Featured Artists & Special Presentations:

Judy Elsley, HMQS Featured Artist & Special Quilt Display

Friday, May 10th at 12:30 p.m. on the Main Stage

Sponsored by

This is Judy’s story in her own words. A little about me: I've worked at Weber State University for 22 years, teaching in the English Department. I also run the university's Honors Program. I was born and raised in England, and came to this country in 1979. I'm a long-time quilter who learned to dye fabrics 9 years ago.

In the first week of January, I was diagnosed with breast cancer. I had a mastectomy in February and started aggressive chemo in March, finishing at the end of June. 2012 has been an intense year for me. One of the things that sustained me through the year was making quilts about the breast cancer experience. I dye and print all the fabrics I use in my quilt tops, starting with white PFD cotton. I piece the tops, and then take them to Sue McCarty who machine quilts them for me.

This body of work consists of over 20 quilts which fall into three categories:

1. What the Body Knew
In late 2011, I made a number of quilts that, at the time, seemed unrelated. I didn't know what they were about until after my diagnosis. My body knew what was going on and tried to communicate that to me through my quilt making.

2. Journal Quilts
In November 2011, I started making one 8" by 8" square each day and then writing what had happened that day, or what I was thinking about. I had two goals in doing this. First, I wanted to prepare for my upcoming sabbatical by getting into the habit of working with fabric every day, and second, I'm interested in integrating my two passions: writing and fabric work. In other words, text and textile.

3. The Breast Cancer Experience
I've made a series of quilts focusing on a particular idea related to my breast cancer experience. Again, all the tops are made from my hand-dyed and printed fabrics, and I write on each of them, “What will I do with these quilts?” In the short term, I want to exhibit them as a body of work. In the longer term, I will write a book about coping with breast cancer through quilt making.

HMQS is honored to showcase this touching collection of quilts from local quilter, Judy Elsley. To hear more about Judy’s experience. Attend her special noontime presentation and trunk show Friday, May 10th on the Main Stage.