Mary Ellen is the friend you’d turn to when you need a sympathetic ear and possibly a good kick in the tail if necessary. Her enthusiasm for arts and color are as palpable as her friendly approach and I’m always thrilled when she shows up unexpectedly. Mary Ellen was one of the first to embrace computer technology and apply it to textiles to personalize quilts. She authored two books to share the techniques with others and is sought after to teach in places like Paducah, Quilting by the Lake and cruise ships to exotic locations. We feel lucky to be able to call her a friend…but then she’s love by artists all over the world. On Thursday she’s teaching a full day e-reader bag class.
When we asked her to answer our interview questions, she told us:
When I was 16 I thought… I would never wear two different shoes like my English teacher did.
My favorite time of the day is… sunrise.
Proudest career moment… when students want to enter the quilts from my classes in quilt shows. Some have even won ribbons but it is their newly found confidence that thrills me.
The song/book/movie that changed my life… I Will Not Die and Unlived Life by Dawna Markova
Guiltiest pleasure… whoppie pies (Hi Emma!)
My favorite item of clothing… red and purple wooly scarf made for me by a friend. I even wear it in the summer.
I still get nervous when… I rarely get nervous … I think I am pretty calm most of the time.
Daily practice… Morning coffee by the window with my husband.
The art tool I couldn’t live without… my camera. I use photographs to inspire so much of my work … from quilts, to jewelry, to wearables.
Words I live by (by Dawna Markova)…I choose to risk my significance,
to live so that what came to me as seed
goes to the next as blossom,
and that which came to me as blossom,
goes on as fruit.
What makes me happy… Too many to list. Having my family around me is high on the list.
The lesson I keep learning… that every person has a story to tell and that each carries a bit of truth within them.
You can never have too many… grandchildren!
Favorite spot on the planet… Patten Pond in Surry, Maine
Whole living means… Being grateful … grateful for what you have been given, what you have earned, and what you can create.