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