Is married to Willem, a retired Snr Prosecutor in PE with two children, Elizabeth and Jopie. Marilyn has been teaching various quilt making techniques since 1988 and was awarded the Master Class Quilter status by the South African Quilters’ Guild. Major awards includes Best Machine Workmanship and Best on Show - Art Quilts at the 2011 National Quilt Festival in Stellenbosch for two quilts as well as Best Use in Colour at the 2015 National Quilt Festival at Bothas’ Hill. She has no formal art training but developed her own style of quilt making by experimenting with fabric paints, machine appliqué, various ways of machine & hand embroidery and quilting. Her inspiration comes mostly from the South African nature and all work is original. With the realistically themed quilts, the challenge is to reproduce it as naturally as possible using fabric paint, fibre and threads. With the freestyle quilts, it is finding the balance between intuitive expression and visual cohesion. Many of her geometric quilts have found homes overseas and she was commissioned to make wall quilts for the chalets of the Kariega Game Reserve at Kenton-on-Sea. Two of her quilts were part of the South African Exhibitions in 2003 and 2004 in Val d’Argent, France at the 9th and 10th European Patchwork Meetings and another was exhibited at the World Quilt Carnival in Nagoya, Japan in March 2004. She also participated in the International Challenge World Heritage Sites between South Africa, Korea and Japan in 2011.
She is an active member of the Dias Quilters’ Guild, Past President of the South African Quilters’ Guild and member of Fibreworks. She was also profiled in the Laslap en Kwilt - Inspirasie uit die Verlede book, a joint publication of SAQG and LAPA Publishers. She also paints fat quarters which she sells under the brush rags label.
She was the 2017 recipient of the South African Quilters’ Guild Pro Dedicate Award, in recognition of her dedication to the promotion of the art of quilt-making in South Africa.
HISTORY IN QUILTMAKING:
* Started in 1984 with no formal training but learnt traditional techniques through books and by experimenting.* Made my first large quilt in 1987.
* Started teaching patchwork, applique and candle-wicking in 1988.
* Designed various quilts for students during these years.
* Compiled a candle-wicking pattern book in 1989.
* Specialised in machine applique and embellishments since 1992 producing many Ndebele wall hangings of which many found homes overseas. These geometric colourful designs became a trademark during this period.
* Attended a Machine Embroidery workshop in East London in 1994, the only one to date. Was introduced to the free motion technique.
* Progressed to realistic nature themes incorporating the flora and fauna of South Africa.
* Started experimenting with freestyle techniques in 2009 and won Best on Show Art Quilts at 2011 NQF with very first freestyle quilt, Transformation - Glow Beyond the Scorched Earth. I thoroughly enjoy the freedom of expression in this genre.
* The sewing machine is the major tool of my trade.
Marilyn says: MY INSPIRATION MOSTLY COMES FROM THE SOUTH AFRICAN NATURE AND ALL WORK IS ORIGINAL. WITH THE REALISTICALLY THEMED QUILTS, THE CHALLENGE IS TO REPRODUCE THIS AS NATURALLY AS POSSIBLE USING FABRIC PAINT, FIBRE AND THREADS. WITH THE FREESTYLE QUILTS, IT IS FINDING THE BALANCE BETWEEN INTUITIVE EXPRESSION AND VISUAL COHESION.
Please see pictures -
• Avian Grace (2000) 1st Prize for Innovative Large Category at the National Quilt Festival 2000 in Johannesburg for “Avian
Grace”1st Prize for Best Bird Quilt Category at the National Quilt Festival 2000 in Johannesburg for “Avian Grace.”
• Transformation – Glow Beyond the Scorched Earth (2011) – Best on Show Art Quilts at National Quilt Festival in Stellenbosch.
• Port Elizabeth – Legacy of Settlers (2011) – Best Machine Workmanship at National Quilt Festival in Stellenbosch
• Willa - A Tribute (2013) - 2nd Prize Freestyle Masters Category at National Quilt Festival in Bloemfontein.
• Glow (2013) - 1st Prize Freestyle Masters Category at National Quilt Festival in Bloemfontein.
• Infinity (2015) – Best Use of Colour & Highly Commended Freestyle Masters at National Quilt Festival in Bothas’ Hill, KZN.