To our eight grand-children, Donna is fondly known as “Mimi” (you know you’re a baby boomer when you don’t want to be called grandma). They all have a quilt made by their “Mimi”.
As a hobby, Donna started piecing quilt tops about 15 years ago. To date, she has made about 100 tops. With almost 1000 pieces, her most recent top is the Amazon Star by Judy Niemeyer. After it is custom quilted by Roger, a photo will be posted on our website.
Skipping a generation, Donna got the quilting bug from her maternal grandmother and great grandmother. Donna has quilts made by them in her collection, and several of their vintage 1930′s tops wait to be quilted and finished. Donna is the guiding light behind our business and does much of the sewing machine and hand needle work.
That would be Roger. His quilting bug came from his mother whose quilting was influenced by her mother and her Mennonite grandmother in Northern Indiana. In addition, his father was also involved in the stitching and handwork trades, owning and operating a Weaving Loom & Knitting Machine business. Both Roger and Donna were raised in families that always found great pleasure and personal satisfaction in many various handicrafts/hobbies and that passion has been passed down to them.
Computerized quilting requires a tremendous amount of practical, artistic, and technical knowledge. In consultation with Donna, Roger is responsible for the actual loading and pattern stitching of the quilt top with batting and backing. Although a very sophisticated piece of computerized equipment, it can not work without a human operator. He enjoys the opportunity to learn and apply new techniques that result in transforming your quilt top into a something beautiful and usable.
(In addition to operating the longarm quilting machine, Roger also has a stained glass studio. See examples of his work, including stained glass quilt blocks at Glaswerks by Simon.)
And the “Machine”
“Betty Mae” is the name that we have given to our Longarm Quilting Machine, in memory of Betty Jane (Roger’s mom) and Lula Mae (Donna’s mom). “Betty Mae” is a 2011 Gammill Optimum Quilting Machine and is equipped with the latest in high tech quilting called a Statler Stitcher. Betty Mae has two onboard computers which run the longarm quilting machine on a 14 foot long table, providing us the capability to quilt the smallest (crib) to the largest of quilts (kingsize with full drop to the floor).