Designer Tidbits: Mary Ellen Robison & Paula Barnes - The Jolly Jabber Quilting Blog

Designer Tidbits: Mary Ellen Robison & Paula Barnes

We are proud to feature Mary Ellen Robison & Paula Barnes (formerly of Bonnie Blue Quilts) on the Jolly Jabber. As of April 1st Bonnie Blue Quilts changed their name to Red Crinoline Quilts. Today they are here to talk about their wonderful Freedom Rings Block of the Month featuring fabric from Marcus Brothers Fabrics.

Q: What was the inspiration to the BOM?
A: The inspiration was Paula’s new fabric collection with Marcus Fabrics named Freedom Rings. The eagle stripe in a previous patriotic collection was so popular that Marcus Fabrics decided to bring it back along with new fabrics in cranberry, navy, brown, and khaki with cream and gold highlights to complement the eagle stripe. With a resurgence of the patriotic spirit and the popularity of the Quilts of Valor program, the Freedom Rings BOM program and fabric collection are just perfect.

Q: What are the blocks based on?
A: This year’s BOM features twelve  -­- 12” finished blocks and thirty-six  – 4” star blocks (yes we do love those little blocks!!). Each 12” block features an 8” center block that is surrounded by half-­square triangles. The 4” star blocks are very scrappy and are used in the sashing.

Q: What were your separate contributions when creating this BOM?
A: The partnership is perfect. Paula designs the fabric and the quilt and Mary Ellen pieces the quilt top. We are now in two different states, but we were together for the actual designing of this quilt.

Q: If time travel became possible, what year would you want to be in?
Mary Ellen – Wow, that’s a hard one. I could handle just about any time, but I would have to know that I would have air conditioning and the basic creature comforts. I’ve always said I wouldn’t have been a good pioneer woman. I could not have handled walking across the prairie knowing I was still going to have to cook a meal over an open campfire and get up the next day and start all over!!!

Paula– Being a “Mad Men” addict I love the fashion of the late 50’s. I would love to visit just to wear some of those styles.

Q: If you had to change your first name, what would you change it to?
Mary Ellen – That’s easy, Annette (after Annette Funicello). I begged my parents to let me change my name, but as you can see I’m still Mary Ellen.

Paula – I always wanted to be a Candace. I also wanted blond hair. Oh and a little more height.

One can always wish….

Q: What was your favorite childhood TV show?
Mary Ellen – “The Mickey Mouse Club”, but particularly the movies they did: “Corky and White Shadow”, “Spin and Marty”, and anything with Annette Funicello in it.

Paula – Oddly enough, it was “Raw Hide”. Just for the theme song. A close second was “Mr. Ed.”  followed by “My Favorite Martian” and “Lost in Space.”