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Friday, Apr. 29, 2016

Country Patchwork Guild quilt show set for this weekend/Marshall artist moves seamlessly from flowers to fabric

Friday, September 29, 2006

Michael Marsh shows some of his "Ladies with Attitude," wildly colorful dolls with vivid expressions.
Michael Marsh is one of those artists who can move seamlessly from one medium to another, using whatever materials are at hand that can help realize what he envisions.

The grounds of his sister's home north of Marshall, where he lives, is filled with plants and sculptures that Marsh has created, including a bird house made of cast-off kitchen utensils and a fountain made of old pots obtained at garage sales.

Currently, however, his medium of choice is fabric and his form of choice is the quilt.

From left, Michael Marsh and Country Patchwork Quilt Guild President Micki Uhrig hold up this year's Opportunity Quilt, "Kokopelli Dances Across Missouri," which will be raffled off at the guild's annual quilt show. The show takes place at the Salt Fork YMCA Saturday, Sept. 30, and Sunday, Oct. 1.
And that's all to the good as far as members of the Country Patchwork Quilt Guild are concerned. Marsh is an active member of the group and along with Micki Uhrig and Amanda McCord is a chairman of the guild's annual Quilt Show, slated for Saturday, Sept. 30, and Sunday, Oct. 1, at the Salt Fork YMCA in Marshall.

Marsh designed two of the guild's featured quilts, including the Opportunity Quilt, which show goers can buy chances to win. The quilt is called "Kokopelli Dances Across Missouri" and its design borrows symbols and colors from the American Southwest.

Marsh also designed "Country Patchwork Village," the first place Viewer's Choice quilt for the 2005 show, which was on display late in August during the Fitzgibbon Hospital Auxiliary benefit auction to raise money for the proposed cancer center.

The quilt is currently on the road as a finalist in the International Quilt Association's International Quilt Show, slated for Nov. 2 through 5 in Houston, Texas.

"Country Patchwork Village" has been donated to the cancer center and will hang in the facility for patients and their families to enjoy, according to Marsh.

Extraordinary quilts are just the latest result of Marsh's creative work. He started with flowers.

He started working in floral design while still attending Marshall High School. He said he remembered how his interest began. He attended a demonstration by a local florist and during a break started fiddling with an arrangement. The florist noticed he had a knack for it and encouraged him to pursue it.

The rest, as they say, is history, and it's a history strewn with beautiful works.

After high school he worked his way west to the Los Angeles area, where Marsh soon was considered one of the top floral designers in the world by his peers.

And his clientele included many of Hollywood's biggest stars.

"We were working one day and Katharine Hepburn walked in, dressed like she just got off of the boat," he said. "It wasn't a big deal."

He also created designs for stars like Barbara Streisand, Lucille Ball, Cher, Sally Struthers, Yul Brynner, Elton John, Charlton Heston and many others.

Not one to rest on his laurels, though, Marsh later moved into the Christmas ornaments, display design and Christmas retail businesses.

Eventually, health problems forced him to move back to Marshall, and his work time each day has been reduced, but he uses every minute as efficiently as possible, continuing to produce quilts, clothes, dolls, floral designs, sculptures and whatever else he can dream up.

"I love to create," he said. "I like to leave the world a little better as I walk through it."

Contact Eric Crump at


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