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

Anita Emery

My granddaughter Esther on the quilt I made her

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There it was-the HQ sixteen long arm machine. My husband and I watch with great interest as a representative stitched away at a quilt top. My first thought were, “Wow, wouldn’t that be wonderful to have” but I didn’t express them aloud, I just wished. But my husband knowing me as well as he does, asked me what I thought. He knew I could no longer do free motion quilting on my sewing machine. My hands could no longer hold onto the fabric tightly enough and I definitely couldn’t hold a needle for quilting due to my conditions ( Lupus SLE, Dermatomyositis, Raynauld’s and Rheumatoid arthritis). So there I looked longingly at the Handiquilter and as I said wished. Knowing we couldn’t afford it I told him “one day” I would love to have one. Well we my darling husband saved up his money and “one day” happened. He and my nephew painted the spare room and soon the machine arrived. My husband’s goal was to give me something to relieve the stress from work and my disease itself and help me continue with my passion, quilting. Goal achieved-it works. I have sewn many quilts since then. I love my HQ sixteen and thanks to my husband I can keep on quilting. 

I own the following HQ machine: HQ Sixteen

Sue Fors


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Sue Fors! My HQ Story My story starts in 1998, when my husband had his stroke. I needed to pick up a ‘hobby’ to keep myself not only busy, but close to home. A friend was taking some quilting classes, and shared her new found passion with me. My first quilt was a king size Star of Bethlehem! YOWSER! Did I get bitten by that quilt bug, or what! I had my first granddaughter in November of 1998 and the second one in March of 1999. That gave me two more twin size log cabin quilts to make, and I haven’t stopped since. I love giving the gift of a hand-made (by me) quilt to others. But, my biggest issue was pushing and pulling, tugging and stretching those big quilts inside my old machine that had only a 5” throat! We’ll now fast-forward to 2004, when I bought my first ‘long-arm’. It was a tabletop frame, and the machine had a 9” throat. As big as it was, I knew that wasn’t going to work. So, in 2005, I bought the best I could afford; a frame with a machine that was stretched to a 17” throat. I battled through the tension issues, skipped stitches and thread breaks. I really thought this was all part of the quilting process. Last Spring, my dealer talked to me about the HQ18 Avante’. When I went in to ‘play’ on it, I noticed the HQ24 Fusion. It felt awesome! But, what really convinced me to make this purchase (apart from the excitement), was the service and support that my dealer offers. They are only a phone call away, and have an HQ Support Group every month. We get to show-n-tell, troubleshoot our issues, and there is always an informative lesson planned. I have loved owning this machine during the last year so much; that this year I added the ProStitcher. Having the Handi Quilter has not only made my quilting easier, but it has made me a better quilter!

I own the following HQ machine: HQ24 Fusion

Frances Rice-Farrand


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Historically, quilting has been romanticized but was often used to ease the separation, as a bedding necessity, protection from the elements or even attacks, and even to help slaves escape. As one visits historical sites, quilting is very evident and often gives folks a sense of connection and helps tell a story. One can see how perhaps they were used to sustain the body and spirit as they faced challenges.
For me and my friends, quilting is a hobby to perfect, an escape from reality, and opportunities to give creative and unique gifts to family and friends. The hobby might be a little extreme when you drive more than 1000 miles on a quilt run with a car full of friends collecting fabric and good memories all the way. The hobby has also taken possession of a 20 x 20 bedroom plus walk-in closet which is now fondly called the studio and everyone hangs out. Lastly, the hobby necessitated the purchase of Handi Quilter long arm.
The story actually begins in the mid 90’s when I was first introduced to quilting by a good friend after being a long-time sewer. I found it a great way to use up all those scrapes and at the same time allow me to play with color, designs, and my creative energy. I soon got involved with a bunch of ladies with the same compassion and we formed the “Friday Friends” since that is when we meet. Rain or shine, tired or energetic most of us would show up every other Friday sometimes to only moan and groan about the week, to gleam ideas from the talented members, or just for the social outlet. Through this common interest, we still meet today although we have lost some members and gained new, it is what brings us together. Our passion for quilting is relentless but has led us to greater horizons and the purchase of many items. One such item is the HQ Pro-Stitcher which makes our lives incredibly easier.
It was when we came to the realization that pinning a quilt to shove under our traditional home machines was creating much back pain and minimal completion of quilts that our desire to find an easier way became a necessity. We looked at several machines, talked with fellow quilters who had quilting machines, and spent hours comparing price and features of the different long-arm machines available. It wasn’t till one Halloween shop hop that we meet Richard and realized that the Handi Quilter was now at the top of our list since it was American made, less temperamental, computerized, and of course came with Richard to answer all of our questions.
Well, the whole drive home the girls and I talked about the sales pitch to my husband. We came up with a wonderful list of positives…. such as he wouldn’t have to rub my back or neck anymore after I pulled and tugged a quilt through my Bernina, psychotherapy at home, no more scooting around on our hands and knees as we tried to pin a quilt, and after all the Handi Quilter would do everything and much, much more. So while we were safe in the car, I called my husband and gave him the first pitch which he agreed that it might be a good idea. How much he asked? Well, I took a deep breath and said just a few 0000’s and it would be coming out of my salary. He asked, “Are you sure about this?” to which I replied, I think so. Richard gave me all the facts and information which I will be glad to share when I get home. Well, we all took a deep breath in the car and said, step 1 accomplished.
My, our dream became a reality that January when we purchased the HQ18 Avante. We had the perfect place for it to go, upstairs in what was now being called my quilting studio. All of the best quilting buds where there for the delivery, set-up. It was as if we were giving birth! The excitement was contagious, it was very difficult to be patient while the machine and table got set-up but somehow we managed to stay out of Richard’s way. That night and the next days that followed, we played, experimented, and literally started rummaging through unfinished projects to see what we could finish the fastest and put on the machine. My family thought I had deserted them since we only came down stairs for bits of nourishment and quickly retreat to the studio and the Handi Quilter. It seemed as if we couldn’t get enough! Indeed that is true, we have completed over 70 plus quilts, we are constantly searching for new digitalized patterns, or creating our own, and just love the sense of accomplishment that we have created a one of a kind memory. In fact, we are so often found in my studio, my family has affectionately named it the ‘sweat shop’ which of course as turned into the “Sweat Shop Friends”. The Handi Quilter has brought together lifelong friendship, an endless supply of unique gifts for every occasion, and a world to escape to when the harsh realities of life are too much.

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

Vicki (Ogelvie) Martin

My wedding shower, in my homemade wedding dress!

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I stumbled and fell into my Handi Quilter Story, literally. Concentrating on my grocerylist, I caught my toe on a step and nearly hit the ground right in front of Howell?s Sewand Vac. Displayed in all its glory in the front window was the first HQ Sixteen I?d ever seen!Naturally, it was Sunday, and the store was closed.Waiting, not so patiently until Monday, to put my hands on that gorgeous white machine,made me reminisce about my sewing roots. Growing up in a sewing family, my sisterand I wore homemade clothes, and were always dressed alike. At Christmas, wheneverwe received dolls, even they were adorned in outfits matching ours.One summer while visiting my aunt on the coast, too foggy for the beach, Aunt Barbaratook me material shopping and taught me how to make a top! We never were trendy orbrand-name oriented, and in high school, I became known for my one-of-a-kinddresses. Being blessed with a young, stylish, slender mother, we?d take turns makingnew dresses after school or work and switch off wearing them. We can thank GrandmaJane for our dressmaking habit. She could turn curtains into a cocktail dress, completewith buttons down the back!Back in the early 80s, Grandma Jane got a new sewing machine with all the bells andwhistles. It had so many stitch choices and was so user-friendly, we jokingly teased herthat she had her machine trained by voice to “just sew” and gorgeous garments werespit out including added bling.Grandma Jane, Aunt Barbara and my mom were my quilting inspiration, my roots. I?dyearned to learn to quilt, but didn?t know where to start. The process seemed sointimidating. After thirty years of dress making dedication, I gave up my Kenmoremachine and bought a new Janome. Instantly my enthusiasm for sewing was renewed.We moved to a wonderful country community in Auburn, CA, where our new neighborsinvited me to join their weekly “Stitch and Bitch” night. They patiently taught me to quiltand make nice points.My first quilt project, a toy quilt, was made for my grandson, Colton. My humbleneighborhood group either quilted using stitch in the ditch or hand quilting. I knew thehandwork was out for me. After 20+ years as a court reporter, those tiny, skilled motormovements weren?t left in my fingers, so I tried stitch in the ditch. It was all right, but Ireally wanted to do more.I signed up for a machine quilting class at our local quilt shop. Now, that was a nervewrackingexperience! One lady in the class said it all, “Anyone have a quilt I can ruin?”The whole concept of moving the material under the needle was daunting andfrustrating. It reminded me of moving paper under a pencil! It truly was not for me at all.I attended a quilt show, my first, and was star-struck by the display of talented artistry.The piecing was incredible and the quilting phenomenal! And there were vendors anddemonstrations!! I saw a gentleman moving a sewing machine across fabric that wasrolled on poles. He let me try it, and I loved the sensation of drawing with thread acrossthe blank canvas. The next day, I went back to the show and bought my first free-motionmachine and table.I had some issues and difficulties, but I was determined to master quilting. The machinewasn?t regulated, and I found out quickly about consistent movement. I also had to keepmy thumb on the power button while moving the machine. I fumbled through a few topsto completion, but not my best work, for sure!Seeing that gleaming white HQ Sixteen at that time wasn?t an accident, and I could hardlywait for Howell?s to open on Monday. I walked into the shop, walking straight up to thatbeautiful machine. When asked if I wanted to try it out, of course, I said, “Yes!”I was hooked the instant I could move the handlebars and the machine came to life. Andhaving light aimed at the needle was a huge plus. The table size flexibility was perfectfor my sewing situation, being able to keep it small for storage and large for big projects.I couldn?t wait to go home, sell my other set-up and become a new Handi Quilter owner.My sewing space doubled as our guest room. Our most frequent guests were thegrands, so I decided a wall bed would be perfect, since the bed was used a lot less thanthe HQ Sixteen. It was the perfect solution! Then my wonderful husband remodeled anotherhouse (around the corner) for us to move into that had a basement studio for me! I cansew or quilt my heart out, and come upstairs and close the door. No one can see mymadness or my mess.Since the HQ Sixteen has come home, I?ve quilted over 70 quilts. I?ve taught myself tomeander, do feathers, loops, leaves, echo and now I?m working with pantographs.Working at the back of the machine and then seeing the design emerge, I feel Grandma Jane smiling down on me and saying “just sew” and I know my hands are being guidedby the master. I?d love to learn and perfect micro-quilting, but that opportunity hasn?tcome to my town, yet.Best of all, I love to teach my friends how to quilt on my HQ. They always leave with ahuge smile and a beautiful quilt. Teaching others is a true gift that keeps on giving.Last year, at my husband?s urging, I joined our local quilt guild. The theme for theannual quilt challenge was something I couldn?t pass up, “Something Old, SomethingNew.” I entered, not realizing the entries were automatically displayed at the annual quiltshow. I never felt “good” enough to enter anything in a show before. My biggest fan, myhusband, encouraged me to enter two other items.At the end of the show, I gathered my quilts and was dumbfounded when I saw aSecond Place ribbon on my challenge quilt! As I was handed my wearable art entry (aquilted vest I?d made for Mom?s 75th birthday) I saw a First Place ribbon dangling fromthe collar. By then I was a blithering idiot, and started walking to my car and out poppeda Third Place ribbon on my quilt honoring our Keeshonden (dogs)! One, two, three formy first show! I don?t think I can top the elation, but I?m ready to master precision andgrace, all thanks to my Handi Quilter!

I own the following HQ machine: HQ Sixteen