Sharyn Drollinger

Soo cool

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Created lots of tops while taking care of my father-in-law but didn't have time to quilt. When he passed away i needed to get ahead of the game so decided to get a long arm. In the month since standing I have quilted 25 quilts now just need to bind. My grandson is fasinated with the machine if only he was tall enough to work independently. I was determined to find somewhere to set up the machine even if it meant giving up our living room

I own the following HQ machine: HQ Sixteen

Pam Barman

Pam Barman, Houston, TX

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I began my adventures in quilting in 2009 when my best friends coaxed me into taking a class with them. After a few too many times of rolling and stuffing a queen size quilt into my little domestic machine, and stitching in the ditch, I knew I wanted a long-arm machine. My mother had taught me to sew clothing when I was very young, but I had stopped sewing as an adult. Mom had passed on before I started quilting, but I always feel like she is smiling down on me from heaven when I'm sewing now! And since she had left me a little inheritance...well, I just knew Mom would want me to have a long-arm!! My HQ18 Avante is the perfect machine for me; it is so user friendly, and makes me feel like I am in control of my quilt from start to finish. I love being able to not only quilt my own creations, but having my HandiQuilter also allows me to quilt charity and Quilt of Valor quilts for my guild. I've just donated a quilt to a foundation, to be raffled at a fundraiser. Being able to participate in these types of projects is very fulfilling and I know it wouldn't be possible without my Handi Quilter! So, thanks HQ for making my life so much sweeter!

I own the following HQ machine: HQ18 Avante

Beryl Anderson

Ted and me in our garden

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Little did I know when I casually mentioned to my husband, Ted, “Honey, I
think I would like to get a small quilting machine so I can machine quilt
my own tops”, that I would one day have a thriving quilting business.

I bought my HQ16 about five years ago with no place to put it. We did
have an extra guest room and a huge living room that we never used. But,
we might need those some day. Ted said, “what about your garden shed?”
My part of the garden shed was 12 by 8 feet. My HQ would fit but I
wouldn’t be able to use it. The other part of the garden shed housed the
lawn mower and tractor, various tools, and even had been home to two
litters of puppies. When Ted came home the next day and said he would be
willing to knock down the wall between the two sections and that I could
have the whole shed – 12 by 20 feet. I knew my HQ had a home.

We remodeled, painted, carpeted, installed surround sound, and finally set
up my machine. I ordered thread, batting, and a few pantographs.
Thinking I would quilt for a few customers just until I paid for my
machine, I held an open house and advertised the first 30 customers would
receive 30% off. Within a month, I had my first 30 orders and I haven’t
looked back or stopped since. I really didn’t know what I was doing back
then, but it didn’t matter because the HQ was so easy to use, everything
looked better when quilted.

My business is called Garden Shed Quilting, for obvious reasons. I love
to make garden-themed and landscape quilts, but rarely have time to quilt
for myself. I typically have 20 to 30 customer quilts in line to do at
any given time.

Last year I decided to start looking for a bigger machine. I had narrowed
my search down to two, one of which was an HQ18 Avante. The Avante won the
toss. As I was discussing the purchase with the salesman, I just thought
I would ask how much more room I would need for a HQ24 Fusion. I went out to
the Garden Shed, measured and discovered if I moved a few things around I
would have just enough room.

It was a surprising spur of the moment decision to order theHQ24 Fusion
instead of the HQ18 Avante because I had always thought a 24” machine was too
big for my short arms. I’ve had my new HQ24 Fusion for a month now, and I’m
thrilled. I have a faster turn-around time, and the quality of the
stitching is remarkable. And, I have no trouble with the extra reach.

I own the following HQ machine: HQ24 Fusion

Michelle Banton

Just me.

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About 10 years ago I discovered the world of Longarm Machine Quilting. I purchased an old, circa 1983, machine from a friend who had a home decor business. One button made it start and stop. That's it. No stitch regulator, no table height adjustment, no computer, no laser pointer, no pantographs, no bells, no whistles. I played with that monster for a few months and sold it. I knew it wasn't the right machine for me – either for my own use and especially not for going into business. But, I was hooked on the idea of moving the machine to create the quilting pattern, instead of moving the fabric. I started hanging out at Longarm Quilting Shows – getting to know the different dealers, machines and other professional quilters and pretending that I “belonged” to the “club”. I tried using a Juki TL98e on a Grace frame – the concept was the same, but it just wasn't the REAL Longarm experience. Fast forward 10 years to this spring – I realized I needed to work a few more quarters to qualify for Social Security in a few years. Because of the need to sometimes be available in a caregiver role, I knew I couldn't have a “regular” job that required me to work a certain weekly schedule. But I had to find something to earn those Social Security credits. After much consideration I decided to go into business for myself – as a Longarm Quilter. It was time for MQX East. I've attended this show from it's beginning – pretending that I was part of the Longarm Community. I was always the kid standing outside the fence, looking into the playground and wishing I could join in the fun. But this year it was different... I was going to purchase a machine and the show wasn't going to close down until I decided which one to buy! My husband encouraged me to find the right machine for me. He knew that I would thoroughly research my options, and he left the decision entirely up to me. I test drove every single brand of machine there, but it didn't take me long to decide that Handi Quilter was the brand for me. The smooth lines of the machine make it the most attractive one on the market, but pretty doesn't necessarily mean the best machine – except in this case! I had my choice of 2 excellent local dealers – a huge selling point! My dealer (Charlton Sewing Center, Charlton, MA) offers monthly training classes. The owner (Cathy Racine) has been repairing machines of all types for years, so I knew my local dealer & her staff would have the technical knowledge I needed...and they are so close! I also really appreciate all the online support that is available on your website. I bought the HQ24 Fusion with 12' frame. To top it off, my friend Sue Fors, has the same machine and I knew we'd have one another's support, knowledge, and ideas to build on. On my way home from the show, I was still so excited that I called and ordered the HQ Pro-Stitcher too! I know this combination will last me for years – both mechanically and technologically. I've always enjoyed making quilts to give to others (graduations, weddings, babies, Project Linus, ABC Quilts, and other local charities) – it's so much easier now to be able to not only piece the tops, but finish the quilts in so many different ways. I've gotten comfortable with pantographs and some freehand quilting and now I am learning to use the Pro-Stitcher. Finding quilt tops to practice on hasn't been hard – I've had them waiting in my UFO boxes for years. I'm just now launching my business so I can start earning those SS work credits – but it doesn't seem like work. It's great to think that I'm getting paid to do something I enjoy so much! I also recently found out that my Great-Great-Grandma used to machine quilt for others with a precursor to our current longarm machines. Her frame hung from a track on the ceiling in her living room and allowed her to do free motion work. I think of her nearly 100 years ago doing basically the same thing I'm doing today. Wonder what Great-Great-Grandma Minshall would think if she saw my HQ24 Fusion and HQ Pro-Stitcher? I bet she'd want one too! I'm passing my love of quilting down to my 5 year old granddaughter, but she won't have to wonder what things were like back in 2011 – she's right there along side of me “helping” me every step of the way. When my frame arrived, she insisted on helping me assemble it. Sure, I could have put it together faster alone, but what fun we had sorting all those bolts and pieces. She's already learning how to do free motion work with my Fusion. Finishing quilts these days is so much fun with the ease of operation, quilting options, and dealer support that I have with my HQ24 Fusion and HQ Pro-Stitcher. That's MY HQ Story!

I own the following HQ machines: HQ24 Fusion, HQ Pro-Stitcher

Corry Love

Me and my Baby

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A year ago, I decided to take my quilting to the ‘next level.’ Most of what I make are baby blankets for charity. I love to play with color, pattern, and try out new techniques and methods. Fabric seems to find its way into my house via a local quilt guild I am a member of as well as friends and family. Even my husband’s coworkers have started sending me fabric! While I was working full-time I was able to keep pace between piecing and quilting. However, after I retired and had more time to devote to quilting, I soon developed a backlog of pieced quilt tops. They were hung on my stair rail, making me feel guilty every time I walked past. As hard as I tried, I could not catch up. As a veteran hand-quilter I was interested in machine quilting, but I wanted to ensure the quality of the work as well as have freedom of movement. I knew I was ready for a quilting machine. My choice was a mid-arm machine and an affordable wood frame. Over a week my husband and I set up the system in our unfinished basement—the only place it would fit. At first it was a dream come true. The backlog started to diminish and I was happy with my new system. The hour it took to put a quilt on the frame didn’t seem that bad, and the tweaking required to hold rampant eyelashing at bay seemed like a small price to pay. However as I wintered over in the basement, it became harder and harder to be down there in the cold. The machine started catching on mysterious ‘lumps’ in the fabric, the thread broke at an ever increasing rate. It took a long week of work to finish a simple stipple stitch on a baby quilt. What was supposed to be my helping hand had turned into the ‘monster’ in my basement. My husband suggested moving the entire set-up to my sewing room. This required shortening the frame so it would fit. While my sewing room is comfortable at 10 x 11, roomy is not a word I would use to describe it. The ‘monster’ was wedged in and I tried to spend more time with it, making every effort at taming the beast. Finally one day I realized that I was spending more time tinkering with the ‘monster’ than I was actually quilting! Having seen and tried an HQ18 Avante at a quilt store, I knew that was what I wanted. I made my decision and then waited anxiously for UPS to arrive. When the truck came and started to unload there were several boxes. Even though my husband would be home in a couple hours, I couldn’t wait! Like a kid on Christmas morning I needed to get into those boxes. Starting with the lightest 12 pound box and working my way up to the 91 pounder I brought them into the house and opened them. My eyes were wide with excitement and wonder as the parts emerged. This continued until I had them all opened—and discovered that I was missing one! Box one with the instructions—it so happen to miss that day’s delivery!! I would have to wait another day. Once the long-awaited box arrived, my husband and I had it all set up in record time. The frame slid perfectly into the spot of honor in my sewing room. It was as if the frame was made for the space. Set-up went smoothly and quickly. The first time I worked with the Avante I felt like a pro! No more eyelashing and broken threads. No stalls or mysterious ‘lumps’ to get caught on. The HQ18 Avante moves along perfectly with just the slightest touch. The time spent with a ‘monster’ helped me appreciate how amazing my HQ18 Avante is, which I proudly call my baby! Within a week I had already completed 3 quilts and now I am trying to piece faster just so I can work with my ‘baby’ again. It was a long road getting here, but that just makes working with my ‘baby’ all that much sweeter.

I own the following HQ machine: HQ18 Avante