Way back in 1989 after several different career moves from managing hotels, inns and restaurants to running a village general store and Post Office, Jennie saw her first piece of patchwork and made her first quilt. Having never sewn other than family mending and household repairs, it was a steep learning curve. Over the next few years, Jennie explored and experimented and by 1994, she was firmly hooked on all forms of patchwork and quilting. In this period she completed a teaching diploma and became involved with the City & Guilds (an educational organisation).
She taught the Creative Studies course in Patchwork, Quilting and Appliqué to several groups in the South of England. Within the syllabus one of the required subjects was texture. As there was very little information available on this topic, Jennie created her own designs and techniques thus sewing the seeds for a new career
But for more information and for the full and unexpurgated story, listen to Jennie’s lecture ‘Texture by Design’. Just a quick question - why is Jennie known as the Muslin Mistress? Simple – many of her creations are made in calico and in Britain, she is called the Calico Queen but in the US calico is called muslin so she became the Muslin Mistress over there.
To discover why the addition of the word Mistress – read ‘Tucked up in Bed’ and do say the title carefully! With six books on fabric manipulation techniques - all still in print, many articles and a variety of patterns including a twiddled and fiddled Block of the Month quilt, Jennie’s material magic goes on and on
Nowadays, her work is exhibited in various galleries, at shows and exhibitions around the world. Most of her time is spent zapping round the world persuading people to 'Nip, Tuck, Twiddle and Fiddle' as well as manipulate and manoeuvre bits of fabric shapes into fascinating and innovative designs and patterns. In between she makes quilts, garments and all manner of other tucked up treasures
Marta G. Michell was born and raised on a farm near Des Moines, Iowa. Known then as Martha Glenn, she was taught to sew by her mother and it quickly became a favorite pastime. Buoyed by her 4-H training and awards, she decided to major in Textiles and Clothing and Home Ec Journalism at Iowa State University. At Iowa State, that is the one in Ames, she became known as Marti Glenn
Richard Michell was raised in a western Chicago suburb and chose Iowa State for his college career. Dick and Marti were married during the Christmas break of their senior year. Richard's first job after graduation took the young couple to Wisconsin for a six-month training course and then to Wichita, KS. In Wichita, Marti was a Home Economist for The Dairy Council, and she and Dick became parents when their son Jeffrey was born. A few years later, a job transfer took the Michell family to Ohio and the family expanded with the birth of daughter Stacy. Marti did some part-time teaching and lots of volunteer work during their five-year stay in the Cleveland area
She began a small sewing school before moving into patchwork & quilting. She then began making small package kits for projects and selling them at quilt shows. That small start evolved into her business (Yours Truly, from 1972-85), a freelance design career, and now From Marti Michell, her business (with husband Richard) which sells Marti’s books, templates, rulers, patterns, and accessories both online and at shows
Marti Michell is the recipient of the 2004 Silver Star Award. The award is presented annually to a living person whose body of work has positively influenced, promoted, and developed the art of quilting. She also recently completed two terms as the President of the International Quilt Association, and helped to oversee an era of great growth in its annual Judged Show. The Michells coordinate the popular Schoolhouse Series at the tradeshow International Quilt Market, which allows retailers to demonstrate their new products directly to quilt shop owners