"FatBacks!"® Christian Lane Quilter's Story  
Wilma Cogliantry & Jim Cogliantry- Professional Longarm Quilters - Berlin, CT

FatBack® Wilma Cogliantry Christian Lane Quilters Trademark "FatBacks!" QUEEN Quilt Back.   

Quilting Now Magazine - Christian Lane Quilters


Jim and Wilma Cogliantry of Berlin, CT, are prolific, having quilted almost 4,000 quilts!
Wilma said, “Although Jim is an extremely good quilter who can make even a not-so-great quilt top turn out very well, I think his greatest talent is his ability to believe in me for 36 years.”

They met in 1968 at a technical school that taught hand engraving, jewelry making and clock repair. They both received degrees in hand engraving, and Jim obtained a jeweler’s degree. The skills they learned were not used at the time because Jim was drafted; however those skills did end up being extremely helpful because of their similarities to quilting.

Wilma began hand quilting in 1967. She said, “I didn’t care about piecing quilts. I was only interested in quilting wholecloth quilts.”

She continued to hand quilt after they were married in 1970 and started raising a family. When Wilma would talk about her quilting she thought Jim was tuning her out most of the time. To her surprise Jim was absorbing everything she had to say.

“I sure didn’t know that he knew what ‘grainline’ was until I overheard him explaining it to a customer at a quilt show!” she said.

Eventually Jim became a tool and die maker and Wilma worked as a purchasing agent for a manufacturing company. Once again, they were both learning skills that would lead them to a successful business.

While reading her quilting magazines, the ads for longarm quilting machines started to draw Wilma’s attention. The longarms fascinated her even though she had never machine quilted on a domestic sewing machine.

“I could see that quilting with a longarm machine was like hand engraving, tattooing, or drawing. The surface was stationary, and the tool moved.”

At that time, Wilma knew she wanted one and thought it might be something she could do when she retired. Jim and Wilma took a drive to a dealer and when they walked into the showroom, Wilma said, “A light beamed down from a window. That light shining on that practice piece of muslin hooked me.”

When Wilma bought the longarm machine and quit her job, Jim said he panicked.

“I frequently told her that she was going to put us in the" Poor House," but I have learned to have complete confidence in her business instincts,” he said. “She also has impeccable taste in the patterns and threads she chooses for the quilts that I quilt.”

The Cogliantry’s new business grew very quickly and four years later, when Jim lost his job, they purchased a second Gammill Classic longarm machine. Wilma quilts all of the custom quilts while he quilts all of the edge-to-edge quilts. They also created a Web site and began selling wide quilt backing fabric, wholecloth quilt kits, and developed their exclusive product, FatBacks!®

What makes this quilting couple click? Wilma likes to say they don’t really work together because she is much too bossy. They treat it like a regular job, meeting in the morning to discuss whatever jobs are on the schedule for the day. Walkie-talkies are used to communicate between the separate studios. Wilma works in the top floor of her home where customers can see their quilts displayed on a bed. Her machine is in the second room which allows her to show customers how quilting on a longarm machine differs from domestic machine quilting and hand quilting. Jim’s studio is in the lower level. This is also where they store 3,000 bolts of wide backing fabrics.

The couple explained, “We love working together because we love each other and we love what we do. We are amazed that circumstances which have been beyond our control have brought us to this stage of our lives.”

On November 6, 2007, the United States Patent & Trademark office awarded registration on the Supplemental Register of the mark, "FatBacks!"® to Wilma Cogliantry of Christian Lane Quilters in Berlin, Connecticut (Reg. No. 3,333,057).  A FatBack!® is a distinct queen-sized quilt backing product for use when sewing a queen-sized quilt.  The goods associated with the mark, "FatBacks!"®, were developed by Wilma Cogliantry and her husband over the course of several years.  The trademark was successfully prosecuted by SFMS attorneys.  For further information on the prosecution of this trademark, please contact Karen Leser-Grenon (kleser@sfmslaw.com / tel. 866-540-5505).

Christian Lane Quilters Queen-sized "FatBacks!"® are at least 108" wide and are three and one-quarter (117") yards long. The extra 1/4 yard makes it possible to mount a Queen-sized quilt top properly on a longarm machining machine.  A FatBack!® is priced at three yards.  The extra 1/4 yard is free.


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