Who Taught Me to Sew and Who Most Influenced My Life

The year was 1934. The town was Mansfield, Ohio in America’s midwest.There was a high school graduation of an eighteen year old young woman. As she made her way through life, she had a profound effect on people that she touched.Mary Irene Marks Terry tops the list of “Who Most Influenced My Life.”


Mary Irene Marks

1934 High School Graduation

The Senior Class of St. Peter High School, Mansfield, Ohio


Those are two of my favorite photos of Mom and this is a short introduction to her. It is my plan to find more photos to archive and add a portfolio of her needlework. I remember Mom as an AVID needleworker.Her hands were never idle, always at work on embroidery, needlepoint, knitting or crocheting.

Many times I have been asked who taught me to quilt. The list of quilting instructors over the years is long, but there is one person at the top of the list who taught me to sew. I learned to sew on Mom’s sewing machine when I was in junior high school. I remember cutting patterns for maternity clothes for my sister.They were those tent-type-tops with long sleeves, cuffs, tab collars, etc.There was none of this tight fitting, snug to the baby bump tops back then!

When I began to quilt in early 1970’s, Mom’s comment was “I can’t believe you like to do that!” Quilting was a chore when she was growing up.There was never a quilt to be seen that Mom had made.The quilts at Nanny’s house had been replaced with store-bought blankets.

The year was 1964. The town was Mansfield, Ohio.There was a high school graduation of another eighteen year old young woman. Judith Irene Terry began to make her way through life knowing she had been touched by a remarkable woman!

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Judith Irene Terry

1964 High School Graduation

The Senior Class of Malabar High School, Mansfield, Ohio