The judges for Quilt Plano 2017 will be Diane Leclair and Jo Lynn O'Neil.
National Quilting Association Certified Quilt Judge
National Association of Certified Quilt Judges
Diane (De) is a self-taught appliqué artist who has been crafting quilts since 1981. Her quilts feature the colors of nature and showcase her love for appliqué. Her work has appeared and won awards at local, regional and national quilt shows including six Best of Show Awards and five Viewer's Choice Awards. She is the recipient of the distinguished Masterpiece Quilt Award given by the National Quilt Association for Coeur du Vigne in June 2006.
"Judging is a natural extension of my passion for quilting. I believe it is important to encourage and promote growth in quilting at all levels. I am continually amazed at the creativity quilters display in their art. Most of all I love the art of quilting and the closeness it fosters in all of us." De obtained her Judging Certification through the National Quilting Association in 2002 and was qualified to evaluate Masterpiece quilts in 2005. De is a charter member of the newly formed National Association of Certified Quilt Judges, (NACQJ).
"Judging is a serious process for me. I feel each quilt maker works long and hard on their piece and it deserves my full attention. The judge's written critique is an important learning tool for the entrant. It is my opportunity to convey to the maker what they have successfully accomplished and areas which require attention. I look for excellence in workmanship which supports the design expressions of the quilt maker. I love every aspect of quilting and I am continually amazed at the innovative ways quilters construct and express their design ideas."
After retiring from a 23-year career as a police dispatcher in 2000, Jo Lynn began focusing on her quilting as a career. Previously, she had been quilting seriously for about 4 years and finishing her quilts on a domestic sewing machine. When she retired, she purchased her first long arm machine, which she has upgraded several times since. She now uses a Statler Stitching Gammill to do pre-programmed and free-hand quilting for the public.
"I love the unlimited possibilities that it affords me as an artist. I can use pre-programmed designs or free-hand quilting. I often combine the two for a unique style."
During the last 16 years, she has worked on a large variety of quilts for the public. During this time, she has received numerous "merit" long-arm quilting awards at the Quilters Guild of Parker County, Baytown, and Stephenville quilt shows. "Best of Show" awards have been given to eight of her machine quilted quilts. Several have also been juried into the International Quilt Festival in Houston.
In April 2017, she opened a quilting retreat center next to her home in Santo, Texas. Newly built in a wooded area, it provides a peaceful retreat with plenty of room to be creative. The center has 6 bedrooms with private baths and will sleep 16.
"I often travel to speak and do workshops with guilds. I love all aspects of quilting but my most favorite is appliqué. I currently use the Apliquick tools to turn edges of my applique before stitching."