by Mary Beth Krapil
In case you were wondering what to do at International Quilt Festival in Houston, TX November 2-5, 2017, I have a suggestion:
Come to the Handi Quilter booth! It will be a party! We are very excited to be introducing our new longarm quilting machine, the HQ Amara. And she is a beauty! Handi Quilter asked quilters what features they would love to have on their machines, we listened, then made it happen! Let me share with you some of the innovative, amazing features on this new machine.
HQ Amara Top Features
- 20″ of brightly-lit throat space – the 20 inch throat space makes it so easy to accomplish practically any design, even on 12 inch blocks on point! It’s the perfect fit for so many styles of quilting!
- Pinpoint Needle Laser – The pinpoint laser light lets you know exactly where the needle will drop as you begin sewing. This is very helpful for accuracy in free-motion, ruler work and Pro-Stitcher use. Stitch-in-the-ditch is a cinch when you know exactly where your needle will go!
- Easy-Set Tension™ – When you have adjusted the tension to achieve the perfect stitch, make note of the number on the screen and record it, so you will have a starting point when you use the same combination of threads again.
- 7-inch color touchscreen (add the Pro-Stitcher® and use that tablet for your machine display instead) – if you choose to add Pro Stitcher, the Amara control screen is integrated into the Pro-Stitcher tablet so there is no need for 2 screens. Very sleek and convenient!
- Menu-controlled QuiltMaster™ LED Lighting Package: throat, needlebar, and bobbin – I can quilt in my studio with no other lights on at all. This lighting package is terrific! And you have full control to adjust the lighting any way that works for you and the project you are working on, right on the screen. Oh! and the light in the bobbin area is perfect for cleaning and oiling. You can really see what you are doing.
- QuiltMaster™ front handlebars: Independently adjustable, ergonomic with integrated micro handles – this truly makes the machine your perfect match. – The toggle bolts make them easy to adjust. You can place them in the position that is best for you and you can change it up whenever you like. Bringing the handles down into the micro handle position allows you to sit at the machine and rest your forearms on the bars for comfort while doing small micro quilting designs.
- QuiltMaster™ servo-controlled stitch regulation. The stitch regulator is super-responsive; this means perfect stitches, every time!
- Two modes of stitch regulation: Precision or Cruise (as well as Manual mode)
- Programmable handlebar buttons – The Amara lets you program the third button on each handlebar to the functions you prefer and use most often. And you can change it up any time you wish.
- Stitching speeds up to 2,500 stitches per minute – Are you a fast quilter? You’re going to LOVE this feature!
- Consistent stitch quality from 4-24 stitches per inch
- Five basting stitches
- Five convenient built-in tie-off stitches – The HQ Amara features an automatic tie off that stitches some (you choose the number in settings) tiny stitches. Touch the Knot icon then move the machine slightly and the machine will stitch your tie off automatically. Fast and perfectly convenient!
- High-speed rotary hook with large-capacity M-class bobbin – it’s all fun and games until the bobbin runs out. And that doesn’t happen nearly as often with the Magnificent-Mega-Monster M-class bobbins.
- Manual mode with three customizable preset speeds
- Pro-Stitcher ready! – All necessary cabling is pre-installed inside, this means no cables running along the outside of the machine for the Pro-Stitcher keeping the look clean and sleek.
- Handi Feet®-compatible; includes ruler foot and open-toe foot
- On-screen hand wheel – you don’t have to reach to the back of the machine (or walk back there if you have short arms) to manually turn the hand wheel.
- Magnetic Tool Minder Collar – It’s a great place to keep your thread snips, or a metal tool that you use often.
- Bobbin-use estimator – warns you when the bobbin is about to run out.
- Front power switch – you don’t have to reach (or walk) to the back of the machine to power down.
- Thread-break sensor and alarm – wonderful feature for Pro-Stitcher users!
- Stitch counter- know how many stitches you put into a quilt and also how many lifetime stitches are on the machine. You’ll be in the Million Stitches club in no time!
- Easy needle change – every quilt deserves a new needle.
- Needle-stop up/down control – it’s always good to be in control
- Two built in timers -One counts down (like a kitchen timer) Set it when you have to end your fun at a certain time. One counts up (like a stopwatch) this lets you know how much actual stitching time you have invested into a quilt, it only counts when you are actually stitching.
- HQ Studio 2 Frame™ – Choose the loading method you prefer with QuiltMaster™ DuoLoad™ system. Standard Loading provides visual reminder of the actual quilting space and easy access to the bobbin area for oiling and bobbin changing. It is just like the HQ frames you are accustomed to. Clear View Loading™ is an option that allows for easy use of longer or larger rulers or templates. You can easily switch from one style of loading to the other. Choose from 10 foot or 12 foot options.
We invite you to find out if the Amara is the perfect match for you. Please stop by the Handi Quilter booth and give her a test drive. You’ll be amazed (and fall in love). Oh! and come by early to be sure you get one of our fabulous, large, hold a big quilt, free bags. They are the best. See you there!