Building Up Friday – Double Trouble

I began my journey as a machine quilter in 2000. I was looking into longarm (LA) quilting machines and a friend told me about an online “list” or newsgroup. Through there, I met Janet-Lee Santeusanio and Mary Schilke. They already had longarms and were hosting a get together for LA quilters and wanna-be’s in Sunset Hill, NH. That wasn’t too far away, so Tom and I signed up. I got to try my first LA there (you didn’t see them at every quilt show like you do now!) and was hooked. The rest of that story is history…but here’s what happened next…

Three (?) years in a row they had this get-together at Sunset Hill and at some point Janet-Lee and Mary said, Hey! Bring your quilts that you’ve quilted and we’ll have a mini-quilt show! Then they brought in LA teachers and had classes! The only dedicated machine quilting show at the time was in the mid-west, so it was so exciting to get to see other peoples talents and learn from the teachers right in my backyard! Then things began to evolve and BAM! Machine Quilter’s Expo was born on the shores of Lake Winnipesaukee in Laconia! (They even let me design the first logo!) The show has continued to grow and is now held at the Radisson in Manchester NH and now has babies! One on the west coast and a brand new one in the mid-west! The show’s new name is New England Quilt Festival.

Janet-Lee and Mary have worked tirelessly to promote our art and they’ve done it with a great sense of humor and patience! I hear they get into a lot of trouble together, too! Without them, I know I wouldn’t be the machine quilter I am today and the world would be a much quieter/boring place to live!

So raise your glasses to Janet-Lee and Mary – two women who rock the quilting world!

6 Comments

Janet-Lee Santeusanio

WOW Lisa…… you made me cry! We love what we do and although we have slightly modernized your original logo for the show, it remains as you designed it. Thank you!

Linda Spence

They have absolutely ROCKED the quilting world. I know that I would not be where I am today with machine quilting without their fabulous expositions. Longarm training here in the south is virtually non-existent, so you HAVE to go north and/or west. So VERY glad they made the investments in time, money and sweat to produce their shows.
More power to you, Janet-Lee and Mary!!!

Eileen Keane

Lisa, I’m right there with you! JL and Mary had a vision, and have never wavered from it. How cool that we’ve been able to go along for the ride :)
See you all next month back home in Manchester!

Diana Annis

If it weren’t for those trouble makers……
So happy to call them friends!

Linda Steller

Wonderful story! I didn’t join the MQX festivities until 2005, but I’ve never been sorry I did. Wonderful show with wonderful friends. You just can’t beat it.

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