HQ Sweet Sixteen Quilting Machine

Product – HQ Sweet Sixteen Quilting Machine

Price: $6,495.00 with special bonus package! (List Price: $8,532.00)

Website – Sewing Machines Plus

Laurel Barrus, the founder of the Handi Quilter company designs machines with the ethos: “Designed by a Quilter, for Quilters”®.

HQ Sweet Sixteen Quilting MachineWith the HQ Sweet Sixteen Quilting Machine the company have come up with a long arm sit down quilting machine, an ideal solution if you don’t have the space for the larger “stand up” models.

Called the Sweet Sixteen because of the 16″ throat space this model from HQ will let you quilt king size quilts with the added advantage of the addition of the TruStitch regulator.

Working differently from the “stand up” long arm quilting machine the smooth surface of the included table lets your project glide under the needle.


Bonus ItemsThe special offer package includes:

  • HQ Sweet Sixteen table overlay
  • 4 Spools of Quilter’s Choice thread
  • Jumbo Bobbin Saver in red
  • Handy Helpers 4in. Magnetic Pin Bowl with Pins
  • Also included is the Tru Stitch Regulator worth $995

HQ Sweet Sixteen Quilting Machine Features

  • This machine is a breeze to set up and take down; it doesn’t need to be permanently in place.
  • With 16″ of throat space and 8″ of vertical space it has more than 3 times the quilting space of a domestic sewing machine.
  • The Handi Quilter comes with a 36” x 30″ height adjustable table adjustable from 26″ to 42″
  • HQ have a new “patent pending” Easy-Set Tension™, an exciting feature which eliminates those tricky tension problems.
  • Fast stitching speed of up to 1,500 st per minute, choose between 10 and 1,500 st per minute.
  • Interchangeable Handi Feet with a 1/4″ ruler comes installed with an included open foot.
  • The color touchscreen is adjustable.
  • There are 4 basting stitch options with the walking stitch controlled with either the touch screen or the foot pedal.
  • With the project timer and quilting alarm you can set an alarm for how long you want to spend quilting and track how much time you spend on a quilt.
  • Low-bobbin estimator and alarm, a convenient way to keep track of how much thread you have left on your bobbin.
  •  LED light ring, Innovative design illuminates the quilting area with 28 LEDs. This gives great visibility, no need to crane your neck and get backacheAn eye movement is sufficient.
  • It comes with a useful large capacity m class bobbin (really useful when you don’t have to keep loading bobbins) and a high-speed rotary hook.
  • The ergonomic thumb screw makes it easy to do a needle change.
  • Four language options are included; English, French, German and Spanish.
  •  The built-in diagnostics keeps your project moving.
  • It can handle any kind of thread from cotton and  polyester right through  to rayon, metallics and holographic.

Handi Quilter Sweet Sixteen lcdHQ tensionHandi Quilter Sweet Sixteen led lights

The HQ Sweet Sixteen Quilting Machine in Action

To see how easy it is to use the HQ Sweet Sixteen Quilting Machine for free motion quilting watch this video from the HQ channel.

Tru Stitch Regulator

Tru Stitch Stitch RegulatorThis is a fairly recent Innovative stitch-regulation system for the HQ Sweet Sixteen and comes as part of this special offer package  from Sewing Machines Plus.

It choreographs stitch regulation on the table by measuring controller movements. It is easy to learn and operate for all skills and will give you consistently even stitch lengths.

With full visibility of the quilting area and greater flexibility with quilting motifs the TruStitch is a welcome addition to HQ’s arsenal!

  • The Coaster attaches to the edge of the quilt giving more flexibility for borders and small projects.
  • The Controller is an advanced sensor that moves with the quilt to control stitch length.
  • The Magnet is a tool for optional use when you want to keep the controller positioned on the quilt. This frees up your hands when using certain techniques.
  • The Receiver regulates the stitch length by translating the signals from the controller to the machine.

Watch the Tru Stitch regulator in action.

Optional Extras

  • TruStitch stitch regulation – comes as part of package.
  • Table overlay for creating a smooth surface – comes as part of package for use with the Tru Stitch.
  • Set of three couching Handi Feet.
  • Horizontal spool pin.
  • 18” x 30” table extensions.
  • HQ Hideaway™ Table.

Other Information

  • Nationwide Dealer/Rep Support.
  • HQ Customer and Technical Support.
  • Online training and education.

HQ Sweet Sixteen Machine Head – Weight = 53lbs, Length = 31″, Width = 15″, Height = 21″

Sit down Table – Length = 42″, Width = 15″, Height = 8″


While this is sold as a long arm machine it operates differently. You still have to move the quilt yourself and on a large quilt, there is still a lot of quilt to sit on your shoulder or chest when you’re working in the middle of the quilt. No plugin pantographs are available.


The 16″ space and smooth surface makes it much easier to do free motion quilting. The HQ Sweet Sixteen easily copes with thick fabrics and layers. The 28 LEDs is a nice touch giving great visibility. Being able to put it away between projects is a great feature for a long arm quilting machine. There are lots of training options, help and support all easily accessible.


The HQ Sweet Sixteen Quilting Machine is not a magic tool; you still have to move the quilt under the needle. Having said that, the way it’s designed makes free motion quilting so much easier, you can tell it was designed by a quilter! Many of us still like to sit down when quilting and the HQ Sweet Sixteen allows you to do this

If you don’t have the room or the budget for a true long arm quilting machine then you should consider this one. With Sewing Machine Plus offering such a great package now would be the time to buy this Handi Quilt machine; “Designed by a Quilter, for Quilters”®.

Click here to take advantage of this special offer price of just $6,495.00 for the HQ Sweet Sixteen Quilting Machine plus Tru Stitch Regulator and Bonus Pack


26 thoughts on “HQ Sweet Sixteen Quilting Machine”

  1. I’ve been dying to get a quilting machine for ages! I just started quilting and am using my regular sewing machine, which isn’t ideal, mostly because they’re not a lot of room to get stuff under the arm. This machine sounds wonderful though! You don’t think it’s too advanced for a beginner do you, or will it be a good investment as a grow as a quilter?

    • It’s a tricky question, which quilting machine to buy. The thing with domestic sewing machines is the throat space and the capability of an even feed of all the layers. The dedicated quilting machines solve these problems and the HQ Sweet Sixteen Quilting Machine comes with an instructional DVD plus the instructions are easy to follow. It is a simple machine to operate, just takes practise doing the free motion quilting but that would be the same with any machine.
      An alternatice is the lower priced Juki, https://toolsforquilting.com/juki-tl-2000qi-long-arm-quilting-machine/

      Thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment, hope this information helps, Happy Quilting!

  2. Hi,Cathy:
    A very interesting and informed post on quilting. It shows your passion and knowledge in this area. You certainly have found yourself a niche market. Well done…Tom

  3. Hi, Kathy:
    I found your post to be both interesting and informative. It really shows your understanding and passion for quilting.

    • Thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment Tom. You can tell I have a passion for quilting? I do, especially for quilting machines like the HQ Sweet Sixteen Quilting Machine! 🙂

    • I’m glad you enjoyed your visit Amanda, the HQ Sweet Sixteen Quilting Machine is a pretty nifty tool for quilters!

  4. This is a fascinating machine 🙂 I’m very well used to using regular sewing machines, so I loved how this allows the user to maneuver the cloth to create all those beautiful patterns – I wasn’t expecting that 🙂 And in the video everyone was so at ease with it, not at all nervous or stressed (which I very often am using a sewing machine – I put my foot down way too hard most of the time and nearly stitch my fingers in the process!!)
    What a satisfying hobby too – quilts aren’t just to look at. Imagine making one for a wee baby and knowing that they’re cuddling up in it every night 🙂
    Great review, very honest and full of info. Well done 🙂

    • Yes, the HQ Sweet Sixteen was definitely designed by quilters and quite different to use than a regular sewing machine. I love making the small baby quilts, they make great gifts. Some sewing machines have a speed control, handy if you tend to press the foot pedal too hard. Have you looked at my recent review of the Brother cs6000i, that is a good price and has a speed control.

  5. The HQ sweet 16 quilting machine looks incredible. I’m really impressed with all it does. My grandma loves quilting and so does this lady who pretty much is my wife’s grabdnother. Is this worth it? It seem really expensive, even though making incredible quilts especially the size of a queen or king size bed takes lots of time and effort. What makes this machine a better value than comparable quilting machines?

  6. Wow, Awesome information on quilting machines. I would love to learn how to quilt. I consider myself a newbie quilter as I have only made a couple quilts, but I really enjoyed it. I would love to be able to quilt like a pro . It would be easy if I owned one of these awesome machines. Great review Kathy, I will definitely keep this in mind when I get ready to start my quilting project.
    Kitty Clark

    • Yes, Kitty, the HQ Sweet Sixteen was definitely designed by quilters, it makes the finishing so much easier! Have you got any particular design in mind for your next quilting project?

  7. I have a HQ 16 quilting machine and bought the stitch regulator to go with it. However, the machine is not reading that it is attached and won’t let me set it in the regulator mode. How do I get the machine to read that the regulator is attached???

    • Hi Penny, I’ve never had this problem, but did you make sure the ribbon cable under the handle bar didn’t get pinched when you tightened it to the machine?
      You don’t say where you purchased your machine, can you contact the seller for help? Another port of call is the HandiQuilter forum https://www.handiquilter.com/forum/

      Hope this helps. 🙂

  8. Yes I double checked the cable under the handle bars it is good. It has me stymied as what to do. I am trying to finish my quilt and can’t get the regulator to work. This is my first quilt.

    • I can’t think of anything else Penny, sorry. Did you try the place you purchased it from or the forum I suggested?

  9. Well things have certainly moved along from my mother and me sitting in front of a wooden Singer sewing machine pumping away all day – the HQ Sweet Sixteen looks absolutely awesome ( and modern to! ). Tell me, what is the learning curve for this sort of machine – is it a lot different from the more traditional models?

    • The HQ Sweet Sixteen Quilting Machine is specifically made for quilting. There is a learning curve, even if you’ve used a sewing machine before, the machine is facing a different way for starters! However, it doesn’t take long to learn to use this quilting machine and you’ll soon be producing some beautiful quilts.

  10. Hi, I have a hq sweet sixteen machine and I love it. I’m having a problem with the latest quilt I’m working on. It is extra thick and it bunches up as I am quilting. is there a way to raise the foot a little higher . any suggestions. thank you,

  11. Purchased my HQ Sweet Sixteen on a whim and have regretted it ever since. I’m sure it’s a great machine, but can honestly says it’s not for everyone. One day I hope to find a new home for the one I purchased.


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