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

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