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About Mary Z

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About the Artist

"You don't choose to be an artist, as much as it chooses you."

My life is like a patchwork quilt - all the various experiences and amazing people perfectly blending together to make a rich tapestry of colors, textures, and shapes. Although I enjoyed drawing, painting, and sewing since I was 5 years old, I majored in Business/Finance in college to pursue a more practical career. I started out as an accountant for a large corporation for nine years which provided a great business foundation. After making my first quilt in 1982, I was immediately and permanently addicted to this creative medium. It amazes me that even after all these years, the same excitement and passion about quilting is always there. I left the accounting job in 1987 to become a full-time quilt artist/teacher and I've never looked back. I started "The Mary Z Collection" in Orlando, Florida, making custom designed quilts and teaching classes. Every fall I would host a successful open house to promote my designs/classes and eventually wrote a Home Shows book to help other artists, quilters, and crafters plan their own shows.

artist photo
In 1994 I decided to go back to school to work on a formal art education to strengthen my illustration and computer skills. I graduated in 1995 with an A.S. degree in Graphic Design and relocated to upstate New York shortly after. Moving here has been one of the best decisions I've ever made. I feel totally connected to the very soil, mountains, and lakes of this region... I know in my soul, this is where I belong. Continually inspired by nature, personal experiences as well as events occurring around the world, I create works in fiber, watercolor, pastel, and mixed media. I also enjoy networking with other quilters and artists, discussing the "business side" of our careers, sharing helpful information and solutions for situations that we face.

Just Imagine Design & Publications started in 1999, specializes in original quilt patterns, known for their clear, step-by-step directions. My patterns are sold in quilt shops across the US and Canada, plus featured in Keepsake Quilting Catalog and other publications. I also carry high quality ceramic buttons and a series of booklets dealing with topics of interest to creative business owners. This web site maintains a large Resource Center that offers an abundance of helpful information for visitors.

I am a member of the American Quilt Society, Central New York Art Guild, International Quilt Association, Studio Art Quilt Associates, The Applique Society, and Syracuse Macintosh Users Group.

"I would rather invent a grammar of my own than bind myself to rules which don't belong to me." Picasso

Peace to All,
Mary Z

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