Wednesday, January 14, 2015

New Year, new things

Ringing in a new year, I thought it would be appropriate to try something new! Fortunately for me, I had just the opportunity. My good friend and very talented long-arm quilter, Nikki Crisp, recently renovated a former chicken barn on her property into a fantastic long-arm studio and work space, newly christened as The Hen House. Along with work space rentals to groups and professional long-arm services, she teaches long-arm quilting classes. Since I don't have the funds, space or inclination to buy my own long-arm machine any time soon, I was excited about the opportunity to take a class and try it out.
A little Hen House-warming gift.

I wish I had some "before" shots for you of the barn building, but to say this place has undergone a major renovation is an understatement! It's beautiful, full of great work space, bright light, a comfy kitchen area and two A-1 long-arm machines.

A-1 machines, one is Nikki's regular machine, and one she uses for rentals.

Lots of fun, functional work space filled with light.

Cutting and ironing stations, design wall, kitchen, and the cutest little red fireplace ever - I'll have to go back for a picture of that!

Now, besides basting one or two quilts on my other friend Tracey's A-1 previously, my long-arm skills should be classified absolute beginner, but it is sure was fun. During my three hour class, I got to try a whole bunch of techniques and designs and had a lot of fun playing along the way. Best of all, Nikki did all of the hard labor, loading and dealing with all of the mechanical stuff. I just got to spend my time playing!

I'm sure not ready to trade in my day job any time soon, but I think it's great to continue to try new things and grow. At the very least, you will come to appreciate even more, the talent and SKILL of your professional long-arm quilter.

Action shot - look at that concentration! :) I was having fun, honest!

Nikki is pretty old school, so if you live in the area and want to find out more about the Hen House or schedule a class or rental, you can email Nikki or give her a call at 360-319-2914.

Happy stitching,