May 2019 I ordered a HandiQuilter Simply Sixteen which started my journey of longarm quilting. I had these big dreams to quilt for customers and grow my business of Stitch by Stitch Quilting. I started off slow and worked on quilting the many quilts that I had sewn. I was learning my machine. However I did not have automation so it was all hand-guided quilting. I was GREAT at meandering and wavy lines. HA. But it wasn’t as fun as it was physically taxing on my body moving the machine. I quilted a few of my neighbor’s quilts and completed a few custom quilts, but I wasn’t in love with my machine. It ended up being a more storage space for the quilts I was working on, but I wasn’t drawn to quilting. I just wanted to continue to sew tops, but not finish the quilt.
In October 2021, I went to a retreat at Missouri Start Quilt Company that was bringing in 2 HandiQuilter educators. I figured that I should educate myself to love my machine more. Although I had the basics down, I wanted to gain more knowledge. Little did I know, that I would leave the retreat with a quote to purchase a much larger throat machine with automation. I was going to grow from a 16 inch throat space to 24. Why not go as big as I could?
My machine was delivered by a semi in January 2022. What a sight to see. I couldn’t wait to put the machine together and get off quilting. COVID got in a way a bit, but I ended up setting it up myself and starting on my own as I couldn’t wait any longer. Thankfully there are many great YouTube videos and the HandiQuilter educators to help. I not only jumped to a legit quilter after a few days, the first quilt also included minky. I fell in love.
I knew that to ensure that I started my business off right for the 2nd time, I needed a little help. In comes the Longarm League. I was able to learn about the business and join a membership that will provide continued support through my journey. I am very grateful for Jess and Josh and all the other quilters that I have met so far. Now to continue on, open officially and start to market my business. I hope to hear from you all soon, and start to quilt your hard work and return a quilt back to you to gift to someone special, or keep all for yourself!