I am sure that most people around me saw it as inevitable that I would end up as a quilter but if they did they kept it to themselves. It’s not that I did not like quilting fabric… since I did, I loved it and owned yards of the stuff (certainly 100 + yards counts. Right?)! And it’s not that I did not like sewing, I sewed almost every day and even did miles of embroidery but I was not was a quilter. I admired quilts, I snuggled under quilts, and I even hunted down vintage quilts in my local thrift stores but I was not a quilter. I thought of all that cutting and piecing and quilting as something I could never see through being an ADD sort of girl. I also thought myself too young to be a quilter..and especially to young too own a longarm quilting machine since it seemed like with rare exception that they were only something owned by ladies much older than myself.
So… let me be clear… I bought modern quilting fabrics, I sewed, I collected quilts but I was not a quilter, and then it happened. It was a day much like any other and that meant cramming in a bit of blog surfing between homeschooling 5 kids and running my embroidery business. I surfed, clicking links in a most mindless way only to be caught in the snare on of a wonderful blog called Tall Grass Prairie with its endless visual parade of charming, whimsical and colorful modern quilts. Quilts that made my eyes pop and my head spin. Simple shapes driven by color and pattern and I thought.. I can do that… and I did.
Never being one to just dip her toe into the shallow end of the lake (after all, why have one kid when you can have 6!) I started off with a super king sized wonky log cabin quilt for my master bedroom. The piecing went well and the more blocks I made the more I loved the process, then came time to quilt it. Many people I know urged me to quilt it “ by checkbook” but I felt a deep connection to this project and manhandled that huge beast of a quilt into submission on my home machine with over 20 hours of free motion work and 5 hours hand binding. The feeling I experienced when I finished that quilt was like none other, a mixture of incredible pride and a bone numbing ache in my arms from such intense work.
It became very clear that that if I was going to do more quilting (which at this point now consumed each and every thought of my waking time) that I was going to need to call in the big guns and change my idea about what a longarm quilter looked like! So you remember that part about how I have never been one to just dip in my toe?, well 1 week later I was the very proud owner of a brand spanking new HQ18 Avante. The fates had totally been on my side since just that very week it had been the HQ truckload sale at my local quilting store. I remember driving into the parking lot, seeing that big truck with the women smiling from the back panel and just knowing that I was going to be buying a quilting machine that day! So with a quick call to my wonderful husband and his full blessing I said yes to one of the best creative decisions of my life. Little more than a week later ( a week in which I rearranged and re-floored my sewing studio!) I welcomed home my new machine and studio frame. I christened my new machine, Sir Lancelot!
It’s now been 3 weeks since “ Lance” came into my life… 3 weeks and 6 modern quilts not to mention re doing my furniture with custom quilted covers! .. we are a match made in heaven, thanks Handi Quilter! Maddie Kertay, Chattanooga TN ( more Photos on request)
I own the following HQ machines: