Laura Martin

My Hubby and Teens

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My mother told me for years that I should learn to quilt and that quilting is something I’d be good at, but what 35 year-old finds it necessary and wise to listen to her mother? When she would come visit me in the Dallas area and ask about quilt shops, I always responded with the same answer: “We don’t have quilt shops here.” I simply wasn’t interested. A few years later, when my mother-in-law took up quilting and was trying to teach herself paper-piecing, I made a call to my mother for advice (gasp!). Imagine her shock when I called wanting to know something about quilting! It was then that something inside clicked. It was challenging, and together, we figured it out. It was only six years ago that I walked through the entire process with her of pulling the fabric from the local quilt-shop shopping bag, prepping the fabric (by the way, I’m a fabric fondler!), making our paper-piecing copies, cutting, sewing, trimming and pressing. I bought my own local quilt-shop fabric later that same day and began paper-piecing my very first quilt! Yes, my very first quilt was paper-pieced. Within six months, I had the stash to end all stashes, had made several baby quilts for a local charity, and I had purchased a short-arm machine and a Next Generation quilting frame. In the beginning, I was piecing and quilting about eight quilts per month. I loved the custom quilting I’d see on other quilts, but my 7 inch throat space was not very conducive to much more than a simple meander …and my simple meander was very good but not very challenging! Wanting to broaden my horizons and my business, I purchased an embroidery machine three years ago. I was instantly busy doing things for friends and family. That machine hummed from sun-up to sun-down, but I was so limited with the 5x7 hoop I thought I needed a commercial-sized machine. I spent months researching commercial embroidery machines and was actually about to purchase one when it occurred to me one morning about 10:00 that if quilting is my first true love and I was going to spend that much money, why not spend the money on my first true love?! I did no test-driving of any long-arm quilting machines (including HQ), and the only research that I did was look for consumer complaints…I couldn’t find any! By 5:00 that same afternoon I had ordered my HQ18 Avante. It was in March, 2011, that Maude came to live with me. Her name is Maude because it means “mighty battler,” and she definitely lives up to her name. There isn’t anything she can’t do and there is very little she hasn’t tried. She battles mightily and she is my true love. In just a few short months, I’ve seen my income grow exponentially because Maude is so efficient. After all, time is money. With my HQ18 Avante, I have been able to try lots of different techniques and designs. This is definitely not my mother’s quilting…it’s a whole lot more!

I own the following HQ machine: HQ18 Avante