Linda Christianson

Working at machine

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My desire for a HQ Sixteen started four years ago when the closets became overrun with quilt tops. I had since 1971 finished most of my quilts by hand, until my hands ached from all the effort. So to continue my love of quilt making and bring my quilt tops out of the closet, I had to learn to quilt on a machine. I have hand quilted using a hoop, or frames and poles. With machine quilting, I have used a frame system that hung from the ceiling by chains with wheels running along a track. It all moved through a factory power machine, 11” throat (This type of system was used from the middle 1800’s to about 1980, and needs about a 30 ft. long by 8 ft. wide floor space). The 8” throat bed home machine will work with hours of feeding, and holding the “Bear” that loves to wiggle even if you pin, baste, or use 501 spray. The walking foot does help, but no fancy work there. I also got to try my mom’s Nolting, (purchased 10 years ago) but 900 miles is bit far to go to finish my quilts. Mom did ask to finish some of my quilts. They came back all scribble with loops. One, I asked for curls on the cat, it was still loops. When you can finish your own quilt, you can correct your own mistakes and add the details to make it “sing”. Only now, I was back to finishing over 15 queen size quilts on an 8” throat sewing machine. The other big problem is the wear it brings to the motor. I should know, since my husband has repaired or replace three. I really do love to sew. So since my passion for quilting has not stopped after 30 years of quilting, I felt the investment of a longarm was worth it, but for a hobby? At any rate I still started reading, comparing, and watching “YouTube” on the subject. The HQ Sixteen sure offered the futures that I felt would work. Now all I had to do was find a dealer and test drive some longarms. That was no small matter, since most places wanted an appointment, and they want you to take a class. When the new local quilt store had the HQ Sixteen, I was able to see the machine in person. The owner did let me touch the machine; even though it had the low end frames, it glided with ease. The handles and buttons seemed easy to use. I was sold until I saw the list price and all the shipping were added. I kept dreaming of owning a longarm, so I continued to check out other longarms, and talking online to Longarm owners. This led to hearing about a trade show in Tenn. and the offer to purchase the class’ HQ Sixteen demo. The price was still high for our limited budget, but hubby said, “go for it”. A month later the HQ Sixteen was set up in the unfinished sewing space. With ease, I was off and running with my stitch regulated longarm. I love how easy it is to thread the HQ Sixteen, adjust the tension, keep it oiled, and clean. I ordered the tool table and some tools. I did not want to do just edge to edge quilting or loops. The tool table gives me the creativeness to make my quilts look more hand made with detail work. The laser light has given me the option to follow a pattern for borders, one block area, or even edge to edge. Every quilt I have finished on my HQ Sixteen in the last three years of ownership, has brought me new ideas and continual love for quilting. Oh, by the way, mom traded her Nolting for an HQ18 Avante. I love that model, too! Linda Christianson

I own the following HQ machine: HQ Sixteen