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:

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