Happy Birthday Sam – One of the youngest Southern California Quilters

I love birthdays and am a big believer that quilters need to celebrate birthdays with quilting friends, old and new. After all, we are stitched together in a family that keeps us warm with a special bonding where ever we go. And a birthday lunch, trip or sew-cial, with quilting friends always makes for a wonderful birthday for me!

As such, I want to wish a Happy Birthday to Sam Marion who will be celebrating her 9th birthday on May 16th. Sam comes from a long line of sewing enthusiasts. Jan Harmon, Sam’s grandmother is a quilter and long-arm quilter. Sam’s great grandmother was a pattern designer and dress maker.

I think Sam may be the only 9 year old that may actually enjoy receiving birthday gifts of fabric, quilt patterns, and various related quilting items. You see, Sam has been raised in a quilting environment and I believe she’ll soon be teaching quilting & long arm quilting classes. She has such a wonderful smile, cheerful attitude, loves new experiences, and the ability to chat with people of all ages. While she has life ahead of her to make choices of what she’ll want to become, I believe she’ll be a delightful as a quilt teacher, but I also believe she’ll be great at whatever she wants to do in life.

Sam may be one of our youngest quilters and I believe she is the most talented quilter for her age (and for those much older). Samantha has been quilting since she was 6 years old. She also learned to do long arm quilting, on an HQ 16 long arm quilting machine, almost two years ago.

As a baby, Sam began attending a quilting group called “Hens & Chickens Quilt Fellowship” , which meets in Huntington Beach, CA, when she was 11 months old. At the meetings when she was a toddler and would get tired, she would lay down on a pile of fabric or a freshly finished quilt top and take her nap. Members fell in love with Sam and enjoyed showing her various types of needlework and embellishment techniques.

Sam officially started her quilting career in earnest when she was 6 years old by designing her own small quilts, cutting the fabric shapes and Jan would sew them on the machine. Sam quickly started sewing herself, focusing on what many would consider “art quilts” — cutting shapes and fusing them to background fabric and then stitching over the shapes. More recently, Sam is reading quilt magazines for ideas and continuing to design her own quilts.

The first two quilts she finished on the long arm were entered in the 2008 Glendale Quilt show in the youth category. Now those two quilts proudly wear a big red ribbon. On one of these two quilts, My Colorful Collage, she used a groovy board and the machine’s stylus to quilt a large spiral in the middle of the quilt. Then she added fabric pieces and quilted freehand over them to hold them down. For the other of the two quilts, Clarisse the Reindeer used fusible appliqué and quilted freehand over the whole quilt. To finish it off, she added Swarovski crystals for sparkle. She heat sets the crystals herself.

Last summer, Sam collaborated with Jan, on a quilt for Sam’s babysitter who was going away to college. Sam decided on what should be on the quilt and she cut the shapes for the fish, the jellyfish, the seaweed, the submarine and the other features on the quilt. Jan printed the photos of the babysitter and her friends and did the hand appliqué. Sam and Jan took turns quilting it on the longarm, using the very expensive thread that Sam picked at one of the quilt shows. Sam copied the yellow submarine from the design on logo of her summer camp shirt. The quilt was a very special gift for a special person.

Sam has a wonderful eye for color and design. She shows talent in making creative and artistic quilts, as well as having a unique long arm quilting style. Sam is definitely a delightful young quilter to watch, as I’m sure we’ll be seeing more of Sam at future quilting events.

Happy Birthday Sam. I hope you have a wonderful birthday!