I started quilting about 15 years ago when I asked a friend of mine who was a quilter to show me the basics. I was hooked! I was euphoric with the completion of something so beautiful made by hand. After quilting more and more and the projects getting bigger, I found that quilting in the ditch was not going to be good enough and some projects were just way too big to be done by hand and get completed in my life time. I began sending my quilts out to be quilted but that started to get expensive and I needed to plan ahead to make sure the quilt could be completed in time for a gift if needed. I am also one that if I see something made or done I think, "well, I could do that too!". So, I began to look around and research longarm quilting machines. Talking with longarm owners was very beneficial. However, getting a longarm did not happen right away. Raising a family and working does not allow one to first of all have time to do a lot of quilting. (I had to make the time in between family activities and other responsibilities). Secondly, purchasing a longarm was not in the budget either. Researching for a long arm was put on hold.
Several years later, after sending out a few more quilts to be quilted, my kids were grown and off to college, and my husband had bought another gun for hunting, I finally expressed how unfair I felt it was that he could purchase all his hunting equipment and other expenses, snowmobiles, and other guy toys and I felt guilty thinking about a long arm. He told me to start looking around and that if I found one that I thought would work for me and we could possibly swing financially we would make it happen. :) He actually thought this was a great idea.
Well, researching did not take long; for that summer we were on vacation up north and I always stop in to the quilt shop there. That is my one shopping outing while my husband checks out the sporting goods store. Well, this quilting store reps for HQ longarms and there was a big sign for the HQ Sixteen Birthday sale. I asked about this and was given the information and a quick demonstration. I even got to try it out. What FUN! I called my husband on the cell and asked him to come in to the store from waiting in the truck and check this out. He was impressed with the deal and how excited I was. (I was extremely excited and nervous. It was like buying a car!) I was most impressed that the rep was not pushy and gave me all the time in the world to think about this. The HQ pretty much sold itself. I was impressed on how simple and easy it was to maneuver and the table was very sturdy. I loved that it could be upgraded and was informed that HQ had a great help line for any issues that may come up. It was a deal that I could not pass up. I walked out of the quilt shop having ordered my HQ Sixteen longarm. I was so excited and even more so when it arrived at home within the week.
My HQ Sixteen is set up and has been in use for about a year now. I have completed several quilts on it. I am still on the learning curve and gaining more confidence every time I quilt on it. I have a lot to learn yet and look forward improving with more practice. It is such an awesome feeling to be able to create something from start to completion and see the results of the beautiful art you created.
I own the following HQ machines: