Ashley Malinowski

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My HQ adventure started in 2008, when I was sixteen years old. I was working on the HQ Sixteen at the time. Now I am 18 and I use my own HQ18 Avante with an HQ Pro-Stitcher. 18 on an 18!!! (By the time you read this, I will officially be 19…but I am really looking forward to being 24…I’m dreaming of the Handi Quilter Fusion!)         Backing up, I began sewing when I was 6 and quilting at the age of 8, all thanks to my mom who was, and still is, a quilter. She let me attend weekly summer camps at the Loder’s Sewing Center in Wilmington, DE.  At first, I started out making clothes, bags and pillows. With my success, I was then allowed to begin the quilting camp early, and soon cut with a rotary cutter. Quickly, I cut a whole full sized bed quilt, and pieced it at the young age of 9. Always the first to finish my quilts, I had the chance to help other students while working on additional projects that had to be created for me because of the speed with which I finished the weeks’ project. The summers after that, I continued to sew and quilt which eventually developed into my passion for quilting.  In my lifetime of quilting I have accomplished the following: worked at Quilt Shops, taught quilting classes, developed a longarm quilting program from scratch and taught longarm quilting classes, designed patterns using Electric Quilt, written up my own pattern designs, organized charity events and served as librarian at a quilt guild in Maryland. My very latest position is Vice President/Program Chair for Ladybug Quilt Guild in Newark, Delaware for the next two years. My first experience using the Handi Quilter Sixteen was through a rental program at Sew n’ Save Quilt Shop in Aberdeen, MD. The reason I wanted to take the rental classes and learn the longarm is so that I could quilt my quilts rather than tying and stitching in the ditch. I completed five quilts from renting at that shop. Four of the quilts were first place winners in the Children’s Department at the Delaware State Fair. The fifth quilt was my own quilt design which I also wrote up into a quilt pattern and sold. From age 16 to 17, I developed and ran a rental program at a quilt shop in Middletown, DE where I worked. I taught the rental classes as well as helped the customers quilt their own quilts from start to finish. It was a wonderful and rewarding experience since I got to learn the machine in and out firsthand, and it had me wondering “WHEN AM I GOING TO HAVE MY OWN?” Then, in December of 2009, my parents gave me a graduation gift of a trip to the Machine Quilting Expo in Providence, Rhode Island. I was stunned! My classes were booked on New Years day, and I got an excused absence from school since it was my senior year in high school. In April of 2010, I finally attended the show with a fellow longarm quilter. There never was a second thought about which brand of a longarm to buy. I already knew how well the machine performed, but it was just biting the bullet. I debated, debated, and debated some more driving my parents, as well as the lady I traveled with, crazy. Finally, at the last minute of the Machine Quilting Expo, literally 5 p.m. on Saturday when the show closed, I signed the sales agreement. When I called my parents back to say I bought it, they said “I hope it fits”. Before I had left for Rhode Island, we were supposed to measure the room. As you can tell, we hadn't done so! When it was time to assemble the machine, my parents helped me put it up in our basement. WOW! I had been around the machine and the studio frame for over 2 years at this point, but putting it in the basement made it seem as if the machine had grown. We added more lights in the ceiling, ordered thread, and yet I didn’t get to work on the machine for a few weeks. Number one, it wasn’t completely built yet. And number two, I had to graduate high school. Since graduation, the machine has been running nonstop because I started my very own longarm quilting business called Midnight Quilter. This is an appropriate name because I started college in the Fall of 2010. My time is limited, so can you guess when I quilt? I could not be any happier where I currently am: A sophomore in college, with a successful longarm quilting business. As a little girl, I always dreamed of owning my own business, and to start it at age 17 was something I couldn’t be more proud of. I don’t know what the future will bring, but I know that I will be longarming for many years to come. I love my HQ Pro-Stitcher because the results are magnificent, and all of the designs for the machine that I can download from the internet are fabulous. In addition, it allows me to personalize my quilts as well as the quilts of my customers. With all of the features on the HQ Pro-Stitcher and the ease of usage, custom quilting is much more enjoyable. I do a little bit of everything with my Handi Quilter: free motion, computerized edge to edge and computerized custom. The format of switching from free motion to the computerized couldn’t be simpler with the Handi Quilter. I am just so thankful that such a sturdy, reliable machine with such a computer system was in my price range. The number of quilts I can quilt thanks to having the HQ Pro-Stitcher has been greater than I could have ever imagined. I am confident that I can support my hobby of quilting and pay for college all at the same time. Thanks, Handi Quilter!!!

I own the following HQ machines: HQ18 Avante, HQ Pro-Stitcher