As a child of 5 or 6, I began to “sneak in” to use my Mother’s old Singer, of which she was unaware. My Mom had always informed me that the tensions could get out of balance, so I was very careful NOT to touch that dial. I did however, eventually get caught in the act of sewing! I contemplated not having to wear those hand-me-downs from my cousin in Oklahoma so I began to sew and create my own wardrobe.
As I entered into 9th grade, I developed a very loving relationship with my Homemaking Teacher, Miss Cobb, who became my second Mother. Miss Cobb had so much patience with me and I would go across the street to her apartment after school to sew with her. She taught me so many wonderful things about sewing and tailoring BUT NO QUILTING! She helped me tackle my first tailored suit with bound buttonholes and lining. After graduation from high school, we remained friends until Miss Cobb was elderly and the passed away. I am so grateful for such dedicated teachers, such as her.
During my life, I have managed my own Couture Custom Clothing and Custom Decorating Business, while attending vocational schools to study clothing design, draping, drafting and custom decorating, but NEVER QUILTING! In fact, I can remember making a statement several times in my forties, that when I AM OLD I WILL TAKE UP QUILTING.
I have been employed by Sears as a Sewing Instructor and then full-time commission sales of Kenmore Sewing Machines for 23 years. I have also worked at 3 different Bernina Shops, all of which closed and when the last one closed for good, in 2006, I went to work for MAKE IT SEW in Broomfield, Colorado. MAKE IT SEW are HANDI QUILTER Representatives and Janome Dealers.
I took ONE LOOK at that BIG HANDI QUILTER 16 and thought to myself, how am I going to sell this machine? I’ve been around sewing machines all of my life but NEVER one as big as this one! So, I began to draw on my sales training from Sears and I thought to myself, I will have to KNOW my product in order to SELL it! I remembered my statements about when I am old I WILL QUILT and now is the time to start so that I can learn this machine. I’m now OLD enough!
I appliquéd and pieced my first humble quilt and stitched it IN THE DITCH on my regular machine and then put the binding on. I started a class at Make it Sew for the appliquéd blocks, which were done on the embroidery machine. My quilt was hanging in the store as a sample and then a professional quilter came into the store and was admiring it and then gave me some very profound advice! Your quilt is beautiful, but until you actually QUILT IT, it remains a comforter. So now, I will practice on this BIG HQ 16 and quilt this comforter and turn it into a quilt. Since then, I have completed a total of 8 quilts.
Now, I’m hooked on QUILTING and purchased my very own HQ Sixteen with the HQ Pro-Stitcher and Micro Handles. Bob Juenemann, the owner of Make it Sew, delivered my HQ 16 and set it up for me. It took him 6 hours to set it up because of my old crooked floors but he got it done with a few levelers. I purchased an old 1882 Queen Anne Victorian home by myself back in 1998 and have been fixing it up ever since. I did not anticipate having a long arm at that time but I have room in this BIG OLD HOUSE.
My process with the last 4 quilts has progressed very very fast. I used purchased digitized designs to quilt the first one using the HQ Pro-Stitcher. This quilt, Rhapsody in Ribbons and Roses, took Best of Show and the next quilt, The Keepsake Collection, took 2nd place in the Mancuso National Quilt festival. Then my next quilt, Sparkles and Lace in Folk-art, required a hand guided pattern of my own. I found it very time consuming to hand guide this intricate pattern so I purchased the Micro-Handles. The micro handles helped tremendously and I got the job done. This quilt took 1st place in Estes Park, CO.
Because of the complexity of hand-guiding these intricate patterns, I started to SHOP AROUND for a quilt digitizing program to make it easier for myself and let the HQ Pro-Stitcher do it for me. I decided on the ART and STITCH software and purchased the program last September of 2010, before HANDI QUILTER and ART and STITCH got married! I started digitizing the quilting designs for my Denver Album Applique` Quilt and I found this software so easy to use and so much fun. I jumped right in and completed my latest and last quilt and it turned out so beautiful!
I find the HANDI QUILTER so easy to learn! It’s very user friendly! I have used all threads and have even used 2 different threads at the same time, including metallic thread! My latest project was a jean shirt that I pinned to the leaders and using my own designs created with ART and STITCH software, made raw edge appliqués with use of the HQ Pro-Stitcher.
The former software package, Quilt Cad, was not user friendly. I am so happy that HANDI QUILTER and ART and STITCH got married! This is THE BEST Marriage ever!
MY LIFES MOTTO IS: Learn Something New Every Day! And I am doing just that!
I own the following HQ machines: HQ Pro-Stitcher, HQ Sixteen