She has made many beautiful quilts over the years. She has given them away to her 6 children, 13 grandchildren, and 23 great grandchildren. She has also sold many custom quilts to repeat customers.
About 25 years ago, Mama, and our Daddy's cousin, who was a little bit older than Mama, teamed up. Mama pieced the quilts and "Aunt" Nita quilted them by hand. This was the only way they could keep up with their orders. They made some of the most outstanding quilts we have ever seen. Gradually they both got to the point that they could not do it all by hand anymore, so for many years they were unable to piece and quilt together. "Aunt" Nita is gone now: but we wish she had been able to see Mama's new machine!
Mama has pieced,quilted and given seven of her grandchildren their quilts. She had five more pieced, but not quilted. She had them stored in her sewing room. It was her desire to get these quilts finished and given to each grandchild before she went to be with Daddy in heaven. She had previously given each great grandchild a baby quilt when they were born.
She has admired quilting machines in all her quilt magazines for years. One daughter, Lynn, had taken her across the panhandle of Florida to a quilt shop to see one years ago. She liked it: but couldn't make up her mind to spend that much money. Over the years, another daughter, Libby, took her to look at some more machines. She was still hesitant to spend the money. At that point, Daddy's health began to fail rapidly and she spent all her time taking care of him. She had previously cared for Daddy's mother for many years, as well as her sister before she had to be placed in a nursing home. Mama had always put everyone else first and put her own desires on the back burner.
She made many lap quilts by hand, and donated them to the nursing home where my aunt was a resident. She enjoyed seeing them enjoy the beauty of them, as well as being useful. She also donated small lap blankets, and table placemats to her church for sale at the annual Country Store.
Daddy passed away in May of 2009. It was a hard time for our family. Mama found solace in her quilting again. Her fingers are bent with arthritis and age making quilting difficult to do for more than a short time. She began to think about getting a quilting machine. She asked us to check them out for her. We went online and looked up all the dealers within 100 miles of our town. This included all makes and models. Then we girls visited some stores/shops. The first one we visited had the HQ18 Avante with HQ Studio Frame, but they were unable to demonstrate it that day, so we went back to the list of dealers in our area. It was then that one daughter, Libby, contacted Suzanne's Quilt Shop in Moultrie, GA. She explained how the machines were set up in her shop and that we could call and schedule an appointment to come in for a demonstration. Mama wanted us to make that appointment so off we went, Mama, Libby, and another daughter, Ann to Suzanne's shop in Moultrie, GA. We were addicted before we left that day. Our mother wanted to think about it: but it only took her a few days to decide that she not only wanted the HQ18 Avante with HQ Studio Frame, but the HQ Pro-Stitcher to go with it! The folks at "Suzanne's" were so professional, friendly, and helpful it made a great impression on us all.
None of us girls WERE quilters. We all sew and are creative, but we had never really gotten into quilting, not the way Mama had hoped that we would.
We called Suzanne and placed the order. Within a week it was delivered. We then scheduled a time for them to come, set up the machine, and get us started. We were on our way to becoming quilters and fulfilling Mama's wish. I think she kenw that if she bought this machine we would all turn into quilters! Suzanne came back to Mama's house to set up the machine, as well as a couple more times and gave us private lessons on the machine. All four of us couldn't be there every time, so that is why we are a team, it takes all of us working together to achieve the results we want. We have a notepad hanging on the wall that we communicate with. When one of us is at Mama's we always end up quilting. Then we leave a note to let the next one know where to take over. We also have a spreadsheet that we each note bobbin changes, oiling the bobbin, needle changes, etc.
Mama is very pleased with her machine. We have only 2 more grandchildren quilts to go then she will have given every grandchild their quilt. As we finish them, she immediately gives it away. Mama has learned a lot about this machine and the HQ Pro-Stitcher. She can quilt on it now, but it was a lot for her to learn at 88 years old, since she
has never used a computer. She knows a lot more about this machine than she thinks she does. She has watched her girls so much that she knows every step we take.
This machine not only makes beautiful quilts, but is has made Mama and her daughters much closer, even her nine year old great granddaughter, made a doll quilt last week. Mama has gotten her wish. Her "girls" are now quilters!
Mama owns the HQ18 Avante with HQ Pro-Stitcher.
I own the following HQ machines: