Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Interview with Mary Green

Continuing with our "Meet the Staff" interviews, here I introduce you to

Mary Green

1.When did you start quilting and how did it come to happen?

I became interested in quilting when I was a graduate student. I saw a quilt pattern in a magazine that I just fell in love with. I bought fabric and worked on it a little but never finished it. So later, much later, when I stopped working, I again bought fabric and a book and made my first quilt, a typical rookie mistake of a fairly complicated pattern - a pieced and appliqued Dresden Plate. However, I entered it later in a GSQA show and won first place in the First Quilt category (when they had one). That was encouraging so I decided to take a class (and learn from a person rather than a book) and it snowballed from there.

"Dresden Plate Sunflower" completed in 1995

2. Do you still have your first quilt?

My first quilt is hanging on a quilt ladder in my living room.

3. When did you arrive in St Tammany, and what brought you here?

I arrived in St. Tammany Parish in 2000. My family was living in Destrehan, LA and both of our neighbors bought motorcycles as a mid-life crisis thing. The roaring of those engines every weekend morning was so annoying my husband and I started to look for another place to live. My husband always wanted more land so we bought a home on six acres in Folsom. It is very quiet and peaceful.

4. How long have you worked for Bright Hopes Quilting and what do you do there?

I found Bright Hopes Quilting about six years ago. I was driving down Hwy. 22, saw the sign for the shop, and I turned right around. It felt right away like I had found a home away from home. Currently I teach classes including Beginning Free Motion Quilting, art quilt techniques, and integrating computers with quilting.

5. Of the various classes you teach, do you have a favorite class or technique that you enjoy teaching most?

I love teaching any classes that push students out of their comfort zone. My objective is to get students to feel free to explore new techniques and to think out-of-the-box. There are very few, if any, rules in my classes.

6. Your embellishment projects are very beautiful….how did you start moving down that path in quiltmaking?

I was always been interested in art so adding embellishments was a natural extension of my art background and I enjoy the freedom that art quilting allows. Quilting usually involves a lot of precision and, while making art quilts can be time consuming, I find it a lot of fun to be able to throw things on fabric (like fibers, or paint, or beads) to make something beautiful or interesting.

"Love the Future" a quilt in support of Chinese artist Ai Weiwei

Folded Log Cabin

7. You have gone to the Houston Market for several years with Pearl. It is exhausting! What do you do there and how do you recover from it?

I LOVE going to market! It is so wonderful to see all of the new products and fabric lines. When at market, I attend classes showcasing new patterns and techniques and assist Pearl when meeting with fabric and notion vendors. After fours days at market I need more than a week at home babbling on the couch in order to recover. But the whole experience is extremely stimulating and I get home with a head just chocked full of ideas.

8. If you had a fairy quiltmother, what wish would you want her to grant?

If I had a fairy quiltmother, I would want her to gift me with more energy so I could do complete all the quilt ideas I have rattling around in my head. That would be wonderful!

So, to conclude I'd like add this piece entitle "BP GrisGris"

Click on the shot to see the beadwork up close.

Last week, Mary held her class on the Christmas Bird wall-hanging. Anytime you take a class with Mary, you're going to drive home with your head spinning with all the possibilities to release your creative powers in fiber-art. Here are a few of her students showing the works in progress.

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