We recently had an opportunity to take a staff picture in front of Marti's Silver Star Friendship Quilt. From left to right: Super-sewer Harriett, customer service rep Kathy, Richard and Marti, graphic designer Patti, customer service rep Helga, and Sherry, who is our bookkeeper. Marti's terrific secretary, Anne, was absent the day the photo was taken.
The quilt, which was a surprise given to Marti at the 2004 Silver Star awards banquet, features blocks and signatures by Marti's friends and family, including many "famous" quilters that Marti has known throughout her career. Click here to see a photo of the whole quilt and read the secret of its making.
Marta G. Michell was born and raised on a farm near Des Moines, Iowa. Known then as Martha Glenn, she was taught to sew by her mother and it quickly became a favorite pastime. Buoyed by her 4-H training and awards, she decided to major in Textiles and Clothing and Home Ec Journalism at Iowa State University. At Iowa State, that is the one in Ames, she became known as Marti Glenn. (You can learn more about what Marti's been up to in her quilt journal.)
Richard Michell was raised in a western Chicago suburb and chose Iowa State for his college career. Dick and Marti were married during the Christmas break of their senior year. Richard's first job after graduation took the young couple to Wisconsin for a six-month training course and then to Wichita, KS. In Wichita, Marti was a Home Economist for The Dairy Council, and she and Dick became parents when their son Jeffrey was born. A few years later, a job transfer took the Michell family to Ohio and the family expanded with the birth of daughter Stacy. Marti did some part-time teaching and lots of volunteer work during their five-year stay in the Cleveland area.
Another transfer caused the Michell family to move to Atlanta, GA, in 1969. With both children in school, Marti decided to start a small sewing school. At the same time, she had been doing some patchwork projects and had become curious about quilting. While her sewing school classes were supposed to teach dressmaking skills, it wasn't long before the students insisted on patchwork and quilting classes.
Doing more patchwork led to doing some craft shows and a small craft shop with several friends. It didn't take long to discover that people were not prepared to pay much for hand quilting. However, they were curious about how "to do" patchwork and wanted to know where to get fabric and patterns. At that particular time, polyester double knits were the rage and it was very hard to find 100% cotton fabrics.
Soon, Dick, Marti and the kids began to cut and package kits to sell at the craft shop. The next year, 1972, they decided to offer the kits to other stores, and the company Yours Truly, Inc. was born.
The Yours Truly Years, 19721985...
The Freelance Design Years, 19851995...
The From Marti Michell years, 1995 to present