Last month I flew to Utah and spent a day working with my longarm mentor, Kerrie Curtis. I met Kerrie several years ago when I visited her home to get a baby quilt quilted. Kerrie and her husband had converted their garage into a quilting studio and had two Gammill Statler Stitchers going almost full-time. On that visit Kerrie took the time to show me around and answered about a million questions about the Gammill and her business. I was totally sold on the idea of becoming a longarm quilter and I told my family, “I want to be like Kerrie when I grow up.”
I returned to Denver and purchased a Gammil Statler Stitcher from Jukebox Quilts in Fort Collins. Just In Time Quilts, LLC, was officially started on July 1, 2015. Since that time I have quilted about 250 quilts and learned SO much about how to use my Gammill and market my business.
As mentioned above, I returned to Utah last month and spent a day with Kerrie. Since first meeting her, Kerrie and her good husband have purchased two more Gammills and moved their business, Utah Valley Quilting, from their garage to a new location in Springville, Utah. The move has greatly increased their space and has allowed Kerrie to open a small quilt store with many lovely fabrics, patterns and kits.
Kerrie picks up quilts every Saturday from two quilts stores in her area and has many, many walk-in customers throughout the week. Her four machines are in constant motion and it is wonderful process to behold! It takes a lot of organization to keep the quilts flowing and she has several women who help her not only run the machines but prep the quilts by cutting the batting to size, pulling the right colored thread, and checking the quilt measurements.
I was only able to work with her for one day but during that day I LEARNED SO MUCH! Since starting Just In Time Quilts, LLC my longarm quilting skills have been mainly self-taught through much trial and error (and unpicking!). Just by observing Kerrie and her team, I learned a new way of loading quilts, how to use the Relocate function on every quilt, some nifty tips on placing borders, that it is OK to speed up the stitching speed, and to always load a quilt the direction that will cover the most space before having to roll the quilt. Each of these techniques speeds up the longarming process and allows me to be a more proficient and professional quilter. THANK YOU KERRIE! I plan to go back to Utah and work with her for 2 or 3 days next month…just think what I will learn!
Kerrie says she “wants to be like Jenny Doan” of Missouri Star Quilts when she grows up which is just fine, I will be happy to be more like Kerrie as she becomes more Jenny-like!