RaNae Merrill


RaNae will be teaching classes based on her new book “Simply Amazing Spiral Quilts.”  There will be all day classes on Thursday and Friday and then a 1 ½ day class on Saturday and Sunday morning.


Note:  As I was writing this blog I discovered that the #676 class on Sat.-Sun. – “Exploding Spiral”, was omitted from the printed brochure. It will be included in the class listing on the web site.  Our apologies for the omission to RaMae. Something always turns up no matter how much you proofread. 



1.  How many years have you been quilting?


My mom taught me to sew when I was 7 or 8, but I made my first quilt in my first year of graduate school, which would have been 1989, so that’s — YIKES! — 20 YEARS!!!!!


2.  What motivated you to start quilting?


My grandmother (mother’s mother) was making a quilt for me when she died in 1976.  My mother brought me the unfinished quilt when she came home from the funeral.  I finally picked it up in 1989, and that was the first quilt I made.  It was king-size and hand-quilted.  YIKES!  A graphologist once looked at my signature and said “You never start anything small.”


3.  Where have you traveled in your quilting teaching career?


I am just starting to travel in my quilt teaching career, and that has taken me to many places in the USA I would not have otherwise visited.  But my previous work as a travel writer and photographer took me far and wide — most notably three times to Uzbekistan.  I also lived for 1-1/2 years in Argentina back in the 80’s, and return as often as I can to brush up on my tango dancing.


4.  What is the most, unusual, frightening, funny, frustrating experience you have had in your quilting career?


None come to mind, except that the whole fact of stumbling into this quilting career has been an incredibly serendipitous surprise!


5.  Who is your favorite author?


Diana Gabaldon.  Start with Outlander, and you’ll be hooked too!


6.  What is the last book you read or are reading?


Magician by Raymond Feist.  I don’t love it, but the French grad student who is living with me recommended it (he likes medieval fantasy fiction) and it has been part of my getting to know him.  He also loves to cook, so we spend a lot of time together in the kitchen!


7.  What is your birth order, only child, first, second, third, or ??


First of six.  That’s probably why I ended up teaching — I’ve been telling everybody what to do for my whole life!


8.  Where did you grow up?


Southern California, but from the time I was about 12 I wanted to live in New York City.  I moved to NYC in 1995, and it has felt like home from the moment I arrived.  For my high school years we had a farm in Moorpark, CA, so I feel as at home in the country as I do in the city.  I can still milk a goat!


9.  Where did you go to college?


Scripps College (the women’s college, not the oceanographic institute) in Claremont, CA for my first 2 years.  Then USC to finish my bachelor’s degree in piano performance.  After I came back from Argentina I did a master’s degree in piano at UCLA.


10.  Do you have children – grandchildren?

11.  Do you have any pets? 


No kids, but I have a dog.  Her name is Morgan, she is half golden retriever, have chow chow.  She’s 13 years old and I’ve had her since she was a baby.


12.  What is your favorite food?


I enjoy eating anything except liver, and I love trying new things. I won’t hesitate to spend any amount for excellent chocolate.


13.  Do you have any other hobbies besides quilting?


Lately there hasn’t been time for much else, but I love the outdoors and there’s the tango dancing I mentioned earlier.


14.  What would be on your “bucket list” (like the movie) if you could do anything and money was no object?


Wow, that’s a question about priorities, isn’t it?  I could say the question is more about time than money, because I believe you can always find the money for what you really want.  But that could be said about time as well.  But then there’s the question of finding the time to make the money, which then raises the question of why you’re doing what you’re doing with your time, and if that’s really giving you what you want.  And if it isn’t, why are you doing it?  And what could/should you be doing instead……?


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