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Nancy Mahoney

Author, teacher, and fabric designer, Nancy has enjoyed making quilts for over 25 years, during which time an impressive range of her beautiful quilts have been featured in over 110 national and international quilt magazines. She has also created over 80 quilt patterns for a variety of fabric manufacturers. She has authored 13 books since 2002, all have been published by Martingale. Nancy enjoys combining traditional blocks and updated techniques to create dazzling quilts. Not considering herself a specialist in one particular area, her favorite techniques include precision machine piecing, quilt design, and machine appliqué.

We were able to spend some time with Nancy to get to know a bit more about her:

How long have you been sewing? I started sewing when I was 7 or 8 years old. I took my first quilting classes in the mid-1970s, but it wasn't until the mid-1980s that I got hooked on quilting.

What kind of sewing do you like best? Although I've done all manner of sewing, including tailoring and alteration. Now, making quilts or quilt related items is my favorite type of sewing.

Where are your favorite retreat places? Cruise ships! For me, a quilting cruise is like going to a retreat.

How many sewing machines do you own? I have 3 BERNINAs, a Singer Featherweight, and an APQS George. I also have several vintage machines and dozens of vintage toy machines.

Who is your quilting idol - that person in the industry that you most admire? Roberta Horton and Marsha McCloskey. These ladies greatly influences my quilting style and my journey as a quilter.

Can you believe how awesome that is! Here are a few still shots of some of Nancy's favorite things and what she has to say about them:

My cutting table that is large enough to accommodate a 24" x 36" cutting mat. I can lift up the extension when I'm cutting large pieces or trimming quilts.

I'm fortunate to have a wonderful, antique roll-top desk. Having my laptop nearby is convenient for many reasons, but it's especially handy when designing quilts in EQ. The door leads into my fabric room.

Welcome to my fabric room. Bookcases line all four walls of this room. With the exception of 30s reproduction and batik fabrics, my fabrics are organized by color. 

I truly love my big ironing surface. Not only is it useful for ironing large pieces of fabrics, but I use it to measure, cut, and pin borders to my quilt tops.

Prince, my Umbrella Cockatoo, is always ready to lend a helping hand.

My sewing area is arranged so that the sewing machine, ironing surface, and cutting table form a work triangle. The cutting table is moveable and can be turned or moved out of the way, as needed.

I've been collecting toy sewing machines, antique irons, and other sewing related items for many years. These are a few of the items in my collection.

Thanks to Nancy for taking the time to let us peek into her wonderland. Check out her site here. What part of Nancy's space do you like the most? Leave  us a comment below.

Want to see more Sew Special Sewing Spaces? Check out Tiffany Hayes!


Peggy Larson

Pressing surface!! Next to a design wall! What a great idea! I never thought of how convenient that would make pressing (not one of my favorite parts of quilting).
I like the quilt you have on the wall in this video too.

Barbara Ione Delarwelle

Hi Nancy, I enjoyed seeing your sewing space and ‘oh my’ your fabric room is fantastic!! I’m hoping to be able to attend one of your classes on a cruise too. Thank you for sharing your wonderful space.


Nancy, what a great space you have created! It has such great flow to it. I imagine it is a pleasant place to work in. I love how you have organized your stash, and how clean the whole room is, especially compared to mine, lol. Thanks for sharing it.

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