Pro-Stitcher Archives - Handi Quilter

UNCOVERED: The Ken Burns Collection and Handi Quilter

UNCOVERED: The Ken Burns Collection

Prolific film-maker and documentarian Ken Burns loves antique American quilts. “Uncovered: The Ken Burns Collection” showcases 26 colorful historic American quilts, dating from the 1850s to the 1940s. The exhibit is on loan from the private collection of the legendary documentarian.

UNCOVERED, The Ken Burns Collection is at the Riverfront Museum in Peoria, Illinois from March 5th to June 5th.

Each of these textiles represents a moment in time and American history. A nexus of individuals and geography and culture that can never be fully recovered. But which is nevertheless represented in these strikingly graphic compositions.
— Ken Burns

The International Quilt Museum at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln organized the exhibition.  The IQM owns the world’s largest publicly held quilt collection.   Peoria is one of just three cities to host the extraordinary collection. This is the last stop on the rare public tour of this amazing display of American history.

 

Uncovered and Handi Quilter

Handi Quilter retailers, Mike and Brenda Gelsinger, are owners of The Fabric Patch in Pana, IL.

 

They have been providing quilting services and supplies throughout their community since 2011. Their goal is for every customer to be completely satisfied with their purchase. Because they provide exceptional customer service and quality quilting supplies they are able to accomplish this goal.

Handi Quilter is proud to have Brenda and Mike as part of our network of dedicated retailers. They have earned the HQ Way Award and The HQ Top Sales Award.

Peoria Riverfront Museum partnered with expert area quilters to create programming around the exhibition. The museum officials and the local quilt guild asked Brenda and Mike to represent just how far quilting has come.

Mr. Burn’s documentary is about the history of quilting. Mike and Brenda set up a Handi Quilter Amara with Pro-Stitcher at the museum to demonstrate the future of quilting today.

 

They chose the perfect example. The state-of-the-art features of the Amara are on the cutting edge of quilting technology today.

The Pro-Stitcher Premium quilting system integrates world-class quilting machines with the latest computer technology.

 

So we want to say a big Thank You to the Gelsingers and The Fabric Patch for all they do to help their customers finish more quilts the 21st century way!

If you are in the area of Peoria, IL, do NOT miss this rare opportunity! Visit the museum. And while you’re at it, stop by and say “Hi!” to Mike and Brenda at The Fabric Patch in Pana. You’ll be glad you did.

 

by Mary Beth Krapil

Social Media Resources

After getting multiple questions from folks, I came to realize that not everyone is aware of the rich array of social media resources available to Handi Quilter owners and those interested in Handi Quilter. Here is what’s out there and where you can find it.

 

YouTube

Go to https://www.YouTube.com/HandiQuilter . You will see hundreds of videos on just about every Handi Quilter topic you can think of. Click on the Subscribe button and you’ll join 54,000 other quilting enthusiasts who watch these videos. Click on the little bell icon. Then you will get a notification from YouTube whenever there is a new Handi Quilter video posted.

 

If you’re a Pro-Stitcher quilter you’ll want to subscribe to the Pro-Stitcher channel too. It’s at https://www.youtube.com/prostitcher. 

HQ Live

HQ Live is a video presentation with special guests, tips tricks, trends and everything quilting. Each month when we present HQ Live, log into your YouTube account during the Live presentation. Then you will be able to ask questions and converse with other viewers in the comment section below the video. After the initial live stream, the video will remain on YouTube along with all the comments. You can continue to add comments at any time. It’s a great community, where you can connect with others who share your passion. HQ Live airs on the second Tuesday of each month at noon Mountain time.

HQ Watch and Learn Quilting Show

The HQ Watch and Learn Quilting Show airs every Tuesday at noon Mountain time. It is similar to HQ Live, but a little less formal. If you’re looking for inspiration and education, HQ Watch and Learn is perfect. You’ll find it live on our Facebook page and it will remain on the Facebook page for watching at any time. You can ask questions in the comments and get expert answers. HQ Watch and Learn presentations are also archived on our YouTube page.

How-to Guides and Getting Started Guides

If you’re just getting started or interested in learning what longarm quilting is all about or maybe you just need a refresher, the how-to guides and getting started guides are full of information. It’s a great place to learn while you are waiting for your machine to be delivered!

 

 

Instagram

We have 3 Instagram accounts that you can use to stay “in the know” and get inspired.

@HandiQuilter – Here you will get news about things going on at Handi Quilter, such as educational events and special sales on machines and products. You’ll also see lots of quilts, quilting designs and inspiration.

@prostitcherquilting – All things Pro-Stitcher will be seen on this Instagram account.

@prostitcherdesigner – You guessed it, Pro-Stitcher Designer inspiration will be here.

Be sure to follow us on Insta! and use the #handiquilter, #prostitcherquilting, and #prostitcherdesigner on your quilting posts to be a part of our community.

 

Facebook

You’ll get all the news direct from us to your Facebook news feed if you “LIKE” and “FOLLOW” our page.  Facebook.com/handiquilter,  You might have already known that.

 

 

But did you know we also have a Handi Quilter group page?

 

This is a wonderful community of HQ owners and those interested in learning about Handi Quilter. On the group page you can interact with other quilters. Ask questions, post pictures of your work in progress, pictures of your finishes, and get feedback from the group. You can get help when you are stumped. Maybe you’ve never used monofilament thread before and need a little encouragement before you give it a go? It’s a fun place, where you will learn so much.

Handi Quilter Academy

We also have another group page for those quilters interested in Handi Quilter’s Academy. Academy is the premier education event of the year held in Layton, UT.  The Handi Quilter Academy group page  will have announcements about Academy but it is also a place to interact with others. Many friendships are formed at Academy and forged on the Academy Facebook group.

 

 

Pro-Stitcher

For all you Pro-Stitcher quilters there’s an Official Pro-Stitcher page you’ll want to “LIKE” and “FOLLOW”.  You’ll see notification of new updates and enjoy inspirational posts and videos.

 

Pro-Stitcher Designer group

And for Pro-Stitcher Designer users there’s a PSD group page. Since Pro-Stitcher Designer is so new, I’m sure you’ll have questions as you start to learn it. This is a great place to ask those questions and get help from your mates and from the experts.

 

Pinterest

Be sure to check out our Pinterest page for fun inspiration!

 

TikTok

Yes, you can find us on TikTok too! @handiquilter

 

 

So there you have it. Go to the pages you are interested in by clicking on any of the links above. If it’s a group page, you’ll be asked some questions when you ask to join. Be sure to answer them! We try to keep the groups safe for our members. Remember on any groups you join, not just Handi Quilter, you are on a public forum.  So use your best kindergarten manners, follow the rules, and protect your private information.

 

by Mary Beth Krapil

 

 

Turning the Quilt Successfully

Turning the quilt to quilt the side borders is a great technique that’s used by most accomplished quilters. It is definitely the best way when you are using robotic quilting like Pro-Stitcher, if you are really into accuracy (like me). It’s also a good technique for free motion quilters. Quilting a border all in one go is just easier. Not to mention all the stops and starts you’d have along the sides if you don’t turn.

What am I talking about you ask?

 

Imagine this scenario: You decide to quilt the borders of the quilt differently than the rest of the quilt with a continuous design. An example of this might be a quilt with a feather vine along the border.

Silver Celebration by Mary BEth Krapil

Silver Celebration by Mary Beth Krapil

 

Or a border that does not turn the corners, like this one.

You quilt the top border all the way across and it turns out beautiful. But only a small portion of the side borders are showing in your throat space. If you quilt the side borders as you work your way through the quilt, you have to figure out a way to divide them up into manageable pieces that fit in your throat space. This is called “chunking the border”.

You will have to have tie-offs at each section. Tie-offs can sometimes be visible unless you knot and bury the tails. Visible tie-offs are not good. Knotting and burying takes lots of time, also not good! So how do you solve this problem? Turning the quilt!

MY process

Start by basting the top and sides raw edges within your first throat space. Whenever I quilt a separate design in the border, I will stitch-in-the-ditch the seam between the border and the body of the quilt. It makes a great difference in the look of the finished quilt and is well worth your time and effort. Stitch-in-the-ditch across the top seam and as far down on both side seams as you can go.

Quilt the top border. Don’t quilt the side borders, just the top. Baste the side borders. Either with long basting stitches or with pins placed horizontally.

Then quilt the interior of the the quilt (as much as you can within the throat space).

 

I usually use pins unless the border is very wide.  Be SURE to place the pins horizontally. This allows the pins to roll around the take-up pole without bending.

 

Advance the quilt, baste the side raw edges and stitch-in-the-ditch the seam between border and body as much as you can in that next throat space. Baste the borders. Quilt the interior.

Continue in this manner til you reach the bottom of the quilt.

In the last throat space, baste the sides and bottom raw edges. SID (Stitch-in-the-ditch). Then quilt the bottom border. Baste the side borders. Quilt the interior of the quilt.

Now everything is quilted except the side borders. They are basted in place.

Tips for turning successfully

Remove the quilt from the frame. Trim all excess batting away from the quilt top. Be careful not to cut the backing.

Handi Batting Scissors are ideal for this job.  Trim all four sides.

 

Measure the excess backing fabric from the edge of the quilt top on both un-quilted sides. Trim if needed so that it is even all the way across.

 

Attach one of the sides to the take-up leader. I pin to my leaders. Use whatever method you are comfortable with. Do NOT pin the other end to the backing bar. Drape the quilt over the backing bar and clamp in place with HQ Super Clamps.

 

Notice that I have not removed my basting pins. Wait until you are ready to quilt!

Remove your basting (pins or stitches) and quilt this border.

 

Then remove the quilt from the frame and turn 180 degrees. Attach the other border to the take-up leader. Secure the quilt to the backing bar. Remove your basting and quilt the final border.

 

Your side borders are quilted perfectly! With no stops and starts! All in one go!

I hope you give this a try. You’ll find it does not take any more time than chunking the border as-you-go and you will get much better results! If you do, let us know what you think of turning the quilt in the comments.

Happy Quilting!

 

by Mary Beth Krapil

P.S. The designs you see on the patriotic quilt are available on Quiltable.com!

 

 

 

Introducing New HQ Ambassador, Jane Hauprich

I’d like you to meet our newest HQ ambassador, Jane Hauprich. That name just might sound familiar to you since Jane was a Handi Quilter National Educator for five years.

Jane Hauprich HQ ambassador

To get to know Jane just a bit better, (we’ve been friends and co-workers for the last 5 years), I thought I’d do an interview and share it with all of you.

HQ: What does being an HQ Ambassador mean to you?

JH: Being a Handi Quilter Ambassador means a lot to me.  First and foremost, I love my Handi Quilter machines, and love telling people about them and how much having one has
changed my life.  I cannot even imagine my life without my longarm in it!!! Being able to represent a company that has such great machines, amazing education and fantastic customer support is truly a privilege.


HQ: How did you get started in quilting?

JH: I first learned how to piece quilts in 1998.  I was a single mom, so I didn’t have a ton of time to quilt, but as I did get projects done, I was not able to afford to send them out to be quilted by a professional, so I taught myself how to do the quilting myself.  First I did  straight line quilting. Then moved on to teaching myself to free motion quilt on my domestic machine.

Fast forward a few years to 2009, and I went to the AQS Lancaster Quilt Show, and kept on gravitating to the Handi Quilter booth and the HQ Sweet Sixteen stationary machine.  I ended up purchasing a machine and absolutely fell in love.

Handi Quilter Sweet Sixteen longarm stationary quilting machine

A few years later in 2012, I took a class on starting your own longarm business.  I decided at that point to sell my stationary machine and purchase my Handi Quilter Avanté, an 18-inch movable machine.

I did start quilting for others using all free motion.  For those of you just getting your longarms, I will tell you a story. When I first got my moveable longarm, my retailer came and set it up, gave me my lesson, and left.  I was so afraid of that machine, that I couldn’t even go in that room for two weeks. Once I got over that initial fear, I was good to go!!!


HQ: How would you describe your style of quilting?

JH: I have a love and passion for free motion quilting.  I now have a Pro-Stitcher, and while I do mostly free motion quilting, I do run my Pro-Stitcher for computerized edge-to-edge quilting, and sometimes like to mix things up by adding a computerized design and accentuate it with free motion quilting.  Sometimes that perfect design that I need lives right inside my Pro-Stitcher!!!

My personal style is usually something densely quilted.  I kind of feel like it’s a sickness…..the quilt is never quilted enough….lol!!  No worries though, as I do quilt every day quilts to be soft and snugly.

This was such a fun wall hanging to make. Pattern is by Debby Kratovil.


HQ: What is the most fun thing you have done as an Ambassador?

JH: Prior to being an Ambassador, I was a Handi Quilter Educator for five years.  During
that time, I was able to meet so many great quilters.  I was also able to travel and teach at two shows overseas…..Nadelwelt in Karlsruhe, Germany and Festival of Quilts in Birmingham, England.

One of my favorite memories was in Karlsruhe.  There were students who took the classes because they didn’t know what a longarm was.  The joy that crossed their faces when they were able to quilt on the Handi Quilter machines was unforgettable!!!  I look forward to more experiences as an Ambassador and can’t wait to see what is in store for the
future.

Another fun quilt I did as one of my monthly Island Batik projects.


HQ: Of all your quilts, which is your favorite?

JH: Wow……this is a tough one.  Since I quilt for customers, I have many favorite
quilts.  Usually my most favorite quilt is the one that I am currently working on.

I love to design whole cloth quilts when I have time, so those are probably my favorite.

whole cloth quilt, purple

This wholecloth quilting pattern comes from Telene Jeffery. I copied the pattern onto the fabric and adjusted it to make it my own.

 

whole cloth quilt, gold

I love to design whole cloth quilts. This is my most recent one that is completed.

Along with quilting ice dyed fabric panels.

quilted ice dyed fabric

This is an Ice Dyed fabric by Debra Linker. It hangs in a Handi Quilter Exhibit of a whole group of quilted Ice Dyed pieces.


HQ: Do you still have your first quilt?

JH: My first quilt was from my class in 1998.  A combination of piecing, hand quilting, and
tying.  I truly get a kick out of looking at this quilt.  It really shows me how far I’ve come.  I wish you could see the binding on this closely.

 

Jane’s first quilt


Apparently, they didn’t teach mitered corners in this class!!! LOL!!!


HQ: What are your favorite tools that you use in your work?

JH: The tools I use most for my longarming, is probably rulers.  I love ruler work and typically pair it with my free motion.

This was designed by me. This was totally stitched and quilted on my longarm!!

HQ: What machine do you use for piecing?

JH: For Piecing, I have two machines, my HQ Stitch 510 and a Janome 6600.  I use the Stitch 510 most of the time, as it is a powerhouse of a machine.

HQ Stitch 510 sewing machine

HQ: What machine do you use for quilting?

JH: For my longarm, I have a Handi Quilter Capri (that love of pushing the fabric around never left since I started on a domestic machine),

Handi Quilter Capri machine

 

and a HQ Amara with Pro-Stitcher.

HQ Amara quarter view

quilted fabric panel (image of a crab)

Panels are a great way to practice. You don’t spend a lot of time piecing, and can just follow along and do what feels right. This one is so cool!!

 


HQ: Who is your inspiration/muse?

JH: A year or two after I purchased my longarm, I went to a quilting expo in Virginia, and was able to take classes with Jamie Wallen, Lisa Calle and Angela Walters.  This was such a memorable experience and helped to shape me into the quilter I am today.  A couple of
years later, when I was thinking about teaching at shows, Jamie Wallen was a key person in encouraging me to get on the quilt teaching circuit.  I don’t think I would have had the courage to do it if it hadn’t been for him.  I will forever be grateful for his guidance.

Tasked to make a quilt using half square triangles, I designed this quilt and actually published my first pattern.


HQ: Of all the “tasks” in creating a quilt, which is your fave and least favorite?

JH: My favorite part of the creating a quilt is the longarm quilting. I find that I can forget everything else that is going on in life and just quilt.  It’s a great stress reliever for me.  As far as the piecing goes, I do love knowing that I am creating something for someone.

I would say my least favorite thing is cutting out the fabric needed to piece the quilts.


HQ: Do you have any other hobbies / interests?

JH: My interests and hobbies are spending time with my family, cooking, and reading.  I am not a lover of handwork, so I have been attempting to hand applique simple blocks for a quilt. It may take me years to get it done though!!!

A quilt I made for a wedding gift. The couple loved it!!


HQ: Thanks Jane! We are so glad to have you remain a part of the Handi Quilter family in your new role as Ambassador. Jane currently teaches virtual classes, so if you are looking for some free motion quilting classes, please check out her website. She also posts free motion quilting videos on YouTube. Be sure to check that out also and LIKE and Subscribe so you don’t miss anything.  Jane says she is all about trying to get quilters to love free motion quilting just as much as she does.

You can find Jane here:

Website:  www.stitchbystitchcustomquilting.com
<http://www.stitchbystitchcustomquilting.com>
YouTube:  https://www.youtube.com/c/JaneHauprich
Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/JanesStitchByStitch
Instagram:  janestitchbystitch

Bye for now!

Quilted back of a jeans jacket

Quilting doesn’t always have to be on quilts. This is a favorite of mine to wear and I always get compliments on it!! Quilted right on my longarm frame!!!

by Mary Beth Krapil



Pro-Stitcher New Features

Attention: We interrupt the series on Free Motion Quilting for Beginners to bring our Pro-Stitcher robotic quilters some information on the latest Pro-Stitcher update. Free motion quilting will resume next week. Keep your 15 minutes a day going!

We are so excited to have an official (non-beta) new update for Pro-Stitcher. It has loads of new features that are fabulously useful. Don’t hesitate to download and update your PS tablet!

Downloading

Go to the Pro-Stitcher website. Hover your mouse pointer over the Pro-Stitcher tab and choose “Software” from the drop-down menu. Then choose 21.05.0535. We refer to this version as “535”. Save to your usb stick.

Pro Tip: Be sure to scroll down to read the Release Notes. It’s a complete list of all the new features. Also, read through the Known Issues and make note of the work around offered.  That way, if something goes wrong for you, you’ll have a head start on how to fix it. 

Updating

Hover over the Pro-Stitcher tab again and choose “Overview and Manuals“. Then click on “Installing PS Software” for complete, easy-to-follow instructions on how to update your PS tablet.

Pro Tip: Be sure to power down your entire machine after installing the update. Don’t simply re-boot your tablet. Safely shut down your Pro-Stitcher tablet, shut down your machine and unplug from the power outlet. Wait 3-5 minutes. Re-plug and power up machine, making sure the machine fully boots up before turning on your Pro-Stitcher tablet.

The features

I’m going to introduce you to some of the best of the latest update, my favorite new features, starting with the most exciting tool.

Three Skew Options

Skew

This is the skew we know and love. It works great for blocks and areas with 4 points. Takes a design and fits it into the blocks on the quilt you are quilting. Maybe those blocks were meant to be 12″ x 12″. But the piecer needs a little work on her quarter inch seam. 😉  So her blocks are really 11.6″ x 12.1″.  No problem! Using Skew we can make the design fit the block perfectly and we make the piecer look good.

Border Skew

We knew this as “Skew 2” on previous versions. It has a new name, Border Skew, but it works the same. It is the best choice for areas that use 4 or more points to define. You use this the most on borders, especially wonky borders. Hence the name. It can be used on other shapes as well, just like Skew 2.

It fits your design into that irregular border area and once again makes the piecer look good. When the design fits the space it is quilted in, it fools the eye into thinking the space is a regular smooth shape. Even when it’s not!

Here comes the exciting part!!!

Triangle Skew

With past versions we had to use our alignment tools to get triangle designs to fit properly into triangular areas on the quilt. It wasn’t too hard, but it wasn’t nearly as quick and easy as skew. Triangle skew is quick and easy, and works like a charm on 3 point areas!

Amazing! Once you try it, let me know if you agree in the comments!

New STOP Button

Sometimes we need to pause the stitching of the machine to change the bobbin or re-thread the needle. So we touch the pause button on the lower left of the screen. This is not an emergency, just an everyday occurrence.

pause button

Sometimes things can go haywire. For example, you forget to attach your Glide Foot when quilting an edge-to-edge design. There’s an open, unsewn seam on the quilt and the hopping foot goes under the top fabric and gets caught.

You need to stop the machine ASAP!  This is an emergency!

In this case you’ll want to touch the Stop button in the lower right of the screen.

If it’s not an emergency, you really don’t want to hit the Stop button. You run the risk of losing the positioning of the design.

But in an emergency, the Stop button stops the machine immediately and that is what you need.

Sometimes, quilters would get confused about Pause v.s. Stop and touch the Stop in a non-emergency situation. So the button now has a new look. It makes it more obvious which button to choose.

Stitch Stats

Ever wonder how long it might take to stitch out a design? Ever want to know how much thread you’ll need? You’re going to love this feature!

You can know the number of stitches, the time it will take to stitch, and how much thread is required for any design. Once you optimize the design for your quilt, Stitch Stats uses your machine settings (Speed and Acceleration and Stitch length) to calculate this information. Pro-Stitchers are so smart!

Quilting Space

We now have a visual on the screen that indicates the actual quilting space. It shows up as a black box. It is an insurance policy!

You will always be sure that the design you want to stitch is within the usable quilting space. No more hitting the poles if you accidentally position your design in the wrong place or stretch an edge to edge design and inadvertently make each row larger that your quilting space.

This image shows the black quilting space and a design that goes outside of the space. If you were to try to quilt this design you would fall off the right side of the quilt and hit the pole at the bottom. If you see the design outside of the quilting space, stop, and reposition to avoid disaster.

Pro-Stitcher Designer button

Under the Tools tab there is now a Pro-Stitcher Designer button on the ribbon.

It let’s you easily transfer your design and area over to PS Designer. If you have PS Designer activated on your tablet, you can then manipulate or alter your design as desired using the great tools within Designer.

Once you have the design looking the way you want, simply touch the Send button in Designer to transfer the new, altered design back to Pro-Stitcher.

This is a wonderful feature. When your design needs just a little tweak to make it perfect for your quilt, it works wonders.

That’s what Pro-Stitcher is all about….. easy peasy perfection!

More New Features

I have described the new features I think are the most exciting and the most useful. There are more new features that you can read about in the Release Notes. I know you’ll be amazed!

by Mary Beth Krapil

P.S. There are more new designs too! Be sure to check them out. Let me know which one is your fave!

Oh! and one more that is just awesome….  I LOVE the Baste button that we got in the last update, but I tend to forget to turn Baste off before starting to stitch the design. We now have a Baste pop-up warning that appears when you start the design and you are still in Baste mode. I cannot tell you how many times it has saved me! Even though basting stitches are easy to pick out, it is still no fun to have to pause, pick, and change the start point to start again with normal size stitches.

Thank you PS programmers and engineers!

 

 

 

 

 

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