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

Sandy Stein, Stephanie Prentiss and Patty Gertz

Three sisters finally all agree on something!

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When it came to men, fashion or just taste, we three sisters could never agree on anything, but when we were looking for a way to finish our piles of quilt tops, all three of us knew we wanted a Handi Quilter machine. In the end we each bought a different one; Patty had the room and budget for the HQ24 Fusion, Sandy got the HQ18 Avante and Stephanie got the HQ Sixteen Sit-down since she wants to feel the fabric when she quilts. Even though we all have different machines, we share the same experience in Handi Quilter’s great training and support (thanks Debby!) We’re finally making progress on those piles and we know for sure that Handi Quilter has a model that meets everyone’s needs. We even found something else we agree on – that it would be great to get the Pro-Stitcher next!

I own the following HQ machines: HQ24 Fusion, HQ18 Avante, HQ Sixteen Sit-down

Jessica Casady

Denim Shirt Practice with ART and Stitch and Raw Edge Appliqued` and Quilted using my HQ Sixteen wit

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I have been quilting for 4 years and have been sewing for 68 years and have come to appreciate a lot of times, events and persons who have touched my life in many ways, including my Lord and Creator, for who and where I am today.  My passion for sewing and creating began at the age of 3 years old when my older brother Billie blessed me with a little Stitch Mistress Toy Sewing Machine and a little Toy Electric Iron, of which I still have to this day.  From that day on, I just loved anything that had to do with sewing machines, fabrics, threads, needles, patterns, buttons, etc.  BUT NEVER QUILTING.! 
As a child of 5 or 6, I began to “sneak in” to use my Mother’s old Singer, of which she was unaware. My Mom had always informed me that the tensions could get out of balance, so I was very careful NOT to touch that dial.  I did however, eventually get caught in the act of sewing!  I contemplated not having to wear those hand-me-downs from my cousin in Oklahoma so I began to sew and create my own wardrobe.
As I entered into 9th grade, I developed a very loving relationship with my Homemaking Teacher, Miss Cobb, who became my second Mother.  Miss Cobb had so much patience with me and I would go across the street to her apartment after school to sew with her.  She taught me so many wonderful things about sewing and tailoring BUT NO QUILTING!  She helped me tackle my first tailored suit with bound buttonholes and lining.  After graduation from high school, we remained friends until Miss Cobb was elderly and the passed away.  I am so grateful for such dedicated teachers, such as her.
During my life, I have managed my own Couture Custom Clothing and Custom Decorating Business, while attending vocational schools to study clothing design, draping, drafting and custom decorating, but NEVER QUILTING!  In fact, I can remember making a statement several times in my forties, that when I AM OLD I WILL TAKE UP QUILTING. 
I have been employed by Sears as a Sewing Instructor and then full-time commission sales of Kenmore Sewing Machines for 23 years.  I have also worked at 3 different Bernina Shops, all of which closed and when the last one closed for good, in 2006, I went to work for MAKE IT SEW in Broomfield, Colorado.  MAKE IT SEW are HANDI QUILTER Representatives and Janome Dealers.
I took ONE LOOK at that BIG HANDI QUILTER 16 and thought to myself, how am I going to sell this machine?  I’ve been around sewing machines all of my life but NEVER one as big as this one!  So, I began to draw on my sales training from Sears and I thought to myself, I will have to KNOW my product in order to SELL it!  I remembered my statements about when I am old I WILL QUILT and now is the time to start so that I can learn this machine.  I’m now OLD enough!
I appliquéd and pieced my first humble quilt and stitched it IN THE DITCH on my regular machine and then put the binding on.   I started a class at Make it Sew for the appliquéd blocks, which were done on the embroidery machine.  My quilt was hanging in the store as a sample and then a professional quilter came into the store and was admiring it and then gave me some very profound advice!  Your quilt is beautiful, but until you actually QUILT IT, it remains a comforter.   So now, I will practice on this BIG HQ 16 and quilt this comforter and turn it into a quilt.  Since then, I have completed a total of 8 quilts. 
Now, I’m hooked on QUILTING and purchased my very own HQ Sixteen with the HQ Pro-Stitcher and Micro Handles.  Bob Juenemann, the owner of Make it Sew, delivered my HQ 16 and set it up for me.  It took him 6 hours to set it up because of my old crooked floors but he got it done with a few levelers.  I purchased an old 1882 Queen Anne Victorian home by myself back in 1998 and have been fixing it up ever since.  I did not anticipate having a long arm at that time but I have room in this BIG OLD HOUSE.
My process with the last 4 quilts has progressed very very fast.  I used purchased digitized designs to quilt the first one using the HQ Pro-Stitcher.  This quilt, Rhapsody in Ribbons and Roses, took Best of Show and the next quilt, The Keepsake Collection, took 2nd place in the Mancuso National Quilt festival. Then my next quilt, Sparkles and Lace in Folk-art, required a hand guided pattern of my own.  I found it very time consuming to hand guide this intricate pattern so I purchased the Micro-Handles.  The micro handles helped tremendously and I got the job done.  This quilt took 1st place in Estes Park, CO. 
Because of the complexity of hand-guiding these intricate patterns, I started to SHOP AROUND for a quilt digitizing program to make it easier for myself and let the HQ Pro-Stitcher do it for me.  I decided on the ART and STITCH software and purchased the program last September of 2010, before HANDI QUILTER and ART and STITCH got married!  I started digitizing the quilting designs for my Denver Album Applique` Quilt and I found this software so easy to use and so much fun.   I jumped right in and completed my latest and last quilt and it turned out so beautiful!    
 I find the HANDI QUILTER so easy to learn!  It’s very user friendly!  I have used all threads and have even used 2 different threads at the same time, including metallic thread!  My latest project was a jean shirt that I pinned to the leaders and using my own designs created with ART and STITCH software, made raw edge appliqués with use of the HQ Pro-Stitcher.       
The former software package, Quilt Cad, was not user friendly.  I am so happy that HANDI QUILTER and ART and STITCH got married!  This is THE BEST Marriage ever!
MY LIFES MOTTO IS:  Learn Something New Every Day!  And I am doing just that!    

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

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

Polly Monica

Me and Yogi!

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I've been a sewer for over 40 years, but have only been quilting for the last 15.  Like all home quilters, I started off slowly by just stitching in the ditch.  Lots of practice and projects later, I figured out free-motion quilting.  While I enjoyed doing it, it was often a struggle fitting the bulk under the short arm on my sewing machine. I love moving the fabric myself to create the quilting design, so when considering a long arm machine, I was unhappy to have to learn how to quilt all over again, as your process would change to quilting in rows. So, when I learned that HandiQuilter made a sit down machine that would allow me to continue to quilt MY way, I was thrilled!! Christmas was coming I started leaving my quilting magazines open to the HQ Sixteen Sit-Down ads all over the house... grinning evilly!!  :-)  And sure enough, Christmas morning after all the gifts were open and I was making breakfast, my two sons and hubby disappeared down into the basement (I thought to play a new video game) but much to my surprise, they caried up a new HQ Sixteen Sit-Down machine for me!!  The heck with breakfast, I thought- "Let's get this puppy goin'!!"  Woo hoo!!  I LOVE it!!  And if sometime down the road, I change my mind and want a real long arm type set-up, I can just buy the rails, table and handles and I'd have it!  Thank you, Handi Quilter, for thinking of me!!  Good job, YOU!!  :-)  

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