Thanks Karen and Ben!

Karen and Ben Zandstra in Port Dover provide 2 very valuable services to the quilters in our area. And they so very generously donated long arm quilting on a quilt and a machine maintenance session as door prizes for our meeting last night. Kathryn G and Jeanne K were the lucky winners.

Here is Ben’s story:

“Hi everyone, For those that don’t know me, my name is Ben Zandstra, owner of Sewtech Services here in Port Dover. I was approached by my oldest daughter, Amy, a few years ago to do the training to become a technician for the BabyLock dealership at Kindred Spirits, in St Catherines. I spent a week in June of 2019 at BabyLock headquarters in the States to get my initial training. Shortly after that I began taking in machines locally as well as being the technician for Kindred Spirits. My background is in the farming and transportation industry so this was the perfect fit. In my first few years I have taken on lots of different makes and models of domestic machines as well as sergers , featherweights and recently large embroidery machines. I have continued my training through zoom classes through the pandemic and I am presently attending training for Handi Quilter longarm machines in Toronto.

When you bring me your machine, a full service includes removing all the covers as you see in the pictures in order to give it a full cleaning. I also check belts, timing, needle clearance, upper and lower tension and lube, whatever needs to be done. I do a test swatch of straight stitching and decorative stitches to double check the working of the machine as well as the tension.
I have recently retired from my day job so now I can focus totally on this small business. Thank you everyone who had supported me thus far in this business.”

Here is Karen’s story:

Hi everyone,
“For those that don’t know me, I am Karen Zandstra the owner of Dream Big Quilting here in Port Dover. My longarm business began the fall of 2019 and has had a few great start up years. I do computerised edge-to-edge (E2E) designs for the most part. I am just venturing into the computerised custom work and hope to gain enough confidence to offer ruler work and free motion work down the road. I also offer services like basting, machine binding and piecing the backs for my clients. I carry the Hobbs 80/20 batting as an option for my clients or you are free to bring your own.
I have been involved in the quilting world for over 30 years, including running a small home based shop from the spring of ‘04 to the end of 2010. I have taught many classes for Quilt Junction, a zoom class for Kindred Spirits and have been involved in local guilds over the years.
My jump into longarming happened shortly after the loss of my younger sister who showed many how to live each day to the fullest throughout her cancer journey. Life is too short not to follow your dreams- hence the name “Dream Big”.

Thank you those who have supported me in this first few years. Very much appreciated!”

We would also like to thank Karen for leading us this year on our Scrap Sewciety BOM. She simplified the directions for us every month! And we look forward to seeing everyone’s completed quilts next September!