Art of Quilting Column June 14, 2009

Marie Osmond: a little big country and a little bit quilter

Have you noticed how celebrity Marie Osmond seems to be everywhere these days?

She and brother Donnie are singing together again in Las Vegas, she’s losing pounds with NutriSystem, she’s fainting on “Dancing With the Stars ...”

Now you only have to open any of the myriad quilt magazines to see her face inside them, too.

Osmond, who turns 50 in October, not only designs fabric for Quilting Treasures, but she also markets home sewing machines for the Janome company.

She recently issued a challenge for quilters, offering more than $17,000 in prizes and sponsoring an eBay auction of the 10 finalist quilts with all proceeds going to Children’s
Miracle Network, a charity Osmond co-founded in the 1980s.

The top three winners are:

• Dean Deerfield of Midland, Texas, made a crazy quilt titled “A Little Bit Country.”
Her first-place prize included a special edition sewing machine, $750 in storage and organization products, $750 in assorted Marie Osmond Quilting Treasures fabric and products, as well as a porcelain doll designed by Osmond with a coordinating quilted table runner. (Total package valued at more than $9,000.)

• Natalie Mouw of Wheaton, Ill., created “Victory Garden” to win second place and a sewing machine, $500 in storage products, $500 in fabric and a doll. (Package valued at more than $2,499).

• Gretchen Stumme of Rochester, N.Y., entered her quilt titled “Marie’s Stars” for third place. She, too, received a sewing machine, $250 in storage products, $250 in fabric and a doll. (Package valued at more than $1,800).

Osmond, who says in a news release “I am an avid quilter myself,” chose the final 10 quilts from hundreds she received, posted them online and asked people to vote for them on her Web site, http://www.marieosmond.com. Voters chose their three favorites before all 10 were offered through eBay.

Deerfield, who says crazy quilting is one of her favorite techniques, made four identical quilt blocks, then rotated them until she found an arrangement she liked. The 30-inch square quilt is bordered with prairie points and embellished with freshwater pearls, amethyst crystals and vintage lace.

All the embroidery work Deerfield did by hand, although she stitched together the blocks and attached the border by machine. She says she already owns multiple machines, two of them made by Janome, yet she’s thrilled to receive the latest 11000 model as a first prize.

According to national surveys, quilters who are really dedicated to their art usually own more than one sewing machine.

That makes Deerfield one serious quilt maker. 

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