Mineral Wells Index, Mineral Wells, TX

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January 24, 2014

Stitching the community together

By TYLER MASK

Growing up, Connie Holland was surrounded by people who loved to sew, particularly her aunt and grandmother, who taught her the tricks of the trade. Her desire to finally open a quilting business began nearly 10 years ago as a dream that came into fruition last August as Hen House Quilts, located at 339 Millsap Highway.

In the quilting business there are two main ways to stitch a quilt together. The first way is by hand, and the second is through a process known as machine-quilting. The backbone of Holland’s machine-quilting business lies in a computer-powered tool called the long arm.

“The long arm is where you put the top of the quilt with some batting in the middle, and then a backing,” Holland said. “Then you sew them together, which is where the long arming comes in. Some people hand [stitch], but I do it by machine.”

What’s more, the benefits of machine-quilting seem nearly limitless.

“I can do different designs with my computer,” Holland said. “Like my western quilts, I can do western themes. If it’s a football quilt, I can do football themes.

“I can do a theme, whereas hand-quilters don’t usually do that. [Hand-quilting] is strictly an old-fashioned way of [quilting] and it’s nice – super nice – and those are very expensive quilts too because it takes a lot of time.”

According to Holland, there are two major benefits to machine-quilting. One, machine-quilting is consistent.

Holland is able to create the exact same design as many times as she wants.

Two, the amount of time it takes to stitch the sandwich (the three parts of a quilt minus the binding) is shortened to a matter of hours compared to hand-quilting, which can take months.

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