Pat Alderman

My first wholecloth with on my HQ Pro-Stitcher using Anne Bright designs

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Pat Alderman’s HQ Story Owner of the HQ24 Fusion and HQ Pro-Stitcher I was born to quilt…it just took me a while to know it! Raised on a farm in Nebraska, it was a mother’s duty to share the essentials of daily life, one of which included sewing. Beginning in 4-H at the age of 9 years old I made a blue (with pink roses) ‘Quick Trick Skirt’ and a pink gingham checkered apron! I found out immediately that it wasn’t ‘quick’ but it was tricky working on a sewing machine that had serious tension issues. When it was all said and done I still remember how beautiful I thought it was and the amazing sense of accomplishment that I had in finishing that project. I experienced more sewing in high school home economics, I completed a garment, which I would not wear but did admire the work and skill that went into it. My mother and both grandmothers made quilts, and thankfully I inherited a few! After I married and was in the process of furthering my career as a Clinical Laboratory Scientist, I attended a conference in eastern Nebraska. I took a quick walk at lunch to get a little fresh air and walked by a quilt store and there in the window was a quilt, an Eleanor Burns Log Cabin quilt with a big heart in the center. I tried to quietly enter the store to get a closer look but of course the owner already spotted me admiring the quilt. She said, “That is a “Quilt-in-a Day” project, using rotary cutters and strip quilting! I was shocked because with my limited knowledge of quilting, I thought it would take years to make a quilt. I told her I had to leave the next afternoon and that I would like to sew that quilt but I don’t have a sewing machine. After a bit she said if I really wanted to do that, she would let me use her machine, stay open until 10:00 that night and I could finish up the next afternoon. That was only the beginning of how nice quilters have been to me! I decided to go for it and I have been hooked on the love of quilting since. I got home very late that night and my husband was ready to send the State Patrol to find me…but then I pulled out my quilt, with a big heart on it, he was so proud of me…and a bit amazed! Shortly after that, my husband’s grandmother, of 98 years, offered me her 40 year-old sewing machine, which she had used as a professional seamstress. It sewed straight and zigzag stitches and was the most remarkable machine… it never had tension problems… it made me love to sew! I sewed lots of quilt tops and was very content to have someone else quilt them and was amazed at what happened to my quilts as they came back to me so gorgeous. Then I saw someone “stippling” on a domestic machine! I wanted to know how they could do that…so I signed up for a Quilting 101 class and we went thru the basics…at last we came to the part that I wanted to learn called Free Motion. She said there are 2 basic rules: Feed Dogs in the Basement and put the pedal to the metal! Even though I have gotten use to some quilting lingo I found myself wondering what she was talking about. I did learn the technique of stippling, but found that I needed some practice to learn this…but practice I did and I can stipple now and much more! I quilted several small projects with my Walking Foot and Free Motion techniques and decided to do a Full Size Quilt. I had been reading Diane Gaudynski’s “Guide to Machine Quilting” and she looked so relaxed with her king size quilt and her little kitty purring at her side. I tried to do all that she had instructed but before I knew it I was jerking and tugging and I had quilt all over me and I was hot and felt like I was being strangled with the quilt that I loved! I realized that all the joy of quilting vanished and decided I was glad to have someone else quilt my larger quilts! Diane deserves the fame she has earned as a quilter. Then I went to another class…I saw this enormous thing near the back of the store. I asked what is that? Oh that’s our Long Arm…here we go again…what does that mean? She knew I didn’t know what she was talking about…she politely took be back and showed me 3 different sizes of HQ quilting machines…Long arm quilting with tables to roll your quilt on! I now knew that I had found what I didn’t even know had existed. I was on a roll now…I would go home and find out everything I could about Long Arm quilting machines. And that I did…researching many brands and sizes. I went to many Quilting Shows, where I could to try out as many machines as I could. I paid a fee to be trained and rent 2 different brands and quilted many quilts to determine which machine I would like, because by now I knew I was a quilter and not only to quilt my quilts but other peoples quilts as well…sounds like a business. As I learned and test-drove these amazing machines, these were things that were important for me in a machine: 1. First and foremost I wanted a machine that did not give me continuous tension problems and did not require a lot of maintenance. 2. A beautiful stitch on top and bottom 3. Smooth movement for free motion quilting 4. Computerized to import designs and digitize my own. 5. A large working area. 6. A sturdy table. 7. A machine that can handle different and picky threads For about six months I researched with intensity and growing excitement, I wanted to find a machine that I would love to quilt with like my grandmother’s machine that I learned to love to sew on. I knew what machine I wanted, but one last test…I heard my cousin, Jan Barnett from Greybull, Wyoming had a quilting machine…so I called her to see if I could come see her…I was shocked when I saw her HQ24 Fusion and learned that she has a HQ Story. What an inspiration and help she has been for me. My decision was made and I decided to buy a machine and began to enjoy quilting. We were living in Colorado and decided we were going to move to Florida…start a business quilting in Florida? Seems a little strange to someone from Colorado, but here I go. I bought my machine 8 months ago and have had less thread breaks in 8 months than I did in one day on one of the machines that I had worked on! I have quilted over 50 quilts and am becoming, as they say, “One” with my HQ24 Fusion and the HQ Pro-Stitcher. And by the way, I have found to my delight there are some great quilters and quilt stores in Florida and am on my journey of making more quilting friends here, a land of great opportunity! I am here to say that this is just the beginning of my HQ story…I have found what I enjoy doing and am looking forward to my next chapter.

I own the following HQ machines: HQ24 Fusion, HQ Pro-Stitcher