Roberta W. was the lucky winner of a new Millie longarm quilting machine in fall 2017. With nearly two years of quilting on her Millie machine under her belt, we gave her a call to see what’s she’s been up to since the big win.
For Roberta W., winning a Millie longarm machine in the fall 2017 APQS Quilt Forever Contest meant she could continue to do what she loved – quilting. After a hand surgery, she was unable to hand quilt, and the new Millie quilting machine allowed her to get back to her passion.
Roberta was at her full-time job as an office manager when she received the call from APQS Customer Service & Education Director Dawn Cavanaugh that she had won a brand-new Millie machine valued at $19,695. Her excitement was evident when Dawn gave her the good news.
The mother of four and grandmother to seven is still stunned she won.
“I come in everyday and go ‘I can’t believe it.’ I absolutely love it,” Roberta said.
Roberta has been quilting for 15 years. She started making wedding quilts when her kids began getting married. She hand-quilted wedding quilts for her nephews and nieces as well.
In fact, she quilted so much that she wore out the joint on her right hand and needed surgery. After that, she started paying someone to do machine quilting.
“I thought, ‘one day I’ll have a longarm.’ I had a room for it to fit in, but it was always a ‘someday…’” Roberta said.
That someday arrived when Roberta picked up Dawn’s call.
Based in Pocatello, Idaho, Roberta established her own business, Sew Lucky, when her new Millie was delivered. Still working at an HVAC office as she has done for 18 years, she hasn’t started the business side yet. Once she becomes more confident in her quilting, she hopes to quilt for others.
Once the Millie was set up in her home, she started practicing with different swirls and patterns. She gave her first two completed quilts away for charity to a women’s shelter.
“They weren’t beautiful, but they were warm, so I’m sure they’ll appreciate them,” Roberta said.
Since then, she’s gotten a lot of practice and has been pushing herself to try things outside her comfort zone. She has been watching APQS YouTube videos to do much of that.
“I’m excited to do the quilting myself and complete the project from start to finish – right down to the binding,” Roberta said. “I love that I can do that.”
Overall, she’s been thrilled with her Millie and the support APQS provides. When her longarm’s needle holder came loose, it only took a couple phone calls over her lunch break to fix it. An APQS support team member walked Roberta and her husband through the process, and now it works exactly how intended.
“The help was really magnificent,” Roberta said. “They were very supportive and thorough. It worked out great, and it’s working like a charm now.”
In addition to growing her quilting business, Roberta is looking forward to quilting with her two granddaughters.
“I love to see it go from generation to generation,” Roberta said. “It’s awesome to have my longarm. I have sincere gratitude for it.”