All posts by manquilter

The Great APQS Canadian Roadshows

The Great APQS Canadian Roadshows
Free Longarm Quilting Seminars in Canada

APQS Road Show Longarm Quilting Experience
The APQS Road Show crew is traveling across the country, bringing our longarm quilting machines to you! This is your chance to get your hands on one of our longarm quilting machines to discover the model that is right for you.

What you’ll learn:
Designed for quilters who do not currently own a longarm machine or current owners who are looking to upgrade, the seminar includes valuable information about owning your first longarm.

  • Discover resources for templates, batting, freehand instruction manuals, wholesale contacts, thread, etc.
  • Find out where to buy pantograph patterns, books and stencils to make your longarm quilting fun and hassle-free.
  • Learn business philosophies, products and services, pricing, marketing and income forecasting. (You’ll even get a Sample Business Plan.)
  • Explore the differences between each APQS machine model and adding computerized quilting to a new or previous APQS machine.
  • Learn which accessories are the “gotta haves” to make your quilting fast and easy.
  • Learn how to oil, clean and service your machine to provide years of quilting fun!

Roadshow Dates:
March 7, 2014 (10am-1pm)
Grande Prairie, AB
Holiday Inn Hotel & Suites Grande Prairie-Conference Ctr
9816 107 St, Grande Prairie, AB T8V 8E7
Register Below

March 10, 2014 (12pm-3pm)
Ft. McMurray, AB
Quality Hotel & Conference Centre
424 Gregoire Drive, Fort McMurray, AB, Canada, T9H 3R2
Register Below

March 30, 2014 (12pm-3pm)
Abbotsford, BC
Best Western Plus Regency Inn & Conference Centre
32110 Marshall Rd, Abbotsford, BC V2T 1A1
Register Below

April 14, 2014 (10am-1pm)
Kamloops, BC
Holiday Inn Hotel & Suites Kamloops
675 Tranquille Rd, Kamloops, BC V2B 3H7
Register Below

April 15, 2014 (12pm-3pm)
Kelowna, BC
Holiday Inn Express Kelowna Conference Centre
2429 Hwy 97 N, Kelowna, BC V1X 4J2
Register Below

April 30, 2014 (12-3pm)
Regina, SK
Flirt Formal Fashions
348 Victoria Ave, Regina, SK S4N-0P6
Register Below



We listened. Sparrow Studioz is moving closer to most of you!‏

MmmmmHmmmmm! WE ARE MOVING (Yes! I yelled that in your face)

It’s been a great two and a half years in the heart of Edmonton’s Strathearn community. As the LRT plans to extend it’s line right down 95 ave and the redevelopment of this neighbourhood becomes imminent, unfortunately we have to move. We are taking a proactive approach and getting out of dodge before dodge kicks us out. We found a great new location only four minutes from our home in South Edmonton with easy access from the Anthony Henday, Whitemud & QE2. You are going to love everything about this place! Our entire Sparrow Studioz team has been over to walk through the new studio and we all agree that YOU are going to love this place just as much as us.

Our new address as of September 1st is…
3160 Parsons Rd. (99 St.) Yay for A/C !
(In the old Japan Video South location)
You are invited to our open house October 5th (10am – 5am)
What can you expect from our new location other than a bigger brighter space?
1. Bradie’s SSShop Hops 
Every month, Bradie is going to pack up 10 of you in the Studio Sprinter (this huge Mercedes seats 12 comfortably) and drive you in all directions stopping at 3 shops you might not normally get a chance to visit. Bradie has arranged special gifts and prizes at each stop as well as a unique & tasty lunch stop. There is plenty of room to carry your purchases home.
SSShop Hop #1 – Aug. 6-7 (Ricky Tims in Calgary, My Sewing Room, Traditional Pastimes, The Peaceful Patch)
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SSShop Hop #2 – Oct 11, 2013 (Snow Goose Quilting, Quilting From the Heart, Prairie Points Quilt Shop, The Peaceful Patch)
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2. Reception and Retail 
Our front foyer is slightly removed from the studio space allowing you to browse and visit with our staff without interrupting longarm renters, classes or our quilting ninjas. You’ll find all new extended thread lines you won’t find anywhere else, a bigger batting selection. Sit and browse our binder full of quilting designs available for your quilts.


3. APQS Canada Education Centre & Showroom
We are opening the doors with brand new models of all 5 APQS machines. Come on in and test-drive one today. All our machines come with an Incredible two day comprehensive hands-on training course. You will leave this class confident & competent. We guarantee it!
– 2013 APQS Millennium (26″)
– 2013 APQS Freedom (26″)
– 2013 APQS Lucey (26″)
– 2013 APQS Lenni (20″)
– 2013 APQS George (20″ sit-down)
4. The High River Quilt Project
The floods really hit home when we got this email.


We aren’t near water so we don’t qualify for relocation and have to rebuild on our own dime once the gov’ts company “remediates” it, which means they take it down to the studs and then give it back to us.  Our structural engineer told us she thinks our roof and foundation are likely all that is salvageable.  Could be a chilly winter   If you have seen anything in the news we are the “the Hamptons” which is the area that was bermed in and water was pumped in from another community to save a larger number of homes.

I finally got into my home and took a few pictures of my machine.  Our home is still classified as not fit for habitation and likely is not salvageable but I thought you’d be interested to see some photos of my poor machine.  It spent 4 weeks in sewage and is now of course growing mold like everything else (it has been 7 weeks since the flood).

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This email from one of our friends and clients brought us to tears and made us wish we could do more to help!
As much as we would like to drive south and help sling mud, it just isn’t possible. We are doing some other things hoping we can to help High River. We helped the volunteer sewers at My Sewing Room in Calgary start ‘The High River Quilt Project’. where we will start collecting finished quilts for the children of High River and then hopefully every resident. Ricky Tims put out a newsletter blurb for us, asking for quilts and APQS has graciously volunteered as a collection point in the US. I have donated my wholecloth quilt to be raffled off with the proceeds going to The High River Rotary Club. We will continue to find ways to help from Edmonton.
It just came to me! There is something else I can do to help. (Ok Ok actually it was suggested to me by my good friend Anne Dale, the owner of My Sewing Room) On September 24 & 25 join me and my longarm machines at My Sewing Room in Calgary to help finish donated quilt tops. That’s right, seeing as I’ll already have all my longarms packed up for the Medicine Hat Road Show on September 23, I will travel straight to Calgary and set up my machines to help pound out some High River quilts. If I don’t see you there, I hope to see you at the Creatives Stitches Show in the Calgary BMO Centre September 27 & 28.


In Canada, If you have a finished quilt you would like to donate, please send to:
The High River Quilt Project
℅ My Sewing Room
#148 8228 Macleod Tr. SE
Calgary, AB T2H-2B8
In the USA, If you have a finished quilt you would like to donate, please send to:
The High River Quilt Project
23398 HWY 30 East
Carroll, Iowa 51401
5. Our upcoming classes are filling fast. Make sure you grab your spot today!
Jamie Wallen (2013 MQX Teacher of the year) Nov. 18-21, 2013
Judi Madsen (Green Fairy Quilts) April 8-11, 2014
6. Where to Find Us? Important Dates!
Sept.13-14, 2013 Edmonton Creative Stitches
Sept. 23, 2013 Medicine Hat Road Show
Sept. 24, 2013 Calgary Road Show
Sept. 27-28, 2013 Calgary Creative Stitches
Oct. 5, 2013 Sparrow Studioz Open House
Oct. 11, 2013 Bradie’s SSShop Hop
Oct. 16, 2013 Moose Jaw Road Show
Oct. 18-19, 2013 Leduc Quilt Show

APQS Demo Sale, the deal of a lifetime

Oh my!!!! This is the very first demo sale on our NEW GENERATION Millie and Freedom! Top thread break sensor, low bobbin alert, pre-set stitch length, simple fingertip controls, lifetime warranty!

Available Models:

Demo Millennium with Standard Table
(10, 12, or 14 foot table)
$1,400 cash off
Free Quilt Glide ($1250 value)
Free Motorized Fabric Advance ($1350 value)
Lifetime warranty
Machine Value $20,500 – Sale Price – $16,500

Demo Freedom SR with Standard Table
(10, 12, or 14 foot table)
$1,600 cash off
Free Quilt Glide ($1250 value)
Free Motorized Fabric Advance ($1350 value)
Lifetime warranty
Machine Value $19,900 – Sale Price – $15,700

Demo Lucey on Standard Table
(10 or 12 foot Table)
$1,100 cash off
Lifetime warranty
Machine Value $12,400 – Sale Price – $11,300

Demo Lenni on Standard Table
(10 or 12 foot Table)

$1,100 cash off

Lifetime warranty

Machine Value $11,400 – Sale Price – $10,300

For more information on this offer, contact Matt or Bradie @ Sparrow Studioz 780-463-4242
Don’t forget the amazing extras that come with APQS machines:
Bobbin Winder
Beginner’s class, a $200 value
Year subscription to Fons and Porter’s Love of Quilting magazine
Two sample spools of Thread
Two pantographs from Golden Threads
Package of needles

New Generation Millennium Tried, Tested, Loved by ALL

We chose the smaller of the APQS longarm models as a way to reduce cost and still give our renters the best possible stitch quality available on the market. The most important part in our decision to buy a Lenni(20″ throat) was of course the ‘EASE OF USE’. We needed our renters to feel comfortable and confident the very first time they touched our machines. Although Lenni did everything we wanted it too, we felt there were a couple key features missing for the novice quilter.

#1. Power fabric advance

#2. Low bobbin alert

#3. Top thread break sensor

We were happy to hear that APQS re-designed their flagship Millennium and Freedom models to include every single feature we wanted in a Longarm. It didn’t take long to sell our renter Lenni and upgrade to a brand-new fully loaded Millennium. Here is a look at the set up of our new machine.


The New Generation of APQS Longarm Quilting Machines

As an APQS Dealer in Canada, I am always excited to tell you about new innovations to APQS machines. I am especially excited when the newest machine arrives in my studio to play with. As I mentioned this weekend, the new generation of APQS machines are now shipping and it took me all of 3 minutes to place my order. The good news for you guys… We are replacing our rental Lenni with a fully loaded Next Generation Millennium.

This means you can come in and test drive the very latest longarm quilting machine on the market. I know what you are thinking… ‘Edmonton is so far from where I live’. If that is the case and you are not able to make the drive, let me take a few minutes of your time to walk you through the newest features on the Millennium and
Freedom models.


APQS Low Bobbin Indicator
APQS Low Bobbin Indicator


APQS Thread Break Sensor
APQS Thread Break Sensor


Next Generation Multi Touch Panel
Next Generation Multi Touch Panel




For those of you that have been waiting for years and years to finally take the plunge and buy the last longarm you will ever need, the time has come.

Have a closer look by watching the video.

Give me a call to discuss your needs. 780-463-4242

Quilt Path. The excitement of Automated Quilting. The Simplicity of APQS.

As many of you know, APQS is the machine to use when simplicity really counts. Now they’ve gone and added a feature rich computer tablet that guides your machine hands-free across your quilt. The touch screen screams Ease of Use while the belt drive offers super precise stitches. You are gonna love what Quilt Path can do for you.

To top it off, APQS is releasing 15 free tutorials you can watch before you even buy Quilt Path. I’ve been watching these videos roll out and am thoroughly impressed how easily they are guiding me from totally intimidated to a Quilt Path Yogi.

How does a proficient freehand quilter get any joy out of running a computer over a quilt? Well, let me tell you. As a freehand quilter, I have a very recognizable style.

Even after taking a class with a master quilter, I never quite stitch like they instructed me, my own style manipulates the design into something unique. It is influenced by my own process. My good friend and mentor Claudia Pfeil calls this ‘Your Personal Hand-Writing’.

Today while standing in the shower, the steaming hot water pounding on my tight shoulders(no visuals please), I got to thinking. I can have Claudia quilt my daughter’s 18th birthday quilt and I don’t even have to ship it to Germany. I can go to Digitech Patterns and download her digital designs and load them on my Quilt Path. Are you with me so far?  That’s right, with a couple clicks of the mouse, I can have Claudia Pfeil quilt my quilts over and over again. Keep your eye on this blog for some of the stitch outs. She really does do amazing work 😉

APQS Quilt Path
Quilt Path. The excitement of Automated Quilting. The Simplicity of APQS.

Dawn Cavanaugh Classes at Sparrow Studioz

ANNOUNCING! Our First Guest Teacher for 2013
We are over the moon with excitement about the Teacher that will be honouring us this June with her passion for quilting.

Dawn Cavanaugh Classes – June 18-21, 2013

Pasted GraphicDawn Cavanaugh – APQS’s National Director of Education – 
Class list at the bottom of this email (Tentative dates of of June 3rd or June 17th) Let us know which works best for you by replying to this email
Since 1994, Dawn Cavanaugh’s custom freehand quilting has been winning awards for clients of her business, Rockin’ Bobbin Quilting, Inc. Her work has appeared in publications such as Century of Quilts, Quilter’s Newsletter Magazine, American Patchwork & Quilting, Leisure Arts, House of White Birches, and Fons and Porter’s Love of Quilting publications and TV shows. Dawn also designs patterns, most recently contributing to 505 Quilt Blocks by Meredith Publishing.
She has taught at Machine Quilter’s Showcase for ten years, plus Longarm University, MQ Innovations, Quilting the Quilt, Quilting on the Waterfront, Canadian Machine Quilters’ Expo, the Australian Machine Quilters Showcase, and several regional guilds. Judging machine-quilted projects in quilt shows has also kept her busy. In addition, Dawn is the National Director of Education for APQS, Carroll, Iowa.
REGISTER TODAY – Classes are filling fast
DAY 1 -AM- Tuesday June 18, 2013 10am-1pm


Machine Quilting Skills for Newbies—Practice Makes Perfect—hands on

DAY 1 -PM- Tuesday June 18, 2013 2pm-5pm


Continuous Curves for Newbies–Hands On

DAY 1 -EVE- Tuesday June 18, 2013 6pm-8pm


2-hour Lecture: Solving Tension Headaches EVENING

DAY 2 -AM- Wednesday June 19, 2013 10am-1pm


Background Gridwork Fillers – Hands On

DAY 2 -PM- Wednesday June 19, 2013 2pm-5pm


Border Designs in Half the Time — Hands On

DAY 3 -AM- Thursday June 20, 2013 10am-1pm


Best Backgrounds Design Collection–Hands On

DAY 3 -PM- Thursday June 20, 2013 2pm-5pm


Stipple No More—Backgrounds Galore — Hands On

DAY 4 -AM- Friday June 21, 2013 9am-3pm


Weave a Quilt on Your Stand Up Machine – Hands On

DAY 4 -PM- Friday June 21, 2013 4pm-7pm


3-hour Hands-on Project
Piecing On Your Stand-Up Machine — Hands On

REGISTER TODAY – Classes are filling fast

Introducing Quilt Path – APQS’s Automated Quilting System


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Quilt your masterpiece with ease and professional accuracy using Quilt Path for APQS machines. Enjoy the benefits of an automated quilting system. Quilt Path’s easy to use touch pad makes it simple for you to design and layout your project and let Quilt Path quilt it!
Although I am a freehand quilter and love it ever so much, I have installed my Quilt Path (APQS’s Computerized Quilting Tablet) on my machine and am having tons of fun getting perfect designs with very little effort. Believe me, if I can figure this one out, you’ll have no problem. The most amazing part was the install. It only took me 20 minutes to install this puppy and get it up and running. Quilt Path can be effortlessly installed on any APQS machine except George. I am filming several Quilt Path videos to show you just how easy it is to run. Here are the two quilt path videos I recorded last week showing just how easy it is to install. Come by and experience Quilt Path first hand.
Video #1
Video #2
Say this 10 times really fast… My first computerized machine quilting edge to edge all over Stitch out with my new APQS Quilt Path Stitched with Aurifil’s variegated polyester thread.

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Quilt Path is now shipping. New orders ship in 8-10 weeks. Call Matt or Bradie today to put your name in queue 780-463-4242 for your very own Quilt Path.

Who is ‘The Scissor Guy’ of the Quilting World?

A couple years ago my friend Sue Patten was sportin a pair of rainbow stainless steel scissors.Sue Patten & The Scissor Guy It was the only thing at the show I could not find to take home. Who would have thought that two years later I would have an entire wall of these bad boys in my studio. Now although I just wanted them cause they were shiny, I have since come to realize that they are oh so much more than just a pretty little springing pair of scissors. They are an efficiency tool like no other. They really do save me shit loads of time with their comfy ergonomic grip and springing action. Oh yah look at the guy in the photo with Sue. That’s Brint Fanizza. Affectionately known as The Scissor Guy


Check out this interview with Brint

I had no idea how much goes into a great pair of scissors and the passion Brint shares with the entire sewing community. Famore Cutlery is proof that doing things the hard way is by far the most rewarding of all attributes. With a world full of businesses trying to cut corners it’s nice to hear of a company with some integrity. We are very proud to support such a business as

Floating your quilt top. It’s all about control!

I prefer the full float! I float every single quilt I work on.


CONTROL! That’s why.

I feel I have much more control when my quilt top is not rolled up on the front roller.

I do not like taking a perfectly pressed and flat quilt top and roll it up on top of itself over and over. Seams rolled over seams, rolled over pressed blocks and more seams. YUCK!

Not only do I dislike the time it takes to load the quilt top, I mostly don’t like the way it behaves on the bar. I would much rather have the quilt lay flat under the top roller, making even more contact with the batting which holds it in place, square and true. To accomplish the square and true, I use a couple little tricks.

First, the C clamps.

I use these handy clamps to mark my inner borders and center of quilt with each advance.


Now that my vertical lines are in check, I move on to my horizontal seam lines. Luckily, most quilts have horizontal seams, making it very easy to keep your top square to the frame. After each advance I follow an easy 3 step process which you will learn about very soon in my upcoming videos. To subscribe to these videos go to and enter your name and email address.

The final step of this process is running my machine across the quilt to make sure my horizontal lines have not shifted or drawn up unevenly with the previous row of quilting.

it is a very simple process I’m sure you will have no problem following. Videos coming soon, VERY SOON!