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Diane Seligman

Quilting makes me smile

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The road to Fusion
He loves me, he loves me not, he LOVES me!
I have always loved quilts. All the work, creativity and passion that goes into making quilts are what families and friends are made of. My husband and I have raised 4 children, and making quilts for them is and has been a true love of mine.
I started in the late 1990’s with a Viking sewing machine and based on family and friends I was soon hooked on piecing quilts. I also learned quickly that it make sense to have a better ability to quilt them. Soon I found myself using a Juki machine to quilt. (with a larger throat!). I hoped for the day I could use a long arm machine, and I spent a lot of time dreaming about the day I could finally own a HQ Sixteen. Owning a long arm HandiQuilter seemed a remote possibility, though I loved to quilt more as time passed. Those early quilts were a lot of fun, and I learned so much! In those days I stayed mostly with wall hangings and table runners, and a major project was a lap quilt for Christmas or even handmade calendars for my kids. Finally in 2003, we made the plunge and bought a HQ Sixteen. I was so excited!. With kids starting to go to college, I even found some space and ended up with a wonderful room for quilting. We placed the HQ Sixteen on a countertop with cabinets underneath. I practiced a lot and went to quilt shows, to some Salt Lake City training sessions, took local classes when I could and started to try new things. Over the next few years, I made quilts for my children’s beds, for baby gifts, and grew in my abilities. While every day I feel that I have so much to learn, I continue to get excited about learning new things. Whether it be my constant practice on feathers, line dancing or many other patterns, I have grown to love quilting and making quilts. I have also started donating quilts to children and other worthwhile charities.. I constantly focus on learning more and getting better, and it is a labor of love for me.
Finally, I want to tell you the most wonderful part of my story! Late last year I began to yearn for a larger long arm machine. My husband is very supportive of my hobby, and we stop at quilt stores as we travel. I told him I wanted to upgrade my machine to an HQ 18 Avante or an HQ24 Fusion. I knew it was probably not likely to happen with an upcoming wedding of our oldest daughter, as well as college for our two youngest daughters. But we looked and I dreamed.
My husband knew how much I wanted to move up, and we talked about it a lot, though it didn’t seem to be feasible for the near future. Without my knowledge, my husband talked to a lot of dealers and bought a machine from Stephanie at Quilters Haven in Rockford, Illinois. But the best part of it was how he did it. He purchased the machine just after an Iowa quilt show from Quilters Haven, all the boxes were shipped to the store, and on an late fall 2009 afternoon, he took off work and we drove to Rockford to “look at machines” , though he said we would have to wait a while and continue to think about a new long arm machine. When we arrived at Quilters Haven, they took my husband and I to a room with a demo HQ24 Fusion machine, and to my complete surprise, there was a bow and it and a sign that read “All my love, Terry”. What a wonderful surprise! Though it has be a long and enjoyable path getting there, the rest of the story is that I am enjoying my Fusion. I love it! It is so smooth and I feel even more confidence in my quilting! Thank you to Stephanie and Quilters Haven for helping my husband for a wonderful surprise, thank you to HandQuilter for the Fusion, and thank you to my husband for his support of my love of quilting. He loves me!

Diane
PS: It was important to me to find a good home for my HQ Sixteen and earlier this year I found a new owner for it. I hope she enjoys it as much as I did!

I own the following HQ machines:

David and Amy Wierkiewicz

Amy and her HQ Sixteen

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Lordy, Lordy….Look who’s 40
Certainly, no one would argue that turning 40 is a milestone. It is a time to reflect on the person one has become, the life one has built, and one’s accomplishments. It is a time to celebrate life’s successes and to put life’s challenges in proper perspective; a time to look back, but more importantly, to look forward and to make a change that can set a new course for what lies ahead. What then do you get someone turning 40 that can change one’s life and personifies everything this milestone encompasses? Jewelry is nice and is a special way to tell someone how much they are loved. A trip to an exotic location where you can share the adventure of a lifetime is something that can be remembered for a long time. But I had a different idea to commemorate this important birthday as my wife, Amy, approached 40.
Amy has a degree in Fine Arts and has always had an artistic flair. Her career, however, took her into corporate marketing that, while requiring creativity, does not utilize much of her artistic talent. Slowly Amy began to get involved with various crafts. While Amy was recovering from a surgery, my mom taught her how to knit. She began making beautiful sweaters and afghans and soon there were projects of varying degrees of completion. My mom called her a knitting machine and couldn’t believe how perfect her stitches were.
The next step was sewing on an old machine and creating elaborate costumes for school plays and Halloween. Amy had sewn when she was younger, learning the skills from her mom. A major upgrade in her sewing machine led to quilting classes where she learned all the basics. Armed with most of the tools needed to create beautiful works of art, Amy threw herself into quilting. Using her artistic talents and eye for color, Amy soon began winning contests. However, all of her projects were of a scale that allowed her to quilt on her sewing machine. When asked why she didn’t create larger pieces, she explained that she would need to send it off to have someone else quilt it and it wouldn’t feel like her own piece if she did that.
Amy and her mom attended many quilting shows and seminars and classes always learning new techniques. She would come home and excitedly tell me about what she saw and learned and about all the tools and machines she saw. One day, she told me about long-arm quilting machines, but the discussion never got past the price tag or the size of the machine.
Amy continued quilting, but seemed to have a hard time considering herself the artist that everyone else saw. Was there something missing that was holding her back? Was there something that could get her over this hump?
As Amy’s 40th birthday approached, I started researching long-arm quilting machines after finding ads in the quilting magazines Amy would get. A review of Handi Quilter’s website led me to Kari Newell of Kari’s Sew Unique in Whitewater, WI. Kari patiently went over the specs of the machines and the frames and basically told me everything I needed to know about long-arm quilting machines. I placed the order for an HQ Sixteen and soon 5 large boxes were delivered.
The day of Amy’s big birthday, she unwrapped one of the boxes with a picture of the machine on the outside and the look on her face was priceless; I think it was the last thing she expected. The next day, we assembled the machine, table and frame, put in new lighting and flooring and now a big chunk of our basement is devoted to Amy’s Handi Quilter.
With the Handi Quilter, Amy’s quilting has gone to the next level. As Amy explains it, quilting with a sewing machine is like an artist who is trying to paint by moving the canvas against a stationery brush, but with the Handi Quilter, it is more like the artist moving his brush.
So was getting a Handi Quilter life changing? Well, Amy seems more confident in her abilities, can take on bigger projects, but most importantly, seems to truly consider herself an artist with all the tools needed to create her works of art.
So to all of you quilters out there, if you have a big day coming up and would like a long-arm quilting machine, leave this article in a strategic place where your husband might see it. Who knows? Maybe he will get you a Handi Quilter and it will change your life!

I own the following HQ machines:

Barbara Maddy

swirled quilt

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I got my HQ16 long before there was even a sturdy table to put it on!! There were no stitch regulators, yet, so my story evolves. When quilting quilts on my domestic machine made me say, "bad words," it was time to look for a long arm. I fell in love with the HQ16 and put it on a different frame. When the stitch regulators came out, HandiQuilter helped me accommodate my frame. I have since upgraded and LOVE my machine. I have just finished an embroidered, trapuntoed, McTavished quilt. I teach sewing classes in the summer and sometimes bring students to my house to see my machine. I am so glad I have a hobby and a passion and a HandiQuilter!!

I own the following HQ machines:

Judy Symalla

Me enjoying some handwork

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I just purchased the HQ Sixteen! I am so excited. Let me tell you what led to this purchase, about the first quilt I quilted on it and my future plans. I've had the original HQ frame for several years. I was sold on this frame because of the simple yet amazingly effective carriage that effortlessly glides my machine around. I didn't have the handles and had to use the pedal on the floor to make it go and grip the actual machine to move it around. However the smooth movement allowed me to quilt beautifully. So when the opportunity arrived that I could invest more money into my quilting I jumped at the chance to buy the HQ Sixteen. When I got it home and set up I put a bed size quilt on it for my first quilt. I was confident the machine would help me create beautiful results and that I didn't need a practice piece. I was correct. The HQ Sixteen runs so smoothly over the rails. I love having handles on my machine. Now for the confession that indicates what my future holds. In preparation for bringing my HQ Sixteen home I cleaned out my studio making a list of all finished quilt tops that are waiting to be quilted. I had 50 bed size quilt tops!!! One done with my new machine and I am so excited to move onto the rest. I will be learning to use the stitch regulator, the laser for pantos and maybe with the additional space for quilting that the HQ Sixteen allows me try some feather wreaths! Thank you HQ!

I own the following HQ machines:

Effie Faubert

Me & My Fusion1

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I have been quilting for at least 10 years and never enjoyed having to baste or pin and then quilt on my home sewing machine. Eventually I purchased a frame which supported my home machine. This made the process much easier....no basting.... hurray! The downside was the limitations on the quilting patterns. I would go to the local quilt stores and the sewing shows and dream, not to mention drool, over the long arm machines. I loved the HQ machines the first time I saw them, and kept on dreaming that some day..........
The summer of 2010 will always be remembered in our home as the summer of the HQ24 Fusion. My wonderful husband Dan and good friend and fellow long-arm quilter Jane both gave me the confidence to go ahead and purchase the HQ24 Fusion and the HQ Pro-Stitcher. Wow, it's hard to believe it's in my living room. Oh yeah, the living room is now my bright and beautiful quilting room.
I was encouraged to shop around before making this purchase and right from the start the HQ24 Fusion and HQ Pro-Stitcher captured my heart. The day I placed the order was a red letter day, complete with butterflies in my stomach. My local quilt store arranged to install the machine for me and then I was into long-arm quilting. What a treat! I've been stitching away and have done 8 quilts for a local quilting group which makes quilts for children with life threatening diseases. So much for housework! I love using this machine and my mistakes are just part of the learning process. Just to be able to do more than a 3 inch pantograph is an experience in itself. In a few weeks I will be taking a class with Jane and I'll be picking her brain for all those tips and techniques in using a long-arm quilter. Then comes the big test as my daughter is getting married this fall and I will be quilting their wedding gift which is a king size quilt. The HQ24 Fusion and HQ Pro-Stitcher will help me to do a beautiful job.
Thank you HQ for these products.

I own the following HQ machines:

Bobbie White

Me with my quilt honoring my Grandmother at the Decatur Quilt Show

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?My name is Bobbie White and I have been sewing as long as I can remember. Canning, freezing,
and sewing were all a part of every day life of my grandmother who passed the traditions on to
me, so I don’t know when I made my first quilt. When she passed away in 1986, I inherited a
quilt from her that had been made by my great, great Aunt Lucy prior to 1900, which became a
treasured possession for me. For years, I dreamed of having a place to create my own heirloom
quilts like Aunt Lucy.
When my husband received his master’s degree in 2003, he offered to send me back to school to
get my master’s degree. I told him I wanted to take the money I would spend on the first year of
college and create a sewing studio so I could start my own quilting business. I shared my dream
of continuing to work as a counselor at a treatment center for teenage boys until I could get my
business up and running then “retiring” to quilt full time. To my delight, he agreed to my plan
and helped me turn what had started as a carport into a studio. We insulated the walls, put up
wallboard, spackled the walls, put down needle friendly flooring and painted the room to match
my antique quilt which was hung in a place of honor. After adding a corner for family history
items, including a daguerreotype of Aunt Lucy, I was ready to add a machine.
After an extensive search of all the mid and long arm machines available, I found HQ. The
flexible table length and ease of handling caught my attention. After trying one at the Chicago
Quilt Festival, I was hooked. My HQ Sixteen arrived and I have been happily quilting ever since, for
myself and for others as well. At work, I taught groups of teenage boys to piece tops together
and complete them by quilting them on my HQ, giving them a sense of pride and
accomplishment. Several of my nieces and nephews have gotten married and all have received
quilted Christmas tree skirts for their wedding gifts. All of their children have gotten baby quilts,
thanks to my HQ. None of that would have been possible without it.
What is even more satisfying for me, was the fact that my husband caught the “quilting bug”
right along with me. As I worked on gifts and quilting for others, by husband took my scraps and
began making art quilts. Our walls are now covered with his bright, cheery creations. Together
we shop hop and have made several king size quilts for our own bed.. My latest passion has been
to take pictures from our vacations and turn them into quilted wall hangings. Although my
business has not grown to the point I can retire yet, my HQ has allowed me to expand my
quilting style and abilities in a way I had never imagined while reducing the stress from my full
time job. After each project, I marvel at how quickly it was completed and wonder how in the
world I got anything done before my HQ arrived.

I own the following HQ machines:

Debbie Griffin


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The sun had just came up. It was the first Saturday in June and was the beginning of a beautiful day. Nice and warm however, still had a hint of late spring coolness in the air. The was the day I had long awaited. It was the day that I was to bring home Hailey May. I usually had to play Mom's taxi for my fifteen year old girl and boy twins. Fortunately for me softball season for my daughter had just ended which gave her the next couple of weeks off because All-stars were not beginning yet. Summer hockey for my son was not going to start until the end of the month so this would give me all weekend to spend with Hailey as I did not have to be Mom the taxi this weekend. I only had every other weekend off as it was and worked many overtime shifts as a nurse in the past few months to save up enough money to finally bring Hailey May home.
I left my house that morning early enough to give myself plenty of time to get to the shop in nearby Massachusetts when it opened it's doors. I notified them earlier in the week that I would be picking her up. Kathy the shop owner said there was one last stipulation and that was I had to give her a name before she could leave the shop. A name I thought, what could I possibly name her. It then came to me... my oldest daughter was due June 25th with my first grandchild, a girl. She and her husband wanted to name her Hailey after my Grandmother who everyone loved dearly, as that had been her maiden name. Unfortunately, they had decided on another name that week because their yellow lab was called Bailey and thought it would be too confusing for everyone in their home, for the name was much to close. I chose the name admirably, Hailey for my beloved grandmother and May, as in may I always love to use my Hailey May.
As I drove along that picture perfect day in June I reflected back on the years with my grandmother and the love I had for her. It made me also remember the first class in quilting I had taken in high school in my junior year as an Home Economics elective, the first time using a sewing machine and all the mistakes I made, how far I had come, the many quilts I had make, far too many to ever count. Quilts for the many people in my life in which I have loved and those quilts that I have made for charity and donated to other, so that it would give them love. With the name Hailey May how could I go wrong, all the research I had done prior to choosing my HQ Sixteen machine. With my growing family I needed to save time, I no longer had time to hand quilt and it was also time consuming to try and quilt on my regular sewing machine, trying to fold and re-roll for different sections of the quilt. I had picked HQ Sixteen for it's seemingly easy to learn, for it's many options available, Price range, the way it appeared not like others I had seen all strung onto boards with Velcro. I liked the home website for Handi Quilter. It impressed me with the educational part of it with demonstrations on most everything from threading a needle to using rulers with a base. I right at home when using my HQ Sixteen machine the first time in the quilt store for I had been given training for a couple of hours. I felt like I did not need a technical degree to use it like other quilt machines I had seen, with their many wheels to fine tune and computers to program. Additional classes were also offered for a minimal fee once per month on various topics, and would answer any questions that I might encounter.
I chose my HQ Sixteen for all of it's wonderful features from lighting to stitch regulator that was built in. The style for the groovy boards, the laser for the pantographs, the quilting space, the ability to work the front or back of the machine depending on which technique was selected. I gave me great pleasure in knowing that I could someday upgrade and purchase the HQ Pro-Stitcher that is also available. I ordered all the options that were available, and put my name on the waiting list for the micro handles that had just come out and were not quite available at time of purchase. The Quiltable Table by Handi Quilter was also selected by me because I liked the option to set it up for a king size quilt. My husband had set it all up for me that weekend. I had the room so I asked him to set up for the king size and it is still that way today.
It has been a little over two years since that memorable day in June and it seems like yesterday. My 2 year old granddaughter Emily (Born June 26, 2008) now has a baby sister who is now nine months old. I have quilted many quilts on Hailey May and still love to quilt on her. I can now reflect back and see the mistakes I have made and learn by them. I know I have many more quilts to make and quilt on her, for the many people in my life that I love and also to the others who are not as fortunate that the quilts are made for that will be loved dearly by that person.

I own the following HQ machines:

Pat Philpott


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My husband and I retired in our early 50's and spend 6 months in Western NC each year. At that time I took two beginning quilting classes and loved the whole process except trying to quilt on my domestic sewing machine. Very frustrating and the finished quilts were less than perfect. I had seen the HQ at my local quilt shop in Franklin, NC and secretly was trying to figure out how to "make it happen". We had friends in town the week end of my birthday and we rented a pontoon boat for a day on Lake Glenville. My husband (Bob) was running the boat and noticed a plastic bottle floating on the lake. He announced he was turning the boat around to pick it up. Once we got to the bottle there was a note inside, a very "wet" note, but we managed to get it out of the bottle and piece it together.. It read, "look in the glove compartment of the boat". Odd, I thought but I did and there was a Handi Quilter CD which read, "Happy Birthday", Love, Bob". You can imagine by happiness. My quilt shop "A Stitch in Time" in Franklin, NC came to set it up. My set up day and education was prompt and I am quilting happily ever after. I love how easy it is to use and although I'm only quilting for myself and a couple of friends I love not waiting for quilts to be sent out to the long arm. Sometimes it would take several weeks for them to be returned. I have my HQ set up at 9 feet....and now I need to enlarge my quilting space. That may take some persuading.

I own the following HQ machine: HQ Sixteen

Sandi Phillips

Wallhanging I made for my mom-it is double-sided.

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My story begins in 2000 after I graduated from college. Every year my daughter and I would go to my aunt's house for Christmas and every year she usually purchased her granddaughters and my daughter the same things, except that year.
My aunt made her granddaughters a memory quilt with pictures and my daughter didn't get one. I could tell that my daughter was disappointed because she didn't get one, but she didn't ask why until we went home. How do you explain to your 16 year old daughter why they got a quilt and she didn't, without hurting her feelings? So, I made her a promise that I would make her one. I, of course, had to learn how to sew and quilt. I took a quilting class at our local school during the evenings for 6 weeks and I made my first quilt.
From there I was hooked. I made my husbands quilt and then dived right into making my daughters memory quilt for her high school graduation. She of course loved it.
I have made many quilts since then. I started out hand quilting them, but to me that wasn't fast enough and I wasn't good at it, so I started to send them out. That of course got expensive too, so I stopped sending them after a while. Every time I would go to a show and HQ was there, I would talk to the representative and tell her, soon I will have an HQ, but I just never got there. It took me 10 years to get my first machine. I got another name brand, but it just wasn't an HQ. Once HQ came out with the HQ18 Avante, I knew I had to have it. So, I sold my other machine after owning it for a year and purchased my HQ18 Avante at MQX in April and I haven't looked back since. I really enjoy owning my Avante. That's my story and I am sticking to it. :)
Sandi

I own the following HQ machines:

Vanessa Davidson

Vanessa(left) and Cheryl

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My journey of being a quilter was built upon 40 years of sewing experience, and a family of creative minds. I’m currently nearing the age of 54 and recently retired. I’ve been sewing for nearly all of my life and picked up quilting about 10 years ago. Back in 1968 when I was just shy of my 12th birthday I tried to make my sister a shirt out of fabric that we had laying around using my sisters pajama top for a pattern, with this my mother knew I was ready to sew. My mom was an absolutely beautiful seamstress and with this she passed her knowledge of sewing down to me. I’ve always been thankful of her giving me this talent because it’s given me a way to express myself in a form of art that I can pass down within my own family. My first quilt class was back in the year 2000; I knew I wanted to long arm quilt after I saw all the quilts the ladies in the "block of the month" group sent out to be quilted; they were beautiful. I was very new to quilting, and long arm quilting seemed so foreign to me but I was determined enough to give myself to the art in order to become a proficient quilter. My family consisted of six children and my husband’s of five; this meant there were lots of quilts to be made. After my mother had passed away in 2004, I took pieces of her clothing and with the help of my husband (and his knowledge of computers) I printed out fabric pictures, piecing together the treasured moments of my family’s history into six separate quilts for each of my brothers and sisters. I knew both my mother and father were surely proud of me. I knew after these six quilts and the amount of determination, passion, and heart I put into each one of these that I was finally ready to be a long arm quilter. I set up an appointment for a Saturday to look at the HQ Sixteen long arm, but found myself crying and unable to go because I felt like my mother should have been there for this. She passed all of her talent down to me and I wanted to show her how I took the gift she gave me and used it to create beautiful pieces of work for all of our loved ones. I had never entered a new stage of sewing without the guidance of my mother and it was an eye opening day for me. I realized my mother could no longer be there with me, but she could live on within my work. Three weeks later I finally found the strength to go in for the demo on the HQ Sixteen; it was so easy to use and I didn't have to think twice if I wanted it. It was also good I had waited; there was a sale where if I bought the machine and table the frame would be included. I knew it was meant to be. I ordered my machine and awaited anxiously, tracking it’s every movement from Utah to Kissimmee, Florida. The Machine arrived on Friday and was to be set up on Saturday; it was like I was a little girl waiting for Santa Claus to bring me a gift. I sat up all night with my best friend Cheryl (she married my brother, and we have been sewing together for over 25 years) staring at the unopened box. We stayed up the entire night sewing and quilting in anticipation for the next day. I have named my HQ Sixteen Sophie after my sister’s mother in law. She was an avid quilter and perfected the art; her quilts were absolutely beautiful and I admired the dedication she put into each stitch. I stippled my first quilt the day after I got my HQ Sixteen, not bad for my first quilt. I have since done pantographs, groovy boards, and some using rulers. The best part is when a quilt comes off the frame; I step back and look at what I have quilted. I can’t believe that I quilted them, because they are looking like the ones I admired as a beginning quilter. Sophie (HQ Sixteen) has become my new best friend! (Sorry, Cheryl!!!). Fast forwarding a few years, my step father recently passed away and all six of the children were left to sell my parent’s home. It was one of the hardest things I’ve ever had to do in my life, but I felt with it came hope. I order the HQ Pro-Stitcher and it has since than arrived. I’m going to be training on the machine in the next few weeks and I’m truly excited about stepping farther into the art of quilting. Each time I learn something it helps my mother live on through me and allows me to show the gift my mother gave me to the world. I owe the talent I have to both of my parents. My dad was always praising my sewing and craft projects and he built my first sewing cabinet for me. My neighbor always used to say “I can’t understand why you take perfectly good fabric, cut it up, and sew it back together again.” This was something that always used to make me laugh and I reflect upon it while I sew. A long arm HQ Sixteen may be “just a machine” to some, but to me it’s a way for to share our family’s history with everyone and give each of them a special gift so they never forget how wonderful of a life we’ve all had.

I own the following HQ machine: HQ Sixteen

Gail Tozier

Gail and her "16"

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Growing up, my mom made lots of my school clothes, and taught me to sew when I was in the 4th grade. When I went off to college, I made her a hand tied crazy quilt from the scraps of the clothes she had made me all those years before, with a machine I’d bought myself. For my 21st birthday, Mom said I could have whatever I wanted….set of dishes, pots and pans, whatever….I chose a sewing machine. The shop offered a thread painting class (they called it free motion machine embroidery back then) and I found a new passion. And, when she passed away, I upgraded to an embroidery machine with my inheritance. I did mostly garment construction for myself and my two daughters.
Our family business took my husband and me to Louisiana in 2005 to assist with the Katrina relief effort. We spent five months there, working and living in a fifth wheel. I had my daughter ship my sewing machine out to me in December; even if I had limited space and time, at least I was getting a sewing fix. My best friend was emailing me about the table runners she was piecing and quilting. I couldn’t wait to get home to experience it myself. The day after our return, my friend, Centella and I went to the Sew Expo in Seattle, where we saw our first Handi Quilter.
I started piecing quilts…wall hangings, throws and crib-size…many made on “sew days” with my friend, Centella. But, the quilting part was NOT much fun. Because of a bad back, I could only “push” the fabric through for about 15 minutes a day before the pain would force me to quit. I took a long-arm class at a local quilt shop, and fell back in love with “thread painting”….free motion stitching. When Centella’s husband bought her an HQ Sixteen, I scheduled our “sew days” to coincide with a quilt top being completed, as she let me use “Hannah” to quilt my own.
Every year we do a “quilt / sew” trip. In 2008 we attended Hand iQuilter University (HQU). Calling home during our stay, I negotiated with my husband to let me get an HQ Sixteen …if I moved my sewing studio above the 2 ½ car garage the grandkids wouldn’t have to sleep at the foot of our bed anymore…they could have the old sewing room, not to mention the sewing clutter would be gone; he’d also get a quilt out of the deal (he’s gotten two: Soldier’s Braid throw and Pines and Needles queen, which I found the pattern and fabric for while at HQU); and other negotiations…. I picked out my HQ Sixteen right off the assembly line, autographed the bottom with a butterfly, and it was shipped to me in late November. By Christmas, I had completed two twin quilts (with 159,330 stitches in each), a queen and two Christmas stockings.
Last year I did a floral whole cloth quilt with 307,395 stitches. As you can see, I journal and track all of my quilts. I am making quilts for each of my twelve grandkids (5 to go), among others, and have taught two of my granddaughters to quilt…they love it. To date, I have quilted twenty quilts on my HQ16, using rulers, free motion (love feathers) and pantographs, with 1,842,344 stitches logged. When I’m contemplating a free motion design, or want to practice feathers, I often use the back of my church bulletin….helps stimulate the brain to concentrate on the sermon.
I love the quilting almost more than the piecing. I do the “quilt dance” for hours on end, without the back pain.
Maybe I’ll start negotiating for a Fusion 24.

I own the following HQ machines:

Kim Gosselin

on my hands and knees

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This is my HQ story. I have been quilting for 16 years. I have produced so many quilts over the years...too many to count. I used to be able to complete each quilt but as time went by I wasn't able to. Needless to say, I have a vast collection of quilt tops needing my attention. I realized then I needed a long arm quilting machine to aid me in my task. The quest for a quilting machine began. I attended quilt shows, researched on-line, and decided that the HQ Sixteen would suit my needs. My husband Joe and I own a home based Woodworking business and since I didn't want to use our only income to fund the machine, I started a second job. I stashed my part time pay-cheques into a special account. As I approached my financial goal, a situation arose (as they often do at times like these). My daughter was in need of transportation for University and because I love her dearly, I didn't hesitate to offer up my savings so she could purchase a car. I thought,"I can wait." I really didn't know when I'd own a quilting machine. I quit my weekend job because it interfered with my lifestyle and it cut into my quilting time. Owning a quilt machine seemed so far out of reach. This year for my birthday, my husband said he was prepared to buy me a long arm machine and that I just had to tell him which one. I could not bring myself to say yes. I could not see us spending this kind of money on one item just for me. I told him, "no, but thanks anyway." On the Friday before my birthday, he asked me if I would help him bring in the groceries he had purchased. This was not unusual because he often shops Fridays after he finishes delivering our work. Naturally, I went to help. It took me a couple of seconds to figure out what was going on. There were no open boxes in the truck, just closed ones. I asked where the groceries were and he said the were in the boxes. A few more seconds passed. It was then I read the side of one box: HQ18 Avante! Wow! I was elated. I wept from disbelief and laughed with excitement! How very fortunate I am to have a husband that makes my dreams come true. I was sure that after I told him not to buy it, he wouldn't. Some things don't change; he still doesn't listen to me! The work began: a weekend of rearranging the basement, installing more lighting and setting up the HQ18 Avante (and HQ Studio Frame) ensued. I was finally able to take my HQ on its maiden voyage. It has only been a week, and though I'm not very steady on the controls, I'm sure my techniques will perfect in time. I look forward to completing all my unfinished projects and my bet quilting friend's projects too. Sincerely, Kim Gosselin of Morinville, Alberta, Canada Ps. My husband says that he has now lost a wife, but gained the TV room. Fair trade? You tell me.

I own the following HQ machine: HQ Sixteen

Glenda Herrmann

30th anniversary quilt

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My mother was a quilter and piqued my interest in sewing and quilting. She taught me some quilting but I began by making many of my children's clothes. Then about 25 years ago I graduated to quilting and only made a few. I quickly developed a passion for quilting. This passion, however, was put on hold for a few years while my children were in their teen years. Then, after the children married, I started quilting again. As most beginning quilters, I tied my quilts and many of them began to come apart over time. I always wanted a longarm machine. I bought a wooden tabletop frame but this proved more frustrating than rewarding. My mom and I would quilt and I still have a quilt she paid to have done, we both really wanted one and that was probably way back to the 80's! I don't have much room in my bedroom to get around to do pantographs, which is what I love to do, but when I think how much my mom would have loved one, I feel very lucky. My husband would accompany me to quilt and trade shows and I would always "introduce" him to the mechanical marvels and technological efficiency of a long-arm machine. Then, for my 50th birthday, he surprised me with an HQ Sixteen! I made quilts for all members of my family and many of my friends. My quilts have been given to family and friends all over. How they love the fruits of my labor. As you can see in the second picture my grandson, Kaleb is a great helper. I hope to introduce my granddaughter Kylie to quilting soon. My grandson, Wesley has his first quilt of many and he is almost a year old. In fact, I made a quilt for my husband for our 30th wedding anniversary. The quilt was made from material I collected from all of the places we traveled together. The anniversary quilt is one his most prized possessions even though he got a speeding ticket on the way to a quilt store in Utah to buy fabric for his quilt that he knew nothing about. How wonderful it is to be able to make an entire quilt from start to finish and "drive" the HQ Sixteen at the end.

I own the following HQ machines:

Janet Barnet

Me and my machine

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I started quilting because of a bet I made with my husband after my first child was born. We both had gained weight and were struggling to loose it. So the bet was who ever lost the weight first got a day to themselves. I won and took an all day quilting class. I have been a quilter ever since. As my children went off to college I decided that I could take my quilting to the next level and started looking for a long arm machine. After lots of research I decided that the HQ Sixteen was perfect for me. I loved it from day one. It has allowed me to stop teaching and teach quilting full time along with machine quilting for others. Just recently I have upgraded my machine to the HQ18 Avante with the HQ Pro-Stitcher. I can't wait to see how my quilting improves to another level!!

I own the following HQ machines:

Suzanne Burke

Suzanne Burke

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My HQ story begins a few years ago, when I had been comparing longarm quilting machines. Trying all of the machines I could, I decided I liked all the features of the HQ Sixteen with HQ Pro-Stitcher including the affordable price. After finding the closest dealer was about a hour away, I decided to ask my sewing machine dealer, whom I trust and have had a great customer relationship, "Would you please think about becoming a Handi Quilter Sales Representative/Dealer?". I showed him all my research and explained how he really needed to do this! Well to my surprise, he agreed and a few months later he had my HQ Sixteen with HQ Pro-Stitcher delivered and set up in my brand new sewing studio my husband had built for me. It is my sanctuary.
I have to tell you, although I loved my HQ Sixteen, when I saw the new HQ24 Fusion with HQ Pro-Stitcher and was able to try it, (so smooth) I knew I had to make one follow me home! I am thrilled with the quilting space and all the wonderful features of this machine and last but not least, with all the help and support of my dealer, educators and the Handi Quilter Team. Thank you all for designing a machine for quilters!
Thank you for giving me the opportunity to share my HQ Story.
Suzanne Burke
Sunset Beach, CA
HQ24 Fusion with HQ Pro-Stitcher

I own the following HQ machines:

Debbie Bowles

This is me taken this year.

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My name is Debbie Bowles from Georgia. I sewed for my children when they were very young then put my sewing machine up for 30 years. My sister-in-law had always wanted to learn to quilt and spoke of it often. I reluctantly agreed to take with her a free “Quilting 101” class from a local quilt shop and immediately caught the “quilting bug.” That was in 2007. Since then, I’ve probably pieced together around 30 quilts. Most of the quilts I made were lap quilts or crib size so that I could quilt them on my on my home machine. I used my neighbor’s mid-arm for the few full-size quilts I made but I hated quilting only 5 inches across at a time. Many of my quilts tops were stored on a shelf; I would not be satisfied until I had my own long-arm machine and I didn’t have the patience to continue to use the mid-arm with a 9” throat after the second try. I just wanted my own long-arm.
In 2009, my husband and I want to quilt shows, test drove the entire inventory of long-arm machines, and asked lots of questions. I loved the HQ for many reasons, one of which was because of the frame. Unlike other frames, it wasn’t necessary to adjust the height of the rollers as the take-up roller got larger. The price was also much more reasonable and had all the features I wanted included the stitch regulator. It was also possible to add other features such as the HQ Pro-Stitcher computerized quilting. Oh, I wanted one so badly. However, I had retired that year un-expectantly and money was tight. I continued to check E-Bay and other websites to purchase a used HQ. Apparently, people aren’t interested in selling their HQ. Again, that confirmed that I was after the right machine. And then… there it was, the HQ Sixteen, and the price was one I could afford. However, when I called the lady, the system had already been sold. The lady, an instructor for Handi Quilter, was selling her system to upgrade to the HQ18 Avante or the HQ24 Fusion Package. (I can’t remember which.) When she noted the disappointment and eagerness in my voice, she quickly suggested that I call another HQ instructor who was also upgrading her system to a larger HQ. I immediately called Meredyth Rotlisberger and made the purchase. It is wonderful. I love my HQ Sixteen and within the first two months, I had quilted 16 quilts that had been stored on the shelf waiting for this addition to my quilting studio.
I enjoy “playing” and quilting with my HQ. It’s so easy to maneuver. Now, I’m making larger quilts and not just the lap quilts. Quilting has given me an enjoyable pastime since my retirement and my family will be warm for many winters and generations to come. I stay in my quilting studio a minimum of 6 to 9 hours almost every day and I thank God, I was fortunate enough to find Meredyth. She was very helpful in helping me to set up my machine and get started. Also, the home office of Handi Quilter has been very helpful in helping me switch over the owner registration and answer any questions I had. I love the company and I love my machine. I have already started a plan to upgrade to the HQ18 Avante or the HQ24 Fusion within the next three years. I want more and I wouldn’t even consider another machine!! It’s easy to see that Handi Quilter was designed by a quilter for quilters.

I own the following HQ machines:

Willene Smelcer

Southern Gospel Singers Ties Quilt

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My HQ Story started after I went to a quilt shop that had an old large quilting machine, and I saw right away, it would wear you out and that you were your own stitch regulator. My husband had already shown me the HQ Sixteen, which was just out on the market, and my friend and I thought it was out of our budget. Paducah had their quilt show and my husband took us to see this machine along with others, one in particular he had to pay $8.00 just to see it and he was very upset. We had never seen a show of this magnitude and we were very overwhelmed. So my husband just dragged us through it. On the way home (4 Hours) we discussed and later looked on the Internet again and called a dealer in Olympia, Washington and secured the machine at the show price. My husband built my table and I loved it. The machine arrived and I started out just meandering and then I would just get so messed up and get the machine out of whack. I'd have to walk off and let my husband adjust everything. I finally conquered all those bugs and got a new update that took out a lot of bad habits. I almost named it Jezebel. My partner couldn't master the machine so I bought her part. After a few more updates and years of seeing each other everyday, we had finally had a good relationship. I heard a rumor that the HQ Pro-Stitcher would be out in late November and by Christmas we had purchased it and was very anxious to start a new chapter and year. It has made my life much easier and all the women around me have beautiful quilts to brag about. In fact a show quilt I did was really a piece of art, because of the quilting and others said the quilt wasn't bad either. I really like this machine. Know her so well and she is so dependable. I now have quilted my last quilt on her and it's as good as new. I have just bought the HQ24 Fusion w/HQ Pro-Stitcher and I am sure there will be many more stories and a lot more learning. God has truly blessed me and given me a great machine at a good price.

I own the following HQ machines:

Flo Dubielak

My sewing buddy is always nearby

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I will start right out by admitting it – I have not been sewing and quilting all my life and have no close relative that introduced me to the wonderful world of quilters. Here is how my passion started---
After a particularly hard time in my life, my husband suggested I take up a hobby. I had an old sewing machine and we went shopping to see about trading it in for something new to start my ‘new’ hobby. Sewing what – I had no idea. I came across a shop that had sewing machines AND sewing machines that embroidered. Wow! I thought. That would be fun. So I started taking classes on machine embroidery. It was only a year later that we moved to Las Vegas from Chicago dreaming of retiring. I missed my buddies from the sewing store and the embroidery classes I attended regularly.
One day while driving, my husband spotted a sign, “Uncommon Threads,” and pulled in. Little did I know that turn would change my life. It was a fabric shop for quilters. Oh, I don’t do that, I said. The kind ladies in the shop ignored me and started pulling fabric from stacks all over the store. Just put this together, cut a few squares and you’re on your way, they said. Come back Saturday and join us, they said.
Well, a few shop hops later, I was hooked in a big way. I started with a few wall hangings that I could easily quilt on my sewing machine. Later as I improved, I started to do larger pieces. Now what do I do? Well, I can send it out to a “quilter” to finish. MY quilt! Someone else work on MY quilt? My husband and I put our heads together and figured a way to stretch the budget; he researched machines and we thought we found a nice mid-size machine and table. Months and tears later we returned the machine and I was back to my quandary.
But we didn’t give up. We found an ad for a Handi Quilter dealer in our part of town. The people were friendly, the machine and table looked sturdy and they offered a lot of support and service. The idea of local service was a big factor in our decision.
A young man from the store delivered the machine and table and proceeded to unpack and set it up. He wouldn’t let us do a thing. As he worked he started explaining the different parts and how to work them. When he was done, he took time to do a demonstration and then turned it over to me. He did not leave until I felt comfortable running the Handi Quilter.
Now a couple of years later, I cannot say enough about the Handi Quilter machine and table. I have not had to make lots of fussy adjustments, a few drops of oil once in a while and that is all. I turn on the machine and go! For someone with little experience like me, it is such a joy to be able to produce beautiful quilts practically from day one. I have a lot to learn and practice but my Handi Quilter makes it possible for me to concentrate on my work, not worry about the machine acting up. Bobbin replacement is handy and easy to reach. Changing thread is simple. My only complaint is I do not have enough time to do everything I would like. Being in a professional class, learning with other “handi quilters” would truly be a dream come-true.

I own the following HQ machines:

Sandy Lai

me and some of my quilting friends

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I bought my HQ Sixteen 2 years ago while I was in the states. I had previously just looked at them wishing to have one. Living in Hong Kong we have to send our quilts back to the states or to the Philippines to get quilted. I hand quilted mine on my great grandmothers quilting frames, but that took a lot of time.I took most of the pieces of my machine back as part of my luggage and had my son send the table. I have quilted over 80 quilts, mostly for friends on my machine and just upgraded this summer to the HQ24 Fusion.

I own the following HQ machines:

2010 My HQ Story: Deborah Higgins

Standing in front of my Best of Show quilt, the very first one quilted on my HQ Sixteen

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In 2004, I went to the Quilter's Heritage quilt show in Lancaster, PA, and was mesmerized by a competitor’s longarm machine. I came home considering selling my car to pay for it! Then I came to my senses and decided waiting at the bus stop in a foot of snow in NY wasn’t worth a longarm machine.
My online quilting group, the Underground Playground, has been meeting once a year for 10 years. In October 2005, we met in NY and visited the Quilt Basket in Wappingers Falls. While the rest of the group shopped, our usual activity upon entering any quilt shop, I became entranced by the HQ Sixteen. Allan Anderson answered my questions patiently, even going so far as to show me how the quilt gets pinned to the leaders. I LOVED this machine. My group finally forced me out of the shop so we could visit the next one, but I couldn’t forget the feeling of quilting on that machine. And the Quilt Basket made sure I didn’t forget. After a few weeks, when the shop sample was removed from the frame, they mailed me the portion I quilted! That stayed pinned on my sewing room wall for a while, calling my name (well, I did write my name on it!). When my birthday rolled around in March, I decided I had suffered long enough and gave myself a present—a brand new HQ Sixteen and the QuilTABLE. AND I didn’t even have to sell my car to pay for it!
I requested the day off from work when I was notified it would be arriving. The UPS driver from my job is the same one for my home and when he saw the name, he drove around with it all day making sure I’d be home from work when he arrived! How could I be mad at him when he finally showed up at 7 pm? Oh sure, it’s funny now, but it wasn’t funny when I was anxiously staring out the window all day waiting for it!
I assembled the table and loaded that machine on there myself. As you can tell from my photo, it’s not like I’m 18 and in great shape! But nothing was going to stop me from quilting on my new machine.
After practicing different designs feverishly on 5 yards of muslin for a few weeks, I began taking my finished quilts into my local shop, Pieceful Quilting, showing off what I’d quilted on my HQ Sixteen. The staff told me that a couple longarm quilters for hire had moved away recently and that customers were always asking for someone to quilt their tops. I started by quilting shop samples and gradually took on a few customers with small quilts as my courage and confidence grew. Now I have a waiting list. I still have a full time day job, but quilting for others gives me some extra income and the chance to see some gorgeous quilts.
After hearing me rave about my machine, two members of my online group now own the HQ Sixteen. Recently I test drove the HQ24 Fusion being demonstrated by the Quilt Basket at the Eastern Long Island Quilters Guild annual quilt show. I think the piece I quilted might show up in the mail one day soon . . . . .
Well, that was last year's story. I'm so happy to say I have more to add! The Quilt Basket held a Handi Quilter retreat in April on Long Island with Handi Quilter educator Debby Brown, and I made sure to call dibs on using the HQ24 Fusion they brought with them. What a sweet piece of machinery! And the HQ Studio Frame? HEAVEN! Demonstrating remarkable restraint, I left the retreat without purchasing the Fusion. The Quilt Basket vends at the Eastern Long Island Quilters Guild quilt show every year, so in June, I had yet another chance to be tempted. Oh, and did I mention that the VERY FIRST QUILT I ever quilted on my HQ Sixteen won first place in the group quilt category, a Vendor’s Choice ribbon from the Quilt Basket, AND BEST IN SHOW!!!!! How exciting is THAT?????
At the end of July, I was doing custom work on a customer’s quilt. As I was nearing the end of the quilt, I was starting and stopping continuously, muttering to myself the entire time, “I could do this in half the time on the Fusion”. By the end of the quilt, I’d talked myself into it. I emailed Allan Anderson of the Quilt Basket, who was vending at Quilt Odyssey in Hershey, PA that weekend. He answered me from his hotel room that night (Does that man ever stop working??), with all the information, including letting me know about the free AccuQuilt Studio Fabric Cutter!
There were three local women who, knowing that I’d been lusting after the Fusion for over a year, had asked to be notified when I upgraded so they could discuss purchasing my HQ Sixteen set up. Alice was the first one to jump at the chance and she now has an HQ Sixteen in her basement! Allan drove several hours, from the OTHER SIDE of New York City, to personally assemble my HQ Fusion Frame, set up my Fusion, and make sure everything was running smoothly. On a SUNDAY, no less. THEN, he went to Alice’s house and set HERS up! I can’t say enough about the Quilt Basket as a Handi Quilter dealer and as educators to make sure their customers know how to fully use the machines they represent. And the same goes for Handi Quilter. You know they’ve been listening to their customers when they come up with tilt screens, adjustable lighting, thread sensors, a larger quilting space, and a new track system, just to name a few things!
I’ve only had time to quilt five tops on the Fusion, but I’ve done pantographs, free hand, and ruler work. I used the black light feature for the first time last night. I love the HQ24 Fusion and the Fusion Frame (I haven’t stopped having fun long enough to take the AccuQuilt Cutter out of the box yet). I guess I’ll start lusting after the HQ Pro-Stitcher. Did you hear that, Allan?? : )
Deb (www.DivineQuilting.blogspot.com)
Ecstatic Owner of an HQ24 Fusion

I own the following HQ machines:

Joanne Moody

Left - Grandmother's top quilted with my HQ16. Right - One of my quilts done with the ProStitcher

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My HQ Story
Hi! I am Joanne Moody, and I’ve been quilting for several years. I enjoy all kinds of quilts. I love wonderful color combinations and eye-appealing designs. My first quilt was a tessellating star design that I saw in a book and absolutely had to make for my son, complete with mitered corners! I made and quilted it on my domestic sewing machine – One experience of that was enough for me! It was a huge learning experience for a brand new quilter - I didn’t know about chain piecing, so it took me a couple of years to finally finish, but it did look great and he loved it! From then on, I was hooked. But, the physical effort of trying to do the quilting on a domestic sewing machine was just too much for me. I desperately wanted my own quilting machine so I could take a quilt from start to finish and ‘own’ it all!
Several years ago I was finally ready to purchase a long-desired quilting machine. But I live in a small home, so I knew that I would need a machine and table that I could set-up and then later take-down and store away. I researched and found two machines I wanted to test-drive and demo – the HQ Sixteen and Brand-X. I learned as much as I could about the machines and then went looking for dealers. At the time, there was only one Brand-X dealer shown on their website for my state - it was in a major city a couple of hours away. There were many HQ dealers in our state (I liked that idea better), including one in the same general area as the Brand-X dealer. I knew that I wanted to ‘test’ the machines to see how they maneuvered as well as observe the stitch quality myself before I purchased one. Both dealers were open on Saturdays, so I prepared a list of up-front questions and planned to setup appointment times to see both machines on the same Saturday – that way, I would make the long drive from my small hometown only once.
I first called the Brand-X dealer, and spoke with the store owner. She answered a few of my questions but then told me that she had customers she needed to help in her store and she would have to call me back. But she didn’t ask for my phone number, so I called her back to leave it. I waited a day or two – no call back, so I called again. Once again, I got a couple of questions answered before she had to go. Figuring that she must not realize I was a totally serious customer and ready to buy a machine, I called again to setup an appointment for the following Saturday (during the store’s normal business hours) to drive there and try the machine. She told me that she was going to have her guild at the store that morning and it would not be a good time for me to come. I offered to change my schedule and come after the guild meeting, but she still insisted that it would not be a good day to come. Quite obviously, this dealer was NOT interested in a new cash-in-hand customer! I could only imagine how the after-sale service and support would go (unless you happened to be in her guild!).
By this time, I felt like my wonderful quilting-machine-parade had been rained on – it certainly wasn’t turning out like I had envisioned! So bracing myself for another round, I called the HQ Sixteen dealer to ask my questions and to schedule an appointment for a ‘hands-on’. What an incredible difference! The HQ dealer bent over backwards to help me (and ALWAYS returned my calls)! They gladly setup a time for me to come in that Saturday and test-drive the HHQ Sixteen machine – they even brought in their trainer from another store to work with me one-on-one so I could make a comfortable and knowledgeable buying decision! Now, THAT’s a dealer (by the way, that’s It’s-A-Stitch in Houston)! The machine sewed like a dream, and the stitch quality was excellent. We discussed options for my portable set-up/take-down needs and I purchased my machine and extendable table from them that day. With all of the help and information I received, I was confident that I had bought the right machine from the right people.
I returned to this same dealer about a year or two later to purchase the HQ Pro-Stitcher when it came out. As before, they answered my questions about issues to consider with my portable solution and encouraged me to come in to see the setup and test-drive the HQ Pro-Stitcher system before buying. And again, they arranged to bring in a trainer to show me how it worked and answer my questions. I felt like their most-valued customer! After seeing the HQ Pro-Stitcher and discussing with their technical staff, I came up with a clever solution to keep my portable setup that would also work with the HQ Pro-Stitcher (even my husband was impressed with my design idea). And when I’ve had to call Handi Quilter with a question or problem (which is very rare), they are ALWAYS pleasant and helpful. Once an HQ technician even stayed on the phone well after his normal work shift ended to finish stepping me through a fix for a little hidden loose screw, and then waited while I tested that it worked. THAT’s a commitment to support!
Some of the first things I quilted with my HQ Sixteen were two quilt tops that had been found in an attic and returned to our family – they had been hand-pieced by my husband’s grandmother. Later, after I got my HQ Pro-Stitcher, I repaired and quilted another hand-pieced quilt top that had been made by the great-grandmother of my daughter-in-law. Most amazingly, as I quilted these vintage tops, I felt like I got to be friends with the ladies who had worked so hard to put those treasures together.
Needless to say, my HQ has been a perfect solution for me and my space requirements, and my desire to take my quilts from start to finish. And it has been a wonderful tool to bring to life those incredible old quilt tops of our grandmothers. My HQ Sixteen/HQ Pro-Stitcher is a wonderful machine that does a beautiful job every time. I can’t imagine being without it!
And to the Brand-X dealer who was too busy to support a new customer, I say “Thank you for sending me to my HQ Dealer!” What an unbelievable stroke of luck for me! I got the right dealer, the right machine, and the right company! I am a very happy and satisfied HQ Sixteen/HQ Pro-Stitcherr owner.

I own the following HQ machines:

Linda Sackin


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I was meant to own a Handi Quilter. I am a 73 year young, sunny California girl. I have sewn since I was 12 years old and have been quilting for over 30 years. I tried hand quilting but found it too slow and tedious for me. I sent a lot of my quilts to the mid-west for hand quilting.
Longarm quilting became increasing popular in my area so I started taking my quilts to them. I was intrigued with the longarm machines but was afraid they were too complicated for me and too expensive.
I had reached a level of quilting where I wanted all the work to be mine. I researched some of the long arms available and had about decided on the HQ Sixteen. A friend in Florida had purchased one first.
I found a used APQS Ultima2 from a private party cheap so I bought it in 2005 (no stitch regulator). Perfect for a start. I discovered quickly it had many limitations and service was half way across the country. I then decided to look for a more advanced machine.
My local Bernina dealer became a dealer tor Hand Quilter and showed me the HQ Pro-Stitcher. I remembered my friend in Florida with the HQ Sixteen had given her machine to another friend in California who was not using it. She graciously gave it to me. I took it immediately to Scott Noble at Sew Vac Ltd. for service and to install the HQ Pro-Stitcher for me. He then delivered it to my house and set it up for me. I began learning how to use the HQ Pro-Stitcher and loved it. So easy, I am not very computer literate but I managed quite well with support. I loved it and had none of the problems I had with my other longarm, however, I missed the longer throat.
Then the HQ24 Fusion appeared. I knew I had to have one! The price was amazing compared to others in my area ie the Gammil. I immediately sold my HQ Sixteen to another friend and took delivery of my wonderful HQ24 Fusion with HQ Pro-Stitcher. I am thrilled with everything about it. It was meant to be and I have Scott Noble at SewVac Ltd. to thank for becoming a dealer and backup help and service. The sky’s the limit.
I hope I am chosen. Sincerely, Linda Sackin

I own the following HQ machines:

Cheryl Tappmeyer

Blooming Nine Patch

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My quilting journey began with a wedding. In 2005, my daughter wanted monogrammed bags for the bridesmaids in her upcoming wedding. I had learned to sew in junior high home ec classes, so making the bags wasn't a problem, but the embroidery? Clearly, I needed to purchase a new sewing/embroidery machine. While looking for fabric for the bags, I stopped by the local quilt shop. They didn't have the right fabric for the bag, but they had the most gorgeous quilts I had ever seen: unlike those I remembered from childhood, these were vibrant and beautiful! I quickly signed up for classes, and began piecing my first quilt. After quilting a wallhanging on my sewing machine, I soon realized that I wanted something larger to complete bed-sized quilts, and began to research quilting machines. A year after I bought my sewing machine, I purchased the HQ Sixteen, and began quilting. In the last four years, I have upgraded to the HQ Pro-Stitcher, HQ Studio Frame, and now, the HQ18 Avante. My daughter, the bride, has learned to sew and now makes baby quilts for all her friends, bringing them to me for quilting. I just wish I'd started quilting 30 years ago: there isn't time for all the quilts I want to make, but my HQ makes it so much fun!

I own the following HQ machines:

Diane Miller-Osborne

Diane with her machine "Dorothy"

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Hi! I'm Diane, the principal D of 3-D Quilting.
According to my mother, Dorothy, I started sewing on the machine at age 5 in an effort to keep up with her and my sister Donna. At that time we all did “fashion sewing”, making clothes for one another and ourselves. Donna and I were active in 4-H and Grange so we entered those contests and the local fairs. We managed to come away with a goodly share of blue ribbons.
One of my fondest memories of sewing is the three of us sewing in conjunction to finish up our Christmas dresses just before the party on Christmas Eve. One of my mother’s least favorite memories is finishing Donna’s wedding gown on the day of her wedding. We or at least I have gotten away from the last minute sewing though in a pinch “pressure” sewing can be done.
Although my grandmothers and great aunts did make quilts, my mother, my sister, and I didn’t really fall into the passion of it until about 20 years ago. Each of us had made an occasional quilt but cardboard templates and cutting out pieces with scissors just didn’t have a lot of appeal. The invention of rotary cutters, mats, and rulers changed all of that.
As the next generation of our family started to marry, we- Dorothy, Donna, and Diane, decided that we would make each of them a wedding quilt. So the three of us collaborated on eight different marriage or coming of age quilts at our own summer quilt camp. We dubbed ourselves the “Three D Quilters”
For years I staunchly claimed that I didn’t like the actual quilting of the quilt tops. Anything larger than twin size I sent to a professional quilter as I found the large ones too cumbersome to quilt on a domestic machine. However I began to enjoy the challenge of the actual quilting. Thus, when I retired after 35 years as a Spanish teacher, I decided to embrace that challenge full on and bought an HQ24 Fusion longarm machine.
I have named my business “3-D Quilting” in honor of the inspiration and support that I have always received from my mother Dorothy and my sister Donna although I, Diane, am the only longarm quilter. Even though Mom and Donna don't do the quilting, they are with me. My machine is named Dorothy to remind me to that "good workmanship is critical" and Donna is the sounding board for my ideas and my biggest cheerleader. I wouldn't be doing this without them.

I own the following HQ machines:

Patti Lee

Me and my HQ18 Avante'

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Twenty-five years ago, while living in Hawaii, a neighbor introduced me to Hawaiian quilting. I loved both appliqué and hand quilting. Prior to that, I began a new hobby every couple years (to include knitting, crocheting, tole painting, basket weaving, etc.). Before long I had made enough Hawaiian quilted pillows and wall hangings; I then tackled other forms of quilting. There’s always a new technique, new pattern, new fabric line, or something else to entice. Initially I was uncomfortable with choosing fabrics (colors) I began with white on white and eventually moved on to appliqué, pieced quilts, miniatures, and mixing both pieced and appliqué techniques.
Seven or eight years ago I was concerned that arthritis would affect my hand quilting so I began to dabble with machine quilting. Shortly before I quit working outside the home, my local quilt store began offering classes to use the HQ Sixteen as a pre-requisite to rent their long arm machine for my own quilts. That was a great way to learn to enjoy the long arm. I was thrilled this past winter to order my own HQ18 Avante.
I decided that since I’ve reached retirement age, I deserved a new sewing machine because I’d been using used Bernina machines (I have a 930 and 1230). After my research I went to my quilt shop intending to get the Bernina 820. Instead I ordered the HQ18 Avante, which has the features I wanted the most, the stitch regulator and the long arm. I’m usually not this spontaneous, but I’ve been very pleased with the decision.
A week after ordering, we had a 24-inch snowstorm. I was counting down the days for my delivery which coincided with another forecasted major storm. Cabin fever wouldn’t be so bad for me, if my new toy came. Tracking deliveries told me my seven boxes were on the truck for delivery, when the second storm began, deliveries were suspended that day; it was another ten days before all of my boxes arrived. I know there were many people who had major hardship related to 44 inches of snow in one week, but my patience was still tested.
I set my long arm up in my sewing room which is the smallest bedroom. It’s on a diagonal and not at full length. The rails extend to the walls so initially I crawled under the machine to thread the machine or plug in the laser and had rug burn on my knees. I can accomplish those tasks now at the end of the machine; if and when I need more length I can move the long arm temporarily to the guest bedroom, sunroom or living room. I threaten to sell my husband’s pool table in the club room since my machine gets much more use than the pool table, but I appreciate that he enables my quilting.
After a few days of practice, I tackled a quilt top I made before ordering the longarm. This was the fourth appliqué quilt I’d made using Mary Sorenson’s pattern, Simple Gifts; I used a McTavishing quilt design with glitter thread.
Since then I’ve tackled a couple dozen projects: UFOs, lots of pillows, cushion covers, wall hangings. I now concentrate more on pieced projects so I can spend more time quilting. Batiks are my current passion. The stitch regulator is wonderful!!! The micro handles will be on my wish list for Christmas so I can do some more micro McTavishing.
Everyone needs a pastime, especially for the good times and bad. I enjoy displaying favorite quilts on quilt racks throughout my house and have given my daughters quilt racks for the quilts I’ve given them. I make quilts for my kids and grandkids, friends and family. I’ve made baby quilts, anniversary quilts, wedding shower quilts, pink ribbon quilts, patriotic quilts and memorial quilts. It’s my way of dealing with emotions good or bad and when words sound trite or cheesy. I hope I’ll still have quilting to comfort me and loved ones for another twenty-five years.

I own the following HQ machines:

Maryanne Martyr

Me with Quilts

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I picked up my first sewing needle before I was five so creating, designing, making gifts and clothing was just part of my growing up. Mother's sewing focused mostly on clothing but over my childhood years there was an occasional quilt that was pieced from left over scrapes. Using old wool blankets as batting, I would help mother tie the quilts with bits of yarn to finish them.
Many years later after my kids left home I decided that I needed some hand projects to work on in the evenings. Thus, my evolution into the quilting world began anew. Piecing wall hanging and quilts by hand or machine kept me busy for several years but although I was finishing the small projects I found that I was accumulating a lot of unfinished bed size quilts. Recognizing that hand tied quilts were no longer the norm I wanted to try my hand at hand quilting. I found the process of sandwiching the quilt in preparation for quilting to be very challenging and something I really did not enjoy. I was able to master the 10 stitches per inch but found quilting by hand left my fingers punctured and sore, and I also came to the realization that there just wasn't enough time in the day to complete all the projects I had in mind. I decided that there had to be an easier way. Of course I was aware of quilting machines but thought they were just for the professionals.
In 2005 I won the viewers choice award for a top I completed at our local shop's $5 block of the month club. Of course I was very pleased and decided that I owed it to myself to have it quilted. I took it to a local quilter and was awed by her machine and the quilting she was able to do on it. She did a beautiful custom job on my king size quilt, but the charge was $325. Showing my husband the quilt I mentioned that I had 11 unfinished tops hanging in my closet and that I sure wished I could have a quilt machine.
I started taking notice of the quilting machine ads in the different quilt magazines and sent for demo DVD's. I made visits to shops to check out the setups that they had on the floor. Most were to large for the area I had and I really didn't need a commercial set up. One system that's price was attractive to me was to small to quilt a 12 inch block without advancing the quilt to I ruled it out. Then one day I told my husband that my sewing machine dealer was also a Handi Quilter dealer and although they were an hour away I thought that was a machine that offered the things I wanted and was affordable.
My husband unbeknown to me called them the next morning. He found out that they were running a special and he suggested that they call me direct and tell me about it. Receiving the call, that I thought was out of the blue, I relayed all the information to him and asked him what he thought --- he of course told me that I should go ahead and place an order.
My machine is a HQ Sixteen with Stitch Regulation and HQ Micro Handles.

I own the following HQ machines:

Dawn Myers

Big Production in a Small Space

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" From Start To Finish . . . Grandma Would Be Proud "
I began quilting with my grandmother on her living room floor, cutting "yo yos" with blunt end scissors. When she felt I was old enough, she gave me a threaded needle and I still remember that day vividly ...I was hooked ! Over the years, through my career in Human Resources, I quilted only on weekends dreaming of the day I could quilt any time I wanted. That day came August 1, 2009 when I retired. I had a very small sewing room, but I wanted a quilting machine. I began thinking of taking over the garage when I attended a class with David Taylor. During the class, he said he uses a Handi Quilter Sit-down machine. My hand shot up with the question, "what ?, a sit down machine !" He explained the machine, and as soon as I got home, I went online to look up the HQ Sixteen Sit-down. Measuring the one corner I had left in my sewing room, I found I actually had room for the HQ Sixteen Sit-down, so I bought it the next day. I was thrilled that I could set it up myself in a few minutes and I became a "one woman shop." I no longer have to send my quilts out and pay someone else to do the quilting. My husband's garage, is no longer a target for my quilting passion.

I own the following HQ machines:

Maggi Oswald

This is a raffle quilt top. I'm the "Tall" brunette.

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I started my first quilt when I was 8 years old. I tried to copy a Single Irish Chain quilt that my mother's grandmother made. I measured the squares, traced them on to cardboard and began tracing around the templates onto scraps of fabric I got from my mom. After tracing and cutting out about 200 of the 900 or so pieces I thought I needed, I gave up and threw the whole mess away.

Fast forward to 1978. I saw a quilt kit advertised in a magazine. I had no idea companies cut up fabric and sent the cut pieces and directions to aspiring quilters. I ordered the kit and made my first quilt - it was a Log Cabin, but a version where you sewed and flipped the pieces so by the time each block was finished, it was actually quilted. I used the quilt until I moved to San Antonio in 1981. As my husband wasn't fond of the color yellow, I left the quilt with my sister.

Fast forward again, this time until 1986. A very good friend and co-worker was a quilter. I admired her handiwork everytime I was in her house. The quilting bug bit me, and bit me hard!!

My first officially all on my own quilt was a Single Irish chain from the Quilt in a Day series. I was hooked on piecing tops, but struggled mightily to machine quilt on my domestic sewing machine. I finally gave up and just sewed giant X's through each square.

I conitinued piecing tops and just folded them up and stashed them in my sewing room. I loved the construction, choosing the fabrics and cutting and sewing the pieces, but just couldn't get the hang of free motion quilting. I even tried hand quilting, but it just took too long to do.

In 2003, I joined an on-line quilt guild that made quilts for terminally ill children. It was a great concept - a quilt was designed for each individual child, based on the child's interests and favorite colors, and guild members would sign up to make one block. The blocks were sent to a central location, where the guild leader would piece the tops and quilt the quilts.

As you might imagine, the blocks got made quicker than the tops could be pieced and quilted. About this time, I saw an add for the Handi Quilter II, and my lovely stepmother gave it to me for my birthday. My husband built me a table to set it on, and I started piecing the tops and quilting them with my domestic machine on the HQII frame. What a difference. I could actually quilt designs - follow pantographs. I was in heaven. I thought the HQII was the greatest thing since sliced bread, until . . . . .

I was looking at the Handi Quilter website to see if I could find some handles for the Handi Quilter II so I could quilt from the front of the machine. Lo and behold, I saw the HQ Simply Sixteen. OMG - a mid-arm machine I could actually afford. ( Earlier on, I had looked at several other mid and long arm machines, and nearly fainted at the prices).

Hubby and I discussed it, because after all, it is a major purchase, and he told me to go for it. So I drove 30 miles from San Antonio to the Quilt Haus in New Braunfels, TX, where a lovely lady showed me a HQ Simply Sixteen in person. About 3 weeks later, I went back up and took a lesson, to make sure my back and knees could handle standing and quilting for a length of time. 3 enjoyable, educational hours later, I was sold.

On December 27, 2007, I drove back to the Quilt Haus and bought my machine. My hubby surprised me by building a 20 foot by 20 foot studio in the corner of his workshop. I spend most weekends in my studio, sewing and quilting away. My backlog of pieced tops is gone and most of my friends and family have their own quilts.

Thank you Handi Quilter.

Maggi Oswald

I own the following HQ machines:

Lillian Palko

Lillian Palko

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My Handiquilter Story.
First I have to give you a little background. I’ve been pushing and shoving quilts through my domestic machine for several years. Once I started working part-time when my children were older, I started dreaming of something more efficient and less back straining. At first chance, I ordered a table top frame and set up my Singer 301 to quilt on a folding table. You had to slide the tract as you worked on this frame, and it wasn’t long before my husband made full length tracts for me. I would have been in heaven, but rolling every 5 inches due to the short throat space was a major pain, but I knew I had been bitten by the joy of free-hand quilting. I wondered if there was another machine I could use on my table top frame and started researching. It wasn’t long before I ran into information on one of the quilting sites mentioning the HQ Sixteen. I believe this was in 2003. I contacted Handi Quilter and was asking a million questions about using the HQ on my table top frame and they said if I was really interested, they could give me the introductory “show price” which was a show in Chicago at that time and I immediately said “yes.” It was the first and only time I have purchased something without trying it, researching it and pounding the pavement for better pricing. It has been the BEST purchase I have ever made.
Of course, I had to wait 4-6 months to get it and it was non-stitch regulated. I’ve since upgraded to stitch regulated for intricate work but having had the machine for several years before upgrading, I still prefer non-regulated. Later on, when Handi Quilter started offering their retreats, I signed up and went to the second one they offered. (The first dates didn’t work for me.) I haven’t had any greater experience in quilting retreats since. They were awesome, informative and treated us like queen-for-a-day.
I also ordered the HQ Micro Handles and the next greatest purchase was the professional table.
So, here I am, still sitting here after all these years with my Cheshire cat grin on my face and loving quilting! I know there is a quilter’s heaven earth.
Lillian Palko

I own the following HQ machines:

Leslie Bandaccari

Leslie, Molly and Jean (HQ16)

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Since I was a little girl, I have always wanted to learn to make beautiful quilts. The patterns and colors fascinated me. I would go to quilt shows and look for hours at all the quilts hanging on display, and at the women who spent countless hours creating memories that would last a lifetime. I finally took the plunge in 2004 with my very dear friend Jean. We started attending the “Block of the Month” club at a local fabric store and were immediately hooked. Jean had been sewing for her entire life and took to quilting like she was Picasso. I, on the other hand, had never really sewn anything and was struggling to keep up with classes and also keep on schedule with a career that required me to work very long hours. Most months, Jean would lovingly complete my block for me just so we could stay on track with the classes, knowing full well that my work schedule would not lend time for me to complete the next month’s block. As time went on, so did my work schedule. Jean would show me every day what she had completed and new projects that she was dreaming of. We would talk of the days to come in the near future when I would be retired and we could laugh and sew all day long. In 2007, Jean announced she was the proud new “mom” of an HQ 16! What a day that was. She threw a BBQ in its honor as my husband gladly put it together for her. She was ecstatic. She had only completed two small table runners on her new “baby” when we found out she was terminally ill. Just four months later, she was gone. Before she passed away, she asked me to do two things for her. The first one was to take care of her little dog “Molly.” The second was to fulfill my promise to her that I would start quilting. With that request, she gave me her new HQ Sixteen and all her sewing supplies (which totaled four rooms in her home.) I have finally retired. My husband and I moved to Wyoming last November and he immediately began building a room that would hold Jean’s HQ Sixteen and all of the sewing supplies. Everyday in the basement he worked for seven months….and it’s finally done. I have a wonderful friend here visiting on vacation this week. She is one of the most amazing quilters I have ever met and has the patients of a Saint. She knows my story and the pain I feel with the loss of my friend. So, this is for you Jean…. We went through all the pieced quilt tops you never had the chance to finish. Your HQ Sixteen is ready to go, and tonight I will keep my promise to you. Thank you good friend. Molly and I miss you.

I own the following HQ machine: HQ Sixteen

Centella Tucker

Centella and Hannah

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A few years ago my husband bribed me into retirement with a new sewing machine (with embroidery capabilities) and I started sewing for our first granddaughter. I wanted to make more than clothes, so I taught myself piecing techniques by making table runners and quilting them on my machine.
As I grew in skill, I wanted larger challenges. I soon found that I did not want to quilt anything larger than a baby quilt on my household machine. I took a class to use a commercial long-arm machine in a larger town about 2-hours from home so that I could complete my own quilts. We live in a rural area and my husband did not want me driving so far to rent a machine and stay two days to finish a quilt. So I started looking for a home long-arm.
I remembered a demonstration of the HQ Sixteen that intrigued me and my comparison shopping soon lead me to HQ again. Yep, we bought it. After having it about a year, I convinced a friend to attend HQ University with me and I learned so much it was amazing. I was inspired and ready to go! (PS - she bought her very own HQ Sixteen during that class.)
Almost immediately after returning home from that November training session, our lives changed completely. My husband was stricken with kidney failure and hospitalized. We learned he would need renal dialysis for the rest of his life (or a kidney transplant). We chose the home hemodialysis treatment option and learned to run this miraculous medical machine, remodeled our basement to create a space for it, and settled into a new routine.
Quilting has become more than a fun and creative hobby. It is a respite for me from the responsibilities of being a dialysis partner. The whole quilting process -- choosing patterns and fabric, cutting and piecing, and of course working with Hannah (my HQ Sixteen) to complete the projects -- excites, challenges, and focuses me. It gives me space and time to do creative work of my own, to be Centella the quilter.
My husband is very happy to support my “habit,” and my dear friend Gail (who attended HQU with me) shops and shares and sews with me. We choose an annual quilting-themed get-away to give us both new skills and inspiration. Hannah and the Handi Quilter training came at the perfect time for me.

I own the following HQ machines:

Barbara Campbell

Sweatshirt made on HQ16

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MY HQ Sixteen STORY
by Barbara Campbell
My story begins with the frustration I had experienced trying to quilt under the small bed of my home sewing machine. I saw the HQ Sixteen in a sit-down table at a quilt show and fell in love. I ordered the set-up and used it that way for over a year, appreciating the extra space, ease of use and stitching speed. When I was able to claim an extra bedroom for my system, I ordered the frame, handles, and some accessories. My hubby set me up on a six foot table. Nirvana! As time went on, I wanted to quilt larger quilts, so we upgraded to the Professional Table and added the stitch regulator. I was in heaven now, quilting all my own tops and not having to send any out to professional long arm quilters.
Enter the HQ Pro-Stitcher - when I saw the computerized system at MQX, I ordered it on the spot and have never looked back. I now have the best of all worlds – being able to use so many wonderful digitized designs, but also reverting to hand-guided quilting when I want. It was nice to be able to upgrade and "grow" my system in stages as I was ready for the next step.
My only unfulfilled wish is to find another affordable head to replace the one I took from my sit-down table. There are occasions when I could use that sit-down machine for quilting smaller projects while the HQ Pro-Stitcher is working on my computerized designs.
As for my projects, in addition to quilting my finished tops, I spent some time designing a unique fabric that was printed by Spoonflower to highlight a few digitized designs that I purchased. I used the HQ Pro-Stitcher to place, resize and rotate the patterns to fit. It was fun to quilt on fabric that I had created.
I have used the HQ to create a sweatshirt jacket (photo enclosed), cutting the sweatshirt open and layering it on lining fabric. I did some raw edge applique to decorate and quilt it at the same time. Once finished, I cut out the sweatshirt and lining, stitched the seams back together, added cuffs and then the bottom trim.
Another thing I enjoy doing is loading backing, batting and decorator fabric to quilt wholecloth placemats and table runners all at once. It is a quick and easy project that makes a wonderful gift.
I've also used the HQ Pro-Stitcherand its horizontal and vertical locks to stitch fabric to Texture Magic. Once stitched, the Texture Magic shrinks when exposed to steam creating some wonderful textured fabric that I've used in making totes, American Girl doll clothes, scarves, purses, etc.
When reupholstering my kitchen chairs, I loaded the damask home decor fabric with a layer of batting and muslin, used the horizontal locks and stitched accent lines in the fabric before cutting it up for the chair backs. I love exploring all the different ways to use this remarkable machine.
The highlight of this journey has been introducing my granddaughters to my passion. Two out of three have been bitten by the bug and have pieced, fused and quilted their own projects. My twelve-year-old granddaughter has been using the HandiQuilter since she was nine. After fusing her pieces to the background on an underwater scene, we loaded it onto the HQ and she did raw edge applique and all the quilting by herself. I offered lessons and advice, but every stitch was done by her. She was so proud, especially after we entered it into two shows and she won ribbons.
More recently, my six-year-old granddaughter helped me piece a twin size jungle quilt for her bed. After I loaded it onto the HQ, she had fun steering it to quilt some of the borders. Every time they visit the request is to sew something so they can put it onto Nana's "big machine" to finish it. I am so happy and proud to be able to share what I love so much with a younger generation. Hopefully they will keep their interest in sewing and quilting. I enjoy sharing my skills and love seeing their creations. All three of my granddaughters have sewn with me, but one is not as interested - preferring to play sports. Give me time - I'll convert her yet!

I own the following HQ machines:

Connie Kelsey

My 1st day with HQ Sixteen w/PS

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I was tricked into going to the Innovations Quilt Show thinking it would be a pleasant day looking at pretty quilts. I was sorely disappointed that the show was full of noisy, expensive longarm machines. I was bored to death but tried to act pleasantly interested as my sister looked at one machine after another. Finally I told her I’d meet her at the exit door in an hour, hid at the refreshment tables waiting for the minutes to tick away. Making my way to the door, I spotted a purple and white machine. It caught my eye just because of its color and didn’t look like I needed to be a rocket scientist to operate it. Much to my surprise it was half the price of the competitors. Yippee! Maybe there is something to this longarm craze.
During my research, I found that the HQ could do everything a ridiculously expensive competitor machine could do. I went about formulating a winning argument as to why I needed and how we could afford an HQ Sixteen. My husband is a practical man and fell like a stack of dominos, realizing we could save money by quilting my quilt tops, charity & valor quilt tops and maybe rent out the HQ by the hour. He wanted to save money so he built a table out of an antique 11’ 1880’s entry door. I enjoyed 3 years of free motion longarming bliss.
Years later, I thought it would be a good idea to do regular maintenance and heard there was a great guy in Riverside, CA that I could trust with my first born. What the heck, it was our 25th wedding anniversary, what better way to spend our special day?! Richard introduced us to the ProStitcher and even involved my husband by telling him to imagine the machine was a jigsaw and the fabric a piece of plywood. Once again, he crumbled.
We began, in earnest, our quilting business in November 2008. We have been very busy ever since that fateful day that the ProStitcher came into our lives. Gaining friends and experience, loving what I do and feeling successful. The HQ and PS make me feel clever and talented. Every day I have an opportunity that I didn’t have the day before. On top of all that, an income was welcomed.
But wait, don’t you remember, I have that zillion year old door for a table. I must make my husband see that I need the studio table. As we drove to The Road to California, I repeated over and over to him that ‘I just need the table, I just need the table’. I spent the day at the show and he was to join me an hour before the show was to close for the day. We missed connections and the good folks at the HQ booth sold him on a Fusion, before I even got there! Thank you, thank you, thank you HQ ! And it came with a fabulous table/frame. This persuasive argument was a slam dunk, the money to pay for this purchase would earn far more a month than the measly 2% interest we got from the saving account. Loading and quilting large quilts is now a breeze.
What a wonderful journey this has been. It is almost frightening to imagine what the good people at HQ will come up with next. Hmmm, we leave for Innovations in two weeks…. Connie

I own the following HQ machines:

Lisa Swigart


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The last six years of my life can be found in the quilts that I’ve made. A dreamy, comfortable quilt for my bed, quilted with a puzzle piece pattern, locking in the accomplishment I felt as everything fit into place. Deep, calming golds and rooted browns for my daughter, something for her to wrap up in during a time when she needed strength and health. I quilted navy blue joy and orange polka-dot anticipation into a quilt for my grandson, before I even knew who he was. The list goes on and on. Quilts I made to throw over the couch or warm up a wall, quilts for wedding gifts or baby showers. Then there were the quilts that said “thank you” or “I am thinking of you.” Through each block, every scrap of fabric, and every stitch I crafted a personal history of my dearest relationships and a deeper desire not only to begin quilts, but to finish them as well.
I began quilting because a friend of mine was moving away. She had only lived in the Berkshires for a short time, and she wanted to have something that would remind her of the time she had lived in New England. Gathering a few of her friends she asked us each to make a quilt block using fabrics that represented the Berkshires in the fall. I had never quilted before but was assured I could do it with a little help. I realized very quickly that these women took quilting very seriously. They had “quilt journals” of their past quilts, boxes of “UFO’s”, and fabric “from the best shops in the area.” I was in over my head. The group decided that we would each make a nine-patch. I wasn’t sure what a nine-patch was, but with the help of another friend I learned. I also learned how to use a rotary cutter, where to go for fabrics, and that I actually loved quilting! With each new pattern I tried I assumed I would eventually hit a wall and find the end of my quilting journey. It hasn’t happened yet. I love learning about the fabric, experimenting with color and scale. I love trying new threads to add texture, pattern or color.
I remember the first quilt top I took to the shop to be quilted. Holding that finished quilt, I was amazed by how beautiful and complete it seemed. It went from a simple quilt top, full of my efforts and mistakes and first-time successes, to an actual quilt. It was then I realized what quilting meant to me. For me, the process of piecing a quilt top is both calming and exhilarating; but it is honestly the finished quilt that I love! When I sent my quilts out to be quilted and they magically returned completed I felt as if I had missed the best part of the process. Although my first quilting goal was a simple 9-patch, it didn’t take long before I was devouring quilting magazines, challenging myself with new patterns, and soon my next goal became to enjoy that final part of the process in my own home, and be able to provide other people with finished quilts, as well.
As my interest in quilting started as a result of a friendship, it has continued to connect me to people around me; these connections brought me to find HQ Reps who were able to help me to realize my dream. I learned that they had studio time available and I could rent time on their machines to complete my projects. As thrilling as this was, the distance I would need to travel limited my access to this possibility. I remember the day I mentioned to my friend, the one who had taught me what a nine-patch was, that I just wanted to buy a long arm. It was the first time I had said it out loud, it was the day I started my business plan!
I decided early on that I would buy a Handi Quilter. I found a shop in Connecticut where I could take lessons and learn more about which long arm would be best for me. I was so nervous the first time I tried to quilt using the HQ Pro-Stitcher, but with the guidance of the shop owner I soon felt at ease and saw all the possibilities! I didn’t doubt for a second the Handi Quilter was the machine for me. It seems it has taken forever to reach my goal. The household budget was examined. My husband could see it would make me happy and help me to start my own business. I even questioned if it was just selfish of me to want such an amazing machine. My nine-patch friend gave me some great advice that helped me to reaffirm what I knew. This was not just a want anymore; it had become my passion and would allow me to work from home doing something I love. I am now the proud owner of HQ18 Avante which sits beautifully on my studio frame and is crowned with the HQ Pro-Stitcher. The reason I chose the HQ was simple, it was the knowledgeable representatives and continued education available once I bought the machine. I know if the manuals and DVDs didn’t have an answer for me I could pick up the phone and call someone who would. There are great classes to attend that advance my skill level. This last week I attended the Long Arm Club where we learned how to paint fabric with thread. It was wonderful! Another reason for HQ being my long arm of choice was the HQ Pro-Stitcher. I knew my novice skill level needed a boost and if I was to feel accomplished right from the start, the HQ Pro-Stitcher was the way to go!
I am not only able to complete my own projects but have been paid to do what I love! I love the ability to run my own home business and work the hours I want and actually love the work I do! Looking back on my quilting journey I can see I owe at least two very dear friends some free finished quilt tops!

I own the following HQ machines:

Jane Crouse

In my sewing room!

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When the economic recession took its toll on my husband’s business it became necessary for me to return to the workforce. Having not worked outside my home since 1982 I was reluctant to go through resumes and interviews. Realizing that I had been an active quilter for many years I considered working from home. Several of my quilting friends owned longarm machines and I had used them over the years. My favorite, hands down, was the HQ Sixteen! It is light to the touch and extremely easy to maneuver. I found myself going to one friends home more often than the other simply to use her HQ Sixteen. With the added need to supplement our family income, I decided that instead of buying a car, a new wardrobe and everything else involved in working outside of my home that I would purchase an HQ Sixteen and work from the place I loved the most, my home.
I launched my longarm business in 2008 after purchasing my machine during International Quilt Festival. My HQ Sixteen is set up in a small spare bedroom on the studio frame at the 8 foot length. My goal was to offer high quality pantographs at a reasonably affordable price and my business is booming!
Using my HQ Sixteen has stretched me beyond what I thought imaginable in my own quilting. I have learned so much about how to enhance a quilt’s original design and beauty. I still have so much to learn and am looking forward to what the future holds. I enjoy meeting new people and providing a personal touch to all my customers. My HQ is the backbone of my business and has been extremely reliable and easy to maintain. I have never looked back and enjoy the opportunity I have to help make customers quilts become cherished memories.
My decision to buy my HQ Sixteen really hit home the day I handed the mother of an American soldier who was killed in Iraq a quilt I had made and quilted for her out of her son’s clothes. It made me realize how much hope and love can be given from something so small and how blessed I am to have the ability to help others.
I am so thankful for my HQ Sixteen as it helps provide income for my family in these stressful times, is a financial bargain that is both easy to use and technically accurate and allows me to touch other people’s lives in ways I dared not dream. Thank you Handi Quilter !

I own the following HQ machines:

Elsie Saar


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I always loved quilts so in 1979 I took a 6-week class. That first quilt was all hand stitched, used sand paper patterns; and each square was traced separately. I still have that quilt but sadly, some of the fabric has disintegrated. I made some hand-quilted and tied quilts before taking a hiatus for several years to go back to college.
I returned to quilting in 2003 when a friend stated she was making a Dear Jane quilt. Oh, how interesting. I’ll make one, too. Now I was re-addicted to quilting but everything had changed. I had to learn paper piecing, rotary cutting, new tools and techniques, etc. I drove the internet Dear Jane list crazy with my questions. Thinking I’d never get done, I made a pact with myself to do one square every day, finished the top and hand quilted it in 9 months.
I like hand quilting but it is too slow for me. Also, I am one of those people who want to complete the quilting process myself but I could not see myself pushing a queen-sized quilt through the bed of a domestic machine. I purchased a frame I could use an old Singer sewing machine on and tried that. Ok, that was better, but I had no speed control and when that Singer took off, I had to move it around the quilt like a house on fire. Must say that the large meandering was done in no time at all and was I thrilled! But the handles hurt and the lack of control was getting to me. So I looked around the internet some more and found the HQ Sixteen. I was excited. This would be a big purchase for little me. Went to the dealer’s and put my order in for an HQ Sixteen. The dealer gave me a red-heart key chain and I put that little thing in my pocket and carried it there until my machine came. Every time I put my hand in my pocket, I could feel that red heart and smile all over. After receiving my machine and my training, I looked at the machine about 2 weeks before I got the nerve to turn it on. Slowly I got braver and did some quilting. I added the stitch regulator, learned to love custom quilting and ruler work. I won a couple of ribbons at our local show, I’m a real quilter now!! After seeing the HQ18 Avante and HQ Pro-Stitcher at the shows, I wanted one but could not justify having one for several quilts a year. I love my HQ Sixteen and would have it forever and remain happy.
It’s enabled me to finish quilts for gifts, donation quilts for our guild, and several Downey Quilts for Kids.
This year for my birthday, my dear husband surprised me with a new HQ18 Avante and a HQ Pro-Stitcher! I couldn’t breathe. I was able to sell my beloved HQ Sixteen to a fellow guild member who is thrilled to death she will be able to get her 25 tops done. I’m learning how to use my new equipment, and I’m so happy with my set up and just loving the results. I’m a very lucky person.

I own the following HQ machines:

Mary McAllister

Before presenting quilt at the wedding

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I began sewing 30 years ago when I gave birth to a beautiful little girl. I had chosen to be a stay at home mom, which meant we were on a very limited budget. I had this little girl that I wanted to dress in all of the wonderful clothes I could not afford to purchase so I had to learn to make them. After she graduated from high school and I no longer sewed for her as much I needed a new creative outlet. Since I come from a long line of quilters (my grandmother made each of her 22 grandchildren at least one quilt) that is where I began to migrate. Piecing was so frustrating in the days before rotary cutters and mats, I almost gave up. Of course some of the beginning quilts were not very pretty and were put on the back burner when I went back to work. As I got closer to retirement and great improvements and shortcuts were created I began to feel a growing interest in getting back into quilting. When my brother died in 2004, I needed something to keep me occupied during that "first" Christmas and decided that I could start with an Irish Chain. I had never been very good picking out colors, it just didn't come naturally to me but went to the store to try. The fabrics I chose were literally lined up on the shelf so I took it as a sign. I pieced my first real quilt in 2004 and have not stopped since. When I wanted to get one quilted, I first tried machine quilting on my sewing machine and absolutely hated the experience. I found someone who would quilt for me over the internet and began sending my quilts to him. While he did wonderful work, I could only get E2E or pantos done and I wanted so much more for my Irish Chain which was made in honor and remembrance of my brother. I go the the Houston International Quilt show every year and began to try out all of the long,mid-arm machines. I really settled on the HQ Sixteen as the one I wanted but could not justify the cost for just quilting my own personal quilts and did not want to quilt for others. I began watching everywhere I could think of to try to find a used one, but had almost given up finding one and was in the process of buying another machine when I found my used machine within a 4 hour drive of my house! I bought the machine at a great price and brought it home and set it up in my front room. I could barely contain my excitement. I rolled on my first practice piece and while I could get the machine to make beautiful stitches from left to right, I got really ugly stitches going from top to bottom. For over a week I worked at making all stitches beautiful and COULD NOT do it. I did not want to tell my husband that I had made a huge mistake and bought a machine that had something wrong with it (the closest dealer to me was 3 hours away). He came home one day and found me crying and the story spilled out. Kind and gentle as he is, he was not upset at all and began methodically checking everything out. Magically he found what I had not been able to find! While a connection can look plugged in, it may not be completely plugged in and my problems were solved. Shortly after I had the opportunity to buy a HQ Pro-Stitcher at a terrific price, something I only dreamed about but had no plans to do because I still was in the learning stages of the quilt machine. The first quilt I did was my Irish Chain, flaws and learning areas were left exactly as they occurred because that quilt is beautiful to me and I would not change anything about it. I have had my machine for one year and quilted several quilts (the stack never seems to get smaller!). On July 31, 2010 I presented my son and my wonderful new daughter-in-law a double wedding ring quilt, quilted on my machine and it turned out beautiful.
I have since cleaned out my sewing room and moved everything back to one room (that I can close the door to when the mess gets too bad). I know that I have so much to learn and it is difficult because I live in an area that does not have quilt shops so everything has to be self-taught. I belong to every online group I can so that I can learn everything I can, so that someday I will be able to really feel that I can do anything on my machine. I have started piecing baby/child quilts and will soon begin quilting them to donate to various charities. I know that every quilt I have done so far has been a learning experience and each one is an opportunity to learn something I did not know how to do. I am now walking (quilting) a journey that I never pictured or predicted, but I am having so much fun that I want this journey to continue for a long time.

I own the following HQ machines:

Reeze Hanson

Me and my Christmas Quilt Pattern

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I just knew I could do it! So many quiling friends had long arm machines and were creating such beautiful quilts. I knew I could do it too, if only I could find the right machine. But my son's college came first, so I haunted all the quilt shows and machine quilting expos looking at machines, drooling over machines, trying out every machine on the floor, talking to reps, gathering brochures. It was a confusing blur of features, frames, and feathers! I just didn't know where to start. At a quilt show in Oklahoma city (the year before my son entered college) I tried out an HQ Sixteen and fell in love. "That's the machine I want," I told a friend. "It's perfect!" She urged me to try out the competition, and I did, but they all felt like hauling elephants around by the tail compared to the light, responsive easy of moving the HQ Sixteen. I knew at that moment, I would buy an HQ Sixteen, but would have to wait until my son graduated from college.
I came home from that show and warned my son that he only had four years to complete his degree because I just wasn't sure I could wait longer than that to get my machine! So off to college he went, and each time he phoned home to tell me he dropped college algebra -- again!!!-- I sighed plaintively, knowing that he was extending his college stay with each dropped class. When he informed me during his Senior year that he would need another semester to graduate I ground my teeth silently, knowing my wait might never end at this rate!
Since we were supporting our son financially through this extra semester, I grudgingly gave him the money I had been saving up for my HQ. When he FINALLY graduated that December I gave him a huge hug & kiss, a bouquet of roses, and the last of my "Machine Money" to get him launched in his new job. Finally he was out of college and I could start again saving up for my HQ.
I contacted my dealer and told him I was ready to get my machine. He was able to get a great price for me by purchasing one of the demo machines used at the Machine Quilter's Showcase in Kansas City. I got the HQ Sixteen with the Studio Frame. At last, my two biggest goals had been accomplished! My son was out of college and launched on his career, and I finally got my HQ Sixteen!
I thought it was only fitting that now that he was moved out and on his own, that his room would become my new sewing studio and the location of new HQ Sixteen and HQ Studio Frame. I love it! It is everything I thought it would be and more.

I own the following HQ machines:

Ashley Malinowski

Me and My Machine

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I started working with a Handi Quilter Sixteen when I was sixteen years old. Now, I am 18, and I own my own HQ18 Avante with a HQ Pro-Stitcher. 18 on an 18!!!
Backing up, I began sewing when I was 6, and quilting at the age of 8 all thanks to my mom who was and is still a quilter. She let me take weekly summer camps at a sewing machine dealer. I started out making clothes, bags and pillows. I was then allowed to start the quilting camp early, and soon cut with a rotary cutter. Quickly, I cut a whole double size bed quilt, and pieced it at age 9. The summers after I kept sewing and quilting.
I used the Handi Quilter Sixteen as a rental program at a local quilt shop. The reason I wanted to take the rental classes and learn the longarm is so that I could quilt my quilts other 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 (A Handi Quilter Dealer) where I worked. I taught the rental classes as well as helping the customers quilt their own quilts. It was a wonderful rewarding experience since I got to learn the machine in and out firsthand, and it had me wondering “WHEN I AM I GOING TO HAVE MY OWN?”.
Then, in December of 2009, my parents gave me a graduation gift to go to the Machine Quilting Expo in Providence, Rhode Island. I was stunned! I booked my classes New Year day, and in April of 2010 I attended the Machine Quilting Expo in Providence, Rhode Island. Got an excused absence from school since it was my senior year in high school, and headed up to the show with another local longarmer. I didn’t think twice 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, debated some more and drove 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 contract. When I called my parents back to say I bought it, they said “I hope it fits”. Haha because before I had left for Rhode Island we were supposed to measure the room, as you can tell we didn’t.
When it was time to put up the machine, my parents helped 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 seems like the machine had grown. We added more lights in the ceiling, ordered thread and I didn’t get to work on the machine for few weeks because number one it wasn’t complete 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. Appropriately named because I am starting college in the Fall and time is limited, so can you guess when I quilt?
I love my HQ Pro-Stitcher because the results are wonderful, and all the designs for the machine I can download from the internet are fabulous. In addition, it allows me to personalize my quilts as well as my customer’s quilts. With 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 from switching from free motion to the computerized couldn’t be any easier with the Handi Quilter. I am just so thankful that such a sturdy, reliable machine with the computer system was in my price range. I know I can support my hobby of quilting and paying for college all at the same time. Thanks, Handi Quilter!!!

I own the following HQ machines:

Mary Goodman

My dog Chelsea and me

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In 2009 I walked into the Machine Quilter’s Showcase (MQS) determined to buy a long-arm quilting machine. I had created traditional and contemporary quilts for years and wanted to add art quilts into my repertoire. My long time machine quilter is also my best friend. I knew it added stress to her job when I gave her explicit quilting instructions, and occasionally sketches, along with my machine quilting order. Plus, I wanted the flexibility of changing my mind when what I thought would be the perfect quilting didn’t enhance the quilt after all.
I had researched long arm machines at another quilt show and knew the brand that I wanted to buy. But in all fairness I was going to test drive the others one more time. When I walked into the MQS door, I stumbled upon my friend. She was working the show so we had no definite plans to meet. She said “I know the long arm machine that you were planning to buy, but you HAVE to try the HQ24 Fusion. I decided to try it first so I could compare it to “my” machine. The Fusion was easy to handle, easy to understand, affordable – and I wanted it. I test drove all of the machines and then went home to think. I was afraid to order at the show because I didn’t want to make an emotional decision. The next week I went to my local HQ dealer and ordered the Fusion.
I started practicing on my new Fusion, loaded my first quilt onto the machine, but couldn’t go forward. I put my plans on hold to take care of my husband, who was diagnosed with a brain tumor. Now that he has gone, I’m ready to get back into the quilting world - and my Fusion has been patiently waiting.

I own the following HQ machines:

Jan Stevenson

Jan and her wonderful HQ Sixteen

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I LOVE MY HQ SIXTEEN! But you would never know that. Why? Well, I purchased my HQ Sixteen several years ago. I had looked at most machines on the market but did not feel I could justify the expense or the space required. Then one day I walked into Ann Silva’s Bernina Sewing Machine store in Albuquerque, New Mexico, and saw this beautiful quilting machine that was small enough to fit my space and priced within my budget. And buy it, I did. I purchased the entire package, the table, the bobbin winder, everything, of course. Steve Silva so graciously set up my fantastic quilting machine in my family room. I anxiously watched the videos (yes, videos not cd’s) about every aspect of my new precious machine. I found fabric to practice with and carefully loaded the machine. I turned on my machine and began to stitch. What a wonderful feeling. I could make circles, squares, swirls, and I stitched and I stitched. My dreams every night included patterns, fabric, batting and my HQ Sixteen.
Then my career called and I let my beautiful machine remain idle.
However, knowing it would not be long before I could get back to my wonderful machine, and as each upgrade became available, I purchased it. The HQ Pro Stitcher was installed. I read the directions diligently over and over. I practiced—still on the same practice fabric I loaded originally! The handles were upgraded; micro handles were installed; the stylus for the groovy boards was attached. I searched and searched for the “right” pantographs. I downloaded patterns for the HQ Pro Stitcher. I bought almost every groovy board I could find. I kept my wonderful dream machine ready for the day that I would have time to use it. I cannot count the books on quilting patterns, or the number of rolls of Golden Threads paper I have acquired as the years have gone by.
Yes, years had gone by now and my beautiful machine remained idle.
Then the best idea—create a room just for my HQ Sixteen! So we built onto our home. We added a music room downstairs for my husband and upstairs we created the nicest room to house my HQ Sixteen. Then I could retreat to my special place and work on my special machine undisturbed. I was so excited when we moved the HQ Sixteen upstairs into its new home. It looked perfect; it was perfect. I lined one wall with all the supplies and books and patterns, etc. Everything was now within easy reach. The perfect room had been created for the perfect machine. Now I was ready to get down to business. There are only a few quilts to finish, maybe 20 or 30. So, what did I do? I finished some major projects on my sewing machine in free motion because I was in a hurry and I was confident with this method—
and my big beautiful machine stayed idle. But the dreams continued.
I had become nervous and scared about using my fabulous machine that I bragged about owning. I was afraid that I could not do the beautiful job so many others were doing. I am a perfectionist and must be so from the start—no learning curve for me. So, now to overcome my anxiety—go to class. Classes to use my wonderful machine were offered and I enrolled. Every class was exciting. I learned many new things: how to plan my quilting; how to “square” my quilt; how to use different kinds of leaders; how to properly use pantographs; how to watch and work with tension; how to find all the wonderful teachers and their websites and ideas that are available. I practiced on the machine in class. It was so easy. The machine moves so smoothly. I even attended other brands’ seminars and was always so happy that I made the right choice for me and acquired my beautiful HQ Sixteen. I bought more books and guides and templates and rulers. I was so inspired to begin. Night time dreams featured my HQ buzzing along finishing quilts.
Once again, work and grandchildren seemed to occupy my spare time, and my great machine sat idle.
This summer I purchased the new table. It is beautiful and functional. I cleaned and reorganized my entire sewing and quilting studio. I could not wait to load my machine with—yes, the same practice fabric that has been on the machine for years now. I was so proud that I remembered how to load the fabric. You see, I no longer have a VHS player to watch my training videos so I had to rely on my memory. The HQ Series 1 Quilting DVD’s made their way into my every growing library. I watched them over and over. Then, as I have family in Wisconsin, I drove from New Mexico to Wisconsin to go to the Milwaukee Quilting Show. I visited with family in LaCrosse and drove across Wisconsin to Milwaukee to attend the show. My 10 year old granddaughter accompanied me. The show was very nice and I visited with the representative of the Handi Quilter company . I took photos of every quilt on display in three exhibit halls. I examined all the quilting, knowing that I, too, could quilt like this with my lovely HQ Sixteen as soon as I returned to New Mexico. Night time dreams were filled with finished quilts.
I came home one week ago, and. . . . . . . . . . .here I sit staring at my wonderful, fantastic, fabulous, quilting machine wondering how and where to begin. I REALLY LOVE MY HQ SIXTEEN and look forward to the night time dreams.

I own the following HQ machines:

Vickie Moon

Me with the Handi Quilter

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This spring my quilting dream came true when my new HQ18 Avante and HQ studio frame was delivered.
When my husband John, agreed that I should get my own long arm machine, I could hardly believe it! He really encouraged me, and helped me shop.
At first I wasn't sure if we had room for a 12 ft. frame. But John gave the OK to put it in the garage with our Harleys, if we had to. Yes, I ride my own motorcycle. Amazingly, I got my first motorcycle, a little Honda 50cc, the same year I made my first quilt! As it turned out, the Handi Quilter went upstairs in my sewing room, but I had to move my sewing machine and fabric downstairs, into what was the exercise room. Then we moved ALL the exercise equipment out to the garage, with the Harleys,...a much better fit.
In our travels, we went to Village Quiltworks, in Richland Wa. about 70 miles from where we live now in Yakima. I was SOLD when Debbi had me "test drive" the Handi Quilter...WOW. John was SOLD, when Debbi said that she and her husband would be the ones to do the delivery and set up, and give me a mini lesson. After meeting Debbi, we didn't look any further.
It all started when I made my first quilt in 1971. It was a queen size, made with paper patterns, pins, and scissors. I used old wool suits for the blocks, cotton calico for the sashings and an old wool blanket for the batting, and pieced together the left-over calico for the backing. I tied my quilt sandwich together with wool yarn! I didn't even know about actual quilting back then. Quite a change from how easy it is today.
My life continued without any "quilt" time, till I took an early retirement with the City of Yakima Fire Department. I was a professional fire fighter and EMT. Yes, I did drive the fire truck, 102 ft. ladder truck, etc. and went into burning buildings and fought fire. I even delivered a baby! I think that experience taught me that I could do whatever I set my mind on and not to be timid in trying new things. The idea of me running a long arm, seemed a little daunting at first. Now, even the practicing is FUN!
Before the Handi Quilter, I had made 17 bed size quilts, 14 were king size. And way too many smaller quilts to count. Every quilt I entered into the local fair, has won a blue ribbon and one got a Special Merit Award rosette prise as well. Of course all of them were long arm quilted by others. I stopped entering after a few years, but now that I can quilt my own, I'll have to enter again, when it's all MY work.
I'm so looking forward to fall, so I can really start quilting again, and to the end of my huge garden and all the time it requires. I've "stolen" some time this summer to practice and I did quilt my first project on my Handi Quilter...a baby quilt for John's first grand child, a boy, due in October. What a thrill to make the whole quilt from start to finish!
My Handi Quilter is one of life's dream come true.

I own the following HQ machines:

Sabine Linke

My husband Markus, me and our dog Texas

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I am originally from Cologne, Germany, my husband's job brought us to the United States about 5 years ago. I was already a quilter at that time. I had heard about longarm quilting machines, but they are still very rare and exotic in Germany.
I made my first experiences on a longarm machine, as a rental in my local quilt shop. I never had worked with a long arm before and was blown away how nice quilting was (compared to the handquilting I had done so far and that it took so long to finish a quilt). It was so much more fun to put the final touches on a quilt. It was so much easier as I first thought. After getting more experienced on the rental longarm I had the idea that I could buy my own machine and take it with me to Germany to rent it out there. It took some husband convincing but than I started seriously looking at almost every bigger show in the states and I tried all the machines. None convinced me more and fitted better in my needs and my budget as the HQ Sixteen.
I got it 2 years ago, with the new professional frame and I love it. I do free-motion quilting, all-over designs, sometimes very detailed quilts. I only quilt my own quilts. I started creating my own 'fabric' with scraps from my Kaffe Fassett collection. With this I make bags of all sizes for laptops and Ipods. The possibilities are endless and I am sure I will take lots of inspirations and of course my quilting machine with me to Germany.

I own the following HQ machines:

Kathy Mayhew

Kathy Mayhew

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Two for One. In the summer of 2008, I went to my 20th high school reunion. Along the way, my Mother and I stopped for a quick tour of the AQS show in Nashville. I knew that a long arm and frame were far from feasible for our apartment... on the 3rd floor of a house built in 1863 in the Hudson Valley region of New York...where the bathroom was so small that the door hit the commode... and where you had to unplug the computer if you wanted to use the iron. On a complete whim, I decided to try my hand at the long arm machines on display. I don't do much in the way of traditional quilting, and I hadn't done anything BUT free-motion since I took a design class with Katie PM in 2006 at Quilting by the Lake and fell in love all over again with the doodles of my adolescence. I think I tried every brand on the floor at that show. It still felt like something 'in the distance', but when I finally got back to NY I started the Dreaded Research Process. Sure, no frame (most likely) would fit in any single room of our apartment (either by size or by budget), but that didn't mean I shouldn't start looking! That Fall, I flew to Houston for IQS. I met my mother-in-law (who had driven down from Dallas with friends) so we could spend the week together. My father-in-law went to NY the same week for some Father & Son time. My mother-in-law doesn't quilt, but she's crafty and we had a blast. In one of my classes, I met Gillian Connon. We hit it off instantly. Then I met her friend Betsy Sweigard. Somewhere in there I had been playing on the long arm machines on the vendor floor at the show. I had stumbled upon the HQ Sixteen Sit-Down, and I was instantly enamored. I went to another class, and who should be there but Gillian and Betsy. (I won't tell the part where we disrupted the class because we were laughing so hard. Whatever other people might remember, I'm sure it wasn't us!) I whipped out my notebook about the long arm machines, and with my mother-in-law nowhere to be found, proceeded to engage these two lovely ladies in the decision process of buying something insane, in the heat of the moment. They came with me to play with the machine. I loved it. I took to it pretty fast, if I do say so myself. Betsy loved it too. In fact, SHE BOUGHT ONE AS WELL. Neither of us had come to Houston with that intention, but we left the show having placed orders, signed paperwork, and were ready to get started! Kathy Mayhew Carrollton TX

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

Karen Doyle

Karen & Heather

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The HQ story that I am going to tell you is that of my mother, Karen Doyle.
For as long as I can recall, my mother has been quilting. As a small child, I can remember the anticipation of opening up the last box at Christmas, to find a very colorful, hand-crafted quilt that I would cherish for the next year, or until it was replaced by a newer, more beautiful one. Over the years, the styles of quilts she has produced has changed greatly, from the types and colors of fabrics used, to the types of machines that they were made with. With each new quilt she made I was always asked what I thought, and I always told her that "it looks like a 'To Heather, with Love' quilt".
Four years ago, my mother retired from 20 years of teaching school. It was then, that she thought that she could really get some quilting done. For years prior, the fabric stacks seemed to be magically multiplying by the day, taking over one closet and then another. I would find storage containers of fat quarters stuffed under my bed, all being stockpiled for the days when she would not have to go to work, and could sit in her pajamas all day to quilt.
Just prior to her retirement, my mother went to Houston. In anticipation of her many quilting days yet to come, she bought a long-arm. It wasn't a Handi Quilter machine, but it was the most she could afford on a school teachers' salary, and thought that it would do the trick. Upon her return home, the machine arrived. She was very disappointed to find that it was nothing like the quilting machine she had always dreamed of. The quilting area was less than a square foot, and would just not do for the monstrous quilts she was prepared to make. She promptly sold the machine and went about with her fabric hoarding.
Shortly after my mother retired, my grandmother (her mother) passed away. Her illness was very abrupt, and extremely devastating to my mother. In an attempt to console her, my father sent her to Houston, in hopes that the Convention would prove to be an excellent distraction.
As she walked thorough the doors of the convention center, there before her was the HQ booth. She was drawn to it, but was indecisive about making a purchase until she saw the HQ Pro-Stitcher. I think she spent the whole afternoon at that booth, asking questions and getting tutorials on the machine. The day after she arrived home, she called to order her very own HQ Sixteen with an HQ Pro-Stitcher.
Peggy, the Florida rep, and her husband (who are absolutely awesome) came and spent the day putting the table and machine together and taught my mother everything she needed to know to operate it. When Peggy left, my mother covered it with a sheet to protect it from dust, and there it still sits, three years later.
I think my mother is overwhelmed by the machine and its abilities. She has downloaded its new updates twice to my knowledge, but aside from that, I don't think it has even been turned on. She has stacks of quilts waiting to be quilted on her glorious machine, but they just don't ever seem to get completed, despite her good intentions.
So Handi Quilter......I implore you..... teach my mother how to use her machine. She is a wonderful and creative woman with loads of talent and skill. She just needs a little more instruction. Thanks, Heather -the daughter of a quilter.
My name is Karen Doyle and I own an HQ Sixteen with an HQ Pro-Stitcher.

I own the following HQ machines:

Donna M Wald

Donna and her horse, Buster

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I own the HQ Sixteen and HQ Pro-Stitcher.
When I was a kid I was tall and skinny and none of the “store bought” clothes fit me. So at age 13 I began to sew my own clothes so that the sleeves and pant legs were long enough. I always liked sewing and when I was in nursing school we had three machines we could use. The problem being they were always “messed up” whenever I went to use them. So I would spend lots of time getting them running properly so I could sew. I was deemed the ‘one to fix the sewing machines” among the nurses. After I married I continued to sew out of necessity. We did not have much income so I remade a lot of my clothes for clothing for the kids.
Of course having kids meant having special quilt blankets for each of them. I did pretty simple patterns at that time and tied most of them. I remember when my three year olds “blankie” was beyond repair and I worked frantically on the new quilt for him. He was tired and wanted to take his nap with his “blankie”. I finally finished the new quilt and had him watch as I put the old one inside as batting. Happily he took the new blankie to his bed. However he soon began to wonder where his old one really was and cut a hole to look and see if it was really there!
Over the years as I had more children (four) and living on a ranch, I was the right hand man for my husband so I had less time to devote to quilting. But still I would produce a quilt now and then. I made denim quilts for each of the kids. I wrestled all that weight and bulk under my domestic machine. Most of the quilts I made were KING sized! No wonder I finally had to have shoulder surgery!
Several years ago one of my friends called to tell me that her friend had a long arm for sale and would I be interested. The price seemed a bit high to me at the time. She called several months later and told me what the going rate was then. I decided that it was too good a bargain to pass up. So I drove 400 miles to my friend’s home to “look” at the machine. I tried it out and soon the friend’s husband was helping me to put it into my car for the trip home.
Once home it was a dilemma as where I was going to put it. But after some contemplation we decided to turn one of our guest rooms into the “quilting room.” The first time I put a quilt on the frame ( of course having to redo it several times and look at the video several times as well) I could not believe how wonderful it was to quilt!! Even my husband had to admit that was the way to go!
When the HQ Pro-Stitcher became available I knew that was the way I wanted to go. I sold my original table and we set up the new one and found it did indeed fill the room! Everyone who sees my quilting room is aghast at the size it.
I do some quilts for others but just enjoy doing my own quilts. I have always been of the belief that if I sewed it together I should quilt it as well. I am now in the process of making lap quilts for the 75 residents in the local nursing homes. So I am getting lots of practice with different designs. I truly love my HQ Sixteen who I have named “Liz” after my dear mother-in law who passed away. “Liz” is dependable and a hard worker, just like my mother-in-law was. I really enjoy working on my machine and I would not want to try to do a queen or king sized quilt on my domestic sewing machine again! I probably will never win a prize in a big quilt show but I certainly enjoy the creativity that the HQ Sixteen and HQ Pro-Stitcher gives me.

I own the following HQ machines:

Caroyle Brown

Me and my grandaughter

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My journey with Handi Quilter has come full circle! I saw one of the first Handi Quilter frames demonstrated at the Minnesota Quilt Show in 2001 and was fascinated! I had quilted most of my quilts on my small home machine but having fibromyalgia, I knew how hard it was on my shoulders and neck. I was so excited to see that someone had a frame and that it could be used with your own machine that I purchased it right at the show! This was the beginning of my quilting machine story. I quilted many quilts on that frame, eventually wearing out my machine, and tweaking and upgrading different parts.
In the process, I saw a wooden frame and machine with a larger throat. This would let me do larger quilts, however we did not have room in our family room for it. When my husband saw it, he not only bought it, but remodeled our family room to accommodate it. Again, I learned more, quilted many quilts and enjoyed the process. However, on a trip, I fell and fractured bones in my left hand. On this frame, your left hand was used to run the machine, so it sat idle. I mentioned this at a quilting class I was teaching and a student offered to buy it.
I was now looking for another frame, pronto. I looked at Handi Quilter, but thought I should be practical and use the machine I already had, so I purchased another frame. Again, I learned more, quilted more, but always looked at the Handi Quilter whenever I saw them and dreamed.
Last year, I had looked and tried them out three times, but the cost and thought of asking my husband to put together another frame always stopped me. Then a friend called, saying she had just gotten a special on the HQ Sixteen. I was in the car the next day for the two-hour drive and became the excited owner of the HQ Sixteen and HQ Studio Frame!
I had come full circle!!! I started with Handi Quilter and was now back! I love it and there is so much more that I can do with it. I think having used the others, makes me really appreciate my HQ Sixteen. I love the larger quilting space, the regulated stitch, the sturdy frame, having a separate pole for the quilt to roll on, the adjustable height, larger bobbins, ability to do groovy boards, and I can go on and on. I am learning so much, quilting away and loving it! Thanks Handi Quilter!!!

I own the following HQ machines:

Karen Darrah

Having fun on vacation!

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The saying, “All good things come to those who wait” took on a new meaning for me during my long arm search. Approximately 3 yrs. ago I started to do research on the internet about long arm quilting machines. I had not used one before nor did I know of anyone that had one in my area.
I had been raised with quilting. My grandmother appliquéd all of her 23 grandchildren a Sunbonnet Sue or Jim quilt out of scraps of material that she saved. In the summer, when I would stay with her for a couple of weeks, I would weave black thread along the stitch lines of the children. To this day I have never seen quilts have that type of finish. Grandma would not do the quilting herself but have someone do it for her by machine. These quilts were given to us for our high school graduation. This quilt is very special to me as it was made with a lot of material left over from dresses that were made for me.
Later, I married into a wonderful Mennonite family where quilting was just part of life. This quilting was done by hand, and I really never felt like I had the patience to sit still for such a long period of time. Needless to say, I did not enjoy it.
After a motorcycle wreck in May 2005, I had to undergo a lifestyle change. I had enjoyed activities such as golf, tennis & skiing before the accident, but had to take up less physical activities. I always said that once I was “old enough” I would learn to quilt. Well, my body was saying I was “old enough!” I had also just learned that I was going to be an Oma (grandmother) for the first time…that was all it took! My first quilt was made for the baby nursery at my house. I wanted it quilted, so I asked an Amish lady if she would be willing to quilt it for me. She was delighted and did a wonderful job. But, something was missing for me. I wished I could say that I had made the quilt totally on my own from start to finish. I knew that hand quilting was not the answer. So, that’s when I started the research process.
A friend of mine, who owns a quilt shop, told me about a show that was to be in Kansas City. There were going to be lots of different companies there, so it seemed like a great time for me to “test drive” all the models. As we walked from booth to booth we soon found out which were our top choices. You would think that at my age I would not let peer pressure get to me. It did and I decided to buy from an HQ competitor. They actually had a “slightly used” model that was traded in for an upgrade. Perfect! I paid a down payment and they were to call me with a delivery date. I was to pay the balance before the delivery. I was so excited! I was reading everything I could get my hands on. I had quilts piled up just ready for me to quilt. The only thing that was missing was the machine. The delivery date was set. The training date was set. All I had to do was wait. The check was sent for the balance of the machine. Then, the delivery date was changed. Then it was changed again. Then a date was not even set. I had decided that I was going to postpone my training date until I actually had the machine. Good thing I did not make all the travel arrangements as I finally found out after 3 months of waiting that they had sold me a machine that they actually did not have! I could not believe it! My check which had never been deposited was returned but not the down payment money (to which I have still not received). All the corporate office said was sorry and to buy another machine at a much high price. I decided that this was a company that I did not want to do any further business with. So, I went with my other choice of an HQ Sixteen.
Within a week it was delivered to my door. My “baby” was finally home! I love my machine! It is so easy for me to handle with all of the permanent injuries that I have from the motorcycle accident.
As bad as the situation was, it has turned into a true blessing for me! I have the perfect machine and I will always recommend Handi Quilter as a very reliable company.
I also own a bed & breakfast where I host quilting retreats called “Time Out.” My goal is to purchase another longarm so that ladies can come and spend the weekend really having a good time quilting. When it’s time for me to purchase another longarm machine, you can bet that I will get another HQ.

I own the following HQ machines:

Ann Seely

My award winning quilt

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I have been making quilts since 1986. In 2008 my husband and I attended the HMQS show in Salt Lake City. He was very intrigued by the quilting machines and we spent a fun afternoon trying all of them. I think they impressed him because, as an avid snowmobiler, he thought there might be a chance it could be ridden!
After looking at every machine in the show he turned to me and asked,"Do you want one of these?"
I certainly wasn't going to turn down an offer like that even though I wasn't sure I could learn to use it.
We went back through the show to find which machine might best suit my needs. Our choice was the HQ Sixteen. Cotton Shop of Murray set it up in a spare bedroom and off I went, practicing for hours every day.
The next year (2009) at the HMQS show I won the award for Best Rookie Longarm Quilter of the Year.
I love my HQ Sixteen!

I own the following HQ machines:

Rosa Kitchen


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I have been quilting for about 40 years. Most of that time I hand quilted
all my quilts. That really slowed me down because I have a strong need to
finish things. I couldn't just keep making tops when I hadn't finished.
Now in my 70's I began to have trouble with arthritis in my hands so I
shifted as many things from hand to machine techniques as I could. As
smaller quilting setups came onto the market, I started to experiment with
them. I could finish a lot more quilts.
From the first time I saw the HQ and tried it out at Pacific International
Quilt Festival in Santa Clara, California, I knew I wanted one. I just
couldn't figure out how to afford one. Finally, three years ago, one of my
quilting friends agreed to buy one with me. I was so excited and started
the arrangements with the dealer but my friend changed her mind and backed
out. I was so disappointed. At the beginning of the following year I
retired and decided to figure out how to buy one. I got a credit card with
0% interest for a year. I found a dealer on the internet in the midwest who
was selling a demo model of one of your early machines before the 2007 model
came out. I bought it.
I am in heaven. I finish a quilt most every week from fabric to quilted and
bound and also quilt for some friends and one of our guild outreach groups.
I do quilts as fundraisers for my daughter's two Montessori Pre-schools made
with blocks created by the children themselves. I have taught 3 of my
grandchildren to quilt and they make gifts for the large extended family
every Christmas. I now teach 4Her's to quilt. Most are between 9 and 11.
The youngest was 7. They complete their projects themselves from selecting
fabric, cutting, sewing to finally quilting on the HQ. It is the promise of
getting to drive that big machine that gets them hooked. They love it and
dance with glee when they get their finished quilt off the frame and see
what they can do. They get to show their work at the county fair and at our
quilt guild show.
Thank you so much for your well designed, easy to use machine and the great
tools you have developed to go with it. No matter how long I live, I will
never be bored. Now that I can complete things faster my imagination just
goes faster. There are always 5 or 6 projects waiting in the wings or on
the design wall for their turn.
For a long time the nearest dealer was in San Mateo but I see that now Ray's
is carrying the HQ. I am glad. He helped me get my machine and frame
together even though he did not carry your machine at the time.

I own the following HQ machines:

Kelly Hanson

dads memory quilt, the inspiration for my HQ Avante

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My quilt story begins with a machine that was inherited, and fabric that needed to be made into treasures. In February of 2000, my aunt passed away leaving behind all of her quilting supplies and fabrics. My uncle, naive to quilting, ordered a dumpster and was in the process of throwing out all of it when I arrived shortly after her passing. I asked if I could have them and he promptly and happily placed the items into my van... I brought them home, set up the machine, folded the fabric and made it a shrine to my Aunt Rosemary. Jump ahead to September 2003, my son was expecting his first child. As we awaited the arrival of my first grandchild, I became so anxious that I needed to fill my time. I took out the fabric and began piecing a quilt for the unborn future grandson. It was the sun bonnet boy appliqued quilt. I was so comforted by the therapy piecing gave, I continued to piece and started taking classes (every day for 2 years).
I began working at a local quilt shop and invested in an inexpensive quilt frame so I could complete my quilts from fabric selection through the actual quilting. It didn't take long before I threw out my shoulder and was in need of rotator cuff repair from using this flimsy frame with my TL98 Juki. I put my frame up for sale and decided this was not for me. I made the decision that I would piece, but never quilt a large quilt again. I did many smaller pieces on my Bernina, but I did not have the strength with my shoulder to push the quilt around to completion. Shortly after my surgery, my best friend, Sandy, invested in a long arm with the Statler System. Sandy lives 140 miles from me so it always gave me a great chance to see her, and her work was perfect. So I began bringing my quilts to her and gave her a great start on her business. Her first year she quilted 17 quilts for me, none of which were smaller than full size. As I watched her quilt I became sure that I was not capable of doing this part of the craft. It seemed to be so complicated and I was not very confident in my abilities.
Fast forward to March 1, 2009, the day my father passed away. While everyone else was busy looking at keepsakes to remember him by, I asked my mother what her plans were for his clothing. She willingly gave them to me. On February 14, 2010 I presented her with a beautiful quilt made from his clothing. My one last gift of love from dad to mom. On July 19 2010 I presented my husband with a similar quilt for our wedding anniversary. My husband was touched, my dad had been a loving father to him for 30 years. He missed him terribly. I knew he would respond like this, so it saddened me greatly when I picked the quilt up from my friend that I had not been able to quilt this special gift myself.
As I left her home in June of 2010, after picking up this quilt, I saw a sign on St Cloud Sewing Center " TRUCK LOAD SALE ". I hung a U turn, freaked my son out, called my husband, and told him my plans.
My wonderful husband told me to go in and get what I needed. I walked through the door, still on the phone, and walked right up to the HQ Avante 18 with the computerized unit attached. I asked how much the package was and what was included and with my husband still on the line he said,
"Just do it, get the best frame and whatever you need." Janelle, the sales woman was as excited as I was. My 18 year old son, by my side, was telling me I deserved this. He said quilting is a gift, a passion. And then he told me that he thought I was gifted in my craft, I wanted to cry. I bought everything that I would need, and it was installed and set up within a week.
I had researched machines for quite a while, tried many at various quilt shows, but it was the ease of the machine that gave me the confidence to say I can and I will do this. I have not been disappointed, I finished my first quilt and it turned out so beautifully. I am proud to own such an exceptional machine and am embarking on starting a long arm quilting business. I am thrilled with the tech support I receive through
Janelle, and her willingness to give instruction on the machine. Thank you HQ for making my dream complete. I have a beautiful sewing studio, a gem of a long arm and a loving family. What more could a girl want?

I own the following HQ machines:

Coral Lee Prickett

Coral Lee and a baby quilt for a friend of one of my daughters

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My grandmother was a quilter as well as my husband's mother. We both remember them putting on quilts as soon as the harvest was over and they would work on them all winter long, finishing just in time for the spring work to begin.
I have always loved homemade quilts, but never had the patience to work on them. If I had put one on the old fashion frames, it would have taken me a life time to finish.
Several years ago my friend, Suzanne talked me into taking a quilting class, which I did, just so she wouldn't have to go alone. Was I hooked!!!! I loved making the tops and putting them together. My problem was how would I quilt them?
For Christmas and my birthdays the last few years I half joking and half seriously told my husband that I wanted a long arm quilting machine. I didn't think it would happen, but there was always hope.
I looked at them on line and checked them all out for over two years. I always went back to the Handi Quilter. I found a store in Broomfield that sold them so I went and checked them out. As soon as I saw the HQ run I knew that is the one I wanted.
For Christmas 2009 I made my husband a quilt and two of our grandchildren quillows. A friend of mine had a long arm, which was not a HQ. I had fun running it and seeing what I had done, but I knew this was not the machine for me.
Just after Christmas I went to a quilt fabric store to buy some fabric for my next project with two of my friends. On our way home I asked them if they would mind stopping at the store that sold the long arm I wanted. I was told they had a new HQ, a HQ18 Advante, that would be on sale for the same price as the HQ Sixteen until the end of the year. I got the figures, went home and told my husband. To my surprise he told me to go order it. So I did, Merry Christmas!
Now the work began. We needed to put it in the basement to have room but we also needed to clean it out. My mom had died the year before and I had a lot of her things in my basement. Knowing that this would make me get rid of a lot of her memories, it took us several months and many tears, but we got it done.
My husband travels a lot for work and it was on one of his trips that Bob came to set up my machine. As soon as Dave got home I took him down stairs to show off my machine and what it could do. As he was standing there looking at it running he said, "My mom would of sold her husband for a machine like this." Every time I use the machine I learn something new. As my husband is retiring in a few months I hope to become proficient so I well be able to bring in some extra money.
A group of us are currently making quilts for the Women's Homeless shelter in Arvada and when the tops are done they will be quilted on the HQ.

I own the following HQ machines:

Claudia Norman

My new HQ16 -Yipee!

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Sew Little Time!
My fascination with long arm quilting began years ago when I first laid my eyes on a long arm at a quilt show. Don’t ask me who the manufacturer was because time has caught up with me but my memory hasn’t. I attend every sewing related show I can afford when one comes to my area. Believe me I see so many long arm machines I lose track of names.
At one such seminar I met a lovely lady that was inviting everyone at her table to come to her house to quilt. At the time I really had not embraced quilting as I have now, because my focus was on embroidery at that particular point in time. However I did go to her house to see if quilting was something I wanted to do; as it turned out I did.
I got very involved with quilting as time progressed. At one quilt show I attended I purchased a kit which was suppose to be a wall hanging that I ended up I turning into a full sized quilt. It was a paper pieced item I was confident I could execute. When it came to quilting it I had to find someone on the internet. When it was completed I was thrilled with the way it turned out. That is when I knew I wanted to do my own in the future.
Mean while my friend informed me her husband had given her a long arm for Christmas which had previously belonged to a friend who had moved away from the area. Boy I was really excited for her and hoped that she would invite me give it a try.
As time pass she let me look at it and that was it. Eventually she confessed that the machine really intimidated her and she was considering selling it. Had my luck changed? Was I finally going to get to try out her machine? Nope! She told me how much she wanted for it and I just couldn’t justify that price on a used machine I wasn’t even able to touch.
I began to investigate long arm machines in earnest. Would you believe the lady who quilted my very first quilt had become the sales rep in our area for my friend’s particular long arm brand? I went to her for advice.
She asked me some very important questions about the machine, like, who the previous owners were, and what the maintenance was. When I gave her the information I could find out, she told me how old the machine was and that it had no maintenance record. Her advice was to reconsider that machine, or try to convince my friend to sell it for less so I could bring the maintenance record up to date. Well, well, my friend then decided not to sell her machine after all. OH WELL! It was just NOT meant for me.
As luck would have it an ad was placed in our guild news letter about a long arm for sale at the price that fit my budget. I called the very next day to set up an appointment to look at ….would you believe it was an HQ Sixteen.
I had to wait about a week to be able to get a look at it. After all this time I would be able to get my hands one and not have to wait for someone to invite me.
Well the rest is history. I became the proud owner of a previously owned HQ Sixteen with all of it’s up to date maintenance history custom built table, bobbin winder, bobbin case tension gauge, enough thread to get started, practice with and a new friend.
Now the rest is up to me, to become proficient with my new tool. Practice, practice, practice. Ah…. Sew little time!
Claudia Norman

I own the following HQ machines:

Chris Jones

my favorite spot

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Once upon a time I went to the Lowell Quilt show to see if there were any quilt machines I could try out, I had been quilting for years on my domestic machine and it was becoming physically stressful on shoulders. I had checked out a few machines at shows but never tried the HQ Sixteen. We (my fabulous husband) and I were strolling around and saw the machine in action, I got the chance to try it out and was so surprised and pleased at how easily it handled. Now I was thinking I really “need” this machine, but thought it’s more than I was planning to spend, but I would think about it. A few weeks later I went to the Quilt shop give it another try and once again was wowed, and thought “should I”? When I found out about the one on customer service by the company and the shop I was drooling but decided to wait and think about it some more. We left the shop drove out of the parking lot and as we passed the front of the store my husband stopped the car and said go in and tell them you’ll take it, so as you can imagine I ran in immediately. Harriet now resides in my family room; I have since gotten the table and the prostitcher at my husband’s insistence. Our family room now houses my machine and all my needed items and he now has a tiny corner for his chair and TV, if I ever upgrade he will have to find another room (luckily he wouldn’t mind). I am a very happy camper; I have won 3 ribbons on 2 quilts. I am an avid quilter and now quilt for friends, I really enjoy the looks on their faces when they see their completed quilts. I really enjoy ruler work (much to my surprise) and combine with the prostitcher. I think my favorite part is the incredible customer service we get, whether it’s the tech folks who are amazing and responsive, the instructors or the local support, it just doesn’t get any better! This is my fairy tale

I own the following HQ machines:

Janie Wagoner

Janie and HQ18 Avante

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As a little girl, I used to watch Mama sew on her Domestic sewing machine and was fascinated by the needle going up and down, making perfect stitches to the hum of the motor. Many years later and a few machines of my own, I am still amazed at the things the needle and bobbin can do! I have been quilting for some time now and I love every bit of the piecing process but dread the quilting part. I have my share of unquilted tops sitting on the shelf waiting their turn to be sandwiched, quilted and cuddled. I’ve seen the magazine ads for long-arm quilting machines and have been convinced that one would complete my otherwise perfect quilt studio. My husband is very supportive of my hobby and agreed that I needed a long-arm machine. He is in the Air Force Reserve and is getting deployed to Afghanistan next week. He thought the Handi Quilter would be a good distraction for me while he is away. I ordered the HQ18 Avante and watched the educational DVDs while it was being shipped. The videos are great and I am anxious to stitch out a pantograph and am deciding on which groovy board to get...oh the possibilities! I honestly believe that my husband is more excited about the machine than I am! We are so impressed with the features and ease of use. I have had it for just over a week now and am having a blast with my first doodle/practice quilt. I love the touch screen monitor, the ease of loading the quilt and the best part of all; the stitch regulator. It’s amazing and my machine fascination continues. I can’t wait to see what I can do with this great machine! I intend to welcome my husband back home with a house of quilts!

I own the following HQ machine: HQ18 Avante

Angela Guest

Me and my new HQ

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My story begins about 5 years ago. While participating in a quilting class at a local quilt shop, the instructor gave me the name and number of her friend in Ohio that had just purchased a quilting machine and was looking for people who needed their quilts quilted. I was skeptical, of course, sending my treasured quilts to a stranger, but it turned out to be the influence I needed to begin my own quilting journey. I started out slowly, sending one quilt every couple of months; always a queen or king size. I gradually increased to 1 to 2 a month. I really wanted to be able to piece a quilt and then quilt it myself. I was envious. I called my Ohio quilter and asked her about the quilting process. “Would I love quilting as much as I loved piecing,” I asked. She said, “I definitely would and more.” A friend of mine helped me research quite a few other machines, but I always came back to HQ. I think I secretly always wanted the HQ. I called another friend in Miami and told her what I wanted to do. I told her that when I retire, this might be a good way to a little extra money and enjoy what I was doing more than anything else. Think of it, quilting everyday as a job. Hmmmmmm, was there a better job in the world? I think not. A few months later, and lots of research, I own my very own HQ18 Avante and HQ Pro-Stitcher. The purchase of the HQ happened to fall on my 60th birthday, which made it even more meaningful for me. It was a gift to myself; and what a gift it was.
I live in a 3 bedroom villa and I use one of the rooms as my quilting room. I never planned for the machine to take up the space it did, but I knew it was big. I just figured it would go in my quilting room. NOT! If I set up the machine in the quilting room, I would not be able to walk into the room. (not a very big room) I wanted to leave the HQ setup all the time so that I could use it whenever I wanted and did not have to worry about setting it up properly each time. When I watched the setup, and now know I made the right choice. I also wanted it setup to the largest size to fit a king size quilt since I made many of them. I realized I had to make a decision. It was an easy one actually. I got rid of my dresser in my bedroom and bought a queen size bed to replace the king I had.
Most people would say that is true love. I can now actually say that I “sleep with my HQ.” Well at least in the same room. The HQ has changed my whole view of quilting and I have been quilting for years. Instead of looking at the colors, patterns, or fabrics; I now go straight to the quilting!
Thank you Handi Quilter for the HQ18 Avante and allowing me to achieve my full quilting potential.
Angela Guest

I own the following HQ machines:

June Renick

Me at my HQ Sixteen

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In high school I started sewing and really had a passion for sewing. I even did everyone’s zippers and button holes in the class. Working gave me a little money I could use to buy fabric and create clothing for myself. College came and still I would sew some although I did not have a sewing machine.
When I moved to Florida and got married my first sewing machine was purchased. I made lots and lots of clothing from boys shirts to mens jackets. Never having daughters I found opportunities to make little dresses for the children of friends.
Finally I got granddaughters - five of them in fact. I would make cute little dresses with pinafores and even hats to match. Then came the time the granddaughters no longer wanted to even wear dresses so that phase for making clothing ended.
Ten years ago I retired from teaching. My admiration for the quilters was great and my thoughts were, “I could never do that. It is simply too complicated.” Little did I know that I would get hooked.
The local quilt shop had a ‘block of the month’ club and I decided I just might give it a try. Nothing lost and maybe a lot to be gained. I signed up and made the first block which was not bad. The second month looked even better. The third month I thought, “ I believed I am hooked”. and so I was.
Not only was I doing the block of the month but I starting getting precut blocks and putting them together and also using books to find patterns to use. I learned how to put together those little cut out pieces so they really did look like something - even looked good. Matching colors just seemed to come naturally.
Now, the top is together what happens now? Too much to quilt on my regular sewing machine so the next thing was paying someone and that would soon get expensive. I did have them quilted and paid but I am thinking about what I could do. Paying $20,000 or more for a quilting machine was out of the question. I am only a retired school teacher!
Then while attending a woman’s show in Orlando, FL I saw a display with the HQ Sixteen being demonstrated. I was very curious and they let me try it and I saw how easy it was to operate. After discussing the machine and the price to purchase I left the show enthused but thinking, “The price is reasonable for that but there is no way I can even get that amount!” I was excited about the machine but could not see my way clear for purchasing.
Of course that machine was on my mind as I continued to piece quilt tops and knew the price I needed to pay to have the quilts finished. The HQ Sixteen was really playing over in my head but how to purchase it was racking my brain. I really could benefit from owning the HQ Sixteen!
Finally I took the plunge and called the shop that had demonstrated at the woman’s show. I had to go up and I ordered the machine which would be sent to my house and the representative would come and set it up for me once I had possession of the packages. Boy, was I excited! I was going to own my own HQ Sixteen and quilt my own tops! I had to use money from a home equity loan but I believed it was worth it. While the representative was here he casually said I would be enclosing my back porch soon for the HQ Sixteen. That was not an option for me but it was bearing in my thoughts.
The only place in my home for the HQ Sixteen was in my bedroom and that was crowded. I used the machine for a quilt or two. That was very gratifying to see the quilts take shape. Then the machine quit working and I had to call and the representative came and had to order a new circuit board which was replaced for free. Now the machine was up and running again. New excitement!
I watched the video over and over to make sure I was doing everything correctly. It seemed if you asked too many questions people acted like you were stupid and should know the answers but I did not know and I had a lot of questions not being answered. It was still thrilling to watch the quilts take shape even with my little knowledge.
In the back of my thoughts was the idea of enclosing the back porch and putting all my sewing there. After considering my finances and all I borrowed money to enclose and redo the back porch making a very nice room with which I am well pleased. The HQ Sixteen is the main focus of the room and takes up a great portion but there is still room for all my other machines and sewing.
I also try to help some ladies to quilt and so they also use the machine. No charge - just buy a pack of needles. This is so helpful to them and I am so glad to share what God has given to me. Many times I just piece simple quilts and after completing the quilts I give them away to the homeless or needy.
The HQ Sixteen had been great but there are still so many questions I have about different things. I need to go to the education seminar and just find out what I am doing and find the answers to these questions without being made to feel incompetent. I could also gain new knowledge and solve many problems. So far I have not had the budget to attend the seminar and so I just plod along and do my best. Everything depends on God’s plans for me.
Then there is the HQ Pro Stitcher which is my dream to own but that will not happen unless I win the lottery and that is impossible since I do not play the lottery.
A simple story of my path to owning and using the HQ Sixteen. I tell many people about the HQ Sixteen and how great the machine is because it truly is an answer for those needing a machine that is not so outrageously priced.

I own the following HQ machines:

Sandy M. Smith

Sandy M Smith

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My HQ Sixteen Sit-Down is my dream quilting machine! I was sold on the machine the minute I sat down for a test drive at the 2008 Paducah show. I had been looking for a machine with a large throat area to quilt my bigger quilts. (I know that I SHOULD be able to wrestle my quilt through my Bernina machine, but I just couldn’t seem to get the knack of it.) So I looked and “studied” for over a year at different brands and styles. I read every article I could find and pulled up countless websites to learn everything I could on what was available and how they might meet my needs. I soon realized that since I didn’t have the space for a longarm and frame, I would need a sit-down model. Therefore I arrived at Paducah on a mission. Soon I was at the HQ booth and sat down for what would be my ultimate test drive! I had been practicing free motion quilting on my Bernina at home and to my surprise was able to make a decent feather on the HQ Sixteen right then! The show price was remarkable compared to some of the other sit-down brands I had looked at. I called my husband for his opinion and he agreed this was the machine I could not pass up. The machine arrived and I had it set up and was sewing within minutes. At first I used the speed feature to sew at a slower rate, gradually increasing the speed as my techniques improved. Now I am able to dial it up faster – so it’s a machine that can grow with anyone’s abilities. I love my HQ Sixteen Sit-Down and have recommended it to everyone. And I love that the machine is made in the USA!

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

Patti and Amanda Rise

Quilting Team

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My/Our HQ Story

I remember as a child sleeping under quilts created by grandmother, never imaging that one day, I too, would be so in love with the whole process.

I was introduced to piecing quilts some 28 years ago while stationed overseas with my US Marine Corps husband. It was a real thrill to piece a quilt by machine, but then it sat waiting for that day when it could be hand quilted. As the years went by I continued to add to that pile of quilt tops; while moving with the military and raising our two daughters. I eventually realized that I would need to start machine quilting or would have nothing more than a quilt top collection to share with others. I was able, with practice, to successfully quilt some of my smaller pieces, but continually struggled with anything larger than a baby quilt. So the stacks larger pieces continued to grow. Then came the day of my youngest daughter's high school graduation, my husband knowing my desire to complete some of the wonderful quilts I had so meticulously pieced, surprised me with my HQ Sixteen. What a wonderful empty-nest gift. I was ready; I bought muslin to practice, and then moved on to pieces of juvenile flannels, covering each with all-over quilting and binding for charity baby quilts. Slowly I felt more confident and moved onto larger charity pieces. Then one day while a practice piece was loaded and ready, my oldest daughter decided to play a bit. She fell in love with it, her art background allowed her to look at each piece as an artist's canvas, the machine became her paintbrush and she began to create. Shortly after her introduction to "my" HQ, she gave birth to my first granddaughter. Her desire to be a stay at home mom pushed her to continue practicing on charity quilts in hopes of one day quilting for hire. I sat back watching as she continued to improve, even occasionally convincing her to "practice" on my pieces. We were able to attend a long arm quilt convention in Overland Park, Kansas that spring, where most of the hands-on classes were set up with HQ Sixteen machines. Wonderful classes with nationally known quilters and on my exact machine, it was perfect. We both learned an amazing amount about my fantastic machine. But it soon became very evident that she had the artistic touch, which enabled her to make quilts sing. Now as easy as it would have been to be frustrated with the fact that she was excelling far beyond my quilting ability with "MY" machine, I soon realized I was the true winner here. That's right, because while she was working hard at creating beautiful quilts for each of her clients, I was spending every precious moment watching my granddaughter. That was over 2 years ago, we are still a team, Madison and I measure quilts, and Amanda quilts them. That is how "MY" machine became "OUR" machine and I wouldn't want it any other way.

I own the following HQ machines:

Nancy Matzek

Nancy with her husband Bob

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My Dream Comes True
I was an avid clothing sewer so making a leap into the quilting world was a natural progression for me. Time was another issue. When I retired in 2003 after 33 years as a teacher, I decided the time was right - I was going to teach myself to quilt!!! Quilt Basket in Wappingers Falls, NY is my local quilt shop and I am also fortunate to have Debby Brown, an accomplished quilting teacher, work with them. She is fabulous and has taught me so much encouraging me every step of the way.
I had used the HQ Sixteen at my local shop and knew that was the machine for me. The cost of the HQ Sixteen was a bit too much for my finances and then a good friend decided to upgrade to the HQ24 Fusion and I had to opportunity to purchase her HQ Sixteen. I finally had my own HQ Sixteen!! That was in 2008 and I haven't stopped quilting yet.
I truly thought I had discovered all there was to discover about the HQ Sixteen. Then I had the misfortune to shatter my left wrist in 2009. After spending 6 weeks in a cast and then discovering my wrist would never be the same, I thought my quilting days were over. Then I discovered the micro-handles! What an answer to my prayers. I bought them and have them attached to my machine. I can now quilt again in comfort using the micro-handles all the time. They allow my wrist to be in a neutral position so I can quilt comfortably for hours.

I own the following HQ machines:

Carole Henell

Carole Henell and her quilt "I Wish You Well"

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My HQ18 Avanté story is filled with positive experiences and a bright future!
After a year of knowing my current set-up was not meeting my quilting needs, my sweet husband started helping me research other options for long-arm quilting. We investigated and test drove every brand. Even dragged my friend along who is a long-arm quilter and she thought the Handi Quilter was not only the smoothest ride, but was far better than the long-arm she uses in her business. The HQ18 Avanté was our favorite model for its affordability, impressive quilting area and incredibly stable table.
The American Quilt Society had their new quilt show in Lancaster, Pennsylvania in 2010 and we knew the time was right to bring the Avanté home. Much to my delight, the Handi Quilter booth greeted us when we first went into the vendor area! The loveliest people talked to us, showed us the HQ18 Avanté’s special features and then offered us the chance to purchase one of the demonstration models. No need to ask us twice! My name went on the HQ18 Avanté announcing it was going home with me! Trembling with excitement, we explored the rest of the show, but all I can remember is the joy owning an amazing quilting machine.
After the show, the time came for us to pick up the quilting machine, while the table was due to be delivered directly to our house. Much to my surprise, Mark Hyland himself loaded the quilting machine into our minivan! (I had purchased his book for my husband—proof he wasn’t alone in dealing with a quilter for a wife!)
The table arrived when promised and assembled by my husband according to the well-written directions. The quilting machine was placed on the tracks along with some muslin and batting for practice. Instant success! Perfect tension, even stitches and complete ease of advancing the quilt. I could get a quilt done in hours instead of days!
My HQ18 Avanté was affectionately named “Harvey,” after the giant white rabbit of the Jimmy Stewart movie by the same name. Know Harvey and I will enjoy a long and wonderful friendship!

I own the following HQ machines:

Marilyn Stiller


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I started quilting right after the 911crisis as a way to keep my mind off the war as my youngest son was in the Navy at that time and we did not know if he would be deployed. My first quilt was quilted on my domestic machine.
A couple years later a friend built my best friend and me quilt frames for use with our domestic machines. Even though I had a small frame at home, I would always try out the HQ Sixteen when I went to my favorite sewing center. I dreamed about owning an HQ Sixteen for a couple of years.
New Years Eve day 2007, my husband and I spent the day trying out a couple of different brands of long arm quilt machines to see which one would be the best for me. Five days later I bought a used HQ Sixteen which my husband and I drove from Minnesota to Wichita, Kansas to pick up. My husband set the machine up when we returned home and I was busy practicing later that afternoon. Most of my quilting projects are for friends and family with the hopes of starting a business in the near future.
Five months later I purchased the Pro Stitcher for my HQ Sixteen and just a couple of months ago I added the Micro Handles to my machine after taking two classes with Nanc Christopherson from Handi Quilter. I love my machine and am proud to say that I machine quilted my projects myself and in much less time than before.
We just purchased a larger home last year so my machine now has its own room. We are still adding cabinets and lighting to make it brighter and soon my studio should be finished. My husband even shows off my machine to friends and relatives when they stop by.
I just recently went to my favorite sewing center with a friend and was checking out the new HQ18 Avante while my friend was buying herself a new sewing machine. When I returned home that evening I told my husband that I had been checking out the new machine and how impressed I was with it and his response was “what will it take to upgrade to the larger machine”. My dream now, is to own the HQ18 Avante in the near future.

I own the following HQ machines:

Janie Millard

My 2010 Butler County Fair 2nd place quilt, HQ 16 and Me

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My first experience with a Handi Quilter machine was at the home of a friend who owned one. She let me do a couple of quilts on it an I fell in love. I knew that it was out of our budget so I started looking for alternatives. I had seen ads for quilting frames that could utilize my standard sewing machine. I asked my husband (the computer person in our family) to look on the internet for different options. After several hours on the internet, he said to me that he did not think that I would ever be happy with that arrangement due to the small throat size of my machine. However, he stayed on the computer for quite a while longer and then started to make a phone call. I asked him who he was calling and much to my surprise he was calling the Handi Quilter dealer in Columbus, OH. The person who answered the phone was Jennifer McCann (2008 NQA Teacher of the Year), who my husband later called a smooth talking devil. After about 30 minutes and a number of questions, I heard my husband say “We will take it”. Needless to say my jaw dropped. About a week later Jennifer showed up with the machine, set it up and gave me my introductory lesson. That was over 2 years ago and I have been in heaven ever since. During this time I have used my HQ Sixteen to do a number of quilts for friends, relatives and charity. A recent event made my HQ Sixteen even more special. Our family lost a Nephew at only 50 years of age to cancer and of course all of the family mourned the loss. After returning from the funeral I thought there should be something I could do to help ease the pain for the immediate family. I discussed this with my sister who in turn talked to my Nephew's wife about sending his dress shirts and ties to me. A couple of weeks later I received 30 shirts and a large number of ties from which the fabric was used to make quilts. To make a long story short, in around three months I had made 9 quilts to give to his wife, 2 children, 1 grand child, 3 brothers, 1 sister and 1 for his parents. The Quilt label read "Love & Memories we Impart to Quilt the Fabric of the Heart". The family expressed to me the comfort they received from these quilts knowing that the fabric had been touched by their loved one, but I felt even more blessed to be able to make these quilts. Without my HQ Sixteen that would not have been possible.

I own the following HQ machines:

Diane Henry

Me with my system

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I purchased my HQ Sixteen with HQ Pro-Stitcher almost two years, 135 quilts, and 11 million stitches ago. I have been quilting for a long time now, first by hand, then shifting to machine quilting a few years ago. It wasn’t long before I came to appreciate the beauty and creativity, not to mention the productivity and satisfaction, that longarm quilting offers. Joining the lucky circle of those who use Handi Quilter machines is a decision I have never, and I know I will never, regret. I have always enjoyed quilting, but I’ve never gotten as much pleasure from the craft as I do with my HQ Sixteen.
The real story of my Handi Quilter, however, isn’t just about being able to quilt a lot of quilts beautifully, easily, and quickly. It’s really about the relationships I’ve made with the men and women whom I have met and gotten to know because of my HQ Sixteen. It’s the story of my quilting buddies Lynne and Lori; of Ann who designs special creations for her granddaughters; of soldiers receiving warm “quilters’ hugs” from grateful citizens; of new quilters seeking advice and encouragement as part of our local Handi Quilter club; and of Ken, a committed dealer who loaned me another HQ Sixteen while mine was being serviced. And perhaps most special, it’s the story of Mary, an 80+ year-old quilter who wanted finished quilts to give to her family. “With your help,” she told me, “I am the proud owner of quilts rather than boxes of unfinished squares.”
I, too, want to say, “Thank you.” Thank you to all the special people who have shared their quilts or quilting experiences with me; thank you to the network of friendly and helpful Handi Quilter dealers who help support me; and thank you to Handi Quilter, for making it all possible.

I own the following HQ machines:

Nancy DeJongh

With a quilt I made in memory of my mother-she loved flowers and taught me how to sew.

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I am still in a little bit of shock that I actually bought a long arm quilting machine. I do not make snap decisions, but I did this time!
I began sewing at about age 8, making doll clothes. I moved on to making all of my own clothes through high school, college, and early marriage. Then children and my job as a school librarian got in the way and sewing took a back seat. Then about 10 years ago my assistant in the library got me started making quilts. However, I have an athletic son and between attending his sporting events year round, I didn't get to sew as much as I would have liked. I always promised myself that after he graduated I would buy a new sewing machine and really start sewing. Well, he graduated, I started sewing more, but he is now playing college football!
Last fall I attended a quilt show and stopped in at the local Singer store to check into replacing my 30 year old machine. I wasn't thrilled with what he showed me and went online to check prices, etc. Somehow I ended up on Craigslist and wandered into longarm machines. I thought to myself, my machine sews okay, maybe I should look into something entirely different and be able to finish my quilts myself instead of hiring someone else. A lady in NE had a Pfaff machine for sale on a frame. After chatting with her and asking her why she was selling it, she said her wonderful husband was buying her an HQ Sixteen. I soon realized that everyone with her type of machine was upgrading to a longarm. I decided I should skip that step and go straight to a longarm! I took two friends with me on a Fri. night and Sat., visiting two shops and bought an HQ Sixteen that Sat. without much research! I liked the machine, the price was right (my husband game me the money from a pickup he had just sold!) and I ordered it!
I had it come in time for Christmas so that my 93 year old father could see it and try it. He was very happy for me. After a little practice I took off and quilted someone else's quilt first-I was brave!
I am feeling more comfortable all the time. I took a day off from school last spring and went to the longarm quilting conference in Overland Park, KS. I took 12 hours of classes in one day and learned a lot! I am feeling more confident all the time and just love my machine. I have even bought a stylus anc circle groovy board so that I can quilt perfect circles. So I am still sewing the quilt tops on my 30 year old machine and quilting them on my new HQ Sixteen. It is just too bad that football games and my job interfere with my quilting time! I will admit that I was one of the few that enjoyed all of our snow days last winter-I spent them in my basement quilting.

I own the following HQ machines:

Diane Hiller

Myself and grandson Rylan

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As I walked into that sewing machine shop so many years ago, my eyes landed on the first HQ Sixteen I had ever seen. It was love at first sight! right there and then I knew that someday a HQ Sixteen would be mine. So for the next 10 years or so I dreamed. In all thos years I only sent one quilt out to be quilted. The rest I quilted on my home machine. I had ordered the video many years ago and watched it over and over. Fast forward to 2009 and the opportunity arose. With a new home in another state, a room dedicated to my sewing, I was finally able to purchase my dream. In all those years the thought of another machine besides a Handi Quilter never crossed my mind. So I called the Florida dealer closest to me, that being Elaine Gilmore at the Quilting Machine Shop in Bunnell, Fl. I was impressed with her knowledge and understanding of what I was looking for. Of course like most I gulped at the price tag, and finally bit the bullet and ordered it. I wavered back & forth on which table to get, and decided on the Quiltable. So I order my HQ Sixteen with Quiltable, and anxiously awaited its arrival. Just so happened that Elaine went off to the Houston Quilt Fest and Handi Quilter unveiled its newest machine, the HQ18 Avante. Elaine immediately called me and told me all about it, saying I could upgrade to the HQ18 Avante for the same price as my HQ Sixteen because of the show pricing. Well that was a no-brainer, of course I would, and right then upgraded the table to the HQ Studio Frame, and so glad I did.
I have since then quilted my oversized king qult Pineapple Starbust and many others. I have also quilted many for customers and friends. At this time I am anxiously waiting to finished my challenge quilt so that I may do a variety of quilting and embellishments on it with my Avante.
I enjoy the ease of use of the HQ18 Avante and the minimum maintance required. The large variety of threads that can be used on the HQ18 Avante is a big advantage. If I had the room and felt I needed a larger machine, I would stick with Handi Quilter and upgrade to the HQ24 Fusion. The machines have sleek looks, helpful and knowledgable dealers and a quality built product. My purchasing a Handi Quilter gives me a sense of pride in knowing that I own one of the best American made machines on the market.

I own the following HQ machines:

Sandra Mitchell

working on my first quilt

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I have only had my HQ Sixteen for a few months but I am one HAPPY QUILTER! My husband's mother taught me to quilt many years ago using a domestic machine for the entire process. It is a passion we still share. My least favorite part was pinning the quilt together.When I first saw a longarm - WOW- no more pinning plus all the amazing designs that could be done. I have wanted a longarm for such a long time but never imagined we could afford one. Then my mom bought an HQ Sixteen, so naturally I went to use hers (1 hour away). I loved that this machine is so light weight and easy to use. This only increased my desire for my own machine so that I could practice enough to learn to do it well. I started looking on the used market and decided it would be best to buy local rather than spend so much on shipping. One day I received and e-mail from a local quilt shop that there was an HQ Sixteen for sale. The machine was only about a year old and the owner was selling to upgrade to the HQ18 Avante. I was so excited when I came home from looking at the machine but still concerned about the money. My husband told me to call and tell the lady I wanted it that he was buying it for our anniversary (June 9th-31yrs). So on June 3rd we picked up my machine! I have quilted about a dozen quilts so far, most will be going to the Children's Hospital. It is so much fun and fast too! This has been a double blessing because not only did I get an awesome anniversary present but a new friend as well. It has been great getting to know the previous owner. I did have to call Technical Support one time and even though I had bought the machine used they were very helpful and dedicated to resolving the issue. This machine has taken my quilting to a whole new level. I am really excited about all the new things I am learning to do and the sky's the limit for what's to come! Thank you, Handi Quilter, for making a great machine affordable to the home quilter and for standing behind your product.

I own the following HQ machines:

Patty Gertz

Sandy, Patty, and Stephanie

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There are common threads that hold families together, and for my two sisters and me, they are literal threads – quilting threads. Our mother quilted, and we have passed it along to our children. Since we are all lifetime quilters, we were intrigued by the idea of graduating to professional quilting machines and the new challenges and abilities they bring. For the better part of a decade Sandy has been encouraging us to take a look at HandiQuilter. Well, it took a while but this past year we were all convinced. Patty bought a HQ24 Fusion at last year’s Lancaster AQS show. That whetted the appetites of Stephanie and Sandy, and they became even more inspired as they saw what it could do. Stephanie bought the HQ Sixteen sit-down machine in the fall, and Sandy just completed the set at the 2011 Lancaster show with the purchase of an HQ18 Avante.
We three are so excited to be able to share our quilting passion and take our skills to an even higher level. We consider the HQ family, especially Gina, Debby, Allan and Mary Beth, part of our extended family. And it is certainly true that the family that sews together stays together (including new family member HQ!)
Sincerely,
Patty Gertz, Stephanie Prentiss, Sandy Stein

I own the following HQ machines:

Nedra Randall

Enjoying freehand quilting.

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In 2004 I thought that I was through quilting. I had been quilting over 25 years and my hands just wouldn’t do the hand piecing and quilting anymore. Sewing machine work was satisfactory, but I resorted to small projects to quilt, because the 3” x 5” hole between the needle and the back of my sewing machine was just impossible for me to push a large quilt through. I had looked at large quilt machines, but they were too big and way too expensive for my budget.
My husband and I went to a local guild quilt show and we turned a corner in the vendor aisle and there was the cutest quilting machine ever. The HQ Sixteen. simple, easy to use, not too heavy, adjustable to quilt size, (from 4’ to 12’ poles) and affordable.
We went to both days of the show and for several hours each day, just to quilt on that amazing quilting machine before we bought it and I was excited. I have had a lot of happy hours stitching on my HQ Sixteen. I have made 88 quilts for wounded soldiers, and many more.
Last week at the Handi Quilter Trunk Show we bought the HQ18 Avante. It is a hard thing to give up my lovely, trusty “16” machine, but I will be so happy to get my new HQ18 Avante up and going, for many more hours of fun and happiness. I expect many more years of pleasure on it. I am 70 years old.
Thanks Handi Quilter for all your patience and loving help getting me started on my “16”. The many phone calls and laughing fun we had at the Houston show. My hope is to get to attend the retreat sometime.
Gregg, your tech, said that Handi Quilter headquarters is a happy place. I know that because I have always had happy people to talk to and always an answer for my snafus.
That’s my story and I am sticking to it.

I own the following HQ machines:

Mary O'Mara

Mary O'Mara

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My HQ story is actually two stories in one.
I would like to tell you the story of my dear friend and hero Carol Nelson.
Carol and I met when we were both pursuing careers in the insurance industry. My first day on the job I noticed this girl staring and smiling at me. At the end of the work day she came over and said, "I know you have noticed me looking at you all day and I just wanted to let you know why. I am just so glad this company has hired someone as tall as me!" So began a 35 year friendship that still endures today.
Carol went on to become the Senior Fraud Investigator for the company and I went onto a career in the United States Postal Service.
In February of 2003 Carol was diagnosed with Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma at the age of 49.
Surgery was performed in May 2003 to remove a very large tumor from her stomach. The worst case scenario was to remove the entire stomach. We received the worst case scenario. I remember her mother-in-law asking the surgeon, "what does this mean?" He replied, "it means she has a very challenging road ahead of her." Thus began the fight for her life!
After spending a few weeks in the hospital she faced chemotherapy, intravenous feedings, nausea, diarrhea, loss of hair and many more challenging health issues. She lost about 60 pounds. The doctor said it would take up to 2-3 years for her other organs to get used to not having the stomach.
One weekend I invited her to a quilt show in town. We were able to attend but I had to take her home early because she was so ill. I remember that afternoon sitting in my car and watching her go into her house. I sat there in her driveway and prayed to God, please don't take her.
I think by attending that quilt show I motivated her to get back into quilting. It was a craft that she and I both had grown to love.
Little by little she started to feel stronger and before long was creating samples for the quilt store (The Cotton Patch) in Keizer, Oregon. At the same time she was still trying to go back to work at her job. A job that she truly loved. She kept encountering obstacles along the way. The last obstacle was the deciding factor. She cut off the end of her finger with a rotary cutter finishing up a quilting project. She went to the emergency room and they ended up sewing the tip back on. She went into work that next Monday. Her boss called her into his office and said, "Carol your life is so much more important than this job." "You need to retire." Lucky for the quilting world she took his advice!
A few days after her retirement she called me and said, "guess what I just did?" (I didn't have a clue) I just purchased the HQ Sixteen from Whitlock’s Sewing and Vacumn Center. Brothers Lyn and Todd McPherson own Whitlock's in Salem Oregon and they represent HQ wonderfully! Todd came to Carol's house and set up her machine for her. Thus began Carol's second career.
One of Carol's first quilting projects after she got her HQ Sixteen was to enter a contest sponsered by Hancock Fabrics for St. Jude's Children's hospital. Carol felt this was a good way to give back. After all she knew firsthand the fear these children must have, by being a cancer patient herself. In the attached photo you can see she won the Blue Ribbon. This quilt was donated and was absolutely beautiful.
Carol started doing all the samples for the quilt shop. Today you can see all of her beautiful creations hanging on every wall at the Cotton Patch. Her work is absolute perfection. She is also very busy with her quilting business. She has customers drop off quilts everyday at the shop. She teaches applique and quilting techniques a few days each month at the shop. Seven years later she is thriving.
Three years ago she called me at work and said, "I know you have talked about doing this business when you retire, but could you do it now?" "I have gotten so busy that I just can't keep up.”
Secretly, I had yearned to do it. I had lost interest in my job and just wanted to make my life a little more stress free. I told her I would love to but I was paying off my daughter's wedding and I just didn't see how I could afford the machine. She responded, "I talked this over with Randy (her husband) and tomorrow you and I are going to Whitlock's and purchase your new machine." I couldn't believe it.
A week later my brand new HQ Sixteen machine was delivered. Carol helped me set it up. She referred some customers to me and with a little practice I was off on a new adventure. The Cotton Patch promotes my business and another shop in Salem, Greenbaum's Quilted Forest also promotes my business. I was on my way in my second career.
One thing I have noticed in this business is you meet the NICEST people, positive and loving people.
I am so grateful to be part of it.
Late last year I was able to make a life changing career move. I was able to leave a very stressful job and begin a new phase in my life. A full time quilting career! I love it! I am so thankful for this opportunity.
I know Carol would be the first one to say, if quilting had not come into her life that she would most likely have been dead by now. She has been such a positive inspiration for me and others that she continues to amaze me. I've never known anyone like her in my life. She has amazing faith and has been the best friend anyone could ask for. They say there are angels among us. I have living proof, my dear friend Carol.
I would like to give HQ credit for helping make changes in both our lives. My friend's life has been saved and mine has been enhanced. We both thank you!!!!!!!!!!!
Mary O'Mara
P.S. I have my eye on the HQ Pro-Stitcher

I own the following HQ machines:

Michele Hymel

Me with my husband

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I'm obsessed! I'm completely obsessed with my wonderful HQ24 Fusion. I had been lusting after a long-arm, but wasn't sure if I could afford one or where I would put it. I'd tried them out at quilt shows, but nothing really clicked. Then I tried the Fusion at the Fiber Arts Fiesta in Albuquerque. It was love at first sight! Luckily my quilting buddy, Margaret was with me and she also fell in love with it. We decided to go in together on the purchase, and our Fusion resides at her house. Well, I have practically moved in! We quilt on it almost every day. It's been over a year now and I am just as crazy about my HQ24 Fusion as I was in the beginning. But I'm a lot better at using it now. I love that it is so well built, that it's made in the USA, and that we have local service. It's the best!

I own the following HQ machines:

Audrey Jean Theisen

Audrey J Theisen Fish quilt

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HQ Sixteen My story
My quilting journey began a long time ago – it was the year of the Platte River Flood in Denver, Colorado. Yes, that was in the summer of 1965. My grandma Anna came to visit us for two weeks that summer. She and I cut out scrap fabrics from the scrap bin-using empty envelopes as the pattern. We joined the pieces together in a random color order. The rows turned out so colorful. I still remember the look alike dresses that my mom and sister and I had out of one of those fabrics. Grandma went on to hand quilt that quilt top using a two inch ruler as the guide to the diagonal rows. That quilt was never used until the year 2006 – the year my dad died. I used that quilt once when I slept over at the house during that time. That quilt was stored for a long time in a plastic bag on the shelf in my dad’s closet. My mom quickly washed the quilt I used one night. This erased the pencil marks made 41 years before by my grandmother. It seemed as if the pencil marks de-valued the quilt in some strange way. That “beloved” quilt hangs in my front room.
Fast forward history – made two quilts in the 1980’s. One of the quilts was from antique quilt blocks that were given to me in the 70’s – from my grandma, Elvira, orphan blocks. The second quilt I attempted was the Star pattern– the eight points – each of the blocks looked different – one of the blocks has a hole in the middle where they are supposed to be joined – can stick my little finger through that area. I remember crying because I could not get those points to look perfect. Since then I have learned a lot about how to put together that particular pattern. In spite of myself, I put together those star blocks in 2009. Whatever. I am so over crying about having perfect blocks. Now, I love how uneven the blocks are and I left that hole in the middle of one of the blocks – just for laughs. The back of the blocks look awful – there is no rhyme or reason why they look the way that they do. Some of the seams are open, some seams go in one direction, some seams are cut off, etc. I could use a class on how to put that pattern block together. I hung that quilt up on the top of the ceiling in my studio – you would have to crank your neck to see my mistakes.
In 2000, in celebration of completing a higher education degree, I purchased an antique quilt which had the same pattern of that quilt that I made in the 1980’s-the orphan block quilt. That quilt has the original pencil markings from the 1930’s!! It also has hand quilting which is much better than the thread tying that I did back in the 1980’s on my quilt. My current challenge is to take apart my first quilt and sew it the right way. The batting on that quilt was pretty awful as well and will need to be replaced. I probably will try to figure out how to use the Pro-Stitcher features and duplicated the quilting pattern.
I have bought several hand quilting frames – I used to be a snob about hand quilting. I took great pride in taking two years to hand quilt a quilt top! Every single one of those frames are now in storage. I even bought one of those frames which you can put your machine on it and quilt. That frame is in storage along with the sewing machine. I probably should take the machine and all those pieces and recycle them in some useful manner.
In 2006, I bought another long arm machine and frame and proceeded to learn free motion and pantograph quilting. I completed a lot of quilts. I spent hours watching the video on how to load a quilt. I purchased several pantographs and thought I was the queen of the quilting world. My neck and shoulder still hurt and I never had enough lighting to see what was being stitched out. My cat used to walk across the ledge that was used to hold the frame together. I rigged up lights to the frame and constantly tripped on the cords. Duh.
In 2007, I was at the local Janome dealership and saw the HQ Sixteen and the Pro-Stitcher machine. I was taken aback by the touch screen of the HQPro-Stitcher. I fell in love with the whole system – frame, machine and the HQ  Pro-Stitcher. I wanted the top of the line – no more free motion quilting – I dreamed that all “those” designs would magically appear in front of my eyes. Of course, I went to the internet and searched for information HQ Sixteen. I ordered the sample DVD and the dream began. I began calling dealerships. I found a site that was able to “pre service” my needs. My decision to purchase the entire HQ Sixteen system was made because of the level of pre-service that was given by David Sandritter at Quilt Trends. He eventually came to my house and set up the entire system and gave me the required initial training. While I was putting together funding for the purchase, I had to convert my one car garage into the quilting studio. I had moved from a large home in Littleton, Colorado to a very small home in Lakewood. Sadly and gladly, I purchased my parents home after my mom died suddenly and now I had to paint and carpet the “quilting studio.” During this period of transition, I was able to organize all of my material into small plastic containers. Yep, pretty proud of myself, that I had thirty containers – three rows stacked ten high. However, one night, all of the containers fell over – we thought someone broke into the garage because of the loud noise. After the HQ Sixteen was delivered and set up, I purchased 66 gallon containers and moved the material into them. They fit perfectly under the table.
At the present time, my long arm quilting consists of volunteering to quilt for two guilds – a Quilt of Valor project and local group of individuals who donate their time and services for individuals in my community. This has given me the opportunity to try out new patterns on the Pro-Stitcher. You will see from the attached pictures that I have learned some of the features of the system. It was a bold step to try using a solid color for the back of the quilt for a couple of the more recent quilts that I have been working on. The one quilt with the “on-point’ white squares has designs that I had to rotate and space so that the pattern would fit in the block square. It took me hours to stitch pairs of flowers at a 45 degree angle in the tiny borders. The back of that quilt turned out so nice. Another of the quilts has a sea theme pattern – turtles, fish, sea weed, etc.
Pictures of the teal blue quilt is a sample of a quilt done over a year ago – triangles. It took me about 55 hours of machine quilting to finish that quilt for my niece. My original goal was to have a different triangle in each of the little pieces of the star block.
My skill level continues to improve – as well as my thread tension. My goal is to learn more about the features of the HQ Pro-Stitcher. I would like to teach others about the HQ Sixteen and HQ Pro-Stitcher.
Thank you for taking your time to read about my journey.
Sincerely,
Audrey Theisen
1420 S. Wolcott Way
Denver, Colorado 80219
303-922-7088.

I own the following HQ machines:

Ida Tyson Blankenship

Ida with the latest HQ quilt

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Now I giggle when I’m quilting !
It’s so much fun!
I am loving my HQ Sixteen with HQ Pro-Stitcher.

I am really not a giggler. Sophistication and elegance have always been my style. How did I get to this point? It’s quite a story. I’ve been machine quilting for many years (seems like forever,) doing well with freehand stitching, teaching hundreds of students. I have won awards in shows for quilts and garments.
I’ve been working with a local shop for more than 12 years, teaching garment sewing, machine embroidery, and machine quilting skills.
When the shop became a Handi Quilter dealer, I didn’t pay much attention……….I was happy with what I was doing, so I walked by the
Handi Quilters at the front of the store for several years.
Last year, in April of 2009, I finally really noticed the HQ Pro-Stitcher. It was pretty neat – it stitched quilting patterns similarly to the embroidery designs I was familiar with. I was impressed, but still had no interest in having one.
Later that summer I was finishing several projects; they were machine quilted well, but I wasn’t satisfied with the quality of my freehand stitching. I realized the way to make them better and more precise was with a computer controlled quilter.
Voile^ The HQ Pro-Stitcher became the answer. The HQ Sixteen with HQ Pro-Stitcher seemed to meet my needs and wishes……apparently I had been paying more attention than I thought. So in October, after some renovation to my studio, the new machine was in place,…..I was beginning the new chapter in my quilting story.
Now I’m enjoying quilting the tops that had been collecting on my shelves plus some new ones I have made just to try out the PS!
The lovely projects are being quilted as I stand back and giggle.
It is inspiring to see the wonderful stitching on my quilts!
How did I know that in my quest for precision I would be come a giggler !!

Ida Tyson Blankenship

I own the following HQ machines:

Carolee Fields Withee

In my gardens

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As member of a local quilting group, I had been well aware of the advantages of quilting machine. But given the initial cost, I was hesitant to purchase one. While attending the 2008 Maine Quilt Show, I met Jeri Waite from Sanford Sewing Center in Sanford, Maine . After a personal demonstration by Gerri, who answered all my questions and concerns, I decided to purchase a HQ Sixteen.
I gave my first practice piece to our son. The large free hand meandering was somewhat uneven, but being a supportive son, how could he refuse to take his mother's gift of a warm quilt for the winter! Wanting to continue my practice, I arranged to make 10 twin sized quilts for formerly homeless veterans who were participating in a transitional program. The next 5 quilts were given to women who, as victims of domestic violence, were placed in apartments and needed new furnishings. Currently I am making quilts for the families of deployed service men from the Maine National Guard. These recipients are chosen by the director of the National Guard Family Assistance Services. He delivers the quilts; and the thank you notes I have received tells me that the quilts are much appreciated.
Over the course of the first dozen quilts, I became quite adept at meandering. Then I discovered pantographs! I loved following the floral pantographs; it's like wandering through my flower gardens! I find the pantographs are easy to use and the result is a beautiful quilting design My objective is to make serviceable, washable, warm quilts for families to use during our cold Maine winters. I have owned my Handi Quilter for 2 years now, and have made and given away 21 quilts to date.
A recent inheritance offered a new path in my quilting adventures. I inherited some vintage linens with embroidery and handmade laces made by my grandmothers. These heirlooms had been carefully saved and protected for many years. Searching for a method to bring these antique linens out of the drawers and onto my walls, I enrolled in a class offered by nationally known quilter ,Cindy Needham, who makes wholecloth wallhangings from old linens. Many of these items, such as embroidered bureau scarves or cutwork table toppers, are quite small. However, the Handi Quilter system makes it easy to attach these small pieces and quilt them in the same manner as a large bed quilt. I purchased the micro handles for my Handi Quilter so that I can more easily create those tiny background filler designs which allow the embroidery to stand out. I really appreciate having the stitch regulator when I do these filler designs. On September 11, 2010 I will speak at the Pine Tree Quilt Guild of Maine. My topic is to explain how I make quilted wallhangings from heirloom linens using my HQ Sixteen.
Whether I am following a pantograph design for a bed quilt or doing freehand filler designs on a wallhanging, I am delighted with my choice of the HQ Sixteen.

I own the following HQ machines:

Gloria Stickney

Gloria Stickney & Dreamin' Deacon Quilt

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My name is Gloria Stickney and I own a HQ Sixteen with HQ Pro-Stitcher. I have a small part-time business that began when I designed, copyrighted, licensed and trademarked the Wake Forest University Dreamin’ Deacon© Quilt in 1996. This was before I owned a longarm machine!
I traveled on a regular basis to my aunt’s home in East Tennessee to quilt orders for the Dreamin’ Deacon quilt on her longarm machine. After traveling the distance for a few trips, I knew I needed a computerized longarm in my home but I did not know how I could afford it. I needed a computerized quilter to stitch the precision of the licensed trademarks within the quilt. I searched for several months before I had the opportunity to purchase a HQ Sixteen with HQ Pro-Stitcher.
In September 2008, I received a call from a local dealer that had decided to sell his floor model of the HQ Prostitcher. The sales lady asked if I was interested??? Oh, YES! I jumped at the opportunity!! I was SOOO excited! In one weekend, Dreamin’ Deacon© was featured in the local newspaper, Parents Weekend on WFU campus, I was starting a new job on campus, AND I HAD A NEW QUILTER!!! How exciting can one weekend be???
The HQ Pro-Stitcher provided the quality and precision that I needed to produce the quilts within my home and was the price afford. I was thrilled!! Now I had the opportunity to fulfill my orders within my home as well as begin to grow my part-time business!
Since the purchase of the HQ Pro-Stitcher, I have expanded my home based company to include quilting services for the area guilds and the community. I have been able to establish a line of items desgined especially for the Wake Forest University fan. I also specialize in T-Shirt quilts made popular by WFU students and sororities. Our slogan is “Made in our home for the Wake Forest fan in your home.”
I now have the opportunity to exhibit and sale our quilts online at www.sewfabulousquilts.com and at various Wake Forest University events. I have enjoyed quilting my own quilts which have won ribbons in area Quilt Shows and Fairs. My favorite quilt is Nana’s Musical Dreams Wholecloth Quilt which showcases the exceptional music quilting designs of One Song Needle Arts. The wholecloth concept for computerized quilting makes stunning and precise quilts. I’m a perfectionist at heart and I love to see the workmanship of the quilt enhanced with the computerized designs for the HQ Pro-Stitcher. I enjoy quilting WFU quilts, raffle quilts, charity quilts, personalized T-Shirt Quilts, customer quilts, show quilts, and of course, quilts for my family! All because I now own a HQ Pro-Stitcher!
My family is involved in my quilting endeavors. The computer guru’s have learned to navigate the software to draw the computerized designs to enhance the piecework and fabric patterns of the quilts! WOW! Look what we can do now! The sky is the limit and the computerized quilting designs available are MARVELOUS! Our quilting endeavors have become a family affair!
I am especially appreciative to Donna Sonntag of Whatever’s Quilted in Wake Forest, NC for her expertise in the Handi Quilter system. Donna services my machine and answers my questions whenever I need help. She is a good representative for Handi Quilter. I love my HQ Pro-Stitcher and I am very thankful for the opportunities it has provided to open doors to serve my clients and my community. I love quilting for the Wake Forest University and the Winston-Salem, NC communities! GO DEACS! I love my HQ Pro-Stitcher!

I own the following HQ machines:

Penny Smeby

"Elmer Fudd" & Penny

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After having horses for 30 years and showing in the Arabians circuit the last 18+ years, we sold the horse farm and moved to our dream home in the Chippewa National Forest, in northern Minnesota. My perfect idea of heaven on earth - lots of trails to ride and all the time in the world to do it in.
That world fell apart 6 months later - Jan. 2003. when my husband was diagnosed with colon cancer. Not knowing
the outcome of his tennis ball size tumor, we transferred our Arabian show/breeding stallion and my Arabian/Saddlebred pleasure mare back down to the Cities where they would be taken care of without having to worry about them and we could concentrate on the medical issues.
Of course, the people at the training facility fell in love with our horses, so we sold them when we had the chance and not knowing the outcome of my husband's cancer. Fortunately my husband's cancer was contained and has been "cancer free" for 6 years.
Now, this is where my HQ story really begins - after the stress of dealing with the medical issues I found myself with little to do. I had a friend invite me to a quilt guild meeting. Me, why? I don't even sew. (Any sewing done down at the farm was on my husband's mother's old sewing machine and that was just patching. My husband used to call my sewing room the "Twilight Zone" because everything went in there and nothing came out.) The meeting was to be held the last Tuesday in February, 2004 so on Valentine's Day, my husband bought me a little Singer sewing machine to see if maybe I would like it. I ended up going to the quilt guild meeting that fateful February day and seeing all of the beautiful quilt items the gals had shown during Show & Tell. I was sooo intimidated thinking that I would never in a million years be able to do anything remotely like those. (Now those same gals can't believe how far I have come in so few years - like I was born to quilt.) I went out and purchased "Quilting for Dummies" & The Better Homes and Gardens "Complete Guide to Quilting."
I still had to ask my husband some questions (yes, he can sew, too - I spent way too much time mucking out stalls) but I muddled through and now can tell you what a selvage edge is and keep my 1/4" seam allowance correct. Six months later I wore out the little Singer and purchased a new machine. I'm hooked for life!! I loved the idea of taking a piece of fabric and putting it together - sort of like a jig saw puzzle waiting for the finish. My husband asked why didn't I just do big squares and put them together? Me, no way. I couldn't do that - what was the challenge? I had to do the 1/2 square triangles, stars, etc. right a way. I was making so many large (double, queen, king,etc.) quilts that my husband said I couldn't take them to my long arm quilter any more. It was just too expensive to have them done. I said okay, and then buy me a quilting machine.
I wanted an HQ right a way from talking with one of the gals at quilt guild but my husband didn't want to spend the money so he bought me a little, and I mean little, quilting machine. (I wouldn't even say it was a "short arm" because I could maybe get 4" under the throat.) I thanked my husband and went to work trying to quilt my large quilts on this 4" machine. After many, many advances of the rails, my husband gave in and we went to the closest HQ dealer which was three hours away and purchased the HQ Sixteen with a stitch regulator (08/28/07). I finally had the machine I wanted.
I was now really completing my quilts from start to finish. I was satisfied until I saw an ad in the magazine advertising the HQ Pro-Stitcher. I really wanted the computer for my quilting. I guess I didn't really need it, but I wanted it. After much pleading, my husband gave in to purchasing the computer with the idea that I start a business to help pay for it. (Sure, just like the farm, buy a 5 stall barn and end up with 23 stalls! I'm supposed to be retired!) So in May 2008 I started my little quilting business to see if there was any interest in the area before I actually purchased the computer. To my surprise there was interest and I picked up some business. In July, 2008 we purchased the HQ Pro-Stitcher. (Since starting my business, I donate yearly to (5) charities that need to have a quilts quilted for benefit purposes whether it be to hospice, a raffle to help pay off medical bills, church functions, etc.)
I was sooo excited to get started with my new machine and computer programming I could hardly wait to try it out. (I went to go down to the reps for training but she advised me that I knew more about long arm quilting then she did so it would be a waste of time to drive the 6 hours round trip. Okay - I purchased the videos and did practice fabric until I became comfortable with the machine and programs.)
Now, you have to realize that I considered my horses my 4-legged physiatrists and that I could talk to them and my troubles would become small. I wanted to consider my new HQ Pro Stitcher the same way - to be able to go up to my sewing room and stitch my problems away.

I own the following HQ machines:

Eliane Bailey

My HQ Sixteen and Me

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I started sewing as a child in France and continued sewing clothing and home dec for my family after I married and moved to the United States. Since I worked full time and was busy raising a large family, I didn't really have time for hobbies, but I always wanted to try quilting. Finally, after I retired, the quilting bug bit me big time and I started taking classes and making quilts. For the last five years, my passion for quilting has grown quickly as I completed quilt after quilt.
At first I tried hand quilting the tops, but it takes so long to finish a large quilt when you hand-quilt…and there are so many more quilts I want to make! So I started sending my quilts out to be machine quilted, but that didn't help either because sometimes I still had to wait several months to get my finished quilt back. And I wasn't always happy with the way they were quilted.
Finally, I decided to buy one of the short-arm/home quilting machine table combinations and learn to machine quilt my own quilts. I soon found out it was not what I had imagined. Although I could load a queen-sized top, the quilting area was very limited and I just wasn't satisfied with it.
We're very fortunate here in Dallas to have a very large quilt show with lots of sewing and quilting machine vendors. As I entered the show a couple of years ago, the first thing I saw was the Handi Quilter booth. I walked over and watched them demonstrate the HQ Sixteen. It was love at first sight! I tried it out, and it was like a dream come true. It was very easy to control and comfortable to use, even without the stitch regulator. I liked the way the machine looked and felt, AND it would fit in my sewing room! It was just what I wanted…the whole package was perfect. I couldn't wait to buy it and get it home to use it.
Now that I've been using the HQ Sixteen for a couple of years, I'm even more in love with it. I love the way the machine looks. It's easy to clean; it requires very little maintenance; and it operates virtually trouble-free.
I'm so happy with my HQ Sixteen that I praise its quality to all of my friends. I bring them home to show them how well it works and how beautiful it is. And I encourage them to try quilting with it so they can see how easy it is to handle.
Yes, I'm having a love affair with my HQ Sixteen!
I own the following HQ machines: HQ Sixteen

I own the following HQ machines:

Holly K. Andersen

My husband, Dean and I at our wedding dinner

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My grandmother quilted and made several beautiful quilts. She and my mother both taught me to sew, but we never made it to the quilt stage. While serving in the U.S. Navy, I was stationed in San Angelo, Texas for training. Next to my mother and grandmothers, I met the most wonderful woman there. Monreen Weaver owned the Angelo Quilt Shop. Monreen and Reba, her employee, taught me how to quilt. They taught me fusible appliqué, patchwork and asked what else I wanted to learn before I transferred. I hand quilted the quilts I made until being stationed in Bremerton, Wa. Once in Bremerton I met another wonderful woman, Nancy at Pacific Fabrics and she would take my quilts to California to be quilted. I was amazed at the designs this woman would do and the cost was nominal, plus it saved me a lot of time. After meeting my future husband he encouraged me to look into quilt machines. I originally had a Viking machine on an Inspira frame, but I wanted more. More throat space, more control, a computerized option. I researched the Gammill and Statler machines, but couldn’t justify the expense. I purchased my HQ Sixteen used from a local sewing store. After a few stuttering stops from getting a used machine from someone who didn’t understand the machine and couldn’t service it, I met Jackie from Kingston Quilt Shop. She is a wonder with Handi Quilter and quickly got me on track, fixing my machine with the help of HQ tech services over the phone. I now have the HQ Pro-Stitcher and am living the dream. I have attended all 3 of the education courses and would recommend them to everyone. As far as I know Handi Quilter is the only brand that offers training, and what a wonderful opportunity that was. How wonderful it is to be able to see my quilts from start to finish and am only hampered by my imagination.

I own the following HQ machines:

Frances Rice-Farrand

My two best friends and I having FUN!

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I first introduced to quilting in the mid 90’s by a wonderful friend who also let me use her Bernina which of course, I immediately feel in love with. Quilting has got me through thick and thin literally, it has been my psychotherapy when times were bad and when times were good. By being a quilter, I have met a wonderful group of friends which eventually started our own support group called the “Friday Friends.” Rain or shine, tired or energetic most of us would show up every other Friday sometimes to only moan and groan about the week, to gleam ideas from the talented members, or just for the social outlet. Since then, many of us have participated in quilt runs. Well, it was last October 31st on the mini-shop hop that I met Richard at one of the shops who planted a wonderful seed. That seed was about actually owning my own long-arm sewing machine.
Of course, the whole drive home the girls and I talked about the sales pitch to my husband. We came up with a wonderful list of positives…. such as he wouldn’t have to rub my back or neck anymore after I pulled and tugged a quilt through my Bernina, psychotherapy at home, no more scooting around on our hands and knees as we tried to pin a quilt, and after all the Handi Quilter would do everything and much, much more. So while we were safe in the car, I called my husband and gave him the first pitch which he agreed that it might be a good idea. How much he asked? Well, I took a deep breath and said just a few 00’s and it would be coming out of my salary. He asked, “Are you sure about this?” to which I replied, I think so. Richard gave me all the facts and information which I will be glad to share when I get home. Well, we all took a deep breath in the car and said, step 1 accomplished.
The next phase, my husband insisted that I review the other machines, talk to other owners, and test drive as many as I could. We Did! By now December was rolling and conversations with Richard were getting more detailed orientated as well as Road to California was around the corner. The really cool thing was that Richard was always just a phone call away to answer every question that my husband quizzed us on and we didn’t know the answer. To be sure, the Handi Quilter was everything we wanted, my friend and I spent a wonderful Sunday afternoon with Richard at the shop test driving the machine on one of our projects. WOW, it was easy and we couldn’t stop talking all the way home about how fun it would be to own a long arm. We were sold! The next step was to get the best deal. We inquired about the show special and signed on the dotted line. We couldn’t wait for the show to finish and our machine to arrive at home. It was like giving birth without most of the pain!
The first week was spectacular as we searched for unfinished quilt tops and eagerly spent hours in my mini studio. My husband thought we had vanished into my studio never to be heard from again. Then of course, the reality of school set-in and bye, bye machine for a couple of months. May brought wonderful stitching and my two friends into a determined state of quilting. I am happy to report that since May we have quilted over 20 quilts some of which were presents, donation quilts, or just because. The support from Richard as well as the company has made the journey of becoming well acquainted fearless quilters extremely enjoyable. The only complaint we have is it doesn’t cook dinner and we don’t want to stop having so much fun. Hey, it might even be good for dieting!

I own the following HQ machines:

Diane B Durr

My first ribbon winner using my HQ16

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I was facing the dreaded empty nest syndrome. Here I was in my late fifties and finally had time for myself. What to do? What to do? I was all alone in my great big house. I guess I could catch up on my housework, paint , redecorate the kitchen. Hmmmm….. What is that noise? I hear something calling out to me. What is it? It is my retirement stash of fabrics! All those boxes and closets and drawers of fabric kept saying, “Complete me. Complete me.” How could I turn down their plea. My mother’s instinct to sooth all woes came into play full force and I answered their call. I finally had time to make all those quilts that I dreamed about and make my fabric live in harmony with their sister and brother stashes.
I began quilting back in the stone age when I was a purist, hand piecing and hand quilting in the late 70’s early 80’s. I was ecstatic to finish a queen size quilt in less than a year. I never thought about machine quilting. Oh what a sacrilege! I was humbled in the 90’s when I was raising my two children and had very little time for hand quilting. Any sewing was making cute clothes and Halloween costumes. I started to look at my Bernina in a different light. It was my first step towards my transformation. Next, I decided to take a class on machine quilting at the local quilt shop after seeing the gorgeous quilts there that were machine quilted. I was in awe. They had beautiful feathers and straight lines and unique motifs and all had beautiful even stitches. I said, “I could do that.”
I know you are saying, “Not so fast. It may not be so easy.” You are soooo right. I did not realize that the quilts I saw were done on a longarm. I jumped into machine quilting with my stalwart Bernina armed with my nonskid gloves and extended sewing table. Oh how frustrated I became. Trying to move the fabric through the machine was like wrestling with an eight arm octopus. I felt like I was starring in my own world wrestling match whenever I sat down to quilt. I tried everything even quilting as you go so that I worked with smaller pieces. My work never looked like the ones I admired in the quilting store. My stitches went from small to large and to small and tiny and then to large. I could not control the stitch length the way I wanted to. There had to be a better way.
I went back to my local quilt shop looking for something to help me. I walked in and it was like a chorus of angels began to sing. I heard the sweet hum of the HQ Sixteen being used. It drew me instantly to it. It was love at first sight. It did not look like those huge big industrial machines that were out there. It was nice and white and clean and it had a bigger quilting area. I asked if I could try it. I was definitely intimidated with it at first but that quickly turned into joy. I could not get over how easy it was to move the machine all around in circles, in plumes, in lines. It was my quilting nivanah. I asked if they had a cd on the machine that I could take home. I was already plotting how I could gently introduce my husband to the idea of buying an HQ Sixteen.
I brought that cd home and watched it right away. When my husband came home, he found me oohing and aahing in front of my television. He became curious and that was his big mistake. I showed him how easy it was to machine quilt with an HQ Sixteen and how beautiful the quilting looked. I made my two children watch the cd too and made my husband watch it again and again. I was breaking him into the idea that this is something I really, really wanted and it wasn’t outside of the budget. You know men. They worry about that budget, except when it’s a tool or something of that nature.
Lucky for me, when my daughter went off to college, and those stashes started calling, I got my wish. I purchased an HQ Sixteen In September 2008. When I got it home, I grabbed some of my less than gorgeous fabric and started quilting. I could not get over how smoothly it all flowed. No more wrestling. No more gloves. No more uneven stitches. My quilting could look like the ones I saw hanging up in the shop. I felt empowered and I said, “Yes, I can do that.”
I was lucky too. The local quilt shop where I bought may machine had classes to teach how to use the machine, how to use rulers, and how to quilt different designs. It was the main reason why I bought an HQ Sixteen. I had local support from the dealer and from an HQ representative who gave many classes on its use. They were so patient too. I loved going to the HQ website and reading all the information it had. I did not feel like I bought a machine and was left alone. I was helped and educated all along the way.
It has been two years now and I just love what I am doing. I started my own business of taking in quilt tops for others and quilting it for them. I just love looking at all these quilts from other quilters and love the challenge of planning what quilting will enhance their work. I quilt in the front of the quilt, free motion quilting, no pantograms for me. It is so freeing and so creative. I have taken over my living room and am working on the dining too. My family and friends refer to me at my quilting frame as, “She’s in her liar again.” I am glad I have an empty nest so that I can fill it with my HQ Sixteen and all those quilts that I have made for myself and others. I refer to my stash not as my retirement stash, but my ongoing collection. Getting my HQ Sixteen changed my life. I am a happy busy. I have new friends. I have a business. I have a dream come true.

I own the following HQ machines:

Cindy Ellmaker

My husband Ashley & I

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Hi my name is Cindy Ellmaker, and I have had my HQ18 Avante’ for a few months now. But believe me it took me several years to convince my husband. Every now and then I would throw a hint or just downright say I wanted one. And I looked at them for a long time- just ask Sandy from Creative Stitches in Helena MT. Well earlier this year we were talking over breakfast on a Saturday morning. I mentioned I had several quilts that need to be quilted –but it sure would be nice to have my own machine because I am having trouble getting together with Betty so I could quilt. He asks me “how much it would cost to have someone else do them?” I said “Oh I’m probably looking at $100-$150. But well -Betty won’t charge me if I do it myself. I have six quilts I want to do”. He then says- mind you I am eating breakfast “Well we could put it downstairs against the far wall”. I’m thinking yeah right. It was really quiet then- I guess he was waiting for a reply because he was just looking at me. When I finally look at him a few seconds later he had this glint in his eye. “Are you serious?!” I ask. I am speechless! He was serious. I started jumping up and down and whooping! So we went up to Helena and after doing a little shopping we went over to the Shop. Believe it or not they were closed for the weekend for a retreat! My husband looked at me and smiles. I said I’ll be back Monday to get it. I was -bright and early. In fact I was the first customer in the store. And Cheryl took one look at me and said “You’re getting your HQ aren’t you?” I asked some questions, got the paperwork, went to my husband’s work and said “sign here” with a big smile, and we went back after work and ordered my Avante’. While we waited for its arrival we remodeled the basement into a sewing room for me and my second love: Quilting. And Peace Valley Quilts & More LLC was born.

I own the following HQ machines:

Dorothy M. Ronn

Dotty Ronn

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Well, this is how it all happened.
Hubby: I'm thinking of doing a reverse mortgage.
Me: Why?
Hubby: Well, we should remodel the kitchen (no argument there - it was 40 years old!).........and, you'd like a longarm quilting machine.
Me: Gulp!!! You're right, dear! What a great idea!!
So, on our 43rd wedding anniversary, we headed up to Manchester, NH, to the Machine Quilters Expo. On the way, Paul said I should also buy the computer to go with whatever machine we end up choosing. I said, no way - I don't need that. He insisted that it would be a wise decision so I insisted that if we bought it, HE'D have to take the classes too. He agreed, so we have taken all the classes together.
We looked and looked at all the machines available and ended up choosing the HQ Sixteen with the HQ Studio Frame and the HQ Pro-Stitcher. Wow - what a feeling!!
We've had the machine now for 17 months (do we sound like new parents?) and we've learned more than we thought we would. We go to quilt shows and look at those beauties with new eyes! The quilting expertise is unbelievable!
We camp in Wells, Maine, from mid-May through mid-October so the longarm doesn't get used all that much in the Summer, but come Fall, those projects just keep showing up!....and before you know it, it's time for a new camping season. My sewing/embroidery machine goes to camp with me, so those quilt tops keep getting made.
We look forward to learning new things during the Winter months and are really happy with our choice of the HQ Sixteen!

I own the following HQ machines:

Sandi Craven


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I started sewing when I was 5 years old on my mother's treadle machine. I took doll clothing and made them fit my dog Tippy and my cat “Tom“. That is the first time I ran the sewing machine needle into my finger. Then Dad bought Mom a Necchi machine and I was sewing away making clothes for my dolls and little “blankets”. Then I started to sew for myself since I was so thin that it was hard to find anything that did not spin around on me when I wore it. When I married and became pregnant, I made all my maternity clothes and layettes and later clothes for my children. I saw people quilting but wondered how they got it to go together to make a quilt. No....quilting was not for me. I later made the girls prom gowns and my last gown was my oldest daughter's wedding gown. I retired from formal wear and started dressing porcelain dolls in the finest of gowns. Once again, I ran into people that quilted and was invited to join a group. I thought that quilting looked like too much work and I did not have time for that. Finally, I got into making costumes and was thoroughly enjoying what I was doing. I went to a local fabric store and there was a red/white/blue log cabin quilt hanging up and it piqued my interest. I stepped over the line and took the class. Well, I did not have the best of teachers and when I was finished the red center was not in the center. I thought oh well, now I will quilt it. I asked how to finish it and the answer was, "oh the usual way" and she walked away. I kept that quilt top for 5 years because I really did not know anyone that quilted on anything but a big wooden frame and knew that was not going to work for me. I asked and asked and found that a lot of people made the tops and did not finish them. I knew by this time, there had to be a better answer. Finally, my old Golden Touch and Sew was in need of repair and I went to a quilt shop in the next town looking for a repair person. I met a girl that worked there and asked about getting the machine repaired AND how to finish the quilt I had. I went back the next day with quilt in hand and she showed me how to "make the sandwich". I went home and tried to quilt it and found that machine needed a walking foot. I had to search around for someone that sold Singers and came up with a walking foot that worked on my model. I finished that quilt but did not like having to roll it up inside my machine to make it fit to quilt. That was the second time I ran a sewing machine needle into my finger. Then I saw stippling and wanted to know how to do that. My machine would not cooperate and I bought a Bernina. That worked for a few months and then by this time, I am making quilts left and right. I wanted a long arm but not the ones on big permanent frames. So I had someone do my quilting for me and that was fine for about a year. I wanted to make my quilts from first cut to last stitch on the binding. I was looking for something that had a computerized design but did not see what I was looking for even though I went to quite a few quilt shows. Then one day I walked in the local shop and there was a HQ Sixteen with someone behind it quilting. OH WOW, I was in love. The next day, I took a lesson, quilted my first quilt top and I immediately had to have one. It was ordered and delivered to my home, set it up and I loaded a quilt top on it and the rest is history. I enjoyed free handing one after the other because by this time I had a huge stack of quilt tops. I was blessed with the ability to free hand. I was not much interested in pantographs but thought the groovy boards were fun. I still wanted something computerized. This was the third and final time I ran a machine needle into my finger and boy oh boy, the bigger the needle, the more it hurts. I started practicing very safe procedures of not hitting the start button when you are changing the bobbin in the HQ Sixteen.
By this time, I am getting ready to retire from my job with the Federal government. I quilted everyday that I had a free moment with my dear friends. I took out the furniture from the formal living room and dining room and set up the Handi Quilter in one room and the dining room table was where everyone came to quilt.
THEN I developed a huge itch to go somewhere….travel. The problem was, I wanted to take my quilting with me but how in the world was I going to do that. Well, I went to the local home and garden expo and as I walked out the back door to the outside vendors, there was this big beautiful motor coach. I forgot about everything else I was looking for that day. In slow motion, I ran out to the lot with the campers, 5th wheels, etc. sitting around. I knew immediately that the motor coach looked like it would be a great way to see the country AND take every piece of fabric it would hold AND my Handi Quilter. That was on Saturday and after a few measurements, on Monday I bought the motor home. The motor coach had two long slides and in the middle of the coach, it was 14 feet wide and 15 feet long. I packed up my home and put everything into storage, leased it out for two years, packed up the motor coach with fabric in every available spot that could not be seen. I put the Handi Quilter and two sewing machines in the basement of the motor coach along with multiple containers of fabric and patterns and my little Yorkie Scarlett and away we went. The dealer told me that you could not overload the motor coach unless you loaded it from top to bottom with rocks. Well, I think it was overloaded with fabric. This was in March of 2006 and I made quilt tops until I had to start quilting them into quilts. I put the long arm together on an 8 foot folding conference type table and quilted 10 quilts for Christmas that year in the motor home while it was parked in a camp resort down in Florida. My quilting buddies had to come and see how I was doing it. It was a little snug, but I was happy and able to be free enough to do what I loved and continue to travel. I later bought a little place in Florida and the first thing I made sure of was I had room for my Handi Quilter. I was back up in Maryland for a visit in the summer of 2008 and stopped in the local shop. I walked in the door and they said, “Sandi come here, we have something to show you.” There was the HQ Sixteen with a HQ Pro-Stitcher and I knew that finally someone had designed exactly what I was looking for all this time. It was ordered and mailed to Florida so it was there when I arrived back in Florida as a snow birder. I started a little quilting group in the 55 and over community and every Tuesday, 15 ladies would meet for the day. Before I knew it, I was long arming for the ladies in my class.
I have since moved back to Virginia with all my beautiful fabrics and made sure that half my ranch style home is big enough for a studio and storage room. My HQ Sixteen with the HQ Pro-Stitcher is the only furniture that the living room needs. My HQ Sixteen made its journey into the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia in the back of my SUV along with nine other machines being trailered behind the 26-foot moving van holding quilting furniture, all my quilting fabric and books, and patterns and a bedroom set and my other little goodies from life. One of my dear quilting buddies always said to be happy all you need is a bedroom set and a quilting room and a long arm and I agree 100%. I set it up on a new adjustable frame and there she will sit until she needs a companion or wears out to be replaced with the next fabulous machine that HQ develops.
Thank you Handi Quilter for making my dreams come true of how to make that quilt top into a quilt.

I own the following HQ machines:

John Kubiniec

John at Empire Quilters Guild Meeting, Quilter of the Month, May 2010

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Soon after I began quilting, about ten years ago, I saw advertisements in the various magazines for longarm quilting machines. I thought – gee, it would be fun to have one of these to finish quilts. So, I sent off for some information and received some pamphlets and a VHS tape (remember this was ten years ago!), I liked what I saw but nearly choked when I saw the price. I thought, oh well, some day I might be able to afford one of these. So, I filed away the literature and put the tapes in the closet for safekeeping.
Fast forward eight years, I started to think that this might be the time to get a longarm. I was at a local quilt show and tried a Handi Quilter and liked it. They mentioned that they held classes – so a few months later I took a class at the Quilt Basket in Wappingers Falls, NY. I loved the class and took a few more. The next thing you knew I was renting time on a Handi Quilter and working on some quilts. It so happened that at the same time I was thinking about making a transition in how I made my living and started to investigate the possibility of starting a longarm quilting business. I started to investigate the various machines that were on the market comparing costs and features. I tried out various machines but I kept coming back to the Handi Quilter.
It so happened that at this time the Quilt Basket was looking to sell one of their demo machines (with the HQ Pro Stitcher) and I was able to gather the funds to purchase the machine. I had to turn my small New York City apartment inside out – but I made it fit –and I am glad I did. It is a pleasure to work on the HQ Sixteen and it has allowed me to get my business, Big Rig Quilting, up and running.
Shortly after getting my HQ Sixteen I was at a major quilt show and was able to try a few of the other machines– I test drove them side-by-side with the Handi Quilter and the Handi Quilter won out over them - hands down - in terms of how the machine handled, the quality of its stitching, and the price! Also, the training and service that Handi Quilter provides is top notch! I spent a wonderful three days at Handi Quilter Retreat learning how to use the HQ Pro-Stitcher. I can’t wait to go back for another HQ Retreat. And, any time I have a question about my HQ, they are an easy email or phone call away!
My Handi Quilter has changed my life – and all for the better!

I own the following HQ machines:

Kerrie-Anne Riles

Kerrie-Anne

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My journey towards my HQ Sixteen probably started in high school when I was considered so “hopeless" at art that I was excused from compulsory art lessons and they filled my time with double sewing lessons. This was a blessed relief from the agonies of art class because I was good at sewing. But I still always had a desperate desire to be an artist.
The quilting bug bit me when my third child was a baby. I even took a sewing machine with me when we traveled around Australia pulling a caravan. I was addicted. I longed for a long arm.
We had decided to pull down a wall to make my sewing room big enough for my long arm, when I was diagnosed with breast cancer.
Long arm put on hold.
Finally, when I had recovered we had the wall demolished. I was ready to make the big purchase when my husband was offered a job in Spain.
Long arm put on hold.
We eventually bought a house in Spain and did the required renovations. Then my husband was offered a job in New Caledonia where we lived in an apartment for a year.
Long arm put on hold.
When we returned to Australia we bought a house with a wonderful lake view and had an extension put on for my studio. Finally I could buy my long arm! Not knowing any better, I bought a very heavy, traditional machine, thinking I was about to be in quilter’s heaven.
Disaster! My breast cancer had left me with acute lymphoedema and the machine was just too heavy for me to make the artistic creations I had been dreaming of. My long awaited dream was a nightmare.
Then a friend suggested that I should try her HQ Sixteen Sit -down. I immediately fell in love. I was already winning awards for free motion quilting on a domestic machine, so the transition was easy. The extra table space meant I could make bigger art quilts and still do client quilts.
Last year I forced myself to do a year long drawing class just because I knew it would be good for me. But I was often heard in class to say “If only I could do this on my HQ, it would be so much easier!”
I will never be a “real artist” but I am now totally happy making art quilts and being a “textile artist”.

I own the following HQ machines:

Jill Burkey

Me and My Fusion

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Just as I was prepared to order my HQ24 Fusion, I tripped at work and broke my finger and injured my hand. My right hand! After many x-rays, it was decided I needed surgery. I had my arm in a cast from my elbow to the tips of my fingers. Now what! What about my new Handi Quilter!
I had spent months researching on the internet, visiting shops, reading literature and watching demos. The Handi Quilter had the features I liked best and I liked the fact my local shop owner would be there to guide me through the set up and learning process.
I was within two months of an early retirement and I wanted that HQ24 Fusion. I took a leap of faith, jumped right in and ordered the machine. I was determined to continue with my plans. My HQ24 Fusion arrived while my arm was still in the cast. I started opening the boxes and sorting out the parts and single handedly (literally) assembling the table. And, all the rest is history!
I love my HQ24 Fusion!

I own the following HQ machines:

Velma Nile


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HQ Story 2010 by Velma Nile
The problem: She had an HQ Sixteen and no place to set it up; I had apace in the upstairs barn loft but no machine. Solution: put your machine in my barn loft and I’ll learn to use it. So began my story.
I had a year of quilting under my belt, had paid to have three quilts quilted and had a burning desire to try my hand at long arm. My friend Janette had been given a new HQ Sixteen by her mother who at 90 years of age had purchased it and was overwhelmed at trying to operate it so gave it to her daughter who had no place to operate it. So a perfect solution for us both was what happened.
I spent several months watching the videos and practicing and eventually began in earnest to do the quilts I was producing. The results have been wonderful and packed with fun and a good dose of frustration and humility. .
It’s been two years since I started with the videos and as I happily move into my 80’s I envision many more quilts for myself and my friend. I truly am in love with the HQ Sixteen.
The picture with me and the HQ includes a wall hanging I did that won a red ribbon at the Siskiyou County Fair.
Velma Nile
August 2010

I own the following HQ machines:

Laura Folgner

Laura and her HQ16

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My mother taught me to sew as a young woman. At age sixteen my parents helped me to obtain my first sewing machine. They were always my greatest supporters and I got most of my inspiration from them. I became an avid seamstress making everything from curtains to wedding gowns and many clothing items for my children. As my children grew older and started their own lives, I turned my sewing interests to quilting. My old machine has been a work horse but was in need of replacement. I taught my youngest daughter to sew and gave up my old machine for a newer model. I still struggled with quilting on a short arm. Recently I lost both my parents. When I received a check from my sister for my portion of my parents estate, I knew I needed to purchase something that would make them proud. My husband and I began our search for a longarm machine. I just wasn't finding what I was looking for. Then one day I sat down at an HQ Sixteen and fell in love. Since my parents had gotten me my first machine at age 16 I decided this must be my match made in heaven. I have only had my machine a few short months and have had to move it around, but I have had a lot of fun getting to know her ins and outs. My husband had become quite the quilter as well. It now gives us something to do together. I know Mom and Dad were looking down on us that day! We get great inspiration from them still and strive to make them proud in every quilt we make.

I own the following HQ machines:

Joanne Grata

Me and the lizard quilt done on the HQ18 avante

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I have been a quilter want-a-be for about 7 years. I guess you could say I was more of a fabric piecer. I would diligently pick my fabric, wash it, press it, making sure to cut the exact measurement to obtain that amazingly pieced quilt top, and learned to love the quarter inch seam. Oh, those beautiful quilt tops. My family thinks I am possessed because of the ultimate joy I have for looking at and touching (and buying) the amazing fabrics that are available today. While I had truly completed only about a dozen of the quilts I pieced over the last 7 years many of the others have found a home hanging in my spare room closet – 28 to be exact - waiting for their fateful day when they to could be called a real quilt.
I marvel at those accomplished hand quilters out there. But its just not for me, I guess I am just too much of a wimp because my fingers just could not get used to being poked by that needle. Quilting on my regular machine was fun in the beginning since I started out doing baby quilts and youth quilts. But then it happened ….the dreaded queen and king size quilts. One day, I think I almost stitched my cat into the quilt because the fabric was so everywhere. I felt I was spending more time adjusting fabric than I could possibly be quilting. My frustration was building. That’s when I walked into our local quilt shop and there it was… the HQ Sixteen. It was love at first sight. That was about 4 years ago. Unfortunately, at that time I had 2 kids in college so financially I was committed elsewhere. Over the next 3 ½ years I would glimpse at other machines but my heart always went back to the HQ Sixteen. Last fall I finally took the step and took a lesson on the HQ Sixteen. The spark was back to work on quilts, but as is for most wives and mom’s I felt guilty to spend money on something so awesome that would be just for me.
My amazing husband of 33 years knew how much I enjoyed the HQ Sixteen and surprised me last Christmas with an envelope containing a commitment on whatever mid-arm I would like as my very own. I was so excited and just could not wait to place my order. But as many romances go, I also fell victim. When I went to the Quilt Peddler shop in Johnstown, PA to place my order, there it was…the new HQ18 Avante. I just had to take her for a test drive and HQ Sixteen had to take a back seat. The new rail glide system and extra quilting space was a dream come true. That was it, by mid-March HQ18 Avante became part of my household. Lugene Sheetz, the owner of the Quilt Peddler, was awesome in helping me set up the machine and has continued to provide great support to me when I have questions about my machine. I love free-motion quilting and the opportunities that this system is allowing for me to expand the kinds of stitching that I previously only dreamed of being able to accomplish. The laser light has also become one of my best friends. While I am still a novice at quilting, I can’t wait to turn out some of the truly amazing quilts that others accomplish.
I currently work fulltime and also live on a rural farm in Western Pennsylvania, so the amount of time I can spend quilting, especially in the summer, is limited. The Avante makes it so simple to even spend just a little bit of time quilting in an evening or weekend. A flick of the switch and I am off and running. It is sort of funny because we have horses that we barrel race and always have lived with the philosophy that to make a horse perform the proper way it takes a light and steady hand and to be relaxed. This lesson has also been very helpful as I work at learning the Avante system…take a deep breath, relax and keep a light and steady hand and she performs amazingly. I hate to say it but I think this is the first time I actually look forward to fall and winter, because as the amount of daylight grows shorter and the days get colder, I will be able to spend even more time quilting. Just what I needed, one more reason not to spend time cooking and cleaning.
I plan on retiring in the next couple of years and can not wait to be able to go full force on my Avante machine. Already some folks have asked me to machine quilt some of their tops for them, so who knows it might be a way to keep busy once I retire from my full time job with an activity that I truly love and enjoy. My kids are also excited about my new machine because they said they never have to worry about Birthday and Christmas presents again. All they have to do is log into the Handi Quilter website and buy me all the cool accessories that go with the HQ18 Avante. Yeah!!!! Thank you Handi Quilter for making a machine that is so well suited for us hobby quilters that is cost effective but truly can give us the opportunity to accomplish such professional looking quality and results. Well gotta go quilt…………………

I own the following HQ machines:

Susan Olinger

Susan with a New Proud Owner of a Quilt

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I was always going to buy a quilting machine when I retired, but decided to purchase one at the San Diego County Fair before I retired so I could make some quilts to present to staff members as a parting gift. Originally I planned to make just a few quilts, but after using the machine and realizing how much fun and easy it was, I started making quilt after quilt and ended up making 24 quilts to give away to my staff, fellow Director's and other close friends in Cajon Valley Union School District. You can imagine everyone's surprise when I hosted a dinner and let everyone choose a quilt to keep to remember me by. Everyone was thrilled and excited to get such a wonderful, handmade present. All of the quilts were unique and everyone was able to select their favorite pattern and/or color. The HQ Sixteen machine gave me the ability to put together a finished quilt, something I had never been able to do before. I will be forever grateful I saw the demo at the fair and plunged ahead with the purchase.
Now that I have finished the retirement quilt project, I can move on to making baby quilts for grandbabies and doll quilts for a granddaughter. I have loved using my machine and have also used it for projects like placemats, etc, just so that I can keep using it. I would recommend it to anyone and I know that everyone I have made a quilt for can say the same.

I own the following HQ machines:

Jerri Volk

Quilt I created with scrap fabric of my grandmother

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Quilting is a soothing art for me. An art that would have been lost to my family after the passing of my Grandmother if I would not have wanted to learn. I have always loved to create things and quilting is a satisfying way to create beautiful art and share it with others.
I started quilting about 15 years ago when I asked a friend of mine who was a quilter to show me the basics. I was hooked! I was euphoric with the completion of something so beautiful made by hand. After quilting more and more and the projects getting bigger, I found that quilting in the ditch was not going to be good enough and some projects were just way too big to be done by hand and get completed in my life time. I began sending my quilts out to be quilted but that started to get expensive and I needed to plan ahead to make sure the quilt could be completed in time for a gift if needed. I am also one that if I see something made or done I think, "well, I could do that too!". So, I began to look around and research longarm quilting machines. Talking with longarm owners was very beneficial. However, getting a longarm did not happen right away. Raising a family and working does not allow one to first of all have time to do a lot of quilting. (I had to make the time in between family activities and other responsibilities). Secondly, purchasing a longarm was not in the budget either. Researching for a long arm was put on hold.
Several years later, after sending out a few more quilts to be quilted, my kids were grown and off to college, and my husband had bought another gun for hunting, I finally expressed how unfair I felt it was that he could purchase all his hunting equipment and other expenses, snowmobiles, and other guy toys and I felt guilty thinking about a long arm. He told me to start looking around and that if I found one that I thought would work for me and we could possibly swing financially we would make it happen. :) He actually thought this was a great idea.
Well, researching did not take long; for that summer we were on vacation up north and I always stop in to the quilt shop there. That is my one shopping outing while my husband checks out the sporting goods store. Well, this quilting store reps for HQ longarms and there was a big sign for the HQ Sixteen Birthday sale. I asked about this and was given the information and a quick demonstration. I even got to try it out. What FUN! I called my husband on the cell and asked him to come in to the store from waiting in the truck and check this out. He was impressed with the deal and how excited I was. (I was extremely excited and nervous. It was like buying a car!) I was most impressed that the rep was not pushy and gave me all the time in the world to think about this. The HQ pretty much sold itself. I was impressed on how simple and easy it was to maneuver and the table was very sturdy. I loved that it could be upgraded and was informed that HQ had a great help line for any issues that may come up. It was a deal that I could not pass up. I walked out of the quilt shop having ordered my HQ Sixteen longarm. I was so excited and even more so when it arrived at home within the week.
My HQ Sixteen is set up and has been in use for about a year now. I have completed several quilts on it. I am still on the learning curve and gaining more confidence every time I quilt on it. I have a lot to learn yet and look forward improving with more practice. It is such an awesome feeling to be able to create something from start to completion and see the results of the beautiful art you created.

I own the following HQ machines:

Marian McCann

Mom Geneil Anderson and me with floral quilt she pieced and I quilted

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I am the kind of person who makes decisions quickly, so when I decided I wanted a long arm quilting machine, there was never any doubt about which one I wanted. I had seen a demonstration model at my favorite fabric store and I was so sure I wanted the HQ Sixteen, I registered for classes at HMQS to learn everything I could so I would be ready to get to work when I had one in my home. I ordered my machine at the quilt show, called my husband to tell him I had gone ahead with the purchase and all he wanted to know was where I was planning to put the machine and table. I had already figured that out, too. I could dry wall and complete the unfinished room in our basement and make a quilting studio! I enlisted the help of a friend and he and I framed, sheet rocked, plastered and painted while I was waiting for the delivery of my wonderful new toy.
As soon as I had everything in order, I started to quilt. My mom had a big stack of quilt tops that she had been piecing for each of her grandchildren and sent a bunch to me and said I could do them any way I wanted. I just love to do free motion quilting and enjoy the easy movement of the HQ Sixteen. Anything I can imagine I can create on the fabric. I have learned that I can “draw” much better with my machine than I ever could on paper! One of the first quilts I finished was covered in pine trees and I have quilted all kinds of custom patterns, like flowers, bugs and fruit, cowboy motifs, nursery rhymes and paper dolls in borders and spooky designs on Halloween quilts. My quilting business is called “Queenbee Quilting”, so I always include a bee somewhere in the design.
However, my very favorite thing about my HQ Sixteen is how easy it is to mount and finish a quilt quickly. I love to have the freedom to put a cozy blanket together in an afternoon to give to someone who needs a “hug”.

I own the following HQ machines:

Cindy Stevens

Snowman Quilt

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I have an HQ Sixteen and love it. After working hard on piecing and appliqueing quilt tops, I just couldn't bring myself to part with them and not complete the project myself. After watching others at local quilt shops using a longarm, I was intrigued with how the quilt came to life. I knew then that I was "hooked" and had to spread my wings and try it for myself. I looked at several possibilities and decided on the HQ Sixteen. It was user friendly, offered all the options I thought I needed and at a price I could afford. I learn new things about my HQ everyday and it continues to function great. I am now quilting for others and still love it. I would love to add the computerized system to it and also upgrade to HQ24 Fusion. I guess you could say that I am really "hooked" now. Any and all questions and helps have been promptly answered by the service department - can't say enough about their support. They have responded quickly and have taken care of any problems I had. That means a great deal to me and wouldn't hesitate to recommend Handi Quilter machines to everyone. Thanks for making my dream of completing my own quilts from start to finish a reality.

I own the following HQ machines:

Bev Mader

Bev

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I started quilting in 1993; my goal was to make a t-shirt quilt for my youngest son for high school graduation. So off to the quilt shop I went, I told her what I wanted to do and she said “well, let’s start with something else first.” She helped me pick some fabric and her instructions were as follows: “cut this into 2 ½ “strips and sew back together, have it done before class starts in one week.” I thought well that can’t be too hard, so my strips were cut and sewn back together and I was off to class. The room is full of anxious new students eager to learn to quilt! Everyone takes out the strips and oh my, I looked at mine and they didn’t look like the rest of the group, what did I do wrong, I asked? Well I had sewn every strip back together END TO END! The whole place busted out laughing. The gracious teacher said no problem we will all help you take them apart and you can sew them the right way! In no time I was caught up and we were making a quilt. I will never forget this experience and use this story often in my classes. Oh and the t-shirt quilt turned out beautiful and I was “hooked”.
Several years later, and many quilts later, my daughter in law and I were vending at International Quilt Market. She saw the sit down quilting machine by Design a Quilt. I purchased one and she soon became my machine quilter and a very good one at that. I tried to learn to quilt on it but just couldn’t do it. So I started looking for something else. My husband is a tractor collector and one day I told him if he got another tractor to restore I was getting a HQ Sixteen. His comment was I don’t know what it is but we will see. I read an ad about the HQ Sixteen and in 2009 went to our local dealer, Fonder’s in Sioux Falls , SD to try on out. Kathy was wonderful, being a skeptic I thought I can’t do this. But Kathy said, practice, practice…you will do fine. I did a few quilts, and some were not so good! But with a closet full of over 50 to quilt, I knew I would keep practicing.
My husband and I winter in Az and so it was like starting over when we returned in 2010. But I always have one on the frame and one ready to go. I am still learning but love what the machine can do. My favorite part of the machine is the stitch regulator. I love having the stitches perfect. I purchased a couple of “groovy boards” last October in Des Moines. WOW! These things are so cool; you look like you really know what you are doing when you use these. I also spent some time with the reps at the show asking questions about how to do this and that they were great help.
My closet is still pretty full, but now when I finish a quilt I can put it on and get it done. I am limiting the size I do for right now to twin; I feel I won’t be so overwhelmed if I learn on the small items.
Today, I teach quilting and work as an office manager in a Quilt Store. I love the fabrics, patterns and books! Quilting is a way of life and my HQ Sixteen has helped me accomplish the “finishing touches” to my projects so they are ready to use. Oh, since 1993 I have made almost 300 quilts, large and small! Have taught many classes and love being a teacher. I will continue to learn on the HQ Sixteen, I love pantographs, I think they teach you motion and help you get the feel of the machine and how to move freely. I don’t quilt for a business but do quilt some of the samples I make for the store and for my classes. For the money I don’t think you can go wrong if your goal is personal use or a business. My next purchase, you guessed it I need the computer! If he gets one more tractor…..it could happen!
Bev Mader

I own the following HQ machines:

Beryl Anderson

One of my favorite garden-themed quilted wall hangings

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When I retired after working for the State of Oregon for 32 years, I finally had the time to piece quilt tops. I bought a new sewing machine and started building my stash. Soon I had quite a tall stack of tops. I just didn’t like the idea of putting my precious projects into someone else’s hands, so I began looking at long arm machines. I tried out every machine I could and finally decided on the Handi Quilter. I chose the HQ Sixteen for several reasons. It was affordable. The maintenance was extremely easy compared to all the other brands I looked at. I liked the size of the machine and the frame. I am short and my arms did not reach easily to the back portion of the stitching field with the larger machines. When I tried out the HQ Sixteen, it just seemed so easy to maneuver.
I got my machine and decided to quilt for others just long enough to pay for my HQ. My husband remodeled an old garden shed on our property for my new studio and I became Garden Shed Quilting. I had some business cards and flyers made up and literally with very little stitching experience, decided I would just go for it.
I started by hosting an open house and offering 30% off to the first 30 customers. The open house was so fun and well attended I have since hosted several Garden Parties/Quilt Shows in my back yard. Five years and several hundred quilts later, I have a thriving business averaging 20 to 30 customer quilts in line at any given time.
Last year I decided to look around for a newer machine. Again, I tried out all the machines and narrowed my search down to two other brands. And once again, I came back to the Handi Quilter. A very positive experience early this summer with the folks at HQ headquarters was a major factor in my decision to stick with Handi Quilter. I’m looking forward to getting the new HQ18 Avante. It’s still a good size for me and the precision stitching capability is incredible.
I don’t have a lot of time anymore to piece or quilt for myself, but when I do my passion is creating landscape and garden-themed wall hangings. I’m especially excited about incorporating all the new and fun embellishments that are now available.

I own the following HQ machines:

Kathy Morrison

Opening box with 30 year old quilt

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Both my grandmothers were quilters, but my maternal grandmother, who we called “Mom,” was a prolific quilter. She would always sit and watch television and have a basket full of fabric pieces next to her chair that she was working on. A room off of her kitchen had an old quilt frame set up and there was usually a quilt on it. Many times I would ride the bus to her house after school and she would have ladies there and they would be quilting and feasting on the desserts that Mom always had prepared. Even at my young age she would let me try my hand at quilting (I never did know if she took out those stitches that I made!). Let’s jump to 1980…actually New Year’s Eve. With sons ages 2 and 4, my husband and I had no plans for the evening. I had talked to Mom and told her I wanted to make twin bed quilts for the boys. She told me what I needed to buy and off Gary, the boys, and I went to the fabric store. I got my fabric, and on New Years’ Day Mom helped me get started. She made me a sand paper pattern for a bow tie quilt and I started tracing the pieces on the fabric and cutting them out with scissors. I found myself a basket (just like Mom) and I would sit after the boys were in bed and work on my quilt blocks. I don’t know how long it took me to get enough blocks for one quilt, but when I did, Mom helped me piece together the top and mark it with stencils she made from cardboard. We set up her old quilt frame in my basement and she helped me put the quilt in the frame. From there, I didn’t get far. The basement was unfinished, cold, and dimly lit, and it was hard and time-consuming to make those even stitches. After several months I took the unfinished quilt out of the frame and boxed it up. I told myself I would finish it and the unfinished blocks for the second quilt later. I got busy raising the boys and then my daughter who came along two years later, and I never did get back to those quilts. They were put away but not forgotten. Now fast forward 22 years later to 2002! My youngest son and his wife were expecting my first grandchild. Mom had passed away in 1999 and I was suddenly wondering who was going to make MY grandchildren quilts like she had done. I decided I would pick up where Mom left off, and off to the fabric store I went again. My how things had changed! There were rotary cutters and I didn’t have to use scissors! I bought a log cabin pattern and then realized I didn’t have a sewing machine! I couldn’t bear the thought of hand-stitching or hand-quilting so my next stop was to purchase a DSM. After much creative debate, I decided to “stitch in the ditch” on that new DSM because I figured I could sew a straight line easy enough. It didn’t take me long to see that it was not fun to try to work the rolled-up quilt through my sewing machine and it was only a baby quilt! Two years later, I needed a baby quilt for my oldest son and his wife. This time I wanted to look at options outside the “log cabin world” and see what was out there. I bought books and magazines and searched online to learn more. I discovered AQS in Paducah and convinced my husband that we HAD to go. I was in heaven in the vendor mall as I had no idea the magnitude of quilting resources available. I didn’t even know about long arm machines until there, I first saw the HQ16. I wanted one but deemed it as financially out of my reach. (But, I could dream.) In the meantime, I developed a passion for quilting and spent all of my free time sewing and learning. I continued making baby quilts for our extended family (just as Mom had done) and found a local quilt guild and immediately joined. Then, two years ago I went on a Shop Hop covering several stores in Southern Indiana. One shop had a long arm machine displayed and I struck up a conversation with the owner. I told her my dream of owning a long arm, and she said I needed to talk to a friend of hers who had a lot of experience with Handiquilter. I called her friend who told me about some machines used at the Paducah show that would be available through a local dealer. I started getting excited because I knew I wouldn’t find a machine like this for a better price. It was now or never. The rest, as they say, is history. I purchased my HQ Sixteen. I can now try quilts larger than a baby quilt because I don’t have to fight to get them quilted. I can try quilting designs other than “stitch in the ditch”. I still have a lot to learn and much room for improvement but that will come with time and practice. However, I don’t like unfinished projects. So, since I now have my HQ Sixteen, I think it’s time to bring out the box with the now 30-year-old unfinished quilts. I believe my Grandma Mom would love to know I finally finished the quilts she helped me with and I will carry on her tradition of making quilts for my family and friends.

I own the following HQ machine: HQ Sixteen

KristieLynn & Carol Graf

Me and My Papa

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Over the past several years, my Mother-In-Law Carol (she goes by Kitty) and I have been looking into buying a long arm quilting machine in order to assemble our own quilts, both large and small, instead of paying someone else to do the quilting. We belong to a Myrtle Beach, South Carolina (Kitty’s home) quilting group, as well as quilt with women near my home in Wake Forest, North Carolina. We really liked the idea of having a longarm machine, but at that time, we knew it was going to be too much for our budget. The HQ Sixteen quilter was the machine we saw most often in the quilting magazine that we picked up. Nothing quite measured up to it though, at least in our minds! We kept looking...
My In-Law's and my family have been through a lot in the last ten years.
From a near fatal accident to recovery from Cancer, my in-laws have been there offering support and guidance. Through the good times and the bad, Kitty and I have always had a major link between us...We love quilting together!
After seeing how much Kitty and I had spent having to have someone else quilt our creations for us, my Father-In-Law Jim (Papa) thought it would be easier and cheaper in the long run to buy us a much smaller quilting machine of our own. Unfortunately, Papa passed away in early 2009, before he could purchase the longarm quilter he had talked about. Within the last year and a half, we both lost him and Kitty was injured in a severe car crash that she is still recovering from. Before he passed, Papa promised that we'd get a longarm machine to quilt with, that he figured he would probably spend around $3000 on.
Several months after Papa passed, Kitty and I were still looking around for a quilting machine. A quilting acquaintance, Donna Sontag, that we had gotten to know over the last 2 years, had recently become a local Handi Quilter (HQ) representative. She invited us to see her HQ Sixteen longarm quilter and check on prices. She also showed us all of the amazing work that we would be able to do with the newer longarm machines. Yet, we didn't realize how expensive they were. We checked around at other retailers and their brand of longarm quilt machines as well. It was important to Kitty that the shop that we would purchase our machine from be close enough to provide instruction on the operation and maintenance of the longarm, as well as give tips and tricks.
Around Christmas of 2009, Kitty and I went to the local fabric store. Guess what?! She was going to buy us the HQ Sixteen quilter! I couldn't believe it. I broke down in tears. When we went to order the HQ Sixteen, our representative let us know that the new HQ18 Avante longarm was going to be coming out soon. Kitty put in our order! I was amazed that we were finally going to have everything that we would need for our quilting. She said that Papa would probably be rolling in his grave for us buying something in, but we'd be thoroughly enjoying it in the meantime! Kitty just laughs when she thinks about writing that check. We have recently received an amazing gift...an HQ18 Avante Longarm machine. It is something that we can both get around and remember why it is there (We love you Papa), and know the each quilt produced with the machine has that special thread running through it.
Donna Sontag has been a wonderful representative for HQ! Soon, I'll be taking a free-motion machine quilting class from her, and I can't wait!
I now own an HQ18 Avante Longarm Quilting machine (with HQ Studio Frame) at my home in Wake Forest, NC. We know that Papa’s spirit lives in our HQ18 Avante quilter, because there are times that it just won’t do what we tell it to!

I own the following HQ machines:

Jocelyn T. Ding

A very happy HQ customer!

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I started quilting in 1998, when a colleague brought some quilts that she made to the office. They were beautiful and I looked at them with much admiration, so much so that I made a mental note to give quilting a try. Soon after, I went to a fabric store, got my first quilting book, and the supplies needed to make a small quilt with four patch blocks. Using the stitch-in-the-ditch quilting technique, I was able to complete a simple, small quilt over a weekend. This experience served as the seed of my passion for quilting.
As I ventured into the world of larger quilts, I quickly found out that marking, basting, folding, and pushing large quilts around my sewing machine aren’t skills that come naturally to me. These processes taxed my patience and more importantly, I felt very constrained in terms of what I could do. The good news is in the Spring of 2001, I met Laurel Barrus at a quilt show in San Mateo, CA. She was demonstrating the Handi Quilter I, and I was in complete awe of her amazing invention. In no time, my husband, Al, helped me set up the Handi Quilter I in our family room. I started carrying a notebook around to practice ‘drawing’ quilt patterns, feeling full of hope and enthusiasm that in time, with focus and persistent practice, I would become proficient at free-motion quilting with the Handi Quilter I. Unfortunately, this just wasn’t meant to be. I realized pretty quickly that I wasn’t coordinated enough to be good at free-motion quilting; and more importantly, I don’t have natural drawing skills, so getting proficient at ‘drawing designs’ on to quilts wasn’t going to happen, no matter how hard I practiced.
The good news is sometime in 2003, I came upon another amazing invention - a robotic quilting machine that operated with my home sewing machine and personal computer. This new invention was a great match for me because I’m very comfortable with computers. In no time, Al helped me with a new setup, this time in one of our guest bedrooms. We replaced the double bed with a Murphy bed to make room for an 8-foot table to set up the quilting robot. I was quite happy with this arrangement, except that over time, three limitations started making me feel restless. First, I could only work on quilts that were no larger than about 72 inches in width; second, my quilting designs were limited to about 4-5 inches in height; and third, as a quilting studio, the 110-square-foot guest room was a pretty tight space.
Between 2003 and 2008, I was on leave from Handi Quilter, but I silently followed the company’s innovations. When Handi Quilter launched the HQ Pro-Stitcher in 2007, I knew in my heart that some day, I’ll be a Handi Quilter customer again.
In the spring of 2008, we took on a home remodeling project; and this time, Al outdid himself by creating an 500-square-foot quilting studio. Together, we furnished it with a sewing table, cutting table, and storage cabinets made from Ikea kitchen cabinet parts. We completed the nine-month remodeling project in December, 2008, and when we moved back into our home, an HQ Sixteen, HQ Pro-Stitcher, and HQ Studio Frame moved in with us. This new setup has exceeded all my expectations.
I feel so proud and appreciative of what Handiquilter has achieved in less than ten years. I love my Handi Quilter products for the following reasons:
(1) The HQ Sixteen runs very smoothly - the stitches look great, the thread never breaks, and the machine glides like a ballet dancer.
(2) The HQ Pro-Stitcher is very innovative - the features are powerful, the interface is user-friendly, the software is very stable, and it relates to the HQ Sixteen with much grace.
(3) The HQ Studio Frame is a remarkable system - it’s sturdy, works nicely with small quilts as well as king-size quilts, has a wonderful bonus pole to hold two large bolts of batting, and it serves as a perfect rock for the HQ Sixteen and the HQ Pro-Stitcher.
(4) The HQ Sixteen, HQ Pro-Stitcher, and HQ Studio Frame package is functional and aesthetically pleasing at the same time - it’s indeed designed by a quilter, for quilters.
(5) The HQ support team is great - one seldom needs support with the Handi Quilter products, but for the few times that I did, I got great help very quickly.
(6) The most remarkable thing about the Handi Quilter products is they’re very easy to use. I work full-time and thus have never had the opportunity to take formal classes, but this hasn’t prevented me from learning how to use the HQ Sixteen and the HQ Pro-Stitcher. While far from an expert, I’m able to do what I need to do with ease.

I usually work on multiple quilts at the same time, so there’s frequently a quilt mounted on my HQ Sixteen. Most of my projects are bed quilts of various sizes, and they’re almost always given as gifts to family and friends. I have a large extended family - 12 aunts and uncles on my Mom’s side alone, each of them with 3-7 children, and all but five of my maternal cousins are married with children. The Handi Quilter products allow me to make beautiful quilts in a reasonable period of time, so my goal is to make a quilt for every one of my relatives and close friends. This is a long list of quilts to aspire to make, but thanks to Handi Quilter, I hope to share the joy of owning a home-made quilt with as many people as possible.
My Handi Quilter story is a story of a wonderful personal journey. During the very early years of this journey, I made an applique quilt just to give the technique a try. This quilt had little use for many years but much to my amazement, it works perfectly as a wall hanging in our quilt studio. This wall hanging and my quilting journey is a vivid reminder of my favorite verse from the Bible: “To everything there is a season, a time for every purpose under heaven.” (Ecclesiastes 3:1)

I own the following HQ machines:

Margaret J. Starr

Me, my Avante and a charity quilt. Some of my digitized designs.

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By day I am a physician. At night I sew, quilt, make jewelry and do photography to relax. I think this combination works both my left and right brain. I had made a wonderful wedge quilt in blues and yellows as a present for a good friend. I gave written instructions to my quilter to do waves, flowing motions and curls to represent the ocean. It came back quilted with leaves and flowers. She also used 2 different bobbin colors instead of balancing her stitches. I was angry. Maybe I could do better.
During this time I was on a diet, carbohydrate deprived, menopausal and mid-life crisis. I had lost 160 pounds and was unhappy with the quality of other peoples quilting on my hard work.
I went to a local quilt show. The first quilt machines I saw were in the Handi Quilter booth and it was Avante love at first sight. For the next three days of the quilt show I tried out all the quilt machines from the competitors. None of them felt "right". I overheard the salesperson for the Tin Lizzie tell a prospective customer that if he wanted a longarm with a computer he should look at the Handi Quilter. (I was amazed.) One of the top free-motion quilters was working at the A-1 booth, but spent all his free tine at the Handi Quilter booth playing. They had Sliver metallic thread on the HQ18 Avante and he free-motioned a flower at 90 miles an hour trying to break the thread. He failed. it sewed perfectly. I felt all the signs were pointing to this machine.The final decision was made when I sat for a few hours with the representatives from the company and especially Elaine, she told me she would be coming to my house, setting up my machine and spending over two days teaching me how to use it.
The experience was even better than I expected. The support from Elaine and the company has been first-rate. She trained me and my two friends. We figured we had a better chance of remembering if there were three of us.The software for the computer was easy to learn and I love digitizing my own designs from my own photographs. I am so very happy. Now my quilts reflect me from beginning to end.

I own the following HQ machines:

Barbara Bishop

My first try at crosshatching

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I have been sewing since I was ten years old. I thought my mother had taught me all I needed to know about sewing. In 1970 I started to take tailoring classes-that was when I learned that I didn’t know anything. Since then I have been in a learning mode. About the time by oldest granddaughter was born I start "really" quilting, not just tying baby quilts. It has been a great adventure from machine embroidery, machine piecing (including paper piecing), stippling on my sewing machine, quilting on a Viking's Mega Quilter and finally to my beloved HQ Sixteen.
I'm continually trying to learn more about quilting from magazines, videos, books, public television, classes, and any other sources. I've taken three classes on the HQ Sixteen. At the last class the instructor,Linda, asked me why I come again. My response was that you can always learn something new and I was right.

I started quilting for customers on the Mega Quilter so the HQ Sixteen has greatly enhanced my ability to do customer quilts.

I had not planned to get my HQ for a few more years. However, I was in Whitlock's Sewing Center here in Salem, OR shortly after Viking announced the new Diamond sewing machine. Actually I went in to make a down payment to secure one of the first Diamonds delivered to Whitlock's.

While I was in the store I started to talk to Todd (one of the owners) about how excited I was about getting the new Diamond. Somehow the conversation got around to the HQ Sixteen store model they were replacing and the next thing I know my Diamond deposit turned into a HQ deposit.

I have not regretted for one moment making the choice for the HQ Sixteen over the Viking Diamond.

A few months ago I started looking at the new studio frame. It was a big decision because it would not fit in my eleven-foot long sewing room. So I took my husband shopping at Whitlock's to discuss options on the frame. The next thing I know not only is the new frame going into the garage but with a new HQ Pro-Stitcher. My dear husband has given up his garage, no more sawing or sanding. My new HQ Sixteen studio has carpet, heat for winter and AC for summer.

I would love to win a trip to HQ Headquarters. You have no idea how great it is to have someone with whom I can share my enthusiasm for the HQ Sixteen.

I am now thinking about upgrading to the HQ24 Fusion.... the extra inches would be great

I own the following HQ machines:

Kristi Jons

My new Avante and some of my quilted recyle bags.

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I think I am a Handi Quilter Girl! I started sewing at age 9 in 4-H. I am a retired Home Economics teacher of 39 years. My favorite area of that career was always sewing and crafts but the quilting passion has come later in my life. I took my first quilting class in January of 1996 and hand quilted the sampler I made in that class. It didn’t take me long to realize that I had a need to churn out quilts at a faster pace so I took a machine quilting class. I quilted on my domestic machine long enough to know that #1- I liked to machine quilt and #2-big quilts entailed a lot of tugging and pushing. In 2001, I went to a Sioux Falls Quilt Guild quilt show. (I wasn’t a member at the time, now I’m a co-president.) I rounded one corner and saw Mary, the proprietor of my favorite sewing machine shop with a new gadget that I could clamp to a table, place my sewing machine on the surface and move my machine, not the fabric. I’ve never made a purchase so fast; I knew it was made for me. It was affordable--$600, I think-- and best of all I could set it up myself in my rather limited space. I bought an 8’ table and I was in business, so to speak. That was my first association with the Handi Quilter Company! I hadn’t formed a business at the time. I was still working and raising children but I quilted my quilts and for some of my friends. I found smaller quilts worked best with this system and was soon on the prowl for something bigger and better. By this time I was a very enthusiastic quilter. I was close to retirement and the children were pretty much on their own. The HQ Sixteen was now on the market for smaller quilters like me. I was holding my pocketbook pretty close to my chest but in 2004 I splurged and bought the HQ Sixteen machine and the professional table. My husband installed rollers so I could push the table back in the corner when not in use. Remember space is my issue! I happily quilted for myself and started a small retirement business quilting for others. When I didn’t have a quilt on the poles, I felt a little empty and recognized that practice was necessary. I hated to just waste fabric and batting so I combined my dislike for plastic bags with my need to quilt in a resolution, Jan., 2008 by making quilted recycling bags. I am able to practice new stitches and new techniques and when finished, sew them into a self designed generously sized bag. I try not to use new fabric in these bags—I use donations, batting bits and pieces, sheets and curtains from rummage sales, even outdated or ill fitting clothing. I give these bags away—to friends and family, and to some of my recurring customers—I currently give a bag to each new member of our SF quilt guild. I think I’ve given away over 250 at the time of this writing. Include pictures you say—not a problem! I keep a journal photo album of all my quilting and sewing projects—both my quilts and customer quilts. I put in names, dates, and quilt descriptions. I keep it digitally but also print the pages. To date, I’m on page 107 of the second album. It’s a great record of my quilting history. All this practice—my own quilts, customer quilts, charity quilts, and my bag quilting has helped me feel like a better quilter but I recognize there is more to learn! In June of 2010, the Handi Quilter bus came to Fonders Sewing in Sioux Falls where I had bought my first Handi Quilter operation. I sold my HQ Sixteen locally, my husband and I even delivered and set up our old system. It was nice to sell something that I could truly say was dearly loved. I still volunteer teach a bit—I help my customers with dilemmas and sometimes teach adults that want to develop quilting techniques. After so many years of working for a living, it’s kind of fun to be able to just give back. I do like to share my love of sewing and quilting. I think I’m happy now as a 3 X owner of Handi Quilter machines/systems—I’ve got the micro-handles and a little more quilting space. The HQ Pro-Stitcher is still out there—but don’t mention that to my husband. Thanks for the ride Handi Quilter. Kristi Jons

I own the following HQ machine: HQ18 Avante

Gari Lidh

Here I am, happy at quilting.

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I began machine quilting using the HQ frame for the domestic machine. Oh, how I loved being able to push the machine rather than the quilt. And this worked well enough but then Handiquilter came out with the HQ16 and my eyes lit up. With retirement looming on the near horizon I began to figure out how one could come to live with me. I used part of my retirement money to purchase my HQ16 and Portable Professional Frame and those giant boxes were waiting for me when I moved into my new house.
I have to say that once the machine was on the frame I was intimidated. I spent a couple of months just moving it around: no fabric, just moving the machine. Then one day I loaded my first quilt on it and started stitching. I can’t say it was terrific but I was so excited as I saw those patterns being created on a quilt I had pieced. And boy was I hooked.
My quilting has improved with time. I have now been quilting on my HQ16 for 4 years and love it even more than I did when I first started. Thanks HQ. Gari Lidh

I own the following HQ machines:

Debi Orr


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For as long as I can remember I’ve always been fascinated with quilts and the quilting that enhances quilts. At my first quilt retreat I was given the opportunity to watch someone use a long-arm machine on a fourteen foot table. I was amazed. What great talent and creativity this person possessed. Within a few hours she had created a masterpiece out of two pieces of fabric and a piece of batting. I had never seen nor knew such a piece of a sewing equipment existed. That weekend, after I finished piecing my quilt, the person hosting the quilting retreat, machine quilted my top for me and I went home with a completed quilt. Yes, the masterpiece that was completed was mine. To say the least both my husband and I were impressed.
I knew at that moment that this would be something I would love to do. I searched the internet to see if I could find a similar piece of equipment that I could purchase that was affordable and would fit within my limited room space. I came across the Handi Quilter frame that worked with almost any domestic machine. It worked wonderfully. I gradually wanted to expand my options including a larger quilting area with more pattern and design options.
My husband did some research on the internet and came across a web page that “supposedly” offered a more affordable alternative to a mid-arm machine. The machine was an older sewing machine that had been modified by stretching and elongating the neck of the machine. They even painted it my favorite color at no charge. It took them approximately three months to build this machine for me. It was absolutely beautiful. The first couple of stitches were great. As I continued, the stitching would become irregular. There seemed to be no consistency. My husband spent many hours adjusting, tinkering and adjusting again with little improvement. The machine was quickly named Sybil; the machine with multiple personalities, and none of them good. She was a thing of beauty to look at but had so many personalities she needed to be medicated. After a year of fighting with the company, requesting a repair, exchange or refund to no avail, we decided the only thing we could do was to give Sybil a proper burial. We found a better use for her as a yard ornament.
My husband I went back to the drawing board and started researching alternatives again. At one of the local quilt shows I saw a demo on the HQ Sixteen. I was amazed at the stitch quality, how easy it was to use and how freely it moved. When I got home I told my husband that this was the machine for me. He went back on the internet and although we really couldn’t afford it at the time, bought me the machine of my dreams, the HQ Sixteen.
Since then, it’s been seven years of nothing but pure joy from this wonderfully crafted machine. The stitches from my machine makes my quilts come alive and tell a story of their own. It allows me to be creative and precise.
I’ve been able to upgrade many of the features through the years including rear handles, micro handles and computer programming. I’ve been able to quilt all of my own quilts as well as quilts for others with great designs and creativity.
Although I have never had the opportunity to take a professional long-arm quilting class I have managed to quilt several award wining quilts on my machine.
There are many reasons why I decided to purchase a HQ Sixteen. Some of them include;
• Affordability
• Short Learning Curve
• Space
• Dependability
• Stitch Quality
• Features
• Customer/Personalized Service
• Value/Cost/Affordable
• Upgrades
• Minimum Maintenance
• Accuracy
And just in case my husband happens to ask what I want from Santa this year, tell him the HQ24 Fusion please.

I own the following HQ machines:

Susie Hardy

Susie with her quilt at our Nevada County Fair

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WHY DID I BUY MY HQ Sixteen?
I had always wanted to quilt my own quilts and was in awe when I would see some of the freehand quilting at the quilt shows. Somebody told me "You just draw with the sewing machine". Well I can't even draw with a pencil so to draw with a sewing machine seemed impossible.
I was visiting The Sewing Machine Shop in Walnut Creek and they had the HQ Sixteen set up. All I had to do was stitch on it to know I wanted one. I knew one day they would create computer designs that I could use.So I ordered my machine.
When it arrived I left it in the box because I was too intimated to put it together. Mind you it was in the box for months. I visited the box regularly, but couldn't bring myself to open it. It seemed an overwhelming task; hence it stayed in the box.
I then decided to attend the Beginners Handi Quilter Retreat to learn something. It was scheduled in late January 2007.
I remember the first part of the class Hatty and Vicki were showing us the parts of the machine. When they showed us the bobbin winder I laughed because I thought it was the stitch regulator. As you can tell I knew nothing about my wonderful machine. The class was a blast. I met so many nice people. We laughed a lot. I bought a table for my machine at the retreat because they made me an offer I couldn't refuse.
Back home again I put everything together and set up my sewing room for a new adventure. With the confidence I gained at U of HQ I just started quilting. It was so much fun.
I had become good friends with Diana Mattson and we decided to go to the Intermediate Retreat in January 2008. The Intermediate Retreat was wonderful. It was the first chance I had to see the HQ Pro-Stitcher.Yippppeeeeeeeeeeee!!!!!!!! This is what I had been waiting for. Vicki and Hatty spent some time with us and I was blown away and ordered my HQ Pro-Stitcher. Again I just jumped in and started quilting with the HQ Pro-Stitcher. The quilts came out great. I was so proud of my work.
Attending the retreats paid off big time. The first three quilts I made with my HQ Sixteen and HQ Pro-Stitcher won blue ribbons at our Nevada County Fair. It was so satisfying to me and it was so much FUN.
I LOVE my HQ Sixteen and I know that there is an HQ24 Fusion in my future.

I own the following HQ machines:

Lynn Veith

Me (on left) with my family. They're smiling because I'm not singing!

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Well, it's the last day of the contest and I've read the stories of all the other contestants. Why should Handi Quilter pick me? I don't have a gimmick. Like many others, I started sewing garments while in High School. I continued to sew curtains and home dec things and made clothing for my children. I stopped sewing all together when my last son was born prematurely. There was no time. Still sounds like many other stories. When my oldest child, my daughter, then 17, suggested that I start quilting, my immediate response was NO WAY! I hate hand sewing. I did not come from a long line of sewers. No one in my family sewed except for me so I was the one who did all the mending, darning socks (yes we did that in the 50's and 60's) and I hated it. She continued to nag me, after all, she had made quilts for her two nieces. Reluctantly, I gave in to the nagging and I discovered my passion. Darn, she was right! However, sometimes I think my family is sorry they created a quilt monster! What's dinner.....housework?????... it's just moving dust around. I did that hand quilting thing for a few years, but that wasn't cutting it. I am an impatient soul and need to see results, finish a project. I bought short arm machine, with stitch regulation on an impulse at a quilt show. I could not justify a larger machine at that time. What if I lost interest and it succumbed to the same fate as the exercise equipment? A monster was born. I could not make quilts fast enough. I was soon looking for more options, more quilting space. I had never sent a quilt to anyone for finishing. I needed the control of completing it myself...a no matter the final result. I lurked on websites, talked to vendors and talked myself out of everything.
My LQS (a Handi Quilter vendor) had an HQ Sixteen they named Hannah as a shop demo. I tried it a few times. The machine was great, I was not. My straight lines were squiggles and my stippling crossed over itself. Luckily I was not reported to the quilt police. The LQS staff and longarm instructor did not push me into buying the machine. They knew I was drooling, but not ready to commit. When they announced that they were going to sell the demo machine, with the HQ Pro-Stitcher, I think I was the first to inquire. I only could afford the studio frame and HQ Sixteen, not the HQ Pro-Stitcher. I received a call on January 2, 2009 that they had sold the HQ Pro-Stitcher on its own....was I interested? YES! Don't you need to think about it? I already have. Within an hour, despite a snow storm, I was at the shop with my husband and son in tow and my credit card. Remember, I am impatient. Instead of disassembling the studio frame, they gave me the new one they had in the box for their new machine one at no extra charge.
The monster was energized! My family's only additional request was that I close the door when I am using Hannah. You see, I may have been given a gift for crafting, but singing to the music on my i-pod is enough to drive anyone to drink. It is a small concession I am willing to make. My husband is teaching himself to play the guitar. Maybe someday we can be as good as Ricky Tims and Alex Anderson! I need to go to the classes at HQ headquarters to fulfill my end of the dream. I want to get better. You can all then say, I knew her when.........Thank you HQ!

I own the following HQ machines:

Barbara H Cavender

My Underground Railroad Quilt and me

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My Mother and I lived with Mama (my maternal grandmother) while my Daddy served in WWII. Mama ran a country grocery store and never drove a car so she always kept busy cooking, crocheting, sewing, embroidering, quilting and running the store. She taught me to do whatever she was doing so my love of quilting goes way back. I only wanted quilts that were hand quilted until I had a strange night (dream, premonition or God speaking to me) about a Long Arm Quilting Machine. After sharing this night with my daughter, Risha, she asked what kind did I want…I didn’t know what kind was available. Next was, how much are they…again I didn’t have an answer. After doing my “homework” on different machines available the HQ Sixteen w/stitch regulator won, hands down. She and my son-in law, Michael, bought the machine for me so that I would retire a second time to stay home and quilt.
The Nashville Quilt Show was in progress soon afterwards when a friend, that was attending, called to say they had HQ Sixteen machines there that were for sale at the end of the show. She reserved one for me and I drove up Saturday morning, picked up the machine, (Mark Hyland, CEO of Handi Quilter carried the machine to my Jeep and loaded it for me) then drove back home that evening. It was a long trip but I was hauling precious cargo and grinning like a Cheshire Cat. My table was shipped and when it arrived I put it together by myself in the back of my den. I figured if I had room for the table and machine I could sit in the floor. NOT!!! I had room for the machine and plenty of places to sit.
Although I had sewn on treadle sewing machines, personal sewing machines, commercial sewing machines, and even upholstery sewing machines, this was totally different from any machine I had ever used and I was intimidated by it. We couldn’t let this machine sit by unused so Risha and Michael treated me to the Beginner and Intermediate Retreats in Salt Lake City, UT the following March. Mom couldn’t go that far alone so Risha went with me and we stayed nine days for me to learn how to use this wonderful machine, eating great meals, meeting new people and visiting local quilt shops. Risha, now a new quilter, pieced three tops while I was in class. We also caught what we called the “Utah Crud” and were sick for a week after returning home. That didn’t mar our memories of Utah one bit. I started using what I learned in the Retreats and now have a quilting business that is continuously growing. My machine came with the Adjustable Length/Height Table but I have since replaced it with the HQ Studio Frame so I can quilt larger quilts. All because of one strange night, my life completely changed…and I must say for the better!
I own the following HQ Machine: HQ Sixteen with Stitch Regulator

I own the following HQ machines:

Shirley Norman

Shirley for Ji

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First, I went through long arm curiosity, then long arm envy, and then long arm lust. I visited every website, and read every ad, to see which was the most affordable and had the built in stitch regulator. I had never driven a long arm, and did not make the Paducah pilgrimage this year, but had my friends test drive the long arms there. It was the price difference that made the choice for the HQ18 Avante easy.
I have no delusions of grandeur, and no plans to quilt for others. We have national winners in our quilt guild, and a few others that are quite good. But, I make a LOT of charity quilts and this was my “justification” mantra.
I need classes, but can’t afford them, and I hate the learning curve, but luckily I have a lot of big quilts with busy patterns to practice on.
I have a teen-aged grandson, Reed, who was on a rare visit. He asked me what this machine was. I did not have a quilt loaded at the time. So I asked him to help me load my birthday block quilt I had just finished piecing.
Towards the end of the visit I invited Reed to use the extra side fabric to try a design. I showed him a sample of some leaves on another quilt and he tried that and went to bed. The next morning, he started the complicated pattern he designed on the spot, and I told him he had to finish before his plane left, because I couldn’t duplicate it.
The quilt was special because my friends made the blocks, but now it is a treasure.

I own the following HQ machines:

Vicki Jensen

Our family photo taken with my daughter's graduation photos!

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My story began about 6 years ago. I began pinning my first big quilt on our pool table & my husband walked by wondering what I was doing. He asked, don’t they make machines for that? He took me down that day to see about getting a machine. (We all need and want a honey like this!) We ended up with a small frame you could put a home machine on, and I quilted that quilt, not without many problems, then I did a few more table runners, again with more problems. So, I returned to the store to complain, and of course they had just started selling the HQ Sixteens. You know the rest of the story. I tried the machine, fell in love, ordered mine & still love it. Now fast forward about 2 years, and you will see that it is being used a little more these days to make samples for my shop, yes, my wonderful husband has supported me too in purchasing a quilt shop. Now the only question is which machine to upgrade to, an HQ18 Avante, or an HQ24 Fusion?? Oh, honey……

I own the following HQ machines:

Virginia Newton

Virginia and Paul touring Canadian Rockies

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Quilting runs in my family. I was destined to be a quilter since my mother, her mother, my sister, and two aunts were quilters. But I thought I was only a hand quilter and destined to only make a few quilts each year for very special people and very special occasions.
Then, after I retired from 29 years in education as first a teacher and then a school counselor, I found myself leading a group at our church in making quilts for comfort for cancer patients, soldiers, and babies. We knew we had to get them machine quilted so we found a quilter with a professional machine who volunteered to quilt them as a reduced price but she lived 50 miles from us. Problems.
With such a handicap in getting our things completed, I decided to purchase my own machine. A friend in my quilting guild recommended a 9 inch bed machine and a wooden frame. I bought it and got started learning how to machine quilt. I was a slow learner and the frame was not cooperating since each time I rolled the quilt I had to march back and forth to loosen all the wheels and then tighten them. Each quilt I completed was a victory and also exhausting.
Then our family leased some of our land for oil drilling and I had enough money to buy the Handi Quilter I had heard so much about. A friend invited me to try out her HQ Sixteen and when I saw the ease of turning the quilt, I knew I had to have this beauty.
I went to the quilt show in Oklahoma City and tried several other machines, but kept returning to the Handi Quilter. I was definitely convinced that I was not making another mistake. I ordered the Handi Quilter from an online dealer and everything came on a truck. My husband was able to help me get it put together and I have loved my HQ Sixteen ever since.
My church group could not believe how quickly I was turning out completed quilts. We have been blessed to honor many of our members and friends with loving comfort quilts. We see how much the quilts mean to each recipient as their eyes tear up and they tell us thank you from the heart.
I have so little room in my sewing room that I can only quilt from the front of my machine so I have never learned to do pantograms, but I love making up designs for each creation and generally they add to the design.
My husband compliments my work as I just get better and better with my Handi Quilter. Thanks for making a machine I can truly say has been able to keep up with me and our quilting group!

I own the following HQ machines:

Carolyn Rundstrom

Shhhhh!!!

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I took up quilting after I retired five years ago from teaching elementary school in my home town for 34 years. As my projects grew and precious time was lost in shoulder therapy due to my regular sized sewing machine, I bought an HQ Sixteen and never looked back!!! King and Queen quilts became my obsession and I traded in the table that came with "Suzie" for a Studio version. At 71, I have just started my own longarm business "Creations by Carolyn" and am having a ball!. I have even been on the front page of the paper with a story on my new "profession". I can't believe they pay me for this!!!!! If truth be known, I would probably even do it for free! Shhhhhhhhhhhh!!!!!

I own the following HQ machines:

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 walked into one of the large fabric/hobby/craft stores and saw a sewing and embroidery machine stitching out an American Flag. This was the day after the World Trade Center attacks. The computerized aspect of the machine hooked me and I thought I had found what I wanted to do.
After a year of learning that machine and the software, I was again looking for something and 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.
We went to a guilds quilt show and I saw a B Line table-top quilting frame with a Juki being demonstrated and knew that was just what I needed to add to my enjoyment of quilting. I bought the set up and brought it home. After letting it sit in the boxes for almost two years, I finally had enough nerve to set it up. I loaded my practice muslin and started to practice, with my husband encouraging me the entire time.
It wasn’t long before I decided that I needed more space to quilt with and I ordered an 18 inch throat machine from the same company that my frame was made by. When it arrived I was so disappointed, I sent it back and stopped using my quilting frame. You see I didn’t like hand guiding the machine and I was discouraged.
Well, I knew I still wanted to do quilting on a frame, I had lots of tops pieced and just waiting that I had made for charity and I did not want those to just continue to sit so I started looking again.
I went to the first International Quilt Show in Long Beach, California and tested all of the manufactures machines and kept coming back to Handi Quilter. I talked a blue streak to my husband about all of the features of the machine and how much I wanted it. When I explained the features of the HQ Pro-Stitcher and how it would work just like my embroidery machine because it was computer guided he was sold too. He 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.” He knew all along that I would not be happy with a machine and frame that I had to “drive” myself; I just never realized that a computer aided quilting machine was within my reach and when he said “buy it”, I was thrilled.
Thank you Handi Quilter for making my quilting dreams come true.

I own the following HQ machines:

Flo Verge

Flo with sisters quilt I quilted

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Watching my mom and grandmother quilt a few years back made me feel quilting was something I would enjoy when time allowed. It just happened that about five years ago there was I fabric shop that opened about one half mile from home and they were giving classes, (Need I say any more). Not wanting to quilt alone I got my sister to join me and we tied all our quilts. We soon learned that tying was not something we enjoyed and we sent a few quilts out to be quilted. When we got them back from the quilters I would look at them and wish I could try long arm quilting. After talking it over with my husband I went to MQX and checked out all of the long arm machines. I really liked the style of the HQ Sixteen and found after trying it that it was soon going to be my very best quilting partner so I placed my order before I left the show. After that I did the Handi Quilter retreat in Salt Lake and fell in love with the HQ24 Fusion. So guess what, I now have two very best quilting partners. There has not been a day I have been unhappy with my machines & service since I started with my HQ Sixteen in 2007. So now my sister and my husband who has also joined my sister and I in our quilting journey do most of the piecing and I am mostly about long arm quilting. I am so happy that I am part of the Handi Quilter family. I am the proud owner of an HQ Sixteen and the HQ24 Fusion. Sincerely, Flo Verge.

I own the following HQ machines:

Don Berry-Graham

Don's Favourite Project

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Preaching, Biking, Cancer and Quilting
I am a preacher by profession. What most people don’t know about preachers is that they are frustrated by the fact that their jobs are never done. No sermon is ever good enough, no visit is ever timely enough, no volunteer is ever trained well enough. We live with this huge feeling of never being finished in any thing that we do or say.
I have been a jock all my life. I played every sport there was in school and was named the best Athlete in the school. My passion was running especially long distance. I was a miler as a young person and then discovered marathons. For over 38 years I ran 2000 miles a year. Then the knees gave out and I was bored and lost. I gained weight and was miserable.
Then someone introduced me to cycling. I at first hated it but then as I got more involved I feel in love with it. I also learned that you could go for ride of 100 to 200 miles at a time and I was hooked. I would go riding for 5-6 hours and when I got back my wife Gail would say “Are you back already?” You see she was the quilter. The longer the ride the more she would work on her projects or go to a stitch out day with the local guild. We had found a nice rhythm in life. Or so we thought!
Then last Christmas I was told that I had Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma. I was fit and active and was the last person in the world that you would have thought would get cancer. The next few months are a blur.
One month before that we had bought for Gail an HQ18 Avante with HQ Pro-Stitcher. It was so that when I was working out she could finish her projects. Now, I could not work out because I was way too tired. Something that I was totally not used to as the teens would say.
Gail suggested that I play with the HQ (big mistake on her part). I loved the computer part I suck at free hand but love the challenge of programing a quilt. Now she can’t get on the machine and she can’t make enough quilts to satisfy me. We are beginning to take in outside quilts.
Remember that I said I was a preacher who realized that all his work was never finished. Not only did quilting help me through cancer it became good therapy for my soul. I would long arm a top and realized that it was finished. I could say that I had completed a task.
I could not say that about anything in life. I would always work harder on the bike, or on a sermon. A quilt could be finished. I find that it is good to see something to the end.
I am now biking again but have got the quilting bug. I now am working on my first baby quilt. I love long arming and if any of my friends knew they would not believe it at all. I can’t wait until they get my first gift to them.

I own the following HQ machines:

Faith Bratton

Faith

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I started quilting in about 2003, when my youngest daughter refused to wear the dresses with puffed sleeves that I would make for her. I was hooked on quilting from the start and have never looked back! Since I spend what spare time I have quilting, my husband had no choice but to learn about quilting in order for us to have any time together!
We have four children --- a senior in college, a sophomore in college, an eighth grader and a fourth grader. Since we find ourselves driving around the state to various school activities and sporting events, we take advantage of the drive by visiting quilt shops and shows. Luckily, my husband is very supportive in that he has always encouraged me to buy more fabric and quilting toys.
I had bought a computerized quilting system back in 2003 and in the fall of 2008, when I saw the HQ Sixteen with the HQ Pro-Stitcher at the Des Moines AQS show, I fell in love with it. Right away, my husband encouraged me to get it and I am so glad I listened to him. I couldn’t be more pleased with my purchase. The machine itself sews beautifully. The HQ Pro-Stitcher is very flexible and easy to use. And, the service is second to none. I would highly recommend this machine to anyone who is interested in purchasing a computerized long arm system.
At this point, I am pretty comfortable the computerized quilting functionality and I am looking forward to taking additional free motion classes at the upcoming AQS show in Des Moines. Someday, when I retire, I expect to have more time to practice free motion. And, I am confident the quality of the HQ Sixteen will provide many happy years of quilting for us!

I own the following HQ machines:

Joan Laubmeier

Standing with my HQ and some of my quilts

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I love my HQ Sixteen with HQ Pro-Stitcher. It is the second long arm machine, on the third frame, and the second computerized stitching system I’ve owned, and I finally have the set-up that is right for me. There may be a HQ18 Avante (or even a HQ24 Fusion) in my future – if I upgrade I’m sure it will be to another HQ product since both the people and their products have been great! My house may not get cleaned, the refrigerator gets neglected, the dishes pile up unwashed, and the dirty clothes lay on the floor in the laundry room, but my HQ stays clean, neat and ready to sew! It gets the most care of any “appliance” in the house!
I first saw long arm machines at a quilt show outside Philadelphia. I thought they were large, ugly, and expensive, and just didn’t make sense for me as a hobby. But, having pushed a number of quilts, including a queen sized, through my domestic machine, I knew I wanted something better. My first foray was to buy a machine from a 4 inch ad in a magazine, because it seemed like it would work, I could afford it not knowing if I’d like it, and it wasn’t too ugly. It was “basic”, and did a nice job, and taught me the things I really wanted: needle up/down, bigger bobbin, easy movement, and computer driven stitching. That “starter” machine also taught me that I liked machine quilting, and that this would be a long term passion. With my first system, including the computerized robotic quilting system I added, while I could get quilting done, I spent significantly more time fiddling with the system to get it to work on any given day than actually quilting. I also had to physically lift my machine between carriages to switch from computerized to manual – so that didn’t happen a lot. So, what next? I learned about Yahoo groups, and lurked/participated in a lot of them. I learned about what machines people seemed to be always re-timing or dealing with other issues, and what machines seemed to just keep running like the Energizer Bunny. I also learned which manufacturers had a loyal customer base, and some that were not held in high esteem or had “grouchy” customer service.
I first really looked at the HQ Sixteen in use at a friend’s house, when I visited to share information on the digitized quilting system we both had. I fell in love with the HQ Sixteen on the spot, and knew I had to try one and hopefully upgrade to it at some point. I scheduled a trip to attend MQX in 2007, and signed up for a half-day class specifically where students would use the HQ Sixteen in the classroom to “try one out”. Having bought untried once, I thought I’d use a different plan this time. Though in denial that I would buy one on the trip (I kept telling my husband I was just looking), I bought accessories, needles, rulers, and three large assortment boxes of the Superior pre-wound M bobbins before I bought the machine or took my class – and I didn’t yet have a machine that would use M bobbins or support a ruler base! Every time I called home, my husband would ask “did you buy it yet”? Well, as expected, I took the class, confirmed my love for the machine, and ordered one before I left the show. I did look briefly at other options – but they continued to be ugly to me and the problems I saw the professionals having using them in classes where I was a Teacher’s Angel left me convinced that the HQ was the reliable, easy to use and the ready to go machine I wanted. Think about it – if HQ can fill a classroom with the machines and turn 16 people loose on them 3 times a day for 4 hour classes during the quilt show, (with barely an hour between classes) the machines need to be sturdy, reliable, easy to use, and hard to mess up!

I first set up my HQ Sixteen with my old digitized computer system (with the help of a dealer and a custom carriage modification). That digitized system continued to be as finicky as ever for me, and when the HQ Pro-Stitcher came out, once again I was “looking”. The next MQX (2008) had breakfast classes, and I signed up for the HQ Pro-Stitcher class just to see what it had. As usual I was not planning to buy – just look, even though I had started a comparison spreadsheet of the old system I had and the HQ Pro-Stitcher the previous winter. After all, I did have a “working” system. Vicki did a great job showing us all the features, and every spare moment I had during the show (I had a really full class schedule), I kept going to look at the system. I loved the idea that the system was integrated by the manufacturer and all the parts would work together without ongoing adjustments. I knew coming from HQ that it would work so I could spending my time actually quilting (well, once I decide how to quilt the top). As usual, when I called home, my husband kept asking “did you buy it yet”? I think he knows me better than I know myself. No surprise, I decided to buy the HQ Pro-Stitcher, and ordered my current frame – a QuilTable – to make it all work together (and look pretty). Of course, I had carefully measured before the trip where the new frame needed to go and knew exactly how to make it fit. Mark (the President) loaded my HQ Pro-Stitcher into my rental car, and it flew home with me. TSA left a note in the box since they opened it to inspect it – I’m not sure what they thought it might be! The whole flight and waiting for baggage claim was tense - I couldn’t wait to have my HQ Pro-Stitcher safely back in my hands, and then finally set up when my QuilTable arrived! The local regional representative, Gina came to my house for training since the local dealer wasn’t carrying HQ Pro-Stitcher at the time, and from the first, I loved the functions. As HQ has released new and improved versions of the software, I’ve found that things just keep getting better, and I feel that I haven’t even tapped all the functionality that is there! I hope to get to go to a HQ Retreat – it would be awesome to have a week with the experts!
I quilt as a passion – cutting, piecing, and quilting, all bring me a lot of joy and relaxation. Binding isn’t as much fun, even though I do it all by machine. I love being able to mix hand guided/free motion with the computerized patterns at will, and have made several quilts that are a combination of the two. I make quilts for myself, and to give away – to family or charity for causes such as for babies, hospitals and the Ronald McDonald house. I’ve lost count of how many quilts I’ve made since getting my HQ Sixteen – somewhere over 30. My husband keeps asking when our house will be full of quilts, since I seem to give so many away as gifts and to charity... This past year I made a quilt for the local Harley-Davidson dealers that was raffled off for Muscular Dystrophy. To make it as appealing as possible, it had a t-shirt from each dealer, each framed by orange batik and set in black on the “front”, and a pieced black and white pattern on the other side (for anyone who got tired of the t-shirts). It was “heavy” as a quilt sandwich: had t-shirts with wash away stabilizer over the entire t-shirt area, the pieced back, and of course the batting – and was queen sized. The HQ handled it like a dream! I put the pieced back down, the t-shirts side up, and did an all over motorcycle pattern with my HQ Pro-Stitcher. It came out wonderfully (if I do say so myself), without a hiccup, and to my great amazement raised $1100 at the benefit auction. The ease of the HQ in switching modes, switching thread, balancing tension, and overall reliability make the quilting a lot of fun for me!
As by now you may have guessed, the word that comes to mind when I think of my HQ is “JOY” – that’s the feeling it brings to me, and the feeling I hope my quilts bring to others. Just writing this story has put a big smile on my face. I have no particular quilt style – unless maybe it is bright – but even that doesn’t always apply. I use every color in the book, with lots of bright colors and wild prints, and just have fun!
Looking at everything, the things I love the most about my HQ include:
• Knowing I can turn it on and quilt: it is ready when I am
• The great variety of threads it runs, without complaint. I took a thread bar style class one year at MQX and learned even more threads I could run without issue – HOORAY!
• The ease of use switching from computerized to hand guided, and regulated or manual stitch control
• How it looks (it sits off of my living room)
• The upgrades over the years that have added features and functionality, such as the Tilt handles, Micro Handles and HQ Pro-Stitcher
• Great support and the HQ people – especially those I’ve gotten to know at the MQX like Debbie and other shows where they are every year, and all the help and support/extras they provide, like taking 15 minutes of their break to go over a question or help you with a problem
• The online community support through the Yahoo groups and the HQ forums, as well as videos and other instruction that are available there
• The handlebar controls – needle up/down, basting stitches, speed, and the start/stop are just easy and intuitive
If you are wondering – “Is this the machine for me?” – my answer would be simple: yes! Whether the HQ Sixteen, the HQ18 Avante, or the HQ24 Fusion is the best fit, you have to decide for your budget and goals. I quilt for fun, and know that my HQ can easily be used for business if I ever get so inspired. I love my HQ, and wouldn’t trade it for anything – but another HQ model!

I own the following HQ machines:

Yvonne Hamilton

With granddaughter, Aurora

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My husband is an avid Craig's List browser. He's found lots of treasures, usually of the computer-kind, for himself thru Craig's List. One day, though, he found something for ME! An HQ Sixteen! For several years, I'd been quilting with a Juki on a Grace Frame. It was okay, but I'd been wishing for something with more quilting area. Did I ever get lucky! We drove a couple hours, money in hand, to pick up my new toy. The woman selling it had barely used it, due to health reasons. After we'd spoken on the phone and she agreed to sell it to me, she'd gotten several other calls from people offering her more than her asking price! I felt very fortunate that she had the integrity to keep to her word, although she was pretty cranky about it. We scurried off with all the HQ pieces and parts before she changed her mind! I love my HQ Sixteen. It is the best toy ever! I am totally impressed with it's operator-friendly use, the stitch regulator, and the quality of quilting it does. Thanks to Craig's List and a generous husband, I'm an HQ fan for life!

I own the following HQ machines:

Joe Filer

This is me working on a Quilt of Valor

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I have my HQ24 Fusion is set up in my basement "studio", fondly referred to as Joe's Sweat Shop. I started long arm machine quilting (on a competitor's machine) in December of 2008. It has been a great hobby to compliment my wife's love for piecing quilt tops. We went on a charter bus trip to the Paducah Quilt show in April 2009. I was the only man on the bus along with 50 women (including the driver). I was interested in seeing the show, but thought my presence might curtail my wife's spending. A stop at the HQ booth shot that theory, but I am the one who ordered a new Fusion. I recognized the limitations of my previous machine and was impressed by the Fusion demonstration. It had the HQ quality and support and all the features that I was looking for. I have worked with a great HQ dealer to help resolve some user-error problems that I was having. After a small machine "tune up" and some helpful instruction on my techniques, everything seems to be running smoothly. I didn't start documenting my quilts until September of 2009, but since that time I have completed well over 220. This year, we went to the machine quilters show in Milwaukee where I was able to take a class and visit with several nationally recognized quilter-educators. Most of my quilting projects have been for Project Linus and Quilt of Valor, two very deserving organizations. I have been able to mix in a following of real clients, who help support my great hobby. I appreciate their support as I continue with my ongoing learning process. I just finshed a small sampler quilt for my youngest client, a 13 year old girl who is being tutored by one of my "regulars". I am looking forward to continued improvement in my quilting skills and, hopefully, the addition of a ProStitcher.

I own the following HQ machine: HQ24 Fusion

Debra Triggs


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I have been quilting for ten years.I should say I have been piecing for ten years.I bought an HQ Sixteen. Set it up in the dinning room. Six months later my husband wanted to sell the house. Guess what had to be put away. Yes my HQ. Its has been in the state of Washington for over a year. When the HQ24 Fusion came out I started looking at that. My husband was getting worried because I just don't look.Well now I have the HQ24 Fusion set up in his garage. No the has not sold but now I can quilt my own quilts again.

I own the following HQ machines:

Debby Eades

Me and my grand daughter

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In November of 2007, my mom took me to the Houston International Quilt Show. I did not quilt at this time and had no interest in it. My mom had been quilting for over 30 years.
So I decided to just tag along. Saw some beautiful quilts and lots and lots of vendors. I was so amazed how large the show was. So as passing through I spotted one that caught my eye. It was a Texas Longhorns Quilt and my step daughter loved the longhorns. It was a simple 9-patch, I thought and my mom encouraged me too, I can do this. Thus, began my sewing adventure. I was then hooked on quilting. I upgraded the old sewing machine. My Mom walked me through most of the piecing of the quilt. She then showed me how to sandwich it together and quilt it on her sewing machine using free motion. I was then hooked on the free motion quilting. My father had passed away and now I had extra time on my hands so I decided to join once a month club. I continued to put all my quilts together on the floor and quilt them on my sewing machine. Over the year my mom talked to me about long arm quilting. I had no clue what this was. Then I went to another quilt show and saw the long arm machines. I was amazed with what they can do. After 2 years of quilting I had the urge for a long arm. I had looked and test drove many of the different brands, however, they were all way to expensive.
I began to shop around for a long arm. I loved the one at my local quilt shop (Honey Bee Quilt Store). But I was still reluctant to spend that much money on one. Well, one day during lunch I was catching up on my email and noticed one from Honey Bee’s. As I was reading it, I was shocked to see that the one from the quilt shop was for sale. I was so excited. I called them immediately and the machine was now mine. I currently have been practicing with my own quilts and Linus Quilts that I make. So far I have learned how to use the pantographs, groovy boards and stippling. I like stippling the best. My next adventure is to learn how to use the stencils with it. I have yet to take any training class on the machine, except for the training at the quilt shop. I love my long arm machine, it is so easy to work with.

I own the following HQ machines:

Debbie Sullivan

My grandaughter Layla and me

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My quilting story began when my children entered high school and started a more independent phase of their lives. Up until then, like many Moms, my whole world revolved around my family and their needs and interests. It seemed to happen overnight and I when it did I was lost.
One day I was watching HGTV and discovered Alex Anderson. I was fascinated with the quilting on the quilts she highlighted. I had never seen such artful designs; they really made the quilts come alive. I immediately wanted to learn more. I began taking quilting classes at local quilt shops and very quickly wanted to complete the projects myself. I knew this would be a life long passion.
With my husband's blessing, I began to research my options. I gathered information, asked for feedback from quilting chat groups and arranged to have some hands-on time on a couple of machines I was interested in. The feedback I received on the HQ Sixteen was all positive and I loved how the machine handled and the quality of the stitches. I knew I was interested in art quilting so the fact that I could run any thread I choose from 40lb cotton to metallics was important to me.
We purchased the machine in November of 2007 and I LOVE it. I am very passionate about my quilting and have grown personally through the wonderful women I have met in the quilting circles I am involved with and my skills and confidence have grown as well. I entered into the world of competition quilting in 2009 and have since won 2 national awards.
Purchasing my HQ Sixteen has truly changed my life and I couldn't be happier with my machine and the people I have dealt with at HQ Sixteen. They are very responsive and informative and the local dealer that we purchased from has been amazing. I love my machine!!

I own the following HQ machines:

Joanne L. Gardner

Me with my brother's wedding quilt

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About two years ago, I started making quilts for my children to fulfill a life long dream of mine. One practice quilt later, I went to my local quilt shop to find a quilter.There were three people recommended. I chose the middle priced quilter and waited the four weeks. Upon completion of a pantograph design, I realized the quilter did not do a great job and I was so disappointed.
A few months later, I completed a quilt for our oldest daughter who was graduating from college. I went once again to my quilt shop and viewed the most expensive quilters work and decided she was the one for my special daughter's quilt. Four to six weeks pased before I got the phone call that the quilt was done. I could not wait to see the masterpiece. But what I saw was a terrible mess on top of my beauftiful fabrics. I took it to the quilt shop where they agreed it was a horrible job. They said to ask the quilter to remove all the stitching and have her redo it. Five weeks passed before the quilter called, and I picked up the quilt to find 62 squares out of 154 had been destroyed, plus the entire backing was ruined.
I was totally broken at that point in time. I had lost all desire to quilt because what use was it to quilt if i could not get them quilted. Six months passed, and I decided that I would teach myself to quilt. I bought a Gracie frame and Juki machine, but I truly did not enjoy quilting because I could not get the quality stitching I desired for the heirloom quilts I was determined to make. Once again, I felt defeated.
But one day in the mail, I received an advertising card from a sewing shop where I had bought a Brother machine many years ago. They were selling a Babylock made by Handi Quilter. I went to a demonstration, and I thought if I got a quilting machine, it would have to be computerized, like the HandiQuilter, as I wanted great stitches. That's when my husband went into action, checking out all the brands. We went to sewing expos and other shops, and he searched the internet daily, printing literature about all the machines available to the home quilter.
One day, he said we were going to a HandiQuilter dealer, Alko Sewing Center, in Mentor, Ohio, located about one and a half hours from our house. I kept saying we could not afford such an expensive machine. Once he saw the quality of the machine and all it could do, he was hooked and so was I.
I can't describe to you how blessed I feel to own one of your machines. The HQ18 Avante is truly one of the greatest machines I have ever owned. I still marvel at it each and every time I use it. I reconstructed my daughter's quilt, quilting it square by square, my first heirloom quilt. I have since quilted two others, a gift for my niece and a wedding gift for my brother. I have our son's and other daughter's quilt tops ready to go. One of the best parts is that I didn't have to wait four to six weeks to get my quilts quilted because I own my own Handi Quilter. Plus, I get to choose if I want overall design or special quilting at no extra charge.
The best part is when our oldest daughter cried when I gave her the reconstructed quilt on her brithday. She said, "It is so much more special because you quilted it, Mom." I would truly love to learn more about what the Avante is capable of. I know I have only scratched the surface of its capabilities, and I look forward to discovering more of what I can do with my very own Handi Quilter.
Sincerely,
Joanne L. Gardner

I own the following HQ machines:

Anita Snook

Quilting in my "new" room

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My HQ Story
When I purchased my HQ Sixteen in October 2006, I originally set it up in my existing sewing room. Although the room was not large enough to extend the table fully, I was able to open the closet doors to gain a few extra feet and allow the overflow of the table and rollers to extend into the closet. This setup made it necessary for me to crawl under the table each time I needed to get to the back of the machine. Although this didn’t seem to be too much of a challenge at first, it didn’t take long for my aging knees and back to tell me otherwise. Setting up the machine in our garage was not an option since my husband builds street rod cars as a hobby.
So I thought, if only I could use the space adjacent to my sewing room…..another small bedroom currently set up as a guest bedroom and hardly every used…..then I would have plenty of room to set up the full table for the HQ. You should have seen the look on my husband’s face when I asked, “honey, could I could knock down the wall between the two bedrooms to convert them into one sewing room?” After his initial shock, he agreed that this idea was a good one. A few days later, we moved the HQ Sixteen to our bedroom where I continued to work on quilts while he removed the wall. Within three weeks, the “new” room was ready and I moved back into the space. So now we have a 2800 square foot house with two bedrooms……probably won’t help the resale value of the house but with the current housing market, I don’t think we’ll be moving anytime soon. So in the meantime, I’m enjoying my HQ Sixteen as it proudly occupies the middle of my sewing room and sits where the wall once was.
Although creativity is a wonderful thing for quilting, it also comes in handy when finding just the right space to do it in.

I own the following HQ machines:

Bill Magargal

Me with my mother-in-law, Marj, holding quilt made by my wife, Marie

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The Accidental Quilter
Early in our relationship my wife, Marie, and I both realized that we share an interest in fabrics. I am a textile engineer and love to ponder textures, weaves, unusual yarns and designs. Marie has been sewing clothes since she was a young girl on the farm in South Dakota. When we travel we both poke around for unique textiles … Hmong story cloths, silk saris and embroidered pieces from India, African mudcloth, Moroccan carpets, Oaxacan serapes, etc.
Somewhere about 2003 Marie started making quilts in earnest for various friends and family members, i.e. baby quilts for grandkids, denim lap quilts (renamed TV quilts) for graduates, friendship quilts, wedding quilts, etc. People loved getting something handmade and Marie loved making them. So it was a great win-win hobby.
Perhaps a year or so later she started making comments about how hard it was to quilt them on a regular machine. “Maybe ‘we’ should get a long-arm machine,” she said. Keep in mind that my only participation in quilting to that point was an occasional consult on color choices or block arrangements. The “we” rang a bit odd to my ear. But, being the dutiful husband that I am I said, “Yes dear!” And so our quest began.
For years our frequent trips from our home in Nebraska to visit grandkids on the East Coast included stash runs via cities that had interesting fabric shops and quilting shops located within some nebulous distance from the shortest route to our destination. Visiting our South Carolina grandchildren always included a mandatory stop at Hancock Fabrics in Paducah, KY. This was a freebie. It only added about 15 miles to our trip and they had an amazing selection of wonderful fabrics to spark the old creative juices.
But now “we” were looking for a long-arm machine, and so our horizons expanded. Trips to visit our New York City grandkids could now be routed via the Kansas City MQS show, up to Columbus, Ohio for the NQA show. And since we were so close to it we could drop in at that great fabric store in Cleveland, oh, and the one in Erie, PA just a bit further (true story). In fact, it was during the 2004 MQS show in Kansas City that we first saw the Handi Quilter. Inventor/owner, Laurel Barrus, was demoing it herself and we were impressed. Even other longarm vendors were impressed. It was the buzz of the show. But it was early in our quest so we felt we had to keep researching.
We really did our homework. We tried everything from little wooden frame thingies to clinky-clanky homemade machines to high-end computerized behemoths. A year later in May of 2005 we still stayed with our first choice and ordered the HQ16.
When it arrived Marie couldn’t wait for me to set it up so she could try it out. She practiced on a piece of muslin … hmmm, so-so results. She did a quilt … hmmm, so-so results. “Bill, why don’t you try it if you think it is so easy!” And thus began my long-arm career.
I lucked out though. The first quilt Marie wanted me to do was one with lots of plain borders and squares. I had just picked up a little booklet by Pam Clarke called “Designs with Lines” that included some gridline stencils. I used some Quilt Pounce to mark out little grids in each square, and then went to work. That poor quilt had a different figure in each square but it looked cute and the customer, Marie, liked it.
Next I did a series of quilts for my mother-in-law, Marj. At the time, Marj was 80 years old and had been a true South Dakota scrap quilter for more than thirty years. Her quilts had more different fabrics in them than a crazy quilt, and different sized squares to boot depending on how much fabric was available. Marj has a little mantra she intones for anyone who might be interested: “A day without quilting is a day without sunshine!”
In years past Marj was known for how well her points matched up. It was still important to her. So, if one of those ornery squares just wasn’t going to fit, well, a pleat here and tuck there just fixed things right up. Plus they were going to charity! I lucked out again … a steady supply of practice quilts that I didn’t have to freak out about possibly ruining.
By 2006 I had perhaps a dozen quilts under my belt, so I decided to try my hand at making one myself. The occasion was my mother’s 80th birthday. I was inspired by a painting of colorful sailboats she had in her bedroom. Mom loved it a lot. She had bought it a few years earlier even though money was tight. Now I was the one on a mission, looking for the perfect fabrics for the sails, water, sky. I even used satin for the reflections of the sails in the water.
In 2007 we moved to New York to be closer to our grandchildren. Who knew that a quilter who instructed at Manhattan’s The City Quilter lived in our apartment building? Who knew that City Quilter had an HQ Sixteen just like ours? The next thing that I knew, I had an interview with Dale and Cathy, the owners. Just like that, I became a “professional” long-armer.
Since then, we’ve settled in the Catskill Mountains region and built a large quilting /sewing studio in our 1885 post-and-beam farmhouse. We call it Idyll Acres. Today I still quilt for The City Quilter on their new HQ18 Avante’, which I covet. I also have a few private clients, and oh, my first two customers of course.

I own the following HQ machines:

Nancy Reeves

Nancy, happily quilting

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My Story
Nancy Reeves
After my husband's retirement from the Air Force, many moons ago, we settled in Northwest Florida. He found a new career and I twiddled my thumbs. I had always done all kinds of needlework such as knitting, crocheting, had taught needlepoint, but had never learned quilting. So, I took lessons which were all by hand and I loved it. I made dresden plate pillows out the ears but then lost interest. I had never made a quilt and gave it up.
Many years later, I became a Chapter Coordinator for Project Linus and decided to try quilting again-on the sewing machine this time. I went to workshops at our Annual Institutes of Project Linus and learned to cut, piece, layer, stitch in the ditch, and bind my quilts and that was it. At our Institute in 2009 I saw Mark Hyland, who I had met the year before, standing by some interesting looking machines that I had never paid any attention to before.I thought to myself that they looked like fun. I fell in love with the HQ Sixteen Sit Down model and knew I had to have it. It was such a good deal I couldn't pass it up. When it arrived at our home, I thought, what was I thinking? I could never learn to use that thing! I'm not a good enough quilter to begin with and I'm
slow and rather unsure of myself. Well, Suzanne's Quilt shop in Moultrie GA, the closest dealer to our city, came all the way to my house to show me how to use it and to tell me all about the machine. When she and her husband left to travel home, I thought I must be nuts;it's more than I can handle since I'm by no means an excellent quilter. Suzanne had told me the secret--PRACTICE! Then PRACTICE some more. Now, after one year, I'm out of the "stitch in the ditch" mode and I can "meander, do sprials, and zigzags" like nobody's business. Suzanne gave me confidence and treated me like a top of the line quilter!
Andy, my HQ Sixteen, is shiny bright, user friendly, and has become a wonderful addition to our home. He knows I'm not a real fast quilter so he has a digital sewing speed regulator that I can set to my speed--slow! He is patient when I'm trying to get my tension just right, and he knows when I need to practice more; his stitches show me. Whatta guy! I love my HQ Sixteen Sit Down machine and I firmly believe Andy loves me. If only he could cook! But wait, maybe there's an accessory for that.
I own the HQ Sixteen Sit Down Model.

I own the following HQ machines:

Joani Wright

HQ Sixteen Moment

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My HQ Story began in ~ 1999 when I took my adult daughter with me to the Quilt Expo in Puyallup, Washington. We stopped by to say hi to my quilting friend who was demonstrating the Handi Quilter frame. My daughter (the non-quilter) wanted to know if I had bought one, I hesitated and said “No they are $500 dollars”! I was thinking that was the end of the story. She, as normal, didn’t take no for an answer, then proceeded to take my purse from me while I was deep in conversation, and presenting my friend with my credit card, yes MY credit card, and said Mom wants one of these. It didn’t stop there, in 2005 I discovered the HQ Sixteen, I didn’t need my daughter to help me on upgrading, by that time I was hooked. As 2010 rolls to an end I am in the process of upgrading again to the HQ24 Fusion, need I say more?

I own the following HQ machines:

Ginger Krenn

my first hq QUILT

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My HQ journey began eleven years ago at my first AQS show in Paducah, Kentucky. There was a vendor booth with a really nice lady demonstrating this new table top quilt frame her dad had designed. I remember it was actually duct taped in some places to a table top. I thought the frame was a wonderful idea for home quilters because you could use your own sewing machine and move it over the framed quilt. It was a novel idea at the time and I think I remember the lady saying they were working an a sewing machine with a longer arm. Now wouldn’t that be nice a bigger home machine with a longer arm.
As the Handi Quilter company grew and matured so did my quilting skills and the short arm of my home machine was just not cutting it anymore. I sewed and saved until I could buy this new machine with a 16 inch….. can you believe it …… a 16 inch arm. It was so pretty and neat looking and the frame was so easy to put together on a regular banquet table. I was in heaven , my new sewing machine and I moved into a new studio in 2005. I inherited my parents 100 year old house and my husband suggested that I make it a art/ quilt studio where I could have classes and do my commissioned quilts. I make one of a kind memory quilts for clients. I also love to teach children and you should see them sew on the HQ. They have no fear at all , they have a natural rhythm and curiosity.

The next part of my journey began when I started to feel that I wanted a little more quilting surface and yes I needed a real studio frame, the banquet table had done it’s time. I hated to say goodbye to my HQ Sixteen we had such good times and sewed so many special quilts together. It has a new home now and a very happy new owner. I tried the HQ18 Avante at a quilt show and I must say it was love at first try . There was my extra two inches of space and that new stitch regulator is just …WONDERFUL. The new studio frame with the new wheel system is so easy to use and the table is so secure and sturdy.
I needed a little help with my setup at first but a call to the staff at Handi Quilter took care of my concerns immediately. They are always so helpful , pleasant and customer service oriented . I could always talk to a real person and not a machine somewhere.
I love being part of the HQ Community and I am looking forward to the the next part of my HQ journey. My new HQ18 Avante and I will be quilting up a storm. Thank you to that nice lady who came up with the idea of a frame for quilters and then a bigger home machine to ride its rails.

I own the following HQ machines:

Margaret Solomon Gunn

With my youngest child, Sophie

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My story is not entirely unique. Like many of the quilters here, I have sewed and quilted for as long as I can remember. To create things with cloth is just in my blood. My mother taught me to sew and to embroider when I was in elementary school. In high school, I made many of my own clothes, even when wearing "home made" was not in vogue. I thought nothing of it since my clothes did not look hand made. In college, I made my first quilt. I tied the corners with embroidery floss and then secured the floss knots with super glue! My techniques have improved significantly since then. As a young adult, I would make quilts for friends and family for events like weddings, births or Christmas. Each of my three children has several quilts which I made. It soon became apparent that I could not keep all of the quilts that I wanted to make. In January of 2007, I began making quilts for the children's charity, Project Linus. Since then, I have made and donated over 100 quilts. Last summer, I began getting the urge to want to try quilting as a profession, despite it being so far from my trained field of over 20 years, mechanical engineering. While at the Maine Quilt Show last July, I tested all of the long arm machines. Despite thinking that my husband would be the largest obstacle to my getting a long arm, he was very supportive. He knows well that when I get the urge to do something, there is little that anybody can do to change my mind. I ordered my HQ24 Fusion in late September 2009. By November, I was taking internet quilting orders from a well established group of quilt swapping colleagues. I could hardly believe it; I was quilting nicely and making money doing it. My life quickly turned into a Cinderella story. I had spent about a year and a half piecing a quilt top that was for my bed. I was waiting to quilt it until I thought I had enough skills not to screw it up. In February of 2010, in a post-Christmas quilting lull, I decided to quilt it. I spent about 24 hours total on this quilt. Afterwards, I posted photos of the quilt on a well known quilting forum. One of the very good quilters suggested to me that I enter it at MQX, Machine Quilter's Exposition. I thought for certain that she must be crazy. The show was only 2 months away. But I am crazier. I entered my "Summer on the Beach" and the quilt won the 1st place Rookie of the Year ribbon. I was shocked, surprised, overjoyed and motivated. Since then, this quilt has appeared in two magazines, and has won another ribbon at the 2010 Maine Quilt Show. The first year of this journey has been surreal. It just shows what can be accomplished when you dream. Dream big!

I own the following HQ machine: HQ24 Fusion

Sue "Q" Johansen

My long awaited studio and Fusion

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After looking and wishing for about a decade, my dream came true thanks to my oldest daughter Sierra winning herself a full scholarship to college. Ten or so years ago when I really got into quilting, I was at a quilt show and tried out a few longarm machines. Because I used to fly helicopters I seemed to have a knack for flying the longarm and I loved it. Then and there I decided I would one day have my own. Over the next few years I would try out all the different machines at every show I went to. I loved the way the Handi Quilter glided and felt that it fit me BUT I wanted one that was larger. After playing on a HQ Sixteen at our local shop for an hour, one of the salesmen told me you were coming out with a 24" machine. I waited another year and when our daughter was awarded her scholarship, my husband and I knew it was my time to get a longarm. My existing sewing area was a 6' by 8' landing off of our bedroom and would never hold a 12 foot frame. We added a floor over the living room which had had an open ceiling and the machine was delivered before the finish on the floor dried. Sierra is leaving in less than a week for college and I know I will miss her, but every time I fly my HQ24 Fusion, I will be thinking of her.

I own the following HQ machines:

Rita Pawlowicz-Schmid

Art and Rita on our wedding day

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I've wanted a longarm for a long time, and at the quilt show in Rosemont, IL this spring, I got to try out every brand of longarm out there. I was hooked on Handi Quilter, but reluctant to spend the money. (I fret about that sort of thing.)
My new hubby, Art,(we got married last year on the 4th of July) came along with me to the quilt show (talk about being out of his element! He fishes!) He tried all the machines too, and convinced me to let the moths out of my checkbook and get one. He even offered to pay for half! (What a sweetie!) He told me I deserve it. Wow. What a guy! I bit the bullet and got an HQ18 Avante from the wonderful folks at Quilters Haven in Rockford, IL.
I love quilting, but always hated putting the layers together to quilt. There was no easy way for me...not enough floor space, table space, and I never felt like my quilts were layered correctly. The HQ18 Avante made my dream come true...less struggling and FUN, FUN, FUN!
I've only had my machine a few months, and have already finished a twin size quilt for charity, a baby quilt for charity, and a quilt for my new great-nephew. I had my first quilt done in 4 hours!!
My next quilt is for my middle-daughter (who's been patiently waiting for her quilt for 3 years now.) I have several more charity quilts in the works, and will make one for the hospice facility where my brother-in-law recently stayed.
I wish I could sew faster so I can make more quilts on my HQ18 Avante.
The Crazy Quilter from Illinois
Rita Pawlowicz-Schmid

I own the following HQ machines:

Carrolyn Vidal

My HQ, doll quilt made in 1957 with my grandmother’s help, and me

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I was born to quilt.  At a very young age, I was  lying at my grandmother’s feet, rocking her treadle with my arms  to her gentle commands and helping her with her sewing and mending.  Did I ever feel important!  At about 8, I completed my first quilt for my dolls made with cuttings from clothing, sewing scraps and old blankets.  In her wisdom, my grandmother just gave me a few directions and let me sew and create on my own.  Not the best quilt in the world, but totally mine.
As a young adult, I continued quilting and making home and apparel articles.  I hadn’t had much formal instruction, but learned on my own through trial and error.  My first major quilt was made as a surprise for my mother.  Her own mother had died when she was about 5.  The only memorabilia that she had from her mom as the youngest of 8 siblings was a piece of a quilt her mom had started from old clothing.  In my early 20’s and about 1970, I “borrowed” this quilt piece from the cedar chest and finished it to give her as a Christmas gift. ( I learned out of necessity how to tea dye and age  fabrics etc. trying to get newer fabrics to match with over 50 year old fabrics.)  I hand quilted this first real effort. My own work of art…..but slow, slow, slow.
Over the years as my love of quilting grew and my efforts became more prolific, I learned about machine quilting from a friend.  What fun!  We would rent machines together at a small quilt shop in Ephrata, WA and spend the day finishing off our many family and gift quilts. 
However, about 2000 I suffered my first knee accident.  Over the next four years I had several surgeries on my knee and a second accident with the other supposedly “good” knee.  No longer could I rent a machine and stand for hours to finish quilting in the allotted rental time.  And then the knee surgeries necessitated double knee replacement.  I was extremely depressed about losing my ability to machine quilt.  Then I went to SewExpo in Puyallup, WA and watched a demonstration on the HQ Sixteen.  Not only was it household sized,  it was affordable for a single, school teacher! And the best news of all--I could put a quilt on the frame, and quilt whatever amount of time I was able to physically do each day.   I bought it in Feb. 2006 just a couple weeks before my scheduled double knee replacement.  It was the “golden carrot” I held up for myself to get through the extensive surgery and rehabilitation that I knew I was facing.  And it was the carrot that worked!  I worked hard each day until I could finally do a little on the machine.  Now, several years later, and up to full days of quilting again, the convenience of having it in my own home can never be measured.
As a semi-retired 42 year veteran teacher,  I am now  an almost full time quilter.  I am even able to supplement my income with a small longarm and quilting home business.  The joy and love of my life is still showering my family and friends with homemade goodies.  I only own a couple of quilts  myself as almost all of my quilts have been jobs or gifts.  All of this has been made possible by the convenience and affordability of the HQ Sixteen.  However living in the middle of the woods in NE Washington state makes lessons to improve my skills and knowledge of the machine itself  almost impossible.  Attending the HQ Headquarters classes would be a dream come true.

I own the following HQ machine: HQ Sixteen

Kay McCain


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A few years ago I decided I needed to learn to make quilts because I had an Embroidery machine and was getting tired of making towels and t-shirts. Getting the bright ideal I could incorporate the designs into quilts. Well it’s not as easy as it sounded but then came another problem how to quilt them. That’s what guided me to the HQ Sixteen, but with life things happen.

I purchased a Handi Quilter, your wonderful long arm quilting machine, for myself in 2004. I was sewing quilt tops and sending them out of town to be quilted along with several other ladies at the local quilt shop. I decided to make this purchase after seeing the finished product of your machine, shared by a senior quilter using this type machine I thought that the work was exquisite! And I had to have this machine for myself! So I saved and purchased one for myself.
After I bought it, I took it to my local quilt shop, to share with my fellow quilters. I figured we could learn how to use it together. Unfortunately, Hurricane Rita followed Katrina and hit Sulphur, LA. The Quilt shop remained closed for months with my machine safely tucked inside.
My home was damaged so I moved into an efficiency apartment, and was unable to set up my new HQ. So there it has remained stored on a shelf and not used due to lack of space and spare time as we put our lives back together one brick at a time. Now, Five years later, as I prepare for retirement in Southern Alabama, I have finally given my machine it’s own room in my new house !!! I am counting the days until my official retirement date December 31st when I return to my HQ quilting machine and Start to create the next chapter of my life! I have never had any formal instruction or classes on the functions and many features of my machine.
Actually I’m a new quilter are at least I want to be! After seeing so many beautiful quilts I decided I would love to create some quilts.

Happy quilting…. kay

I own the following HQ machines:

Maddie Kertay

Newest Longarm girl on the block!

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Dear Handi Quilter - My quilt made me do it! I am sure that most people around me saw it as inevitable that I would end up as a quilter but if they did they kept it to themselves. It’s not that I did not like quilting fabric… since I did, I loved it and owned yards of the stuff (certainly 100 + yards counts. Right?)! And it’s not that I did not like sewing, I sewed almost every day and even did miles of embroidery but I was not was a quilter. I admired quilts, I snuggled under quilts, and I even hunted down vintage quilts in my local thrift stores but I was not a quilter. I thought of all that cutting and piecing and quilting as something I could never see through being an ADD sort of girl. I also thought myself too young to be a quilter..and especially to young too own a longarm quilting machine since it seemed like with rare exception that they were only something owned by ladies much older than myself. So… let me be clear… I bought modern quilting fabrics, I sewed, I collected quilts but I was not a quilter, and then it happened. It was a day much like any other and that meant cramming in a bit of blog surfing between homeschooling 5 kids and running my embroidery business. I surfed, clicking links in a most mindless way only to be caught in the snare on of a wonderful blog called Tall Grass Prairie with its endless visual parade of charming, whimsical and colorful modern quilts. Quilts that made my eyes pop and my head spin. Simple shapes driven by color and pattern and I thought.. I can do that… and I did. Never being one to just dip her toe into the shallow end of the lake (after all, why have one kid when you can have 6!) I started off with a super king sized wonky log cabin quilt for my master bedroom. The piecing went well and the more blocks I made the more I loved the process, then came time to quilt it. Many people I know urged me to quilt it “ by checkbook” but I felt a deep connection to this project and manhandled that huge beast of a quilt into submission on my home machine with over 20 hours of free motion work and 5 hours hand binding. The feeling I experienced when I finished that quilt was like none other, a mixture of incredible pride and a bone numbing ache in my arms from such intense work. It became very clear that that if I was going to do more quilting (which at this point now consumed each and every thought of my waking time) that I was going to need to call in the big guns and change my idea about what a longarm quilter looked like! So you remember that part about how I have never been one to just dip in my toe?, well 1 week later I was the very proud owner of a brand spanking new HQ18 Avante. The fates had totally been on my side since just that very week it had been the HQ truckload sale at my local quilting store. I remember driving into the parking lot, seeing that big truck with the women smiling from the back panel and just knowing that I was going to be buying a quilting machine that day! So with a quick call to my wonderful husband and his full blessing I said yes to one of the best creative decisions of my life. Little more than a week later ( a week in which I rearranged and re-floored my sewing studio!) I welcomed home my new machine and studio frame. I christened my new machine, Sir Lancelot! It’s now been 3 weeks since “ Lance” came into my life… 3 weeks and 6 modern quilts not to mention re doing my furniture with custom quilted covers! .. we are a match made in heaven, thanks Handi Quilter! Maddie Kertay, Chattanooga TN ( more Photos on request)

I own the following HQ machine: HQ18 Avante

Nancy Nelson-Kremer

Nancy Nelson-Kremer & assistant

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Planning a quilt is like falling in love, quilting it is dancing under the stars. As any friend or acquaintance will tell you, - if / when my name is mentioned the words quilting & fabric are usually contained in the same sentence. From tailoring men’s wear, working on bridal wear, altering ladies wear or creating my own clothes, in fact my son would head to the fabric store to pick out his shirts when we went school shopping. I’m no stranger in a fabric shop, I support several. I don’t remember not having fabric, scissors, or a needle, thread, in my hands or planning to at the next opportunity. Planning a quilt is like falling in love. As I have visited quilt shops and shows across our great country the long-arm quilting machines have always drawn me like a moth to the flame. My husband was frugal and tried to improvise a mid-arm system by combining 2 systems to satisfy me. It only flamed the fires of desire – I wanted a reliable system, with support that was local. When a very good friend purchased an HQ18 Avante, she generously offered to let me use her system when I had tops ready to quilt. I loved the opportunity and did several tops while falling in love with the system. Her generosity only fanned the flames of desire into a bonfire. Besides, I like to quilt after most households have gone to bed – she & her husband really didn’t need me coming into their home in the middle of the night to quilt. First I had to convince myself that I could afford my dream. I’ve usually been able to simply write a check for things I want – but now that was not an option. I started to review finances and felt I could purchase a used HQ Sixteen system. Then reality struck: I didn’t want someone else’s system while they upgraded. I wanted a new one. I had to look at as pieces – like quilt tops not the finished quilt. Could I add payments to my budget? Back to the pencil and paper and yes I could do it. Fantastic, so off to the local dealer I went. How many times does each dealer go over information about the various models, the frames in a day – only to have someone say: “I’ll have to think about it”? When she mentioned a promotion for free shipping – it cinched the deal in my mind. I honestly believe she was surprised when I said – Let’s write this up. My new system was shipped during the International Quilt Show in Chicago, April 2010 – I watched the United Parcel tracking at the hotel and waited with bated breath the Monday after the show for its arrival. The friend who shared her machine with me – shared her husband’s skill to set it up. It is the best gift I’ve ever given myself. I’m still learning, after many years of pushing fabric through a machine it’s a dream come true to be able dance across the top of the fabric. I’ve only done a few quilts but I smile as I do each one – quilting in my PJ’s at 3 a.m. Nancy Nelson-Kremer HQ 18 Avante with HQ studio frame.

I own the following HQ machine: HQ Sixteen

Eileen Barchi

HQ Picture

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My HQ story started in June 2001. I had retired from my "job" of 31 years and I decided, on the urging of my sister, to "take up quilting". Well, that was the beginning of my new "career"!!!!
I started quilting that summer and I have not stopped...I have finished every single quilt I started (except for one!) in the last 9 years. I was quilting on my domestic sewing machine for the first 3 years. Then in 2004, my sister's 50th birthday was approaching and of course what better present for her than her own queen size pink flamingo quilt!!! I had it finished in plenty of time, it was July and her birthday was in September. I called my "quilt lady" and she said she couldn't do it until October!!! I went to my local quilt shops and I pick up a few cards from area quilters and not one could do the quilt in time. So, back to my domestic sewing Machine...lots of fun doing a "Queen"!!!
After that experience I decided I would look into a "Longarm" machine as I was tired of "Quilt Wrestling"!!! My "quilt lady" was offering a class on her Gammill, so I decided to check it out. In a two day span I actually "Quilted" about 10 minutes, but that was enough for me. One of the women who also took the class had a Handi Quilter and was very happy with it. I had been investigating the different machines and trying to decide which one would be best for me. And price was one of the considerations. I also needed a machine that I could bring back and forth to Florida, as I spend half the year there. I found the Handi Quilter in a magazine and I loved the "look" of it: clean, white and medium sized. It was love a first sight!
OK, so now I say to my husband, I want to buy a "quilting machine" and it cost about $7,000!!! Well....if you could have seen the look on his face... "What are you nuts?", he said. I, of course, said, "No, I intend to pay it off in one year quilting for other people". And I did, only it took about 13 months, not 12. More and more quilts kept coming.
My husband had been running his own business for about 20 years, with my help of course. So the natural course of events would be for me to follow in his footsteps. And "Kindred Quilting" was born!!!
I have been working on my Handi Quilter for almost 7 years now. I have literally quilted hundreds of quilts in that time frame. I feel that I have been truly blessed by being able to use my Handi QuilterR and create such beautiful quilts. Longarm quilting has become my passion and my joy!!! I wake up every day excited by the prospect of what I am quilting today!!! It is virtually the best possible "career" for me now. I can do it at home, at my convenience and on my own schedule.
Today, if I'm not running my Handi Quilter my husband says, "I don't hear "it" running"!!! You would think it was his idea to get the Handi Quilter!!! And this past Holiday Season he actually learned how to mount a quilt to the leaders and hand sew the binding for me!!! Before you know it I may have him running it himself!!!

The Handi Quilter company has been a joy to work with as well. I can't say enough about their service, (especially Greg) and the entire staff of Handiquilter have always taken that extra step! I have recommended the Handiquilter to anyone who asks...my dream is to own an HQ18 Avante one of these years!

I own the following HQ machines:

Roxan Bixler

Roxan loving her HQ

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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 4 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 HQ18 Avante is starting to call my name!! I’ll have to check it out!

I own the following HQ machines:

Sharon Sauser


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I learned to sew (and loved it) over fifty years ago on my mother’s treadle sewing machine when I joined 4-H. We made most of our own clothes. I made my first quilt in 1972, and got serious about quilting in the 1980’s. I quilted on my regular size domestic sewing machine, but longed for a long arm. I sent for information on several, but at that time they cost between $5000 and $10,000, and I couldn’t justify the expense. Besides smaller quilt tops, I quilted at least three king size tops on my domestic sewing machine. Those large ones especially were very painful for my neck and shoulders.
After I retired from my paying job, I started making even more donation quilts. My husband, Ray, and I and our two cats live on fifty-eight acres of timber and brush southwest of Eugene, Oregon, so there is always work to be done, but I like to quilt when there is time. A friend and I saw the original Handi Quilter frame at a quilt show in Roseburg, Oregon. I finally decided to buy it, and a couple of months later bought a Brother PQ1500S with Handi-Handles to use on it. I must have quilted at least seventy-five donation quilts, besides quilts for family with that combination. In December 2006 I decided to buy a HQ Sixteen – no stitch regulator or anything extra - along with the Professional Portable Frame. (I have a great local dealer.) With my HQ Sixteen I have quilted almost a hundred tops – some for myself and family and friends, but most of them have gone to the VA hospital in Roseburg, Quilts of Valor, the local women’s shelter, a few children’s charities, and other causes like a Ft. Hood shooting victim last year, and a Susan G. Kohman raffle at my Curves recently. I’ve never labeled my donation quilts, because I feel the recipient doesn’t need to know who the quilt came from, as long as he/she knows someone cares. Quilts bring comfort, and I love to make and give them.
We don’t have any extra room in our house, so my Professional Portable Frame is set up at eight feet in our small guest room. The twin guest beds are stacked to one side of the room, so if we have guests, the frame has to come down for the beds to be unstacked. It’s a challenge to quilt even a twin size, but most of the donation quilts are lap size, so that’s not often a problem, although I have sent several to a long-arm quilter the last few years.
I had a large backlog of pieced tops waiting to be quilted when I bought that original Handi Quilter frame about ten years ago, (And some of them are still waiting to be quilted!) but I could not have donated as many quilts as I have without my Handi Quilter machines and frames. I wish I had more room to set up the frame longer, but I love having my HQ Sixteen.

I own the following HQ machines:

Carolyn Behrens

Grandma often quilts for Mira.

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I have always been a sewer. I love (and need) the feel of fabric in my hands. When my children were home and when I needed a professional wardrobe, I got my fabric fix by making clothes. What to do when that need no longer existed? Quilt, of course. The pattern and fabric selection was fun; the cutting and piecing was exciting. Sewing the layers together, though, was painful. I could not master machine quilting and felt like a failure. Because I wanted to “do it myself” rather than hiring a quilter, I bought another brand table with a Janome machine. I am lucky to have the best dealer in the world and bought that brand because she sold it and I trust her. Unfortunately, I was always intimidated by my set-up and I shook more than the table did each time I tried to do a quilt. Fortunately, I was able to sell that table and machine and bought my HQ Sixteen with the HQ Quiltable. This purchase was made without a lot of research because, again, I have the best dealer in the world and I knew Kari would help me with the product and the process. It was love at first use and I continue to be happy with my purchase, 4 years later. The first year I had my machine, I did about twenty quilts—more than I had done in the previous 15 years! I am certainly not an expert, I will never take the responsibility to quilt for others, but I am pretty happy with my projects and know that I learn a little bit more with each quilt I load. Buying my Handi Quilter was a great investment for me. Love it!

I own the following HQ machines:

Judi Thelander

Me & My HandiQuilter

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I am a proud owner of a HQ Sixteen with HQ Pro-Stitcher and am enjoying every stitch of it!! My goal was to buy a longarm, so when I retire from nursing, I could pursue my goal of quilting as a business. I looked at several machines for over 3 years, and found Handi Quilter had everything I could ever want~including a computerized "Prostitcher" at a reasonable price! I have quilted several quilts in the 2 months I've had my Handi Quilter. With the HQ Pro-Stitcher, it has made custom quilting very easy, with quality stitches you would expect from a professional quilt shop!
I'm gonna LOVE retirement!!!

I own the following HQ machines:

Joanne Lendaro

Just me...

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Why I do what I do, and Why the HQ……
Ever wonder how a person got started doing what they are doing, or why someone is doing something for what may seem like an insane reason? My journey started the summer of 2007. My beautiful daughter was headed to college and I wanted to make her a quilt. I wanted a top that would fit her bed the way I wanted it to fit. Long enough to tuck in and cover the pillow, and wide enough to roll up in without being too wide. So I ended up with this quilt that was 6 ft. wide by 8 ft. long. I knew I wanted to get it finished so I decided on a simple 9 patch with alternating solid and collegiate fabric. So, off I go to the local quilt shop and drop $8.95 per yard for the Purdue fabric and about the same for the matching black and gold. I was so proud when I finally got the top finished, and couldn't wait to have it quilted. I contacted a couple of local quilters and discovered the going rate was between .025 - .035 per square inch to have the quilt finished for me. OUCH! I did not see that coming! Now, my dilemma was I have 3 more children all standing in line for their own special quilt - can you see the $$$ adding up quickly? I could, and didn't like what I was seeing! Okay, so it's time to check out buying a machine and doing it myself, great plan, right? Right, I went from "honey, it's only going to be $2,000 - $3.000" to "honey, I really love you and I found a machine for $$$$$ (I don't remember what I actually paid). So, that is where the story begins. I have a machine and I want to do my quilts and then I get the brainy idea that I can also do others to "help" out quilters who will never have a "show" quilt just a quilt that was simply made to be loved.
Recently, I quilted a top for a lovely lady and received this email from her:
Dear Joanne,
I wanted to thank you for quilting my top. I have a retina problem and deal with double vision quite a bit with detailed work. Myself, I was pleased with how the tops turned out for my first attempts. Oh, they are the flying geese and puppy dogs you are working on at present from (Name withheld) in (State also). My other daughter from Ohio joined us in Paducah, Ky this past spring for the AQS show. We rented a cabin sewing several days and doing the show along with going to Hancock's there. It was my first big immersion to quilting. Anyway, when you get to comparing the precision of others and all the programs/web sites one does not feel very accomplished. You are an answer for the desires of my heart.
Thank you for your service to others during these economic times.
God bless,
Signed, ****
Here was my reply to her:
Dear ****,
I have only been quilting for a short time myself, and you should see my first quilts!! Oh my goodness, talk about not square and mis-matched seams!! AND I thought I'd do one of those rag quilts, and ended up cutting it wrong and now it's falling apart at the seams. lol!! But you know what, I made those quilts for my kids and they don't care about the mis-matched seams and bring it to my attention to "fix" the latest hole because they love the quilts. Those quilts will never be in a show or up for any kind of "judging" besides by the ones I love and the ones who love me. I love them enough to make the quilt and they love the quilt. For me - that's enough. I don't need ribbons to tell me that my quilts are worth something; I already know they are even with all of their imperfections.
NOW--lady....I did have some "problems" (but not problems) with your flying geese. It wasn't as square as it could have been so there are folds and tucks in the quilt. BUT - I saw an amazing difference in the second quilt that you did!! It was PERFECTLY WONDERFUL! Now, I want you to keep on quilting and spending time with your girls, so the next quilt you send me I will quilt it for half price. I would like to encourage you to keep quilting for the ones you love.
I am more than happy to provide the long arm quilting for ladies like you and me, who do it for the love of the ones we love, not for the ribbons and recognition that the "perfect" quilts will bring.
Hugs to you and your wonderful girls....
hugs,
joanne
After she received her quilts here is the email that I received:
Dear Joanne,
Our quilts came today!!!!! I love the flying geese, even with its imperfections. It will really keep me humble. It will be bound and put on our bed for daily use since we have an almost three year old grandson, Jo's cat and my dog. I knew it would not quilt very well and that it was due to the materials I used. It was "just my practice one after all". My grand loves his puppy dog one.................kept rolling himself up in it and talking to the doggies. It will be bound and put up for Christmas or his birthday, since they are close together.
I have cut out a table runner with a starburst pattern in the center and friendship stars on either end of that. Will machine quilt that here myself. I have done a very primitive one with just strip pieces as practice.................and I love it!
Signed,
****
I quilt for this! I want the quilts that will be loved and cherished. There are plenty of long arm quilters out there who can provide you with works of art; I am not that person. I am doing it for the love of the quilt.
Why the HQ? During my search for a machine I tried and test-drove every model I could get my hands on. Models that could cost a person $25,000 to the ones that could be purchase for as little as $4,000 brand new with all they had to offer. The outstanding feature of the HQ was not only the beauty of the machine, or the low maintenance; it went much deeper. I found a community of owners who truly loved their machines, are excited about owning them and offer more help and support than a gal could ever hope for.
With all this going for the HQ how could I possibly look at anything else? This WAS the machine for me. I was fortunate enough to purchase a new HQ from a gal who was not able to use it. This is another long story for another day. The machine was in North Carolina and I was in Indiana. As fate would have it, they were traveling to Indiana and could deliver and set the machine up for me. It was a dream come true!
My HQ has been used for many a loving quilt and has moved twice in the last 12 months. I have called on Handi Quilter a few times since my initial investment and have been treated with the same respect as if I had just purchased my machine yesterday directly from them. The customer service team and the technicians that I have dealt with have been more than helpful in resolving any issues (all two of them) that I have had.
I know I made the right choice. I too, have become one of those HQ owners that absolutely beams when they talk about their machine. Thank you Handi Quilter for providing a superior product that has developed a great community of HQ owners!

I own the following HQ machines:

Marla Marx

Marla Marx

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Quilting has always been a family tradition. My great-grandmothers, grandmothers were and my mom is a quilter.
I started piece quilting in early 2000 and started thinking about a long-arm. In April of 2007, I attended a quilt show and was convinced I “needed” a long-arm quilting machine. In fact, I told my boyfriend I wanted to buy one. Saying he didn’t know much about quilting machines, he asked how much one would cost. I estimated about $8,000. He, of course, thought that seemed expensive and stated “you would need to use it every day to get your monies worth out of it”. I quickly reminded him that I knew someone who had just spent $40,000 on a fishing boat. It would be parked in storage from October to March. I could actually “use” a quilting machine every day!
I started saving my money. I had hoped to buy an HQ Sixteen after the first of the year, hoping my tax return would give me the extra funds I needed. But it wasn’t meant to be. The company I worked for laid off 150 people. So instead of buying a quilting machine, I used the money to make house payments and day-to-day expenditures for the six months while I was job hunting and working 4-6 part-time jobs.
Fast forward July 2010. I found a used HQ Sixteen for sale and worked it into my budget. I am continuing the family tradition! My 15-year old niece used my HQ Sixteen to quilt her wall hanging quilt for 4-H Quilt Quest. In true 4-H tradition, she quilted it the night before judging and hand sewed the binding on her way to the fair. This is the fourth year in a row her 4-H quilt will be competing at the State Fair. Three of those four years she used either a HQ Sixteen or HQ24 Fusion to complete her projects.

I own the following HQ machines:

Molly Washburn

Quilt Symposium of AL

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For many years I sewed my own clothes and made costumes for my children. I would also make the occasional patchwork quilt. I then branched out to making formals, bridals, and window treatments for profit. I was doing very well with these endeavors when I started having problems with my eyes.
For an entire year no one could figure out why my eyes hurt so much! Then my joints began to swell and ache. My sewing came to a complete stop as I battled psoriatic arthritis. In addition to being sick and in pain, I became depressed since I could no longer sew.
Eventually, medications got my arthritis under control. However, I couldn’t make clothing anymore as bending to hem, etc. was now beyond my capabilities. Draperies and window treatments were also no longer possible because of reaching to measure and mount; climbing on ladders was out of the question.
I treated myself to a new sewing machine, not really knowing exactly what I would sew with it! I tried making a small quilt but had a painful time pushing the quilt under the harp while free motion quilting. Then I started the “new machine” class that the sewing machine dealer gives to all new owners. In that class, I met Martha.
Martha works at a local quilting store and owns a HQ Sixteen with HQ Pro Stitcher. Martha told me all about her system and got me curious. I quietly began researching home quilting systems.
At that time, most of the set ups meant for home quilting looked kind of homemade - sort of put together with a child’s erector set! Call me shallow, but if I’m going to spend money on a quilting system, I’d like to be proud of how it looks!
Then I began researching warranties, customer service reputations and training options. I found that having a local dealer who could train me was a very important consideration.
Finally, I began test driving systems, often traveling many miles away, to get a feel for the different systems I was researching. The feat


ures for the price on the HQ Sixteen couldn’t be beat, and the local dealer repeatedly answered all my questions with patience. Furthermore, the machine had a very nice "fit and finish". I finally chose the HQ Sixteen.
As I waited for my machine to arrive, I became very nervous. Would I be able to quilt on it, even with my arthritis? When I was test driving the HQ Sixteen at my dealer’s, my quilting was not spectacular. Would I be able to learn to quilt nicely on the HQ Sixteen? Had I made a big mistake?
After my system arrived and my dealer trained me, I practiced every day. My arthritis was absolutely not a problem! The lighting under the handlebars really helped me overcome the problems with my eyes, and I could push the machine around WITH MY FINGERTIPS. After lots of practice, I am becoming a pretty good quilter. In fact, I have won some ribbons at local shows! I love quilting on my HQ Sixteen so much, my dealer asked me to be her “HQ Educator”!
I absolutely love my HQ Sixteen and know I will have many years of pleasure with it.

I own the following HQ machines:

Shirley Fulton

I did it Jane!

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I try to tell myself I bought my HQ Sixteen Sit-down just to keep peace in the family, but truth would say otherwise. My sister and I are five years apart in age. This proved to be, shall I say, a hindrance to our friendship when we were growing up. Then one day my sister invited me to go with her to Paducah to see a quilt show of all things! She told me that she had found where I would fit in perfectly. She was so right!
I hit quilting with a passion. With a college degree in art and a jack of all trades heart quilting suited me perfectly. (My husband met me under a hay baler, I was the mechanic setting the baler up for my father who was a dealer.) Besides it was a heck of a lot cleaner than the potter’s wheel and kiln residing in my basement. Quilting also satisfied my need to solve puzzles and figure things out. I just finished a “Jane Stickle” quilt in under two years. Now what do I do?
Back to keeping peace in the family. I have three children, the two boys are 6’6” and 6’9” tall and well over 300 lbs. each. Big boys! Even though I home schooled them through middle and high school the football coaches would follow me around when the boys were with me. My daughter married another big hunk. This means king-sized beds and king-sized quilts. Just try to free motion a king sized quilt on a home machine. I have done it, way too many times. If I was going to keep making king sized quilts for my king sized kids to keep peace in the family something was going to have to change!
Every year at Paducah my sister and I would test drive all the available long arms. First, we both decided we wanted to sit down! Next we decided we liked to move the quilt and not the machine. (We had both learned to free motion on our home machines by moving the quilt and I suppose we were just too lazy to think about learning to do it all over again by moving the machine.) This narrowed our selection a bit. Having been my daddy’s mechanic for years I knew the value of simplicity and integrity in construction. The HQ Sixteen Sit-down won out hands down in this respect. I know that the sound of the machine must be comfortable and not labored. I knew I would invest a lot of hours listening to what ever sound this machine was going to put out. Believe it or not the sound of the HQ Sixteen Sit-down was the final feature that sealed the sale. I also had at least a dozen more king size quilts in my sketch book, and then there will be the grandchildren…. Dare I dream about affording a long arm? Idea! Maybe I could own half of a long arm.
I liked the HQ Sixteen sit-down and as luck would have it so did my sister. Wow, amazing how much easier it is to get along as two sixty something year olds than it was as a 10 year old and a 15 year old. We bought our HQ Sixteen sit-down at the Paducah show. We grabbed the floor model, and after a little horse trading and bluffing stuff to try for a lower price, we loaded it up and headed home.
On the way home from Paducah my sister and I named our machine “Sonny”. She is to keep him for six months while I piece quilts and then he comes to stay with me for the next six months. I looked at my sister on the way home from Paducah and said, “Now we absolutely HAVE TO GET ALONG, we have joint custody of our “Sonny“.

I own the following HQ machines:

Sandi Best

Quilting on my HQ

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When I was just a mere 10 year old, I made my first article of
clothing; a straight skirt and have loved to sew ever since. 
When I married and had a family I made clothes for my children as well as home decor.  Every time I made something it gave me a sense of accomplishment.
Even though I sewed and made clothes and home decor, I had never made a quilt.  In 2007 my daughter-in-law was making a quilt for her grandson (my great grandson) she laid her quilt blocks out and asked for my advice and low and behold I knew I wanted to make quilts too.  I have been an addicted quilter since that day.
I joined the local Quilter’s Guild and have taken numerous classes and attended a number of shows.  I subscribe to many quilter magazines and I watch online videos, take classes and read all the information I can find on quilting. I am always striving to learn anything pertaining to quilting. 
After struggling with trying to push and pull my quilts on a sewing machine I began to think about a longarm machine.  And think I did, as well as attend quilt shows and shops that were dealers for different makes of longarm machines in order to get a feel for what was out there and what I wanted.  As well as checking all I could find on the internet pertaining to longarm machines.  And giving little subtle hints to my husband that I would like to have a longarm.
Finally in 2009 after all our research, and my husband getting the hints, our decision to purchase the HQ Sixteen was made and my husband encouraged me to purchase the HQ Pro-Stitcher, we bought the package and we have never regretted that decision.
 We purchased the HQ because of the clean look, ease of operation, low maintenance, HQ ‘s reputation and because the price was reasonable compared to other machines. I didn’t know anyone that owned an HQ, but I read nothing but positive remarks on the HQ forums and blogs.
Since purchasing my machine in May 2009, I have quilted forty- five quilts, 
numerous quilts for Project Linus, Hospice and Quilts of Valor along with
several customer quilts.  I don’t like it when I don’t have a quilt loaded on my HQ , I have to have something loaded to quilt or I get withdrawals, can you tell I love my HQ.   I enjoy piecing tops together, but the greatest joy is when I quilt them.  You can piece tops but not until it’s quilted does the top really come together, it’s the quilting makes the quilt!
I really enjoy showing off my HQ and all the wonderful things it can do when friends and family come to visit.
My HQ makes it so easy to turn out beautiful quilts in a short amount of time.  Needless to say, what a good feeling I have when doing quilts for those in need, another feeling of accomplishment.  Without my HQ I would never have been able to finish forty- five quilts in such a short amount of time .
I am currently working on my first quilt to enter in the local quilt show. Hopefully, my quilts will leave a legacy when I am gone. My husband has enjoyed watching me quilt on my HQ so much, he has
done numerous videos and put them out on YouTube; sandenbest.
I am retired, married and have six boys, six grandchildren and two great grandchildren. I own the HQ Sixteen with the HQPro-Stitcher and love them both.

I own the following HQ machines:

Amanda Laughlin

Me and my HQ

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I grew up with a mother who quilted by hand, and I always thought Oh! that's not for me, that looks like to much work for me.A few years later she passed away, and I inherited all her unfinished quilts, fabrics, sewing machines and everything else that goes along with quilting. Whats a girl to do? So I started looking into this world of quilting. I meet a friend and she got to talking about longarm quilting And this is after she show me what to do with Fat Quarter, and how to build a stash, oh no girl gone wild. So what do you think happened when we got to looking at longarms? We took a class with Linda Taylor and I fell in love with this world of longarm quilting. But I needed a machine that I could afford, and small enough where I wouldn't need to build a house to be able to use it. Sure enough we found a HQ Sixteen dealer. And it was her lucky day my friend and I both bought one that day. And sense then I have upgraded and bought rules and now I'm on to the HQ Pro-Stitcher. And running a business, with lots of clients, and quilts of my own. Oh! by the way I did finish my moms quilts but not by hand, are you crazy, but by my HQ Sixteen What a wonderful world I step into.

I own the following HQ machines:

Peg Spradlin

My grandsons and me

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I learned to machine quilt on a domestic sewing machine and took pride in becoming skilled enough to maneuver a queen sized quilt through the machine, and to earn best machine quilting awards. I like the way a domestic machine works in that I control the quilting by moving the quilt, not the machine. Add to that the fact that my house just isn't large enough to accommodate a long arm, and you see why I never entertained the thought of buying one.
But, the older I got, the more punishing it was to my back, neck, and shoulders to push the bulk of a large quilt through that tiny domestic throat, and I wished for a machine that would give me the room of a long arm, still allow me to control the movement of the quilt, and not take up half my house. One day I was thumbing thru a quilting magazine and saw an ad for an HQ Sixteen sit-down model. My heart started racing as I read the specifications, because it looked like this was the machine I'd been wishing for.
Quiltmaker magazine was using the HQ Sixteen sit-down models for their Project LInus day at their offices that year, and I knew my sister would be there. I called her up, told her to try the machine and if she liked the way it worked, to put my name on one of the demo models. That's how I bought my HQ Sixteen, sight unseen and within a week of reading the ad.
I've been using the quilter for 2 years and I love it. It's my workhorse machine, The quilts glide easily over the table top, the foot hopping action powers over the bulkiest seam, and the large throat means I don't suffer when I quilt. I'm able to put a quilt through the machine 2 to 3 times quicker than using my domestic, and it fits my small sewing room.
Thank you so much for putting this product on the market. It's just what the doctor ordered!

I own the following HQ machines:

Kelle Hasenberg

Me and my new HQ Studio Frame boxes. The bed is out the the new machine is in.

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My HQ Story has me sleeping in the office, and I couldn’t be more excited! I bought my first sewing machine about 6 years ago, took some quilting classes and was hooked. Living in a townhome, I don’t have a lot of space or good lighting, so I set up my sewing space in the biggest room with the best natural lighting, the master bedroom.
I used a folding table for sewing on for about a year and decided it was time to get a stable sewing cabinet. So, a sewing machine cabinet was moved into the bedroom. As I gradually built up my fabric stash, I found myself running out of storage. I started squeezing fabric into dresser drawers. Before I knew it, my underwear and socks were out and fat quarters filled all four drawers. Next, in came a bookshelf which was quickly filled with acquired quilting patterns and books.
As my projects grew in size and quantity, my lower back would get sore while using a standard ironing board. I found a counter-top height workbench pattern, and built a new cutting table and ironing table. The tables were then moved into the bedroom, and wall lighting was installed above them. Shortly thereafter, I created a design wall to hang by my closet door. My pile of quilt tops grew, and I took some long-arm quilting classes at my local quilt shop. I did some quilting on the long-arm machine which they rented out, and indeed started thinking about owning one myself. It was becoming clear that the bed would have to go. After trying out the new HQ18 Avante at a quilt show in the spring of 2010, I returned home and searched for a local dealer. By mid-summer my machine was ordered.
Knowing that the machine was due to arrive in August, like an expectant mother, I started preparing the space for my new “baby”. It would only fit in one room. It was time to move the bed out, and into the office. Next, I painted the walls a fresh, lively color, and had the carpet shampooed. The HQ Studio Frame arrived on August 13 in three boxes, and my dealer will be coming at the end of the week to set up the frame and the head. So, here I sit in my office/bedroom typing my story. I gaze down the hallway to my new master “sewing room,” and think of the three big boxes in it, like a child waiting to open her presents. Just one more day...and my quilting adventures begin. Tonight, I will sleep lightly...in the office.

I own the following HQ machines:

Gail Berry-Graham

An alone moment with my HQ

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Motorcycles, Hot Tubs and an HQ18 Avante We were good parents, the best we could be, not perfect but good. Once the last one had moved out and in was settled nicely into their last year of post secondary education I fulfilled a life long dream and bought a small motorcycle. It took me back to my university days when I first got my motorcycle license. After owning the bike for a couple of days I took my husband for a ride and found out that was his first time ever on a motorcycle. He grew to love the bike too, took a motorcycle riding safety course, got his license and now I have to book an appointment to ride the bike.
A couple of years later we downsized our property and put in a hot tub. This was an indulgence, my husband didn’t think he would really get near ‘the thing’ but willing did all the work to get it installed in our backyard for me. Besides riding the motorcycle, he rides a bicycle long distances--he now enjoys nothing more than coming back from a long ride and getting in the hot tub. He uses the hot tub way more often than I do.?
Last year, after years of research and test driving I bought an HQ18 Avante machine and with the encouragement of my husband the Pro Stitcher to go along with it. The machine came and was all set up. Practice fabric and batting were placed upon it and I played around a bit but it was the Christmas season now so being a mother, an employee and the wife of a preacher I was pretty busy. Two days before Christmas my husband was diagnosed with cancer. We kept it a secret over the holidays and went through them in a bit of shock.
January came and we told our family, friends and church the news. There were countless Doctor appointments and tests followed by weeks and months of treatments with more Doctors and more tests. With my full time job and all the added caregiving responsibilities I barely had time to breath leave alone create masterpieces with my Avante. But I didn’t despair, his prognosis was good and when he was better I would have all the time I needed to dance the dance of the long armer.
My husband started playing with the machine during his recovery. It was great therapy and I loved to see him doing something that made him smile and feel good. I wasn’t worried though--quilting would never become a thing for this husband of mine. Between his job and his sports and his motorcycle riding he didn’t have any spare time left.
Now, all these months later I can’t get near ‘my’ machine. He always has a quilt on the go. When I ran out of quilt tops for him to work on I thought that would be it. Not true, he just charms other women into letting him quilt their tops.
I have noticed a theme here, if I have it and it has a motor it slowly get’s taken over by my husband. I am now looking at the spare room I believe there is room for an HQ Sixteen sit down model, surely he won’t be interested in that too?

I own the following HQ machines:

Doris Everett


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This is our mother's Handi Quilter story, that has turned into "our" Handi Quilter story! We are now a team. Let us explain. Our mother is 88 years old and has been quilting since she was a young mother of six children. All of her quilts were hand pieced and hand quilted.
She has made many beautiful quilts over the years. She has given them away to her 6 children, 13 grandchildren, and 23 great grandchildren. She has also sold many custom quilts to repeat customers.
About 25 years ago, Mama, and our Daddy's cousin, who was a little bit older than Mama, teamed up. Mama pieced the quilts and "Aunt" Nita quilted them by hand. This was the only way they could keep up with their orders. They made some of the most outstanding quilts we have ever seen. Gradually they both got to the point that they could not do it all by hand anymore, so for many years they were unable to piece and quilt together. "Aunt" Nita is gone now: but we wish she had been able to see Mama's new machine!
Mama has pieced,quilted and given seven of her grandchildren their quilts. She had five more pieced, but not quilted. She had them stored in her sewing room. It was her desire to get these quilts finished and given to each grandchild before she went to be with Daddy in heaven. She had previously given each great grandchild a baby quilt when they were born.
She has admired quilting machines in all her quilt magazines for years. One daughter, Lynn, had taken her across the panhandle of Florida to a quilt shop to see one years ago. She liked it: but couldn't make up her mind to spend that much money. Over the years, another daughter, Libby, took her to look at some more machines. She was still hesitant to spend the money. At that point, Daddy's health began to fail rapidly and she spent all her time taking care of him. She had previously cared for Daddy's mother for many years, as well as her sister before she had to be placed in a nursing home. Mama had always put everyone else first and put her own desires on the back burner.
She made many lap quilts by hand, and donated them to the nursing home where my aunt was a resident. She enjoyed seeing them enjoy the beauty of them, as well as being useful. She also donated small lap blankets, and table placemats to her church for sale at the annual Country Store.
Daddy passed away in May of 2009. It was a hard time for our family. Mama found solace in her quilting again. Her fingers are bent with arthritis and age making quilting difficult to do for more than a short time. She began to think about getting a quilting machine. She asked us to check them out for her. We went online and looked up all the dealers within 100 miles of our town. This included all makes and models. Then we girls visited some stores/shops. The first one we visited had the HQ18 Avante with HQ Studio Frame, but they were unable to demonstrate it that day, so we went back to the list of dealers in our area. It was then that one daughter, Libby, contacted Suzanne's Quilt Shop in Moultrie, GA. She explained how the machines were set up in her shop and that we could call and schedule an appointment to come in for a demonstration. Mama wanted us to make that appointment so off we went, Mama, Libby, and another daughter, Ann to Suzanne's shop in Moultrie, GA. We were addicted before we left that day. Our mother wanted to think about it: but it only took her a few days to decide that she not only wanted the HQ18 Avante with HQ Studio Frame, but the HQ Pro-Stitcher to go with it! The folks at "Suzanne's" were so professional, friendly, and helpful it made a great impression on us all.
None of us girls WERE quilters. We all sew and are creative, but we had never really gotten into quilting, not the way Mama had hoped that we would.
We called Suzanne and placed the order. Within a week it was delivered. We then scheduled a time for them to come, set up the machine, and get us started. We were on our way to becoming quilters and fulfilling Mama's wish. I think she kenw that if she bought this machine we would all turn into quilters! Suzanne came back to Mama's house to set up the machine, as well as a couple more times and gave us private lessons on the machine. All four of us couldn't be there every time, so that is why we are a team, it takes all of us working together to achieve the results we want. We have a notepad hanging on the wall that we communicate with. When one of us is at Mama's we always end up quilting. Then we leave a note to let the next one know where to take over. We also have a spreadsheet that we each note bobbin changes, oiling the bobbin, needle changes, etc.
Mama is very pleased with her machine. We have only 2 more grandchildren quilts to go then she will have given every grandchild their quilt. As we finish them, she immediately gives it away. Mama has learned a lot about this machine and the HQ Pro-Stitcher. She can quilt on it now, but it was a lot for her to learn at 88 years old, since she
has never used a computer. She knows a lot more about this machine than she thinks she does. She has watched her girls so much that she knows every step we take.
This machine not only makes beautiful quilts, but is has made Mama and her daughters much closer, even her nine year old great granddaughter, made a doll quilt last week. Mama has gotten her wish. Her "girls" are now quilters!
Mama owns the HQ18 Avante with HQ Pro-Stitcher.

I own the following HQ machines:

Lynn Wilder

Lynn and Arthur surrounded by our creations.

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Learning to Dance
“Learn to dance with your machine,” were the words that someone told me when I first got my HQ Sixteen. I took this poetic expression to heart and have been “dancing” with Arthur, as in Murray, for the past four years…..and this is my story.
I first met Arthur when I attended the Beginning HQ retreat in September 2006. I was the only quilter in a class of 15 that did not own a Handi Quilter machine. My feelings of intimidation diminished quickly when I was so warmly greeted by the HQ staff at the introductory dinner and at the first morning of instruction. I enrolled in the class to answer two questions. First, would I enjoy quilting on a long-arm machine? Second, would I be able to learn the technique and become a competent machine quilter? By the end of the second day of training, I felt that my questions had been answered and I became the proud owner of Arthur, an HQ Sixteen.
Arthur arrived at my home shortly after my return from Salt Lake City. I compare Arthur’s arrival at my home to the birth of a baby. All my “quilty” friends came over to hold him, touch him, and listen to him. They also danced with him. We quickly fell into step and our dance lessons began in earnest. The University of HQ gave me the confidence and all of the tools, both mental and physical, that I needed to begin the quilting journey that changed my life. I had samples that I completed in class, pages full of my personal notes, and a nicely prepared HQ binder that I still use as a reference.

Arthur and I practiced and quilted many quilts together for about eight months, and then I enrolled in the Intermediate class in May 2007. Upon my arrival at the retreat, I genuinely felt part of the HQ family with the friendly reception I again received from the staff. I was sad to leave after completion of the course, yet anxious to apply all the knowledge I’d gained and immediately started quilting for my friends when I returned home.
I retired from my position as a Geographic Information Systems Analyst at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in March 2008 and began working in a quilt shop, In Between Stitches, one day a week in my hometown of Livermore, California. I found myself consulting with customers on how to quilt their quilts. I also started a quilting blog. I started designing my own quilts in 2009 under the name of Sew’n Wild Oaks. The ability to machine quilt my own quilts has enhanced my own design style. I felt free. Free of the long waiting list to have my quilts quilted by others. Free to quilt whatever my heart desired. Free to show creativity and spontaneity. Free to say that the quilt was all mine from beginning to end.
Arthur and I are a great team. He always lets me lead the dance. He never steps on my toes and my dance card is always full. Together we strive for the perfect “10”. LET'S GET READY TO RUMBA!! Thank you Handi Quilter.

I own the following HQ machines:

Tina Collier

My nephew Justin and myself with a memory quilt for him to take to his home in Germany

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Hi my name is Tina Collier and I am a passionate, dedicated, and creative quilter from Philadelphia, PA. My story starts in 2006, at age 55, when I was faced with a life altering decision after some serious spinal surgery, cervical fusion. With a great deal of physical rehabilitation in my future, I choose to retire and quickly found boredom. I needed to do something new with my life. While purchasing my vacuum cleaner bags I was given some good advice by a friend, Judy, who worked there at the store. She suggested I go down the road a few blocks and register for some quilting classes. I left the store with some new vacuum bags and a sewing machine Judy suggested I buy from her that very night.
The next day I went to our local quilt shop and started this new crafting journey. It was like starting school all over again, but I was eager to learn. This class was wonderful and fun with terrific teachers and ladies of all ages gathering and making beautiful quilts. The hardest aspect of quilting was quilting on a conventional machine. With a plate in my neck and permanent nerve damage in my arms the actual quilting part was troublesome. I could not do all the pinning and stretching of fabric. So I happily pieced my quilt tops and sent some of my larger quilts out to be quilted. However, there was always this desire I had to complete the entire quilt making process from beginning to end.
Then it happened. I went to Harrisburg, PA to attend a quilt show and my curiosity got the best of me. What if I owned a long arm? I tried every machine but I kept going back to this Handi Quilter stand. I got the measurements of the portable table and the HQ Sixteen and went home. I continued to dream about it for a year. At every quilt show I would return to the Handi Quilter Display. I went online and read the many testimonials. Finally the following year, upon returning home from that same quilt show in Harrisburg, my dear husband Andrew asked about my experience at the show. I told him about my find, “If I could have anything in the world I would love to get the HQ Sixteen and that portable table. “ I also told him the plus side for him would be that he would not have to help me stretch out the quilt and close all those pins anymore. I showed him the brochures and the pictures. He had seen how passionate I was about this machine and he purchased the HQ Sixteen the following Monday for me. My life has never been the same.
At first I was intimated by its size but quickly moved past that after just one lesson. I found every aspect of my HQ user friendly and if I had any questions the HQ Support Group was there to help. I purchased HQ videos, books, and rulers. I practiced more every day and sometimes throughout the night. Simply put, I was and continue to be addicted to this magnificent machine.
“Darwin”, my HQ, has opened many doors for me. Now almost 4 years after starting on this new venture, I am still feeling those same butterflies after a quilt is completed. I now do pantographs and some custom work. I quilt for charity, profit but mostly for fun. Will I ever upgrade, perhaps. I do know that whatever I decide it will be purchased from Handi Quilter as I am eternally grateful for the immense amounts of joy and creative possibilities your company has afforded me. Now, thanks to Handi Quilter I can honestly say that my retirement is truly “golden”.
I own the following machine: HQSixteen
More of my work can be found at website
http://www.justsewperfect.com

I own the following HQ machines:

Rose Allen

Quilting at my HQ 16 Sit Down Machine in my former dining room

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My HQ Story.
I didn’t go to that quilting show in Duluth, MN - June 2009 with the intention of buying my HQ Sixteen Sit-Down machine. But, it came home with me!
Here’s how it happened.
I was on the Minnesota Quilters show committee that year, working on the Special Exhibits. We had brought in some glorious collections including the Alzheimer’s Exhibit. So, I was busy hanging quilts for about three days. On the way to our exhibit space, the Handi Quilter people were setting up their machines. I noticed in the front corner of the booth a funky looking machine – it appeared to be the long arm version of the HQ Sixteen - but it was mounted on a table. Clever, I thought.
Now, you need to know, I had been increasingly frustrated with the whole notion of machine quilting. I have a wonderful 12 year old domestic machine that does everything I need and no more – simple, reliable and small! I was resigned to probably spending the rest of my quilting life piecing quilt tops and them putting them in the closet because I was overwhelmed by the idea of quilting them on my own and reluctant to give them over to someone with a long arm for quilting, because I really wanted to claim I had completely created these quilts. The tops were piling up. Not an emergency, but I could see it coming…
So, I tried the HQ Sixteen Sit-Down machine. This was a humbling experience because at that point in my quilting career my machine quilting was mostly stitch in the ditch with a walking foot. So, you can imagine the ugly stitches I produced. But, within those ugly stitches I felt hope. I could see my stitching and I had room to move my fabric. At that moment it occurred to me that I could master this free motion quilting process with some instruction and lots of practice.
Well, now for the big decision. Of course, I sent all my quilting friends over to try the machine. They saw the possibilities, but encouraged me to consider the new Bernina in the booth across the way. I went to look at it – and began hyperventilating! I would have to learn so much and the cost!! It was double the price of the very simple HQ Sixteen Sit-Down machine and most of the features I would never use. So, back I came and bought the floor model at a good price. The staff kindly helped me load it in the back seat of my car (along with a lot of other stuff I had purchased) and it came home with me.
So, where to put it. I had been quilting in a pretty small space in our pretty small house. But, I got to thinking…who needs a dining room in this day and age? We rarely used that space for eating. So, I set up my new machine along with all my other quilting gear in the dining room – smack dab in the center of the house. And I love it! I have been practicing my free motion quilting and believe it or not, I am getting better and better. Having this machine has unleashed my creativity and I am having the time of my quilting life!
I’m Rose Allen in St. Paul, MN and I quilt on an HQ Sixteen Sit-Down Machine.

I own the following HQ machines:

Bridgette Rezba

My family and me

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My HQ story didn’t even start out with an HQ in mind. I didn’t know what I was looking for! My biggest influence in quilting is my mom. Like many other quilters, my mom has been a quilter most of her life. As a kid, I never wanted anything to do with quilting or sewing. It never interested me a bit. It wasn’t until I was married and my husband was working the midnight shift at the factory in town that I was ready for a hobby. The person I called was Mom. She let me raid her stash and I began to piece together my quilt tops. My mom has tubs and tubs of quilt tops in her storage room (yes it is a room!) and I knew that I didn’t want that. I wanted complete quilts. After many years of marriage, we now have a new lawn mower, a truck, a trailer, any tool imaginable, and it was time for me to get a “toy”. I decided I wanted a long arm quilting machine. My husband, Josh, started to understand I really wanted this and he gave me the support and courage to start my search. I tried different machines out at every quilt show. It seemed like an endless search because every machine I used bounced too much, was too noisy, or something didn’t quite feel right. I felt like Goldilocks but with longarm machines! My defining moment was at the Chicago quilt show that my mom “made” me go to. We were on a charter bus and I was the only lady under the age of 35! I apparently have an old soul?! Anyway, I once again was Goldilocks. But I found a machine that I decided was going to settle with – cheap enough but I didn’t love it. I told my mom that I wanted to finish walking around and we would go back and get it. As soon as those words were out of my mouth, I see the Mecca of quilting machines…the Handi Quilter Booth. I went into the booth firing questions at the salesman like crazy. I didn’t know he was the president of the COMPANY! Apparently, he is very good at his job for a reason because I purchased a HQ Sixteen from the show that day! I had finally found the machine that was JUST RIGHT!!! I have had my machine for about 4 months and mom is starting to bring out tubs from her room to get them quilted. I think that she is happy I bought this machine too!

I own the following HQ machine: HQ Sixteen

Debi Pickens

Working on my 3rd quilt.

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My HQ Sixteen Sit-down is amazing. I have quilted for more than 20 years on a domestic machine and limited myself to small quilts because of shoulder pain. I recently retired from teaching and wanted to be able to quilt larger quilts without pain. I began shopping for a mid to long arm machine a year before finding the HQ Sixteen. I knew what I didn't want but had trouble finding what I did want. I discovered someone in my small art quilt group had purchased an HQ Sixteen Sit-down model and loved it. I went to her home and tried her machine and knew in 15 minutes that this was the machine for me.
The reasons this machine fit my needs are simply no pain, price, ease of use, speed, size and American manufacture.
The first quilt completed on the HQ Sixteen Sit-down was amazing. I had spent 2 days quilting the 1st half then my new machine came and I finished it in 2 hours. And loved it! No more shoulder pain!!

I own the following HQ machines:

Barbara Brightup

Cat, Pam, Barbara, Karen & Natalie

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Sharing a hobby, sharing a dream, sharing a space…Our story Barbara Brightup (mom), Karen Smith (daughter), Pam Quimby (daughter) I taught my girls, Karen and Pam, to sew as young girls, but I didn’t start quilting until sometime in the late 1990’s. Pam started slowly using a pre-cut Block-of-the-Month kit from a local fabric store. But just like with most of her endeavors, she began immersing herself—or to be truthful, jumping in the deep end with both feet—without testing the temperature of the water first!! Soon, she was evangelizing her new hobby to her sister (Karen). They found a cute little quilt shop in the area and started attending a monthly quilt club. Within a few months, they’d captured my interest and I joined them at the enrollment for the next year’s club. Just like most serious quilters do, we each started gathering quite an impressive “stash” and continued to add to it as we trekked to the local annual Sewing and Craft festivals and “Road to California”. We churned out projects, becoming more skilled with each one, and kept our local long-arm quilter gainfully employed. At one of the craft festivals, we stumbled across a Handi Quilter booth. The gal operating the machine was effortlessly creating palm trees, a sandy beach, and beautiful flowers (all freehand of course) and we were entranced. We all tried our hand at it, resulting in oblong circles, squiggly attempts at signing our names, and not-so-impressive stipples. But…that experience initiated a dream that kept us chattering for days after the show. Within a few weeks, we’d decided to equally share the purchase of the HQ Sixteen and placed our order with the dealer we’d encountered at the craft show. We all lived within about 5 or 6 miles of each other so it was easy to work out the details of sharing the machine. Pam had a spare room at her house (lucky her!) so she got the privilege of being the custodian of the HQ Sixteen. At the same time that the gals were becoming quilters, the family (Mom, Dad, Karen and her husband Rich plus two kids, Pam and her husband Bruce plus two kids—yes, 10 of us) had a yearly ritual of migrating to the mountains for a week each year around the Christmas/New Year’s holidays to have “family time”. We rented the same cabin each year and crammed the 10 of us into about 1300 square feet. We were cozy, but oh what fun we had! The girls would bring our sewing machines, the guys would bring laptops, and the kids would bring board games and books. We’d spend the entire time in very close confines, but having a ball. And then one day someone asked the question…”Wouldn’t it be really fun to all live together on the same property? We could have three houses, all very near each other…” and the dialog continued long after we left the mountains. Although it was a fun thing to think about, we didn’t ever really pursue it with gusto until… In January of 2007, the trip to the cabin held some surprises for us. It was during this trip that we suspected that I might have a health issue that needed serious attention. Within a couple weeks, we found out that I had uterine cancer and required surgery. Thanks to our powerful and loving Lord, my surgery was successful and I remain cancer-free today. However, during this period of time—along with the realization that we were retiring soon—it became obvious to us all that if our dreams of sharing a space were to ever become a reality, we needed to act sooner rather than later. A few internet searches and work with a realtor netted a beautiful piece of property equidistant from each of us. It already had two homes on the property and had the possibility of adding on to one of the homes to allow for space for us all. In March of 2007, we purchased the property and began the next phase of the journey. We contracted with an architect and builder. Construction was due to start in the fall and would take about 6 months or so. Our plan was to add onto the bigger home, increasing its square footage to provide for another master bedroom, rooms for the kids, and A SEWING ROOM (!!!!!) that would be big enough to house the HQ Sixteen and all of our sewing gear. We had some very specific requirements for the sewing room, and at times it seemed like we were building the entire rest of the project around the HQ Sixteen! During this period of transition, the HQ Sixteen was setup in the garage of the big house. We hung a few florescent shop lights over the table and continued to quilt like crazy! We really appreciated our ability to level the HQ Adjustable Table! Also during this time, we upgraded our machine with the HQ Pro-Stitcher. Our dealer got to the house for the installation and didn’t bat an eyelash when we told her what we were doing, where the HQ Sixteen was, and that we’d be moving the whole setup in a couple months after construction was completed. Once again, we appreciated the somewhat “portable” nature of the HQ Sixteen setup that allowed us to continue quilting in the middle of all of the chaos around us! To make a very long story much shorter, we started building in November 2007 and moved into the new and renovated space on Memorial Day of 2008. Now there are two master bedrooms, a bedroom for each of the kids, a shared living room, kitchen, and game room, and a wonderfully spacious, well-lit sewing room that houses the HQ Sixteen! (We call the sewing room “The Happy Place”!!!) Sometimes I feel like our family has embarked on some sort of sociological case study, but I simply can’t express the joy that our shared living arrangements bring to the family. We eat dinner together most evenings (all 10 of us around a large square table in the kitchen). Each family member has their well-defined responsibilities within the family unit—it takes all of us working together to successfully handle the upkeep of the property and the management of the family’s shared financial investment. The decision to share this wonderful place we call “OK West” has impacted three generations of my family and I have no doubt that it will positively impact generations to come. So…it started with sharing a hobby and now we’re truly sharing a space. Our HQ Sixteen (and quilting in general) has been instrumental in forging an incredible bond between Pam, Karen and me. Additionally, Karen and Pam have each taught their daughters to quilt and both girls have spent time on the HQ Sixteen. Karen’s daughter has even won awards for her work as a “junior” quilter! Thanks Handi-Quilter for the impact you’ve had on my family!! Our setup: •HQ Sixteen with stitch regulator •HQ Pro-Stitcher •HQ Adjustable Table set to maximum width Barbara, Karen, and Pam volunteer as long-arm-quilters for the local chapter of the “Quilts of Valor” organization and have completed 27 quilts for QOV. Karen is a 3rd grade teacher and has incorporated quilting into her classroom curriculum: •The children each complete a small lap quilt as they read the story “The Keeping Quilt”. She’s done this for several years and it has become an event that incoming students and parents look forward to each year. •In spring of 2010, her students sewed and Karen quilted a quilt that was presented to a classmate’s father who was deployed to Afghanistan.

I own the following HQ machine: HQ Sixteen

Cami Brzycki


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OH MY GOSH! There it was. Just as we are making the rounds at the guild quilt show, there was the HQ Sixteen Sit-down machine. Did I want to try it? You bet I did. I had seen this type of machine in the magazines, but never in person. I knew I could never get a full blown stand up quilting machine- I didn’t have the room, BUT this one with a 36 inch table, OH YES this could work.
I sat down to try it, as my friends continued to move around the corner, but quickly stopped. The demonstrator showed me how to go about moving the “little” piece of material around. OK, that ‘s fine, but how about a larger quilt. I had just finished a baby quilt on my sewing machine and tugging and pushing the quilt in and out of the small space made me want something like this all the more.
THIS was great, even if it was just a small quilt sample to try out on the machine. I had space on both sides of the machine and the 16” depth was great for being able to really move a quilt around easy. BUT wait, I can’t just jump into this. Although I am not a patient person, I needed to think this out.
Two trips to HQ dealers and now the big expo was coming up. Had to go and try ALL the machines to make sure this was the right one. After trying all the other sit down machines, I knew this HQ was the one I had to get. I really like the idea that the machine goes deep and not sideways.
Days later, after measuring the space in the computer room, moving out the day bed, rearranging my husband’s “cave” and ordering another small computer side table, I did it. I ordered it and when it arrived, it was up in a flash.
A couple reviews of the video and I was almost ready to try it out. I finally got the nerve to do it and after much practice on small pieces, I did my first baby quilt on it. It turned out great! I bought the rulers that were recommended by other users of long arms and I am working at becoming proficient in all the various patterns.
I never had any problems with the set up, tensions, bobbin machine or anything and look forward to a long lasting relationship with this sit down system – until I can find the room for the full long arm.

I own the following HQ machines:

Colleen McKay

Born to Quilt!!

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My HQ Story

My love for quilting began with my friend wanting me to take an introductory course in machine quilting. I do several crafts, but had never been much interested in machine quilting. Well it opened up a whole new realm of creativity. While looking at a quilting book l saw a photo of an HQ Sixteen. I thought, that this looked interesting and something that l would like. So l started researching who might carry this machine that was close by and l found a dealer an hour away.
I gave them a call and asked if they had one set up for me to see and they were more than helpful. So off l jumped in my car with map quest in hand for directions. It was love at first sight. They put out some pantographs for me and let me play. It was smooth and since l can only draw stick people, l was amazed that l was making swirls and curls with no effort at all. I thanked them for their time and went home. I then got on the Handi Quilter website and went through each area with a fine tooth comb. I sent away for their free dvd on the HQ Sixteen and when it arrived l watched it over and over again.
I knew that l would not be able to afford the HQ Sixteen with stitch regulator so l purchased the Simply 16. I had made several quilts on my baby and love the smoothness of it.
Recently , July 2010 l upgraded to the stitch regulator. I did the upgrade myself and it was simple to do. That is one reason l purchased the HQ is because it gave you the option to upgrade at a later date without purchasing a whole new machine.
Words cannot express how much l enjoy my HQ Sixteen. I spend a great deal of time practicing my techniques and want to get them down perfectly before l quilt. I am always in disbelief that l did this when l take it off and look at it.
I am hoping to spend more time quilting in then future than working!!
Colleen McKay
Burlington Ontario
Canada

I own the following HQ machines:

Krystyna Swirydczuk

Six months after delivery of the longarm

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Retiring from corporate life - what should I do? Sew? Crochet? Knit? I knew it had to be crafty. My ten-year old embroidery machine had seen better days, fixing the children's clothes, embroidering monograms on gifts, making the obligatory T-shirt quilt for high school graduation, and off course over a hundred Project Linus blankets (well how else was I going to figure out all the features on this high end machine?). My husband encouraged me to upgrade but when I looked around I fell in love with the computerized longarm! Delivery March 2009. I took advantage of our local Project Linus and offered to quilt all their unfinished tops. I started making more quilt tops to feed the wonderful beast. Over two hundred quilts later I felt I could call myself a quilter. I entered my first trapunto in a local quilt show - Judge's choice. My family now puts custom orders in for quilts for themselves and their friends. And they are fitted in between all the charity quilt work for which I originally bought that wonderful HQ Sixteen.

I own the following HQ machines:

Debbie Westerman


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I have been a seamstress for many years. I started sewing at an early age with my much loved Grandmother. She was always making garments. With her teaching, and my Dad's (believe you can do anything inspiration) I began creating my own clothing. With time, I began sewing for other people, everything from wedding parties to men's clothing. As the years passed, and I married a builder, I began decorating our homes. I made custom window treatments and all of the bedding to match. At that time, I was unsatisfied with a long arm sewing machine that I could do basic quilting. I knew there had to be a better way.
I discovered the HQ Sixteen purely by accident while shopping for supplies in Florida. As I browsed the store, I saw the HQ Sixteen setup with fabric and bright colored thread. The store was busy, so I didn't inquire what this machine could do, but it intrigued me. So much so, that after thinking about it all evening, I went in the next day to discover what it was for. I was amazed at what I learned. To think that I no longer had to spread my fabric out on the floor, place the batting and backing together and painstakingly pin it was too exciting for words. No longer would I have to pull fabric through a much too small opening and wrestle with simple quilting.
After my demonstration that day, I was hooked. I purchased it the same day, and counted the days until it arrived. Now that was an experience, putting the frame together and getting ready to make my stitch. To make a long story shorter, I completed the bedspreads and was tickled pink with my new toy, the HQ Sixteen.
I worked with a number of pantographs, used the groovy boards and couldn't have been happier. I couldn't bear for the HQ Sixteen to set idle (you only need so many bedspreads) so I began making quilt tops so that i would have projects for my HQ Sixteen. Since then I have added the HQ Pro Stitcher and use it everyday. I have made many many quilts now, and use the HQ Sixteen on a daily basis. I can't wait to get a quilt off of the rack so that I can create another quilted masterpiece. It is therapeutic for me and I love using it.
Because of my quilts, my six year old granddaughter has quite an interest in sewing. She has made a couple of doll quilts, and believes the sky is the limit. With a little more practice, she will be yet another happy HQ quilter.

I own the following HQ machines:

Melinda DeGroot

My professional picture

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My mom, who lives in Georgia, has been a quilter for the past 30 years and had a heart attack on Mother's Day of this year. I flew there from my home near Houston that evening. After 10 days of looking through every quilt magazine I could get my hands on and literally drooling over the long arm ads I decided that I would save my money and purchase one. I didn't know which one I wanted and never mind the fact that I am a Realtor and in one of the worst markets EVER!
As soon as they released Mom, we hit just about every quilt shop in northern Georgia, North Carolina and Tennessee for fabric, patterns etc. In just about every shop we went in there was a Handi Quilter. Coincidence or were they that good? At first I would just stand there and stare with my mind going 90 miles per hour until I would finally gain control of myself. Eventually, I just started ignoring them. No sense in making myself miserable with a bad case of the "wants". No matter which quilt shop we went to...there one sat...in all of its gleaming white glory. I guess Mom got sick of me always talking about wanting a long arm and told me that she was gonna buy me one. Nope. If I was going to get one, I would buy it myself. She would just look at me and say " Yeah, right". Well, I was coming to the end of my 6 week stay ( for someone who had just had a heart attack, she was wearing me out! ) and we had one more quilt shop on our list to visit. We were oohhing and aahhing over the fabrics and when we turned the corner...you guessed it. There sat an HQ18 Avante with HQ Pro-Stitcher on the Studio table. I just kept walking and Mom grabbed Laurel the shop owner and asked her to show us how it worked. Well, Laurel fired up the Avante and showed us all the things it can do. I thought to myself "OK..enough already. You can get one when you save the money" Thats when Mom said " How much is this exact set-up? She is driving me nuts!" Laurel responded and Mom said " I am gonna buy it for her" I told Laurel to hold on for a bit. I needed to take Mom to get lunch. Maybe her blood sugar was low. We needed to talk about this first. Well, a good meal didn't change her mind. We went back and ordered it. Want to talk about guilt? What if Mom needed the money later? There was no way that I could pay her back all of the money if she needed it in a hurry. On the way home she informed me that it was HER money and she could spend it on whomever, on whatever and however she wanted. She wanted me to have it now, not after she was gone. She knew how badly I wanted one and said it would make her happy too! I have only had my HQ18 Avante that I named "Pooger" ( my Mom's childhood nickname, but don't tell her I told you ) for a month and have had an absoulte ball! I quilt in the morning before anyone gets up. I quilt at night while the Hubs is watching the race car channel. You get the idea. Right now, some of my quilts look great. Others? Oh well..they are my practice quilts and they are just as warm and cuddly as masterpieces.
Mom just mentioned yesterday that she was planning on me doing all of her quilting and will have a couple of tops ready soon. Think I was set up?

I own the following HQ machines:

Christina Tisdale

CHRISTINA AND HER SECOND LOVE THE AVANTE 18 HQ

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MY HQ18 AVANTE HANDI QUILTER STORY IT ALL BEGAN WHEN I VISITED THE 2010 DALLAS QUILT SHOW. NANCY THE DEMONSTRATOR FOR THE HANDI QUILTER BOOTH WAS VERY KNOWLEDGABLE AND SO DOWN TO EARTH SHE WAS A REAL INSPIRATION TO WATCH.SHE WASNT JUST SELLING A MACHINE SHE WAS GIVING HER HEART TO WHAT SHE DOES BEST. AFTER VISITING AND USING ALL THE MACHINES AT THE COMPETITORS BOOTH I WAS DRAWN BACK TO THE HQ BOOTH ACTUALLY SEVERAL TIMES IN THE NEXT 3 DAYS OF THE SHOW. I DECIDED THE INFORMATION I RECEIVED FROM NANCY WAS EXACTLY WHAT I WAS LOOKING FOR IN A MACHINE AND WOULD FIT INTO MY DAILY JOB I ALREADY HAVE OF TAKING CARE OF MY MOTHER -IN-LAW WHO HAS ALZHEIMERS. I RETURNED HOME TO TALK IT OVER WITH MY HUSBAND. THE FIRST THING HE ASKED IS DID YOU FIND A MACHINE AND I COULDN'T STOP TALKING ABOUT THE HQ18 AVANTE . IF I COULD HAVE ANY MACHINE I WANTED WHICH WOULD IT BE AND AGAIN I SAID THE HQ18 AVANTE IT RUNS SO SMOOTHLY AND IS THE TOP OF THE LINE AS FAR AS THE THING YOU CAN DO WITH IT I WAS REALLY IMPRESSED. BUT I KNEW IT WOULD TAKE ME A FEW MONTHS TO BE ABLE TO AFFORD THIS AND ALSO ADD ON THE HQ PRO STITCHER BUT YOU CAN ALWAYS DREAM. A FEW DAYS LATER MY HUSBAND SAID WE NEED TO TALK ABOUT THE HQ18 AVANTE I FIGURED HE HAD A PLAN SO I LISTENED AS HE TALK WITH HIS HEART AND SAID I KNOW I WAS GIVEN A ANGEL WHEN I MEET YOU . FOR YOU TO TAKE IN MY MOTHER AND CARE FOR HER WITH NO QUESTIONED ASKED AND LOVE HER LIKE YOUR OWN. THE DAY YOU CAME HOME FROM THE SHOW AND TALKED ABOUT THE HQ18 AVANTE THE LOOK ON YOUR FACE AND EXCITMENT IN YOUR EYES I TOLD MYSELF THIS WAS SOMETHING SMALL I COULD GIVE YOU TO BRING SUCH JOY INTO YOUR HEART FOR ALL YOU HAVE GIVEN ME I WAS GOING TO MAKE THIS HAPPEN FOR YOU. SO I WANT YOU TO GO LOOK AGAIN. THE NEXT DAY I DROVE TO BRECKENRIDGE TX AND VISITED A QUILT SHOP THERE AND SPOKE WITH PATTIE STEVENS ABOUT QUILTING MACHINES SHE ALSO WAS VERY KNOWLEDGABLE AND SAID YOU REALLY NEED TO TRY IT AND SEE IF THIS MACHINE IS WHAT YOU WANT SO SHE GAVE ME SOME MORE HANDS ON INFO AND I FELL IN LOVE. THIS MACHINE RAN SO SMOOTH AND WAS VERY EASY TO UNDERSTAND. SO I CALLED MY HUSBAND TOLD HIM THE PRICE WITHOUT THE HQ PRO-STITCHER HE SAID YOU DESERVE IT SO GET IT .I WAS SO EXCITED I COULDN'T WAIT TO GET IT HOME AND START. I HAVE BEEN MAKING QUILTS AND QUILTING FOR ABOUT 4 MONTHS AND HAVE ALREADY QUILTED OVER 40 QUILTS.I DECIDED TO MAKE QUILTS FOR THE FAMILY TO START SO THAT WAS THE BEGINNING OF MY NEW SECOND CAREER. LEARNING SOMETHING NEW EVERY DAY,AND STILL HAVING THE EXCITEMENT LIKE THE FIRST DAY. MY REASON FOR CHOOSING A SECOND CAREER OF BECOMING A QUILTER IS TWOFOLD, EXTRA INCOME DURING THE DAY IN MY HOME , WHILE TAKING CARE OF MY MOTHER-IN-LAW JEANNE WHO NEEDS MUCH ATTENTION DAY AND NIGHT. I HAVE FOUND THIS TO BE VERY RELAXING BUT MOST OF ALL IS SEEING THE TWINKLE IN MY MOTHER-IN-LAWS EYE WHEN SHE IS HELPING ME SEPARATE THE SQUARES AND SCRAPS AND GIVING HER A FEELING OF STILL BEING ABLE TO HELP OTHERS WHEN SHE IS IN THE LAST STAGE OF ALZHEIMERS. EVERY TIME WE COMPLETE A QUILT SHE COMMENTS OH HOW BEAUTIFUL .BY HER SAYING THAT SHE WILL ALWAYS BRING ME JOY IN KNOWING SHE IS A PART OF MY SECOND CAREER WHICH I WILL ALWAYS HOLD CLOSE TO MY HEART. THE HQ18 AVANTE IS VERY USER FRIENDLY.THIS MACHINE DESIGNED BY QUILTERS HAS A ADVANTAGE OVER OTHERS BECAUSE IT ASSIST BEGINNERS AND EXPERIENCED EXPERTS IN COMPLETING PROFESSIONAL QUALITY QUILTS. AS A QUILTER AND A CARE-GIVER I FEEL THAT DOING QUILTING RELAXES YOUR MIND AND SELF KEEPING YOU ALERT AND GIVING YOU A LOT OF GRATIFICATION KNOWING YOU SHARE YOUR LOVE WITH OTHERS,IN THE HAPPINESS YOU RECEIVE, FROM QUILTING ENDING YOUR DAYS MORE PLEASANT AND THEN SOME... REMEMBER ALWAYS BELIEVE. SINCERELY CHRISTINA TISDALE

I own the following HQ machines:

Janet Cunningham


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I love quilts. I love the fabric. I love the challenge of the different patterns. I love the process of making the quilt. And now I love quilting on my HQ Sixteen.
Like many quilters, I began by tying my quilts, but tying did not complete my quilts the way I wanted them completed. Soon I was attempting to quilt using my home sewing machine, but, again, that was not for me. I started taking my quilts to someone to be quilted and was instantly mesmerized by the magic of a long-arm quilting machine. I watched as my quilt came alive and I immediately wanted to have my own quilting machine. Our modest home did not have space for one...that is until a few years ago when we moved to a different home with a basement. The "family" room immediately became one-third family room and two-thirds quilting room! My quilting machine was purchased before the furniture for the living room was purchased.
Now I can quilt any time, day or night. I currently quilt my own quilts for family, friends, and charity. Every quilt is special. I have made cards to go with the quilts I have given as a gift that say "One who sleeps under a quilt is comforted by LOVE".
Top 10 reasons for owning a Handi Quilter
10. Looks good in my sewing room
9. HQ affordability
8. Fun, fun, fun!
7. Meeting new friends at machine quilting events
6. Cheaper than a psychiatrist and better for me than chocolate
5. HQ support
4. Creativity
3. HQ quality, dependability, and is so easy to use
2. Making memories
1. No more whining, pleading, and begging to my previous long-arm quilting lady, “I know it is Thursday afternoon, but the wedding is Saturday, and I need this quilted by tomorrow so I’ll have time to put the binding on!”

I own the following HQ machines:

Linda Dalton


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I started quilting about 25 years ago while stationed in Germany for the Air Force. The on-base recreation center was offering a class and I decided it sounded interesting. This was during the time when tearing your fabric had just become popular and that was the method that I was instructed on...there were no rotary cutters yet! I made my first log cabin quilt for my first child and was hooked on quilting from there forward.

For years I hand quilted all of my quilts in a large hoop until I one day got a friend that was good at wood working to make me a home made frame that I instructed him on how to make. It was basically two wooden dowels that fit into two end pieces that were somewhat similar to saw horses. I would use tacks to tack the end of my quilts to the rods and roll them up and quilt away. As machine quilting began to become more popular, I tried it on my regular machine but became very frustrated because the bulk of the quilt when rolled was just too much to deal with and so I reverted back to hand quilting in order to retain my sanity.

About 5 or 6 yrs ago while attending my first International Quilt Festival in Houston I saw the Handi Quilter demo and talked to one of the gals that were representing the company. (Laurel) She was so incredibly nice and informative and we hit it off right away. Once I took one of these machines for a test drive, I just knew that I had to have one! While walking around the remainder of the festival I was doing the math in my head for the cost of the system and justifying all of the reasons of why I just had to have it. I made a phone call to my husband to announce that I wanted to make this major purchase and before the day was out I was a proud owner of an HQ Sixteen! I have never looked back since that day and I couldn't speak well enough about the service and support that I have received from HQ. There are still upgrades that I want to make but since I am now a single mom I have to make those purchases on a more infrequent basis, I guess you could say the HQ is my husband replacement, but it has never berated me for buying too much fabric or spending to much time at my machine. We are a match made in heaven! I would love to spend time learning more about techniques as well as meet others that have the passion that I do for quilting.

I own the following HQ machines:

Patty Swatzell

Lap Quilt for our RV

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We’re Not in Kansas Anymore
The Story of Toto (My HQ 18 Avante)
My HQ story was written by my husband who knows me better than I thought after reading this. Thank you, John
Once upon a time a young Air Force guy met a cute little girl from Missouri. She stole his heart and soon after that they were Mr. and Mrs. Early on he learned she loved sewing. Back then (late 60’s, early 70’s) military pay was (and still is) pretty limited. But, just as I couldn’t pass a motorcycle shop without looking, she couldn’t pass up a sewing shop without looking. I knew I was in trouble when she found a Viking sewing machine she fell in love with. I couldn’t believe she wanted to spend $500 for a sewing machine. To put that in perspective, gas at that time was 30 cents per gallon and milk was 50 cents a gallon and a new Harley was only $1200. So $500 was probably like $5000 in today’s dollars. Anyhow, we somehow figured out a way to get it and she was a happy little seamstress for many years. Fast forward to present times.
A few years ago the Bernina 200E came out and she was in love. She was a Precious Moments collector and Bernina had released an Embroidery CD of Precious Moments designs. Her plans were to embroider blocks and then quilt them. I couldn’t believe she could actually want a $7000 sewing machine! Wow! I could get a really nice motorcycle for that kind of money. So I weighed my choices. Motorcycle (me happy) vs. sewing machine (her happy). Hmmmmm! The old saying is “If momma’s not happy, nobody’s happy.” So that Christmas I sneaked into Gina’s Bernina in Knoxville, TN and with their help totally surprised her with the new Bernina 200E. It was such a surprise all she could do was cry!! I was able to get her what I thought would be the last sewing machine she could ever want. Wrong! Just a few short years later, along comes the Bernina 830. Of course she drooled over it for a year or so. Then an inheritance check from a dear aunt shows up and she was able to get her machine sooner than expected. She named her new baby Dorothy as she felt like she was in the Land of OZ in her sewing room!!
Now, surely, we are through looking and spending on sewing machines I thought. Wrong again! I began to hear hints about a long arm quilting machine to quilt the tops she had piled up in the closet. To begin with she was drooling over the really high dollar machines that were huge! I thought I was safe from this latest want for a couple of reasons. First, there was no way we could spend 20 thousand for a quilting machine and second, we just didn’t have a place in our small home for such a large machine. Her sewing room had already taken over our sun room and was stuffed to the ceiling with machines, desks, sewing tables, and material.
But then along comes the HQ18 Avante. I’m in trouble again! This machine is only half the cost of other machines and its features make it top of the line and so easy to use for a home quilter. Ah, but it’s still too big for our home I thought. Wrong again. I underestimated my wife’s ingenuity. Armed with a tape measure she set about figuring ways to fit it in her sewing room. Of course, the Avante18 can be setup with varying lengths but she actually figured out a way to fit it in her sewing room in the full 12 ft. length. She also had met Elaine Gilmore from the Quilting Machine Shop in Bunnell, Fl. We live in Tennessee! So how in the world did she meet up with Elaine from Florida? Danged internet! If you ever met Elaine, she is just a bundle of enthusiasm and energy and it’s contagious. Patty would order Accuquilt “GO” Dies and when we would go to FL on vacation we would stop by her shop, pick up her order, visit and go to lunch. Elaine is also a HQ dealer and when we were in her shop Patty would practice on the HQ18 Avante that was set up in the showroom. So yes, we now have an HQ18 Avante sitting in our sunroom now completely a true sewing room. She has named it Toto. Now her Oz family is complete. She often disappears into her Land of Oz and happily spends her time sewing and quilting the days away.
As a footnote, the HQ18 Avante has really been a blessing because as our ages have crept up, her mobility has crept down but hopefully that will soon change. Patty is scheduled for a knee replacement August 23 and after her rehab we hopefully will be able to go RVing every so often and visit quilt shops as we travel. She takes a sewing machine with her and if we had a big toy hauler she would want Toto to come along but I am afraid he will have to stay home. But for the last year her sewing and quilting has become a real godsend for her. She has already quilted several quilts plus practice pads and has not had any trouble at all. She loves her HQ18 Avante and recommends it to all her quilting friends.
So now, I think I’m finally through with the new machines and equipment. We can look forward to many years of me riding (yes, I got my Harley) and her sewing and quilting. We have all we need.
By the way, I keep hearing rumblings about something called an HQ Pro-Stitcher. What in the world is that? Am I in trouble again?

I own the following HQ machines:

Isabel Russell

My New Fusion

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The story is, at this point in time, undergoing a major transition. More on that a bit later. First, here is some background as to how I got to where I am now.
I hail from a line of women skilled in needle arts. My English grandmother enjoyed embroidery and was a talented seamstress. My mother, an expert knitter, remembered her remaking World War Two army uniforms into beautifully tailored suits in order to supplement their clothing coupons. My sister is also an accomplished seamstress and
knitter. I learned to sew my own clothes as a teenager (where else do you get bell bottom pants in a small town in the early 60s?) but knitting was something I could not master.
While living in Australia and pregnant with my first daughter, I decided to take up the national pastime and turn some of the beautiful Aussie wool into a layette set. After making six booties, all different, I gave up. When I returned to Canada, my mother asked
me tactfully, if I minded if she took out my efforts and used the wool, as it was “too beautiful to waste.” She made the layette set and I used it for my two daughters and passed it on to my first grandchild. Although not a knitter, but loving fabric, I became a quilter in the early 70s, cutting and sewing patches by hand and wondering why my squares were always a little off kilter. As time passed I continued sewing clothes for my
family, but quilting was replaced by making dolls and their clothes, skating costumes, and curtains. Sometime, I knew, I would get back to quilting.
That time came as I approached retirement. I purchased a new sewing machine and enrolled in quilting classes. How things had changed! I learned to use a rotary cutter and
chain piece! I loved making the quilts, but found pushing the finished quilt through the sewing machine just too tiring. My shoulders ached, but I hated the idea of someone else finishing my work. I started researching longarm machines but was discouraged by the
size, the maintenance required, and the price. I saw the HQ Sixteen at a show and fell in love with it. It was totally unintimidating – changing the bobbin and oiling it were exactly the same as on my sewing machine. It was attractive, could be adjusted to fit my small space, did not require that I become a mechanic as some of the other machines did…and it was affordable! I could even write my name with it!
The HQ Sixteen was the first toy that I bought for my pending retirement, and I was busy
making quilts for my daughters’ friends’ babies, great nieces and a nephew and then my own grandchild. I looked forward to working on bigger projects and finishing quilts for myself and friends, once my teaching career was over. But of course, just when you think you have life all figured out, it throws you a curve ball. I found myself a divorcee in my late fifties and retirement was financially not possible. I continued teaching and tried to get my life in order. Quilting on the HQ Sixteen became a respite, something that brought needed sanity into my world. I made several quilts for my church and in doing so
reconnected with a group of women who went out of their way to include me in many activities. The death of my brother six months later resulted in my mother coming to live first with me, and then in a seniors’ home nearby. While she became less and less the woman she had been as dementia robbed her of the ability to enjoy the final years of her
life, I treasure those last years with her. She and I picked out bright scarlet and turquoise flowers on a black background for a quilt to brighten her room and she watched as I created this on my HQ Sixteen. Now I can smile as I remember how often she commented on
how pretty the quilt was and then asked who it was for. After her death my sister took the quilt back to Switzerland with her, as a reminder of both my mother and me.
Again my life changed, this time in a very positive way. An old high school friend retired here and friends reintroduced us. Pete and I have embarked on a process of rebuilding not
only our lives, but also a house. The design for our renovation was driven mostly by the need to create a wonderful space for me to set up my quilting and sewing equipment, and to make this new room a place where I am comfortable and content.
This is where we are in our lives – the point of transition that I referred to early in this story. We added a new living room and a new master suite – bedroom, bath, and closets - which
look out on the mountain upon which we are situated. In the level below we built a large and well-lit sewing space that easily accommodates my sewing and quilting machines.
Our project is not yet completed – in fact we will have a few more months of work ahead of us. But the sewing room is done. It’s a gorgeous room– everyone who sees it has nothing but the highest praise. Pete put hours of work into this room, saying that I deserve such a special area to enjoy my passion. Of course, he’s absolutely right! And it houses not the HQ Sixteen, but a new HQ24 Fusion bought with a legacy from my mother. I
had tried out the HQ24 Fusion at a dealer’s and was taken with its smoothness – like butter! I stood and played on it; doing feathers and flowers and gathering an audience of other quilters who were impressed enough to ask me if I would quilt their quilts. I had to tell
them, “It’s not really me; it’s the machine!” But I do plan, at some time in the not too distant future, to begin doing longarm work for friends and clients.
My new HQ24 Fusion and my new quilting and sewing haven symbolize both a new
beginning and a continuation of a family tradition of needlework. Fittingly, my first project will be a quilt for my new granddaughter!

I own the following HQ machines:

Lori Gill

New Shop and New Machines

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Lowe Ranch Quilting This is my story of how I came to own two HQ machines. In April of this year I found myself without a job after 29 years in the banking industry and too young to retire. I have always enjoyed sewing and even owned a lace and ribbon shop years ago. I knew I was going to start a 2nd career, but wanted it to be something I enjoyed and where I could use my creative skills. I had already given some thought into purchasing a long-arm machine and had even looked into several different types. However it wasn’t until the loss of my job that pushed me in the quilting direction. We lived in Northern California for about 15 years and became friends with Mark and Marsha. About 5 years ago Marsha left her nursing career and opened a quilt shop in Paradise, CA, called Morning Star Quilts. Well this started the bug to quilt again in me and one of my daughters caught on also. In fact she worked for Marsha up until she got married and moved to Texas. This also prompted me to look into owning a long-arm machine. After the loss of my job we decided to step out on a limb and purchase a long-arm machine. During our research on the machines we actually looked at another brand and were in negotiations with the dealer when we were visited by Marsha’s daughter, Jennifer. Jennifer told us they had recently purchased an HQ24 Fusion and that we should look at it before we purchased anything. Having known Jennifer and her family for years we trusted their judgment and put the negotiations on hold. We made the 7 hour trip to Northern California and got to actually run the HQ machine. We were very impressed with the handling and quality of the machine. Marsha is a sales rep for HQ and spent several hours with us going over all the features and helped us decide on which machines. Well before leaving the store we purchased two machines. We ordered the HQ24 Fusion with HQ Pro-Stitcher (24”) and the HQ18 Avante (18”). The Avante was not computerized, and now we are considering upgrading it with a computer. Now that we ordered the machines we had to find a place to put them. We have a large workshop on our property that has an office on one end of it. The office was basically being used as a storage area. We had a limited amount of time as the machines were scheduled for delivery in about 10 days from purchase. We cleaned out the office and realized it needed a lot of updating. So we remodeled it with new wallboard, paint and flooring, all in two weeks. I owe my husband a big kiss for that one. When the machines were delivered we had a few problems. Not with HQ, but with the trucking company. We live on a ranch and the road is very narrow, especially for a semi-truck. He got up the road fine, but there was no place for him to turn around. My husband offered to help the driver, but he thought he could do it. A short time later we heard the sound of his engine and knew he was stuck. Sure enough, he had tried to back down the hill and took out about 30 ft of our barbed wire fence. We had to get one of our larger trucks to help pull him out. Thankfully nobody was injured and the fence was easy to fix (Well, at least that is what my husband said). Of course nothing is easy, one piece of the machine was missing. The trucking company checked and it was in their warehouse scheduled for delivery the following day. We didn’t need a repeat performance and more fence to fix, so we met the truck in town the following day to pick-up the other piece. Mark and Marsha came down to San Luis Obispo and helped us put the machines together. They were time-consuming since we had 2 of machines to put together but very simple to actually put together and operate. We have a neighbor who has quilted for over 40 years and was becoming frustrated because of some health issues. When we got the machines up and running she seemed to get a new lease on life. She comes up 2 to 3 times a week now and has finished at least a half dozen quilt tops she had sitting around. In fact she brought up one that my husband thought was beautiful. It was a courthouse steps pattern in a variety of dark fabrics that she had completed some 20 yrs ago. My husband had been helping her learn the computerized machine, so our neighbor said she would give him the quilt top if he would select the backing, pattern and do the machine work himself. To get the full scope of this you have to know my husband. He is a 6’-4”, 290 lbs retired law enforcement officer who now works on the ranch. So to see him running the machine is quite something. With these machines we have started what I call my retirement job. We have partnered with a local fabric store that allows me to display some of my finished products and to use them as a pick-up and drop-off point. I am making some quilts to put on consignment at our local farm and ranch supply store. They have a home furnishings section that emphasizes the western motif. We are in the process of putting together a website and have already started our customer base. It is simply amazing to see some of the quilt tops people have put together and to be a part of their project by helping them pick their pattern and thread color. Everybody that comes into our shop is amazed at the machines and has been very pleased with the finished product. HQ has been very helpful from the start and later when we had some technical questions about the computer. Thank You Craig & Lori Gill

I own the following HQ machine: HQ24 Fusion

Mary Bogosian

Mary and Avante

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My HQ story is loosely connected to fluctuations in the stock market. A little over a year ago I attended the MQX show in New Hampshire. I was in awe of all the beautiful quilts and the great shopping vendors. I stopped by the Handi Quilter site, tried all the machines and was hooked.
My pocketbook at the time, only allowed me to purchase the Simply Sixteen machine. This was a great entry level machine. I joined the online Handi Quilter forum, and after reading and learning from all the HQ owners out there, I decided I needed to have stitch regulation. I was about to purchase the Simply 16 upgrade package, when I heard a rumor that Handi Quilter was about to come out with a new 18 inch, HQ18 Avante, with exciting new stitch regulator features and more.
How could I get my hands on one?! I decided to sell my nice Simply Sixteen after only 8 short months, and then pay close attention to the stock market. I had some IRA/401k savings in there, that fluctuated by several thousands of dollars every month, depending on the hype of the times. I waited patiently and checked every day for an upswing. When it finally happened, I acted quickly, and took the money out to buy my HQ18 Avante. Smart Me, no penalties either.
I put that money away until the 2010 MQX show and made my purchase. I am such a happy quilter now. I love, love, love my new machine.
The picture I enclosed is me, with my new HQ18 Avante, in my new sewing room, with a king size quilt top that I made 10 years ago, put it away out of frustration with the size of it, and now finally completed it.

I own the following HQ machines:

Jan Mott

Me with my new machine and my first quilt!

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My HQ Story
by Jan Mott
“I hate to quilt!” used to be my cry. I loved to create quilt tops but I dreaded when the time came to actually quilt the tops that I created. In my mind, quilting on my sewing machine was nothing short of a wrestling match and one in which I often walked away exhausted and less than pleased with the results. I resorted to sending my tops to be quilted by some very talented long arm and hand quilters but I personally felt like I cheated by not completing
the entire project myself. I think that the real tipping point for me came last year when I created a beautiful double wedding ring quilt for my daughter’s wedding. I sent the completed top to a quilter that I have worked with in the past and she did a wonderful job quilting the top and incorporating beautiful designs in the open spaces. The problem is that I felt that I should have been the one to complete the entire quilt for this special occasion. This is when I started my quest to purchase a long arm machine.
Over the last year I attended a number of quilt shows and tried all of the popular models on the market. I always came back to the HQ. No other machine handled as easily as the HQ machines. It just felt very comfortable to work with. I am by no means an expert machine quilter. In fact, I am easily a beginner but I am committed to developing my skills as a machine quilter and creating designs in thread to complement the quilt tops that I create. So, I decided to jump in with both feet and bought my new HQ18 Avante at the end of June!
I love it! The first thing I did was to load a bunch of muslin onto the machine and to start playing. Everyday I spend some time in on the machine trying to develop a new skill.
Well, I just finished my first quilt on the HQ for my oldest daughter. She has been patiently waiting for me to create a quilt for her and she has the honor of receiving my first quilt off of the HQ18 Avante. I could not believe how fast I was able to complete the quilt! You can see a bit of the quilt wrapped around my shoulders next to my new machine. I do have a bit of advice for those that may be somewhat unsure about purchasing a new HQ --- DON’T WAIT, DO IT NOW!!! My only regret is that I did not purchase this machine sooner. Happy quilting!
Jan Mott
Derwood, MD

I own the following HQ machines:

Diana Mattson


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I started sewing when I was in High School, making Garments and when my kids were born I sewed their clothes. I didn’t start Quilting until my kids left home. I thought that Quilting was for Old Ladies, but soon found out that was a Myth.
I Love piecing Quilts and have always quilted my quilts on my Domestic Machine. I was always interested in a Long Arm Machine, but I felt the cost was too much. A friend told me about the HQ Sixteen and I felt it was within my budget. I purchased a HQ Sixteen in 2006 and the HQ Pro-Stitcher in 2008. I was really happy with them but after attending a Seminar at Central Sewing, Edmonton, AB, where the HQ24 Fusion was on display the extra sewing area impressed me and I knew that was what I wanted. Well the same friend that originally told me about the HQ Sixteen was at the Seminar and told me she was interested in buying my HQ Sixteen and HQ Pro-stitcher. When I came home I told my husband I was interested in upgrading to the HQ24 Fusion, his remark was that a few years ago we could have purchased a car for that price, but then he said I deserved the upgrade, what a Guy. I didn’t wait for him to say no. So the deal was made with my friend and she purchased my machine so long as I gave her some lessons, which I did, and she is very happy with the HQ Sixteen.
I live 300 miles from a Dealer, so with the help of my Husband and Son we have set up the HQ24 Fusion. HQ Studio Frame and HQ Micro Handles and I have just completed the set up of the HQ Pro-Stitcher. I have not used the HQ Pro-Stitcher as we are in the middle of Harvest and my life goes on stand still at this time.
Thank you to the Support Staff at Handi Quilter as they are so helpful with any problems I have encountered.
I absolutely love the HQ24 Fusion & HQ Micro Handles; I enjoy Free Motion, Stippling, Rulers and MacTavishing by Karen MacTavish and really like her Technique.
I love making Baby Quilts and it is a pleasure giving them to The Little Bundles of Joy.
I have attended the Beginners and Intermediate Classes at Handi Quilter and in April 2010 attended the HQ Pro-Stitcher Class, it was a Wonderful Experience.
Handi Quilter, Thank you.

I own the following HQ machines:

Gwen Loiselle

Louis & Gwen

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How the HQ Sixteen has long-armed itself into my life.
Hi, my name is Gwen Loiselle. I am a Born and Bred Edmonton, Alberta, Canada Gal, and sewing has always been a large part of me. It’s been in my life a long time, as my mother has always been a seamstress. As a child, mom was always sewing, and used to sew up 1000 Barbie outfits to sell to help with providing for us (4) children at home at Christmas. Eventually she opened her own Custom Drapery company, and sewing was here to stay….
As it would be, once I married and had my first child, my husband and I agreed I should stay home if we could manage it, and as a part of that, I eventually began to follow in my mother’s footsteps, and sewing became firmly entrenched into my persona. For 15 years, I also had a custom drapery shop, until it became something that was no longer fun for me, I eventually agreed with my husband to close the shop, and change the course of my life…My children now emerging as independent souls, weren’t as needy of my being there as a Mom, in the sense that they could fend for themselves (teenagers), so I backed away from sewing for a time. Eventually I rediscovered sewing as a favorite thing to do, when what I would create was something I enjoyed doing again, and Quilting with my sewing machine was for me.
Then a way back in 2003, there was a “Creative Stitching” show held in the spring of the year, March to be exact. A very good friend and fellow quilter, Wendy, and I went to the show and I returned home all excited about the new sewing machine we had experienced at the show. I spilled over with excitement to my husband…I’m not sure that he shared in the excitement, as it did carry a pretty hefty price for us in those days, but the love affair with my “Soon to be” HQ Sixteen begins…
Before I can tell you more about that, you need to know how it comes to be that I would just get such a machine, since it turns out that it’s my husband’s pastimes that did me the favor! So I need to tell you a bit about him, so you can understand all this…He’s a Gadget guy…He’s a Snowmobiler…And he loves his tools (or should I say toys)!
So…His name…Louis…Louis likes his stuff just so…and he always likes to be in the thick of whatever he does, so you can imagine, when “Draperies by Gwen” was alive and well, he was also the installer…yet, the thing that brought me the machine to solve for my creative passion, was his love of the sport of snowmobiling…it had been some time since I had invested in a new sewing machine, and my husband was laying down hints of a new snowmobile…so I gave him a compromise…I’d go along with him getting a new sled, if I got a new sewing machine…but It wasn’t quite that simple…men do enjoy an incredible ability to be selective in their hearing…my Louis…An expert at this…however, when he is focused, he does hear…he doesn’t always respond, but he can listen, and does occasionally give me signs…this is to be one of those times…
It’s April, and the 25th is my birthday…Louis had been involved in a project for the company he worked with, and was in Houston, Texas before my birthday, so I wasn’t sure anything was coming, or he had anything up his sleeve. Anyway, he returns home from his trip on the 24th of April, and I was at home, at the time, and I don’t specifically remember doing what, but it was soon to not matter, for he was about to try to surprise me a whole bunch. So when he landed, he took a cab to his company truck, and as far as I knew was coming straight home. His truck was parked at the office of the company for which he is employed, and it is very near the airport, so it was an easy step for him in the day. It turns out, this worked right into his plan, for he had gotten into his truck, and drove right over to Central Sewing Machines in Edmonton, and was attempting to buy the very first HQ Sixteen sold to an Edmontonian. So, as the agent for Handi Quilter, the sale was being set up in Edmonton, but the actual purchase was being rung up right there in Bountiful, Utah. The key to this is his credit card, which he was using, has a fairly high security tracking on it, and Visa had been attempting to crack down on Fraud which had been on the rise… Now here’s Louis…clean credit card, except for his trip to Texas, loads of room on it for the purchase, but because of the way the sale was being setup, the computer flagged the bank, and his card is shut down…he is not impressed! The whole credit card thing did not go well for Visa when he was done with them, but that’s an entirely different story in itself…It actually involves the next little bit of the story, and the newly introduced privacy laws in Canada…please keep in mind this is his surprise to me for my birthday…While this is happening to him at the store, The folks at Visa call for him at home…of course…he’s not there with me..He’s doing the surprise!!!!! Surprise the simple, innocent, unsuspecting, person (fool) on the other end who worked with Visa…slips out the story, and now I know what he’s up to! How could I say no to a new quilting machine! That could never be right! He just isn’t aware of this just yet!
Always the careful planner, Louis has a second credit card with him, and he gets the sale completed. AHHHH, I’m getting a new HQ Sixteen! And I know it!
So when Visa is done telling me the story, which they shouldn’t have, I pick up the phone…Louis has a cell, and the bank has the number …they should have called him…but they didn’t….he did have the cell with him, and it was turned on, because when I dialed him, he answered….I probably shouldn’t have, but I let the cat out of the bag…I don’t think he wasn’t exactly happy…no ,he definitely wasn’t happy that the surprise had been spoiled…Hmm
So, the investment into my Handi Quilter life begins…At the time, when we picked up the machine, a table was going to be another large investment, so Louis also enjoying doing things with his hands, decided to build me a table…its very sturdy welded steel frame, and it has a sanitary white arborite finish, with a pine trim around to match the cabinets in my sewing room.
For the first 6 years, I allowed myself to just continue to fumble my way along, and complete some projects doing mostly freehand work, and enjoying the time I was able to work on the HQ…sewing had again become a fun thing to do. It wasn’t until the doctor for whom I now work for, decided to give me a Christmas bonus, in which she would buy me something I wanted, that I began to look for things to do, and I spent some time on the HQ website, and I learned about your HQ retreats. Well, the spark was again lit, and that was what Louis and I agreed I should do.
Now the HQ Family grows for me, as Vicki, Cathy, Cheryl and Hatti, become very familiar HQ people to me. I have now shared in 3 retreats, enjoying each one tremendously…as I always learn something new. I am always treated so well, I almost feel like family. Now, I have even moved up to having my own “HQ Pro-Stitcher” mounted to my table and HQ Sixteen. Louis is now finishing the expandable wing for my table so I can spread the machine out to 120”, and I will finish a quilt for our own king bed.
Seems like maybe we might need a new house soon, so I can have a larger crafts room, because I dropped the hint for the Fusion information in front of Louis a time or 2 now…And I’m never really sure what he’s thinking….
By the way, It turns out that, that spring he did do a “SnowCheck” advance order for a new snowmobile for himself….you don’t say! Hmm, men, they don’t think we understand them!

I own the following HQ machines:

Eileen Willliams

Pieces of Autumn and me

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Timing is everything and it is no accident that I discovered the HQSixteen Sit-down machine at the Houston Quilt Festival.
As an art quilter, I wanted and really needed a machine with a bigger arm opening for sewing larger sized quilts, but with no room for a long arm machine on a frame and table, I was patiently waiting for my machine manufacturer to design and produce a sit-down machine with a bigger arm opening.
Well, a couple of years ago, just such a machine was introduced at Quilt Festival and I was so excited until I saw the price; it was way out of my affordable price range. How disappointing! Then, miracle of miracles, I came across the Handi Quilter Booth and was introduced to the HQSixteen Sit-down version of the long arm machine. I loved it! I called my husband from the show and excitedly told him about all the money I had just saved by buying this machine (instead of the other).
The HQ Sixteen is so easy to use and I did not have to change my free motion quilting style and techniques to adjust to a stand up long arm. Within no time at all, I was off and running with my new machine.
A few months after purchasing this machine, a call for artists was posted to commission a North Carolina artist to make a large fiber art wall hanging for a new health care facility. I applied and was fortunate to receive the commission for two, 5 feet by 10 feet landscape wall quilts. With only two months to complete these pieces, I had to put the pedal to the metal! What a work horse that machine is; I really put it to the test and it came through with flying colors!
So, that explains my initial statement, "timing is everything", and that the Handi Quilter was meant for me. I could never have done those commissioned pieces without my HQ Sixteen. It really has opened many doors for me.
Thanks Handi Quilter.

I own the following HQ machines:

Nyla Fifield


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My HQ story begins in the fall of 2009. I had been unemployed for approximately 7 months and periodically visited a good friend, Cherie, who owns the Flying Goose Quilt Shop in New London, MN and is an HQ dealer. Cherie told me she would be watching a video the next Monday night on the new HQ18 Avante and she really thought I should think about machine quilting for a career. I spent the week researching on the web how to start a small business and loan info. I visited Cherie at her shop the next Tuesday morning and she was so excited about the HQ Avante and HQ Pr-Stitcher. I told her I had been researching but I did not have space in my home for a business. Cherie said just that morning she saw a sign in a window down the block than an insurance company had two areas for rent. I checked out the rental spaces and one was just perfect - lots of natural light and florescent lighting and lots of space. The following day I met with my CPA and was encouraged to seek out a loan. I contacted a local foundation with an Encore Entrepreneurship Program; met with them on Friday; did a business plan and 2 year budget over the weekend; finalized the plan with the agent and it was submitted to the loan committee and on the following Monday I had a loan! I ordered the HQ Avante with the HQ Pro-Stitcher; started practicing in mid-January and opened my long arm machine quilting business in mid-March 2010. Business is great; I love demonstrating the machine to my customers and visitors to my shop; and most of all I "go to have fun" each day instead of "having to go to work"!

I own the following HQ machines:

Catherine Sprague


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I began shopping around for a long-arm quilting machine to purchase after saving for four years. The HQ Sixteen looked like everything I dreamed of. Because I am in a wheelchair due to Multiple Sclerosis and having diminished arm and trunk strength, I was not sure it would be right for me. C.E.O. Mark Hyland told me they would make it work for me and did they ever. They were willing and able to make adjustments for me, including the micro handles and adjustable HQ Studio Frame, without my even asking. I even got the bonus of a hug from Mark!! When I had a problem with the bobbin winder, Rita Glidden, my local representative who lives some two hours away, offered to drive down and let me use hers until the replacement came. Customer service goes above and beyond all expectations. They are as close to me as my telephone. I am able to operate my HQ Sixteen Long-Arm Machine from loading to quilting, completely by myself and have already quilted over thirty (30) quilts, from lap to king-size, and friends have quilted over ten (10) as well in less than a year. I have used all types of thread, from serger thread to button thread, with no trouble whatsoever. I am so impressed and proud of my HQ Sixteen because it is so user-friendly. I have invited anyone who comes near me (probably more than 80 individuals) including friends, neighbors, relatives, even total strangers to come try it out. My machine operates every time without fail, no matter who the operator is, from an 11-year old boy to my 88-year-old mother. I am blessed with a wonderful husband and a happy, contented nature. Quilting on my The HQ Sixteen has added so much to my quality of life. The cost of the The HQ Sixteen and Frame is miniscule compared to the happiness of quilting and sharing. My motto is: I have Multiple Sclerosis. Sew What!!! I am in a Wheel Chair. Sew What!! No matter what, I can sew!!!

I own the following HQ machine: HQ Sixteen

Vicki Maynard

Me standing in front of my QOV at a display at a local museum.

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I have been sewing since I was 6 years old, so I have been sewing for 54 years. I started out making doll clothes, then clothes for myself, moved on to making clothes for my daughter and then my granddaughter. In October 1996, I made a trip to a local quilt shop to buy some fabric and came back with a new sewing machine and had signed up for a beginner's quilting class. I have been quilting ever since. But I had a big problem....... I would generally piece a top and then put it away unquilted because I didn't handquilt because of arthritis in my thumb and trying to quilt on a regular sewing machine was a real pain. All that tugging and pulling the quilt sandwich to end up with less than favorable results. Then came all the ads about longarm quilting machines. I read and read and researched each machine and decided the HQ Sixteen was a machine that had everything I needed for my longarm adventure. Not only because of it's reasonable price but because of the features it offered for that price. I chose a dealer about 25 miles from my home and placed my order, never telling my husband of my purchase. Fortunately, the day all those boxes arrived he was out of town so I didn't have to explain what they were. I managed to get everything down to my basement, sometimes opening an extra heavy box upstairs and taking the parts down one piece at a time. I got my HQ Sixteen frame together and machine on it before my husband got home and it was another week before he noticed it sitting there! Initially I quilted several of my previously pieced tops but I didn't use my HQ on a regular basis. Then in April of this year I got a phone call that completely changed my quilting life. The call was from a member of a local Quilts of Valor group and I attended my first meeting on April 5th, 2010 and formally became their longarm quilter. Since that first meeting I've quilted approximately 35 quilts and have pieced and quilted 5 or 6 on my own. I also pieced and quilted 2 quilts to raffle so we could raise money to buy more materials to make more quilts. We present our quilts to veterans of Iraq, Afghanistan and other wars as our way of thanking them for their service to our country. That first stitch into a top that wasn't mine was really scary but I've gone from a not so confident quilter who only quilted for herself to a fairly confident quilter who will now take on just about any top given to me. I love my trusty HQ. Having it has enabled me to do something with my quilting I never dreamed I could do by making it possible for me, in my own way, to give back to those military men and women who have sacrificed so much for their country. I am 100% sure I made the right choice when I picked the HQ Sixteen as my quilting machine.

I own the following HQ machines:

Phyllis Ridenour

Me and my grandaughter, Rylee!

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I love my HQ Sixteen! After owning another brand that I had alot of problems with, I began researching machines for about a year. I tried many out and found the HQ to be easy to use and affordable. I have been quilting on it for 4 years now. I make quilts for family, friends and charities. I love the simplicity of the HQ Sixteen. I appreciate the customer service and friendly staff that answer any questions I have. I may upgrade someday but right now this model suits my needs. The 'meandering or stippling' stitch is my favorite, and it works best on all quilts. I hope to visit the HQ headquarters someday!

I own the following HQ machines:

Joyce Schmidt


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My sister and I had the same
quilting teacher, our mother.  She would take old clothes and cut them
into pieces and make quilts.  We grew up on a farm and if you did not make
quilts, you only had a pot belly stove to keep you warm.
As we grew older our love of
quilting grew with us.  We would make our quilts out of cottons that were
purchased at the store.  They were better looking than the ones we slept
under so they were put on top.  Then we came to the big city and began to
cross stitch pre-printed block.  We though we were the
best  quilters ever.
As we got older, we discovered
that there were a lot of quilters that were so much better than us.  This
came to light when we went to out first quilt festival.  It was
amazing and eye opening.
We decided that we could produce
much better looking quilts if we had a longarm of our own so we decided to go
in halvies on a Handi Quilter.  This was a great ideal except for one
thing.  I live close to St. Louis MO and Sis lives close to Houston
TX.  She doesn't have any placed to set one up and I have a full basement
at my home. Guess who got to use the Handi Quilter????  Sis sends me her
tops and I quilt them and send them back.
We love our Handi Quilter and our
quilts are looking better has the years go by.
My sister is over 70 and I am
over 60 and we will be quilting until we both are over 100, I hope.

I own the following HQ machines:

Carolyn Schoenian

Will send photo asap

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When our shop first became an HQ dealer, I had a full time quilting employee. I never touched the HQ because she did all the quilting. When she left our shop, I was forced to learn how to quilt with the HQ. Yes, forced! I was so afraid of using it and messing up a quilt. I would not do any customer quilts for the longest time because of that fear.
Today I can't wait to come into the shop and quilt. I would rather do this than almost anything else. Can you believe this? It is so creative and I love selecting a pattern, moving the HQ over the fabrics, and seeing my completed work. Last week I quilted 10 customer quilts.
I am also using the HQ Pro Stitcher now, too. It's all so easy. And so much fun!

I own the following HQ machines: