Meet the Artists

This Month's Artist
Marlene Williams
Marlene Williams

Meet Marlene Williams, professional longarm machine quilter. Marlene’s quilting on Darlene Musur’s Dear Jane quilt earned both of them a “Best of Show” ribbon at the Rockford, IL Sinnissippi Quilt Show in May, 2009. At the quilt show, Marlene announced she plans on purchasing her fourth quilting machine, her third computerized machine. It was one of Marlene’s longarm machine quilted quilts, quilted on her Gammill “classic,” that caught my attention, in 2000, and introduced me to the art of longarm machine quilting. Shortly after seeing her machine quilting she came to our local quilt guild and spoke about “the wonders of longarm machine quilting.” At that meeting Marlene told us how she and her Aunt Geri had bought their “Classic” not even clearing it with their husbands. Fortunately, both gals have supportive husbands and they were in the longarm machine quilting business. Since then, Marlene has bought her aunt’s share and has launched what she calls, “a word of mouth business.”

Detail of Marlene's quilting
Example of Marlene's quilting

Marlene reflects about the changes in quiltmaker’s attitudes regarding longarm machine quilting. She says, early on, quilters believed a quilt top “should be” hand quilted------especially, if the top had been hand pieced. Then quilters changed when they saw how quickly their tops could be quilted and when the quilting “looked” good. Marlene chuckles as she tells how quilters used to tell her, after she got her first computerized longarm machine in 2003, “You can do custom quilting, but not with the computer one.” Currently, she states, “quilters request” their tops be quilted with her computerized quilting machines. Marlene reports she frequently uses both her “Classic” and one of her computerized machines to quilt on one top.

Besides machine quilting, Marlene provides “finishing services” such as bindings and completing UFOs (unfinished projects). She says she enjoys giving lectures to guilds. A Belvidere, IL resident, she also provides “pickup service” at several local quilt shops. Marlene prides herself on “quality” of work and says, “I give it my best.” (Her many awards recognize the quality of her quilting!) She also delights in the idea of getting quilts, “finished and on the bed!” Her plans for the future include a new studio and a website.

It has been fun to watch this lovely lady become one of the most talented professional longarm machine quilters in the Rockford, IL area-----a city known for accomplished longarm machine quilters! Marlene Williams can be contacted at, [email protected] .