Kimberly Gibson

Me with my HQ18 Avante

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My HQ Story begins with a few things my parents taught me: -Work hard and don’t depend on anyone else to take care of you. -Don’t pay someone to do a job you can do yourself. -Find some time to do the things that make you happy. -Staying busy helps you live longer. I started begging my mother to teach me to sew at age 11. She was a patient woman, and helped me learn the basics. As I became proficient at sewing, as a young adult I developed an interest in quilting. Since Mother didn’t quilt, most of my quilting was trial and error or learning from books, but I loved it, and it didn’t take me long to decide that my hobby would always be sewing and quilting. As I finished a quilt top, I would think back to the ‘do it yourself if you can’ advice and do the quilting by hand. This, over the years, evolved into quilting on my sewing machine. In the beginning, I was satisfied with my machine quilting, but as my skills in piecing advanced, I became obsessed with getting my quilting stitches even. I knew that someday I would want to own a stitch-regulated long arm quilting machine, but my first priority was raising our three kids and putting them through college (as my parents did for me.) I chose to put my dream on hold for awhile, continuing to make quilts and quilt them on my sewing machine, all the while stashing a little money here and there for a long arm, and dreaming of someday starting a long arm quilting business. I am happy to say that all three achieved college degrees, and my husband and I wouldn’t have done it any other way. Now it was my turn. I decided it was time to get what I had wanted for years—my own long arm quilter. As I began researching, I saw on the Handi Quilter website that HQ would have a machine set up at a quilt show in Las Cruces, New Mexico, about two hours from me. I went just to look and get ideas, but instantly fell in love with the HQ18 Avante and purchased it on the spot. (There were other brands there, too, but none compared to the HQ!) Within a couple of weeks, my new purchase was set up in my den, ready to go. Since then, I have added the extended base and several other Handi Gadgets. So here I am in my 29th year of teaching, balancing work, being a grand-parent, and learning to quilt on my HQ18 Avante. I love the way it was easy to learn, thanks to the wonderful DVD’s and Customer Support staff! It glides over the quit top and produces the most beautiful stitches. I am in Heaven when I am at my machine, honing my skills, and dreaming of starting my own little business (here’s where the ‘keeping busy in your golden years’ advice kicks in.) When I DO decide to retire from a rewarding career as an educator, I hope to already be quilting for others and supplementing my retirement income. I am thankful for my business-minded husband, who is excited about helping with that side of this endeavor. So, hopefully, the lessons my parents taught me will be fulfilled with my Avante. My goal is to stay active and supplement my retirement income someday by doing what I love. Thanks, Handi Quilter!!! 

I own the following HQ machine: HQ18 Avante