After playing with the HandiQuilter (HQ) Sweet Sixteen quilting machine at the Eleanor Burns Quilting Academy in March, and after really putting it through its paces when a friend lent me hers, I’ve now purchased my own machine!
I picked it up from Handcrafters House in Midland (Western Australia) last Friday, and spent about 2 hours with the lovely Michelle being trained on it. Because I had already used it extensively for about 2 weeks when I had the loan machine from Bobbie, I had lots of questions for Michelle, so instead of the standard training, she mostly dealt with my questions and assessed the samples I brought in for her. Most of my issues were to do with tension, particularly getting the bobbin (foundation) tension right. I learned a lot about tension!
As an aside, just before I picked up my machine, Michelle and her team at Handcrafters House were named HandiQuilter’s International Dealer of the Year, beating some 750 dealers in 10 countries for that award, which is based partly on sales but mostly on customer support and training. Congratulations, Michelle and all your team!
I was originally going to call my machine ‘The Beast’ because it’s such a big and heavy thing, but I decided I needed something a little less horrible for such a lovely machine. After some ideas from my quilting circle of friends, and mulling over some ideas of my own, I’ve settled on ‘Bee’/'The Bee’. Why? Several reasons:
- B for big, beautiful, brilliant, beast
- B for my surname
- Bee as in ‘quilting bee’ and ‘buzzing bee’ (my husband reckons it makes a noise like a bee when he hears it from another room in the house), and of course, ‘busy bee’
Here’s The Bee in its new home in my sewing room, and with the first largish piece I quilted using it (I did quilt another smaller piece before this one, but it’s a gift for someone who reads this blog, so I won’t post pictures of that until after the gift is delivered!) — click on a small image to see it full size, then, once it’s full size, click on it again to see it it even larger:
The quilting motif I’ve used on that square metre of orange batik is based on the crocus designs from Leah Day and her free motion quilting project. It’s a design I find really easy to do and is a great filler design for all sorts of large and small areas.
- Crocus Trail: http://freemotionquilting.blogspot.com/2010/04/day-156-crocus-trail.html
- Crocus Cluster: http://freemotionquilting.blogspot.com/2010/04/day-158-crocus-cluster.html
- Locking in the table legs: http://sandgroper14.wordpress.com/2011/04/30/hq-sweet-sixteen-table/