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

Deena McAfee

Deena with her HQ18 Avante

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I have always been fascinated with quilts and quilting. Growing up I always wanted to make a quilt, but neither my mom nor grandmothers were quilters. When I was eight years old, my maternal grandmother came to live with my family a year after my grandfather passed away. My mom and grandmother sewed and made most of my and my sister’s clothes. My mom had a Singer treadle machine in which she and my grandmother sewed. I learned to sew using that machine. Oh what great memories of pumping the foot peddle. When I was in fifth grade, my grandmother got an electric sewing machine for Christmas. I loved to sew, and made craft things, like rag dolls, bears, rabbits and their clothes. I did not know the rules of sewing; I just knew how to sew on those machines. My grandmother is very talented and during my growing up years she was always crocheting or embroidering when she had free time. When I was in seminary, I asked my grandmother to teach me more about sewing and got a pattern to make an apron. I took it to her and she sewed most of it. When I said, I want to learn how, not for you to do it, she said, “You can learn when I'm dead and gone.” Well, this year she turned 96 and still crochets; thank God, I did not wait until she was gone to learn. I made my first quilt with my grandmother and mom. We hand appliquéd the pattern “Belle”. My grandmother and I then quilted it by hand borrowing someone’s quilt frame. We really did not know what we were doing. My grandmother knew how to hand quilt and taught me the basics, but we did not trace a pattern or know what was expected of our quilting. In 2003, my husband and I moved to San Francisco where my husband worked as Chief of Chaplain Services for the VA Medical Center. It was there; I started working with female veterans and wives of veterans. I told one of the women I was taking a quilting class and she encouraged me to learn to machine quilt. Learning to make quilts and machine quilting became my new passion. I started looking for long arm quilting machines on the Internet and I found Handi Quilter. I was so impressed with what I saw, I knew I wanted to own one. I started saving and would put $10.00 or $20.00 in my sock drawer when I had extra money. One of my dreams was to one day own a small retreat center. My husband wanted to have a place in the woods where veterans could come and get away from the stresses of their lives. I wanted a place where their wives or other women could come for quilting retreats. In 2007, my husband and I moved back to Virginia where we had purchased 75 acres of land and started remodeling “Birchleaf Center” for small retreats. I still had my long arm savings in my sock drawer, which was growing. In 2010, I went to the AQS quilt show in Knoxville and met Mark Hyland. I told him of my dreams for our retreat center and how I wanted women to come, make a quilt and finish it using a long arm machine. He showed me the HQ18 Avante and I fell in love with the machine. I went home vowing to save more money. My husband sold an old tractor he had and gave me the money for my sock drawer. I still did not have enough money. In October of that year, I was given a donation for the remaining amount from an individual who had attended a family retreat at Birchleaf Center. We now have this great machine at Birchleaf Center. The first week of August 2011, I had 9 women come for a retreat and we quilted 8 quilts on the HQ18 Avante, which will be donated to Virginia State Police to be given away in emergencies. We completed 10 out of 70 quilt tops to be donated to the Holston Home for Children in Greeneville, TN. I am so grateful for the HQ18 Avante. It has not only given me great pleasure in using it, but it is being used to help others.

I own the following HQ machine: HQ18 Avante

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

Jeanie Stellrecht

Me and my baby

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I had the small Husvarna viking quilt machine and the frame for about 3 years I wasn't planing on going in to business quilting so I couldn't;t justify it, but I really wanted the HQ Sixteen I showed it to my husband at a quilt show with no response. Then just before he retirered and told him I would really like to have it and he said I thought you were already going to get it so I did and that was a year and I love it.

I own the following HQ machine: HQ Sixteen