Maurine :: Okan Arts

my friend, maurine

By Patricia Belyea

If I had never crossed paths with Maurine Noble, I doubt I would have become a quilter.

Maurine pioneered machine quilting when most of the quilting world believed only hand stitching was acceptable. Her first book Machine Quilting Made Easy (1994, Patchwork Place) has sold over 150,000 copies. Thousands of quilters have dropped their feeder feet and taken off free motion stitching following her instructions—in classes, from the Yukon to South Africa; and through her books.

how i met maurine

In the summer of 2007 I decided to make a baby quilt as a project for my creativity club, Art Chix.

I sought out Maurine, the founder and leader of my church’s quilt group, for some guidance. A born teacher, she was so generous in giving me personal instruction, some sewing tools, and a signed copy of her machine quilting book to get me started.

I remember hurrying back to Maurine once I had finished my first piece. Maurine praised my beginner’s work and made me feel special. So I made another quilt to have something more to show her. Maurine encouraged me so I just kept making more and more quilts.

best buddies forever

Maurine was my quilting mentor. I went to her for advice and listened carefully to what she told me. She handed down her wonderful Bernina 1230 to me—full of her energy. We traveled to Quilt National together. I visited her winter home in Palm Springs. We watched Project Runway together, season after season. We always had things to talk about. Our relationship was very special.

On July 31, 2013 Maurine died peacefully yet unexpectedly from health complications. I was honored to speak at Maurine’s memorial service on August 25, 2013. Here’s my tribute to Maurine: Patricia Video

As much as I love quilting, I will always love my friend Maurine Noble.