Earlier this week, I told you about my intention to move my studio into a physical space, and I promised to share with you a decision I had to make recently in order for it to be possible.
Everyone who visits my home laughs and jokes about how much it looks like a quilt shop in there, especially because as soon as you walk in the door, my long arm – Buzz Lightyear – is there to greet you. Literally. Right there.
Buzz can be intimidating at times, because he’s so huge, but I just love having 26″ of throat space and a machine that there’s no way I can outrun. He’s fast, y’all!
Actually, he was fast. I did love having the throat space. But.
The thing is, y’all… I couldn’t put Buzz into a rental environment. Not because he couldn’t handle it, but because I couldn’t. What if something happened to him? He’s my only machine, and if he goes down, there goes my ability to quilt my own projects and those of my clients. What if people wouldn’t quilt on him? I’m a professional, and he even scares me sometimes.
Used to scare me. Was my only machine.
Bottom line… the studio is moving, but Buzz is not. In fact… Buzz has already gone off to find a new home, and I hope he will be very happy. I miss that guy already. I got to hug him on the 6th to say goodbye when I went to test drive his replacement.
Say hello to Fitzwilliam, my new HandiQuilter Fusion Pro:
And here’s Elizabeth, my new Handi Quilter Avante:
They are so new, they haven’t yet been tattooed, but trust me when I say it is not far off. Of course, I’d be completely bananas to bring both long arms home when I’m complaining about lack of space, so instead I brought Fitz home and left Elizabeth with my awesome HQ dealer, Sue Schmieden at The Quilting Connection in Elkhorn, WI. I can’t say enough great things about her or about the HQ machines. If you want an HQ, get it there. Unless you don’t live nearby, in which case, I’m sure there’s another awesome HQ dealer near you.
Now those of you who know me from reading my blog and following my adventures know that I am the queen of the upgrade – I’m always looking for the newest, best, brightest bauble out there – in fact this is long arm upgrade #4 & 5 for me in as many years – but this upgrade queen is now on a tight budget.
Trading in Buzz to get a Fusion Pro and Avante was the least-cost option for getting two long arms for my studio. I wish I could have afforded to keep Buzz and add a second machine, or two Fusion Pros, or even to put a Pro on both Fitz & Elizabeth, but that was not in the budget. Being a Handi Quilter Ambassador affords me some privileges, but even great companies have to draw the line somewhere. 🙂
Still, I envision so many evenings with Fitz marching his way through a programmed design while I dance the free motion with Elizabeth. I can totally see bright, happy days with quilters in my studio learning the love of quilting for themselves at a frame machine. I have been dreaming at night of full classes and people eager to learn how to quilt from me. Can you see it? Hopefully it’s not just a dream but will become a reality as well.
It’s what makes the decision so bittersweet for me, because I wanted that to happen with Buzz. I fell hard for Buzz when I first laid eyes on him at Fall Market in 2014. It was not an easy decision to let him go… but sometimes, you have to sacrifice for the greater dream. And I like to think that Buzz would want me to be happy, to keep quilting, and to share my passion with as many people as possible. And with two machines, I can make that happen. Many thanks to Sue, the Handi Quilter team, and Red Thread equipment financing for working with me to make this a reality!
Which machine would you like to learn on first – Fitz or Liz?