Design Star™ 2010 Finalist - Marilyn Burris

Design Star™ 2010 Finalist - Marilyn Burris

Check out Marilyn's contest quilts at the bottom of this page.



I have been quilting for.. almost 2 years now. I started quilting in September 2008. 

I started quilting because.. My Mother is a wonderful quilter and was always asking to teach me. I’d constantly tease her by saying, “Why would I want to cut up all of that material, just so I could sew it back together again?”  Finally, I decided that I would try it and see if I liked it as much as my Mom does.

I learned to quilt by.. I spent the next month or so either at my Moms or her at my house, learning to quilt. My Mom walked me through all the steps of learning, from how to use a rotary cutter and mat through how to finish the throw.  Next, she helped me make a Christmas Tree Skirt. When that was finished, I was ready to try it alone. I stayed home and made a throw for my girlfriend Karla, all by myself.  I was off and running. I could do it alone. I bought an excellent quilting book that I love. I learned so much out of it too. I have my Mother to thank for most of my quilting “know how” but other things I learned from my book. Marilyn Burris
Parsons, KS

I made several similar quilts in the first 9 months. I then decided in June 2009, that I needed to learn more blocks and squares to really be able to make different things.  I love the looks of star blocks, so I picked out 28 different star blocks to make. This way, I would have to make things that I never had, like Flying Geese, Quarter Square Triangles, and Half Quarter Square Triangles. It was a great learning experience and I ended up with a beautiful quilt top, which I sold.

Carpenter's Star Block by Marilyn Burris


This is my Carpenter's Star. I saw a picture once, couldn't find a pattern, so made my own. It's a 12" block with 104 pieces! This is myabsolute favorite block of all time!

I draw inspiration from.. When I started quilting, my creative, do it my own way, attitude came out on my very first project. I selected fabrics that I was told “were not right together”. I did it anyways. I have only used a regular pattern to make a quilt a couple of times, and I had to change the pattern to make it my way both times. I never use a “quilt” pattern now. I just make blocks and assemble the quilt however it looks good to me. That is kind of how my Swish Bargello quilt came to be.

My style.. definitely leans toward the scrap quilt or the patchwork quilt. I love color! I want lots of beautiful colors in my quilts. I prefer bold, bright colors to the muted tones. Bold bright colors remind me of spring and summer with all the flowers and trees in full bloom.  My Mother has been a great inspiration to me. She is constantly making different quilt patterns and I find them all beautiful. Shawna's Quilt by Marilyn Burris

My favorite techniques.. I have only machine quilted by “stitching in the ditch” on a few quilts. Most of my quilts, I hand tie with embroidery thread. My favorite part of quilting is just making the blocks and sewing them into a quilt top. I have sold a lot of tops instead of finishing them. I just love piecing them together. 

Northern Lights by Marilyn Burris I am attracted to.. I love all colors of fabrics actually. I don’t even have a favorite color anymore since I started quilting, because there are so many gorgeous fabrics in every color.  I like textured or marbled fabrics, not just solid. I prefer white-on-white to plain white. I like tone-on-tone more than just a plain color.  I think it adds character to the quilt with the little extra splashes of color. I especially like the old fashioned paisley fabrics, gingham, Floral and calico prints. Anything small and dainty looking will attract my attention, especially little flowers.

My stash is.. huge! I love fabrics and I want some of every one that I like. I usually just buy one yard when I find something that I like, to add to my stash. Since I prefer scrap quilts, this is a perfect amount for me. Plus, being on a limited budget, I get several different fabrics to round out my stash that way. I have a fantastic variety of fabrics. I have tone-on-tone, ginghams, lights, mediums, darks, textured or marbled fabrics, large and small scale prints, solids, you name it. It comes in real handy though when you get a sudden urge to make a quilt. I have plenty of fabric to make several quilts without having to go shopping.  I’m addicted to fabrics.

I belong to.. In March 2010, I joined my first online quilting website. It is called the “Quilting Board”, and I love it. The people on there are so friendly, encouraging, inspiring and helpful. It has everything on it from pictures to tutorials, for beginners to very experienced quilters. It is the first place that I ever posted pictures of my quilts for people to see. Before that, only family and a few friends had seen them. I thought that my quilts were sub-standard, done in the wrong colors, and below average until then. There was a wonderful response to my quilts, which gave me more confidence in my abilities and quilting.

The Quilting Board has given me the confidence to show my work to others and to be proud of it.  They have recommended several times that I put my quilts in a quilt show. So far, I’ve never even been to a quilt show, although I would love to go.

What you should know about me.. I am married to a wonderful man named Daniel, I’m 54 years old, and have 3 grown children, Shawna, Tina, and April. I have 10 grandchildren and I will be a great grandma in Jan. 2011. I love living in the country and small towns. I have inspired several people to take up quilting since I started. I like to inspire, share and help. Come visit me at my website, sign my guestbook, and send me a message if you need any help. I may not know enough to help you but I will always listen and help if I can. 

My non-quilting hobbies are.. I have been doing hobbies and crafts since I was 5 or 6 years old. At 7 years old, I helped the Girl Scout leaders teach the other girls to knit, as I was really good at it by then. I can now knit, crochet, macramé, embroidery, cross stitch, do plastic canvas, paint ceramics, make wreaths, and just about anything else that I take a notion to do. I am very creative and have designed my own patterns in most all of these hobbies. Since I have started quilting though, I have not done anything but quilt and read. I love to read. I have my own library.

I entered Design Star™ because.. An online friend of mine, Virginia, from the quilting board sent me an email one day saying that “You have to do this. Please!” and sent me a link to the McCall’s Quilting Contest. I went and checked it out and decided to enter the contest. I thought it would be fun to try it, although at first I really didn’t think I had much of a chance. I figured that people with more quilting experience would knock me out of the competition at the end of the first elimination. Luckily, I was wrong.

I had seen several bargellos on the Quilting Board and I loved them. I would comment on them and finally posted that I really wanted to make a bargello. I received several messages, including one with a link to a 12” bargello block to make and a Billy Lauder video.  I made one and decided that it wasn’t hard to do, so I’d just try to make one. I had no pattern, had never seen one made and really no clue as to what I was doing. Due to several requests, I ended up designing the whole quilt “online”. I posted pictures and talked to everybody all the way through it. I had quite a following on it. When it was done, I had several people asking for the pattern so I made a pattern and now sell it.

Visit me at.. I have my own website now called “My Quilting Place”. It is still in the “Under Construction” phase, but probably will be from now on. I hope to keep it updated and always be adding to it to keep it interesting. I plan to do tutorials, have some patterns there for free and to sell mine, tips for beginners and everyone else who is interested, sell quilts and quilt tops, have fun and share with other quilters. I love helping people and have done a lot of it on the Quilting Board. I really enjoy it. I have found that I have a way of explaining things to quilters that is easy for them to understand. I don’t know all of the correct terms and just put it in plain, simple language.

I have always loved to help others and hopefully the website will allow me to do that more. Please visit my website, My Quilting Place. Please forgive the mess! There may not be too much there at this point, but it is growing.


                                         Swish (below) is Marilyn's Design Star™ entry quilt.

Marilyn Burris' quilt, Swish


Stained Glass Windows (below) is Marilyn's Design Star™ Challenge 1 quilt.

Stained Glass Windows



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Very lovely work!
Such fine striking quilts! Color is lovely! Shows how one block done in so many colors can be so very attractive! Congratulations on your work!
To be quilting only 2 years, you go girl! I reckon you know the answer to your own ? now about why would you cut up fabric just to sew it back together again. Believe me, only a true quilter can answer that one. Beautiful work.
It looks like it is moving! Bright and beautiful.
love the color play here!
Marilyn Burris
I love this qiult. I would love to learn how this is done. She has done a wonderful job. I would vote on this one. for someone who has only been quilting for about two years she,has done great. I like that she works her own patterns. Keep up the great work.


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