Tami Peterson

Me and my HQ Sixteen

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     I did not get the “quilting bug” until after a trip to Utah to visit my sister.  She had just begun her own journey into the quilting world and told me that she would help me make a “rag quilt” for my husband for a Christmas gift.  We worked on it for what seemed like hours, all the while trying to comfort my 3-month old daughter who was not feeling well and who only wanted to be held by me and no one else.  I kept wondering if all of the hours of cutting out and sewing it all back together would even be worth the hassle, but  I was so happy to see the completed project and could hardly wait to see my husband’s face on Christmas morning.  He did not disappoint me with his reaction…he loved it!  From that moment on, he was sold on giving and getting a “homemade” quilt and supported my new hobby/addiction.   In fact, about 3 years ago, my husband asked me what I thought we should do for our anniversary as far as a gift for each other.  In the past, we had gone on trips or gotten something that we would both enjoy, but on this particular anniversary he said, “I think we should get you a new HQ quilting machine.”  I THOUGHT I WOULD DIE.  While inside I secretly wanted to start jumping around like a crazy woman due to this recent statement made by my dear husband, I did NOT want to appear greedy, so I said, “Well, that wouldn’t be very fun for you, would it?”  To which he replied, “Yeah, right!  A quilt is the best gift you could ever give me or anyone else for that matter!”  Needless to say, it did not take long for this “newbie” to get all of her ducks in a row and start the ball rolling.  The cool thing, too, is that not only was my husband on board with the idea, but his brother who we farm with, wanted to contribute to the cause as well.  I feel like a pretty lucky woman to have two men in my life who are willing to support my “habit”. 
      Since then, I have been able to make countless quilts as gifts or for charitable causes.  I do some quilting for others on occasion for payment, but my greatest joy is when I pull a freshly washed quilt from the dryer and wrap it up to give to someone.    I enjoy making quilts that are not too detailed because I feel like I can get “in and out” quicker and move on to the next project and this method really comes in handy when I am in need of a quilt quickly.  I have literally lost count as to how many quilts I have been able to put together sometimes in just a day’s time that I have given to friends who have lost loved ones unexpectedly.   I try to consciously think of the recipient of each quilt while I am working on it because then it is pure joy.
      I had one experience this past year where early in the day I had been going through my fabric stash trying to “organize” fabrics into colors, when I came across some squares of beautiful flannel that I had previously cut up a few years ago thinking that “someday” I would make them into a quilt.  At the same time, I was listening to a song called, “If Today Was Your Last Day” by Nickelback, when my phone rang and my daughter told me that a good friend of ours had passed away.  I started to cry, thinking of his sweet wife whom he dearly loved, and how she would be alone now and feeling very sad.   I reflected on the words in that song and the wonderful life this good man had lived and immediately ran to the closet, retrieved the flannel squares and started sewing.  I honestly think I cried the entire time I sewed and quilted.  I had my iPod on the entire time, listening to the words of the song over and over, knowing that this dear man had always lived his life in such a manner that it wouldn’t have mattered what day he left this earth because he had made the most of every single day.
     I was able to finish the quilt by the same evening and went with my husband to deliver it.  When I put it in her hands, she literally melted and seemed genuinely touched by the gift.  As we visited with her, I noticed that she kept rubbing her hand over the soft flannel and I knew that although it would never take away the sadness she was feeling over the loss of her best friend, that it would at least offer her some warmth on the lonely nights to come and that she would always know each time she wrapped it around her that it would be like a “hug” from us to her.   Again the reason I had fallen in love with quilting was driven home to me.
     I am 48 years old and want to be found making and giving quilts until the day I die.   I am by no means, an expert on machine quilting, but I am in awe of those who are.  I want to learn more and become braver with the quilts I make.   I know it comes with practice and learning as you go, so I will just have to be patient as I gain more knowledge along the way.  One thing I know for certain is that my HQ16 has been not only a blessing in my life, but to many others as well and I know that it will continue to be as long as I am able to create.
I am forever grateful for a husband who not only works hard enough that I can continue on my quilting journey but also encourages me whenever I create something new… every. single. time.

I own the following HQ machine: HQ Sixteen