Carolyn Kerpchar

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My HQ Sweet Sixteen story begins with a Friendship Quilt made for my maternal grandmother back in the mid-1930's.  I came by that old quilt when the family gathered after Mother's death to settle her estate.  As I now recall, china, silver, paintings, furniture and all manner of items were requested and distributed among the family members but when it came time for the quilt there were no takers.  Up to that time I had never quilted and never even thought of quilting.  But as I ran my hands over that quilt and read the names of those who made each block I began to realize that here was a story with a touch of love and admiration for one woman written with needles and thread on pieces of soft cotton cloth by her daughters, nieces and friends.  I asked and the quilt was mine.
Grandmother's Friendship Quilt graced the bed in our guest room for several years where I also kept my modest little sewing machine.  The more I saw and touched that quilt the more I thought I would love to do one myself but the task seemed overwhelming.  "Where would I even start?"  Well, I started by getting a few popular quilting magazines.  As I read through the articles the process seemed simple enough but the quilting machines looked to be outside my budget.  I set aside the idea of quilting and instead became interested in machine embroidery.  Over time I became quite good at embroidery and even did small projects for friends and clubs. My husband laughingly will say he helped with these projects as he has T-shirts and the seat in pairs of underwear with someone else's initials or club logo on them.  True, but that's another story.
One day I received a call asking if I would consider embroidering a large number of patches for a local club.  If I accepted the job, I knew that my current machine would not be up to the challenge so I began to look at other machines.  Thumbing through magazines and searching the web for a new embroidery machine I came across my old loves, those quilting machines.  That feeling I originally had when first I touched Grandmother's Friendship Quilt came back to me.  For the next several days the thought of making a quilt myself kept coming back like a song you just can't get out of your mind.  I turned down the request to make those club patches and focused on making a quilt.
Wiser and more confident after several years of machine embroidery, I eagerly jumped into researching what I needed to begin making quilts.  My husband was elated when I told him I would not be practicing on his T-shirts.  Early projects included table runners and baby quilts that I could handle with my embroidery machine but when I tackled that first full bed quilt I learned the potential value of a dedicated quilting machine.  I asked my husband to be a sounding-board while I read aloud the specifications and cost for various quilting machines.  After going through the list he wrote something down on a piece of paper and then asked me what I thought was the best overall value, I replied that it was the HQ Sweet Sixteen.  He gave me the piece of paper and on it was written, "HQ Sweet Sixteen."  That was about six months ago and my HQ Sweet Sixteen and I are on our fourth quilt.  And into each goes a little love, just like with Grandmother's Friendship Quilt.

I own the following HQ machine: HQ Sweet Sixteen