Handi Quilter’s History
The best innovations begin with a need that isn’t being met.
That’s exactly what happened with Handi Quilter’s founder, Laurel Barrus, in the late 1990’s. A lifelong sewer, Laurel was looking for a way to take a portable machine quilting frame to her family cabin. She couldn’t find anything to suit her needs in the marketplace, so… she created something that could be used with her own home sewing machine. Laurel knew her invention had to be light and small enough to carry in her car, yet adjustable so it could accommodate small or large quilts. Laurel named her quilting frame, the “Handi Quilter.” When her friends saw the portable, adjustable frame she had created, they wanted one too.
Laurel took her first prototype to the International Quilt Festival in Houston in October of 1999. On the first day of the festival, she called her fabricators and told them she had received enough orders to keep them busy until Christmas!! The business continued to grow when in 2002, Handi Quilter introduced an entirely new line of products – the HQ Sixteen quilting machine and the adjustable frames to support it.
In 2010, Handi Quilter became the only longarm quilting machine company to achieve worldwide safety and electrical certificates for their quilting machines and systems, enabling them to expand to more than 900 worldwide independent retail locations across 55 countries. Its dedicated engineering team works with quilters when creating new and innovative products. Handi Quilter’s continued focus on education is furthered by more than 30 field educators in ur HQ their studio and throughout the world who share their talents, knowledge and love of quilting.
The HQ Sixteen has been replaced by newer machines, including the recently released (as of December 10, 2019) HQ Capri.
The HQ Capri is a stationary longarm machine with built-in HQ InSight stitch regulation. This patented sensor-based stitch regulation is built into the new HQ InSight Table for intuitive quilting and accurate stitches.
The HQ Capri at Road to California
Road to California is the first quilt show where the Handi Quilter Capri will be available for use by students in longarm classes. Why is Handi Quilter excited to send the Capri to Road? Said Brenda Groelz, Vice President of Marketing & Education for Handi Quilter, “The students attending Road to California embrace innovation and quality, so we knew that the stationary longarm classroom was the right place to invite quilters to try the new technology of the HQ InSight stitch regulation.”
Teachers who will have the HQ Capri in their longarm classes are Debby Brown and David Taylor. Because one of the hardest things to accomplish in free-motion quilting is even-length stitches, students will be able to achieve “perfect stitches” with the HQ Capri by simply moving the quilt sandwich across the table top. Handi Quilter is confident that students in these classes are “going to love the experience.”
Can’t take a class featuring the HQ Capri? No worries. All show attendees will be able to see the HQ Capri up close in the Handi Quilter Booth.
Handi Quilter Recognizes Road’s 25th Anniversary
It’s especially exciting that the HQ Capri will be making its quilt show debut during Road’s 25th Anniversary.
Brenda commented, “Handi Quilter congratulates the Reese family on their 25th anniversary of the Road to California show. When Carolyn Reese started her small regional show, we know that she intended to provide an opportunity for local quilters to show off their work and find new sources for the fabrics, machines, and notions that they needed for their art. She should feel pride in knowing that grandson Matt Reese is taking her vision to new and wonderful places, and taking all of us quilters along with him. The success of this internationally-known and respected show is indicative of the strength of the quilting market and the passion of those for whom quilting is their life.”
To learn more about Handi Quilter and their products, please visit their website.