By Mary Beth Krapil
The 5th annual HQ Academy, Quilting Elevated, has come and gone. All those lucky enough to attend left with wonderful memories shared with new and old friends, expanded quilting knowledge, a head full of quilty ideas, a heavy suitcase and perhaps a few extra inches around the waist.
This year’s Academy started off with something new. 115 Handi Quilter retailers came to Layton, UT and took advantage of the gathering of HQ’s best and brightest educators. They chose from 23 classes on many topics related to HQ quilting machines and Stitch machines. They had technical classes so they can service your machines better; they had quilting classes so they can provide you with the best in quilting education; they had business classes so they can provide you with the best shopping experience in the industry. They also had the food and fun of the HQ Academy experience. Even shop owners have to have a little fun now and again!
Then came the 183 quilters from 4 countries; one coming the farthest from New Zealand. On Wednesday afternoon the retailers and quilters who participated in the 4 Academy Bootcamps filled the dining room with laughter and chatter. Wednesday evening the retailers enjoyed a lovely closing banquet and ceremonies.
Thursday morning the quilters kicked off their learning and received a Ph.D. In Threadology from Bob Purcell (Dr. Bob) representing Superior Threads.
Then the line up of 63 classes taught by 18 educators and 2 ambassadors began. The students could choose their classes from 6 tracks: longarm hands on, Pro Stitcher hands on, HQ Sweet Sixteen hands on, Art and Stitch hands on and various lecture demo classes.
Between class periods there was time for snacks and taking selfies at the photo booth and a delicious lunch. The classes continued through Saturday morning.
We also had the opportunity to view the fabulous quilts that were hung throughout the hallways, in the classrooms and the dining room, and in the store. The quilts were from 3 collections. There were the vintage quilt tops, quilted by Handi Quilter educators. Each one more beautiful than the next.
There were the Friendship Star challenge quilts and the ice dyed quilts also quilted by the HQ educators.
And let’s not forget the shopping opportunities. The HQ store was open with all the cool Handi Gadgets to make our quilting more efficient and easier. There was also a vendor mall with Superior Threads, Winline Batting, K&H Quilt Shop, Quilt Pro, Wonderfil Threads and Wasatch Quilting represented.
The students were treated to wonderful gifts at each meal. Threads and rulers and Handi Quilter branded notebooks. Between shopping and swag, their suitcases went home with several extra pounds as well.
Friday night was the gala banquet and closing ceremonies with a lovely talk by Kelly Cline about her journey with quilting vintage linens.
Then we were treated to the story of “Help I Married a Quilter” by Suzanne and Mark Hyland. And of course there were prizes. Some lucky winners went home with batting and digital designs and even a serger!
On Saturday afternoon, after the classes were over, 48 quilters went on a shop hop. They visited 4 wonderful quilt shops and gave their credit cards a little more exercise. While they were gone, the fabulous crew came from Handi Quilter and took down the 130 machines and all the other equipment used in the classes. It took 8+ hours to set up and only about 2 hours to take it all down.
Thank you to everyone who was a part of HQ Academy 2017 and made it such a great success; teachers, ambassadors, staff, retailers, and a big thank you to the quilters. You make this fantastic event what it is with your smiles and friendliness and fun loving positive attitudes. We hope to see you all next year along with many more.
So save the date! June 5-7, 2018. Davis Conference Center. Layton Utah
This guy is ready, are you?