TAG Treasury Team

Monday, December 12, 2011

Featured Shop of the Week: MKH Quilts

Mary, owner of MKH Quilts has fond memories growing up in the smaller towns in the Pacific Northwest. Originally from Challis, Idaho, a town of about 850 people, Mary enjoyed the close friendships formed at the local Community Church which was the smallest congregation in town. Her father made his living as a manager for the rural electric company while her mother stayed home raising Mary, her 2 brothers and a sister. “ I think having grown up in small towns was a good thing, as I was always close to my family, and the community,” Mary says.

In 1973, Mary's family relocated to yet another small town, Davenport, Washington. Her family joined the Presbyterian church, but Mary was having a tough time adjusting to a new town and accepted the Lord as her Savior while visiting a friend's church. She was 16 at the time and felt that event was an important change in her life. Later that same year, Mary and her sister lived in Spokane, Washington for the summer . During her time there, Mary found some wonderful new Christian friends at The Local Church. She later moved in with some of the girls and relates that “it was a wonderful experience as we really studied the Bible, and had church meetings almost every day. I think I would have followed a much different path without the church.”

During her high school years, Mary sewed many of her own clothes and made her first quilt. She recalls, “I enjoyed making that first quilt, even though it was hideous! “ It's difficult to believe that could ever be true when you look through Mary's Etsy shop. Here's a look at one of her favorites.

"This quilt is so unique and fun! I was playing around with a new technique-free piecing-last year, and made severl quilts using this technique. I did sell two of the quilts that I made last year using free piecing."
Quilting is a far cry from where Mary started out in school. After graduating from Davenport High School, she enrolled at Eastern Washington University, but realized she wasn't ready for a four year college and opted to attend Spokane Community College the following year and entered the Commercial Baking program. Being mostly a male dominated course, Mary was one of only two or three women enrolled. She graduated and acquired a job at Safeway where she worked for two years and was able to join the apprenticeship baker program. She traveled throughout the city as a “floater”, which was hard especially when she came up against some of the older bakers who “were not so nice”. Most of the bakers she worked with were receptive to her being female as long as she could hold her own with her skills. She later achieved journeyman status and decided floating was no longer desireable and got a job at Albertson's as a cake decorator when Safeway couldn't find a permanent position for her. She worked for several years with Albertson's, then worked 6 more at Fred Meyer until a mutual decision between Mary and her spouse landed her back in college to try something different.

In 1997, Mary was back in college, but this time looking towards a degree as a Registered Dietician. She changed her major and since 2001 has been enjoying her career as a Registered Nurse and says, “I am very happy I made the choice to go to school for nursing.”

Mary and her spouse have been married going on 32 years. They have 2 grown sons, 2 dogs and 3 cats. She enjoys spending time with her family watching movies, sewing, quilting, knitting and crocheting, as well as attending a jazzercize class 3-4 times per week. She also loves her pets.

After acquiring an actual sewing room to work in, quilting became Mary's passion. A friend, who is also Mary's massage therapist introduced her to Etsy. “I went online to see what it was about, and thought it would be fun! I love that someone buys my quilts and has them to enjoy in their home, and the money I make from selling quilts goes back into buying MORE FABRIC!!! I am a confirmed fabricaholic, so I had to do something to support it," Mary easily admits.

I'd say her addiction is well founded. Just take a look at some more of Mary's shop favorites.
"I love this one because of the positive message for the holidays."





"I love the colors and design in this one! Those blocks were challenging to make!"







"This one is another favorite, due to the challenging nature of the patchwork and the colors of fabric I used. My work almost always has a large number of fabrics included. I decided on a color scheme and then work a great many fabrics into it. My favorite way of designing is to choose a “focus fabric”, usually one with many colors in it and choose fabrics based on the colors found in the focus fabric. Then, I often branch out from there and include some unexpected choices."

When asked what she is passionate about, Mary had this to say, “my passions are again quilting, and knitting, but also caring for my family is really a passion. Being a nurse is a passion. And world peace and our troops coming home for good is a big passion! I pray for their safe return!”

This article was submitted by Leanna of Seams Victorian, Bits and Purses, and Teez Loueez.

15 comments:

  1. It is nice to finally "meet" you, Mary!

    Linda

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  2. Dear Mary~

    Love your Story! Gosh we have a Counselor on the TEAM.. and now I find out a Dietician also ( Who is also a Chef~ ...be still my heart!!)

    But truly love your story~ and I also have a name now for my passion ""fabricaholic! """ It's insane ~ isn't it?? But love it!!!

    Wish I could reach through the computer and give you a hug!

    Gob Bless!!

    Jayne

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  3. Hi Mary,

    Your quilts are masterpieces, and believe me when I say I KNOW the hours and hours of work (and love) that go into them.
    I love this blog thing, because it finally puts a person behind the little avatar that we see.

    Happy Holidays,
    Mary-Ellen
    (Latrouvaille and Meoneil, so you know who I am)

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  4. This is great...so nice to get a glimpse of the people behind the shops! Mary, your quilting process sounds interesting & organic, and it definitely produces some beautiful results!!

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  5. I LOVE your works, Mary! real masterpieces. and was so nice to know who stays behind them. I knew you are a lovely person.
    God Bless you and all you love. Keep doing this fantastic work! Respect for your patience and imagination!

    Blessings,
    Savenna

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  6. I so enjoyed learning more about you and your inspiration, Mary! Your quilts are beautiful!

    ~Karrita

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  7. So great to meet you! Your quilts are a true work of art. Lovely feature! :)

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  8. It's so nice to learn a little bit about the person with all that quilting talent! Your work is really beautiful, and you're a big presence on TAGT team. Thanks for sharing your story!

    Katy
    Far Flung Cards

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  9. I've enjoyed hearing your story Mary. I've always loved your quilt art! God has blessed you with many fine skills.
    Robin
    jarmfarm

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  10. Great to meet you Mary!! Your quilts are amazing!!

    Deb
    Fish Hollow

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  11. It's so great to learn more about you Nancy!

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  12. Hi Mary!! I just love being able to put a face with a shop! This was a great read about you:-)
    Amber

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  13. hey!! this is really awesome now i get to know you a bit better Mary!
    great job!!
    cheers!
    Maril
    Divina Locura

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  14. Thank you for sharing your story, Mary. It's fun to get to know you better. And your quilts are enviable.

    Naomi
    Mountain Girl Soap

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  15. Mary,

    It's a pleasure to meet you and your quilts are gorgeous!

    Sarah - Airy Obsessions

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