• Featured quilter at Labor Day Weekend show love all things fabric

  • Judy Hill is the featured quilter at the 33rd annual Independence Piece Makers Quilt Show in  the Roger T. Sermon Community Center gymnasium, Truman and Noland roads,  Independence, Sept. 5 through 7.

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  • Three years ago, Judy Hill, a self-proclaimed “fabricholic,” walked into a quilt shop and fell in love with an eye-catching sampler.
    “I’ve just got to make that quilt,” Judy thought as she admired the sampler.
    Judy, though, did what any dyed-in-the-wool quilter would do. She bought the pattern, the fabric and hand-quilted “October Sky,” a piece and appliqué queen-size quilt for her youngest son, Tim Purdom, of Austin, Texas.
    Tim, though, will have to wait until after Labor Day to receive his quilt. His mother plans to show it off at the 33rd annual Independence Piece Makers Quilt Show in the Roger T. Sermon Community Center gymnasium, Truman and Noland roads, Independence.
    Judy is the featured quilter at the free Labor Day weekend show, Sept. 5 through 7. Hours are 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Saturday, noon-6 p.m. Sunday and 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Monday.
    Of Judy’s eight featured quilts, “October Sky,” with its various shades of brown, green, orange, red and yellow, is her favorite.
    “It has all my favorite colors in it,” says the Georgia native who moved to Independence 12 years ago to be near her oldest son, Dan Purdom, and his family.
    But there’s more to the exquisitely-made quilt than beautiful fall colors. It also has a design: Appliquéd flying geese and pieced autumn leaves – all handstitched.
    Another favorite is “Courthouse Steps,” which Judy describes as a “log cabin scrappy quilt under control.” Under control, she explains, because she chose scraps by colors – not in a happenstance way.
    Unlike “October Sky,” “Courthouse Steps” is not hand-sewn.
    The large, queen-size quilt was stitched on Judy’s sewing machine. And it was fun to make, she says, because it kept her digging in her scrap pile.
    Fun, yes! But she doesn’t intend to make another, she says of the labor-of-love quilt, which features a red square in the center of each block. Each red square, Judy explains, represents a courthouse door. On each side of the red squares are steps.
    Judy might never have made “Courthouse Steps” had it not been for her oldest son, Dan, who was awaiting a “Courthouse Steps” quilt from his grandmother.
    “He was so thrilled about it,” she says, explaining her son’s excitement waned when the long-awaited quilt never materialized.
    What happened to the quilt is anybody’s guess.
    “When (Grandma) passed away, (the quilt) was lost one way or another, so I decided to make him that quilt.”
    Judy traces her love of sewing and needlework to her childhood days in Georgia. There she made clothes for her dolls under the watchful eyes of her grandmother and mother – both excellent sewers.
    From there, “It just sort of evolved into all kinds of needlework,” she says, recalling she honed her sewing skills as a 4-H’er and as a member of Future Homemakers of America.
    Page 2 of 3 - With a college major in home economics and a minor in art, Judy was able to combine her artistic and creative talents with her quilting.
    What pulled her into quilting, she says, was its creativity.
    “I always want to be creative ... and I enjoy the art aspect of (quilting) and (seeing) what I can create.”
    As a young girl, Judy was challenged by an influential father who “believed in doing your own thing and not copying what other people did.”
    And to this day, she has never made two quilts alike, she says, nor will she.
    There is too much creativity in her to allow her to do that. She must create something new.
    A 12-year member of the Independence Piece Makers, Judy could easily have said “no” to the club’s invitation to become the featured quilter at its annual quilt show held in conjunction with Santa-Cali-Gon Days.
    Easy to say “no,” because in February of this year, the Calico Cut-Ups quilting club honored her as it’s featured quilter.
    Judy, though, couldn’t say “no” to the Piece Makers. And for the second time within a year, she’ll be honored as the “Featured Quilter.”
    “Now I just want to take a rest,” she giggles.
    And, yes, Judy is appreciative of the accolades of her peers. Those kudos are special, she says, noting so many Piece Makers do such beautiful quilting.
    Alta Short, spokesperson and leader of the club, says Judy was a natural for the honor.
    “She has so many lovely quilts and I knew she could come up with different quilts than those shown at the February show, she explains. “Her work is excellent, and that’s what we want to feature: The excellence of her quilts.”
    As with the other 32 shows, the event is free to the public, and all quilters are invited to participate. Entering is easy. Just show up at the Sermon Center between 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. Friday, Sept., 4, with no more than three quilts of any size. Each quilter must fill out a form. Quilts can be picked up after 4 p.m. Labor Day.
    While the show is not a juried one, visitors will have the opportunity to vote on their favorite quilts Saturday and Sunday. First-, second- and third-place Viewers Choice ribbons will be awarded. Voting begins Saturday and ends at 4 p.m. Sunday.
    And before you leave, visit the 10 vendors in the Sermon Center lobby.
    There you’ll find vendors selling jewelry, quilting books, fabrics, quilting-related items, as well as sharpening scissors and rotary blades.
    In addition, club members will be on hand to answer your questions. Information about the Piece Makers, which meet from 10 a.m. to noon each Tuesday on the third floor of the Sermon Center, will be available.
    Page 3 of 3 - For more information about the club or the show, call Alta at 816-257-5588 or Judy at 816-257-2531. They would love to hear from you.

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