Wenda Nichols

My daughter and myself at her bridal tea.

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Hi! My name is Wenda Nichols. I recently purchased the HQ18 Avante from my local quilt shop here in Trussville, Alabama, so let me tell you how that came about. I have recently begun quilting again about a year and a half ago and frequent the "Heart to Heart Quilt Shop" near my home to purchase fabric and supplies. My husband is in the military and spends 7-9 months of the year over seas, so I had been spending much of my time alone and being a couch potato. After digging out an old box of some pieced squares that I had started at least 18 years ago, I thought "Hey! I could get back into quilting and do something I really wanted to learn to do years ago, but never had the time!" So, my journey began. I purchased a domestic sewing machine that I could learn to machine piece on. I started taking classes at "Heart to Heart". I took every class I could afford. I was hooked! So, I go in one day and see the Sweet Sixteen Sit down demo machine, which set off bells in my brain. I came back day after day trying it out, looking at it, trying to decide if I could pay for it, and how much better it would be than trying to stitch in the ditch on my home machine. Wow, what a decision! Then on the day they were having a special deal on the sit down machine, ( which was a sale price plus a free accuqilt go baby) and had the girl was here from Alabama who was chosen as one of the people who turned in her "MY HQ Story", I decided that I needed to weigh all of my options before I made a large purchase. I almost had my mind made up to get the sit down machine and thought I might be able to talk my husband into letting me splurge for it. So, as I said , I wanted to be totally sure of my decision. I asked Cindy, one of the owners of the shop, to demo the HQ18 Avante that they have in the store also, just so I could see the difference. After her demo, I knew I wouldn't be happy with anything less than the HQ18 Avante. Now, the big hurdle comes. Talking to my husband about it. He didn't even know I was shopping for a quilting machine! Well, I brought it up, he asked many questions, and what it boiled down to was that he was getting ready to go to Iraq for yet another 9 month deployment, my daughter was just going to get married and move to Hawaii with her husband who was also in the military, and I was going to be spending and awful lot of time alone with just my little toy fox terrier. I needed something to do to stay busy. So, even though it was a large and very unplanned purchase, he said, 'You go get you one, Girl!!" And he meant it! So I did!! What a wonderful and understanding man I have in my life! (Now I just have to figure out how to get the Prostitcher!) Ha! Well, needless to say, I am not too great at free motion yet, having only had it a few months, but I am practicing. I love it and I am now finishing my tops even if I am mostly feeling the highest level of comfort using the Panographs. I will continue to practice my free motion until I feel comfortable enough to do an entire quilt top free motion. I would also like to try the groove boards. Now I have someone to keep me company. I have named her Ava. For now, she is my only companion. Now I am just hoping to one day be able to add the HQ Pro-Stitcher!

I own the following HQ machine: HQ18 Avante