Echo Oliver

It’s together. Let’s start quilting

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This is the story of tragedy miraculously overcome by quilting and the HQ Sixteen with a Studio frame. In 1963 when I was just 16 years old I spent my entire summer earnings, $485.00, on a top of the line Singer Sewing Machine and entered the Singer International Sewing Contest in the 14 to 17 age group. After winning in my home town,Guelph; I won for my province, Ontario; then for my country, Canada and then for the contest topping 4 other finalist, all from the United States.  I have enclosed a picture of me at 16 wearing my winning entry. I then dreamt of becoming a fashion designer.  At age 19 tragedy struck when a severe trauma left me without any memory.  I got my history back, through family, friends and pictures, but not real memory and I never sewed again.  I could not remember how.  I went on to marriage, two sons, divorce and careers in broadcast and finance, but never took the cover off the sewing machine.  In the fall of 2008, my new husband (who had been my high school sweetheart and who remembered all the details of my sewing and winning) encouraged me to take a beginner's quilting lesson at the Quilting Bee inFonthill,Ontario.  I dusted off the 40 year old Singer and started out.  By the 2nd. lesson I was searching for a new machine with little extras like needle down and a needle threader.  Kelly Corfe, owner of the Quilting Bee sold both domestic sewing machines, and the HQ line of long arm quilting machines. First I purchased a sewing machine and finished my first quilt top.  Then I took a lesson on the HQ Longarm at the shop.  The first 3 quilts I made, I rented time to quilt them myself at the shop.  I wanted to be able to say I had made then from start to finish.  Besides, I was hooked.  By June of 2009 I was making the decision to buy an HQ Sixteen and a studio frame.  The cost seemed a bit extravagant when I only planned to quilt for myself, family friends and charity, but strange things were happening to my memory.  The more I quilted, the more flashes of memory poured into my head. The past 2 years have been a very emotional time for me as I unlocked not only decades old memories, but skills I never knew I had. I have completed about 20 quilts, including 3 that went to theJapanrelief effort.  This has accomplished what years of therapy had never really given me - the ACTUAL MEMORIES of those teen years and my exciting Singer International Sewing Contest win. I am still regaining memory, and I credit it to quilting, the warm, caring and knowledgeable quilting staff at the Quilting Bee, where I continue to take lessons and to my HQ Sixteen.  At age 65, it's a miracle to have my own memories and it's good to have a new dream. Perhaps an HQ24 and HQ Pro-Stitcher.

I own the following HQ machine: HQ Sixteen