Thursday, November 2, 2017

So... How Did You Two Meet?

Janet-Lee and I have a rather unique "how we met" story. In the middle of 2016 I was "kinda sorta" looking for a local long arm quilter because shipping quilts halfway across the country was getting expensive, and since I was starting to make lots of quilts because I wanted to use up some fabric, the shipping costs were increasing.

I'd seen the work of other long arm quilters at various quilt shops and at some of the guilds I spoke to, but I was looking for somebody who wouldn't be intimidated by the unusual quilts that I make. So I was "kinda sorta" looking, but the reality was that I wasn't looking very hard.

In late August of 2016, while on an airplane at 35,000 feet, on my way to visit my new granddaughter for the first time, I was waiting in line for the rest room when I got to talking to one of the stewardesses. Somehow we got to the "I make quilts," and "Yeah, my mother does too," stage of the conversation. The stewardess (Ariana?) told me her mother did long arm quilting, and believe it or not, lived in New Hampshire. I gave her a couple of postcards of my work and didn't think much about it.

Close up of quilting on the Fruit Loops quilt
Two months later, Ariana finally gave her mother the cards, and Janet-Lee wrote to me, and we went back and forth about what I like and what I didn't like in quilting. She wrote that she quilts about 300 quilts a year, and knew what she was doing. We exchanged contact information and there it sat for about five months. During this time I started making the Scrap Slab triangle quilts, and finished up the Digital Pinwheels. I had six quilts that needed quilting, and the stack was growing. I needed a local quilter.

Digital Pinwheels
At some point it dawned on me that Janet-Lee was one of the owners of the MQX shows, and there was an MQX show in Manchester in April 2017, which was like two days away. I bundled up the Fruit Loops and Digital Pinwheels quilts and went to see the show and meet Janet-Lee. We hit it off and I left the quilts with her. I told her to do whatever she felt was best.

The quilting on Treasure Trove.

 Now Janet Lee is no dummy. She knew perfectly well the quilts I had left with her were only "couch quilts" and that I wanted to see how good she was.

Well, she didn't disappoint. Janet-Lee certainly knows what she is doing, and when I went to pick up my quilts, I left her Treasure Trove, Snow Day and the Tumblers quilts.

We searched through her quilt designs and chose patterns for those three quilts, but as I left I told her that if she got to one quilt and she didn't think the design we picked out was right for the quilt, to go ahead and do what she felt was best.
detail of the Jewel Box quilt
On at least one quilt, she did just that, and I was thrilled with her choice. I left the Jewel Box quilt and Terrazzo, the black and white Slashed Squares quilt.

Terrazzo Quilt
 So by the time it came to quilt the Colorado Quilt, I had no qualms. Janet-Lee knew just what to do and I let her do it.

detail of the Colorado Quilt
So the next time you meet somebody in an airplane, 35,000 feet above sea level, somewhere over the US, don't underestimate the connection.

You never know.

Not only do I have a great long arm quilter, I have a good friend, and next year I'm going to teach at the MQX show in Manchester.

Who'da thought?


Megan said...

Fabulous story and fabulous outcome and I'm so glad to hear that you're going to teach at MQX. Congratulations.

Sydney, Australia

Nancy J said...

And we met our wonderful gardener almost like that, a chance comment in the local pharmacy, someone knew the ladies, they rang, we clicked!!! And like Janet-Lee, our lady is a miracle. Your quilting is so suited to each one, no wonder you are so happy.

Poppy Q said...

Lynne it is amazing how your life has taken this interesting turn, all the people you have met over the years through your love of quilting and Miss M. Your story reminds me that I always try to be nice to the people I work with, as any time I have been stranded at an airport I seem to run into people I used to work with and they let me go into the posh lounge with them.

Pat said...

What a great story and such a happy ending (or beginning?).

Quiltdivajulie said...

Being open to opportunity is one of life's greatest possibilities. SO glad your encounter on the airplane turned into something so wonderful!

DKM said...

What a great story!

Susan R said...

Oh my gosh. Thanks Lynne for sharing this wonderful story. It was meant to be, you and your new friend. These kinds of happenings are all around us, we just have to look up and smile.


QuiltSwissy said...

I love it. These "random" people are often the best people to know!

Shasta Matova said...

That is a great story. Networking is truly the best way to meet the best people.

roth phallyka said...

like Janet-Lee, our lady is a miracle. Your quilting is so suited to each one, no wonder you are so happy.