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Friday, 12 July 2013

The Passing of Mary Ellen Hopkins, an amazing quilter.

This is from Diana Marshall who like myself in tje US, took care of all Mary Ellen's Australia lectures. Wonderful sentiment.. 

Dear Quilt Sitters & others

The wonderful Mary Ellen Hopkins passed away, July 9 after having a stroke about a week ago. She was with her beloved son David at the time. I think she was 83yrs old, remembering age was her funny secret.

Mary Ellen was a gift to the world of patchwork, she changed the approach to allow us to make quilts for now and to be used by everyone. You could certainly sit and touch all of her quilts. She took a refreshing approach to the everyday quilter. She allowed us to use our own Personal Private Measurement, to use a connector to make triangles easier, she never said the corners had to meet, points took holidays and our blocks would always go together. She relaxed the rules on colours and tone and print. She gave ugly fabric a new leash of life and had an amazing ability to make what appeared an odd stash of prints into a truly exotic quilt.

Mary Ellen was an entertainer who used an amazing range of stories from her life, her shop, her customers, her students and her life that kept everyone in stitches even if we had heard them before. She loved performing, teaching, people and life and we all loved her.
Her philosophies appear in my quilts constantly, I often think Mary Ellen would use this fabric or would barn raise that block or this is a bell block. On my travels with Mary Ellen she showed me know to look at tiles and windows as quilt blocks whether it was at QVB or hotel foyer or a bathroom floor or architecture magazine. We say ‘Art’ at the onstage with David Wenham, a hilarious play about how a blank white canvas can be so many things to so many people. She said the same applied to her quilts and fabric choice and more importantly why there should be no two quilts alike

Mary Ellen has touched us all and for those who attended her lectures or workshops I know her legacy as a great woman who quilted will live on forever.

Helen Savet-Buck & Diana Marshall