Barbara H Cavender

My Underground Railroad Quilt and me

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My Mother and I lived with Mama (my maternal grandmother) while my Daddy served in WWII. Mama ran a country grocery store and never drove a car so she always kept busy cooking, crocheting, sewing, embroidering, quilting and running the store. She taught me to do whatever she was doing so my love of quilting goes way back. I only wanted quilts that were hand quilted until I had a strange night (dream, premonition or God speaking to me) about a Long Arm Quilting Machine. After sharing this night with my daughter, Risha, she asked what kind did I want…I didn’t know what kind was available. Next was, how much are they…again I didn’t have an answer. After doing my “homework” on different machines available the HQ Sixteen w/stitch regulator won, hands down. She and my son-in law, Michael, bought the machine for me so that I would retire a second time to stay home and quilt.
The Nashville Quilt Show was in progress soon afterwards when a friend, that was attending, called to say they had HQ Sixteen machines there that were for sale at the end of the show. She reserved one for me and I drove up Saturday morning, picked up the machine, (Mark Hyland, CEO of Handi Quilter carried the machine to my Jeep and loaded it for me) then drove back home that evening. It was a long trip but I was hauling precious cargo and grinning like a Cheshire Cat. My table was shipped and when it arrived I put it together by myself in the back of my den. I figured if I had room for the table and machine I could sit in the floor. NOT!!! I had room for the machine and plenty of places to sit.
Although I had sewn on treadle sewing machines, personal sewing machines, commercial sewing machines, and even upholstery sewing machines, this was totally different from any machine I had ever used and I was intimidated by it. We couldn’t let this machine sit by unused so Risha and Michael treated me to the Beginner and Intermediate Retreats in Salt Lake City, UT the following March. Mom couldn’t go that far alone so Risha went with me and we stayed nine days for me to learn how to use this wonderful machine, eating great meals, meeting new people and visiting local quilt shops. Risha, now a new quilter, pieced three tops while I was in class. We also caught what we called the “Utah Crud” and were sick for a week after returning home. That didn’t mar our memories of Utah one bit. I started using what I learned in the Retreats and now have a quilting business that is continuously growing. My machine came with the Adjustable Length/Height Table but I have since replaced it with the HQ Studio Frame so I can quilt larger quilts. All because of one strange night, my life completely changed…and I must say for the better!
I own the following HQ Machine: HQ Sixteen with Stitch Regulator

I own the following HQ machines:

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