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: