Candy Crandall

Me quilting my first large quilt with my HQ Sixteen machine for my friends wedding

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My quilting journey began over 40 years ago at the feet of my mother who was, putting it lightly, an avid quilter.  I spent many hours by her side as she hand quilted heirlooms for family and friends.  My favorite place to play was under the quilts as she sewed and visited with her friends.  I’ve found that as I work on my own quilts the warm memories of my mother are kept alive, though she has been gone a little over 11 years.
                My quilting career started when I was very young, by the time I was 9 years old I had pieced and quilted my first quilt with my mother at my side giving me help and encouragement along the way. Over the years my passion for quilting grew and I spent many wonderful hours with my mother searching for the perfect fabrics to use for our textile masterpieces.  As time passed I enjoyed making quilts for my own children and friends. But hand quilting took so long that I often went the easy rout and tied them. My tied blankets never seemed to reach their full potential aesthetically, but what could I do?  With four kids, a full time job, not to mention church and other social obligations there was no way I was going to hand quilt my quilt tops fast enough to keep my ever growing collection of them from becoming a mountain of to do’s. I love to design and put together my own quilt tops and they were stacking up quicker than I could even tie them, I needed a solution.
                The answer came six years ago when my mother-in-law, Audrey, bought an HQ Sixteen machine. When we went to visit I didn’t think one way or the other about the HQ Sixteen, but when my mother-in-law fired it and started zigging and zagging and looping and swirling I immediately decided that I could take my quilting up to the next level. The quilts she made were beautiful; they looked so professional and nice that I knew I had to try it out. I became more excited about sewing and kept piecing quilt tops and sent them to her to quilt. Then about a year ago she was talking to my husband about wanting to upgrade her machine and he asked her if she wanted to sell us hers.  I was excited at the prospect and we made a trip down to Arizona so I could try it out on a quilt I had put together for my oldest sons college graduation.  As fate would have it her machine was in the shop and I wasn’t able to play with it. But we went to her HQ dealer and tried out several machines, I was hooked.  The HQ machines were so easy to use and the quality level produced was so precise that I had to have one for myself.
 We returned home to Washington State from Arizona. Even though I wanted one desperately I was unsure about purchasing a machine because of the limited space in our house. Then my husband started checking out all of the machines on the internet and with input from his mother he found a machine for me a lot closer to home for a good price.
                We bought my HQ Sixteen from an individual about 250 miles from our home. The machine had been set up by an HQ dealer but never used by the woman who bought the machine. The woman who bought it passed away suddenly of an unexpected illness before she was able to enjoy the machine.  The fact that she had been loved by her husband was apparent as he took us to through the back yard to a cute little log craft house he had built for her to do her quilting and crafting. It was heart wrenching to watch my husband and hers take apart the machine that she never got a chance to use and load it into the car. Though the machine had begun with a tragic history, it was bound for great things.
                We returned home with the machine and though I was very excited to start it up and use it the poor thing sat in my living room for almost a month. I was trying to decide where it would fit in my house...something I should have thought about before buying the thing I guess. I decided to set it up at the end of our family room so we did some very creative space planning and it ended up on the end of my living room. I was still a little intimidated by the machine, what would happen if I did something wrong? Would I break it before I got a chance to finish a quilt? So I did the only thing I could think of, I flew Audrey up to Washington from Arizona to teach me how to use it. A few months later and I have used it almost every day. The local HQ dealer has become my best friend as she gave me tip after tip of how to make a great quilt. When I bought it I knew I would love it, what I didn’t expect was to love it as much as I do, I am very glad that my husband insisted on getting me my HQ Sixteen in May of 2011. The boxes of fabric I’ve been collecting and quilt tops I’ve been making are quickly turning into quilted masterpieces.
                When I am quilting on my HQ Sixteen I feel a little closer to my mother who passed away 11 years ago. She shared with me her love of quilting, and in turn I have been able to keep her memory alive in my heart and share our love of craft and quilting with my own children. The man who lost his wife couldn’t have sold the machine to a more grateful person. The experience of buying the HQ Sixteen has made me even more grateful for all that I have in my life and allows me to better pursue something that I have always enjoyed.

I own the following HQ machine: HQ Sixteen