Marlene Brown Woodfield is an American quilter and textile instructor known for her contemporary charm quilts. Woodfield’s quilts are made using a variety of different techniques. Quilting on a free motion machine, she mostly does applique with some piecing and may use some commercial fabric or fabric that is dyed or painted, but she also adds beading, couching, or embroidery to her quilts. While many quilters choose traditional patterns, Woodfield is highly regarded for her innovative designs incorporating facial and pictorial imagery. Charm quilts are traditionally one pattern with no two fabrics repeated. Charm of Impressionism—inspired by Frederick Carl Frieseke’s Lady in the Garden—was handmade as a contemporary charm quilt using unique shapes and different fabrics for each unit or pattern. Woodfield used an image of the artwork, sketched out the photo’s lines on acetate, and then drew it out from an overhead projector on a large piece of paper taped to the wall before sewing. Her quilt is in the permanent collection of the Indiana State Museum, Indianapolis.
After graduating from Purdue University in 1958 with a degree in consumer and family sciences, Woodfield married her husband and moved to LaPorte County, Indiana. Woodfield was always interested in art, and in 1976 began learning the art of quilting. She took classes under notable quilters, including Diane Gaudynski and Charlotte Warr Anderson. Over the years, Woodfield has created quilts and wall-hangings for competitions and commissions. She won many awards on both the national and international level, including a 1992 and 1994 Indiana State Winner and a 1996 Judges’ Choice Winner. She participated in quilter Ami Simms’s Alzheimer’s Art Quilt Initiative to raise money for Alzheimer’s research, making ninety-six small quilts between 2007 and 2013. Woodfield is a member of the Chicagoland Professional Art Quilters Alliance and the String-A-Long quilting guild in Valparaiso, Indiana.
Headshot photography courtesy of Marlene Brown Woodfield