Michelle Kitto

Practice, Practice, Practice

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My HQ story I have been quilting since 2000 when I accidentally stumbled into the Houston Quilt Show. I had gone to Houston to do a personal “shop hop” of the needlepoint stores in Houston with a friend. Someone mentioned that if we were going to be in Houston that week, we should stop by the show. We allowed ourselves a couple of hours (I know, crazy!) But, we didn’t have any idea what to expect. Well, I left the show 6 hours later with yards of fabric and three quilt kits and I have never looked back! From the very beginning I had no desire for someone else to do the quilting on my projects. I felt like I had designed the quilt, selected the fabric, cut it up and sewn it back together and for it to truly be my quilt, I needed to do the quilting on it. So, I layered the first one up and “shoved” it into the machine and off I went. And for eight years or so, I was content to quilt this way. Whenever I went to quilt shows, I would always stop and play with the long arm machines. But, because I had been quilting so many years by moving the fabric not the machine, the long arm felt awkward and backwards. But, the idea of being able to freely quilt a quilt and not wrestle it under my domestic machine was very appealing. I also faced a space issue with the long arm as my studio did not have the space for one. A couple of years ago while at a quilt show, I saw the HQ Sweet Sixteen sit down unit and immediately sat down to “play”. I was IN LOVE. It was just what I was looking for. However, I just spent a considerable amount of money on a new sewing machine that had a special stitch regulator and just couldn’t justify the expense. But, I continued to think about the amazing quilts I could do if I only had the HQ Sweet Sixteen. And I continued to play with them at every quilt show I found them at. My machine quilting was getting better and better and friends were asking me if I would quilt their quilts. I took a class from David Taylor and he had just purchased his Sweet Sixteen sit down and gave it rave reviews all during the class. This past spring when I attended the Dallas Quilt Show, I stopped by the booth again and played with the machine and just knew that the time was right to make the leap and bring one home with me! I have not regretted that decision for a single moment! The dealer I purchased from (Quilt Mercantile in Celeste) has been a dream to work with. They are so supportive and my training they provided was great! I love the machine and the things I can do with it. It fits so nicely into my studio and I have already quilted a half dozen quilts on it, several for other people in the last three months. It does everything I need it to do and that added throat space is like a dream come true! The visibility I have of my work area is phenomenal. The HQ Sweet Sixteen Sit Down Machine was the perfect solution for me.

I own the following HQ machine: HQ Sweet Sixteen