I was born and raised in Leelanau County on the edge of what became Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore. I started sewing when my grandmother, Agnes, put a needle and wooden darning egg in my hand and taught me how to mend socks. My passion for sewing began with this simple little needle.
Quilting entered my life in 1977 when my husband and I, with two small children in tow, purchased and began renovating an old farmhouse. Seeing a poster in the local grocery store prompted me to join the West Michigan Quilters Guild, which was in its beginning stages. Over the years many “Bee’s” would form. “Friendship Circle” was the name of the group I belonged to. In 1990 I was encouraged by Bee members to attend Gwen Marston’s Quilt Retreat on Beaver Island. At that time I was at a crossroad and not a happy quilter. Give it up and try something else I thought. Rip out, redo, points don’t match, and a lot of frustration. Why was this becoming so hard? With my friends constant encouragement I went, albeit reluctantly and my life as a quilter would forever be changed. With an extremely stressful job the Retreat became my annual solace for years to come. Gwen Marston became my mentor and dear friend. Without her and my friends encouragement I would not be where I am today. For this I am forever thankful.
With a magnifying glass in hand, I began studying old quilts and what I discovered was amazing. Points didn’t match, corners were different, colors changed, quilting itself was crooked and on it went. It was like walking through a wall in a thunderstorm and coming out to a sunny meadow. Imperfection was OK for them and I realized it was OK for me too. Freedom, liberation, creativity, risk were just the beginning of new words I would embrace and use in earnest. I invite everyone to take a risk and try something new. As they say, “Nothing risked, nothing gained”.