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Fabric artist sets the seam and scene

Jerry Sellers

Jerry's journey to success in real estate began with listening at an early age to his mother's advice...

Jerry's journey to success in real estate began with listening at an early age to his mother's advice...

Feb 8 3 minutes read

Lights, camera, action!  

Those are not words most quilters hear on a regular basis, but Tuesday was not an average day for Marylee Drake. 

That's because Drake was the first artist featured on ACTV's "Meet the Artist" sponsored by North Auburn Artists. 

The Auburn resident shared her love quilt-making, which she's enjoyed for the last 20 years. 

Drake has always been a seamstress, but one day, after purchasing a new sewing machine, she took a quilting class, and the two went together like a needle and thread. 

Drake's quilts, though, are not the kind you find on your grandmother's four poster. These quilts are masterpieces, meant to hang prominently beside any watercolor landscape or oil-painted portrait. 

In fact, not only does Drake create dazzling patterns out of her own head and freehand intricate stitches, she's also been known to dye and paint the fabric herself. 

Some quilts begin like a blank canvas that Drake paints herself. She then stitches a pattern around the image. Other times, she dyes small pieces and fuses them to the top of the quilt. 

Drake regularly collaborates with other local quilters and even includes her husband's suggestions once in a while. 

When she's not quite sure where to go with a quilt, Drake hangs it up in her quilting studio, and thinks about it -- sometimes for weeks -- and sometimes, as her husband passes through, he offers her his opinion.  

She may take his advice, and she may not. 

Either way, Drake is grateful that her husband accompanies her to fabric shops while they're on vacation together. In their travels, she's fallen in love prints from all over the world, and back at home she turns them into works of art.   

To learn more about Drake's quilting life and see other examples of her work, check out "Meet the Artist" at ACTV, which is available at channel 20 or at the ACTV YouTube channel. 

The show will repeat throughout the month and the second episode will include an interview with pastel artist LouCinda Laughlin. 

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