“Let’s go and say we went!” That’s something I remember my dad saying…this week has been a whirlwind but oh sew much fun. Time to settle in for “the rest of the story” in true rambler style.
And She’s Off! To Utah That Is
On the morning of Friday, July 13th I awoke to an email inviting me to fly to Utah as a guest on Quilt It! The Longarm Quilting Show with Jodie Davis, filming on Tuesday, August 8th. Seems one of the presenters had to back out at the last minute and the producers hoped that I would be able to fill the spot. Would I ever! What an opportunity. So I packed my bags and away I went!
The flight was uneventful, even though I had to catch a connecting flight in Dallas before my final destination of Salt Lake City. I entertained myself with my iPad music list, people watching, and lots of social media. Thanks to those of you who kept up with me this past week – it was so much fun to have an audience and cheerleaders for the full adventure!
Before I knew it, the hotel shuttle was dropping me off at HandiQuilter headquarters where the show would be filmed over the course of the week. Filming was to start on Tuesday morning with three presenters a day doing two 15-20 minute episodes running through Friday. I’m not sure how much I am allowed to share about topics and guests – but I can say Season 8 is going to be fabulous!
I enjoyed my sneak preview of “the set” and briefing on what would be happening the following morning. A nice relaxing dinner with Jodie and Brenda Groez, Director of Marketing and Education at HandiQuilter, at the Texas Roadhouse (weren’t they sweet to make me feel right at home), then it was off to my hotel for a good night’s sleep. Oh my goodness! The hotel suite was bigger than my current RV living conditions during post-Hurricane Harvey reconstruction! Yep – this was going to be a good week!
Tuesday morning the hotel shuttle again delivered me to the HandiQuilter facilities along with one of the other presenters. I think I was talking so much to her and the driver that I forgot to really take in the beautiful mountains surrounding the area. Sometimes my rambling gets me distracted – but there’s only so much time in a day to get to meet new people and I thought that more important than the scenery. First stop – makeup!
After Kathy had me all dolled up I had a little time on my hands so I wandered around – our makeup session was actually in one of the HQ classrooms. And goodness was there a lot of quilter’s eye candy! Quilts hanging everywhere! I wish I could have taken a photo of each one – many were made as challenges by the HandiQuilter Educators while others were purchased for the corporate collection. I felt as if I were in a private showing of a quilt gallery!
Quiet On The Set
My filming was scheduled to be part one before lunch and part two after lunch. Things don’t always go as planned but that was fine with me, as I like to say good Texans eat at high noon and the time change had me wondering when do we eat? If you kept up with things on social media you saw the spread laid out before me! Wow, I’ve never seen such a large flour tortilla available to fill to my little heart’s desire. Yep, they sure know how to treat you right in Utah! Oh, and in case you are wondering – I know myself and how much of a calamity jane (sounds nicer than klutz) I can be so I did change out of my “movie making” clothes to avoid any food stains (grin). My makeup artist Kathy was proud of me! She had to only do a little makeup refreshing after my scrumptious lunch!
I neglected to mention that the filming crew consisted of professionals from F & W Media, including Executive Producer of the Crafts Division, Ginger Tatic who was also my initial contact and go to person for this adventure. Ginger is such a sweetie, I loved watching her get everything prepped and ready for our shoot.
I truly could have spent all day just talking with Jodie, Brenda, and Ginger – they are such interesting people, and so gracious. Jodie is a natural as a host – she knows just how to keep things flowing and focused on topic – I’m sure she had to work double time to keep this rambler on track! She promised me we’d have fun, which I had no doubt we would, but she didn’t tell me how easy she was to talk to! Truly, instead of feeling like I was teaching to a viewing audience or being nervous in front of a camera (or three!) she had me focused in on our conversation as I shared my take on formal feathers. I felt as comfortable as if I were sharing with her in my own studio. If you ask me, I think she’s the real talent of the show!
That’s a Wrap!
Was that fast?! That was fast! All too soon the producer was giving Jodie the cue to wrap it up. Wow! Two episodes filmed just like that! I think we only had to do one section again but pretty much I just rambled non-stop and filled up my allotted time (grin).
Thank you HandiQuilter for the use of your fabulous longarm, The HQ Forte quilted like a dream! And for the hot pink thread – which matched my shirt and nails – it looked great on my sample! Oh, I can’t wait to see the episodes! Not just mine but I had the opportunity to sit in for the filming of the first episode of one of the other presenters. I promise you are in for a treat – the line up is extraordinary! I’m humbled to have been included. As I like to say second fiddle is still in the orchestra!
Behind the Scenes
Brenda had promised me a tour of the HandiQuilter headquarters after my taping. All I can say is wow. Wow. WOW! I’ve always been a good field trip momma and love nothing better than a look behind the scenes. The front offices are massive with areas for customer service, accounting, education, executives, and a secret room filled with engineers for research and development! And did I mention that every hallway and every office had quilts covering every inch of available wall space? It would take multiple blog posts to chronical the massive collection.
Brenda noted that there were over a hundred employed at headquarters including the production team in the warehouse (I didn’t ask how many quilts). I actually saw a wall map of the United States with thumbtacks marking the location of each HandiQuilter dealer and retailer – AND there was a world map with the same notations! I had no idea the world reach of this company and their array of longarms. Totally impressed! And did I happen to mention how much I enjoyed stitching out my sample prior to filming as well as on camera! A sweet machine that Forte!
That’s All Folks
All too soon my day was over and it was time to say goodbye to the HandiQuilter headquarters. Ah, but the evening was young! Several of the other presenters had arrived for their filming the following days and we were all treated to a fabulous dinner. It was so much fun to listen to the stories of the other gals – many are HandiQuilter Educators and they had tales of travels and teaching all over the world. I noticed firsthand how they were truly a tribe and had such a good rapport with each other – dinner felt like I was crashing a family reunion and made to feel welcome. But truly, isn’t that just the way it is among quilters!
Thank you Quilt It!, HandiQuilter, Jodie, Ginger, Brenda and all my new friends – I had a wonderful time in Utah! Truly an adventure of a lifetime. I’m sure our paths will cross again!
This is Karen Overton, The Quilt Rambler, stay tuned for details of the delays!
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