Mary Lou Weidman
Trained as an artist, Mary Lou Weidman traded her paints for traditional quilt patterns in the early 70's. Today, Mary Lou is known for her colorful folk-style story quilts. See a sample of Mary Lou's playful approach to quiltmaking in the September/October '01 (#81) issue of Quiltmaker magazine, or check out her collection of playful pattern books available at your local quilt shop.
Following are excerpts from a recent Quiltmaker interview.
How did you decide to make quiltmaking a career?
I really did not decide to make quilt making a career. It just sort of happened. I had a background as a painter and all around art person who tried many mediums to express myself. Quilting happened to be less messy when working around my small children and my original plan was to express myself as a quilter and then to go back to painting full time. I still think about that but don't know if it will ever happen. I love quilting too much. Anyway, I made dozens and dozens of quilts and eventually someone approached me to write a book. At the same time I was lucky enough to meet Sharon Yenter and her son from Seattle who own In The Beginning and she asked if I would like to do some fabric design. I didn't know what I was doing but she is so much fun and smart and I learned a lot from her and also from just getting to know how fabric design works. I see fabric and painting in a whole new way now. And as if that wasn't enough, I got together with my friend Joann Kliewer and we started a pattern company called "Mary Lou and Company." So, in one year I had a new book Whimsies and Whynots, a fabric line with In The Beginning and a new pattern company. And I started traveling a lot to teach story quilts to quilters all over the US, Canada and other places. It all "just happened." But remember I did lots and lots of work to make it all just happen. Many, many hours were spent quilting and working.I am a firm believer that if you are willing to work hard, good things just seem to "happen."