John and Lotta – One Year Anniversary

It’s hard to believe that Lotta and I are celebrating our one year anniversary. A little over a year ago I could have never predicted this – my friends saw it coming but I didn’t. (isn’t that always the case) I thought it would be far off in the future – but as fate would have it – it always happens when you least expect it. One year ago Lotta came into my life and my life has never been the same.  Who is Lotta?  – My girlfriend? My wife? Well – her full name is Carlotta Stitches (Lotta Stitches for short) and she is my HQ 16 with Pro-Stitcher!  (actually some might say she is my wife because we are basically joined-at-the-hip at this point!) You can read my HQ Story on their website.

Here is a shot of me taking Lotta for a drive on a customer quilt!

I had been looking at various longarm machines and had been planning on getting one around this time  – this year – not last year. But a great opportunity arose and I purchased the machine from The Quilt Basket in Wappinger’s Falls, NY.  Alan Anderson brought the machine down and helped me set it up in my New York apartment.  Have a look at a video that Ray Pool put together of Alan and I  putting it together.  

It has been a joy to have it and I have enjoyed playing with it.  So what has happened in my life since Lotta arrived?

+ I finished several of my own quilts that had been languishing as lonely tops. I finally have a quilt on MY bed!

+ My friends have been very happy (and I made some new friends!) who gave me tops to “practice on” Translation – I had something to play around with and try out some all-over designs with the Pro-Stitcher and they got some tops done for free!

+ I went Salt Lake City and took a Handi Quilter Pro-Stitcher Retreat at their factory and training center. It was WONDERFUL. I am signed up to head back this August for training in the Quilt CAD Program for the Pro-Stitcher (can’t wait!) Check out their wonderful list of training programs!

+ I was able to start up my longarm quilting business earlier than I had planned – those friends mentioned above are now helping me make a living (yes you can get friends to pay you to finish their quilts!) and they have sent friends of theirs to get quilts quilted. 

+ I have been able to take advantage of the wonderful HQ training that Quilt Basket offers – it is taught by Debby Brown who is a wonderful teacher. If you can’t travel to the Quilt Basket – take one of her classes at an event where she is teaching – she will be at the Providence MQX this April! (also check out Debby’s  website and blog- Quilty Pleasures) 

+ I entered the McCall’s Design Star contest and am a finalist. Getting the HQ has gotten quilting deeper under my skin and it is helping me work through my male mid-life crisis as I try to decide: “What do I really want to be when I grow up?” Answer – a quilter! 

So, thanks to everyone who have help me make this a great year! And beware – if you let a Handi Quilter into your life – life won’t be the same – it will only get better.

So, what does one get/give as a gift for a one year anniversary with a longarm? A spool of thread – no – too basic – life is too short – I think it is a set of the new Swag Templates that HQ just came out with is in order. 


PS – maybe someone can come up with an anniversary list of what one gets for each year of your anniversary with their longarm. I don’t have the time to do that – but maybe someone else does! Until someone does I will keep buying what I want (actually I think that is a better deal!)


4 thoughts on “John and Lotta – One Year Anniversary

  1. Happy Anniversary, you two!! May you enjoy many more years together!!

    I've been in an “on again, off again” relationship with a HandiQuilter I bought years ago. Now, I'm starting to look at in a whole new light . . . (you've given me ideas, my man)!!


  2. O, Happy Pair — Happy Anniversary! May your bobbin always be full, your thread tension always be right and your stitch regulator always be calibrated. Best wishes for another great year!


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