Thursday, 28 October 2010

Installation of Handi Quilter

Simon and Alan were on the road again for another Handi Quilter Avante 18 with the Studio Frame installation. This time is was only as far as Knowle, which was handy for Alan as he only lives around the corner!

After setting up the Studio Frame and Avante 18 long arm quilting machine, Alan went through how to install a quilt on the frame, changing the needes, winding bobbins, checking the tension for the bobbin and the top to ensure the correct tension on the quilt and techniques of sewing.

Installation is quite straightforward and can be done by two people by following the DVDs and manuals. It does not require knowledge of the technical aspects of the machines.

We do offer an installation service, which our customer in Knowle took up, which is a chargeable option and depends on your location. Installation normally takes Alan and Simon around 2-3 hours for the frame and another 2 hours for the machine setup, bobbin winder, loading a small quilt and showing how the machine can be used.

Further courses will be available shortly on machine quilting at the new Cotton Patch Studio. If you would like more information on these please subscribe to our email newsletter.

For more information on the Handi Quilter Avante 18 and the new Handi Quilter Sweet Sixteen Sit Down machine please call Geoff or Liz on 0121 702 2840.

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Wednesday, 27 October 2010

Videos of Handi Quilter Lessons

While we were at Handi Quilter headquarters in Salt Lake City we went through lots of techniques for quilting including using rulers, templates, pantographs and groovy boards (plastic templates which have a groove in them - you follow the etched design using a stylus). Plus we tried out loads of different threads including threads which some long arm machines find more difficult but which were a breeze in the Handi Quilter - metallics, Sliver (ribbon-like), threads so thick that you use them in the bobbin, etc. Great fun!

Here's a video taken while we tried out Metallic Thread.

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Thursday, 21 October 2010

Grace Frame Visit and Training at Handi Quilter

We certainly packed a lot into a few days. Geoff, Alan and I learnt lots from Vikki, one of the hugely knowledgeable Handi Quilter educators, about using the Avante, pantographs, Pro Stitcher, tension, needles, using rulers and templates...and the list went on!

Its a well-recognised phenomena that no quilt shop owner can visit a US city and not find time to visit a local quilt shop. So Geoff, Alan and I visited Quilters Haven - recently featured in American Patchwork and Quilting. It was a real treat and Alan was caught on camera buying a few goodies (there are lessons here..) for Denise, his wife, who also works at The Cotton Patch.

Our visit to Grace with Jaren and Sally from The Grace Company gave us some updates on the range of Grace products and a chance to learn from tips and techniques from Sally in their teaching area.

Over the next few weeks we'll be announcing some of the education and training that we will be offering on machine quilting and machine sewing at The Cotton Patch Studio. Don't forget to look back at our blog, subscribe to the blog or sign up for our email newsletter so you don't miss out on the latest news!

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Friday, 15 October 2010

An Evening in Salt Lake City

Whilst visiting Handi Quilter Headquarters we've been fortunate in being able to take in some of the surrounding area after working hard in the classroom all day.

The city of Salt Lake City is well known for being associated with the The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (commonly called the Mormon Church).The Church owns 32 acres in the centre of Salt Lake City including an hotel which was built in the early 1900s. The hotel was beautifully
oppulent with incredible plasterwork and gold leaf on the decorative filials including pineapples which are symbols of hospitality. The hotel was sold to the city but after a few years it needed a lot of refurbishment and the hotel was bought back from the city by the Mormon Church and went through a thorough refurbishment program which took longer than the original building took to build! We had a tour of parts of the building and visited the old Ballroom which is now used as a Church.

Well worth a visit if you're ever in Salt Lake City. Another great place to go is The Roof which is a restaurant on the 13th floor of the old hotel. The views of the city including the State Capitol Building and the Church and Tabernacle were stunning. A beautiful sunset. The desserts were incredible too!
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Thursday, 14 October 2010

Visit to HandiQuilter Headquarters in Salt Lake City, Utah

Salt Lake City isn't exactly a hop skip and a jump away from Birmingham but after a day at HandiQuilter's Headquarters in Utah we felt it had been worth the almost 23 hours of being awake!

There are many quilts displayed throughout the building.

Geoff, Alan and I spent the day touring the facility, in the classroom and at the HandiQuilter machines.

The machines are made in batches - here's the latest batch of Avante 18" showing the first step of the assembly into the machine casings.

After each machine has been assembled it is taken through its paces - each of the machines in a special room has a program of fast and slow speeds thrown at it to ensure it can withstand the demanding standards of HandiQuilter quilters.

Testers ensure that the machines can quilt consistently and without errors and skipped stitches. Various quilting designs are used to make sure that the machines can do any quilting design that the quilter might want.

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