John M. Kubiniec

I am in front of Polaris, my entry in final round of the 2010 McCall's Design Star Contest

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When I first started quilting about 10 years ago I was fascinated by everything that was out on the market to help me in my quest to become a quilter. I came across pictures of longarm machines and sent away for promo materials and received a few VHS tapes (anyone remember those?) and the pricing information. I choked when I saw the price, but thought some day I am going to have one of those! So, instead of a longarm machine I think I have collected every ruler and gadget that was on the market. Fast forward ahead 8 years - I was going to quilting shows and trying out different machines and was getting to the point where I thought - “I am going to get one, I am going to get one, I am going to get one.” I would go to shows and “test drive” all the machines and compare them. I kept taking them out for test drives and asking more questions and I finally decided Handi Quilter was the one for me. But where would I put it? I live in a 600 square foot apartment in New York City! So, the dream of owning one remained a dream. An opportunity came to buy a demo machine from an HQ dealer (HQ Sixteen with HQ Pro-Stitcher) and it was an opportunity I couldn’t pass by. I thought, well I will buy it and store it until I can find a place to set it up. Friends said – “Can’t you rearrange your furniture?” “Can’t you get rid of a few things to make it fit” (Oh – I forgot to say – these were quilting friends who wanted their quilts quilted!) Well, I thought about it, and I did get rid of things (a couch), I did rearrange (my piano ended up in my bedroom) and the HQ was set up at the 8 foot length in my living room. (As the saying goes “Where there’s a will there’s a way!) I truly began to live the quilting life - and my life started to change - all for the better. I finally started to actually finish my own quilts and I was having fun doing that. Then I started quilting quilts for friends. Soon I was taking in quilts and making some money, and more quilts started coming in and I started my business – Big Rig Quilting. Along the way I decided to enter the 2010 McCall’s Design Star Contest. If I didn’t have the HQ Sixteen I probably would not have entered. The final round required a quilt top to be designed, sewn and quilted in a 30 day period – oh – right before Christmas! But I knew that with the HQ in my apartment I could rise to the challenge. And I did! While I didn’t win the contest, I was a runner-up in that contest. Since that time I have been designing quilts for new fabric lines for Windham Fabrics and was able to sew and quilt samples for them for Spring Market 2011 and I am doing that again for Fall Market. And, some of my quilt patterns and quilts will be published in McCall’s Quilting, McCall’s Quick Quilts, and Fons & Porter Love of Quilting in 2012 – all quilted on my HQ Sixteen! And my longarm quilting business continues to grow. Who knew that getting rid of a couch and replacing it with a longarm would change my life in this way.

I own the following HQ machines: HQ Pro-Stitcher, HQ Sixteen