom Collection 220. This design features 3D Embroidery flowers. Follow the instructions in the Embroidery Booklet. You could also cut a piece of fabric 20” x 22”, mark off a 13 1/2” x 14 1/2” embroidery area and fill it with your favorite embroideries. BEWARE, we are going to break the rules! No stipple police allowed!

Remove the fabric from the hoop. Trim 1 1/2” from the edge of the embroidery on all sides to equal approximately 15 1/2” wide and 16 1/2” high. This will be the size of your tote, so adjust as desired.

Place your trimmed embroidered front on batting cut the same size. Cut lining 2” bigger all the way around. Place the front and batting on the wrong side of your lining centered. Pin in place.

Set your machine for free motion. Attach your Fab-U-Motion. Thread with sewing thread in a color several shades lighter or darker than your fabric, on top and bobbin.

Prepare to “break the rules”! The goal is to enhance your BEAUTIFUL embroidery! If you need to cross the lines to do it, then go for it! Stipple around your embroidery!

Cut the bag back the same size as your bag front. Place on batting the same size. Place the back and batting centered, on the wrong side of lining cut 2” bigger on each side. Stipple the back through all the layers, using one of the colors in your embroidery. When the whole piece is covered with stitching, thread with another color from the embroidery and stipple again. Repeat with a third color to create free motion abstract art on the back piece of your bag.

Trim the lining on each piece to 2” larger than the stitched fabric all the way around.

Following the instructions that came with your Easy Mitred Binding Tool, bring the lining around to the front and miter the corners.

Snap on your Clear Open Toe Foot. Thread with sewing thread in the bobbin and one of your embroidery thread on top. Select E1:23 , Stitch Length 8.0, Stitch Width 4.0. Touch as needed to adjust the position of the stitch. Stitch the mitered border in place.

Measure the width and height of your piece. Cut your bottom and sides 4” wide x these measurements plus 1/2” for seam allowances. Ours were cut one piece 16” x 3” for the bottom and two pieces 17” x 3” for the sides. Cut batting and lining strips the same sizes. Place the lining and the outer fabrics right sides together on top of the batting.

Snap on your Clear 1/4” Piecing Foot w/Guide. Select a center needle position straight stitch. Stitch all the way around each piece leaving a 3” opening for turning on one long side.

Clip the corners, turn and press. Insert Steam-A-Seam in the openings and press with steam to fuse the opening closed.
Attach your Dual Feed Foot. Stitch down the center, lengthwise of each side and bottom strip.

Using a 5/8” seam allowance, stitch the bottom strip to the tote front along the bottom edge beginning at the miter seam, and ending at the miter seam. Repeat attaching the back to the bottom strip.
Insert the side strips by beginning at the top edge of the tote/side seam (not at the miter) and stopping at the miter on the bottom. Sew with the tote front or back up, not the side strip. Repeat for all the side seams.

Stitch the bottom to the sides the same way, beginning and ending where the previous stitching ended.

Insert the 4” ribbon piece into the purchased handles. Fold the ends under 1/4” and pin. Place the handles centered, on the bag and pin to the bag.

Friday, September 26, 2008

More from the road

Greetings! It is “sew” good to bring you another “blog” of travels and visits across the country and talking with many happy Husqvarna Viking owners!

First, I am so embarrassed. Thanks "sew" much to Aisicha from Vienna, Austria for correcting me on the name of the city we visited-- Salzburg, Austria!! I apologize to all my Austrian friends and my friends from France for such a huge error!! Special apology to you Aischa as Salzburg was your birthplace and what a beautiful place it is!We did also visit Strasbourg, France on our trip and for some reason I have these two (Salzburg and Strasbourg) words "switched" in my brain and always seem to say or write the wrong one! Aischa, I am very grateful you corrected this in your post. I also commend you on your kindness in the way you corrected me. We can all learn from your wisdom and kindness! Too often, people get angry or annoyed and "come at" someone for an error such as this. I "sew" appreciate your letting me know!

I enjoyed Robin’s post on this too. “Sue, neither place to be confused with Strasburg, Pa. which is named for Strasbourg in France :) It's in the heart of PA Dutch Amish country where loads of German settlers came but is named for the hometown of the French traders who founded it!” Thanks Robin.

I really enjoy the posts and comments. Keep them coming. Did you like the Santa Hat Purse project last time? (Thanks again to Pat from Summerville!) It is such a fun gift to make and to give! Be sure to make one for yourself.

A quick update on where we have been------

The bridge above across the Snake River in Twin Falls, ID was just down the street from our hotel. It is a favorite spot for parachute jumpers and the Saturday we were there was the day that “jumpers” from all over the country come to this bridge to jump!

However, while the parachutists were jumping off the bridge, more than 130 people gathered at the hotel for an America Sews on the Road presentation.

I loved the dessert after lunch! A Husqvarna Viking Designer Diamond cake and it was delicious!

Our next stop was Madison, Wisconsin for the Quilt Expo. I love this picture of Husqvarna Viking Educator Barbara Rezac vacuuming the booth! Husqvarna Viking Educators are such special people and have many talents. Barbara and I took turns demonstrating the fabulous Husqvarna Viking Designer Diamond and it was fun to see several people take their Designer Diamond home to enjoy! One family, mother, 2 daughters, and a granddaughter went right home to stitch and embroider together on Saturday night. It was neat to see how Grandma’s new Husqvarna Viking Designer Diamond was bringing such an intergenerational experience!

I love this picture of Herb. He loves the Husqvarna Viking Huskystar ER10 Needle Felting/Embellishing/Punching machine and is punching fabric into denim to show the ladies you can “felt” just about anything! By the way, if you have been wanting a Huskystar ER10 for embellishing but don’t think you need another sewing machine, this is not a sewing machine! There is no top thread or bobbin and no presser foot to lower. Five barbed needles punch into fibers to create fantastic creative options for all ages. So just think about it as bringing home a new tool for your creative hobby! And if there are young people in your life, they absolutely love this tool and the needle guard means they can not get their fingers under the needle. Many youngsters punch out pictures!

At this Quilt Expo, Husqvarna Viking provided Sapphire machines in a classroom. The students loved the exclusive Sensor System. Many had no idea that top-of-the-line features such as the Sensor System, Sewing Advisor, largest sewing surface, dual lights, and “sew” much more were available on a Husqvarna Viking at a very affordable price. The Sapphire 830 is the perfect machine for a daughter, friend, really anyone just getting started in their sewing and/or quilting hobby.

This quilt was on display at the Quilt Show in the Young People division and was designed and created by 15 years old Toni from Onalaska, Wisconsin. She and her mother and dad came into the booth and as we visited I learned that Toni created this quilted wall hanging on her own Husqvarna Viking Designer SE and her Husqvarna Viking Fab-U-Motion with Stitch Regulator! She designed the quilt from a picture she took of flowers and hopes to create a pattern to sell. She says her mom took her to a quilting class to make traditional quilts and she decided she liked this style better. I’ve asked her to consider coming onto America Sews to present her quilt and I’m hopeful she will.

Speaking of guests on the show, we are getting ready to tape in December and have great guests lined up! One of our special guests will be the winner we drew to come present a Quick Project on America Sews. Winner Betty from Wanatah, Indiana and her Husqvarna Viking dealer, Sue, will tape a Quick Project with us!
Our next stop was Central, South Carolina. We were on a country road and our GPS could not find the store and we had no phone service. I asked Herb to pull over so I could study the map then looked up and Heirlooms and Comforts Quilt Shop and Husqvarna Viking Center was right across the road from where we stopped! Here owners Bobby and Sara Ballentine and their people are getting ready for the America Sews on the Road Show at a local college the next day.
As the ladies arrived for the program, the beautiful Husqvarna Viking Designer Diamond on the front table was embroidering in the huge Majestic Hoop. They came up to the table in groups and could not believe the huge hoop and Ultimate Interactive Screen showing the design! What fun!! I’ve found I have to be really careful to clear the area around my Designer Diamond and to pull it away from the wall and not to sit too close to the front. The Majestic Hoop is so large it can bump into the wall or you before you know it!

Billy and Sara welcome the group and invite them back to the store after the event.

This group from one guild drove over an hour to attend.

I’m standing at the back of a mini van autographing the Husqvarna Viking Designer Diamond purchased that day by this very happy lady!! Wow, don’t you love her smile! This is how you feel when you have a Husqvarna Viking sewing and embroidery machine! The gal in the blue blouse was one of two sitting in the back of the van on a long trip to the event.

Next stop was Tulsa, Oklahoma for the America Sews on the Road Show event with Sewing Machines of Tulsa. These three ladies were the first to arrive that morning and each had made a special handbag to show.

We had a great turn out in Tulsa and the ladies were excited about all the projects and techniques. Embroidery sure is a wonderful way to share the joy of sewing.

Thanks to Terry Zike from one of the Viking Sewing Gallery Stores for sending in the Yarn Couched Trivet project below. This would be a really fun project to create for the autumn season! Project for you!

I’m off to travel across the country to the SewFest meetings for Husqvarna Viking Dealers! Next blog I’ll have news on some exciting new accessory feet and more! Be sure to watch!
Until then,Happy Sewing!
Sue H

Yarn Couched Trivet
By Terry Zike, Viking Sewing Gallery 146

Husqvarna Viking has developed a wonderful new set of feet called the Yarn Couching Feet Set. These feet create beautiful embroideries and automatically guide yarn fibers for easy couching. The new Spangle Yarn stitches beautifully and looks fabulous to ad texture, you will have “SEW” much fun! This fall trivet could be a placemat, centerpiece, whatever you’d like. The touch of tapers and Pictograms make this Husqvarna Viking embellishment special.

Sewing Supplies:
Husqvarna Viking Sewing Machine with Sensor System
Fab-U-Motion with Stitch Regulator by Cruise Control
14” x 10” Piece Insul-Bright
14” x 10” Fabric for Top
18” x 22” Backing
Yarn Couching Foot Set #413 03 76-46
Spangle Yarn Kit #620079996
Thread to Match Yarn color
Bobbin Wound With Thread to Match The Backing Fabric
Dual Feed Foot
Open Toe Foot #412 80 09-45
Fabric Marking Pen
Left Edge Topstitch Foot #412 78 42-45
Clear Marking Ruler
Rayon Thread for Stems And Pictograms
Quick and Easy Mitred Binding Tool #140 00 280

Center top fabric over the trivet template pattern on the last page and trace design onto the fabric with fabric marking pen. Place trivet fabric on top of the Insul-Bright piece. Put the backing/binding piece right side down on the table and center the trivet with Insul-Bright on top.

Set up Fab-U-Motion with Stitch Regulator by Cruise Control on your Husqvarna Viking machine. Thread with thread to match the color of the yarn. Lift the carrying handle on the machine and insert the yarn guides in the holes. Consult the instructions or CD that came with the feet for complete set up instructions. The couching yarn will travel through the openings on the guides. Thread yarn through the couching foot with the hole closest in size to your yarn (Spangle yarn uses foot 1). Thread from top to bottom of the foot using the yarn threader included with the feet. Bring yarn under and through the opening on the right side of the machine. Snap on the Yarn Couching Foot. Set your machine for free motion. Select straight stitch, drop the feed teeth. Select free motion floating.

Start stitching, following the arrows so you stitch in a continuous design. Free motion stitch over the pumpkin lines, keeping the yarn coming in relaxed from behind. Consider this a continuous design. You may decide to work on the smaller pumpkin first so the lines from the larger pumpkin will cover any raw edges.

Select the taper stitch C33 and reduce the width to 4.0. Snap on the Open Toe Foot. Change to rayon decorative thread on top for the branch. Stitch branch. Touch the reverse button one time about 3/8” before the desired end to automatically taper the end.
Select the triple straight stitch A08 to stitch the stem on the leaves. Change the thread to the leaf color. Stitch the stems.

Touch PROG to create your “leaves”. Touch . Select the small taper stitch C03 and then the small rounded bottom C05 (mirror image end to end ). You should also program in a and . So the leaves stitch individually, tie off and stop. Select repeat and stitch your leaves.

Thread machine with sewing thread. Snap on the A foot.

To create the binding, follow the instructions in your Quick and Easy Mitred Binding Tool

Snap on your Left Edge Topstitch Foot. Stitch down the binding with a straight stitch or use a small blanket stitch or pin stitch. Select and use the Stitch Positioning feature to move the position of the stitch to make the “bar” of the stitch sew exactly in the “ditch” of the binding seam.

Friday, August 29, 2008

More Travel and a Special Project


It has been “sew” fun to read the posts from so many of you encouraging the “blog” to continue. This time you will learn a little more about our trip as we visited an American “Sewing Star” in Germany and then what’s happening next.

After visiting Herb’s family in the Black Forest area we drove to Zurich, Switzerland to see where my grandmother Marie was born. Lyndi and I both were “middle named” for her. Then on to Strasbourg, Austria where we arrived in the dark and became lost trying to find our hotel.

After seeing much of the town and countryside and asking directions at a gas station and from some men working on the streets, we finally arrived and found that we had the most desired location in Strasbourg. A huge bedroom with another room and bed for Lyndi, all right on the river with windows overlooking the view of the old city that is in all the tourist books.

Take a look at these curtains on the windows—trimmed in faux fur! And talk about “puddle”. Even the bedspread was faux fur. It was an interesting room but very clean and very nice and big bathroom. Of course no air conditioning in hotels and it was very hot the whole trip. We take so much for granted! The Sound of Music tour was wonderful! 4 hours of music and stops at the key locations where the movie was made. Our guide shared loads of details about the real family and the movie family. This is the beautiful villa they used for the back yard (there was a different villa for the front yard) and the lake where Maria and the children fell out of the boat. We learned that it was very cold the day they taped the “fall out of the boat scene” and little Gretel could not swim so the piece in the movie is quite short after they hit the water because one of the crew had to jump in and grab Gretel!
I’m sure you are tired of trip photos but I want to share our last stop. On our way back to Frankfort to fly home, we stopped to visit Kimberly Einmo and her family in a suburb of Stuttgart. Kimberly and her husband Kent have lived in Germany before while Kent was in the Air Force. Now retired he continues to work with the military and they are on assignment there. Kimberly has written a couple of quilting books for NQA, has developed licensed quilting notions and she travels back to the US often to present quilting programs all over the country. Her fabulous quilts hung in every room of their home make it really special. It was such a joy to spend time with her in her sewing studio and catching up. We “sew” appreciated their hospitality!

I will be out traveling again this fall and would love to see some of you! Next week will be Twin Falls, Idaho with Twin Falls Sewing Center but I know that America Sews on the Road Day is sold out. I’ll look forward to seeing friends at the Quilting Expo in Madison, Wisconsin, September 10-13. America Sews on the Road will be in Central, South Carolina at Heirlooms & Comforts on September 17 then at SewTown in Tulsa, Oklahoma, on September 20. Go to and click on Events for more information. You may wonder why I am going to these places and it is because we had a drawing at our SewFest Dealer Training Meetings last year and these stores “won” me to come to their store and do a program. I love every minute of it!

One of the best things about meeting so many of you as I travel is that you bring and share such great ideas. About 150 ladies came to my Quick, Quicker, Quickest program at Sew ‘N Sew in Summerville, SC last December and one of them was Pam Hudson carrying the cutest holiday purse I have ever seen! It was a darling bag created from a purchased Santa Hat and she had made many of them for gifts. Everyone wanted the pattern and Pat was kind enough to send not only the instructions but also she sent me a Santa Hat Purse! The instructions follow. Thank you Pam and store owner Diane Walker!

Santa Hat Purse
By Pam Hudson, Summerville, SC

Everyone you know will be delighted with one of these cute, seasonal Santa Hat Purses! Make a bunch to have on hand for last minute gift giving!

Sewing Supplies:
Purchased Santa Hat
3” x 24” Christmas Print for Handle
1/2 yard Christmas Print for Lining
Husqvarna Viking Dual Feed Foot
Clear Seam Guide Foot #413 03 48-45
1” x 24” Strip of Batting
Sewing Thread

Fold out the white trim strip on the hat. Measure 9” from the tip of the white ball. Cut as shown.

Tuck the white fur inside. Using the main hat piece as a pattern, cut a front and back lining piece from Christmas print 1/2” bigger all the way around than the hat piece.

Turn the hat inside out so it is right sides together. Enter Heavy Woven and Select Seam on your Sewing Advisor ®. Snap on your Clear Seam Guide Foot. Stitch across the bottom as shown using a 5/8” seam allowance.

Place the lining pieces right sides together. Refer to the hat piece to determine which edges to sew. Stitch the sides and bottom using a 5/8” seam allowance.

Press 1/2” to the wrong side around the open top of your lining.

Fold and press 1/2” to the wrong side along one long edge of the 3” x 24” handle strip. Place the 1” x 24” strip of batting next to the pressed portion. Fold the un-pressed edge over the batting as shown.

Then fold the pressed edge over and press.

Attach your Dual Feed Foot. Thread with sewing thread top and bobbin. Select a zig zag stitch 4 width and stitch down the center of the strap along the folded edge.

Assemble your Purse:
With the wrong side of the lining out, pin the top of the hat to one edge. Be sure not to pin the lining shut. Pin one end of the handle to the wrong side of the fabric, on each side seam. Baste in place.

Place the lining inside the outer purse. The fur should be up. Stitch using a zig zag stitch, through all the layers using your free arm. The handles and top of the hat will be caught in the stitching. Fold the fur down over the stitching and you are ready

I just had the opportunity to create a label and embroidery for a quilt in the incredible Husqvarna Viking 4D Embroidery Professional Software System. Every time I use this software I am amazed at how easy the Husqvarna Viking has become over the last few years. It really is developed and designed for you and me!
Have you upgraded yet from 3D to 4D Professional. The special upgrade offer is only good until the end of this year. Ask your Husqvarna Viking Dealer for more information about this. One of the things I absolutely love in the 4D is the “remove overlap” automatic function. Whenever you save a design your Husqvarna Viking 4D Embroidery Software looks at the design and/or lettering combination and removes any stitches from underneath where you have put part of one design on top of another. Until now, your embroidery would stitch the first design then stitch the next designs right over the build up of stitches sometimes with not the result we were aiming for.

The other feature I love is the 4D Design Aligner which is one of the eleven embroidery software programs in the 4D Professional System. If you have not seen this feature demonstrated you will not believe what it does. When you want to stitch a very large design—maybe four times the size of your largest hoop for a wall hanging---simply create set up the design size in your 4D Embroidery. Then go to 4D Design Aligner and enter the size of the hoop you plan to embroider in. The 4D Design Aligner program will intelligently split the design into the number of hoopings and you can touch print to print the templates for hooping! Amazing! What I mean by “intelligently split the design”? When the program divides your large design up it makes sure to “cut” between designs and elements so the finished creation does not have designs that have been “cut” through the middle. Watch this in the demonstration at your local Husqvarna Viking store and/or go to and click on 4D Software.
Many people ask what I do when I am home in Westlake. Here I am at my desk where I answer e-mail, write projects, proof read, answer questions, plan programs and tv shows write this blog and “sew much more”, What you don’t see is all the samples, books, reference materials, etc. around me. I’ll put the “other side of the office in a later blog!

Until next time,
Happy Sewing!

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Our Next Journey...

Herb and I enjoyed a fabulous vacation in Germany with our granddaughter Lyndi. On the way we stopped for a weekend visiting with family and friends in the Chicago suburbs. First stop was a dear friend of my parents who recently celebrated her 90th birthday and moved from her large home to a lovely apartment. (Grace was one of my sewing mentors as I was growing up.) She invited us to dinner in the dining room at her complex and we “sew” enjoyed our time with her and were happy to hear her words regarding the move “I should have done this a long time ago”. We “squeezed in” a quick stop to see good friend, Sandy owner of Banbury Fare in Bartlett. Saturday the main reason for the Chicago stop, celebrating a wedding with good friends. We enjoyed Sunday Brunch in Long Grove (very near the old family homestead) with my aunt and cousin. My sister and husband were “RVing” in Woodstock and came down to join us. Fun!

This is the beautiful bedroom we stayed in at my cousin Sherry and husband Bruce’s home. Don’t you love the pillows and spread! When Sherry was first married she purchased a sewing machine from me and sewed this type of upscale home decoration for clients along the North Shore. Now she creates wonderful and unique designs for her home. Wouldn’t she make a great guest on America Sews? Would you love to learn the secrets to making your guest room look this inviting? Saturday morning we had the opportunity to visit the Hooke family at their home in Lake Forest and to spend time with David Hooke, at his engineering and manufacturing facility nearby. David is the inventor and manufacturer of the Quilter’s Cruise Control, Fab-U-Motion with Stitch Regulator and the QBOT—the newest accessory for your quilting frame and machine. We were really excited to learn more about the newest technology for quilters, QBOT! This new accessory for your quilting frame and machine brings Quilting Based On Technology to the comfort of your home. Now you can quilt just like the industrial quilting machines at a fraction of the cost.

David had added a special welcome on the QBOT screen! QBOT does not need to be connected to a computer and is easy to set for the quilting pattern you desire. The buttons on the unit are all you need and all the information appears on the screen.

The screen is where you tell the QBOT how to quilt your quilt or fabric but the most fantastic action is at the needle when the QBOT actually moves your quilting machine on your frame to create the quilting pattern you chose in the size QBOT sets with just a few clicks.
This was my first opportunity to see the new Imperial Quilting Frame for sewing studios designed for the Husqvarna Viking Mega Quilter machine. I was immediately struck with how sleek and clean it looks and I love the white color. David demonstrated how easy it is to load the frame and adjust your fabric. It was really exciting to hear David’s reaction to this beautiful new frame. He says, “Because the Imperial Quilting Frame is so sturdy and has no vibration as the machine is quilting, the QBOT quilts with perfect precision and accuracy. This new Imperial Quilting Frame came at just the right time as we are introducing QBOT all over the country!”

Here you see an example of the precision as the QBOT stitched this ½” diamond grid quilting perfectly!
And below are some of the fabulous quilting patterns that come with your QBOT! To get started, simply select the pattern you want to quilt, QBOT will set the size according the size of your blocks or area automatically and perfectly! Touch start and QBOT does the rest, automatic computerized quilting as QBOT moves your Mega Quilter across the quilting frame. You can step away and do something else but if you are like me, I’ll bet you will have to stand and watch the machine move down the frame stitching the quilting pattern. It’s hard take your eyes off it but I am very glad to have my hands off as when I guide the machine on the frame sometimes I’m don’t stitch as straight as I would like to. QBOT solves this completely and of course the Quilter’s Cruise Control stitch regulator makes sure each stitch is the same length.

Isn’t this a beautiful pattern? It comes with the QBOT so you can quilt it immediately.

Here is another example of one of the 18 quilting patterns/designs from Golden Threads and Simply Sew that are included with your QBOT.

I asked Denise Applegate-Schober, one of the most talented designers I know and a QBOT representative why she loves the QBOT and she replied, “QBOT turns my Mega Quilter into a ten foot “embroidery machine”. With the frame loaded with fabric you take edge to edge designs and wow! create “embroidered” fabric. No batting or backing needed to create texture and design on fabric. Add backing and batting for quilts and quilting is automatic! Just like your embroidery machine stitches in the hoop, the QBOT stitches on the frame!

Denise created the Training DVD on how to use your QBOT. It teaches you how to set up and get started with QBOT and gives tips and techniques for quilting. There are templates for the quilting designs, a back up instruction manual and more on the DVD. I have watched it and it is excellent!

Go to for lots more info including video clips of the QBOT in action!

Here’s two more of the beautiful quilting patterns/designs.

Here are two more of our friends at Quilter’s Cruise Control and QBOT, Carol and her sister Laurie. Both of them love to quilt and are part of the reason that Quilter’s Cruise Control and QBOT came to be. David’s wife Shelley loves to quilt too! Shelley and her mother Carol have been guests on America Sews where they demonstrated their acrylic vest pattern and how to create with it. The acrylic vest pattern is available from their quilting business “3 Crazy Ladies”. They describe themselves as “an enthusiastic (perhaps crazy) group of Californians - now residents of Illinois - that got together to spread our love of quilting, batik fabrics, and unique notions. Go to for more information.

Here is how David got involved in quilting. Several years ago, Shelley purchased a studio quilting frame and machine to quilt her quilt tops into quilts but found she was not using it. David asked why and Shelley replied she was not happy that her stitches weren’t even. At the time David was (and still is) an aerospace engineer and decided to invent something to keep the stitches regulated and even. This is how the first Quilter’s Cruise Control was invented. Shelley’s mother Carol wanted one too and so did several other quilters in their community so David began building Quilter’s Cruise Control units for them. Their local Husqvarna Viking Dealer called me and suggested we make contact with David and Shelley and the rest is history!

When Herb and I met David and Shelley in Los Angeles, we were just introducing the first quilting frame and Mega Quilter and David invented and manufactured the fabulous accessory Quilter’s Cruise Control stitch regulator. At the time we challenged him to invent a stitch regulator for Husqvarna Viking sewing machines and it was not too long before the Fab-U-Motion with Stitch Regulator was born. Now David was no longer designing high-tech airplanes. Instead he is designing high tech accessories for the home sewer and quilter! He and Herb had their heads together during our visit and I know they were discussing some future possibilities!

Once we could quilt on the frame with even stitches, the next dream was to have a “robot” quilt for us and so the QBOT was born. David says, “Dream, Discover, Design, Done!

Now you can quilt the first row with a personal pattern or motion then touch record and the rest of the quilt is automatically quilted with the same pattern by QBOT!

The new QBOT Software Program also available at your local Husqvarna Viking Dealer gives you the opportunity to create the quilt pattern on your computer screen, save it to a SD card, insert the card into your QBOT and quilt!

Many quilters are purchasing the QBOT Software Program to create and layout the quilting patterns/designs on their quilts then printing and transferring the design for quilting with their Husqvarna Viking and Fab-U-Motion with Stitch Regulator. There are “sew” many creative opportunities today! And special people like David, Shelley, and Carol help make it easier and much more fun!

After our “whirlwind” weekend in Chicago, Monday morning we met granddaughter Britta for breakfast at her favorite restaurant in Andersonville and then she came to Ohare Airport with us to spend a few minutes with cousin Lyndi arriving from California to go on to Germany. Here’s grandpa with two of his granddaughters at Ohare Aiport. The girls hadn’t seen each other for several years. San Jose and Columbus are a long way apart!

Britta gave Lyndi a few tips for Germany (she took this trip with us the year she graduated from high school) then went home on the CTA and we flew to Frankfort, Germany.

We arrived in Frankfort at 5:45am the next day and were all exhausted! Lyndi had just returned from a week at church camp and a busy summer schedule. We drove around Frankfort early in the morning to see the city then headed for our first hotel in Heidelberg. The room wasn’t ready so we went into town and walked around in the rain. This was our only rainy day in the two weeks. We had beautiful hot and sunny days the rest of the time.

Once we got into the hotel we “crashed”. Lyndi slept over 16 hours! After a brief nap, Herb and I left Lyndi a note, had dinner and walked around the area near the hotel. What did we find but a store called Design in Stoff. Everything for Patchwork & Quilt!! Closed of course but before we left Heidelberg on Thursday we stopped in.

It was a very cute shop with some gift items, jewelry, fabric! ideas and more. (My kind of store!) I admired a wonderful watercolor wall hanging quilt and asked if there was a pattern. No pattern but the owner, Gesiela, immediately proceeded to draw me a pattern on graph paper. I love it! The watercolor piecing creates a “town” with gardens, houses, a church and lovely sky. Gesiela tried to tell me where this town is but I did not quite get it all as she only speaks German and I only speak English. Herb got us through with his limited German however I feel it was our “sewing/quilting bond” that really was the communicator! I plan to try to contact her via e-mail and keep in touch. Would you like to see this lovely wall hanging on America Sews? I didn’t get a picture of it but you can see a tiny picture above.

Here is Lyndi and I with store owner Giesela! Don’t you love the beautiful fabrics and the pieced tote on the table. See the window valance? It was so amazing! Reversible, made of Log Cabin blocks with a hole where the center block would be. We did not find out how to make that one however I kept thinking about it and our last stop was to visit Kim Eimno and family in Stuttgart and she is going to go to the store and get the info. More next blog.

From Heidelberg we traveled into the Black Forest (Schartzwald) area to stay with Herb’s cousin and family in Lahr. This picture (taken from the mountain on our hike) is the town of Hausach where Herb’s mother and father grew up. They immigrated to Chicago in 1927 as newlyweds. We visited his aunt several times and another cousin who lives in the home his father was born in. Herb had plenty of opportunity to practice his German!

Herb loves to hike up the mountain at the edge of town to the “burg” or castle ruins at the top and to tell how his father played there.

Then we visit the World War II memorial on the same mountain. Here you see Herb sharing some of his history and the history of Hausach with Lyndi. I am always moved by the bronze plaque of so many names of young men from this small town in the Black Forest who died in World War II and it reminds me that the loss of loved ones in war is a terrible thing for both sides. I am so thankful for our men and women in the armed forces who protect and defend our county!

The wild flowers were beautiful on this mountain. I had to take a picture. I was really overwhelming to stand on top of the mountain and take in the beautiful scenery of Germany. Let me know if you want to hear more about the trip.

I’m hoping you are having a wonderful summer. Thank you for your encouraging posts and news. It is especially exciting to hear from so many new Husqvarna Viking Designer Diamond owners and all the joy you are experiencing! Keep the news coming!

Until next time,
Happy Sewing!