Lillian Palko

Showing my quilt at the 30th Anniversary of Napa Quilt Guild that I started in 1981

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Thank Goodness for My Sweet 16 Life certainly wasn’t easy before my HQ Sweet Sixteen. First, hand quilting was frustratingly slow and painful. Painful because I would stick the needle into the same hole on my middle finger under the quilt that I had already stuck earlier. Although I loved the look of hand quilting, I never did develop the desirable quilter’s calluses. I had to search for a better, less painful way to quilt. After many years of painful and tedious hand quilting, I invested in my first domestic machine for machine quilting. While this method was a significant improvement to start with i.e.; no more painful pricks, and faster than hand quilting, the domestic machine also provided me with its own list of short comings. The machine stitching was slow, there wasn’t enough space to quilt a large design, and handling the quilt was like wrestling with dead weight. With no “needle down” function, the quilt would slip and my design would be ruined. Did I mention the joy of picking out stitches? Not! And try to manipulate the safety pinned basted quilt without bumping into all the little buggers was like playing pinball. Only in this case it wasn’t fun. And then an idea came to me. What I needed was a table frame with a machine that had a larger throat that I could guide over the quilt. Brilliant! Domestic machine purchase number two, new frame along with a table to set it on. This gave me a little more throat space with a whopping 4- 5 inches maximum before I had to roll the quilt. At least this time I enjoyed a small taste of what it must feel like to be a machine quilter; even if it was only doing borders or row after row of a narrow, simple quilt design. Once again, more limitations and more wasted dollars and disillusionment. Not so brilliant. In 2003, I learned via the internet about a new machine, the Handi Quilter16. It was being introduced at a quilt show in Chicago. Immediately I contacted Handi Quilter . As they told me about the fantastic features of the machine my eyes grew larger and my heart started pounding. The representative mentioned features that included: programmable needle up or needle down so you didn’t have to lose your place when pantograph quilting, and faster, adjustable speeds, the ability to quilt blocks up to 11 inches square without rolling. Plus, Laurel Barrus requested the US manufacturer (yes, made in the USA) to make the machine run well on even the poorest quality thread , which interpreted into making the machine run on ANY thread. To top it off, she also offered me the quilt show “special” pricing if I was really interested. Was I interested?! I was practically panting. And without another thought, I quickly pulled out the plastic. (I might add this is completely out of character for me who researches every major purchase.) Everything Handi Quilter said about the machine has proven true, and I still have fingerprints! Push button start and stop and speed faster or slower also with the push of a button. I can easily quilt larger spaces and utilize larger pantographs and block sizes. I don’t need to baste the quilt layers together. I am able to use a variety of tools such as plastic templates, rulers and pantograph patterns that give me many options for designs on quilts. There are “how to” videos on quilting from beginner to advanced quilters. Specialty threads such as metallic and thicker threads such as Superior Jean threads and thinner threads such as So Fine, with the right needles and slight tension adjustments run beautifully! Quilting changed from pain and drudgery to happy accomplishments with many UFO’s finally quilted. I turn up my music and do a little jig with each completed quilt. Since then, I’ve added the stitch regulator and micro handles and the Professional table. With every additional purchase from Handi Quilter I have received the same level of support and service that I did with my first call. Customer satisfaction is number one and it shows. I can’t possibly imagine my life before my “HQ Sweet Sixteen.” In fact, when I found a group forming in Yahoo about the Handi Quilter . I was first to upload a message. This was where I later coined the phrase “HQ Sweet Sixteen” My hands, my back and my happiness belong to you. This was my chance to say thank you Handi Quilter. Anyone remember Jackie Gleason and “How Sweet it is!” My sentiment exactly.

I own the following HQ machine: HQ Sweet Sixteen