About

Marian at WeddingIt’s very exciting to create any new website. I’ve built quite a few for other people in my time on the internet and I’ve enjoyed working on each one of them including my own websites.

It’s always fascinating to see them come together with the different colors and design of your site. Of course sometimes there are the frustrations when things don’t go the way you want them to as well.

Like building websites, quilting is much the same. We build our sites with color, and design in mind, much the same as making a quilt. It can be annoying, frustrating, spectacular and totally amazing when we see it finally coming together the way we want it to be. So, with that said…

Hello and Welcome, My name is Marian Pena, I’ve been sewing since 1974. I started learning in Home Economics while in the 9th grade. I just didn’t seem to understand all the little idiosyncrasies involved. One needs to learn how to stitch a seam, the importance of that seam, and why we stitch clothing at a normal 5/8 inch seam allowance, much like in quilting where that 1/4 inch seam allowance is the standard. I finally was lucky enough to happen on someone who wanted to teach a summer course when I was 15. She was my best friend’s sister, and her name was Ronnie. She was amazing and I have her to thank for my love of sewing still today.

Becoming A Quilter..

As time passed, I had a single life, still sewing away, a new dress every week to go out and have fun in, whether it was dancing, or out with my friends I always wore something new. When I finally settled down and got married, my husband and I were moving to a new area in Pennsylvania. I decided that to make some friends, I would take a class in quilting. The local vocational school in Cumberland, Maryland was offering various classes and one of them was quilting. I thought it might be fun to make a quilt, having no idea how much actual work went into them I dived right in. Of course, I made no friends in that class, but I found it a hoot that I was the only person using a rotary cutter in the class. The women were simply amazed at this great tool. Rotary Cutters were fairly new to the market, but I had been using them for some time already for cutting the patterns out in clothing I made. As time passed, I took another course and another, and enjoyed learning about quilting from Martha Strickland. Eventually I started teaching on my own for the local community college, and that was when I started making some friends. Without that time in my life I know I would never have fallen in love or learned how to make a quilt. It was during these times that I was able to finally upgrade my old sewing machine to a Bernina 1230. I still have that machine although it’s been in storage for quite a few years now. At the same time, I purchased a Pfaff 1475, being fascinated by the possibilities of hooking it up to a computer to create my own stitches with. While that never evolved, I have always loved hand embroidery and the possibilities of doing it by machine are just that much more enticing to me.

In 2002, I found out just how much machine embroidery had evolved. We were moving to Germany and I decided to take a giant step forward and learn machine embroidery and would concentrate on that for the two years we had committed to living in Germany for. I purchased an Ult 2001 and was really fascinated by what it could do. While I have always wanted a larger width than 6 inches, it’s been fine to learn on. I really would like to step into a 12 inch wide hoop tho, just because I can imagine the possibilities of quilting, embellishing and manipulation with it.

Some of my favorite sewing and quilting techniques involve fabric embellishment, dyeing and marbling fabric, fabric manipulation, paper piecing, machine quilting and free motion sewing and quilting. I am 99.9% a machine user, if it can’t be done by machine, it usually becomes a UFO.. hehe I also enjoy cross stitch and embroidery by machine. As a younger person I could never grasp how to do cross stitch by hand, but loved the creations people did with those little x’s, and while I loved hand embroidery, when I realized embroidery machines could do embroidery as well, I made the switch, although, I still believe embroidery by hand is a much more beautiful in it’s appearance.

My favorite quilting teachers and the hugest inspirations for how I view quilting today have been Harriet Hargrave and Mimi Dietrich. My favorite fabric brand is Hoffman. Quilt Guilds I have belonged to were the Schoolhouse Quilters Guild of LaVale, Maryland, and Belle Grove Plantations Quilters Guild (no longer a guild) in Virginia, Shenandoah Valley Quilters Guild, and Quilters Unlimited Fairfax Chapter.

I got my start in online quilting groups, on Genie Online Services and Compuserve. It was an amazing experience to be part of that life when those services were active and online. Some of my fondest memories were the swaps and challenges and I have in my collection of UFO type items, 1000’s of 9-patch 6-Inch blocks that I actually intend to make something out of someday. They are one of the few things I actually brought over here to work on while living here in Europe.

Besides sewing and quilting, I enjoy many things in life such as cooking, listening to audio books, and of course like all of us, being on my pc. I have been married for 30 years this coming August 2014. My husband and I were never able to have children. We have nieces and a nephew tho that we enjoy being around. I was born in Arizona and raised in Idaho. I met my husband while in Utah, and we’ve lived in Pennsylvania, Maryland, Virginia, California, Germany and Italy in these last 29 years.

Annoyances you may have with me are that I am upfront and forward in my speech and writing. I am opinionated, and sometimes pretty closed minded. Please feel free to send me a note when I get there and their and to and too mixed up. I just never can seem to understand and no matter how many times people show me the difference, I just can’t seem to get it. If your offended by the way I’ve written something, please feel free to also send me a note, I’ll try to make it better. I don’t want to offend people, but sometimes I just come away doing that.

I hope you will enjoy my little blog on the web as much as I’ve enjoyed the many blogs I read each week.

Thanks for stopping by,

Marian

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5 Responses to About

  1. Lorraine Breton says:

    Just joined today. Love Love Sun Bonnet and Sam. I am 78 going on 8 lol. When will the next event start please.

  2. Nell says:

    I am so excited to see such an excellent BOM! I love SBS and spent my childhood in different countries.

  3. Ellen KR says:

    Hi Marian,
    I think we knew each other on GEnie online services! In fact, I think you and I connected up to take a drive from Frederick MD to Lancaster county to visit the glorious fabric shops there. It was a long time ago, but I had to post a note to you!
    I just stumbled on your blog today!! I plan to keep visiting. 🙂
    Be well, Ellen (robinson)

  4. Hiya, Marian.
    I’ve joined the EQ7 row-along but will be on vacation sans computer from 9/1-9/12 .. I wasn’t quite thinking that far when I joined the group.

    I’ve not participated in this event before, so I’m not aware of the rules/guidelines. Upon my return from vacation, will I be able to download any/all of the rows? (or however one participates?)

    If not, I would I need to withdraw my name from the group?

    Thanks for any explanations.

    Shelley Rodgers

  5. Elizabeth says:

    Good Evening. I have been unable to download the september BOM. I tried in October when you first posted it. But life got in the way and then I tried to download on the 21st to find out it was too late. Is there anyway I can get the Zip File sent to me? I will understand if you cannot do this and I would understand if you can’t. I must say I love these patterns you explain sooo well. I can see how much work has gone into it. Thank you for sharing them with us.
    Elizabeth, Silverdale, WA

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