Margaret J. Starr

Me, my Avante and a charity quilt. Some of my digitized designs.

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By day I am a physician. At night I sew, quilt, make jewelry and do photography to relax. I think this combination works both my left and right brain. I had made a wonderful wedge quilt in blues and yellows as a present for a good friend. I gave written instructions to my quilter to do waves, flowing motions and curls to represent the ocean. It came back quilted with leaves and flowers. She also used 2 different bobbin colors instead of balancing her stitches. I was angry. Maybe I could do better.
During this time I was on a diet, carbohydrate deprived, menopausal and mid-life crisis. I had lost 160 pounds and was unhappy with the quality of other peoples quilting on my hard work.
I went to a local quilt show. The first quilt machines I saw were in the Handi Quilter booth and it was Avante love at first sight. For the next three days of the quilt show I tried out all the quilt machines from the competitors. None of them felt "right". I overheard the salesperson for the Tin Lizzie tell a prospective customer that if he wanted a longarm with a computer he should look at the Handi Quilter. (I was amazed.) One of the top free-motion quilters was working at the A-1 booth, but spent all his free tine at the Handi Quilter booth playing. They had Sliver metallic thread on the HQ18 Avante and he free-motioned a flower at 90 miles an hour trying to break the thread. He failed. it sewed perfectly. I felt all the signs were pointing to this machine.The final decision was made when I sat for a few hours with the representatives from the company and especially Elaine, she told me she would be coming to my house, setting up my machine and spending over two days teaching me how to use it.
The experience was even better than I expected. The support from Elaine and the company has been first-rate. She trained me and my two friends. We figured we had a better chance of remembering if there were three of us.The software for the computer was easy to learn and I love digitizing my own designs from my own photographs. I am so very happy. Now my quilts reflect me from beginning to end.

I own the following HQ machines:

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