Michelle Kitto

Practice, Practice, Practice

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My HQ story I have been quilting since 2000 when I accidentally stumbled into the Houston Quilt Show. I had gone to Houston to do a personal “shop hop” of the needlepoint stores in Houston with a friend. Someone mentioned that if we were going to be in Houston that week, we should stop by the show. We allowed ourselves a couple of hours (I know, crazy!) But, we didn’t have any idea what to expect. Well, I left the show 6 hours later with yards of fabric and three quilt kits and I have never looked back! From the very beginning I had no desire for someone else to do the quilting on my projects. I felt like I had designed the quilt, selected the fabric, cut it up and sewn it back together and for it to truly be my quilt, I needed to do the quilting on it. So, I layered the first one up and “shoved” it into the machine and off I went. And for eight years or so, I was content to quilt this way. Whenever I went to quilt shows, I would always stop and play with the long arm machines. But, because I had been quilting so many years by moving the fabric not the machine, the long arm felt awkward and backwards. But, the idea of being able to freely quilt a quilt and not wrestle it under my domestic machine was very appealing. I also faced a space issue with the long arm as my studio did not have the space for one. A couple of years ago while at a quilt show, I saw the HQ Sweet Sixteen sit down unit and immediately sat down to “play”. I was IN LOVE. It was just what I was looking for. However, I just spent a considerable amount of money on a new sewing machine that had a special stitch regulator and just couldn’t justify the expense. But, I continued to think about the amazing quilts I could do if I only had the HQ Sweet Sixteen. And I continued to play with them at every quilt show I found them at. My machine quilting was getting better and better and friends were asking me if I would quilt their quilts. I took a class from David Taylor and he had just purchased his Sweet Sixteen sit down and gave it rave reviews all during the class. This past spring when I attended the Dallas Quilt Show, I stopped by the booth again and played with the machine and just knew that the time was right to make the leap and bring one home with me! I have not regretted that decision for a single moment! The dealer I purchased from (Quilt Mercantile in Celeste) has been a dream to work with. They are so supportive and my training they provided was great! I love the machine and the things I can do with it. It fits so nicely into my studio and I have already quilted a half dozen quilts on it, several for other people in the last three months. It does everything I need it to do and that added throat space is like a dream come true! The visibility I have of my work area is phenomenal. The HQ Sweet Sixteen Sit Down Machine was the perfect solution for me.

I own the following HQ machine: HQ Sweet Sixteen

Pam Barman

Pam Barman, Houston, TX

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I began my adventures in quilting in 2009 when my best friends coaxed me into taking a class with them. After a few too many times of rolling and stuffing a queen size quilt into my little domestic machine, and stitching in the ditch, I knew I wanted a long-arm machine. My mother had taught me to sew clothing when I was very young, but I had stopped sewing as an adult. Mom had passed on before I started quilting, but I always feel like she is smiling down on me from heaven when I'm sewing now! And since she had left me a little inheritance...well, I just knew Mom would want me to have a long-arm!! My HQ18 Avante is the perfect machine for me; it is so user friendly, and makes me feel like I am in control of my quilt from start to finish. I love being able to not only quilt my own creations, but having my HandiQuilter also allows me to quilt charity and Quilt of Valor quilts for my guild. I've just donated a quilt to a foundation, to be raffled at a fundraiser. Being able to participate in these types of projects is very fulfilling and I know it wouldn't be possible without my Handi Quilter! So, thanks HQ for making my life so much sweeter!

I own the following HQ machine: HQ18 Avante

Lynn Cartwright

Lynn with her first HQ Sixteen with HQ Pro-Stitcher quilt

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I learned to sew in high school. That was the only class that I made straight A’s in. Since then I made quite a bit of my own clothes then when kids came along I hand smocked all my daughters dresses then when they said no more (in 5th grade) I started quilting. I had done two queen size quilts and several small ones on the regular sewing machine by stitching in the ditch but I just wanted more. My first computer program for quilting was another brand with the Juki sewing machine. Not much throat space there! Then in 2009 I decided I needed a bigger machine. My sister-in-law had an HQ Sixteen with that same other computer program and she told me about the HQ Pro-Stitcher. I never looked at another long arm. My sister- in-law loved hers so much that I trust her and here I am with my own. Why did I buy the HandiQuilter 16 with the Pro-Stitcher? Because it’s the best there is. This program is the easiest to use. The ability to actually place your designs where you want them is wonderful. I am not artistic at all but with the Pro-Stitcher I feel like as artist. I really sit down and plan out my quilt designs so that they compliment the fabrics and patterns in my quilts. People ask me all the time if I quilt for others or do custom work and I don’t, but I take this as the highest compliment you can receive. Even better my husband always makes sure that I have time to sew. We work together and do everything ourselves so my time is his quite a bit. I just love sewing and quilting. I started working with 4H in our community and I hope to get some of the kids hooked on quilting. You can’t go wrong with any of the Handi Quilter products. The training, service and support are top notch. If I had to get another long arm it would be an upgrade to the HQ18 Avante or the HQ24 Fusion, whichever fits best in my sewing room, which is in my living room. I also love the DVD’s, so helpful when you need a reminder or to learn something new.

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

Mary Botsford

TIm & I on a cruise 2 years ago

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I have been quilting about 10 years now. Mostly self taught. I have gone to a few local classes. I wanted to quilt so I could take the T shirts I had saved from my children growing up & make a memory quilt. Not knowing a thing about it I forged ahead & made little things. I tried a double sized one for my parents & machine quilted as I didi not like hand quilting. It's not fast enough for me. Then I made my daughters. My own design. T shirts & photo's using the photo cloth you run through the copier. I then bought a WOW long arm quilter. I had that for 5 years & gave up trying to keep stitches equal or thread from nesting. So I stopped quilting,only about 6 months. I didi wall hangings. My husband said to me one day that he had been on line looking at quilting machines. That I needed to see what was out there. He kept mentioning Handiquilter. I went on line & was so excited! I watched every video that was on the site & then some. I looked at other ones ,too. I was sold on this one because of the thread versatility. The engineering. THe fact it was made in the USA was a huge selling point. We decided our tax return from 2011 was going to buy me the Sweet Sixteen. There wasn't a dealer real close,swo I couldn't try one out. The other ones I could find near here. SO, I signed up for the AQS Lancaster 2011 conference.We both went. WOW! what aa great time . Seminars using the HQ machine's were on my list! The exhibitor area where I tried all the machines,just sold me more on HQ.The I saw it was above my budget & nearly cried. That night my husband said he didn't care if we had to come up with more money. He wanted me to have the HQ. Next day there I was ordering my machine. So excited I was near tears! Mary beth & Debi the educators were hugging me & near tears of joy right along with me. I(I puddle up thinking about it) The sales person was terrific! SHe even gave me the scissors on the clip! (I had bought two of the clips the day before,not HQ), I couldn't wait for my machine to come in. I have the HQ18 Avante'! I named her "Dorothy" in honor of my favorite movie charector.I'm aw"wizard of Oz:"fan. I live in the town where the author of the stories was born. My dealer (2 1/2/hours from me) came a few day after my husband & I put it together. She showed me how to load it & the straight pins that can be used. I bought the entire video series from her. She is just fabulous,(Jackie) My first quilt on the rack I just finished today,was for my friend's daughter for college. She picked out the pattern,the material I did the rest. WOW! I can't wait to start another one! I am in love with quilting again!Now there are so many quilts & not enough hours in the day!! I love the machine & know I made the exactly right choice for me! My husband is thrilled to see me enjoy myself. He loves the result! I am in love with my "Dorothy" & what we can do together.! .

I own the following HQ machine: HQ18 Avante

Chris Poehlman


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I knew when I retired from my job after 34 years; I would need something to do to keep myself busy and my mind active. I decided to take up quilting. I loved it and in the first year made quilts for my husband’s side of our family for Christmas doing stitch in the ditch using my domestic sewing machine. I went to the first International Quilt Show in Long Beach, California and tested all of the manufactures machines and kept coming back to Handiquilter. I talked a lot to my husband about all of the features of the HQ16 machine and how much I wanted it. When I explained the features of the Pro-Stitcher, he knew with my background in computers and computerized sewing this was the the perfect fit for me. He is great at shopping around and was able to find exactly the machine, frame and pro-stitcher, used, that I wanted and made arrangements to buy it for me. I found a great dealer in Long Beach CA, SewVac, Ltd. and Scott managed the change over of the registration for me. Scott treated me as though I had purchased my set up from him new and truly made me feel I was a member of the Handiquilter family. That really impressed me. My husband knew this was the set up for me and was just as excited as I was when he watched me program and stitch out patterns on all of the quilt tops I had been saving to do “someday”. He loves to invite our neighbors to come over when I am quilting so they can see my wonderful machine stitching away “hands free.” I never realized that a computer guided quilting machine was within my reach and when he said “buy it”, I was thrilled. I was fortunate to attend two HQ Retreats in Salt Lake City, the basic and the Pro-stitcher classes and I cannot say enough about the educational opportunities that Handiquilter provides. I feel that everyone is there to support me and help me be successful. Thank you Handiquilter for making HQ Sixteen and HQ Pro-stitcher and helping to make my quilting dreams come true. Sincerely, Chris Poehlman

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