WELCOME to TRILLIUM HOUSE DESIGNS!
My name is Darlene Epp, and I've been hooked on quilting since I first wandered into a local Quilt Show in 1990. I knew within a few minutes that I'd found my life's passion. I've always loved fabric, color & texture and had been sewing my own clothes since I was 12 years old, but dreaded altering the patterns to fit my "after children" body!
Quilts are flat, or they're supposed to be, and they always fit! That's all I needed to know to change the focus of my sewing.
SO.....I joined a quilt guild, where all the little "old" ladies called me "dear". I learned to hand quilt and knew I didn't enjoy it! After trying machine quilting on my domestic sewing machine & injuring my shoulder to the point where it was frozen for almost a year, I discovered "longarm" machines. That was in 1997 and I've been on an exciting journey ever since.
Little did I know that my attempt to pay for my first machine with customer quilting would take me to places I'd never even imagined! ME? Teach? Never! ME? Author books on machine quilting designs? Are you kidding?! ME? Become a dealer for the APQS machine I owned and loved? Ludicrous! ME?Llearn to use a computer? HUH?! ME? learn to digitize designs for the newcomputerize systems? That would have to be the OTHER ME; the one that always wished I was an artist like my cousins. But I never got ANY of those genes!
It's a good thing we don't get to plan our own destiny based on what we know we can't do!
In June of 1997, I began quilting for customers, but it was slow going in an area that had only negative things to report on the limited amount of "professional" machine quilting they'd seen before I got my machine. So I started to teach beginner classes on piecing to make the machine payments; beginner classes whose students would need someone to quilt their top once it was done. (Sneaky huh?!) After a year I had to give up the teaching and after 2 years I stopped taking on any new customers because my repeat and referral business was so strong.
In September of 1999 I began teaching "Perfecting the Pantograph", a class I designed for Longarm University in Seattle, WA. After 15 months of traveling, I decided to stay home and teach in my own studio. My dear hubby said "If you build it, they will come." And they did!
In March of 2000 I released The Pocket Guides to Freehanding . Little did I know how these 3 little books would be received in the machine quilting community. They are now sold in quilt shops across North America, taught by other teachers in machine quilting workshops, and recommended by well-known international machine quilting teachers. NO ONE is more surprised or grateful than I am! In the spring of 2006 I added Heirloom Feathers ~ Freehand, Formal & Fanciful to the line of Pocket Guides.
In September of 2000 I became a Sales Representative forAmerican Professional Quilting Systems. This was the machine I chose when I purchased my first machine in 1997 and I was honored to be asked to represent their products. It also gave me a chance to upgrade my machine to the incredible APQS Millennium, which I'd been drooling over at the big machine quilting shows. I was in heaven! Or at least as close to it as I thought I could get on this earth!
In 2001 I started a mail order supply company called "LongarmSupplies.com", providing patterns, thread, books, training DVDs etc. to the longarm machine quilting community. I sold that part of my business in September of 2006 and moved from Abbotsford, BC to Chilliwack, BC the next month. It was time for a new focus; one where I wasn't "on call" 24/7.
In 2001 I was invited to teach at a new show in Duluth, MN called "Quilting the Quilt 2002", which is now called "Quilting on the Waterfront". The next year I was invited to teach at Machine Quilter's Showcase in Springfield, IL. I taught there in 2003 & 2004 and also at the big Canadian Machine Quilting show near Toronto, Ontatio. I loved the teaching and the students, but the traveling & stress were not kind to me and I again decided to limit my teaching to my home studio.
Then along came computerized quilting and I was on yet another exciting journey. In the summer of 2006 I met Suzanne Moreno and learned to digitize patterns. This was VERY exciting as I had purchased a CompuQuilter the previous year and really wanted to digitize my own patterns for it.
Another passion was born! AND another website ~ THIS one! I hope you enjoy wandering around here. Please contact me if you have any comments or suggestions.
If you don't see what you're looking for, please send me a note from the Contact Me page.
GONE QUILTING! ~ Darlene Epp