2010 My HQ Story: Carrolyn Vidal

My HQ, doll quilt made in 1957 with my grandmother’s help, and me
I was born to
quilt.  At a very young age, I was  lying at my grandmother’s feet,
rocking her treadle with my arms  to her gentle commands and helping her
with her sewing and mending.  Did I ever feel important!  At about 8,
I completed my first quilt for my dolls made with cuttings from clothing,
sewing scraps and old blankets.  In her wisdom, my grandmother just gave
me a few directions and let me sew and create on my own.  Not the best
quilt in the world, but totally mine.
As a young adult, I continued
quilting and making home and apparel articles.  I hadn’t had much formal
instruction, but learned on my own through trial and error.  My first
major quilt was made as a surprise for my mother.  Her own mother had died
when she was about 5.  The only memorabilia that she had from her mom as
the youngest of 8 siblings was a piece of a quilt her mom had started from old
clothing.  In my early 20’s and about 1970, I “borrowed” this quilt piece
from the cedar chest and finished it to give her as a Christmas gift. ( I
learned out of necessity how to tea dye and age  fabrics etc. trying to
get newer fabrics to match with over 50 year old fabrics.)  I hand quilted
this first real effort. My own work of art…..but slow, slow, slow.
Over the years as my love of
quilting grew and my efforts became more prolific, I learned about machine
quilting from a friend.  What fun!  We would rent machines together
at a small quilt shop in Ephrata, WA and spend the day finishing off our many
family and gift quilts. 
However, about 2000 I suffered my
first knee accident.  Over the next four years I had several surgeries on
my knee and a second accident with the other supposedly “good” knee.  No
longer could I rent a machine and stand for hours to finish quilting in the
allotted rental time.  And then the knee surgeries necessitated double
knee replacement.  I was extremely depressed about losing my ability to
machine quilt.  Then I went to SewExpo in Puyallup, WA and watched a
demonstration on the HQ Sixteen.  Not only was it household sized,  it was
affordable for a single, school teacher! And the best news of all--I could
put a quilt on the frame, and quilt whatever amount of time I was able to
physically do each day.   I bought it in Feb. 2006 just a couple
weeks before my scheduled double knee replacement.  It was the “golden
carrot” I held up for myself to get through the extensive surgery and
rehabilitation that I knew I was facing.  And it was the carrot that
worked!  I worked hard each day until I could finally do a little on the
machine.  Now, several years later, and up to full days of quilting again,
the convenience of having it in my own home can never be measured.
As a semi-retired 42 year veteran
teacher,  I am now  an almost full time quilter.  I am
even able to supplement my income with a small longarm and quilting home
business.  The joy and love of my life is still showering my family and friends
with homemade goodies.  I only own a couple of quilts  myself as
almost all of my quilts have been jobs or gifts.  All of this has been
made possible by the convenience and affordability of the HQ Sixteen.  However
living in the middle of the woods in NE Washington state makes lessons to
improve my skills and knowledge of the machine itself  almost
impossible.  Attending the HQ Headquarters classes would be a dream come

I own the following HQ machine: HQ Sixteen

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