I hit quilting with a passion. With a college degree in art and a jack of all trades heart quilting suited me perfectly. (My husband met me under a hay baler, I was the mechanic setting the baler up for my father who was a dealer.) Besides it was a heck of a lot cleaner than the potter’s wheel and kiln residing in my basement. Quilting also satisfied my need to solve puzzles and figure things out. I just finished a “Jane Stickle” quilt in under two years. Now what do I do?
Back to keeping peace in the family. I have three children, the two boys are 6’6” and 6’9” tall and well over 300 lbs. each. Big boys! Even though I home schooled them through middle and high school the football coaches would follow me around when the boys were with me. My daughter married another big hunk. This means king-sized beds and king-sized quilts. Just try to free motion a king sized quilt on a home machine. I have done it, way too many times. If I was going to keep making king sized quilts for my king sized kids to keep peace in the family something was going to have to change!
Every year at Paducah my sister and I would test drive all the available long arms. First, we both decided we wanted to sit down! Next we decided we liked to move the quilt and not the machine. (We had both learned to free motion on our home machines by moving the quilt and I suppose we were just too lazy to think about learning to do it all over again by moving the machine.) This narrowed our selection a bit. Having been my daddy’s mechanic for years I knew the value of simplicity and integrity in construction. The HQ Sixteen Sit-down won out hands down in this respect. I know that the sound of the machine must be comfortable and not labored. I knew I would invest a lot of hours listening to what ever sound this machine was going to put out. Believe it or not the sound of the HQ Sixteen Sit-down was the final feature that sealed the sale. I also had at least a dozen more king size quilts in my sketch book, and then there will be the grandchildren…. Dare I dream about affording a long arm? Idea! Maybe I could own half of a long arm.
I liked the HQ Sixteen sit-down and as luck would have it so did my sister. Wow, amazing how much easier it is to get along as two sixty something year olds than it was as a 10 year old and a 15 year old. We bought our HQ Sixteen sit-down at the Paducah show. We grabbed the floor model, and after a little horse trading and bluffing stuff to try for a lower price, we loaded it up and headed home.
On the way home from Paducah my sister and I named our machine “Sonny”. She is to keep him for six months while I piece quilts and then he comes to stay with me for the next six months. I looked at my sister on the way home from Paducah and said, “Now we absolutely HAVE TO GET ALONG, we have joint custody of our “Sonny“.
I own the following HQ machines: