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I worked in the financial field for 30 years and the opportunity to retire presented itself in 2017.  During the first few months of my retirement, I worked on miscellaneous items around the house and stumbled upon a letter that I had received from my great aunt Christine.  I remembered I had visited her with my mother years ago before either of them had passed away.  I opened the envelope and looked at the contents.  Inside was a home-made template and step by step instructions on how to make a hand sewn Cathedral Window quilt square.  Looking at the aged edges of the notebook paper with pieces of cotton muslin taped to with my aunt’s handwriting woke something up in me.  I told my husband that I would like to learn to quilt.  That Christmas he bought me a Brother HC1850 sewing machine.  Armed with my new sewing machine and a trip to a local big box store to purchase fabric I sat down and searched You Tube for how to quilt. 

We sold our home and built our forever home and moved, and I then had a designated sewing room.  My Happy Place.  I continued to piece quilt throws and tried to quilt them on my Brother HC1850 sewing machine.  My first ever quilt I completed and gave to my husband. Then I made a quilt throw for my brother-in-law.  The first queen size quilt I made was a Churn Dash quilt for my sister.  And I knew then that I wanted to find a shop where I could rent a longarm machine and quilt this top myself.  This was my first ever introduction to a “Quilt Shop” and I loved it.  Dawn, the shop owner and Ms. Jean were a wealth of knowledge and patient with this new quilter.  I learned so much from them.

The quality of my quilt tops started to get better and I started to research longarm machines.  I am a visual learner so one of the most important things for me was what type of video content was there out on the web that I could follow along with.  Handi Quilter’s online presence on YouTube won me over.  I searched and found a quilt shop over an hour and a half away from my home and went with my daughter to look and their machines.  Needless to say (with my husbands consent) I didn’t leave without ordering a new longarm machine!

From the first time I walked into their shop, I felt like I was at home.  Michelle and Quinton helped me to realize my dream and encouraged me to start my own quilting business and have guided me along the way.

When I think about some of the best memories and important tips, I have made or received over the past six years, it’s the time spent sewing with one of my best friends, Laura.  Discussing what pattern, we have seen online, usually on YouTube, or in a current magazine, what we want to do together or brainstorming on our own creations. 


How to “audition” fabric choices by Deborah at a local quilt store.  

 Ironing and pressing are two different things and steam is not necessarily your best friend when quilting.  Steam can stretch your fabric.

Good lighting is key.

Pinning your fabric and borders will make your edges cleaner and your quilt symmetrical.  Thanks Dawn!

Patience is a virtue (I am still working on this), slow down and read your patterns. 

Jack (the seam ripper) can be your friend even when you don’t want him around. Or trade off tasks with your best friend.

There is no such thing as the Quilt Police.  Nothing is perfect, there was only one perfect person and he died on the cross for us.

And I love the words “Hey Kim, come over here I want to show you something else that that would help you.  Let me show you how”.  I love working with Michelle on Tuesdays in her shop and will continue to because it rejuvenates me.  It was Michelle’s beautiful soul and giving more than receiving nature that helped me to realize that I really and truly had a dream that I never realized it.  Thank you.

I am not a professional seamstress, my mother and stepmother both tried to teach me to sew when I was younger.  I got a “D” on sewing in home economics and can’t hem a pair of pants.

But the beauty of being a quilter, there is no right or wrong way to make a quilt, just make it your way.  Walk into your local quilt shop and ask questions and you will be surprised at how sharing a quilter is, or for my local friends, pick out a mini wall hanging kit design and schedule a “Sip and Sew” and let us share ideas and let’s be Innovative together.

Oh, and remember that envelope that I found, I made that Cathedral Window quilt and won my first blue ribbon at my local fair in 2022.

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Innovations with K & K

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