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!
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