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!