Kerrie-Anne Riles


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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:

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