CecilAnn Spencer

Jimmie & CecilAnn Spencer

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Hi, my name is CecilAnn Spencer. I grew up and still live in a small town, Kerens,in Central Texas that is 60 miles south of Dallas Texas. My love of quilting started at a very young age. My Grandmother hand pieced and hand quilted. Grandmother's sister was a seamstress and made clothes for the public. The scraps of fabric that were left over were given to my Grandmother. Grandmother would sit for hours cutting and hand piecing until she completed a quilt top. Then came the time to hand quilt. Grandmother's quilting frames hung from the ceiling in her dining room. She always used cotton batting, and "brown domestic" (muslin) as the backing. Our family were cotton farmers. Grandmother made beautiful quilts of many different colors that were given to her children and grandchildren. I was always amazed that something so beautiful started out as a piece of cloth that someone was going to throw away. The first quilts I made were machine pieced but hand quilted. It took forever to complete a quilt. I worked, was a wife, and mother of a very active son. This left little time for hobbies. After 31 years in a very stressful law enforcement career my husband retired to take care of our small farm with cows and llamas. I was still working in that same stressful law enforcement career but could see that retirement was not far away. I started looking for a long arm quilting machine. I did extensive research via internet, magazines, quilt shops and any other places where I could find information. I decided to purchase the HQ Sixteen and the Pro Stitcher. My husband and I made a trip to Plano Sewing Center in Plano, Texas. When we walked through the door we were greeted with smiles and such friendliness we felt as if they were family. The shop had just what I wanted and we purchased the machine that day. I still was limited on my time for hobbies, but it was amazing how fast I could get the quilt completed. I only make quilts for the "special people" in my life. My quilts are not the traditional type. If it is different I'm probably going to like it. My passion is creating living memory quilts that include photos, sports, school names or whatever the grandchildren, nieces and nephews are doing at the time. I have an embroidery machine and always embroidery their name on the quilt. I've also made themed baby quilts for family and friends with the new baby's name on them. I have finally retired after 30 years in law enforcement and am looking forward to getting training and lots of practice on my HQ Sixteen and learning to use my HQ Pro-Stitcher. I have done so much with this machine but still have so much more to learn. In closing I would like to recommend the Handi Quilter to anyone wanting to purchase a long arm machine. The machine is easy to use and the support you receive is the BEST!!!! You can not go wrong with Handi Quilter.

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

Sharon Hansen

Me and my Russian Quilt

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I was in California visiting my daughter and we decided to visit the local quilt shop. We looked at fabrics, selected some and then I spied a quilting machine - an HQ16. I examined it closely and examined the quilting even more closely! A sales person in the shop noticed my interest and explained the features of the machine, gave me a demonstration and let me try quilting! Now I hadn't thought of buying a quilting machine. I had hand quilted one quilt (and decided I would have to live to 200 to finish all the quilts I wanted to do), quilted a few on my domestic machine, and had a couple professionally quilted but I was intriqued with the HQ Sixteen. The gentleman thought he might have a sale and he finished with the statement that if I bought a machine from him he would come to my house and set it up for me. I laughed and said "Great! But you should know that I live in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania." He looked at me and asked "Is that anywhere near Philadelphia? I have a brother that lives there." "No", I said, "that is five hours away on the other side of the state." We both laughed, chatted for a few more minutes and then my daughter and I paid for our purchases of material and we left. I kept thinking about that machine. On the flight home visions of swirls and feathers danced in my head. After arriving home, I looked on the internet and found a local dealer about an hour away. I called and found out that they offered a class to become familiar with the machine and that you could rent it by the hour to quilt your own quilts. I took the class with the thought that I would rent time on the machine. I changed my mind quickly and purchased the HQ16. It arrived just before Christmas in 2006. I have had such fun with my HQ Sixteen. I started out with charity quilts to give me experience. Then I graduated to more challenging tops. I love to watch the quilt tops turn into quilts. The swirls and feathers are no longer just in my head, but are scattered across the quilts. Over the last four years I have quilted over 100 quilts and have won ribbons at our local quilt show. My husband and I like to travel and I have made quilts that remind me of our travels. Last December I sold my HQ16 and became the proud owner of an Avante. I am still quilting and still having fun!

I own the following HQ machine: HQ Sixteen

Roxan Bixler

HQ Sixteen

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I have been interested in crafts most of my life. I still like to color using fabric instead of crayons. I am an avid counted cross stitcher and decorative painter till 10 years ago discovering quilting. Sewing had been part of life, making Barbie clothes and sewing clothes for 4-H and even double knit leisure suits for DH, ugh! The natural progression was to quilting. Working with texture, color and design plus the history quilting brings…………what could be better? Doing puzzles intrigues me so quilting fit right in adding other favorites such as color, texture and the tactile features fabric provides. Soon after completing the struggle of trying to quilt using my machine I thought there had to be an easier way to accomplish this task and the search was on. Researching the gamut of quilting “helpers” I discovered the Handi Quilter rail system and it was just the ticket. Using my machine and quilting finished tops was very gratifying. But as natural progression took over, more power needed!!! While shopping at “Rising Star” quilts in Watertown SD, a demo HQ Sixteen was set up for a “test drive” and the temptation was more than could be ignored. I was hooked but needed to process the info and chat with DH. He was a bit skeptical but not totally against the idea, aha my foot in the door! Daughter and I were attending a quilting retreat and thank you cell phone, DH called and asked me if I was indeed interested in that big sewing machine deal in Watertown, the guy called and a promotion for free shipping was going on and he needed to know today if I wanted one. Discussion with daughter and DH ensued and a resounding YES was the response, thus I am the proud owner of an HQ Sixteen for 5 years now. I love it! It does what I ask of it and never complains. I especially like to use pantographs and templates. I like the way the machine looks too! We recently moved from the farm into town and the prerequisite for purchasing a home was a room large enough for my HQ and we ended up knocking out a wall to accommodate my machine. Now we are adding on a quilting studio for even more space! I am excited to design a quilting studio from scratch. All in all the HQ Sixteen does what the “big girls” do and takes up less space and the price is right. But never be satisfied, always look to improve, so an Avante’ is starting to call my name!! I’ll have to check it out!

I own the following HQ machine: HQ Sixteen

Bettie Johnson

Me with Pat's Quilt on my HQ18 Avante

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My HQ story? I don't have one." I told this to a friend reminded me of the quilt I made for her. It was just two pieces of material hand quilted together, but she still has it. That would have been over 25 years ago.  In 2003 I went to Virginia to help my step-mom Suzy take care of my Dad who was dying from a brain tumor. On Monday afternoons Hospice would send a sitter so we could take a break. Suzy took me to the local quilt shops and I haven't stopped quilting since. While I was in Virginia I pieced several tops, one of which was designed after the blanket on my Dads bed.
 
After my Dad passed away, Suzy showed me a quilt I had made for him years before. It was a simple 9 patch using two fabrics and hand quilted in a simple grid. Again I had forgotten all about it although the material looked familiar. She told me something I had never dreamed of. Dad cherished the quilt so much he took it everywhere with him. First in his work car, which required him to be on the road much of the time, next after he retired he put it in his station wagon, then his boat, than his RV and when he could no longer use the RV he moved it to the trunk of his last car-a yellow sports car.
 
After Dad passed away I went back down to Virginia for a quilt rally. I saw a mid-arm system and from the small inheritance I received, I bought it. For 6 years I used that system but my dream was for a long arm computerized system. I could tell I needed to do some research and see if I could upgrade! I was all over the internet.
 
In 2009 one rainy Saturday morning, out of the blue, I asked my husband to take me to the HQ dealer. I couldn't believe my eyes. They were selling their floor model HQ Sixteen that weekend. I bought it on the spot! A few months later I bought a used HQ Pro-Stitcher for the HQ Sixteen.
 
Over the next few months I stitched up a storm and the storm was me. I just couldn't seem to slow down enough for curves and points. I needed more control and Handi-Quilter again came to the rescue! You introduced the new dual speed regulated Avante with a new tracking system. I tried it and loved it. I knew this was what I needed to make my dreams come true, BUT my husband felt my quilting looked fine the way it was.
 
What is a quilter to do? I took him to the store to show him the improvements but he was not convinced. Then one evening as the Pro-Stitcher was stitching out a design it dawned on me. I called my husband upstairs and said "Look at the computer. See how the HQ Pro-Stitcher slows WAY down to go around corners? If a computer needs that kind of control, so do I!"
 
In August 2010 I received my new Avante, 12 foot studio frame and HQ Pro-Stitcher. I laughed as my husband brought his family and our neighbors up to see my new machine. Then these people would bring their families. Everyone was impressed.
 
I live in Amish country and there are many quilters around, but the long arm machine used by the ones I have met have all been HQ, mostly HQ Sixteen.
 
I did my one and only customer quilt back in 2010 within 3 weeks of getting my HQ18 Avante. She was happy with the results, and I still have her smiling picture holding her granddaughters quilt.
 
I knew  I had a lot to learn, so I took advantage of the teaching tools HQ provides. I wouldn't have the skills I do today if it hadn't been for Handi Quilter. One year later and I just finished a quilt for Pat. It was a "practice" quilt for me and she is so happy she said she wanted me to do all her quilting. I have 9 more "practice quilts" waiting and am hoping to be able to start customer work by October 2011. This would not have been possible without Handi Quilter!
 
Thank you Handi Quilter for all the hard work you have done for quilters like me who started out only knowing to sew two pieces of material together and given us the opportunity to be professional quilters.
 
You provided all the quality equipment and excellent training we needed to see our dreams become a reality! We can't thank you enough. 

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

Barbara Budnik

First day! Test quilting!

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I just got my HQ Sweet Sixteen two weeks ago! It was a birthday present to myslef! I am learning to use it quilting tied quilts. When those are finished to my satifaction I am on to the dozen or so quilt tops that I have.

I own the following HQ machine: HQ Sweet Sixteen