Longarm Machine Class by Connie

Last Friday I traveled to Conrad, Iowa and the Hen and Chick Studio where I took a class from the talented Marilyn Kidd. She teaches several classes on the APQS Millenium longarm machine which is the same machine that Mary and I still own. Mary mastered our longarm machine shortly after we closed the shop but sadly I felt like I had dyslexia when it came to loading the machine. Mary feels the same way about paper piecing in that you need to think backwards and upside down. Ha!

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My personal class with Marilyn was from 9 till noon.

We worked on a small panel quilt for charity starting with loading the quilt onto the bars, correct threading, oiling and caring for the machine. Finally we started the quilting process. Marilyn was so knowledgeable, patient and fun which made it a great morning.

After lunch with the shop girls it was my turn to work on my 2 Hour Couch Quilt. Let’s just say there is certainly a learning curve to using the machine. I’m slowly climbing the curve!

Here’s a bit about this charming quilt shop owned by Heidi Kaisand. She wears several hats as owner of Hen and Chicks Quilt Shop and Retreat Center, quilt and scrapbook teacher, owner and publisher of American Quilt Retailer Magazine and Mom to three active kids.

Mary and I have known Heidi for ages! Here’s a photo album of pictures taken in the quilt shop.

It was a productive day but now I need to quilt something soon with our machine before I forget what I learned.


P.S. we celebrated Ben’s 5th birthday at the lake this past weekend. He is doing well and starts kindergarten next week. Thanks for asking about him and for your continued prayers.

26 thoughts on “Longarm Machine Class by Connie

  1. Kathy Hanson

    What a big day with lots to learn! Looks like you have gotten some wonderful help.
    How sweet to see Ben’s 5th birthday party – he looks wonderful and am so happy that he is doing well. Prayers will continue for his continuing health and happiness.

  2. Sandra Goddard

    Happy Birthday Ben. May you have tons more. You look wonderful. You had tons of quilters praying for your speedy recovery. Have a great year in kindergarten. My granddaughter Ryland will be starting kindergarten too. Have fun

  3. Launa

    MMMMMM! Those 5th birthday cupcakes look 👀 so good. Have a terrific year in Kindergarten, Ben. You are going to love making fun friends and bringing crafts home for the fridge door.

    Connie, you had a great teacher on the long arm. Thanks for sharing the pictures with all of us.

  4. Amy M

    Very impressive Connie! I am thankful for quilters who enjoy to long arm quilt otherwise none of my tops would ever be quilted, it is just not part of the process that has ever appealed to me.

    Happy Birthday Ben! He looks great and ready to start Kindergarten. Nina will shed a tear or two also so I will say a prayrer for her as well. Hope Ben and Claire have a great school year!

    1. CountryThreads Post author

      Amy M – if truth be told, I don’t like the quilting part either! But I can hardly refuse to use a wonderful machine that lives in my own building! Haha! Now Connie will really be crankin’ out those quilts although we’ve got that second book hanging over our heads right now. Had our author picture taken today and we both agreed you can’t make a silk purse out of a sow’s ear – both of our dads used to say that!

  5. Sharon Ernst

    tWhat a great day you had! That longarm does take lots of practice! But it all falls into place when you’ve done it for a little bit!
    Ben looks amazing! Such a handsome little guy! Continued good health wishes & prayers for him!
    You ladies write the best blog posts! 😊

  6. Kathy

    Hurray for Ben starting school and looking so sweet on his birthday. Happy to know he’s doing well and has such a good grandma to share him with all of us!!

  7. Katie Hernandez

    Thanks for sharing these great pics, learn something everyday, specially the info re: Heidi,
    Happy to see Ben with that Beautiful smile..God Bless🤗
    Katie in Gilbert,AZ.🌵

  8. Arrowhead Gramma

    Loved the update on Ben. He continues to be on my daily prayer list. Also, good to hear what Heidi is up to these days.

  9. Sharon Cervenka

    Always love your blog—you two are wonderful ladies! Glad to hear Ben is doing well…Happy Birthday!

  10. Becky from IA/TX

    I haven’t been to that shop in Conard for a while…..looks like I need to make a road trip. Thanks for the update on Ben. He looks amazing….even though I know he’s not. Always in my prayers.

  11. Mary Hawk

    Conrad is my home town. Generations of my family has shopped there, when it was The General Store. I was married in the white church you might have glimpsed down the street. Heidi is an asset to Conrad!
    Good luck with your quilting.

  12. Karen

    Connie, I am impressed you and Mary are quilting on the Longarm. Hens and Chicks is a cute quilt shop!

    Ben sure is a cutie! I am sure he will love school!

    Happy Quilting! Karen Gaither

  13. Carolyn Sullivan

    Classes are like that….. practice makes perfect.
    I thought the ceiling fans in the quilt shop were interesting. only 2 blades?

  14. Laura DVS

    Connie, I feel the same way about long arm quilting! Heidi’s shop looks great. I can not believe how big her Kids are, I remember when the twins were born. Glad you’re grandson is doing well.

    1. CountryThreads Post author

      Laura – we, too, remember when the twins were born and when they got their dog who is now 12 years old. Twins are 11.

  15. Diane

    Thanks for the info, Connie. A long arm is on my ” someday” list…. It is great to see Ben looking so healthy. How is he feeling? I also enjoyed seeing Heidi and her family. I liked it when she was editor of—-was it Mc Call’s? Nice class🙂

  16. Judy

    Ben looks like he is ready to roll into kindergarten! So happy to hear things are going well for him! Always enjoy hearing from you and Mary now that you’re retired!

  17. Judy linn

    Such a fun post! Thanks for all the news!

    Ben is such a cutie! Those CHEEKS!

    Looking forward to hearing about cruise!

  18. Paula

    What a great time for learning something new! Ben looks like he is ready to start Kindergarten! Sweet Birthday Wishes for Ben and the whole family!

  19. Meta O’Connell

    Question Mary, why do the ceiling fans only have 2 blades? Do they work? Very interesting. Thanks.

    1. CountryThreads Post author

      Meta – I have no idea- i wasn’t even in the shop and didn’t notice in the photos. Readers – does anyone know?

  20. Felicia Hamlin

    I am so glad to see that picture of Ben! He looks good. Good luck in Kindergarden,Ben.

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