I remember as a child sleeping under quilts created by grandmother, never imaging that one day, I too, would be so in love with the whole process.
I was introduced to piecing quilts some 28 years ago while stationed overseas with my US Marine Corps husband. It was a real thrill to piece a quilt by machine, but then it sat waiting for that day when it could be hand quilted. As the years went by I continued to add to that pile of quilt tops; while moving with the military and raising our two daughters. I eventually realized that I would need to start machine quilting or would have nothing more than a quilt top collection to share with others. I was able, with practice, to successfully quilt some of my smaller pieces, but continually struggled with anything larger than a baby quilt. So the stacks larger pieces continued to grow. Then came the day of my youngest daughter's high school graduation, my husband knowing my desire to complete some of the wonderful quilts I had so meticulously pieced, surprised me with my HQ Sixteen. What a wonderful empty-nest gift. I was ready; I bought muslin to practice, and then moved on to pieces of juvenile flannels, covering each with all-over quilting and binding for charity baby quilts. Slowly I felt more confident and moved onto larger charity pieces. Then one day while a practice piece was loaded and ready, my oldest daughter decided to play a bit. She fell in love with it, her art background allowed her to look at each piece as an artist's canvas, the machine became her paintbrush and she began to create. Shortly after her introduction to "my" HQ, she gave birth to my first granddaughter. Her desire to be a stay at home mom pushed her to continue practicing on charity quilts in hopes of one day quilting for hire. I sat back watching as she continued to improve, even occasionally convincing her to "practice" on my pieces. We were able to attend a long arm quilt convention in Overland Park, Kansas that spring, where most of the hands-on classes were set up with HQ Sixteen machines. Wonderful classes with nationally known quilters and on my exact machine, it was perfect. We both learned an amazing amount about my fantastic machine. But it soon became very evident that she had the artistic touch, which enabled her to make quilts sing. Now as easy as it would have been to be frustrated with the fact that she was excelling far beyond my quilting ability with "MY" machine, I soon realized I was the true winner here. That's right, because while she was working hard at creating beautiful quilts for each of her clients, I was spending every precious moment watching my granddaughter. That was over 2 years ago, we are still a team, Madison and I measure quilts, and Amanda quilts them. That is how "MY" machine became "OUR" machine and I wouldn't want it any other way.
I own the following HQ machines: