Thursday, September 5, 2013

Mari's arms just grew!

That's right, Mari's arms just grew... into longarms! 

Here is a quilt top I've had in my tub of UFO's for awhile now.  The pattern is Organized Chaos by Cozy Quilt Designs.  It was cute, easy, and never got quilted.  You see in a second that this turns out great for Mari.  Oh, for those of you that don't know, Mari is my son's girlfriend -- she is an absolute doll!

As I was reading the categories for MQX Quilt Festivals Pacific Northwest competition I noticed there was a Youth Category.  Hey... I'm teaching Mari to piece her first quilt could this be possible?  Well no, Mari is no where near finished piecing her quilt.  BUT... yep, those darn buts, sometimes they are actually good.  This one was good -- the Youth Category states that the kids are only being judged on the machine quilting -- anyone can piece the top.  Whooooohoooo!!!  This UFO works perfect!  And so it begins...

No, I didn't just throw her on the machine and say go.  She practiced and got the feel of moving the Gammill and doodled and played and liked it!  But she didn't feel comfortable enough to quilt from the front quite yet and wanted to try a panto.  Hmmmm... I had a bunch of them eons ago and I gave them all away to a friend.  For those of you that don't know I used a panto twice, once to try it, and a second time to confirm I did not like using a panto!  So we borrowed a couple of pantos from another friend and Mari made her decision on this one:

She starts by basting the quilt square (hmm... someone taught her well).

And thinking about threads... she chose a chocolatey brown.

And she's off!

She didn't get real far on Day 1 -- I forgot to mention that she goes to school, works, and also does virtual school so that she can graduate a year early.  Amazing right!

So here goes Day 2 - she is a determinted one - look at that lip biting (must be a concentrating quilter thing)!

And a peek at her first stitches:

And she took a nice break for Labor Day -- aren't they just the cutest!

Here she is on her last pass...

And... DONE!

Well, almost done.  This weekend Mari will learn how to make binding, how to attach binding, and then how to sew it by hand.  Then she'll be done!

I am so proud of her.  I'm honored and thrilled that she wanted to learn, not only the piecing, but the machine quilting as well.  I'll keep you updated on her pieced quilt as she works on it, and also when she quilts it!

And please, if you know someone that wants to learn, teach them!  This is the future of our industry!!!


  1. Excellent Mari and she has wonderful inspiration in you Karen. You are so right.... we need to inspire more of the young quilters.

  2. Hi Karen, I am a brand new longarm quilter based in the uk. How wonderful to get the chance to teach someone you obviously really care about and I completely agree with you regarding the teaching. I look forward to seeing the finished quilt.-Suzy

  3. Yea! Another quilter 'hatched' and on their way! Way to go!

  4. Absolutely fantastic to both of you! Can't wait to see where she goes next!!