Mary Alice Hart


Quilting must be in Mary Alice’s genes! Her maternal grandmother, mother and most of her aunts quilted – mostly of necessity, but it probably provided a creative outlet as well as time to relax from the demands of household and farm chores.

As a child she remembers being the “needle threader” at quilting bees. She also recalls visits to relatives where the first order of business – after a filling meal and cleaning up the dishes of course, was a showing of the latest sewing projects and a tour of the flower and vegetable gardens. Is it any wonder that she loves both quilting and gardening?

Her mother, a long time 4-H leader, was her first sewing teacher starting with a feed sack skirt at the age of eight. Mother’s influence was probably responsible for her choosing home economics education in college.

Retired from teaching since 2000, Mary Alice finally has time to focus on her love of quilting and gardening. Gardening pleasure is found as a volunteer gardener at Olbrich Botanical Gardens and in a small backyard garden. Free time has allowed her to study many facets of the quilting world. But in 2008 three things converged that forever changed the focus of her quilting; a digital camera, Solvron®, and an article in the Quilting Arts Magazine. The camera took great close-ups of flowers that she longed to turn into quilts. Solvron®, a water-soluble material could give fabric interesting textural effects. And the article, “Daylily” by Ann Holmes gave her the final piece of the puzzle showing her how to turn photos into a pattern. She was quickly hooked and totally obsessed!

In the quilt world her work would be classified as machine applique. It is based on photos that she manipulates in the computer to create a master pattern and pattern templates. Most of the pieces are cut with seam allowances that are turned under and the pieces are assembled like a jigsaw puzzle. When the piece meets her approval the sewing/quilting begins.

“Mother Nature is the artist in her work” she says. “She created the form and chose the colors. I am the interpreter. I honor her by trying to be as true as possible to the original photo.”

Learn more about Mary Alice Hart at her website:

Lecture: Flower Power: Trunk Show

Thursday September 20, 2018

A one-hour digital slide and trunk show demonstrating a simple method of transforming your photos into fabric art. Your computer and printer can be used to create a master pattern and pattern templates and like a jigsaw puzzle the pieces come together to replicate the photo. Sewing is also the quilting in this technique.

Workshop: From Photo to Fabric – Wild Rose

Friday  September 21, 2018


Try this simple method of machine applique that involves no sewing until the piece is assembled, stacked with batting and backing and ready to quilt. Have fun building the turned-edge “hand-applique by machine” piece and learn to texture fabric and create shadow with tulle. Our class will be using the Wild Rose pattern.

Class Length: 3 hours

Time: 9:30am – 12:30pm Please arrive at 9 so you can be set up and ready to go by 9:30am.
This is a Half Day Workshop

Supply List: Wild Rose

Cost to Members: $25 plus a $5.00 Kit.

Location: Arlington Heights Library


To sign-up for workshops please stop by the Programs Table at all Guild Meetings or contact our Programs Chair at

Thank You!



  • Workshops are reserved for NSQG Members each new fiscal year, from June through the first of October. After October 1st, non-members may register for workshops anytime, providing there is an opening. NSQG members pay $45.00 for full day workshops and $25.00 for half day workshops. The non-member price for workshops is $55.00 for full day workshops and $35.00 for half day workshops.

  • No seat in any workshop is reserved until payment has been received.

  • Please come early enough to be set up for the start of the class. Doors will open at 9:00 AM; class begins at 9:30 AM unless otherwise indicated.

  • Be prepared. This includes having all items on the supply list, sewing machine in good working order, and basic sewing supplies. It is also a good idea to bring an extension cord, power strip, a small iron and an ironing surface that may be shared with other students.

  • If you need to cancel your attendance in a workshop, you will receive a full refund only if your spot can be filled.

  • Lunch is on your own. Most venues will allow you to eat in the classroom which means you can brown bag it. Some venues have a refrigerator available. An hour is built into the class time for a lunch break, which is flexible and could affect the end time of the workshop.

  • Cell phones should be silenced during class. If you need to make or take a call, please exit the classroom.

  • Visitors are very distracting to the teacher and other students, and should not be in the classroom.

  • If you know you have to leave class early, please try to sit in the back of the classroom.

  • In consideration of others, please refrain from wearing perfumes.