Several years later, and many quilts later, my daughter in law and I were vending at International Quilt Market. She saw the sit down quilting machine by Design a Quilt. I purchased one and she soon became my machine quilter and a very good one at that. I tried to learn to quilt on it but just couldn’t do it. So I started looking for something else. My husband is a tractor collector and one day I told him if he got another tractor to restore I was getting a HQ Sixteen. His comment was I don’t know what it is but we will see. I read an ad about the HQ Sixteen and in 2009 went to our local dealer, Fonder’s in Sioux Falls , SD to try on out. Kathy was wonderful, being a skeptic I thought I can’t do this. But Kathy said, practice, practice…you will do fine. I did a few quilts, and some were not so good! But with a closet full of over 50 to quilt, I knew I would keep practicing.
My husband and I winter in Az and so it was like starting over when we returned in 2010. But I always have one on the frame and one ready to go. I am still learning but love what the machine can do. My favorite part of the machine is the stitch regulator. I love having the stitches perfect. I purchased a couple of “groovy boards” last October in Des Moines. WOW! These things are so cool; you look like you really know what you are doing when you use these. I also spent some time with the reps at the show asking questions about how to do this and that they were great help.
My closet is still pretty full, but now when I finish a quilt I can put it on and get it done. I am limiting the size I do for right now to twin; I feel I won’t be so overwhelmed if I learn on the small items.
Today, I teach quilting and work as an office manager in a Quilt Store. I love the fabrics, patterns and books! Quilting is a way of life and my HQ Sixteen has helped me accomplish the “finishing touches” to my projects so they are ready to use. Oh, since 1993 I have made almost 300 quilts, large and small! Have taught many classes and love being a teacher. I will continue to learn on the HQ Sixteen, I love pantographs, I think they teach you motion and help you get the feel of the machine and how to move freely. I don’t quilt for a business but do quilt some of the samples I make for the store and for my classes. For the money I don’t think you can go wrong if your goal is personal use or a business. My next purchase, you guessed it I need the computer! If he gets one more tractor…..it could happen!
I own the following HQ machines: