Meet RaNae

RaNae Merrill is an award-winning quilter, author and teacher. Her training as a concert pianist led to Free-Motion Mastery in a Month, the unique approach to teaching free-motion machine quilting in her latest book.

She debuted on the quilting scene with her "spiral" quilts which have appeared in national shows and magazines, and her previous three books, Simply Amazing Spiral Quilts, Magnificent Spiral Mandala Quilts and Sideways Spiral Quilts have already become quilting classics. She is a popular instructor at guilds, and frequently teaches at major quilt shows around the world.

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RaNae found her calling as a professional quilter after previous careers as a pianist, a photographer and a travel writer. (She holds both Bachelor and Master degrees in Piano Performance from University of Southern California and UCLA respectively.)

She began quilting in 1989, beginning with a half-finished, king-sized quilt her grandmother had been making for her when she died in 1976. When she found a batch of nine-patch squares in a trunk that had belonged to that grandmother, she started making baby quilts for her nieces and nephews, incorporating Grandma’s blocks into each one. When people began praising her designs and suggesting that she quilt professionally, she brushed off the idea as impractical.

Several years later, she began to experiment with making some of her travel photographs into fabric designs. When she went to ask advice, the head designer at Blank Quilting bought one of the lines, and suggested that she attend Quilt Market, where she was astonished to discover that being a professional quilter could, indeed, be a rewarding career!

Today RaNae designs quilts and patterns, writes quilting books and teaches workshops in the USA and abroad -- in both English and Spanish. She still loves to travel!

"One of my students wrote to me at the end of a project and said 'I never thought I could do anything like this. You’ve changed my life.' Moments like that are when I get the greatest joy from quilting."

To use photos for print or web: Photos of RaNae for publicity purposes are available by clicking on the links above. (The photos will open in a new browser window. The image for print is rather large and may take a bit of time to open.) Once the image is open, save it to your computer by moving the mouse to the upper left corner and clicking on the Save icon when it appears, or by right-clicking your mouse and selecting "Save Picture As....". When using this photo, please include the photo credit "Photo by Dave Cross."

Want to see what Free-Motion Mastery is all about?