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Member Spotlight

Judy Wilhelm


Judy Wilhelm

      I am a wife, mother, sister, daughter and friend.  All of these roles are precious and priceless.  But, saying “I am a quilter” is a really BIG thing.  So big that it connects me with all that I am.  I make quilts to warm and cover my loved ones. I make quilts to express myself and beautify my home.   I travel to quilt shows with my best buddies and we make memories to last a lifetime. By teaching, I share my passion and knowledge with so many. Giving charity quilts connects me with the greater community.

       I am primarily a traditional quilter, with a special passion for the  quilts of the 18th  and 19th centuries.  At the same time I am a great admirer of innovative and art quilts.  I love the Modern Quilt movement that is bringing so much new energy into our quilting world.

       So, what do I mostly do?  Well, teaching has become such a large portion of my quilting life that my own work has taken a back seat lately. So, what I mostly do is teach, and to do my best at teaching I work hard to keep learning new techniques.  I teach all techniques, from hand piecing to free-motion quilting and everything in between.  The NQA Certified Teacher’s program was an excellent way to hone my teaching skills as I worked toward my NQA CT certification, which I earned in 2008.  This year I was greatly honored by my students, who nominated me and at this year’s NQA show in Columbus, I was thrilled to be named Certified Teacher of the Year for 2013. 

      When I first learned to sew by hand at my mother’s knee, I began a lifelong love for fabric, needles and thread.  Through decades of sewing and embroidery I always had thoughts of making quilts in the back of my mind.  With no quilters in my family or even in the neighborhood, I didn’t know how to start.  To make a quilt always seemed a mysterious task, somehow very different from sewing in general.  When my 3 sons were old enough to leave at home with their Dad for an evening, I was finally able to take a beginners quilting course .

       What a surprise!  This was much easier than making clothes, and with the guidance of an excellent teacher, I was off and running.  Then I was offered a teaching position….

      25 years later - What does being a quilter mean to me?  What has become most valuable to me is the time I spend in the classroom.  I don’t know a better way to spend the day than with a room full of quilters.  The rewards are endless and some of the blessings that follow can be quite unexpected!

I never dreamed I’d be doing what I do now when I took a beginner quilting class.

I never thought that teaching would be the greater passion over making quilts.

I never knew that the people I would meet through being a quilter would change my life.

A quilt is really a magic carpet that can take us anywhere, and to places we never imagined.  


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