Beth Wills


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I have not, nor have I ever been able to take classes, travel to seminars or belong to neighborhood quilting clubs or quilds. I worked the night shift and had “days off” during the week. No one wanted to teach me to quilt or give a class at 3:00 AM when I was awake and sewing through my “day off”. So, I read magazines, books and more books. With the advent of the internet and YouTube, learning to quilt on your own would be a more manageable task. When I first started, I was all by myself – making lots of mistakes and making lots and lots of quilts for my family. Getting old is not for the faint of heart! Having old joints before your time is not so much fun either. As it became more painfully clear that crawling around on the floor to baste a quilt was no longer possible I started to look at alternative methods to “keep on quilting”. My first foray into frame quilting was with a popular wooden frame on which I put a great sewing machine with a “huge” 9 inch throat. I also at this time, introduced myself to computer assisted quilting. It didn’t take too long before I figured out that this gorgeous machine with the 9” throat was going to give me approximately 4” of quilting space once the finished quilt roll began to take up some of the space in the throat of that machine. I made a LOT of quilts with that particular set-up. I made lots and lots of those 4” passes of the machine, each and every pass wishing I had a machine with a larger throat. And, because I was having so much fun with the computer assisted end of frame quilting, I knew that I needed a larger machine that had computer guided capabilities. I spent hours dreaming about gorgeous feathers and other elegant edge to edge designs. I also dreamt about the possibility of a stitch regulator! When it became possible for me to start looking for this dream machine, I traveled across the state to try out various machines. I positively KNEW that I had found the machine for me when I got a chance to see a HQ Sixteen with a HQ Pro-Stitcher demonstrated. I was able to make the transition from my old set-up to the HQ Sixteen on a Professional Frame and QuilTable with ease. The ProStitcher, while different from the computer system I had used in the past, was not so different that many of the tasks felt almost intuitive. As per my past history, I have not attended any classes or seminars. I have just about every video that HQ has put out in an attempt to learn the machine. And, due to my recent history of having to spend months in a wheel chair recovering from some orthopedic surgery, I am reacquainting myself with my machine and HQ Pro-Stitcher. I am so happy to be able to be back on my feet, back at my frame and learning something new each and every time I finish a quilt. I love my HQ Sixteen with the HQ Pro-Stitcher!

I own the following HQ machines: HQ Pro-Stitcher, HQ Sixteen

Kimberly Gibson

Me with my HQ18 Avante

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My HQ Story begins with a few things my parents taught me: -Work hard and don’t depend on anyone else to take care of you. -Don’t pay someone to do a job you can do yourself. -Find some time to do the things that make you happy. -Staying busy helps you live longer. I started begging my mother to teach me to sew at age 11. She was a patient woman, and helped me learn the basics. As I became proficient at sewing, as a young adult I developed an interest in quilting. Since Mother didn’t quilt, most of my quilting was trial and error or learning from books, but I loved it, and it didn’t take me long to decide that my hobby would always be sewing and quilting. As I finished a quilt top, I would think back to the ‘do it yourself if you can’ advice and do the quilting by hand. This, over the years, evolved into quilting on my sewing machine. In the beginning, I was satisfied with my machine quilting, but as my skills in piecing advanced, I became obsessed with getting my quilting stitches even. I knew that someday I would want to own a stitch-regulated long arm quilting machine, but my first priority was raising our three kids and putting them through college (as my parents did for me.) I chose to put my dream on hold for awhile, continuing to make quilts and quilt them on my sewing machine, all the while stashing a little money here and there for a long arm, and dreaming of someday starting a long arm quilting business. I am happy to say that all three achieved college degrees, and my husband and I wouldn’t have done it any other way. Now it was my turn. I decided it was time to get what I had wanted for years—my own long arm quilter. As I began researching, I saw on the Handi Quilter website that HQ would have a machine set up at a quilt show in Las Cruces, New Mexico, about two hours from me. I went just to look and get ideas, but instantly fell in love with the HQ18 Avante and purchased it on the spot. (There were other brands there, too, but none compared to the HQ!) Within a couple of weeks, my new purchase was set up in my den, ready to go. Since then, I have added the extended base and several other Handi Gadgets. So here I am in my 29th year of teaching, balancing work, being a grand-parent, and learning to quilt on my HQ18 Avante. I love the way it was easy to learn, thanks to the wonderful DVD’s and Customer Support staff! It glides over the quit top and produces the most beautiful stitches. I am in Heaven when I am at my machine, honing my skills, and dreaming of starting my own little business (here’s where the ‘keeping busy in your golden years’ advice kicks in.) When I DO decide to retire from a rewarding career as an educator, I hope to already be quilting for others and supplementing my retirement income. I am thankful for my business-minded husband, who is excited about helping with that side of this endeavor. So, hopefully, the lessons my parents taught me will be fulfilled with my Avante. My goal is to stay active and supplement my retirement income someday by doing what I love. Thanks, Handi Quilter!!! 

I own the following HQ machine: HQ18 Avante

Laural

Me with my featherweight.

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I first sewed on the HQ Sixteen at the Houston Quilt Market in 2007. It was my first time at market and my first time sewing on the HQ. I couldn't get out of the seat. I let the rest of the girls continue with the show while I drew pumpkins, swirls, my name. I got in a zone and didn't want to leave it. My dreams of purchasing and building a hand guided quilting business were put on hold when early in 2008 my 45 year old husband was diagnosed with stage 4 brain cancer. I put all things aside including my love of quilting to take care of him. He fought valiantly and in March of 2010 he lost his battle with cancer. Through the fog of my grief I have had to find a way to support what's left of my family. I decided to go back to what I loved, and in December of 2010 I went back to the handi quilter dealer in our area sat back down at that HQ Sixteen and decided to part with very precious resources so that I could continue a dream that had started so long ago in Houston.

I own the following HQ machine: HQ Sweet Sixteen

Pamela Boesch

Pam

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It started many years ago for me. My husband and I went to an Amish quilt show and I fell in love at that moment. I could not afford to purchase one of those beautiful handmade quilts for myself but the dream of having one has always been there. In 2006 I finally thought I can do this myself. So I bought a kit and made my first quilt. Since then I have made at least 25. The sizes have varied from Queen to Lap and baby. I have tried top quilting on my home sewing machine but found that I could not move them around because of issues with shoulders. I have had surgery on both shoulders for torn rotator cuffs. I have also tried hand quilting but that was not for me. So I ended up sending out my quilts. After receiving a quilt back that I worked on for over a year and found that it had been damaged made my decision to purchase a mid-arm. I have priced quilting frames, long arm machines for the last 3 years. I kept going back to the Hand quilter. I just love the frame because it is very easy to use and I love the Avante HQ18. My sewing machines at home are made by Baby lock. When I found out that their Mid-arm was also made by Handi Quilter that sold me!!! I liked the fact that the machine was shipped directly from the manufacture to me and that the dealer (D’s Sewing Center & Quilt Shop, 4377 Venture Drive, Peru, IL 61354) Would come and set it up and give me my first lesson. I had an issue with tension and called Jill at D’s and was walked through the steps to correct this issue. I receive my machine in less than a week and it was set up five days later on June 3, 2011. Since them I have quilted 6 quilts. I have been an avid crafter for years. I knit, crochet, decorative artist, needlepoint, sewing and now quilting. I know that I have a lot to learn to master quilting and I think that my HQ18 Avante will help me make beautiful things.

I own the following HQ machine: HQ18 Avante

Ashley Malinowski


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My HQ adventure started in 2008, when I was sixteen years old. I was working on the HQ Sixteen at the time. Now I am 18 and I use my own HQ18 Avante with an HQ Pro-Stitcher. 18 on an 18!!! (By the time you read this, I will officially be 19…but I am really looking forward to being 24…I’m dreaming of the Handi Quilter Fusion!)         Backing up, I began sewing when I was 6 and quilting at the age of 8, all thanks to my mom who was, and still is, a quilter. She let me attend weekly summer camps at the Loder’s Sewing Center in Wilmington, DE.  At first, I started out making clothes, bags and pillows. With my success, I was then allowed to begin the quilting camp early, and soon cut with a rotary cutter. Quickly, I cut a whole full sized bed quilt, and pieced it at the young age of 9. Always the first to finish my quilts, I had the chance to help other students while working on additional projects that had to be created for me because of the speed with which I finished the weeks’ project. The summers after that, I continued to sew and quilt which eventually developed into my passion for quilting.  In my lifetime of quilting I have accomplished the following: worked at Quilt Shops, taught quilting classes, developed a longarm quilting program from scratch and taught longarm quilting classes, designed patterns using Electric Quilt, written up my own pattern designs, organized charity events and served as librarian at a quilt guild in Maryland. My very latest position is Vice President/Program Chair for Ladybug Quilt Guild in Newark, Delaware for the next two years. My first experience using the Handi Quilter Sixteen was through a rental program at Sew n’ Save Quilt Shop in Aberdeen, MD. The reason I wanted to take the rental classes and learn the longarm is so that I could quilt my quilts rather than tying and stitching in the ditch. I completed five quilts from renting at that shop. Four of the quilts were first place winners in the Children’s Department at the Delaware State Fair. The fifth quilt was my own quilt design which I also wrote up into a quilt pattern and sold. From age 16 to 17, I developed and ran a rental program at a quilt shop in Middletown, DE where I worked. I taught the rental classes as well as helped the customers quilt their own quilts from start to finish. It was a wonderful and rewarding experience since I got to learn the machine in and out firsthand, and it had me wondering “WHEN AM I GOING TO HAVE MY OWN?” Then, in December of 2009, my parents gave me a graduation gift of a trip to the Machine Quilting Expo in Providence, Rhode Island. I was stunned! My classes were booked on New Years day, and I got an excused absence from school since it was my senior year in high school. In April of 2010, I finally attended the show with a fellow longarm quilter. There never was a second thought about which brand of a longarm to buy. I already knew how well the machine performed, but it was just biting the bullet. I debated, debated, and debated some more driving my parents, as well as the lady I traveled with, crazy. Finally, at the last minute of the Machine Quilting Expo, literally 5 p.m. on Saturday when the show closed, I signed the sales agreement. When I called my parents back to say I bought it, they said “I hope it fits”. Before I had left for Rhode Island, we were supposed to measure the room. As you can tell, we hadn't done so! When it was time to assemble the machine, my parents helped me put it up in our basement. WOW! I had been around the machine and the studio frame for over 2 years at this point, but putting it in the basement made it seem as if the machine had grown. We added more lights in the ceiling, ordered thread, and yet I didn’t get to work on the machine for a few weeks. Number one, it wasn’t completely built yet. And number two, I had to graduate high school. Since graduation, the machine has been running nonstop because I started my very own longarm quilting business called Midnight Quilter. This is an appropriate name because I started college in the Fall of 2010. My time is limited, so can you guess when I quilt? I could not be any happier where I currently am: A sophomore in college, with a successful longarm quilting business. As a little girl, I always dreamed of owning my own business, and to start it at age 17 was something I couldn’t be more proud of. I don’t know what the future will bring, but I know that I will be longarming for many years to come. I love my HQ Pro-Stitcher because the results are magnificent, and all of the designs for the machine that I can download from the internet are fabulous. In addition, it allows me to personalize my quilts as well as the quilts of my customers. With all of the features on the HQ Pro-Stitcher and the ease of usage, custom quilting is much more enjoyable. I do a little bit of everything with my Handi Quilter: free motion, computerized edge to edge and computerized custom. The format of switching from free motion to the computerized couldn’t be simpler with the Handi Quilter. I am just so thankful that such a sturdy, reliable machine with such a computer system was in my price range. The number of quilts I can quilt thanks to having the HQ Pro-Stitcher has been greater than I could have ever imagined. I am confident that I can support my hobby of quilting and pay for college all at the same time. Thanks, Handi Quilter!!!

I own the following HQ machines: HQ18 Avante, HQ Pro-Stitcher