As I walked into that sewing machine shop so many years ago, my eyes landed on the first HQ Sixteen I had ever seen. It was love at first sight! right there and then I knew that someday a HQ Sixteen would be mine. So for the next 10 years or so I dreamed. In all thos years I only sent one quilt out to be quilted. The rest I quilted on my home machine. I had ordered the video many years ago and watched it over and over. Fast forward to 2009 and the opportunity arose. With a new home in another state, a room dedicated to my sewing, I was finally able to purchase my dream. In all those years the thought of another machine besides a Handi Quilter never crossed my mind. So I called the Florida dealer closest to me, that being Elaine Gilmore at the Quilting Machine Shop in Bunnell, Fl. I was impressed with her knowledge and understanding of what I was looking for. Of course like most I gulped at the price tag, and finally bit the bullet and ordered it. I wavered back & forth on which table to get, and decided on the Quiltable. So I order my HQ Sixteen with Quiltable, and anxiously awaited its arrival. Just so happened that Elaine went off to the Houston Quilt Fest and Handi Quilter unveiled its newest machine, the HQ18 Avante. Elaine immediately called me and told me all about it, saying I could upgrade to the HQ18 Avante for the same price as my HQ Sixteen because of the show pricing. Well that was a no-brainer, of course I would, and right then upgraded the table to the HQ Studio Frame, and so glad I did.
I have since then quilted my oversized king qult Pineapple Starbust and many others. I have also quilted many for customers and friends. At this time I am anxiously waiting to finished my challenge quilt so that I may do a variety of quilting and embellishments on it with my Avante.
I enjoy the ease of use of the HQ18 Avante and the minimum maintance required. The large variety of threads that can be used on the HQ18 Avante is a big advantage. If I had the room and felt I needed a larger machine, I would stick with Handi Quilter and upgrade to the HQ24 Fusion. The machines have sleek looks, helpful and knowledgable dealers and a quality built product. My purchasing a Handi Quilter gives me a sense of pride in knowing that I own one of the best American made machines on the market.
I own the following HQ machines: