Marsha Molloy

Written by: Emily Thompson and Sara Tajik

Quilts to many may just seem like an assortment of fabrics and cloth sewed together to make a blanket but to others it is a piece of art work. Marsha Molloy of Holyoke is a quilting expert. Her passion started off when she was in high school. She took a sewing class in which she learned the basics and it soon transformed into a life style. Many years ago she was invited to a baby shower and didn’t know what to get the expecting mother so she decided to sew her first quilt. Shortly after that her passion emerged and her creative side took flight.  When asked why she likes to sew quilts she said because of the simplicity of them. She likes how you don’t have to worry about them fitting people. However, with clothing you have to deal with alterations, darts and fitting it properly however with a quilt it is a universal fit.

When asked what set her quilts apart from others she responded, “They are a story that you can sleep with”. She has a real affinity for historic fabrics. She likes the texture, the feel, the color and everything about it. There are companies that are recreating the feel of these traditional fabrics and she loves investigating them and understanding the history behind them. Her quilts have been showcased regionally and a few of her pieces have been photographed and put into international magazines. If you wish to see her work in person it will be exhibited at the Vermont Summer Festival in late June.

When asked if she considered herself an entrepreneur, artist or innovator she didn’t exactly have a clear answer. She said an entrepreneur because she started working on them all by herself. When asked if she was an artist she slightly laughed and said no, however a few seconds passed and she responded, “Actually I would consider myself a fabric artist”. The way she puts textures and patterns together transforms even the simplest of objects, making them into intricate pieces.

Her work impacts more than those who admire her quilts or take her class, she also has given a lot back to the community. One of the symptoms of having Alzheimer’s is that people fidget a lot and can’t remain still. So in an effort to help these people she and a few others made fidget quilts. The premise behind these quilts is that it gives people something to hold on to. The different textures, colors, patterns, feels and even sounds of the quilt have truly helped a lot of Alzheimer’s patients remain calm and at ease.

Marsha has been working for the creative art center in Holyoke since 1992 and has nothing but positive experiences. Starting out as a teacher and emerging into an artist was not something that she predicted; however it is evident by her work, the feed back from her students and the community that she is indeed an amazing artist and an exceptional human being.