Marylou was born in Bangor, Maine where, as a child, she learned to sew, knit and crochet under the tutelage of two spinster Aunts. Moving to Laurel, Maryland in 1964, Marylou later took sewing classes and for a period of time made clothes for herself and family (husband Jim and three children) as well as doing other sewing projects. Marylou earned her Bachelor’s degree in Business at the University of Maryland. She worked as a manager at a large Credit Union for a number of years before starting her own business training at financial institutions.
Marylou took up the sport of field archery in 1984 and in 1987 became a National Champion. She was awarded third place in the World Championships in 1988. However, her archery activities were curtailed in 1993 when she had back surgery. She had taken up counted cross-stitch before then and enjoyed making 40 and 50 count miniatures. Next door to the cross-stitch shop was Seminole Sampler, a great quilt store. She visited there often and finally in 1991 took her first Baltimore Album Quilt class taught by Mimi Dietrich. Marylou instantly fell in love with Baltimore Album Quilts.
In addition to her love of BAQs, her first loves are her family, especially her seven wonderful grandchildren. Marylou could not do all that she does without the help of her husband, Jim. He supports her “quilt life” and also does all of her computer work.
Marylou has been making Baltimore Album Quilts since 1991 and uses Baltimore Album Quilt blocks as the medium for her teaching, lecturing and research. She has photographed and researched over seventy five antique BAQs in museums and private collections. Some of her research is documented in the 2007 and 2008 Baltimore Album Quilt Engagement Calendars. She has taught BAQ history and appliqué in Maryland, Delaware, Pennsylvania, Indiana, Virginia and Arizona. In 2012 she will be teaching and lecturing in Arizona, as well as the Mid Atlantic area. Her classes are called “Tips, Tricks and Techniques” in which she teaches multi-pieced blocks by using simplified methods which she has learned through her years of appliqué experience.
In October 2005, Marylou co-chaired the Lovely Lane Museum Quilt Show and is currently lecturing on request to groups of ten or more on the Museum’s four Baltimore Album Quilts. In 2008 she was guest curator for a Baltimore Album Quilt exhibit at the Quilter’s Hall of Fame at the Marie Webster House in Marion, Indiana. She also has given her lectures at the Quilter’s Hall of Fame, Baltimore Museum of Art, 2009 Tucson Quilt show and the Maryland Historical Society. In 2011, she lectured in Los Angeles and Houston.
Marylou, Margo Cramer and Eleanor Layman have traced and made patterns from the four Lovely Lane Museum Quilts, Elizabeth MacCullough Hervey Quilt, Old Otterbein Church Quilt for the Winterthur Museum in Delaware, Captain Russell Quilt for the Baltimore Museum of Art and Isaiah Mercier Quilt for the Howard County Historical Society. All of these patterns are for sale by contacting the museums and the Baltimore Appliqué Society. They are currently working on patterns for the 1850 Captain Aust Quilt and the 1851-1856 Margaret Potts Quilt.