About Me or Why SplittingStitches?

I am a very laid back quilter who just wants to help the average 
quilter get their tops finished at a reasonable price.  
I work on the quilts in the order they are received.  I can let you know 
how many quilts are before yours once the quilt has been received.  
I do have a life that requires some of my time, but will do the best I 
can to make the turnaround time as short as possible. 

Joanne Lendaro
529 Olde Farms Road
Grantham, NH   03753

My Personal Quilty Sentiment

The Quilt
This quilt is made of cloth and thread
to place upon your little bed.
it's not an heirloom-just to keep,
but to lay upon as you count sheep.
Or perhaps the floor's the perfect place,
for a doll and teddy picnic space.
This quilt can be anything your can dream-
from a hero's cape to the robe of a queen.
Pretend it's a raft adrift at sea,
or just cuddle up when you watch TV.
So use it up, and wear it out-
I promise I won't yell or pout.
Just tell me when it's days are through,
and I'll make another, just for you.
Author Unknown

I love this poem!!
I want the quilts I make to be used and loved by those who receive them. Any and all quilts deserve to be quilted if that is what you want for your quilt. 

I will photograph your quilt for publication on my blogs.
If your quilt is displayed or published I would very much appreciate the  recognition for the machine quilting.
Thank you for your interest in my machine quilting services. I’m more than happy to help you finish your quilt.

Recently I completed a questionnaire for the New Hampshire State Quilters newsletter, not wanting all of that work to be under-utilized, I had a little fun  writing it, hope you enjoy it too.  Here's a copy...

Name of business?  
SplittingStitches Longarm Quilting   I’ve had the name SplittingStitches for over 15 years.  It all began in a Serger Yahoo group. With my wacky sense of humor and time I spent removing those Serger stitches, it just seemed to fit. Looking back now, my dealings with the tension issues of the early home sergers,  made dealing with the tensions of a longarm machine a piece of cake! 
How long?  

 Have owned my machine since 2009, began quilting as a business in 2011.
How did you get into quilting?  
After years of making clothes for my four children a neighbor friend invited me to join her in a local quilt shops BOM.  I fell in love with the finished quilt the shop had on display, I had to buy not one, but two kits!  After all it’s only $5, right?  By month three into the BOM I realized that I really didn’t know what I was doing, so I added a techniques class to my schedule.  That was only three blocks a month, with a little research on the computer I found oh so many, many lovely quilts that I just needed to make!!  And so the hobby began.
How did you decide to become a longarm quilter? 
 After finishing my first quilt and having three more in process, (yes, I actually finished my first quilt before the end of those BOM’s).   I went to the hubs and convinced him of the ‘savings’ of owning one of these wonderful machines.  He bought into it; at least that’s what I want to believe.  It didn’t take me long to figure out the machine was going to be sitting because I couldn’t complete those tops fast enough.  See UFO’s below.  Anyway, I began with friends quilts, and the business has just blossomed from there. 
Type of machine you use?  
 HQ16 with ProStitcher from HandiQuilter.
Do you use patterns, free design or both? 
I currently own over 325 different computer designs for edge to edge quilting.  I can do free hand quilting and on rare occasions I will do a custom quilt.  I do prefer edge to edge quilting.
Do clients choose patterns or do you? 
Depends upon the quilt maker, sometimes they select the design and sometimes they leave the design selection up to me. Often, I will make several suggestions, with the owner making the final selection.  Getting to know the customer is the key, selecting a design that reflects the amount and style of quilting they prefer. Do they like less quilting vs. heavier, modern or traditional, who was the quilt made for,  how it will be loved and looking at the designs of the fabrics are some of the factors to consider before the quilting begins.
What are your specialties?  
 I enjoy working with new quilters.  I love seeing their expressions when they pick up their quilted tops.  I want to always remember what that feels like.   
Something people might be surprised about the longarm business?
It’s not as easy as one might think.  There is a learning curve and depending upon the individual the curve will vary tremendously. Even with a computer, you will need to learn about the limitations of the machine. Like any other business there is paperwork that needs to be done, emails that have to be answered,  keeping inventory of batting, thread, fabric, needles and other things that keep both the machine and the business going.  Also, we are human and also would like to have a life outside of our machines.  Surprised?!?!  I know!!  Sometimes we just can’t always get things done as quickly as we all would like to have them done.  We may get a quilt later than we expected, it may take us longer to complete than we originally estimated.  There can be many variables to completion time of a quilt. 
Tip or suggestion you might give a client?  (e.g. how long it takes to do a standard full size quilt,  what to expect to bring,  how should they transport it) 
 I think I could just about write a book with this question!  First – learn how to square a backing.  If you don’t know you need to find out!  This is critical when having a quilt machine quilted.  Second – we don’t ask for extra fabric for the fun of it.  Most of the time the extra fabric is needed to square your backing, see tip #1.  It is also used in the loading process (attaching your backing to our frame) of the quilt.  Repeat after me, “pins are my friends”.  Use pins and lots of them when you “correctly” attach your borders.  If you are not sure about the “correct’ way to add borders, find out how.  Again, this is a critical part of getting your quilt to lay flat and be it’s best before having it quilted.  Square those blocks!  A squared block will lay flat and reduces the amount of extra fabric which has the potential of turning into fabric bubbles and pleats on your quilt. 
Whew, I will stop there!  Talk to your longarm quilter if you have questions.  We  have probably seen it all and in most cases know what the problem was and how it could have been done differently. 

Do you belong to any professional organizations or groups for your industry?

I am a member of a couple of local quilting guilds in my area and have started a quilting group that meets monthly in Grantham.  However , I’m not aware of any “professional organizations” available for longarm quilters.  I do attend MQX and belong to several Yahoo groups to stay up to date on the latest information in the industry.   The internet has come a long way and can provide a huge amount of online support for machine owners. 

Have you worked on a special project – or one that was particularly
meaningful to you?    
Like most longarm quilters I do a lot of charity quilts.  I have done charity quilting for my guilds, Parkinson’s , Scoops of Love, wives of servicemen, cancer quilts, sympathy quilts and a couple of different orphanages.  But the most rewarding quilt project I was involved in was to coordinate and make a quilt for a high school classmate who’s son was in a fatal accident while vacationing out of the country.  A fund raiser was held for the family, money was needed for the recovery of the childs body.  The quilt was auctioned off and the winning bidder presented the quilt to the family.   
Do you have any personal UFOs?   
More than I would like to admit too!!  Remember the way I started?   “Just” three blocks a month in the beginning wasn’t enough.  My daughter has dubbed me the “Empress of Un-finished Blocks”, she claims I have too many to be a Princess or even a Queen.  I don’t know what she’s talking about, can you imagine?
What do you do to unwind besides quilting?   
 When I am not quilting, you will most likely find me in the kitchen.  I love to bake and cook, I find the results just as satisfying as quilting.   Last year I took 13 classes at the King Arthur Baking Education Center.  The carbs level at our house is at an all-time high!
Anything else you want to share about you and your business – contact info, hours, time slots available, etc.
I currently host a monthly sewing day in Grantham, the second Tuesday of each month.  I am excited to be also planning my second quilting retreat! Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions, I’m more than happy to help when I can.  Here’s how you can reach me:

Joanne Lendaro

529 Olde Farms Road

Grantham, NH   03753


Find helpful hints (squaring, piecing backings) from me on my blog….

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