Leslie Bandaccari

Leslie, Molly and Jean (HQ16)

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Since I was a little girl, I have always wanted to learn to make beautiful quilts. The patterns and colors fascinated me. I would go to quilt shows and look for hours at all the quilts hanging on display, and at the women who spent countless hours creating memories that would last a lifetime. I finally took the plunge in 2004 with my very dear friend Jean. We started attending the “Block of the Month” club at a local fabric store and were immediately hooked. Jean had been sewing for her entire life and took to quilting like she was Picasso. I, on the other hand, had never really sewn anything and was struggling to keep up with classes and also keep on schedule with a career that required me to work very long hours. Most months, Jean would lovingly complete my block for me just so we could stay on track with the classes, knowing full well that my work schedule would not lend time for me to complete the next month’s block. As time went on, so did my work schedule. Jean would show me every day what she had completed and new projects that she was dreaming of. We would talk of the days to come in the near future when I would be retired and we could laugh and sew all day long. In 2007, Jean announced she was the proud new “mom” of an HQ 16! What a day that was. She threw a BBQ in its honor as my husband gladly put it together for her. She was ecstatic. She had only completed two small table runners on her new “baby” when we found out she was terminally ill. Just four months later, she was gone. Before she passed away, she asked me to do two things for her. The first one was to take care of her little dog “Molly.” The second was to fulfill my promise to her that I would start quilting. With that request, she gave me her new HQ Sixteen and all her sewing supplies (which totaled four rooms in her home.) I have finally retired. My husband and I moved to Wyoming last November and he immediately began building a room that would hold Jean’s HQ Sixteen and all of the sewing supplies. Everyday in the basement he worked for seven months….and it’s finally done. I have a wonderful friend here visiting on vacation this week. She is one of the most amazing quilters I have ever met and has the patients of a Saint. She knows my story and the pain I feel with the loss of my friend. So, this is for you Jean…. We went through all the pieced quilt tops you never had the chance to finish. Your HQ Sixteen is ready to go, and tonight I will keep my promise to you. Thank you good friend. Molly and I miss you.

I own the following HQ machine: HQ Sixteen

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