Marianne Martens-Niemeijer

  • De Striepe 8 ZO01
  • Oosterwolde, Netherlands 8431 SK
  • Teaching Area: The Netherlands; Belgium , Flanders; Scandinavia; Great Britain; Ireland;
  • Business Phone: 003-161-437914

I was born in 1957 with a German Father and a Dutch mother, and grew up in the eastern part of The Netherlands. From early childhood I learned needlework from my grandmother. All aspects of fine needlework were reviewed: knitting, crochet, embroidery, Hardanger, bobbin lace, etc. First learned to sew by hand and only when I had fully mastered, I was allowed to use the sewing machine.

In secondary school I discovered quilting, where an enthusiastic needlework teacher taught me the basics. Many small quilts were made and given away as gifts – unfortunately none of these have survived.

The larger quilts (handmade) have also all been given away and unfortunately no photos of them have survived.

When, in later life, sewing by hand became difficult because of rheumatism, making a quilt on the sewing machine became a new challenge. First simple patterns, later also complicated patterns: Japanese quilt folding art, patterns by Elisabeth Hartmann and often designed by herself.

I have restored old church vestments and other textile objects in monasteries and churches and also taught nuns in (cloister) monasteries to do the restoration of old church vestments (chasubles, Altar Wanders). I also gave these lessons to young and somewhat older women who, as volunteers, restored old church vestments and other textile objects in churches. The most beautiful experience I had myself was that I was given access to a very old vault with chasubles hundreds of years old. One of the chasubles was made from the wedding dress of Empress Elizabeth (Sissi) of Austria, embroidered with hundreds of edelweiss flowers.

I have also made many chasubles myself, with appliqué motifs on them – always on commission. Unfortunately, the priests do not want to release any photos.

In 2015 I discovered the patterns of Judy Niemeyer, but was unable to start due to lack of time. It took until 2018 when Ada Honders at a fair encouraged me to give it a try. Once the spark had passed and the first quilt of a Judy pattern was made, there was no extinguishing the fire. With Ada’s enthusiastic encouragement, I managed to sew other patterns as well.

In 2020, from an old dream, I finally started my own business to teach others the enthusiasm for Judy’s patterns.
Part of my business is Quilting in the Lowlands: retreats for quiltsters from abroad in the Northern Provinces of the Netherlands.

Learned everything I can learn? No, certainly not yet, but the fire continues to burn and the hunger to make more and more quilts is far from satiated. Turning my hobby into my profession, a longing that I had for a long time, has now finally become a reality: teaching other people how beautiful it is to create something with beautiful fabrics that is a jewel to look at and to use.