Jolene Mershon

Jolene quilting with Sweet-Sixteen

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I've been quilting for about 20 years, but seriously quilting ever since I retired in 2000. I sew almost every day and am totally emersed in making quilts. I started as a hand quilter and still hand quilt some of my wall hangings. But, there are so many quilts I want to make and so little time. I knew I needed to learn to machine quilt. I took a machine quilting class for domestic machines from a local quilter. That got me started and I practiced a lot. In 2003 our guild started making quilts for soldiers wounded in the Iraq war. Those donation quilts gave me a great avenue for practicing my quilting. Then I bought a new machine with a stitch regulator, thinking that would keep my stitches perfect. But, I've found that nothing can replace practice, practice, and more practice. After taking a class with Harriet Hargrove I began to venture out with free form quilting. However, I felt limited to smaller size quilts. The largest quilt I ever quilted on my domestic machine was a queen-size T-shirt quilt that I made for my son. It was like wrestling a bear. That was when I began to play with the idea of getting a larger machine. I have a large quilting room but it's pretty much packed with other quilting needs such as cutting table, etc. I just don't have room for a long-arm machine and my husband refuses to give up his hobby room for my quilting. He already grouses that I sew "all over the house". The HQ Sweet Sixteen is just the right size to fit into my sewing room with the added bonus of allowing me to sit while I quilt. I bought my HQ Sweet Sixteen in May of this year at the quilt show in Arlington, Texas. I first heard about the machine while taking a David Taylor workshop three years ago. David really loves his machine and makes beautiful award winning quilts on it. After that class I searched for information on Handi Quilter and began to seriously consider purchasing one. I tried the machine at the Dallas quilt show in March of this year and also at the Paducah AQS show. I took measurements of the machine and measured where I thought a it might fit in my sewing room. I found I didn't have to give up any of my other quilting furniture or an antique table that belonged to my Grandmother, who was also a quilter, to accomodate it. That really helped me finalize my decision. I really liked the way it stitched and it had so much room under the arm. I felt I could quilt larger quilts without having to push and pull so much. When a vendor brought the machine to my guild's quilt show I tried it again and decided to buy it during the show. I've taken the class on my Sweet Sixteen and learned so much. I've been using a variety of threads so am trying to master the tension. I love thread just about as much as I love fabric. I'm working on increasing my thread stash and expect I'll be using all of it on some project at some point in time. Right now I'm quilting on an entry for a quilt show in September. The last few years I've paid a long-arm quilter to quilt most of my show entries. She does a beautiful job and I've won quite a few ribbons with that strategy. But, I'd like to totally own the work on my quilts. I'm hoping that I can successfully master the Sweet-Sixteen so that I can make it happen.

I own the following HQ machine: HQ Sweet Sixteen