We love taking peeks into other people’s quilting studios during our Looky Loo Studio Tour! Each month during our Quilted Joy Clubhouse live meetings we tour the quilting studio of one of our QJ Clubhouse members. Today, let’s take a look back at our tour of Bev Harrison’s converted outdoor shed creative space! Watch the video below to see Bev’s Looky Loo Studio Tour!
We wanted to get to know Bev a little more, so we asked her a few other questions before we recorded our tour.
Quilted Joy: How long have you been quilting with a longarm?
Bev: I started about 19 years ago, on a very part-time basis, but have been quilting now 3-5 days a week for the past 8 years.
QJ: How have you grown your skills?
B: I began with simple meandering but then tried pantographs and I really love doing them. I used to vary from the pattern lines a lot, but now I stay pretty true to the lines and have gotten skilled at freehanding at any edges.
QJ: What do you find to be the most challenging part of longarm quilting?
B: I’m not a fan of using rulers. I find them difficult to manage and diagonal lines are really hard for me. I have learned to do some simple maintenance on my machine, but tension issues always throw me and I rely on my APQS online community for help!
QJ: Where is your quilting space? Is it a retail space?
B: You know those big metal sheds where they park farm equipment? Well, there was one of those at the back of our half acre lot, so my dad and my son-in-law enclosed one end to make a large quilt studio. It is not a retail space.
QJ: What do you love about your quilting space?
B: It is bright and cheerful and roomy.
QJ: If you could change anything about your quilting space, what would it be?
B: I would love to have a heat pump that would heat in the winter and cool in the summer!
QJ: Why did you choose an APQS machine?
B: We began with a Gammill Premier simply because there was a local dealer. But it did not have a stitch regulator and I really wanted one. I tried out the APQS machines at a couple of trade shows and really loved the way the machine moved so smoothly and without a whole lot of effort on my part, and they had a stitch regulator! Soon thereafter, about 10 years ago, one of my friends decided to sell her Millennium with a 14 ft. table and I jumped at the opportunity. I am the 3rd owner of the machine. It was originally owned by Marilyn Badger! It is 22 years old this year, but it is a workhorse and I get such exceptional customer service from APQS. I would never consider any other brand.
QJ: Do you have a computer on your machine? If so, what do you love about it?
B: No I do not. I thought about adding it a few years ago, but with the kind of quilting I do, I didn’t think it would especially profit me in the long run.
QJ: What advice would you give to a new longarm quilter?
B: Quilt as many charity quilts as you can to try out threads and designs and techniques. I did that for about 6 months before I felt comfortable with the machine. And learn how to do some simple maintenance on your own machine. Problems always happen when you have a rush job or on a weekend when you can’t get a technician to come!
QJ: What quilting project are you currently working on?
B: Oh my goodness…I always have about 5 or 6 going at one time!! The one that is calling my name the most urgently is a large house/trees/neighborhood quilt that I’m doing in batiks.
QJ: How would you describe your quilting style?
B: For piecing, I’m fairly traditional. For quilting, I like edge to edge quilting. I really love pantographs because I’m not terribly artistic on my own, and the pantographs make me look better than I am!
QJ: What is your favorite batting and thread?
B: I use a lot of Soft & Bright by the Warm Company, but I also like Warm & Natural, Hobbs 80/20 and I’m beginning to play with wool a bit. I do some hand quilting too, and the wool is like butter. It works really well with the longarm too, so I’m making more of my own quilts with wool batting. I like Signature all-cotton thread for general quilting, but I’m beginning to play with Magnifico and Omni threads by Superior. They have almost NO tension issues!!
QJ: Do you quilt for others? If you have a business please share your website and/or social media links so we can share with the Quilted Joy audience.
B: Yes, I do. When we (my family and I) bought the Gammill, my parents felt the machine should pay for itself, so we formed a business. When I retired from my day job 8 years ago, I kept the business going on my own and I keep pretty busy. I have quilted almost 2000 quilts in 8 years, both customers and my own. I started a website but didn’t have time to keep it up, so I just share my quilts on Facebook (Beverly Yoder Harrison). The name of my business is Yoder Quilting. However, I’m retiring at the end of June. I have so many of my own quilts to finish, many more that I want to make, and a fair number of donation quilts that I want to get quilted and gifted. I donate to the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit here in Eugene, Sunshine Quilts (an online quilting group that makes quilts for children all over the world), and the local Pete Moore Hospice House.
Thanks again to Bev for letting us look around!