As any friend or acquaintance will tell you, - if / when my name is mentioned the words quilting & fabric are usually contained in the same sentence. From tailoring men’s wear, working on bridal wear, altering ladies wear or creating my own clothes, in fact my son would head to the fabric store to pick out his shirts when we went school shopping. I’m no stranger in a fabric shop, I support several.
I don’t remember not having fabric, scissors, or a needle, thread, in my hands or planning to at the next opportunity. Planning a quilt is like falling in love.
As I have visited quilt shops and shows across our great country the long-arm quilting machines have always drawn me like a moth to the flame. My husband was frugal and tried to improvise a mid-arm system by combining 2 systems to satisfy me. It only flamed the fires of desire – I wanted a reliable system, with support that was local.
When a very good friend purchased an HQ18 Avante, she generously offered to let me use her system when I had tops ready to quilt. I loved the opportunity and did several tops while falling in love with the system. Her generosity only fanned the flames of desire into a bonfire. Besides, I like to quilt after most households have gone to bed – she & her husband really didn’t need me coming into their home in the middle of the night to quilt.
First I had to convince myself that I could afford my dream. I’ve usually been able to simply write a check for things I want – but now that was not an option. I started to review finances and felt I could purchase a used HQ Sixteen system. Then reality struck: I didn’t want someone else’s system while they upgraded. I wanted a new one. I had to look at as pieces – like quilt tops not the finished quilt. Could I add payments to my budget? Back to the pencil and paper and yes I could do it. Fantastic, so off to the local dealer I went.
How many times does each dealer go over information about the various models, the frames in a day – only to have someone say: “I’ll have to think about it”? When she mentioned a promotion for free shipping – it cinched the deal in my mind. I honestly believe she was surprised when I said – Let’s write this up.
My new system was shipped during the International Quilt Show in Chicago, April 2010 – I watched the United Parcel tracking at the hotel and waited with bated breath the Monday after the show for its arrival. The friend who shared her machine with me – shared her husband’s skill to set it up. It is the best gift I’ve ever given myself.
I’m still learning, after many years of pushing fabric through a machine it’s a dream come true to be able dance across the top of the fabric. I’ve only done a few quilts but I smile as I do each one – quilting in my PJ’s at 3 a.m.
HQ 18 Avante with HQ studio frame.
I own the following HQ machines: