Self-taught expert Mary puts her talents to work in a transatlantic effort....
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Author in 'I quilt' shocker!

Posted on September 22, 2006

Self-taught expert Mary puts her talents to work in a transatlantic effort

This article was published in September 2006. Please see Latest News for more recent information.

Quilting expert Mary Mayne, who has won top awards for her impressive work, has now pieced together her first book.

Clever Banners, Panels and Postcards: Click to purchase from AmazonThe Eaton Bray craftswoman has created countless clever quilts including one bought by the then National Postal Museum and another which is still on show at Bletchley Park.

Mary, 66, who lives in Medley Close, has shared her skills through workshops, articles, and talks, and has now had a book published by the American Quilter's Society.

Called Clever Banners, Panels and Postcards, it contains designs and guidance on creating small examples of quilt work which can be combined to make larger pieces.

The grandmother, who has two sons, one daughter, and two granddaughters, said: "I'm pleased I've done it.

"It really has been a great experience.

"I never thought I'd get round to doing anything like it!

"I've worked with some nice editors, who have helped me an awful lot, and I'd like to think that maybe one day, there might be a follow-on and I could do another one. It has been fun."

And she added: "It's not a book that would frighten a beginner."

Husband Peter and the rest of the family are thrilled with her new book.

Mary said: "They're absolutely delighted, they are over the moon."

Mary and Peter moved to the village 46 years ago, as newlyweds, and have lived in the same house ever since.

Mary Mayne holding a copy of her bookMary, a self-taught quilter, took up patchwork as a hobby in the early 1960s and gradually improved her skills.

Her first appliqued quilt was the Eaton Bray Village Quilt, which took 11 months to complete, and depicts scenes from the village.

Some of the best-known scenes include Eaton Bray Village Hall, the Coffee Tavern, Eaton Bray Lower School, the White Horse, St Mary's Church, the store and post office - and Mary also included her own home.

An award-winning quilt bought by the postal museum was all about the history of postage stamps, postal workers' uniforms and methods of delivery.

It was made to celebrate the 150th anniversary of the postage stamp, and was the first work of its kind to be bought for the museum.

Visitors to Bletchely Park, the home of the Enigma code-breakers during the Second World War, can admire work by Mary, including the impressive Winston Churchill quilt.

She has organised the planning and making of the Bedfordshire Millennium Quilt, which was produced by a team of 34 ladies and one man, and oversaw the creation of the South Northamptonshire Millenium Quilt, too.

Another project saw Mary working with villagers in Bedfordshire to give them advice and encouragement on making quilts for their own villages.

The quilting expert also hosted quilting weekends for Hilton Hotels for a number of years, and has held workshops and given lectures overseas.

She has been involved in judging, including acting as a judge at the Festival of Quilts in 2004 and 2005.

She still holds workshops, and is a long-standing member of the Quilters' Guild of the British Isles.

Several years ago, the guild commissioned Mary to make their new "logo quilt", which is put on display at exhibitions.

Asked what she most enjoys about quilting, Mary reflected: "It's so relaxing.

"An hour can go in five minutes when you are working away.

"I just thoroughly enjoy it. I've always enjoyed needlework anyway.

"It just seems to be a natural thing to do."

"And I just love it."

-- Mary's book, "Clever Banners, Panels and Postcards", costs £15 and is available from Patchwork Pals at Leighton Buzzard Garden Centre, Hockliffe Road, Leighton Buzzard.

-- Alternatively, you can purchase it online from Amazon: Clever Banners, Panels and Postcards

-- Mary will be signing copies of her book at the Christmas Exhibition and Craft Fayre being held at The Village Hall, Cosgrove (MK19 7JH) on 5th November 2006. For further details see the Thames Valley & Chiltern Air Ambulance Trust events page.

Source: Dunstable Gazette, 20 September 2006

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