In an attempt to be a good parent, I bought her something she can learn to drive on. To her disappointment, it was not a car, but a Handi Quilter Sweet 16! She will learn to love it in time. Oh, HQ Sweet 16, I have been drooling over you ever since I discover your existence. The first time I stumbled on to it was several years ago watching videos of the super talented Debbie Brown who blogs at Debbie Brown Quilts. In her videos she was sitting down at a machine with a wonderfully deep throat free motion quilting. I said, tell me more please!!! After messaging back and forth I knew I had found the machine of my dreams. But would I ever really own one? I settled on a reality of no.
Every time we go to a quilt show and a vendor had one displayed, my butt plops into the chair and plays. It just feels right. I almost walked away last year at a quilt show with one, but the responsible side of me (sometimes I'd like to choke her) just wouldn't commit to spending that much money. David was for it, I said no.
So a few weeks ago, David asked if I had called and priced machines lately. He thought maybe it was time to take the plunge. I didn't really want to call, again I knew no matter what, it's not cheap. But while he was out mowing, I called the HQ shop to check the prices. To my surprise they were hosting a HQ even that weekend and was having sales on their machines. (Part of me still wonders if David knew this already, or if it was a happy coincidence). I jotted down the information and learned I had 24 hours to make a decision. After I shared the news with my quilting partner in crime, he said lets go look at them. I said okay and emailed Beth at Cooking Up Quilts. I figured if I was heading her way I was going to meet her. Which I did! You can read more about that here. Long story short after wonderful socializing with Beth, I ended up purchasing my machine.
But where was I going to put it??? I live in a shoe box. Beth jokingly suggested that I sell my couch. Don't think I didn't consider it. But where would we eat our pizza if I did that?? I have already consumed the dinning room table with two machines. So I focused on another area of the house. The "catch all." That space you never really look at. For us, it is as you enter our our house, the breakfast nook. It had a table David's father made, windows covered in dark curtains and became the spot where all things landed. Oliver would also let you know, it's where he ate, the most important function it probably had.
And I'll be honest, this is what it looked like after I cleaned it up. The best-est big brother ever, offered to put the table in storage in his garage for me so I could free up space. So after the table was moved, I stripped the curtains off the windows and was left with this.
I couldn't believe all the light! You might notice Oliver over there in the corner. He was UNHAPPY about all of these events. Being the lovable chunk he is, I'm pretty sure he was afraid he'd never eat again. He laid in the floor and moaned LOUDLY to voice his concern. It was getting old.
Then last weekend, the big day finally came, the delivery of my machine. It was super simple to set up and after a quick demo of threading the machine and a few of the buttons, the shop owner was on his way. I'm sure I had the look of any new parent left alone with their baby for the first time. That deer in the head light look of what do I do next??
The fur kids, approved of the beast in their space, which was a good start. Before I allowed myself to set down to play, I vowed to finish cleaning the space up. Let's face it, if I didn't do it now, I'd never do it. I added a second set of shelves, under my window, which turned out to be a great place for Oliver's food. He seems happy with this compromise and view.
When I finally sat down to quilt, I was having some major tension issues. This made me less than happy. I tried several different things but nothing worked. I walked away. Did I really just purchase the most expensive cat jungle gym ever??? So I emailed Beth and watched a YouTube video and both were able to help me tweak the machine so it purrs like a kitten. My problem was I was so afraid of breaking the machine, I didn't want to turn those knobs and screws. Like the newborn, it's not as breakable as you fear.
So, the machine will still probably be a cat jungle gym while it's not in use, but now I'm ready to start finishing some quilts!!! A huge thank you to Dave The Quilt Engineer for giving me the push I needed and supporting me in purchasing this machine. And another huge thank you to Beth for sharing in the big day with me, and the help...I'm sure it won't be the last time I ask you a question :)
Hey, Jenny, happy early Sweet 16! This present is for, mom, who did all the hard work 16 years ago and has managed to keep you alive and turn you into the spunky teen you are!
Also, this weekend, Craftsy is holding a Black Friday sale to get us ready for the holiday season and all the handmade stuff we want to make for our family and friends.
I know I will be picking up another one of the Cotton & Steel FQ Boxes. At $38.47 that's a deal I can't refuse! That's the cheapest I've seen them yet. So if you need to get ready for your holiday sewing, hop over to Craftsy and check it out. (Links to Craftsy on this page are affiliate links)