Lori Olek

You may know Lori Olek as a long-arm machine quilter. In fact, she founded the Red River Machine Quilters group 25 years ago. In the early 1990’s Lori apprenticed with long-armer Barb Herrick, a former QGND president and one of the earliest long-arm quilters in the area. There she learned how to do pantograph designs.

Lori bought her first quilting machine in 1993. She is now on her third machine, a Bernina Q24. She appreciates that this machine can be serviced locally. In the old days, she had to drive her machine to Missouri if she couldn’t fix it herself! She still quilts professionally, mixing freehand, computer work and ruler work. Problems with neck pain have led her to stop working on show quilts.

Lori and her family live on a farm near Felton, MN. She grew up in north Fargo, graduated from Fargo North, and went on to NDSU and MSUM to become an elementary teacher. In 2019, she bought 50 head of sheep, now her herd has grown to 200. She raises breeds that are good for both wool and meat, including Corriedale and Rambouillet. She learned how to process the wool, from cleaning, through carding, spinning and dyeing. Not a knitter, Lori can crochet or weave with her yarn.

Did you know that Lori’s sister is Peggy Spitzer, another QGND member? (Also a retired teacher.) They have a third sister who is a quilter, living in Florida.