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Martha Winn

My first experience with quilts came when visiting my grandparents next door.  My great-grandmother and her sisters used to quilt together, using my father’s old pajamas, aprons, tablecloths, dresses and other bits and pieces from their lives.  While I wasn’t born early enough to witness them quilting, I used to go over and beg my grandfather to see their quilts. He had at least 20 of them, but I always remembered one in particular: a quilt made only with medallions that reminded me of lace.  When I was a teenager, my grandfather sold those quilts to get money to buy a car.  I was heartbroken that I would never see them or touch them again.  Then, a couple of years ago, my sister was unpacking boxes after a move and told me she had an old quilt that she thought I might like, since I was a quilter now.  It was that same medallion quilt!  She had asked my grandfather for it when she learned he was going to sell them.



© 2005 Winnsome Quilts


While I started learning how to quilt using some traditional patterns, I quickly realized that the kinds of quilts my great-grandmother and great-great aunts made were not my style or my forte.  Even my very first quilts used African fabric that I had from my trip to Ghana, but I also began to mess with the shapes and content as much as was possible, using the basic sewing machine I had found at a yard sale, and often laying the pieces out on the floor or bed in my daughter’s bedroom.

I am still a low-tech quilter, and far from being a professional, I steal an hour here and there, between dropping kids off, picking them up, reading stories, playing catch, etc., but expressing myself through quilts is one of my big loves and I hope, one day, to be able to devote a lot more time to it.

So far, I have had work in several benefit auctions; 2 group shows at Ocean St. Arts in South Portland, Maine; a group show and a shared show (with my sister, whose paintings are at at One-Fifty-Ate Bakeshop in South Portland; and Maine Quilts 2003 in Augusta, Maine. This summer, I will participate in Maine Quilts 2004 and this fall, will have a piece in the “Quilted Cuisine” show at the New England Quilt Museum in Lowell, MA.