J is for my wife, Judy, of forever 45 years. Judy started sewing way back when, you know before computerized machines were invented. Her first two years of college she was sewing pockets into jeans, so that she could pay the rent and eat pizza. The year of 1969.
B is for Bob, that’s me. A few years ago, I was talking to some of our ladies at the church. They were cutting out little blocks of fabric, the various colors. The next time I was in the quilting room at the church, those ladies had many cut squares of fabric put in stacks. One of the ladies was sewing one square to the other, into strips then showed those strips together, one row after another. After awhile they made quite a big sheet with an awesome design in it, this sheet they called a top. I was telling Judy all about what I saw. A few days later Judy brought home some of the stacks of squares from the church. The top one said roll number one, a few blocks down there was one that said row number two, then three, and so forth. Judy set with me, down at her sewing machine and talk to me through the first few, and I’m sorry, do you know what it is like when you sew out a row 14 blocks together to find that the seventh one is upside down? That is when I learned what a seam ripper was. We finished that quilt, then made Christmas quilts for our grandchildren, and have continued making quilts ever since.
After the war started, our church started a hard candy drive and it became Citywide this candy was flown to Iraq in a plane from our Air Force Base here in Wichita, KS. I was on the Walter Reed website I came across the Operation First Response. They needed cot quilts for wounded Heroes. Guess what I did, yes made some cots quilts for these Heroes.
We were tying these quilts and wanted to take our quilt making to the next level. So I started researching the different makes and models of quilting machines. The cost seems high for a machine and frame for this being a hobby. There was a local outfit called Ken Quilt Manufacturing & Supply, they are the most amazing people and I could never say enough good things about them They had exactly what we were looking for, a Kenquilt 622 long arm, not a big machine, but one that is simple and easy to operate. That is exactly what Bob needs, simple, keep it simple Bob. I knew there would be a time we would need another quilting machine, it would have been one from Ken Quilt.
We have made several quilts and some are pictured in the gallery, fleece blankets that we quilted, military cot quilts, baby quilts, queen size and king size quilts, and what we call sleeper quilts for semi trucks.
With every quilt being unique, we only custom hand drive the Ken 622.
When I knew I was ready for a quilting machine that was computerized oh, I called Ken Quilts. They retired and sold the company to someone in Arkansas. I started looking around local downtown and there I was told I should bring in my wife. I told them she didn’t quilt I did, they laughed! So I kept looking. We had bought a 10-needle embroidery machine from A-1 Singer and we were there getting supplies and they had an Avanté Handi Quilter with Pro Stitcher. In two weeks I was quilting on a magic machine so precise and so crisp, it may be a photograph. That’s where we are today.