Mary Ramsey Keasler has had a lifelong love of fabrics. She began sewing at the tender age of five, when she felt the need to add more clothes to her dolls’ wardrobes. Growing up in southeast Tennessee, where she lives today, she always admired handmade quilts with the intricate quilting and beautiful fabrics. Always yearning to reproduce traditional quilts, she made a few halfhearted attempts after college in the 1970s, but life led her in other directions. While operating a business with her husband and raising a daughter and son, she enjoyed various textile mediums such as clothing, cross stitch, crewel embroidery, needlepoint, machine embroidery and English smocking.
It wasn’t until her children graduated from college that Mary once again became inspired by the quilts that were being made in the late 1990s. With no art background or training she began teaching herself about quilting from instruction books and magazines. She began by making traditional bed quilts, pieced and appliquéd, on her home sewing machine. However, she soon found herself looking for something more. Discovering the world of art quilts opened up a new world. Mary has been creating originally designed art quilts since 2005. Her first originally designed quilt was juried into the prestigious AQS Quilt Show in Paducah, KY. She is inspired by the world around her, where she constantly sees art quilts in her everyday life. Always with her camera in hand to snap an inspiration for a new piece, she frequently uses her photos as the basis to sketch a design from which she makes a pattern. Using commercially printed fabrics, as well as her own hand-dyed fabrics, she pieces her art quilts to adorn the walls of homes and commercial businesses.
Mary’s work has been featured in national and international quilting magazines and books and has garnered multiple awards in regional and national quilt shows. Recent awards include first place honors for two of her quilts in the AQS show in Chattanooga. Also, one of her quilts was juried into the International Quilt Show in Houston.