Prize worthy stitches

Judy Kirk’s creations are inspired by patterns featured in quilting magazines, online sources and others.
Judy Kirk displays her handmade table runner. She uses it and other creations in her home. The runner was featured in McCall’s Quilting magazine.
Judy Kirk displays one of her first projects: a pillow with
beautiful spring colors.

Whether it’s a table runner, an accent pillow or a quilt, Judy Kirk’s prize winning stitches help make her house a home.

A table runner she made from a pattern in a 2016 issue of McCall’s Quilting was featured in the current May/June issue of the magazine. Kirk, of Claudville, said she spent a week creating the red, white and blue runner from a pattern, aptly named ‘Land of Liberty,’ in the July/August 2016 issue of the quilting magazine.

The project was partly to honor her husband, Bill Kirk, a disabled veteran.

After finishing the project, and seeing other photos in the ‘Quilters to Quilters’ section of the magazine, Kirk said “I thought mine looks just like that. The worst they could do was tell me ‘No,’” and she decided to submit a picture of her patriotic creation via email.

Kirk said she was pleased to learn it was selected for publication, her husband “was thrilled,” she said. Because it was selected for publication, Kirk received two complimentary copies of the magazine in which it appeared and a complimentary queen-size batting made by the Warm Co.

A pillow she created using a pattern she found online also won a contest at a sewing machine store in Mount  Airy, N.C., Kirk said.

She learned to sew in the 4-H club in her native West Virginia. “I’ve sewed all my life,” Kirk said, and added that some of her creations were displayed at the West Virginia State Fair.

She and Bill Kirk moved to North Carolina in 1990 for him to attend Piedmont Bible College (now, Piedmont International University). Judy Kirk earned her degree from High Point University.

“We lived there 25 years,” she said, and added as retirement neared, the couple found property in Patrick County through a co-worker, with plans to retire here.

The Kirks took up residence in Claudville in 2005, and Kirk said it was then she decided to pursue her dream of learning to quilt – another item on her ‘To Do’ list after retiring from her job as an internal audit manager with Forsyth County government in Winston-Salem, N.C.

She bought a new sewing machine from a store that also offered quilting lessons. Kirk said she took those classes, and went on to enter a decorative pillow in a contest at the same store. She found a pattern online, and made the pillow that is dressed up with spring colors and a cross-stitch design on top.

She recently finished a quilt, Kirk said, and explained a long arm machine was needed for completion, and she found someone with the necessary equipment to put the finishing touches on it.

Kirk said she uses her creations throughout her home.

“I make them to use. I feel like that makes a house a home and makes it cozy,” she said. Quilting “is fun. I enjoy it,” she said, and added “it’s amazing what you can do with fabric.”

Her next goal is learning embroidery.

“That’s way out of my comfort zone right now,” Kirk said. “But I like a challenge.”

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