Category Archives: Long Arm Quilting Machines

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.



A new breed of quilter & the cutest Miniature Pinscher Puppy EVER

Is it just me or is there a new breed of quilter emerging? Seems to me that more and more of the clients walking in to Sparrow Studioz to rent our longarms are new quilters. Just a short year ago, we spent most of our time convincing veteran quilters that finishing their quilts on a longarm was not only acceptable but fast and effective too.

As I sent an email out to our list this morning, I realized that many of our clients are eager new quilters. They don’t need to be convinced that saving time is a good thing. That seems to be the first lesson they learn when taking our beginner longarm class.

I thought I should share that email with all my blog readers in case you were wondering what I’ve been up to when I’m not quilting.

Here goes Nothing.

No, I’m not talking about the fact that I bought my daughter a puppy & Bradie is going to kill me!

Here’s the scoop. In our last newsletter I announced that our pre-paid (silver & gold) packages come with a (brand new) FREE class.

I made the

Miniature Pinscher Puppy Pic
Miniature Doberman Pinscher Puppy Pic

mistake of limiting it to two classes and have been turning people away left right and center. We have been overwhelmed with sign-ups and although we had originally only scheduled two classes, we are extending this sale and booking several more Freestyle Quilting Classes to accommodate everyone that is interested.

This is the perfect class to learn how to disguise troubled piecing. As many of you know, no quilt is perfect and there are NO quilt police at Sparrow Studioz. We honor the time and love you put into every quilt. We are here to help you effortlessly finish your quilts, without judgement. Did you know that many of our renters finish 3-4 small quilts in a single session. No kidding!

Here is another look at the free class…

FreeStyle Quilting – 3 hours $150 Experience the front of the machine like never before. Let me show you how to choose fast, simple designs that add texture and character to those quilts that require a quick little something to get them on and off the frame in no time at all. Learn how to get in and out of corners without hesitation. Move from one side of the quilt to the other in no time flat! Let me show you the difference between pantograph and freestyle quilting. You will love the amount of control you gain by looking down at your quilt instead of at the pantograph.

Here is a look at the pre-paid packages…

Save BIG with our Prepaid Packages – Reg price is $20/hr
Bronze $250 – Save 10% (Hourly rate is $18) 14 hours of quilting time.
Silver $500 – Save 20% (Hourly rate is $16) 31.25 hours of quilting time.
Gold $1000 – Save 30% (Hourly rate is $14) 71.5 hours of quilting time.
SPECIAL ANNOUNCEMENT – You can share the Gold Package with a friend!


While I have you here let me make a couple announcements…

Bradie just ordered TWELVE bolts of Hobbs 80/20 Heirloom batting. I said TWO bolts not TWELVE I yelled! To be quite honest, I would prefer to sell you guys batting at $22/M. Bradie on the other hand actually likes saving you guys money. She is pre-selling the first ten bolts for $299/ea. That works out to less than $10/yrd. Call her soon to reserve your bolt.

Bradie also ordered the entire line of GLIDE thread. That’s 180 magnificent colors. AND I get first dibs 😛


Claudia Pfeil’s Quilts now on display as her August classes quickly approach. Have you signed up yet?

Not sure how to quilt your top? The design possibilities are endless. Bring your quilt tops and notebooks to class and let Claudia dissect your quilt block by block giving you tons of ideas and inspiration. You may never look at quilts the same again.
Check out all her funtabulous classes here


Did I tell you about the sale that APQS just announced on their top of the line Millennium & Freedom Quilting Machines?

$3400 Cash Discount on new Millennium & Freedom models which include Motorized Feed and QuiltGlide.
Download our Machine Brochure here

You could be quilting in your Pajamas or less while watching TV! Just sayin…

Festival of Quilts, Heritage Park Saturday & Sunday • May 26 & 27

17th Annual Festival of Quilts
Festival of Quilts, Heritage Park
1900 Heritage Dr SW Calgary, Alberta
Saturday & Sunday • May 26 & 27, 2012 9:30am – 5:00pm

APQS Dealer, Matt Sparrow from Sparrow Studioz in Edmonton is bringing his show floor to Calgary & area quilters. Join him in Booth 105-106 where you can test-drive an APQS Millennium, LENNI & George in the vendor’s mall, talk machine maintenance or read all about the great longarm classes they offer at Sparrow Studioz for beginners thru to advanced owners of all brands of mid-arm & longarm quilting machines.

Want to know what to pay attention to when shopping for a longarm? Come by Matt’s booth and grab a comparison chart.

Wondering how things might turn out if you own a longarm? There is only one way to find out and it all starts with a test-drive.

Calgary Alberta – Heritage Park – Festival of Quilts – May 28-29

It is my pleasure to participate in the Merchants Mall this year at Heritage Park’s Festival of Quilts. The Festival takes place at Heritage Park Historical Village in Calgary, AB – Saturday, May 28th and Sunday, May 29th 2011. The event plays host to exhibitors, merchants, demonstrators, guilds and thousands of quilt enthusiasts for a weekend devoted to the craft and art of quilts.

I am very excited to bring Sparrow Studioz to the merchant Mall. The last vendor’s mall I participated in (as Manquilter.Com) was in the Creative Stitches show in both Calgary and Edmonton. I was extremely dissapointed at the Calgary show as 3/4 of the booths were dedicated to scrapbooking. Not sure where the word ‘stitches’ fits in there but I have recently learned the reason for the lack of a quilty presence in Calgary. Edmonton on the other hand was a much better show with lots and lots of quilters encouraging the growth of the quilted crafts by coming out and supporting the vendors.

What am I brining to the event next weekend you ask?

Why my buddies GEORGE and LENNI of course!

Who is George you ask?

George is a space-saving stationary APQS machine with an amazing 20″ of throat space. George uses the same sewing components & belt-driven technology as our other machines but in a smaller, basic package. A fast, affordable way to move to a professional longarm machine without sacrificing quality. Warranty: 8-year (96-months) parts/labor.

APQS George portable longarm quilting machine
APQS George Complete quilting system

Although I look like an extremely happy George owner, looks can be deceiving.

Although George is in my Studio, it is only temporary as this little man belongs to a brand new APQS owner in Cochrane, AB. She has graciously allowed me to use her new portable longarm to demo in my booth at Heritage Park next weekend. I’ve been having a blast playing with her new toy even if I lack any skill at all. OMG did my first samples look terrible. It didn’t take me long to realize I needed practice, practice and more practice.

So what does a longarm quilter do when they want to improve their skills?

Easy! They take a class. Seeing as how I teach a Longarm Quilting Class at Sparrow Studioz, I decided I just might be the best teacher for the job. So off to my filing cabinet I went to dig out my Muscle Memory handout. After only twenty minutes I could see a noticeable improvement. I plan to spend at least an hour/day practicing my muscle memory so I look somewhat competent while demo’ing the George in my booth this weekend. Drop by my booth and see how much I have improved after only one week. You can meet George and I’ll tell you everything about him while you sit and sew. Bring your husband along as he may want to remind you later how well built APQS machines look. In the mean time, watch Claudia Clark Meyers (who just happens to use the APQS George long-arm quilting system to machine quilt her projects) kick ass with George.

2011 APQS Huge Sale on Demo Models

2011 APQS Demo Models

Optional Bliss Upgrade available for all machines including LENNI!! Only $1,000

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)
8-year warranty
Machine Value $20,000 – Sale Price – $16,000

Demo Freedom SR with Standard Table (10′, 12′, or 14′ foot table)
$1,800 cash off
Free Quilt Glide ($1250 value)
Free Motorized Fabric Advance ($1350 value)
8-year warranty
Machine Value $19,400 – Sale Price – $15,000

Demo Lucey on NEW Standard Table (10′ or 12′ foot Table)
$1,100 cash off
8-year warranty
Machine Value $11,900 – Sale Price – $10,800

Demo Lenni on NEW Standard Table (10′ or 12′ foot Table)
$1,100 cash off
8-year warranty
Machine Value $10,900 – Sale Price – $9,800

APQS Sit Down Longarm Quilting All Beefed Up!

Just when you thought you’d seen everything APQS has to offer, they go and beef up their game.

Personally, I have always thought of the long arm quilting machine to be of the stand up for variety, where the machine rides on a table. This is not necessarily always the case. There is also the long arm quilting machine that you sit down at to quilt. As I meet with more and more quilters, looking to take their quilting to the next level, I realize there is a huge market for sit down long arm quilting machines. As a sales rep for American Professional Quilting Systems, I am just a little bit excited to see that APQS has made huge improvements on their sit down model, the George.

The complete George portable quilting system down to a very affordable $6400 US.

The New and Improved APQS George

The all-new George features bright view LED lights that illuminate over 200 in.² of your quilts surface for great visibility. They have also added a second model of table that brings the price of the complete George portable quilting system down to a very affordable $6400 US. Now you can own a sitdown long arm quilting machine with all the great features and superior stitch quality that APQS is famous for.

The George is perfect for any quilter tired of struggling to squeeze quilts through a small standard sewing machine. You will love the expansive 20″ throat space. This space-saving machine produces superior stitches and is perfect for art quilts with beautiful, intricate detail. George uses the same sewing components & belt-driven technology as our other machines but in a smaller, more basic package. It is a fast, affordable way to move into professional long-arm machine quilting without sacrificing the APQS quality.

Whether you want to take George to your next quilting retreat or you’re just short on space, this table makes machine quilting even easier. Never worry about scrunching up and wrestling with your quilt sandwich again. George has 20 inches of throat space so you can even conquer king-size quilts with ease. The smooth-surfaced portable table lets the quilt glide easily and has rounded corners so your quilt won’t catch as you’re moving it. With ample room to the left and behind the needle, your quilt won’t bunch up in the throat like other sit-down machines. The table measures 24” x 60” and adjusts in height from 22” to 32” to help you quilt without raising your shoulders uncomfortably like standard tables.

APQS George Sit Down Quilting Machine
APQS George Sit Down Quilting Machine

The table legs fold up completely for storage. A clear view table insert is standard and gives you great visibility when changing the bobbin. George’s Smart Bobbin, Gentle Touch Tensioner, and simple thread path mean you can even use delicate threads or specialty threads on your project. George’s touch-sensitive foot pedal lets you place stitches precisely where you want them, even one stitch at a time! The single stitch needle positioner and motor speed control help you customize your quilting experience to your personal style.

The beefed up model of the APQS George will start shipping in just a couple short weeks. Now is your chance to get on the list  to be the first to receive the George on the movable table. A $500 fully refundable deposit will ensure you are one of the very first quilters  to fall in love with the all-new George.

Call me today at 780-463-4242 to reserve your spot in line.

Moving to a new Studio! Girls Gone Wild!

I feel all grown up as I get ready to move out. No I’m not going to college, although my days WILL be filled with hormonal women. Just not the ‘girls gone wild’ type you’re sure to find at college. We all know there’s a difference between girls gone wild and women gone wild. I know my classes are going to be exciting and we’ll soon find out just how excited quilter’s can get! Right! Reminds me of a little Louis C.K. stand-up I saw the other day.

I just leased a small space for my quilting studio. It is twnety minutes from home and there is plenty of room for my students. It will also be the home of ManQuilter’s APQS Showroom where you’ll be able to test drive a longarm quilting machine any time of day.

I am signing the lease tomorrow so I’ll keep you up to date on my progress. There is a very good chance my APQS Beginner’s Class (Aug 17th) will be held in my new studio. :):):):):):)

Come and See me At Quilt Canada 2010 in Calgary

Yesterday I  loaded my Manquilter mobile to the roof with long arm quilting machines to make the three hour drive south from Edmonton.  This was all for today, when I will be setting up the APQS booth at Quilt Canada 2010 in Calgary Alberta. The show doesn’t officially begin until Wednesday, so be sure to stop by and test drive an APQS Millennium or Lenni while you’re there. You do not want to miss out on these crazy deals that Heidi has authorized for the show. Here are just  a few more reasons to come and check out your new APQS long arm quilting machine….

Quilt Canada 2010 – Show Specials-2

You can find out more about Quilt Canada 2010 at their website. See you there!