Hi! I am Joanne Moody, and I’ve been quilting for several years. I enjoy all kinds of quilts. I love wonderful color combinations and eye-appealing designs. My first quilt was a tessellating star design that I saw in a book and absolutely had to make for my son, complete with mitered corners! I made and quilted it on my domestic sewing machine – One experience of that was enough for me! It was a huge learning experience for a brand new quilter - I didn’t know about chain piecing, so it took me a couple of years to finally finish, but it did look great and he loved it! From then on, I was hooked. But, the physical effort of trying to do the quilting on a domestic sewing machine was just too much for me. I desperately wanted my own quilting machine so I could take a quilt from start to finish and ‘own’ it all!
Several years ago I was finally ready to purchase a long-desired quilting machine. But I live in a small home, so I knew that I would need a machine and table that I could set-up and then later take-down and store away. I researched and found two machines I wanted to test-drive and demo – the HQ Sixteen and Brand-X. I learned as much as I could about the machines and then went looking for dealers. At the time, there was only one Brand-X dealer shown on their website for my state - it was in a major city a couple of hours away. There were many HQ dealers in our state (I liked that idea better), including one in the same general area as the Brand-X dealer. I knew that I wanted to ‘test’ the machines to see how they maneuvered as well as observe the stitch quality myself before I purchased one. Both dealers were open on Saturdays, so I prepared a list of up-front questions and planned to setup appointment times to see both machines on the same Saturday – that way, I would make the long drive from my small hometown only once.
I first called the Brand-X dealer, and spoke with the store owner. She answered a few of my questions but then told me that she had customers she needed to help in her store and she would have to call me back. But she didn’t ask for my phone number, so I called her back to leave it. I waited a day or two – no call back, so I called again. Once again, I got a couple of questions answered before she had to go. Figuring that she must not realize I was a totally serious customer and ready to buy a machine, I called again to setup an appointment for the following Saturday (during the store’s normal business hours) to drive there and try the machine. She told me that she was going to have her guild at the store that morning and it would not be a good time for me to come. I offered to change my schedule and come after the guild meeting, but she still insisted that it would not be a good day to come. Quite obviously, this dealer was NOT interested in a new cash-in-hand customer! I could only imagine how the after-sale service and support would go (unless you happened to be in her guild!).
By this time, I felt like my wonderful quilting-machine-parade had been rained on – it certainly wasn’t turning out like I had envisioned! So bracing myself for another round, I called the HQ Sixteen dealer to ask my questions and to schedule an appointment for a ‘hands-on’. What an incredible difference! The HQ dealer bent over backwards to help me (and ALWAYS returned my calls)! They gladly setup a time for me to come in that Saturday and test-drive the HHQ Sixteen machine – they even brought in their trainer from another store to work with me one-on-one so I could make a comfortable and knowledgeable buying decision! Now, THAT’s a dealer (by the way, that’s It’s-A-Stitch in Houston)! The machine sewed like a dream, and the stitch quality was excellent. We discussed options for my portable set-up/take-down needs and I purchased my machine and extendable table from them that day. With all of the help and information I received, I was confident that I had bought the right machine from the right people.
I returned to this same dealer about a year or two later to purchase the HQ Pro-Stitcher when it came out. As before, they answered my questions about issues to consider with my portable solution and encouraged me to come in to see the setup and test-drive the HQ Pro-Stitcher system before buying. And again, they arranged to bring in a trainer to show me how it worked and answer my questions. I felt like their most-valued customer! After seeing the HQ Pro-Stitcher and discussing with their technical staff, I came up with a clever solution to keep my portable setup that would also work with the HQ Pro-Stitcher (even my husband was impressed with my design idea). And when I’ve had to call Handi Quilter with a question or problem (which is very rare), they are ALWAYS pleasant and helpful. Once an HQ technician even stayed on the phone well after his normal work shift ended to finish stepping me through a fix for a little hidden loose screw, and then waited while I tested that it worked. THAT’s a commitment to support!
Some of the first things I quilted with my HQ Sixteen were two quilt tops that had been found in an attic and returned to our family – they had been hand-pieced by my husband’s grandmother. Later, after I got my HQ Pro-Stitcher, I repaired and quilted another hand-pieced quilt top that had been made by the great-grandmother of my daughter-in-law. Most amazingly, as I quilted these vintage tops, I felt like I got to be friends with the ladies who had worked so hard to put those treasures together.
Needless to say, my HQ has been a perfect solution for me and my space requirements, and my desire to take my quilts from start to finish. And it has been a wonderful tool to bring to life those incredible old quilt tops of our grandmothers. My HQ Sixteen/HQ Pro-Stitcher is a wonderful machine that does a beautiful job every time. I can’t imagine being without it!
And to the Brand-X dealer who was too busy to support a new customer, I say “Thank you for sending me to my HQ Dealer!” What an unbelievable stroke of luck for me! I got the right dealer, the right machine, and the right company! I am a very happy and satisfied HQ Sixteen/HQ Pro-Stitcherr owner.
I own the following HQ machines: