Ebony Love

Me with one of Mr. Darcy's Quilts

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Finally... A Machine I Won't Outgrow... I used to buy a new sewing machine every time I got a project that was too big for me to handle with the current machine. I'd bought three machines and a 10' frame through that process, but still I was finding my creativity and productivity limited by what I felt the machine could do. It was frustrating to feel like the quilt was fighting me for control, and our daily battles exhausted me and sapped my creativity. I started to hate working on anything bigger than lap sized, and it's a bad sign when you start to dislike the one thing you are most passionate about. There had to be a better way. A quilting friend of mine came over one day to help me through a particularly tough quilting problem, and she remarked, "That machine is not right for you; I think you've outgrown it." So I decided that September, once and for all, I was going to buy a machine that I would not outgrow, and the search for "Mr. Darcy" began. (Mr. Darcy is the love interest of my favorite character in my favorite book, "Pride and Prejudice.") I went to the Madison Quilt Expo in Wisconsin, and tried a number of different machines. Not knowing what I was looking for, I was soon confused by all the options and features, but after a while it started to become more clear. I found myself visiting the same booth over and over again; I liked the clean design, the all-inclusive features, and there was a certain machine that just "felt" better than others. But I couldn't make a $10K decision based on a feeling! So I didn't make a purchase then and there, but I started to take the idea more seriously. I was very lucky to meet an AWESOME local dealer (Sue Schmeiden) who offered to let me come to her shop and try out a machine for the day. That was much better than using a machine for 5 minutes at a show! During my time in her shop, I learned how to load a quilt, advance it, run out a bobbin, and get to know the machine and how easy it was to use. It seemed to fit me like a glove, and I started to have visions of all the beautiful quilts we could make together. If I wasn't sure whether I was in love at the show, I certainly was in love then! But you can't make a $10K purchase based on love! (Okay, maybe you can if you're buying a ring...) As an engineer, I relish facts and analysis, so I created a list of what I thought Mr. Darcy should have, and started comparing all the machines I tried at the show. At the end of that objective analysis, the HQ24 Fusion carried the day! All in all, I compared 7 machines, but I was secretly pleased at the final result, because it was at the intersection of my heart and brain; all along, I loved Mr. Darcy, and now my spreadsheet told me that he was the perfect machine for me. Once I made the decision to purchase, I figured that I would need lots of quilts to practice on, so I put an offer out on my blog to quilt for free anything that hit my doorstep by December 1. (One of the criteria for sending me a quilt was letting me have absolute say in what I quilted - what brave people!) I ended up getting quilts from all over the country, and it has been a true pleasure to work on those quilts, practice my skills, solve problems, try out new things and let the creativity flow from my brain to my fingertips! Based on the work that Darcy and I have done so far, I've been fortunate to be able to take in customer quilts, and just a couple of weeks ago, Darcy & I were awarded 6 ribbons at the county fair, including four 1st Place ribbons. It feels fantastic to know that instead of outgrowing Mr. Darcy, he and I can grow together. I never would have imagined a year ago being at this point in my quilting, but I love it, I love my HQ24 Fusion, and I'm looking forward to seeing what we do in year 2. Right now, the only thing stopping us is time!

I own the following HQ machine: HQ24 Fusion