Quilts and Rockets

IMG_8901IMG_8890Wow, this week has been great so far in Utah.  My husband is an engineer at NASA working on the SLS (Space Launch System) that will take us to deep space in the near future….Mars that is.  Yesterday, I got to experience an actual rocket test firing which was super cool!  We even toured the plant where they make the rockets, from the nozzle to the solid rocket propellant that goes in all of the segments of the rocket.  Seeing what my husband does first hand was really eye opening and exciting.

On Mo6c91b7a113e6f4f689aac47fcf48f027nday, my sweet hubby drove me from quilt shop to quilt shop, patiently waiting for me to make my purchase, and of course look and drool at all of the fabrics.  All I could think of was the photo to the right.

Not sure if you have ever heard of  the Row-by-Row Experience, but each year starting in June, quilt shops all over the US, Canada,  and now Europe participate in this experience by creating a design according to the theme, offering a free pattern of the design, or creating a kit for purchase.  Oh, and of course, the license plate of the shop!  It’s a fun adventure.  I only learned about it last year and vowed to participate this year.  So I went from shop to shop in Utah (only 4 of them) and purchased the kit, instructions and the official plate from each shop.  I would say it was SEW WORTH IT!


I LOVED seeing how each shop was set up.  My favorite by far is Elaine’s Quilt Block in Salt Lake City. I walked into one of the rooms and fell in love.  The colors were beautiful! It was so organized and had two floors filled with designer quilt fabrics, Michael Miller, Riley Blake, Kaffe Fassett and more!  Each bolt of fabric had fat quarters already cut!  smiling-face-with-heart-shaped-eyes

My dream has always been to own my own quilt shop attached to a coffee/tea shop!  I would duplicate this shop and have one in my little hometown! Who knows, maybe someday!

The absolute highlight of my Utah quilting journey was stopping by Handi Quilter, maker of my long arm. A couple months ago I emailed their headquarters and asked if they did tours.  I got a very nice response back from their customer service saying they did not but to stop by our place and check us out. So on Monday afternoon, my husband and I stopped by and walked in the front door.  There were quilts hanging everywhere….Luke Haynes was the artist being displayed at this time. There wasn’t a receptionist or anyone to greet us so there was that awkward moment of what to do next, so a person saw me and I waved.  She came over and talked to us and I explained to her about contacting them and “stopping by”. So she excused herself to find someone to come and talk to us.  The CEO, Darren Denning greeted us and asked if we wanted a tour.  I was pretty surprised that the CEO would take time out of his busy schedule to give a quilting groupie like me a tour.  Of course I said YES! 🙂  There was a quilting retreat happening in a room full of long arms and lots and lots of quilts hanging everywhere.  It felt like a quilting museum! The factory tour was amazing…I really think my husband, Byron enjoyed it as well!

My local dealer, Huntsville Sew and Vac, can hook you up with great equipment!  They are Handi Quilter dealers!  Tell them I sent you!

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Yep I am here!

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Luke Haynes quilts behind me

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The lobby

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More Luke Haynes quilts
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Byron and Darren talking about manufacturing stuff.
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Long arm retreat.
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The inside of an Avante (my machine)

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These machines are set to run for a long time and then measurements are taken to determine if there are any problems.

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Testing Area

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These ladies get to test the equipment!

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