Faculty: Mary Lou Rankin

Mary Lou Rankin

Mary Lou Rankin, designer for Park Bench Patterns, Booth No. 911, is teaching a class on using old linens etc for clothing. Sewing techniques on using these treasures will also be covered. SA20.

More about Mary Lou:

Carolyn: How many years have you been quilting?
Mary Lou: I started sewing when I was about 4…I do not remember ever not sewing!
I do not know why I started except I remember wanting more clothes for my doll.

Carolyn: What motivated you to start quilting?
Mary Lou: I am not really a “quilter”…I learned very early that I could not make 2 squares that matched. I also get bored trying to stick to one project for very long. I am so impressed with you ladies and am so lucky to have been able to be included in so many quilt shows for all these years. I am really a dressmaker, but I don’t stick to many of the “old” rules. My talent is in helping you understand fabrics (how to pick the right ones for your project so your garment is not only attractive but is also comfortable to wear), and how to use colors in unexpected ways to create wonderful creative garments that look good, are comfortable and allow you to express your own personalty. My joy is in showing that garments sewing can be fun again.

Where have you traveled in your quilting teaching career?
Mary Lou: I have been traveling for 14 years and have been in most of the states and Canada. I have been teaching for 20.

Carolyn: What is the most, unusual, frightening, funny, frustrating experience you have had in your quilting career?
Mary Lou: One of the biggest surprises I had was when I was invited to do a program for a group and I flew into the airport in Sioux City only to discover 2 hours later that I was
in the WRONG Sioux City. After a couple of phone calls they were nice enough to
come get me (in another state) and I was still able to do the program. We had a lot of
laughs over that. Apparently this wasn’t the first time this had happened.

Carolyn: Does anyone else in your family quilt?
Mary Lou: One of my grandmothers and one aunt were wonderful quilters. My mother could not sew on a button.

Carolyn: What is your birth order, only child, first, second, third, or ??
Mary Lou: I am an only child.

Where did you grow up?
Mary Lou: I was born in Oklahoma but have lived in southern California since right after birth.

Carolyn: Do you have children – grandchildren?
Mary Lou: I have one daughter and one son. I thought I was only going to have a grand kitty, but finally my daughter quickly had 2 children just before she turned 40.
My granddaughter is sitting at my desk creating her own Park Bench pattern.

Carolyn: Do you have any pets?
Mary Lou: Our family has always been cat people. The last 3 lived to be 19-20 years.
I am now “catless” but I am getting real close to adopting another one.

Carolyn: What is your favorite food?
Mary Lou: I like “white” food….bread, pasta, cheese, ice cream…all the stuff that adds pounds and ups my cholesterol.

Carolyn: What would be on your “bucket list” (like the movie) if you could do anything and money was no object.?
Mary Lou: If I could do anything….I would probably be doing just about what I am doing now…except I would like to be 40 instead of 70 while I’m doing it.

Carolyn: Do you have any other hobbies besides quilting?
Mary Lou: I love reading (mostly mysteries & suspense & all of Janet Evanovich’s Stephanie Plum books).

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