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Life is a funny thing, most of the time you really never know what is in store for you and it usually ends up being a different road than you planned. My mom taught me how to sew when I was twelve years old and I started sewing clothes. In my early 20s, my mom gave me a sewing machine and a simple strip-pieced quilt pattern. I think I made a variation of that quilt top at least 14 times. I would hand quilt or tie the quilts together and I absolutely loved the process.
I realized after a while that I loved to make my own designs so I started writing my own patterns and selling them to local quilt shops and online. Then my mom purchased a longarm quilting machine in 2004 and we started a quilting business together. I learned to quilt allover patterns on quilts and I kept designing and creating my own patterns. With a little equity and a whole lot of prayers, my husband, Clint, and I purchased a longarm quilting machine and started passing out business cards. He took over our online business and I was blessed to be able to design and quilt as a stay-at-home mom.
There was a point at the beginning of our crazy new business and life that the quilting money I earned was essential in helping us stay on top of the bills. So, lots of prayers for help and inspiration for quilting were said and I asked at one point, “Please help me get good fast.” Because of this experience I have a hard time taking credit for the quilting I do because it truly was a gift from God and I am so thankful to Him for blessing me with this talent.
Books by Judi Madsen
Laurie I. Malm
Laurie I. Malm is the owner & creator of Lollipops® Designer Bindings, a novelty, seam binding company catering to quilting and sewing enthusiasts. The idea to package designer quilt binding spawned in 2003 when she made over 40 quilts for her son serving in Iraq. The guild ladies assisting her kept saying how much they disliked making bias binding and the concept of making fun and high quality cotton bias was born. Laurie now lectures and teaches workshops throughout the United States and abroad at shops, quilt guilds and at AQS and IQA Quilt Shows. Like many quilters, she is thrifty and loves repurposing denim into beautiful garments using her Lollipops® products in creative ways as edging and trim.
Books by Laurie I. Malm
Susan Purney Mark
Susan Purney Mark took her first quilting class over 20 years ago, and since then, quilting has been a very important part of her life. Susan's studies have included intensive design courses in England and Canada, as well as quilting techniques, history, fiber and dyeing workshops. She began teaching in 1993 and has enjoyed sharing her expertise and enthusiasm with students across Canada. Susan formed Patchworks Studio, a quilt pattern company, with her partner Daphne Greig, another Quilt U faculty member. Patchworkstudio.com offers a variety of original designs, quilting software and features a "series of the month." Susan coauthored "Quilted Havens: City Houses, Country Homes." Her patterns and articles have appeared in "American Patchwork and Quilting Magazine," "American Quilter Magazine," "McCall's Quick Quilts Magazine," and "Canadian Quilter." Susan encourages quilters to enjoy the process, to gather as much knowledge as possible, and to challenge themselves with new techniques and processes. Published works include: "Quilted Havens: City Houses, Country Homes."
Books by Susan Purney Mark
Suzanne started quilting in the mid-70s by checking out a library book. As a self-taught quilter, she has developed her own way to appliqué and quilt. She feels lucky to have two quilts in the permanent collection of The National Quilt Museum in Paducah, Kentucky, after winning hand workmanship awards at the American Quilter’s Society Quilt Show and Contest. Her quilt TOUJOURS NOUVEAU was selected as one of the twentieth century’s 100 best American quilts. She has won prizes in many competitions, both nationally and abroad.
Suzanne and her husband, Garland, live in St. Louis, Missouri, and enjoy visits from their four children and ten grandchildren.
Suzanne still enjoys hand applique and hand quilting.
Gwen Marston has spent over thirty years as a professional quiltmaker, author, and teacher. She is perhaps best known for the Liberated quiltmaking methods she developed, that enable quilters to do their own original work by using an intuitive approach to design. Instead of a pattern, Gwen uses a process to make the parts of the quilt. She has taught nationally and internationally; her articles have appeared in many magazines in the States and elsewhere; and she offered quilt retreats in northern Michigan near her home for thirty years. This is her twenty-seventh book.
In addition to writing and teaching, Gwen has had twenty-eight solo exhibits of her larger work and seven exhibits of her small quilts.
Books by Gwen Marston
Mary Mayne, who lives in Easton Bray, England, with her husband, Peter, has taught all over England, Scotland, and in Canada. In the early 1980s, she began drawing her own designs for bed quilts and soon evolved into an award-winning quilter. Mary wouldn't change a thing in her life, viewing each day as an exciting challenge and enjoying every second!
Susan McKelvey caught the quilting bug in 1977 in a quilting class in Greensboro, North Carolina. The first assignment was to stitch one Dresden Plate block. Susan was so excited that she made twenty, used up all of her scraps, and found herself hooked. Although quilting was not a part of her family heritage, it has become a part of her children's lives–they grew up under her design and sewing tables. In 1984, Susan wrote her first quilt book, COLOR FOR QUILTERS, and many have followed. Susan has indulged her passion for quilts and fabric as an artist, author, designer, and entrepreneur. Through her company, Wallflower Designs, she has produced many patterns and tools for quilters.
Kathy McNeil is an internationally recognized award-winning quilt artist, judge, teacher, and designer.
Sewing thousands of little scraps of fabric together by hand, she creates quilts that look like paintings. Her pictorial quilts are frequently featured in museums, magazines, calendars, and international shows. Many of her quilts are in private collections.
Her work is traditional in technique and realistic in
style. Quilt tops begin as a sketch, which she enlarges to the size of the finished quilt. About 75 percent of the finished quilt will resemble the sketch as she works out each little area or character, listening to the fabric and
how it can best reveal the heart and soul of the piece.
Hand appliqué is her technique of choice. All edges
are turned under and appliquéd, usually, with silk
thread. Kathy loves the rhythm and serenity it gives
and the ease of being able to rip out when a new idea or inspiration carries her away. She teaches raw-edge, machine, and hand appliqué, hoping that each student will find the technique that best works for them. She plans to elaborate on her methods through online classes. These workshops have been created to build confidence with technical skills and creativity.
Describing herself as a “scrappy” quilter, she often uses over a hundred different fabrics in one composition. Quilters ask her if she has rooms full of fabric. Pictorial quilters use small amounts of many, many small-scale prints and batiks in their work. Kathy has a couple hundred fabrics but only buys them in fat quarters.
Despite winning so many awards she calls herself a very common quilter. “I would rather my husband buy me tickets to a quilt show than jewelry. Sometimes I buy fabrics that I forgot I already had. And someday I really will burst my bladder by refusing to ‘get up and go’ until I get this last section DONE!”
Animals and landscapes are her favorite subjects. Kathy says, “I don’t make things that Mother Nature doesn’t make.” She gleefully makes every leaf, feather, and tree a little different shape and size. Like nature, there are no points to match, no shapes that have to align perfectly—just freedom to play with color, line, and shapes. And no one can deny Mother Nature’s sense of humor when seeing a hedgehog.
Kathy was a critical care nurse for thirty-five years. She is passionate about the health benefits of creativity. “Think about how you feel after several hours of combining colors and fabrics, working away on a beautiful quilt that makes you so happy. While losing yourself in that creative project you started relaxing. You lowered your heart rate, you lowered your blood pressure, and some studies even suggest that your levels of serotonin rise,
which is like taking an anti-depressant.” That quiet
and focused state of mind may reduce pain and does bolster your immune system. “Quilting is healthy” and she quilts about 50 hours a week!
Books by Kathy McNeil
Janet Mednick is part of the dynamic duo - QuiltMavens. Janet and her partner, Deb Karasik, were both designers of numerous original quilts, when they met at a San Francisco Quilt Guild meeting in 2001. They became fast friends, and collaborated on many quilt projects. Today they continue to design and create quilts that visually push the limits of the usual concept of "quilt." Their success in combining two very different quilting styles is evident in their role as QuiltMaves--teachers and fiber artists.
Cheri's award-winning art quilts are known for their luminous crystals and original appliquéd designs. Her work appears frequently in exhibitions and publications, as well as in private collections. She has appeared on PBS television demonstrating her unique techniques. She owns and operates Cheri's Crystals and travels all around the country demonstrating her techniques in workshops and quilt show.
Books by Cheri Meineke-Johnson