Sweet 16

I’d like to share a short story about my dear husband, Mike. We met in High School and were dating when I was “sweet 16”.

This past Tuesday we celebrated our 36th anniversary! The time has flown by.

Well, a few months back Mike came home from work rather excited because he had received a bonus for the first time in 4 years (the economy and a brief trial run at retirement were the reasons). The next thing he said was “what do you want to buy?” – What a nice guy!!!

I thought for a moment and actually responded that I really had everything I needed and he came back with “don’t you want one of those long-arm things?” – That took me by surprise. After a few seconds of contemplating this I explained to him that the bonus was not big enough and he’d have to empty all his stuff out of the barn so I’d have room for it. That took him by surprise and he replied that that was not an option. Then he asked if there was something somewhere in between…and I immediately thought about a mid-arm. My concern was where to put it and he said if I could figure that out – I should get one. It didn’t take me long to decide the “where” part and I made plans to test drive all the mid-arms I could find at the quilt show in Paducah.

The Quilting Connection is a shop not far from me in Elkhorn, WI that carries long and mid-arm machines. I usually try to buy local, so I visited them prior to my Paducah trip and did a test drive. I was very pleased to realize that, after looking over the competition in Paducah, the Handi Quilter Sweet 16 from the shop in Elkhorn was the one for me. It was delivered on our anniversary and I quilted a small quilt on it by the time I went to bed that night. What a joy and a blessing!

I’ve positioned the new machine just to the left of my regular sewing machine so I just have to swivel my chair to use it.

I’m very pleased with the way the head is situated, the bright lights and the stitch quality.

It is easy to set up and easy to use and I’m hoping my quilting will really improve :-).

I’m especially pleased that I could buy locally. Not only does it help the economy, but I have a technician nearby and that is worth a lot!

Do you quilt on a home sewing machine or do you have something bigger? If you have a quilting machine, would you recommend it to others? What do you love about it? Any complaints?

PS I guess I now have to admit to owning 8 machines. This was a topic of discussion in my July 31st post entitled “Howe Many Machines do You Own?”. It was inspired by the purchase of an 1867 Elias Howe sewing machine. To read all about it go to: http://clkquilt.wordpress.com/category/vintage-quilts/ and scroll down.

8 Opinions

  • Chris Sommerfelt said:

    Nice purchase, but I don’t know how you could improve on your beautiful machine quilting.

  • LaurabKrasinski said:

    I love the photo of you two!!! And the machine looks very cool..I don’t know how much your machine quilting can improve because I think your machine quilting ROCKS!!!

  • Lori Maglio said:

    Beautiful quilting! Love those scrolly things! I got a Bernina 820 within the past year. With the stitch regulator and bigger harp space, my quilting has improved significantly on larger quilts. Unfortunately I have no more room in my quilting space to set up anymore work stations!

  • Evelyn Link said:

    Returned from UK Friday. We had a very nice trip. It went from cold and rainy the first few days to breaking the high temp record in Scotland just before we left. The down side was Ron getting sick two days before our return. We managed to get our flights back, but stopped at urgent care before getting home. What started as a cold became bronchitis and pink eye.

    Congrats on the mid-arm machine. I know it will do wonderful things for you. I am expecting you to quilt our “orange illusion” when it’s finished. Loved your sample.

    I will be visiting Joan soon. She has had the second hip replacement. Maybe I can stop at your house going or coming back. Love you, friend!

  • Mary said:

    Congratulations! What a sweet guy you have there.

  • judythewiz admin

    Good morning Chris

    I am sending a second message since I am never sure if first one went though!!
    Loved your story about your mid arm. I own 6 working machines….old Kenmore, Brother embroidery and quilting, old treadle ,(had two and sold one to a friend who opened a quilt shop and wanted to display and use), old crank (works but haven’t sewed with yet)two featherweights which I use a lot, plus a few old toy sewing machines..I would love to have a long arm but would need $ and a place to keep up. I just finished doing basic quilting on a block of the month quilt (king size) and it was a struggle lifting and putting under my Brother arm. Will not do a king size again. Amen
    I also do a lot of hand work with wool and embroidery. Keep up the good work. …………..God Bless……..Judy W. in Florida

  • Maud Bentley said:

    Hi Chris,
    Last Tuesday was our 36th wedding anniversary also! Happy Day! We had our icky basement finished last February and my husband asked me when I was going long-arm shopping. He reminded me I kept saying “if I had a nice, clean space to put” a longarm….so now I am contemplating and researching. They never do cease to surprise us, do they!
    It will be fun to watch you expand your already amazing quilting horizons ever more.
    Maud B

  • Bonnie Mercier said:

    I really enjoyed your beyond meandering class at FVTC this month! Even though I had one arm out of commission due to rotator cuff surgery, I learned a lot. I own 6 machines at present, a Baby Lock Crown Jewel long arm, Ellageo, Imagine, Coverlock, Hemmer and a Pfaff 7570. I use them all. I really like the long arm, but the local sewing store I purchased it from did not set it up, they did deliver it but I had to help get it into the basement (humm could that have been the start of the shoulder thing? ) Then I had to assemble the entire thing myself. Had I known that I would have purchased elsewhere, so much for local service. About a year later they introduced the mid-arm, would have saved tons of money!! The long arm does have a lot of neat features, like quilt motion which I still haven’t mastered. Thanks again for the fun class!

    Bonnie M


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