Ever wonder how a person got started doing what they are doing, or why someone is doing something for what may seem like an insane reason? My journey started the summer of 2007. My beautiful daughter was headed to college and I wanted to make her a quilt. I wanted a top that would fit her bed the way I wanted it to fit. Long enough to tuck in and cover the pillow, and wide enough to roll up in without being too wide. So I ended up with this quilt that was 6 ft. wide by 8 ft. long. I knew I wanted to get it finished so I decided on a simple 9 patch with alternating solid and collegiate fabric. So, off I go to the local quilt shop and drop $8.95 per yard for the Purdue fabric and about the same for the matching black and gold. I was so proud when I finally got the top finished, and couldn't wait to have it quilted. I contacted a couple of local quilters and discovered the going rate was between .025 - .035 per square inch to have the quilt finished for me. OUCH! I did not see that coming! Now, my dilemma was I have 3 more children all standing in line for their own special quilt - can you see the $$$ adding up quickly? I could, and didn't like what I was seeing! Okay, so it's time to check out buying a machine and doing it myself, great plan, right? Right, I went from "honey, it's only going to be $2,000 - $3.000" to "honey, I really love you and I found a machine for $$$$$ (I don't remember what I actually paid). So, that is where the story begins. I have a machine and I want to do my quilts and then I get the brainy idea that I can also do others to "help" out quilters who will never have a "show" quilt just a quilt that was simply made to be loved.
Recently, I quilted a top for a lovely lady and received this email from her:
I wanted to thank you for quilting my top. I have a retina problem and deal with double vision quite a bit with detailed work. Myself, I was pleased with how the tops turned out for my first attempts. Oh, they are the flying geese and puppy dogs you are working on at present from (Name withheld) in (State also). My other daughter from Ohio joined us in Paducah, Ky this past spring for the AQS show. We rented a cabin sewing several days and doing the show along with going to Hancock's there. It was my first big immersion to quilting. Anyway, when you get to comparing the precision of others and all the programs/web sites one does not feel very accomplished. You are an answer for the desires of my heart.
Thank you for your service to others during these economic times.
Here was my reply to her:
I have only been quilting for a short time myself, and you should see my first quilts!! Oh my goodness, talk about not square and mis-matched seams!! AND I thought I'd do one of those rag quilts, and ended up cutting it wrong and now it's falling apart at the seams. lol!! But you know what, I made those quilts for my kids and they don't care about the mis-matched seams and bring it to my attention to "fix" the latest hole because they love the quilts. Those quilts will never be in a show or up for any kind of "judging" besides by the ones I love and the ones who love me. I love them enough to make the quilt and they love the quilt. For me - that's enough. I don't need ribbons to tell me that my quilts are worth something; I already know they are even with all of their imperfections.
NOW--lady....I did have some "problems" (but not problems) with your flying geese. It wasn't as square as it could have been so there are folds and tucks in the quilt. BUT - I saw an amazing difference in the second quilt that you did!! It was PERFECTLY WONDERFUL! Now, I want you to keep on quilting and spending time with your girls, so the next quilt you send me I will quilt it for half price. I would like to encourage you to keep quilting for the ones you love.
I am more than happy to provide the long arm quilting for ladies like you and me, who do it for the love of the ones we love, not for the ribbons and recognition that the "perfect" quilts will bring.
Hugs to you and your wonderful girls....
After she received her quilts here is the email that I received:
Our quilts came today!!!!! I love the flying geese, even with its imperfections. It will really keep me humble. It will be bound and put on our bed for daily use since we have an almost three year old grandson, Jo's cat and my dog. I knew it would not quilt very well and that it was due to the materials I used. It was "just my practice one after all". My grand loves his puppy dog one.................kept rolling himself up in it and talking to the doggies. It will be bound and put up for Christmas or his birthday, since they are close together.
I have cut out a table runner with a starburst pattern in the center and friendship stars on either end of that. Will machine quilt that here myself. I have done a very primitive one with just strip pieces as practice.................and I love it!
I quilt for this! I want the quilts that will be loved and cherished. There are plenty of long arm quilters out there who can provide you with works of art; I am not that person. I am doing it for the love of the quilt.
Why the HQ? During my search for a machine I tried and test-drove every model I could get my hands on. Models that could cost a person $25,000 to the ones that could be purchase for as little as $4,000 brand new with all they had to offer. The outstanding feature of the HQ was not only the beauty of the machine, or the low maintenance; it went much deeper. I found a community of owners who truly loved their machines, are excited about owning them and offer more help and support than a gal could ever hope for.
With all this going for the HQ how could I possibly look at anything else? This WAS the machine for me. I was fortunate enough to purchase a new HQ from a gal who was not able to use it. This is another long story for another day. The machine was in North Carolina and I was in Indiana. As fate would have it, they were traveling to Indiana and could deliver and set the machine up for me. It was a dream come true!
My HQ has been used for many a loving quilt and has moved twice in the last 12 months. I have called on Handi Quilter a few times since my initial investment and have been treated with the same respect as if I had just purchased my machine yesterday directly from them. The customer service team and the technicians that I have dealt with have been more than helpful in resolving any issues (all two of them) that I have had.
I know I made the right choice. I too, have become one of those HQ owners that absolutely beams when they talk about their machine. Thank you Handi Quilter for providing a superior product that has developed a great community of HQ owners!
I own the following HQ machines: