First I have to give you a little background. I’ve been pushing and shoving quilts through my domestic machine for several years. Once I started working part-time when my children were older, I started dreaming of something more efficient and less back straining. At first chance, I ordered a table top frame and set up my Singer 301 to quilt on a folding table. You had to slide the tract as you worked on this frame, and it wasn’t long before my husband made full length tracts for me. I would have been in heaven, but rolling every 5 inches due to the short throat space was a major pain, but I knew I had been bitten by the joy of free-hand quilting. I wondered if there was another machine I could use on my table top frame and started researching. It wasn’t long before I ran into information on one of the quilting sites mentioning the HQ Sixteen. I believe this was in 2003. I contacted Handi Quilter and was asking a million questions about using the HQ on my table top frame and they said if I was really interested, they could give me the introductory “show price” which was a show in Chicago at that time and I immediately said “yes.” It was the first and only time I have purchased something without trying it, researching it and pounding the pavement for better pricing. It has been the BEST purchase I have ever made.
Of course, I had to wait 4-6 months to get it and it was non-stitch regulated. I’ve since upgraded to stitch regulated for intricate work but having had the machine for several years before upgrading, I still prefer non-regulated. Later on, when Handi Quilter started offering their retreats, I signed up and went to the second one they offered. (The first dates didn’t work for me.) I haven’t had any greater experience in quilting retreats since. They were awesome, informative and treated us like queen-for-a-day.
I also ordered the HQ Micro Handles and the next greatest purchase was the professional table.
So, here I am, still sitting here after all these years with my Cheshire cat grin on my face and loving quilting! I know there is a quilter’s heaven earth.
I own the following HQ machines: