Featuring Mary — A Bloggers’ Quilt Festival Quilter!

Hi there!  I’m back on track with the features, and today we begin with Mary from Molly Flanders.  I hope you enjoy getting to know Mary better, and seeing her quilts here.
1. When did you begin quilting?
I began quilting about 23 years ago.  My degree is in Early and Middle Childhood Education and I taught school for several years after college.  When my husband and I had our first daughter, Molly, I decided to try staying home for a while.  I can remember making a bet with myself that I could teach myself to quilt and that would be my ‘outlet’.  Sewing was a big part of my young years.  My mom, sister and grandmother were very accomplished seamstresses.  I also had several relatives that quilted, so I had plenty of quilts to admire.

2. Why do you quilt?
Quilting for me is really a form of therapy.  When my girls were little {I have 3 of them – all about 20 months apart}, the two oldest developed Type 1 Diabetes so life was very busy.  I needed to be there to help the girls with their care and it took a lot of energy – physically, mentally and emotionally.  Quilting was a way to escape the worries.  The other reason I find quilting so therapeutic is simply the act of creating.  I was a fine arts major for a period of time and my dad was an artist, so art, color, creating were all very much encouraged in our house.  I definitely have the need to be creative and quilting fits the bill for me!
3. What is your favorite quilting tip?
I don’t know that I am expert enough to offer tips really, but I am often asked how I put colors together.  To be quite honest, I think most of us have better instincts when it comes to color and pattern than we give ourselves credit for.  I encourage people to choose colors you love to work with (trust your inner voice) and don’t be afraid to mix up patterns and warm and cool colors.  I love exciting quilts!  So I don’t shy away from lots of pattern and bold, bright colors.
4. What was your inspiration for your Quilt FestivalQuilt?
My Quilt Festival Quilt is Gypsy Kisses by Kathy Doughty and can be found in Material Obsession 2.  I wanted to do this quilt for many reasons.  It has all the elements I love!  I love circular patterns and the arcs speak to that.  I like that the spokes on a Pickle-Dish are long and lean….similar to a Wedding Ring, but I think more striking with the long spokes.  I love the large ‘eye’ in the center of the arcs and when the center is done with a high contrast fabric it just adds the right amount of drama!  I loved that I could give it a vintage feel and I could use tons of fabric!  Lastly, it incorporates many quilting techniques including hand applique and paper foundation piecing.  I am always striving to use specific techniques because I think it allows for a more successful experience.
5. Do you sew other things?
I do sew other things!  I have made garments, although I don’t do much of that anymore.  I used to make my daughter’s Irish Dance solo costumes…ugh!  I enjoy making pillows, pincushions, tea towels and I did make and sell purses and bags for a time.
6.  Anything else you would like us to know about you?
I am so lucky to have a very supportive family!  I sew on my kitchen table – I don’t have a studio and I don’t even have a design wall.  Sometimes I feel like I began quilting in dark ages when these things were not heard of.  I do hope someday to have a room dedicated for sewing, but for now I am located in the kitchen and my family is so sweet not to grumble too much when the machine and cutting mat are on the table.  But it is okay not to have all the fancy tools and a room.  For quilting all you need is some fabric, needle and thread and the willingness to let your imagination go!
Thanks for sharing Mary!  I love you insight on prints and color – you are SO right  – people don’t give themselves enough credit!  I too sew at the kitchen table and have a very supportive family – you are not alone.
Have a great weekend everyone-
By |2017-02-06T09:18:35-06:00June 17th, 2011|Featured Quilter|20 Comments


  1. Suzanne June 17, 2011 at 6:07 am - Reply

    I love Mary’s scrappy style!

  2. Suz June 17, 2011 at 7:23 am - Reply

    Thanks for having Mary share more about her amazing quilting journey! AND she is such a lovely lady! :-))

  3. Suz June 17, 2011 at 7:24 am - Reply

    Thanks for having Mary share more of her amazing quilting journey! She is such a wonderful quilter AND person!

  4. Uli June 17, 2011 at 8:15 am - Reply

    What a lovely story of Mary’s quilting journey. Beautiful quilts!!! I like the Irish solo costume reference…. I’ll be sewing a many dance competition next year, especially the tap solo costumes!!! I’d rather quilt but for the love of my girl, I’ll make her some beautiful costumes.

  5. Karyn Ashley-Smith June 17, 2011 at 8:45 am - Reply

    Thank you for sharing! The quilts are beautiful! And each has it’s own distinctive personality.

  6. Irene Pratdesaba June 17, 2011 at 9:26 am - Reply

    What a nice story, thanks for sharing. It seems like everyone of us live very similar anecdotes. Quilting is for me, a therapeutic task too. I love it, and feel proud and satisfied when I’ve designed something (in a very simple notebook, using a ruler and coloring with crayons to have an idea of the final work) and I see how it comes true. Love your quilts, Mary, and I like the bright colors and scrappy designs that you use. I’d like to share that I’m from a country with no-quilting story, Guatemala. Quilting is just a merging craft here, but now I’m beginning to teach what I’ve learned. This posts inspirates me to learn and practice more and more.

  7. Allie June 17, 2011 at 9:46 am - Reply

    Gorgeous quilts and what an encouraging quilter – I used to quilt on the kitchen table too, then I could keep an eye on my boys!

  8. diane stanley June 17, 2011 at 10:07 am - Reply

    I’m a follower of Mary’s blog. Not only is she talented but she has answered my emails and helped me many times.

  9. PJ June 17, 2011 at 11:40 am - Reply

    Thanks for the nice interview with Mary. I love her quilts and color-sense; wish I had the same. Interesting questions which I very much enjoyed, too.

  10. Rachaeldaisy June 17, 2011 at 2:46 pm - Reply

    Mary is the most amazing quilter, and sewer of all fun things. Her sense of colour is so joyful and she’s always making the most beautiful creations.

  11. Ginger June 17, 2011 at 6:29 pm - Reply

    Very pretty quilts. I love her style. Thanks for the interview.

  12. Lisa June 17, 2011 at 7:09 pm - Reply

    I also enjoyed this interview very much. I follow Mary and she is a great inspiration. I LOVE the quilt she showed in your festival. Thanks so much for showcasing her!

  13. liveacolorfullife June 17, 2011 at 9:07 pm - Reply

    Mary is one of my very favorite quilters when it comes to inspiration. Thanks so much for spotlighting her today!

  14. rose June 18, 2011 at 5:13 am - Reply

    Love,love,love Mary’s quilting!

  15. summerfete June 18, 2011 at 8:30 am - Reply

    Hi Mary

    Yep still reading blogs whilst in France!
    Just thought I would add my brother is a diabetic, and has been since I was 6 so I know all about that!

    a bientot
    Clare xx

    ps. missing my quilting, though I do have a needle and thread with me…perhaps I could…

  16. Beth June 18, 2011 at 2:45 pm - Reply

    LOVE Mary’s quilts! The colors are so beautifully put together. Thank you for sharing her journey with us. Smiles~Beth

  17. Karen June 18, 2011 at 4:03 pm - Reply

    Love your style Mary!

  18. Mary on Lake Pulaski June 18, 2011 at 9:36 pm - Reply

    Mary is one of my favorite quilters – thanks for highlighting her here Amy!

  19. Cindy June 18, 2011 at 10:11 pm - Reply

    I so love mary’s style. Thanks for sharing. Cindy

  20. Eileen June 28, 2011 at 9:18 pm - Reply

    I just love Mary! Her work is just stunning! I loved seeing her Single Girl in this post, because when I started making mine I was looking at other Single Girl quilts and fell instantly in love with hers! I’ve been following her work ever since! That Pickle Dish! Amazing! And I adore her hand stitching! I could sit, stare, and smile at her work all day! :)

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