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:

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