and sewing were all a part of every day life of my grandmother who passed the traditions on to
me, so I don’t know when I made my first quilt. When she passed away in 1986, I inherited a
quilt from her that had been made by my great, great Aunt Lucy prior to 1900, which became a
treasured possession for me. For years, I dreamed of having a place to create my own heirloom
quilts like Aunt Lucy.
When my husband received his master’s degree in 2003, he offered to send me back to school to
get my master’s degree. I told him I wanted to take the money I would spend on the first year of
college and create a sewing studio so I could start my own quilting business. I shared my dream
of continuing to work as a counselor at a treatment center for teenage boys until I could get my
business up and running then “retiring” to quilt full time. To my delight, he agreed to my plan
and helped me turn what had started as a carport into a studio. We insulated the walls, put up
wallboard, spackled the walls, put down needle friendly flooring and painted the room to match
my antique quilt which was hung in a place of honor. After adding a corner for family history
items, including a daguerreotype of Aunt Lucy, I was ready to add a machine.
After an extensive search of all the mid and long arm machines available, I found HQ. The
flexible table length and ease of handling caught my attention. After trying one at the Chicago
Quilt Festival, I was hooked. My HQ Sixteen arrived and I have been happily quilting ever since, for
myself and for others as well. At work, I taught groups of teenage boys to piece tops together
and complete them by quilting them on my HQ, giving them a sense of pride and
accomplishment. Several of my nieces and nephews have gotten married and all have received
quilted Christmas tree skirts for their wedding gifts. All of their children have gotten baby quilts,
thanks to my HQ. None of that would have been possible without it.
What is even more satisfying for me, was the fact that my husband caught the “quilting bug”
right along with me. As I worked on gifts and quilting for others, by husband took my scraps and
began making art quilts. Our walls are now covered with his bright, cheery creations. Together
we shop hop and have made several king size quilts for our own bed.. My latest passion has been
to take pictures from our vacations and turn them into quilted wall hangings. Although my
business has not grown to the point I can retire yet, my HQ has allowed me to expand my
quilting style and abilities in a way I had never imagined while reducing the stress from my full
time job. After each project, I marvel at how quickly it was completed and wonder how in the
world I got anything done before my HQ arrived.
I own the following HQ machines: