Jolene Mershon

Jolene quilting with Sweet-Sixteen

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I've been quilting for about 20 years, but seriously quilting ever since I retired in 2000. I sew almost every day and am totally emersed in making quilts. I started as a hand quilter and still hand quilt some of my wall hangings. But, there are so many quilts I want to make and so little time. I knew I needed to learn to machine quilt. I took a machine quilting class for domestic machines from a local quilter. That got me started and I practiced a lot. In 2003 our guild started making quilts for soldiers wounded in the Iraq war. Those donation quilts gave me a great avenue for practicing my quilting. Then I bought a new machine with a stitch regulator, thinking that would keep my stitches perfect. But, I've found that nothing can replace practice, practice, and more practice. After taking a class with Harriet Hargrove I began to venture out with free form quilting. However, I felt limited to smaller size quilts. The largest quilt I ever quilted on my domestic machine was a queen-size T-shirt quilt that I made for my son. It was like wrestling a bear. That was when I began to play with the idea of getting a larger machine. I have a large quilting room but it's pretty much packed with other quilting needs such as cutting table, etc. I just don't have room for a long-arm machine and my husband refuses to give up his hobby room for my quilting. He already grouses that I sew "all over the house". The HQ Sweet Sixteen is just the right size to fit into my sewing room with the added bonus of allowing me to sit while I quilt. I bought my HQ Sweet Sixteen in May of this year at the quilt show in Arlington, Texas. I first heard about the machine while taking a David Taylor workshop three years ago. David really loves his machine and makes beautiful award winning quilts on it. After that class I searched for information on Handi Quilter and began to seriously consider purchasing one. I tried the machine at the Dallas quilt show in March of this year and also at the Paducah AQS show. I took measurements of the machine and measured where I thought a it might fit in my sewing room. I found I didn't have to give up any of my other quilting furniture or an antique table that belonged to my Grandmother, who was also a quilter, to accomodate it. That really helped me finalize my decision. I really liked the way it stitched and it had so much room under the arm. I felt I could quilt larger quilts without having to push and pull so much. When a vendor brought the machine to my guild's quilt show I tried it again and decided to buy it during the show. I've taken the class on my Sweet Sixteen and learned so much. I've been using a variety of threads so am trying to master the tension. I love thread just about as much as I love fabric. I'm working on increasing my thread stash and expect I'll be using all of it on some project at some point in time. Right now I'm quilting on an entry for a quilt show in September. The last few years I've paid a long-arm quilter to quilt most of my show entries. She does a beautiful job and I've won quite a few ribbons with that strategy. But, I'd like to totally own the work on my quilts. I'm hoping that I can successfully master the Sweet-Sixteen so that I can make it happen.

I own the following HQ machine: HQ Sweet Sixteen

Vicky Byars

A Happy Quilter

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For several years, my friend and I were mid-arm “wanna be’s” and would longingly look at all the mid-arm quilting machines at the AQS shows in Paducah and Nashville. We would fondle and play with all the different brands. We always looked at the Handi-Quilter because they are good machines and not over the top expensive. Our local HQ dealer would always tell me when they were on sale because she knew I wanted one. One day she called and gave me a deal I couldn’t refuse. So, I became the proud owner of an HQ Sixteen. What a thrill to finally have it in my home, waiting to be used to quilt my “resting” quilt tops. I was sailing along, happily quilting many tops when tragedy struck! But the rest of the story is better told by my dear HQ. “I was so happy. I had a nice place to live and a very nice owner who spent a lot of time with me. I was next to a nice big window , so I could look out and see the clouds drifting by and birds flying around. Then one day, huge, dark clouds came into view, bringing with them lots of rain, thunder, and lightning. I was beginning to get a little frightened when all of a sudden there was a loud boom, and I felt different. When all the thunder and rain was gone, my owner came to quilt. (She was in the middle of quilting a large quilt.) But when she turned me on that mean old “motor stall” took over. A few days later, I was on my way to the HQ doctor. I was gone for a long time, because I had to have several parts replaced. Thanks to the expert HQ physician, I was good as new and got to go home next to my window. My owner had really missed me, so we were both glad to be together again.” After waiting so long for my HQ Sixteen, I appreciated it even more. It made me realize just how much I had come to depend on it to get my quilt tops finished. I look forward to using my HQ every chance I get.

I own the following HQ machine: HQ Sixteen

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

Valerie Lee Funk

This is me quilting Dr. Seuss for my grandson

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My name is Valerie Funk and this my HQ Story. Several years back in 1998 I was accidentally shot while serving as an officer for the state of Indiana. I knew my recovery would be long and hard so began looking for hobbies to keep myself busy. Eventually I stumbled onto quilting and I was instantly hooked. I am a self taught quilter having learned mostly by way of YouTube videos and magazines. About a year ago I finally joined my local quilt guild in Osceola Iowa. The ladies there were an absolute wealth of knowledge. The long arm quilters within our guild were all very reasonably priced but because I was piecing quilts at the rate of 2-3 a month I decided that I really wanted to look into buying my own long arm machine. I had absolutely no knowledge regarding long arm machines so I got on line and researched the different kinds of machines and all the different options. After many weeks of research I decided that what I really wanted was an HQ18 Avante. It was just the right size for me and very reasonably priced. After finding my closest HQ rep I made the long drive up to her shop so I could test out her machine. I knew as soon as I tried the HQ18 Avante that was the machine I wanted. It was so smooth and the stitches were flawless! It was so easy to use. And since I had very little long arm knowledge, easy is what I needed. I received my Avante in early May and I have never been happier. I have quilted over a dozen quilts since then and I just love it! Quilting is very therapeutic for me. When I am finished making my quilts I like to give them all away. It makes me so happy to see others get enjoyment from something that I have created with my own two hands. I like to think of myself as an artist with fabric as my medium. If I would have know that long arm quilting could be so easy and fun I’m sure I would have made this purchase a long time ago!

I own the following HQ machine: HQ18 Avante

Colette Perry

That's me with the four men in my life.

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My story really begins with another brand of quilting machine. I bought it from the quilter who quilted my first king size quilt. She was upgrading to a bigger machine and my wonderful husband knew I would love having her machine. But where to put it? Not HIS garage. I decided to fix up the shed on our property and set it up out there. I had used that machine for almost five years when Hubby and I were shopping at Meissner's in Sacramento. He called me over to see the new HQ Sixteen. WOW! We bought it, sold the old one and I have loved using it ever since. My shed is not fancy enough to be called a studio or even a shop but it's a quiet, peaceful place to do what I love. The only interruptions are when I need a potty break or Hubby comes out to admire and check my progress. I have made quilts for our seven grandchildren, neices and nephews, charity and lots of friends. I always charge my friends for the quilts I do because that way they will bring me more. They wouldn't keep me busy doing what I enjoy so much if they thought they were taking advantage of me. It's also nice to be able to support my quilting habit with a little extra cash.

I own the following HQ machine: HQ Sixteen