Hip hooray, another post in the getting to know our readers series. Join me in welcoming, Judy B, a reader from southern Australia. She was born in Clare hospital and raised on a farm near the small town of farming. She enjoyed the many pleasures of farm life. She has lovely insights and experiences on this farm including experiences with chooks (Australian for chicken) and using an outback dunny as a youngster. (A dunny is similar to an outhouse and was replaced, improved and found its way insider.
Judy B. now lives near the South Australian/Victorian border. Her town was originally named Bordertown. The town is still on the South Australian side of the border, but about five and a half hours by road from where she was born and raised. . This is where she happened upon quilting. She joined a class at the request of a friend who was trying to get a sampler quilt class going. Judy helped out because she’s that kind of nice person! She thought she would never have the patience but would make some cushions for Christmas presents. That was her plan!
She not only was there just to fill the numbers for her friend’s class but her machine had two speeds, stop and flat out. However, back in the early 90’s, much of the work was done by hand not machine which helped., The class was spread over ten weeks and by the third, our friend Judy was hooked!
By the middle of the 10 weeks, she was designing blocks for herself and class mates. Then wouldn’t you know it, her friend got another full class signed up but left town. Guess who took over and saved the day, yep, Judy!
She felt like she was only 10 stitches ahead of the class as she strove to make not the one class quilt but another for her sister! She used Jinny Beyer’s first book, The Scrap Look and Dianna Leone’s Sampler quilt to help her out. (My first quilting class used that book!)
Quilting was just catching on in Australia, supplies were scarce. (I remember those days in the States.) They used blends, sheeting and local fabrics to fill in the gaps. Quilters are resourceful!
The next year Judy taught three full classes, attended the first state guild exhibition, joined the guild, and formed a local group which is still going strong. However, Judy sowed the seeds for that guild but she herself moved away.
Judy love books from quilts to art and gardening. She uses them as reference and inspiration! For other reading, she loves the humor in Terry Prachett’s books. They make her laugh out loud every time she reads them. She also collects all kinds of Christmas decorations, teddy bears and Santas. One Santa is a rock so it stays out all year. Like Judy noted, where do you store a huge rock?
Judy reports that she married a bloke who has moved about ten times and she moves with him. She manages to get to the state guild in Adelaide, the capital, even though it’s always at least 2 hours away. She also belongs to guilds in the country and sometimes, in her own town! She went to her first retreat in the late 80’s, organized retreats which she still attends. In a bit, she’ll be going to another retreat. How terrific!
Judy shared with us a real quilt and a virtual one. This beauty is called Fans for Midori and is hand pieced, hand appliqued and hand quilted. Judy made this stunning piece just to show that she could. She had an idea for a sort of English look but loved the Japanese fabrics. Some of the designs are traditional and others are her own design.
Judy has sewn in various rooms as they moved and her children moved out. Right now she has the main bedroom as her sewing space. Yeah, Judy! She shares the space with Jan the Janome, purchased with money from teaching. Jan earned her keep by helping Judy make a the dolls which paid for Bernie the Bernina.
Is that all? Oh no, there is now an unnamed Brother which someday will reveal what it should be called. I can’t wait to find out what name it eventually gets!
Judy thinks she must be rather unique in that she designs way more quilts than she will ever make in a dozen lifetimes. After trying various quilt programs and computers, Judy found a winning combination. She shares designs that she doesn’t make into quilts, those are hers. By sharing the other ones, she gets to keep on designing! She’s one clever quilter!
Her words of wisdom are Shut the bloody thing before bloody becomes an accurate description instead of an expletive which could be deleted! Judy learned the hard way that rotary cutters can be dangerous so she shuts all the open ones she sees! She is also heard to say, ‘’ Oh! Sheesh!” It usually sounds more like “Oh Bugga!” or worse, depending on the seriousness of the moment.
I think we all have our own version of that which can be more or less polite depending on the moment. And I would never say it about Judy because she is just a delight to get to know!
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Here is last week’s post about another wonderful reader!