Monday, May 9, 2016

An Introduction to our Newest Member, Dee Merrell!

Flowers in the Tomato Garden

X's and O's

I live in Dallas, having moved here from Dripping Springs (Austin) in the fall of 2014. While in Austin I was very active in the AFA –Austin Fiber Artists,  and in the Austin Quilt Guild and the Wimberley Quilt Guild.   Being in  AFA was my first opportunity to exhibit in galleries and museums; being surrounded by a group of artisans exploring fabric dyeing, painting, weaving, quilting, print making, and other fiber  art forms  and participating in community events was all new to me and very exciting. 

Until 2003 I had only done handwork but when a sewing machine dropped into my life, my husband, Greg, showed me how to thread it and change the bobbin  and I learned how to quilt by watching Alex Anderson at 7a.m. every morning.  That was totally worth getting up early.   Two of my favorite early pieces are a combination of handwork and machine.  The second photo I included is a painted canvas that was deconstructed and remade.

Since I learned to sew so late in life -  after a 34 year career as a flight attendant with American, I started taking classes as often as I could, I had so much to learn.   I was living in San Jose, CA, so going to “Empty Spools” at Asilomar, a 40 mile drive from my house, was an amazing experience.  One of the most successful  techniques that I learned very early and  I still  use often was taught by Rosemary Eichorn;  raw edge, non fused, applique.  

I have 3 granddaughters; two in St. Louis and one here in Dallas, which was the reason for relocating.  The 1 yr old, here in Dallas, is my full time job for now.  I seem to be making more baby quilts that usual  and I also have a passion for mission quilts, the smaller lap size for wheel chair bound people.  

I like trying all types of techniques and incorporating those into my work.  Later this year I will be starting a series of liturgical work.

My last name is spelled Merrell.  Unfortunately not the Merrill ilk that we associate with money, but the Merrell that makes shoes… no relation. 

The women whom I know best in this group through workshops from Quilting Adventures are Sara, Carolyn, Alice, and Jane.  I know Judy  through SAQA and our paths keep crossing through quilt shows.  Since many of the other names look familiar I am not sure if we have been in contact through a class or possibly because I have been ‘lurking the blog’.

PS:  Alice posted this at Dee's request!


  1. Welcome Dee, hope that you will enjoy being a member as much as I do!

  2. Hi (again !) Dee ! And Welcome to the MMs.... Sounds to me like you're going to be a perfect addition to our wonderful, crazy, and amazingly talented group of quilt artists ! As you and I have already discovered, we have the great San Francisco Bay Area (Cupertino / San Jose ) in common, and I just bet there are lots more commonalities yet to be learned !
    Again.... We're so glad to have you with us ....Welcome to the Material Mavens :-D

  3. Welcome Dee! I am sure you will enjoy being a member of this group. Start making plans to attend our retreat next year!

  4. Dee, I am SO EXCITED to have you in our Material Mavens Group. I love your work and your personality and know that you will not only be a good member, but that you will be a fun addition to our group! Welcome!

  5. Welcome Dee. Looking forward to seeing more of your work!!