Sunday, May 20, 2012


Okay, it's not totally new, but it is new to me!  I contacted Park City Quilting in Janesville, Wisconsin, and they had a used Tin Lizzie Ansley 26 with a Shirley Stitcher and a Phoenix frame.  After visiting up north with Bill and trying out the machine, I decided to buy it.  It is being delivered and set up sometime in the beginning of June.

You might remember that the other used machine I was going to buy had a frame that was not stable enough for extended professional use.  I also had the (less expensive) option to get the wooden Falcon frame, but it is only 10 feet wide, and I wanted the 12 foot wide metal Phoenix so that I could do king size quilts.  The Phoenix frame has a lot of nice features that the wooden Falcon does not have.  I'm very excited to be getting it!

Another good thing about the new system I am getting is that the Shirley Stitcher is the one with the larger display screen.  It measures 7" diagonally, and the other one I was looking at only measured 5.5" diagonally.  With the smaller screen, there is less room to set up custom designs.  Here is a video that explains how the Shirley Stitcher works:

I still can't believe that I will be able to start taking in quilt tops again so soon!  And here is a fun little side note:  It turns out that the owners of Park City Quilting - John and Sabrina - used to be the owners of the Gammill dealership Quilt Central in Janesville, and they are the ones who sold me my used Gammill Classic long arm quilting machine back in 2001!  Small world!  They are now dealers for Tin Lizzie and have nothing but confidence in the machines they now sell.  They convinced me that I am making the right decision to invest in a Tin Lizzie.

Thursday, May 17, 2012


I am finally all set up to start teaching quilting, knitting, crocheting and counted cross stitch at the Jo-Ann Fabric and Craft Store in Orland Park, Illinois.

I started the process of becoming an independent contractor for Jo-Ann back in January.  I have had three meetings so far, have brought in my samples (twice), have had my background checked for criminal activity (all clear!) and now I am on the schedule.  Between now and September 4, 2012, I will be teaching 57 classes, provided people sign up for them.  Any class that has no sign ups will just be canceled.

Tomorrow morning, I meet with Kristen, the education coordinator, to go over what I need to know to start teaching next week, including learning to use the class sewing machines (Husqvarna Viking brand) for those students who do not bring their own machines.  I own a Pfaff machine, which I love and know how to use, but I also need to have a working knowledge of the class machines, in case the students don't know how to thread them, wind and insert bobbins, sew a straight stitch, backtack and set stitch length.

My first class is called "Quilt and Bound to Love It" and the topic is teaching simple machine quilting and how to attach binding to a quilt.  It is a two-part class that meets on Wednesday, May 23rd and 30th.  So far, a mother and her daughter have signed up for it.

I don't get paid much for the teaching, so I'm hoping to be able to get long arm quilting customers out of my time there.  Of course, even if I don't, I'll enjoy the teaching part of it.

Wish me luck, and come and sign up if you are interested in learning the topic.  As I get ready to teach other classes, I'll post them here on the blog.