Podcast Episode #40: Gwen Marston

Gwen Marston Graphic

In any art form, there is a person who studies what has already been made and decides they are going to make their own version. Or as Gwen Marston describes it, “they turn left.” Sometimes that work become the catalyst for another type of art and encourages other people to explore the craft. In a time of traditional quilt making and an abundance of calico prints, Gwen Marston broke the mold with her liberated and minimal quilt making along with her use of solid fabrics. As she says in our conversation, “why make 30 of the same pattern, when you can make one big one?” Through her twenty nine books and thirty years of teaching quilt retreats, Gwen created the opportunity for modern quilting to be accepted in the quilting world.

As a professional fiber artist for over thirty years, Gwen’s style is playful, unexpected and celebrates independence. She will give the keynote address at Quilt Con and some of her pieces will hang there but until then, here are a few:


Gwen Marston[/one_half][one_half_last]

Gwen with Sketch


During our conversation, I could hear her passion for the craft, the courage she has to follow her own path and the love she has for her students. We talk about how she learned to hand quilt on a quilt frame, the inspiration she receives from antique and folk art quilts, why she uses solid fabrics and how it feels to make your own quilt designs. After talking with Gwen, I felt renewed to build my own body of work and stay my own course. I hope she inspires you in the way you need it.

How to Listen:

To listen to the podcast, you can click on the graphic at the beginning of this post, hit play on the player below, download and save the episode with the link or subscribe to all of my podcast episodes via iTunes or Stitcher.

Download this episode (right click and save)

Notes from the Show:

Sue Nickels (Holly Girls Retreat)

Pam Beal

Pepper Cory

Kilims (rugs)


This episode is sponsored by Sewtopia and The Modern Quilt Guild.


For more information about the upcoming Quilt Con West conference (February 18-21, 2016), please check out this website.


Comments 15

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  2. Hi Sandi – Gwen sent me a link and it was great fun to listen to my long time friend. Hooray! finally a really great podcast about quilters, quilting and community (darn, I wish that last one was a Q too ha ha)

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  3. Hello Sandi! I am so glad I found your podcast ( I found you through instagram) and I have thoroughly enjoyed listening to past episodes and catching up on all of your conversations. This one with Gwen really touched me completely as a quilter. I love the look of hand stitches and I love the imperfection of a hand made anything. It really struck a chord with me when Gwen said the same. The various posts and videos I watch to learn how hand quilt make me feel like the quilt police will arrest me if they ever get a look at my quilt backs. I would quilt on my machine if I wanted perfect stitching. For that matter, a coupon and a few dollars at Kohl’s or Bed Bath and Beyond would buy me any machine made quilt that appeals to me. That’s not what I am after. Thank you for introducing Gwen to me and I am so jealous of all who experienced meeting her at quiltcon. I would love to hear what you thought of that day! I will have to look up some of her books!!

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      Thank you for listening! I agree with you completely. We don’t make quilts because they are cheaper. We make them because we love them! Gwen’s keynote address was outstanding. As expected, she is funny, humble, and amazing. I hope you find some of her books!

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