11 September 2013

Member profile - Judy Kelly

We would like to welcome Judy Kelly, our first Newfoundland member to SAQA Atlantic!

Judy Kelly is a self proclaimed quiltaholic and fabric hoarder! Her love affair with fabric began by sewing doll clothes at age 6 and by the time she was a teenager, she was creating a unique identity sewing her own clothing. In 1970 she made her first quilt, a bow tie pattern, entirely from crimpolene, an industrious task indeed!

Currently President of The Canadian Quilters Association, Judy finds much of her time is dedicated to her computer as she takes on the various challenges of this role. Although this position takes priority over her studio time at present, she places great value on her experience and the people she meets and feels both help broaden her quilting horizons. Busy as she is, she does try to spend a few hours every day in her studio designing, sketching or putting her thoughts into fabric.

Judy describes herself as an art quilter wannabe! Like many, she started out as a traditional quilter, but gradually the repetition of multiple blocks became less appealing. Always interested in art, she tries to marry her love of fabric as she explores new ideas. Judy gathers inspiration from many sources, with nature being a large influence. She loves playing with color, which she finds generates further inspiration as she plays with combinations. She creates mainly on her sewing machine using hand stitching to attach embellishments.

Judy’s current work involves a study of faces. As she develops her process she admits that living in Arnold’s Cove, Newfoundland means she is very much on her own and she ends up using a lot of trial and error to get to a final product. Her interest in dyeing fabric is ongoing, using both chemical and natural processing. At the present time she is fascinated with low immersion dyeing with multiple colors, as well as ice dyeing. Judy is also researching rust dyeing and is anxious to give that a try!

A favorite piece is called, “ Resettlements Ghost” which Judy created very early in her quilting career. In the mid 1960’s, her family was part of a government plan to relocate people from remote islands of Nfld and her piece depicts Spencer’s Cove, the town where she grew up. She hopes to some day recreate this same piece using her increasing knowledge and abilities developed over her fibre career.

Judy commented that she has chosen to be cremated, so there is room in her casket for her fabric stash, but with this Grandma nurturing a blossoming fascination with fabric in her 6 year old granddaughter, that plan just might change. Judy, and her husband, Howard have two adult children and five young grandchildren and somehow Judy also finds the time to read, garden and bike.

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