Today's post is a long one; I have three things to share with you.
1. Graduation Quilt Finished Early!
First things first, my lovelies -- I put the final stitches in the binding of Anders' high school graduation quilt last night. I finished it EARLY, y'all -- graduation isn't until Tuesday, and Quillow Sunday at church is on June 6th. Woo hoo!! This was my One Monthly Goal for May, and it feels good to hit the finish line with several days to spare!
|70 x 90 Giverny Teleidoscope Graduation Quilt for Anders|
I really love how the ombre backing fabric came out, too:
|Giverny Teleidoscope Ombre Backing|
I ended up doing a 1/2" finished width binding on this quilt because it seemed more proportional to the oversized kaleidoscope blocks than my usual 1/4" binding. As for the size, it came out right at 70" x 90" before washing it, and I used 100% cotton batting so I'm bracing myself for some shrinkage to happen in that first wash. I had intended for the quilt to be a little larger, but it will be fine.
|Half Inch Hand Stitched Binding with Machine Embroidered Quilt Label|
Even when I've hand stitched the binding, I still do a machine embroidered label for my quilts. Those dense, machine embroidered satin stitches are much more durable than hand stitched embroidery, and I want to make sure the information on the quilt label stays with the quilt over the long haul. My mom is included "in the credits" because she helped me mark those points on all of the isosceles triangles so I could get them lined up at the block centers when I was piecing them on my machine. HUGELY helpful -- Thanks, Mom!
2. The Big Birthday Surprise!
Remember last summer, when I told you about my two-hour test drive of the Q24 long arm quilting machine at my local Bernina dealer's shop? I was so impressed with the stitch quality and ease of use, the sleek design of this long arm machine that has all the bells and whistles and nice-to-have "creature comforts" of a high-end domestic sewing machine, and I told my husband all about it when I got home. I liked the idea of being able to use different sizes and different types of domestic needles and I liked the way the handles on the Bernina adjust in so many different ways besides just Up or Down. But the Q24 was super expensive, we were deep into the pandemic shutdown with so much uncertainty in the world and no end in sight, and I already owned a fantastic APQS Millennium, one of the best long arm quilting machines on the market. I put the Q24 out of my mind and went back to my APQS Machine. I vastly expanded what I could do with my current machine by adding the IntelliQuilter computer robotics in the Fall of 2020 and I've been quilting merrily away on quilts for myself, for my wonderful clients, and for my guild's Outreach program ever since.
|Look What My Husband Got Me For My Birthday!|
But my husband Bernie remembered how much I'd liked that Bernina Q24. He knows how much I love my other Berninas (yes, plural -- a 750QEE sewing/embroidery machine, a 475QE travel/class machine, plus a 1300MTC serger/coverstitch machine). He knows I have an awesome Bernina dealer 5 minutes away who has always delivered top-notch service and support on all of my machines, and that I've never, ever been disappointed by a Bernina sewing machine. And he wanted to redeem himself for the Christmas of Socks and Sadness (don't ask; the emotions are still too raw -- but it was similar to this SNL skit where everyone else in the family gets cool toys for Christmas but the mom just gets a robe) by finding me a really good gift for my birthday this year.
Bernie knows better than to try to replace my quilting machine as a total surprise, so after he checked out the Q24 inside and out and worked out whatever pricing with my Bernina dealer, he clued me in a few days before my birthday so I could make the decisions about the frame size, options and accessories (and to make sure that I still liked the Bernina machine before he ordered it). I went back to the dealer and played with their demo machine some more, asked lots of questions, checked out the online forums, even read through the entire owner's manuals for both the Q24 long arm machine as well as Bernina's Q-Matic computer robotics package. I talked to several owners of this machine and weighed the pros and cons carefully.
Initially the plan was to move my current third-party IntelliQuilter (IQ) computer robotics over to the new Bernina machine. That way I'd be able to keep working with the software I've already learned and just be learning to use it with a different machine. But we ended up deciding to order Bernina's proprietary Q-Matic computer robotics for two reasons. First and foremost, the folks at IntelliQuilter are having trouble getting parts from overseas right now. New IntelliQuilter complete systems are backordered for 3+ months, they do not have parts in stock that they would need for installing their system on a Bernina right now, and they can't tell me for sure how many months I'd have to wait before those parts might be available. Second, when I looked into Bernina's Q-Matic system, I discovered that although it's missing one or two of the advanced custom quilting tools that IQ has, the Q-Matic system is really well integrated with the Bernina long arm machine in ways that might be a worthwhile trade off for giving up those infrequently-used IQ tools. Most importantly, my Bernina dealer will be able to add Bernina's robotics system to my new Q24 by the end of June so I won't have months of disruption to my digital edge-to-edge quilting business!
|Bernina's Q-Matic Computer Robotics Will Replace My IntelliQuilter on the Q24|
This is such a cool and unexpected birthday surprise -- who gets a gift like this when it's not even a "milestone" birthday," right?! I am glad he involved me before placing the order, though. It's a big decision, especially since my long arm machine is the foundation of my quilting business. I've grown so comfortable with the way my APQS Millennium machine moves and stitches. I could probably thread it and replace the bobbin blindfolded, I don't have to even think about which button to press to bring up the bobbin thread or how to load a quilt, and I know that machine is built to industrial standards so it could keep chugging away reliably for decades as long as I keep it clean and oiled. It's sewing beautifully, so why fix (or replace) what ain't broken, right?
But the Bernina machine feels comfortable and familiar, too, since so much of the design and screen icons are the same as on my domestic sewing machines. I will be able to use some of the free motion feet from my sit-down Bernina machine on the new long arm, including my couching foot to quilt a design in couched YARN -- how cool would THAT be? I love the way that Bernina has fully integrated their Q-Matic computer robotics with the Q24 sewing head. It's a very different machine from APQS and there will be a learning curve going from one software platform to the other for sure, but I have resources in place to help me if/when I get stuck. As my husband reminded me, "You like learning new things." 💓💕. I totally forgive him for the lousy socks.
...So, What About My Beloved APQS Millennium?
How will all of this work? I have at least one more client quilt top for E2E quilting on my APQS machine before the new Bernina machine is delivered next week (that will be my Tuesday To-Do List objective, in addition to everything I need to do to prepare for delivery of the new machine). Then I have a couple quilts needing binding and a few vintage quilt repairs that I can be working on during the transition using my domestic sewing machine. I'm trying to figure out where in my home I could relocate the APQS machine if I don't find a buyer before the new machine needs to be delivered. Maybe my dining room -- but then what do I do with my dining room table? I would think a prospective buyer would want to test drive the machine or at least see a demonstration before buying it, right? And if we reassemble the APQS machine in the dining room, that means I would have it available for any client quilts that came my way in those three weeks or so between when the new long arm machine is delivered and when the new computer setup is ready to be installed. One thing I know for sure? I definitely do not want to keep a second long arm machine in my dining room long-term!
|My 2013 APQS Millennium w/12 ft Frame is Available for Sale|
My Computerized 2013 APQS Millennium with IntelliQuilter is Officially For Sale! Recently "Spa Serviced" with all wear-and-tear parts replaced, every part of the machine inspected, cleaned, & readjusted to factory standards. Includes 12' Deluxe Frame, Power Advance, Quilt Glide Upgrade, Bliss Track Upgrade, Custom Light Bar, Jumbo M Bobbin, Ruler Base, Additional Hopping Feet (& Upgraded to Accept New 2019-Style Quick Change Feet), & Standalone Industria Turbo Bobbin Winder, Lots of Extras. Nearly-New ClassIQ IntelliQuilter (just added in November 2020) w/Full Custom Features, Largest Tablet & Super Motors. Please Share This With Your Quilting Friends! If you or anyone you know (in the Carolinas preferably, or at least the Southeast) is looking to buy a well-loved, beautifully maintained, high-perforemance 2013 APQS Millennium loaded with upgrades on a 12' frame with the latest and greatest IntelliQuilter computer robotics already installed, please reach out and/or pass along my contact information.
UPDATED 6/10/2021: My old machine has been sold and is on its way to its new home in Michigan!
WHEW!! I'm linking up today's post with all of my favorite linky parties this week. Have a wonderful Memorial Day Weekend to those of you in the United States. Happy quilting!
One Monthly Goal at Elm Street Quilts.
Whoop Whoop Fridays at Confessions of a Fabric Addict
Peacock Party at Wendy’s Quilts and More
Finished or Not Friday at Alycia Quilts
Off the Wall Friday at Nina Marie Sayre
TGIFF Thank Goodness It’s Finished Friday, rotates, schedule found here: TGIF Friday
UFO Busting at Tish in Wonderland
Frédérique at Quilting Patchwork Appliqué
Oh Scrap! at Quilting Is More Fun Than Housework
Slow Stitching Sunday at Kathy's Quilts
Design Wall Monday at Small Quilts and Doll Quilts
Monday Making at Love Laugh Quilt
BOMs Away at What a Hoot Quilts
To-Do Tuesday at ChrisKnits
Midweek Makers at Quilt Fabrication
Wednesday Wait Loss at The Inquiring Quilter
Needle and Thread Thursday at My Quilt Infatuation
Free Motion Mavericks with Muv and Andree
Fabulous kaleidoscope finish for your son's graduation. Glad your husband redeemed himself with a great birthday present.
Wow...what a nice surprise from a super attentive husband.I am very excited for you...it will, no doubt be great learning and getting used to a different machine. I think the decision to invest in the Bernina robotics was a good one. I would think that it makes for an all around smoother transition. Good luck with it all.
The quilt is glorious!!! You are going to be so happy when you present this quilt at the ceremony. And yippee for your new machine!!! I have to laugh because one year several people in my extended family got laptops and I got nothing, even though I had told Hubster that's the ONLY thing I want! He got the silent treatment for 2 weeks, until he came through with the laptop for my Jan 9th birthday. LOL
What a gorgeous gift and perfect gift for the graduate. So cheerful and comfy. Silly me, as I would have never thought about the Ombre fabric for a backing, but it looks awesome.
WOW! Where do I start? Al that is such good news. The graduation quilt turned out so well - it's a masterpiece and a treasure right down to the label.
I gotta say, I think I saw the Q24 coming. You're such a hard-core BERNINA girl, would it not be an expected outcome to eventually have a Q24? You have so embraced the long arm and all its possibilities, I can only imagine the heights to which you will soar with the Q24.
Congratulations on both! And boy, did you marry a good one!!!
Happy Happy Birthday!! Congrats on the finish of the quilt and the new toy wow!!!
Wow, Rebecca! I'd say you can definitely forgive the Christmas gifts! What a wonderful present and such a smart man to involve you in the final decision making!! I know you are so excited for it to arrive and be able to play with it!! I'm glad you decided to go with the Bernina robotics instead of trying to add the IQ to the Bernina.
I really love the quilt. I'm sure your son will treasure it through the years. Have a great holiday weekend!
Well, first, yay for getting the quilt finished! Woohoo! Congratulations on the birthday gift, too! How exciting! Hope you find a buyer for the APQS machine!
Anders graduation quilt is another winner and destined to be a family heirloom (if it survives college, that is). Happy Birthday and congratulations on the terrific gift.
Wow! A finish, a new longarm. . .holy molies what a bunch of truly wonderful is going on in your household! Love the quilt and what you are buying is what a have pined over for years. . . .I just don't have the space! Enjoy getting to know your new best friend in your studio!
Wow, wow, WOW!!! This is a birthday present ;)) Sounds very exciting! Joyeux anniversaire ;))
J'adorerais acheter ton ancienne machine, hélas je n'ai pas la place chez moi !
A super double gift whammy! A great gift for Anders (and congratulations on his graduation) and an even better gift for you! Now that's a good and thoughtful quilt husband!
WOW!! what can I say that others haven't - that was so neat of Bernie to think of this and involve you in the decision. So glad that Anders quilt got done and hope it doesn't shrink much. Maybe the dining room table legs can come off and you can store it in the garage :)
Congratulations on finishing your OMG. Your quilt is amazing and congrats to Anders on his graduation.
Oh, My goodness....congrats on your great present and your man's redemption!!
Your new blog is wonderful too...xoxo
What a pretty quilt! Have fun with your new machine!
Beautiful quilt! Have a great time with your new machine!
You did such a lovely job with your son's quilt. And that birthday surprise....oh my! That is one tremendous gift. Well deserved for sure and I am sure you will love it. Good luck selling your other machine, I hope it goes quickly for you, but not too quickly that you don't have the use of it in the interim when you need it. Thanks for linking up to TGIFF!
Well thats a lot going on!! First = Congrats on getting Anders' quilt done before graduation! Good job! and wow - Happy birthday - and what a great surprise!
The quilt is gorgeous -- the interplay of colors does look like an impressionist painting. Congratulations on getting it finished by graduation day! And, oh, wow -- big decisions for you about the quilting machine. I hope you can find a buyer for the APQS soon, not so much for the money (though that would be nice) but so that you can reclaim space.
This blog is so full of wonderfulness! Congrats on the early finish on Anders quilt. You did a great job keeping on track for the finish. AND Wow! a new long arm. I hope it all goes smoothly for you. I had an acquaintance who kept a long arm in her dining room on a regular basis. (And another one in the basement.) And another friend who keeps two machines busy on a regular basis. Just scattered thoughts!
Wonderful birthday gift! I also finished my son's high school graduation quilt this month. Only thing is, he graduated from high school 21 years ago! Better late than never. LOL
Pretty quilt. Thanks for linking up with Elm Street Quilts One Monthly Goal and congrats on your finish.
Wow. Just wow. Someone is going to get a sweet deal on your APQS. And you're getting a sweet birthday present from your DH. I love the dedication blessing you use for the quilt gifting (as read on Insta). Wonderful. Just wonderful.
O.M.G.!!! What a wonderful birthday gift. Totally makes up for the Socks and Sadness. You will have a TON of fun with this. I've got a birthday coming up in about a month or so. Just sayin'. :)
Wow lots of good news in this post! Love your Anders quilt, very effective in batiks. And congrats on your birthday & new machine!
Great present! I bet you'll be up and running on the new machine in no time. And what a lovely finish to Ander's quilt. Thanks for sharing on Wednesday Wait Loss.
Wow. Congrats. I'm really happy for you. This will be wonderful for your business. Good luck
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