Tina Collier

My nephew Justin and myself with a memory quilt for him to take to his home in Germany

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Hi my name is Tina Collier and I am a passionate, dedicated, and creative quilter from Philadelphia, PA. My story starts in 2006, at age 55, when I was faced with a life altering decision after some serious spinal surgery, cervical fusion. With a great deal of physical rehabilitation in my future, I choose to retire and quickly found boredom. I needed to do something new with my life. While purchasing my vacuum cleaner bags I was given some good advice by a friend, Judy, who worked there at the store. She suggested I go down the road a few blocks and register for some quilting classes. I left the store with some new vacuum bags and a sewing machine Judy suggested I buy from her that very night.
The next day I went to our local quilt shop and started this new crafting journey. It was like starting school all over again, but I was eager to learn. This class was wonderful and fun with terrific teachers and ladies of all ages gathering and making beautiful quilts. The hardest aspect of quilting was quilting on a conventional machine. With a plate in my neck and permanent nerve damage in my arms the actual quilting part was troublesome. I could not do all the pinning and stretching of fabric. So I happily pieced my quilt tops and sent some of my larger quilts out to be quilted. However, there was always this desire I had to complete the entire quilt making process from beginning to end.
Then it happened. I went to Harrisburg, PA to attend a quilt show and my curiosity got the best of me. What if I owned a long arm? I tried every machine but I kept going back to this Handi Quilter stand. I got the measurements of the portable table and the HQ Sixteen and went home. I continued to dream about it for a year. At every quilt show I would return to the Handi Quilter Display. I went online and read the many testimonials. Finally the following year, upon returning home from that same quilt show in Harrisburg, my dear husband Andrew asked about my experience at the show. I told him about my find, “If I could have anything in the world I would love to get the HQ Sixteen and that portable table. “ I also told him the plus side for him would be that he would not have to help me stretch out the quilt and close all those pins anymore. I showed him the brochures and the pictures. He had seen how passionate I was about this machine and he purchased the HQ Sixteen the following Monday for me. My life has never been the same.
At first I was intimated by its size but quickly moved past that after just one lesson. I found every aspect of my HQ user friendly and if I had any questions the HQ Support Group was there to help. I purchased HQ videos, books, and rulers. I practiced more every day and sometimes throughout the night. Simply put, I was and continue to be addicted to this magnificent machine.
“Darwin”, my HQ, has opened many doors for me. Now almost 4 years after starting on this new venture, I am still feeling those same butterflies after a quilt is completed. I now do pantographs and some custom work. I quilt for charity, profit but mostly for fun. Will I ever upgrade, perhaps. I do know that whatever I decide it will be purchased from Handi Quilter as I am eternally grateful for the immense amounts of joy and creative possibilities your company has afforded me. Now, thanks to Handi Quilter I can honestly say that my retirement is truly “golden”.
I own the following machine: HQSixteen
More of my work can be found at website
http://www.justsewperfect.com

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