When my husband John, agreed that I should get my own long arm machine, I could hardly believe it! He really encouraged me, and helped me shop.
At first I wasn't sure if we had room for a 12 ft. frame. But John gave the OK to put it in the garage with our Harleys, if we had to. Yes, I ride my own motorcycle. Amazingly, I got my first motorcycle, a little Honda 50cc, the same year I made my first quilt! As it turned out, the Handi Quilter went upstairs in my sewing room, but I had to move my sewing machine and fabric downstairs, into what was the exercise room. Then we moved ALL the exercise equipment out to the garage, with the Harleys,...a much better fit.
In our travels, we went to Village Quiltworks, in Richland Wa. about 70 miles from where we live now in Yakima. I was SOLD when Debbi had me "test drive" the Handi Quilter...WOW. John was SOLD, when Debbi said that she and her husband would be the ones to do the delivery and set up, and give me a mini lesson. After meeting Debbi, we didn't look any further.
It all started when I made my first quilt in 1971. It was a queen size, made with paper patterns, pins, and scissors. I used old wool suits for the blocks, cotton calico for the sashings and an old wool blanket for the batting, and pieced together the left-over calico for the backing. I tied my quilt sandwich together with wool yarn! I didn't even know about actual quilting back then. Quite a change from how easy it is today.
My life continued without any "quilt" time, till I took an early retirement with the City of Yakima Fire Department. I was a professional fire fighter and EMT. Yes, I did drive the fire truck, 102 ft. ladder truck, etc. and went into burning buildings and fought fire. I even delivered a baby! I think that experience taught me that I could do whatever I set my mind on and not to be timid in trying new things. The idea of me running a long arm, seemed a little daunting at first. Now, even the practicing is FUN!
Before the Handi Quilter, I had made 17 bed size quilts, 14 were king size. And way too many smaller quilts to count. Every quilt I entered into the local fair, has won a blue ribbon and one got a Special Merit Award rosette prise as well. Of course all of them were long arm quilted by others. I stopped entering after a few years, but now that I can quilt my own, I'll have to enter again, when it's all MY work.
I'm so looking forward to fall, so I can really start quilting again, and to the end of my huge garden and all the time it requires. I've "stolen" some time this summer to practice and I did quilt my first project on my Handi Quilter...a baby quilt for John's first grand child, a boy, due in October. What a thrill to make the whole quilt from start to finish!
My Handi Quilter is one of life's dream come true.
I own the following HQ machines: