Pat Alderman

My first wholecloth with on my HQ Pro-Stitcher using Anne Bright designs

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Pat Alderman’s HQ Story Owner of the HQ24 Fusion and HQ Pro-Stitcher I was born to quilt…it just took me a while to know it! Raised on a farm in Nebraska, it was a mother’s duty to share the essentials of daily life, one of which included sewing. Beginning in 4-H at the age of 9 years old I made a blue (with pink roses) ‘Quick Trick Skirt’ and a pink gingham checkered apron! I found out immediately that it wasn’t ‘quick’ but it was tricky working on a sewing machine that had serious tension issues. When it was all said and done I still remember how beautiful I thought it was and the amazing sense of accomplishment that I had in finishing that project. I experienced more sewing in high school home economics, I completed a garment, which I would not wear but did admire the work and skill that went into it. My mother and both grandmothers made quilts, and thankfully I inherited a few! After I married and was in the process of furthering my career as a Clinical Laboratory Scientist, I attended a conference in eastern Nebraska. I took a quick walk at lunch to get a little fresh air and walked by a quilt store and there in the window was a quilt, an Eleanor Burns Log Cabin quilt with a big heart in the center. I tried to quietly enter the store to get a closer look but of course the owner already spotted me admiring the quilt. She said, “That is a “Quilt-in-a Day” project, using rotary cutters and strip quilting! I was shocked because with my limited knowledge of quilting, I thought it would take years to make a quilt. I told her I had to leave the next afternoon and that I would like to sew that quilt but I don’t have a sewing machine. After a bit she said if I really wanted to do that, she would let me use her machine, stay open until 10:00 that night and I could finish up the next afternoon. That was only the beginning of how nice quilters have been to me! I decided to go for it and I have been hooked on the love of quilting since. I got home very late that night and my husband was ready to send the State Patrol to find me…but then I pulled out my quilt, with a big heart on it, he was so proud of me…and a bit amazed! Shortly after that, my husband’s grandmother, of 98 years, offered me her 40 year-old sewing machine, which she had used as a professional seamstress. It sewed straight and zigzag stitches and was the most remarkable machine… it never had tension problems… it made me love to sew! I sewed lots of quilt tops and was very content to have someone else quilt them and was amazed at what happened to my quilts as they came back to me so gorgeous. Then I saw someone “stippling” on a domestic machine! I wanted to know how they could do that…so I signed up for a Quilting 101 class and we went thru the basics…at last we came to the part that I wanted to learn called Free Motion. She said there are 2 basic rules: Feed Dogs in the Basement and put the pedal to the metal! Even though I have gotten use to some quilting lingo I found myself wondering what she was talking about. I did learn the technique of stippling, but found that I needed some practice to learn this…but practice I did and I can stipple now and much more! I quilted several small projects with my Walking Foot and Free Motion techniques and decided to do a Full Size Quilt. I had been reading Diane Gaudynski’s “Guide to Machine Quilting” and she looked so relaxed with her king size quilt and her little kitty purring at her side. I tried to do all that she had instructed but before I knew it I was jerking and tugging and I had quilt all over me and I was hot and felt like I was being strangled with the quilt that I loved! I realized that all the joy of quilting vanished and decided I was glad to have someone else quilt my larger quilts! Diane deserves the fame she has earned as a quilter. Then I went to another class…I saw this enormous thing near the back of the store. I asked what is that? Oh that’s our Long Arm…here we go again…what does that mean? She knew I didn’t know what she was talking about…she politely took be back and showed me 3 different sizes of HQ quilting machines…Long arm quilting with tables to roll your quilt on! I now knew that I had found what I didn’t even know had existed. I was on a roll now…I would go home and find out everything I could about Long Arm quilting machines. And that I did…researching many brands and sizes. I went to many Quilting Shows, where I could to try out as many machines as I could. I paid a fee to be trained and rent 2 different brands and quilted many quilts to determine which machine I would like, because by now I knew I was a quilter and not only to quilt my quilts but other peoples quilts as well…sounds like a business. As I learned and test-drove these amazing machines, these were things that were important for me in a machine: 1. First and foremost I wanted a machine that did not give me continuous tension problems and did not require a lot of maintenance. 2. A beautiful stitch on top and bottom 3. Smooth movement for free motion quilting 4. Computerized to import designs and digitize my own. 5. A large working area. 6. A sturdy table. 7. A machine that can handle different and picky threads For about six months I researched with intensity and growing excitement, I wanted to find a machine that I would love to quilt with like my grandmother’s machine that I learned to love to sew on. I knew what machine I wanted, but one last test…I heard my cousin, Jan Barnett from Greybull, Wyoming had a quilting machine…so I called her to see if I could come see her…I was shocked when I saw her HQ24 Fusion and learned that she has a HQ Story. What an inspiration and help she has been for me. My decision was made and I decided to buy a machine and began to enjoy quilting. We were living in Colorado and decided we were going to move to Florida…start a business quilting in Florida? Seems a little strange to someone from Colorado, but here I go. I bought my machine 8 months ago and have had less thread breaks in 8 months than I did in one day on one of the machines that I had worked on! I have quilted over 50 quilts and am becoming, as they say, “One” with my HQ24 Fusion and the HQ Pro-Stitcher. And by the way, I have found to my delight there are some great quilters and quilt stores in Florida and am on my journey of making more quilting friends here, a land of great opportunity! I am here to say that this is just the beginning of my HQ story…I have found what I enjoy doing and am looking forward to my next chapter.

I own the following HQ machines: HQ24 Fusion, HQ Pro-Stitcher

Susan Cane

Me and "Missy HQ"! This is where we met and fell in love!

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I started making traditional quilts about 17 years ago.  I had a very talented friend who did all of my machine quilting for me. Then I discovered "art" quilts.  But with this discovery came the problem of; how am I going to quilt them.  So I bought books on how to machine quilt on a home sewing machine.  I did several this way and then I discovered the HQ Sixteen sit-down at a quilt show that I was attending.  It was LOVE at first sight!  My quilts are not overly large but I found it very difficult at times to quilt them on my home machine and the HQ Sixteen had so much space for my quilt. And most importantly it would fit in my tiny little studio.
I talked to the HQ representative at the show and, of course, discussed price... it was a little too much for my piggy bank at the time but I vowed that I would save and save until I had enough! The HQ Sixteen sit-down WOULD be mine!!! It took me a little over a year but I saved what I thought would be enough so I contacted Sandy at the Sew Inspired Quilt shop. We discussed the price, my piggy bank wasn't quite full enough, but to my surprise she told me she had a demo that they had only used half a dozen times at different shows and in their showroom and she would happily sell to me for what I did have in my piggy bank.  It was slightly used but to me, it has been a match made in heaven!  I have done a lot quilting using stencils and some free motion stippling but the photos that I've attached are from my very first all over,  free-motion quilted piece. There is no looking back now!!!

I own the following HQ machine: HQ Sixteen Sit-down

Cheryl A Meadors

Lilee and Cheryl with their first quilts

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I’ll admit it.  I am a fiber-aholic.  I love the color, the texture, even the smell of fiber whether it’s raw fleece, roving, yarn or fabric. 
Several years ago, I started doing a little genealogical research to discover the source of my fiber affliction.  I remember my mother, grandmother and great aunts piecing and quilting.  I have several quilts willed to me from mom’s side of the family.  All of a sudden it struck me that the ‘heritage of fiber’ that I’m passing on to my daughter had yet to include quilting.  So I decided to make it my summer objective to create a quilt with my 12 year old daughter.  We went to the local quilt shop and picked out fabric that appealed to her interests.  We ended up with basketballs, blueberry pie, polar bears, penguins, pandas - lots of bright colors.  I picked out a simple pattern, cut out the pieces then laid them out on the floor assuming my daughter would give her seal of approval.  Instead, she started moving everything around into a random pattern.  So we spent a week with graph paper diagramming out patterns that would look good from close up and farther away.  Eventually, we came to consensus on the layout and my daughter began to sew the shapes into blocks.  As the blocks were done, I laid them out on a bed until we had every block positioned.   At the end of the adventure, my daughter declared that she appreciated the making of a memory but she’d rather play basketball.
By working with her, I rediscovered my love for pattern and color in fabric.  For the next year I worked on a king sized quilt pieced in a bear claw pattern and hand quilted in a lap hoop that I inherited from my great grandmother.  When I was finished, the quilt was too precious to use!  No dog was allowed to curl up on it.  Even my daughter was sternly cautioned about appropriate ways to use the quilt.  I had created an heirloom that everyone was afraid to touch.  At that point, I realized that I needed a faster (and less painful!) way to quilt.
I had seen ads in quilting magazines about long arm machines but I had no idea what they were.   Not far from my home, I noticed a shop that had commercial quilting machines on display.  They signed me up for a class in machine quilting and explained that they offered rental time on the machines.  So I began a 2 year exposure to long arm quilting through rented equipment.  At first it was enough to quilt edge to edge with freehand doodling.  I could knock out a finished quilt in 3 hours and was perfectly content with my technique.  But the quilt tops started piling up as the available time to rent started shrinking.   And I was to the point with my piecing where I wanted the ability to replicate a hand quilted design.  That wouldn’t be possible in a 3 hour window of rental time.  I knew that the machine I was renting was beyond any price that I could justify for an obsession that wasn’t going to yield any financial benefits. 
Years before, I worked for the Viking Sewing Machine Company as a regional sales manager.  Erica’s Sewing Center in South Bend, Indiana, is still in business.  One of my machines needed service, so I packed up the machine and my husband for the hour’s drive to her store, knowing that she had a line of long arm machines.   After we checked in my machine for service, I casually wandered over to the HQ display.  Not only were the machines ‘pretty’ enough to be in my house, they operated the same way as the commercial machines I had rented.  I nearly walked away, assuming that the HQ would be beyond what I would consider spending.  Fortunately, there was a price sheet on each machine.  Every feature I wanted came included on the machine.  Nothing was an ‘add on’.  And the throat space I was accustomed to using was available on the HQ24 Fusion.  Trying not to show too much excitement, I got back into the car and headed home.  My husband was already saying ‘Buy it, you deserve it.  You’ve saved money in your new car fund for years.  Go ahead and use it for something you want!’ 
I consider myself a smart shopper.   I pulled out all my quilting magazines and looked up every competitive brand on the internet.  With the HQ as a ‘comparison’ model, it was easy to eliminate other brands on features, cost, and aesthetics.  Eventually, it came down to only one question – WHICH model HQ did I need?
So I emailed Erica and asked for an hour to talk about the difference between the HQ options. We got together at her shop that Saturday and walked through the features of the machine as well as what she would do to teach me to use the machine.  She also offered me membership in a user group that meets monthly to continue learning and sharing.  All that plus a promotion on the machine and free shipping - I was sold.  We wrote up the deal and I went home to wait.
 The perfect spot for my new machine is a 12 foot expanse looking out over the living room.  10 days later, when the 11 boxes and set of 2x4’s arrived in our driveway, my husband called and said “What did you buy?”  After we finally got it hauled up 3 flights of stairs, he started assembling it in the afternoons before I came home from work.  By the weekend, it was ready for a ‘test drive’.   I couldn’t wait to work on one of my quilt tops so I watched the video then loaded a twin sized quilt.  I came up with a strategy to put some freehand butterflies and flowers into specific spaces, joined by curlicues.  My daughter (now 15) has a talent for art and freehand drawing.  She started showing interest in what I was doing and how the machine was sketching with thread.  All of a sudden, another ‘golden opportunity to create a memory’ flashed into my brain.  I’m going to challenge my daughter to do a freehand whole cloth quilt by sketching with the machine. 
Here we go again!! 

I own the following HQ machine: HQ24 Fusion

Marlene & David Elgaaen

David and Marlen Elgaaen

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My mother and grandmother would put quilts on in the living room, and as a little girl, I enjoyed many hours under the quilts watching TV. The quilting stands were made from the steering wheel and steering column of Model T Fords. I knew these stands had a connection to the Elgaaen family, who were family friends. When David and I started to date in 1998, he told me about the origin of those quilting stands. David’s great-grandfather had made them for his grandmother. Our grandmothers were friends and quilting buddies. My Grandmother got those quilting stands, then my mother, and now I have them. I sometimes tease my husband that he married me just to get those quilting stands back in his family. (2 of those quilting stand are in our picture with our HQ24 Fusion). Quilting has been a part of my heritage. As a youth, we would tie quilts. After having children, I would tie quilts and also tried to quilt on my sewing machine. I found that to be a difficult task. Unknowingly my road to my “HQ24 Fusion” began with another of my brilliant ideas – to make each of our 28 grandchildren a quilt, being ready for when they leave their home, get married, ect. Currently they range in age from 16 years down to 2 month. They arrived so quickly in my life that I got behind making baby quilts. A few months ago, I started putting together 12 inch blocks with scrap material in preparation of these 28 quilts. It was so much fun to sew again. After visiting a sister-in-law this summer who has a machine quilt set up, we started researching quilting machines on the internet and visiting a few stores. At the store the HQ18 Avante was impressive and got our attention. We made our decision in just a couple days, and took the plunge purchasing an HQ24 Fusion. Waiting three weeks for the machine to be delivered was torture. My husband and I are now having lots of fun together. After 14 years of foster care and not having much of a life with my husband, we are now doing something together. My husband has been making more quilts than me, and it is difficult to get time on the machine. We go shopping for fabric together. David is retired and has lots of time to read and quilt, and I have a full time job. We are doing something together, being creative and having fun doing it. Thank you HQ!!

I own the following HQ machine: HQ24 Fusion

Talitha Hull

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I began quilting in the mid 1990's as a hobby.  Everything I did at that time was hand quilted.  As my love for quilting grew and I got the "quilting bug" and began to send quilts to others to be macine quilted.  Having a growing family and limited finances kept me from having my own machine, though I REALLY did want one.  After many years of paying others, the time was finally right to pursue purchasing a machine of my own.
Living in the remote Panhandle of Oklahoma, finding a local dealer/representative was an impossibilityl  The nearest local dealer for any quilting machine brand was at least a five hour drive from home.  I began to research brands, cost and qualities on the Internet.  It is difficult to determine specifics based on a picture and a sales pitch, but each new search brought me back to the Avante'.  I determined that this model would best meet my needs, skills, and other requirements.  The next battles was convincing my husband to make a major purchase, online, and sight unseen.  After much discussion, prayer, and nervous anticipation, the purchase was made.  Two weeks later I received the HQ18 Avante, the HQ Studio Frame, and some other promotional perks.  The setup and assembly was either quite simple or somewhat difficult, whether you ask me or my husband.

I viewed the accompanying DVD and a few days later began the machine quilting journey.  Being in a rural community creates its own set of challenges for opportunities to quilt for other people, but soon after getting started with the HQ18 Avante, the teacher of the Texhoma High School Home Economic class heard that I had the new machine and wanted to let the students see the machine as they had been working on quilts as a semester project. I was somewhat nervous but the quality and ease of the machine allowed the demonstration to go with ease and without problems.  For quite some time it had been required that the students send their quilts outside the community to be quilted, but this year I was able to quilt their 12 projects here in the community and as you can see from the enclosed pictures these students are artist and thheir creations works of art.
Thanks Handi Quilter, the HQ18 Avante was everything it was advertised to be and more!


I own the following HQ machine: HQ18 Avante