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!


Maggie in the UK said...

Hi Sue
Really great to hear about your travels - especially Germany - I went on a Rhine riverboat cruise last year and found a craft shop in Boppard. The assistant only spoke German and me English but like you the common bond of sewing got us through and I purchased an "Helefant" panel. Love to see more pics of Germany and the Black Forest. I am sew excited because my Diamond arrives next week in the UK! I am as excited as you were at the US launch!
Keep up the blogging
Maggie in the UK

Jean Guarino said...

Hi Sue, thanks so much for sharing your vacation with us! Your photos are beautiful and the family connection makes it so very special. I hope to visit Italy someday and visit my husbands cousins and family members that he has never met. Thanks for all you do to inspire us. God Bless, Jean ( Boston, USA)

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