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-