Bev Mader


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I started quilting in 1993; my goal was to make a t-shirt quilt for my youngest son for high school graduation. So off to the quilt shop I went, I told her what I wanted to do and she said “well, let’s start with something else first.” She helped me pick some fabric and her instructions were as follows: “cut this into 2 ½ “strips and sew back together, have it done before class starts in one week.” I thought well that can’t be too hard, so my strips were cut and sewn back together and I was off to class. The room is full of anxious new students eager to learn to quilt! Everyone takes out the strips and oh my, I looked at mine and they didn’t look like the rest of the group, what did I do wrong, I asked? Well I had sewn every strip back together END TO END! The whole place busted out laughing. The gracious teacher said no problem we will all help you take them apart and you can sew them the right way! In no time I was caught up and we were making a quilt. I will never forget this experience and use this story often in my classes. Oh and the t-shirt quilt turned out beautiful and I was “hooked”.
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… could happen!
Bev Mader

I own the following HQ machines:

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