Lori started sewing in her early teens. Her parents both worked, so she was enrolled in summer school to stay busy—and to stay out of trouble. The classes offered as electives were sewing classes, and Lori discovered she had a natural gift for sewing. She sewed clothes for herself and later sewed for her children and then her grandchildren. When it wasn’t cool for her grandkids to wear clothing made by their grandmother anymore, Lori bought a book to teach herself to quilt.
At that time, in the early 2000s, HGTV was showing “Simply Quilts” with Alex Anderson, and Lori fell in love with all things quilting. Early in her quilting journey, Lori pieced and quilted on her domestic machine, mostly doing stitch-in-the-ditch and some decorative stitches to make things look a little more professional. She joined a local guild and learned how to drop her feed dogs and do free-motion quilting. In addition, she learned a lot about gravity and the struggles that come with the limited space on a domestic machine.
In 2004, Lori bought her first Handi Quilter longarm machine, an HQ Sixteen® (which she named Bertha). This early model was equipped with plug-in stitch regulation. Oh boy! Her grandmother and aunts were quilters and sent her boxes of unfinished quilt tops to practice on.
At a local quilt show, Lori found a book called “Quilting Makes the Quilt” and all she wanted to do was to learn to make beautiful quilts with her HQ Sixteen. Bertha and Lori made hundreds of quilts together for the next 15 years, all the while taking classes and learning new techniques.
In 2019, Lori bought her beautiful HQ Amara® with Pro-Stitcher® (which she named Betsy) and fell in love with quilting all over again. Of course, when you love something that much you just can’t help but want to share. She started teaching friends and started a group to make comfort quilts for people in need.
Over the 18-plus years of her journey, Lori has had the pleasure of teaching many. One of her first students was an 8-year-old grandson who wanted to make a quilt for his mother. Lori’s granddaughter also became interested in learning and made quilt gifts for her friends. Then she invited those friends to come and learn, and so on. The legacy continues!
What started as a hobby has become a lifestyle now, a lifestyle steeped in tradition and care. Taking her Lori’s greatest desire, honor, and—to Lori—her heartfelt responsibility.