16 May, 2011
The Machine Quilter’s Exposition is a bi-annual show which celebrates machine quilting in all its forms. The show features artists, teachers, and vendors who focus primarily on the art of quilting with a long arm machine. It was remarkable, then, that this year the Best in Show award went to Janet Stone, who quilted her remarkable quilt, Red Letter Daze, on a Janome Memory Craft 6600P!
Janet has been quilting off and on for about twelve years. She got serious about quilting after purchasing her 6600P in 2006. (For the record, that is seriously quilting for not even five years!) As she describes her beginner’s journey: “I read a lot of quilting books, searched the internet for information, and eventually took a class from Harriet Hargrave at a local quilt shop. I designed and made a king size quilt for our bed and figured if I could machine quilt that, I could machine quilt anything! It was mostly straight line quilting (love that accu-feed!) but I dabbled a bit at free-motion. It turned out pretty nice, and we still use it.”
This was certainly an auspicious beginning, as she soon won third place in a baby quilt contest through Fons and Porter’s Love of Quilting magazine. Her next quilt was a wall quilt, which won first place at the 2008 Minnesota Quilters Show in Rochester, MN, in the ‘first entry in a quilt show’ category, as well as Judges’ Choice, and Faculty Choice! She says, “Needless to say, I was hooked! After I finished that quilt I made some crazy proclamation that I was going to make 26 quilts featuring the alphabet! I don't know what I was thinking, but so far I have made 8 (I'm busy on number 9) and all of them have won some pretty nice awards at some pretty major shows!”
Lest anyone get too upset at this remarkable innate talent, Janet is very humble about her success. She says, “I find the time to make my quilts because I love doing it. I can't imagine not making quilts! Luckily I have a very supportive husband who works in the evenings so I rarely have to cook. He also does his own laundry....what a guy! I have no kids, 2 cats, who occasionally can be a bit demanding, and my day job as a custom picture framer (which I have been doing since the age of 18!) allows me to support my habit of fabric, thread, and embellishments.”
Janet won a Horizon 7700QCP for her quilt at the MQX show this year – which will soon go to work churning out more award-winning quilts. Congratulations, Janet!