Evolution At The Random Sampler Quilt Guild

“Good evening fellow quilters.  I’m impressed to see so many of you at tonight’s meeting and I’m especially delighted to invite two new members, Derek Armstrong and Hans Reichmann to the quilt guild.  Derek and Hans have recently taken up residence at Oak Crest retirement community.  They are both avid quilters and specialize in long-arm quilting.  They said how excited they were to find such a large and enthusiastic guild here in the town of Somewhere.  Because of their experience in long-arm quilting, they generously offered to bring a video and talk about this newest feature in quilting which gives quilters more options.    Derek, will you and Hans come up on stage and I’ll turn the program over to you.”

As the two gentlemen took their places beside Carole, she handed over the microphone.

“Hello everyone,” said the two in unison as they waved at the audience.

“My name is Hans Reichmann,” said the gentleman with the microphone, "and this is my long-time friend, Derek Armstrong.  He’ll be showing you a short video on how a long-arm sewing machine works. But before that, I’ll give you a brief history on how we got involved in long-arm quilting.

“Our interest in this method of quilting began 15 years ago when both of us retired from our careers as engineers.  We had each started attending occasional quilt shows with our wives and it was at one of these shows that the four of us met.  As is often said, we immediately connected.  As our two wives began chatting about quilts and quilting, Derek and I wandered over to have a look at some of the many quilts on display.  What immediately caught our attention were the brilliant colours and patterns of these fabric masterpieces.  Upon closer examination, we saw the precision and mathematics involved in putting these pieces together.  It was Derek who first noticed the use of the Chinese puzzle pattern in one of the quilts.  Excitedly, he called my attention to the seven-piece square known as a tangram.  This square was made up of one parallelogram, one square and five triangles.  When divided into its parts, these pieces could be used in many designs such as birds, cats, dogs, other animals, people.  These quilt designs often told a story.  Derek was given permission to take a photo of this particular quilt which was designed and made by a man quilter.  You’ll see it in the video.

“Our successful afternoon at the quilt show ended with a demonstration on how a long-arm sewing machine operated.  And so, after extensive research on these machines and men quilting, we discovered how many men (especially retired engineers) were involved in the craft.  Derek and I were so inspired that during the next couple of weeks we researched on-line, not only the number of men quilting, but also the types of long-arm sewing machines.  After several dinners and discussions between ourselves and our wives as well as the local quilt guild in our area, we discovered that there was enough interest by quilters to want access to someone with a long-arm quilting machine, not only for older quilters who could no longer hand quilt  because of arthritis, but also for working women who loved to make a quilt but didn’t have time to quilt a full-size one for grandchildren.

MORE pages to follow: click the page numbers below!
In 1995 I began a series of stories titled The Recorded Adventures of the Birds of a Feather Quilting Bee. A couple of these were published in The Canadian Quilter. Several stories were published in the discontinued Canada Quilts and many more of these quilting short stories were published in Canadian Stories.
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