Carol Marshall

Carol, Pete and Idgie

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The road to quilting started for me in the autumn 2007 when I joined a group of ladies on a "Quilt for a day for Cancer". I immediately fell in love with the whole idea of quilting not realizing it was going to be our retirement hobby. In December 2007 Pete (my husband) and I took an introductory class to Quilting. March 2008 we signed up for a Beginners class at the local quilt shop. From that day forward we never looked back. More classes at the local quilt shop - log cabin, yellow brick road and turning twenty etc. Then as luck would have it the local quilt shop had a long arm to rent. I immediately signed up for a class. With loads of encouragement from Pete we were at the start of our journey to owning our own longarm.
Summer 2010 the looking began. We live in the small village of Manotick just south of Ottawa, Ontario, Canada. We checked out some longarm quilting machines locally, non HQ. The HQ website gave us an address for the closest dealer to us which was in Fonthill, Ontario. So we made the trip there, over 500kms away, for a morning demo on a HQ18 Avante. August 2010 saw us take the trip to Manchester, New Hampshire to visit the Quilt Show there. Our first day there we tried some of the longarm machines on display. The second day we kept returning to the HQ display. We felt the HQ was easy to operate, produced better stitching than the others and was appealing to the eye. To make a long story short we drove back home and ordered a HQ24 Fusion from Kelly at The Quilting Bee in Fonthill. It was delivered in the fall of 2010 and assembled by Pete. We find it awesome and have been enjoying it ever since.
In July this year we took another trip to Fonthill and picked up our Pro Stitcher. It was installed by Pete and we are currently in the midst of learning how the software works. We are looking forward to loads of fun piecing and quilting in the years to come on "Idgie".

I own the following HQ machines: HQ24 Fusion, HQ Pro-Stitcher

Stephanie Snodgrass

Having a ball

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A war, a deployment, and five teenagers-that's what lead me to my first quilting class. It was a an escape for me, where I could find paeace and friendship while my husband was deployed. As I finished my quilt tops, I would quilt the small ones but sent the larger ones out to be quilted. I had the oppourtunity to see a long-arm quilting machine when I took one of my larger quilts to a woman who was going to quilt it for me. After alot of questions about long-arm quilting, I knew this is what I wanted to do. I invested into an inexpensive mid-arm machine and was very frustrated with it. One day while in the local quilt shop, the owner told me he was going to carry the Handi Quilter quilting machine.I went on-line to see the machine he was talking about and was excited to see not only the features of the HQ Sixteen, but all the education and training you could get, which was very important to me. I was hooked! I ordered my HQ Sixteen and started turning out, in my opionion, beautiful quilts! About a year later I sold my HQ Sixteen and bought the HQ18 Avante. I have been quilting on HQ for about 3 years now. I have since gotten a job at the local quilt store and have the priveledge to demonstrate and teach others how to use the Handi Quilter quilting machine.In my spare time my family usually finds me in my sewing room happily quilting away on my HQ18 Avante8. Now I quilt for fun, for friends, and who knows, maybe one day I'll quilt for a living!

I own the following HQ machine: HQ18 Avante

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 up....so 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

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

Cindy Pack


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My HandiQuilter story begins a few years ago.  In, November 2004 after 21 years owning and operating a Christening apparel manufacturing business called “Little Things Mean a Lot” and raising 5 children, my husband and I sold the company. He continued being a 5th generation fruit farmer and much to my teenagers dismay, I became a stay at home mom.  For a couple of years when people would ask what I did with all my time I simply said  “Anything I darn well please.”  (not exactly true)
In 2006, a few months prior to the arrival of my 4th grandchild, my daughter insisted that now that I was retired I should make her baby a handmade, hand quilted baby quilt.  I told her that she had me mixed up with my sisters as I had no interest in quilting.  She guilted me into starting a quilt for her daughter which also forced me into making one for my son’s one-year-old daughter since I couldn’t do one without the other.
My daughter chose the pattern and the ladies at my local quilt shop helped me pick out the fabrics (no quilt color sense yet as I had spent my career creating white apparel).  I made two almost identical quilts with the binding and backs being the only difference.  My daughter insisted that the quilt be hand quilted.  In response to my moaning and groaning about the whole project my cousin and a friend both offered to help me quilt them.  By the time the first one was finished my arthritic hands were so sore that I could hardly move them.  So I called my sister who is an avid quilter and she clued me in to machine quilting sending me to one of the quilters she frequented.  I took the 2nd quilt to her and asked her if she would mind my watching her quilt it as I was fascinated by the huge machine  (coming from my sewing factory background) and I was very interested in seeing it work.  It was a Gammill.  She agreed, calling me before she started on mine.  I was especially appreciative of her artistic ability to hand guide the machine knowing I didn’t have that talent.  I was thrilled with the results. 
When I showed my daughter the two quilts side by side and she told me she liked the machine quilted one better than the hand quilted one, I told her “Sorry, your daughter will have the only hand quilted quilt I will ever make”.  (being that the quilter had just stitched the one-year-old’s name into her quilt.
I looked at the machine quilted one for weeks prior to giving it to my granddaughter as a Christmas Gift and the thrill I felt each time I looked at it was indescribable.  I had not felt that since I had retired.
I decided right then that I would make each of my grandchildren a quilt and it would be worth every dime to have someone else quilt it.
After completing quilts for 7 grandchildren, I decided I wanted to get a little more ambitious so started looking at block of the month clubs.  I fell in love with a “Civil War” quilt club being offered locally so I jumped in with both feet.
Shortly after starting this club I started having extreme lower back pain.  Though sitting was the worst position,  I survived the next 18 months by immersing myself in this quilt and subsequently others to take my brain away from the pain.  By the time this quilt was finished, I had so much of myself invested in it that I couldn’t imagine turning it over to someone else,  so I put it away hoping someday to be able to do it myself.
I attended the HMQS in SLC in May of 2010 and started looking at quilting machines.  I knew that to afford the one I wanted, I would have to quilt for others and I wasn’t convinced that I was physically capable of doing that.  By this time I had been informed by the best neurosurgeon I could find that the only solution to the pain was surgery so I put the idea on the back burner. 
In January of 2011 after having recovered from a successful spinal fusion I realized that my days of sitting at my sewing machine for hours on end were over. So I started thinking again about a quilting machine because I could stand up to use it. One day my husband walked in while I was looking at machines online.  I told him that I thought I could get into a basic model for less than $7000.00 and I gave him all the reasons why I should get one. (after all, I was going to have to pay someone at least $400.00 to quilt my Civil War quilt and that would almost make a payment.)   Since we had had major medical expenses over the past year between high deductibles and 3 surgeries within our family, I did not expect him to even be willing to think about it so when he said he would If this was truly the one I wanted, having fully researched the market and I was sure I could make the payments on it he would support the purchase, I just about fell off my chair. 
Then I had to make sure I was REALLY willing to commit to this both financially and physically. 
First, I started visiting quilt shops asking if there was enough business in our area to support another quilter.  I started going back through all the brochures I had collected last year at the HMQS studying the features that I would want on the machine.  I soon realized that with my sewing background and desire for quality I was not going to be satisfied with a $6000.00 machine.  I figured that the features I would want on this machine would put me closer to the $30,000 - $40,000 price point as I would definitely need a computerized machine with the physical limitations I had. And at this point there was no way I could justify that expense.
One day I walked into my local Bernina/Handi Quilter Dealer to drop off a sewing machine for servicing and said to the manager, “I am not ready to buy yet, but since I am here, give me your best sales pitch.”   He blew me away when all the features I wanted were available on a HandiQuilter machine at half the price I expected AND he was willing to give me 12 months interest free financing.  I left with a lot to think about.  I went home and immediately started searching online for reviews on quilting machines.  With many of the machines there were more negative reviews than positive until I got to the Handi Quilter web site.  I started watching the videos titled  “My HQ Story”.  Every single one I listened over the next few days told how pleased the quilter was with their machine.  I realized that this WAS the company website, so ever the skeptic, I started googling “negative reviews on HandiQuilter” and honestly couldn’t find even one. I decided that this “My HQ Story” section was either the greatest marketing ploy ever or there was truly some truth in what these people were saying.  
When it was time to pick up the sewing machine I had dropped off for servicing I asked my husband to go with me.  He hates shopping, let alone sales pitches, with a passion, so when I saw the manager I asked him to “just give us a quick demo (no sales pitch) so my husband could see what I had been talking about”.  The more he saw, the more questions HE asked and the more sold on the machine HE became.  By the time we walked out I had committed to purchasing the HQ24 Fusion with my husband’s blessing.
3 weeks later we had cleaned out, painted and set up a quilting studio in what used to be a large storage room, the machine was set up and ready to go.  I got instruction from the dealer, bought videos and started practicing my heart out. I had about 2 weeks practice under my belt when my church group started a project for the girls who were graduating from high school.  Each mother and daughter were supposed to make a quilt which would then be tied or bound in a group activity with all the women in the church.  I let it be known that I would give a “new machine quilter discount” if they would let me practice on their quilts.  Many of the mothers were thrilled to get this discount and I got great advertising at the group event after quilting 5 of the quilts.
I have been asked to display, discuss and show my quilting at an annual local quilt show as the “only machine quilting vendor” they have ever invited and been asked by a quilt shop out of state to quilt for their customers as well. 
I just finished my 29th customer quilt and I am having so much fun that I have to admit, I like the machine quilting even better than piecing the quilt tops.  I think the reason for this is that the turnaround is so much quicker and I still get the creative energy rush that comes with completing something beautiful.  I just get it more often now. 
The best payback of all though, comes with finishing a quilt that I have personally pieced AND done the machine quilting on.  It doesn’t get any better than this. 

I own the following HQ machines: HQ24 Fusion, HQ Pro-Stitcher