Saturday, May 27, 2017

Soft Summer Gone

I’m Judy Martin and this is my quilt,
Soft Summer Gone.
It’s large.  One hundred inches square.  8 ½ feet – 2 ½ metres square
It’s simple, quiet and empty, yet at the same time, it is luscious and full of touch and time.
It’s entirely hand stitched.  Even the seams are layered, tucked and sewn by hand.
The quilting is hand embroidery.

Wool yarn is couched into a large gestural drawing, a swoopy windy cross.
The threads are many colours of silk floss in stem stitch. 
The fabrics are silk that I dyed with plants that grow where I live.
I live on an island in Lake Huron, one of North America’s great lakes.
The various yellows are from golden rod collected from fields and ditches.
That bit of blue is indigo.
I use a large oval hoop in my lap to do this – it took two years just to do the quilting.
My aim is to create textiles that connect with our inner world.
Consider the reverie that happens sometimes in nature.
A sudden time shift and we go back into childhood memory or leap forward into future hopes and dreams.
A feeling of well being.
My work employs the sense of touch, more powerful than the sense of sight for connecting to our emotional inner immensity. 
My work is large, simple, quiet, full of touch and time, similar to nature.

All photos of the quilt in this post are by Nick Dubecki, from Sudbury.
The photo of me with my back to the world is by Judith Quinn Garnett, a fellow exhibitor.
The photo of me with my lovely certificate is by my husband Ned, who drove me to the opening
Soft Summer Gone received two awards in Surface Design at this year's Quilt National.
see here for complete list of award winners at this year's exhibition.


  1. congratulations Judy!

  2. Congratulations! I hadn't fully taken in the dimensions of this quilt before. So much to see; I could never grow tired of looking.

  3. Congratulations!! You have created an absolutely stunning quilt.

  4. Thank you for all this care and beauty.

  5. Congratulations! Wonderful work!!

  6. Congratulations to you, friend and inspiration!

  7. An amazing and inspiring piece of art.

  8. Congratulations! This is such a gentle, soothing quilt that shows hours of love. I hope to see it in person one day.

  9. So exquisite Judith ...this piece, you, the weekend etc! It was such a treat to meet you and visit. I have loved your work for some time. Congratulations on the awards!

  10. So gorgeous, and your recognition for this work is so well-deserved. Congratulations!

  11. Congratulations. I love this work. It must be wonderful to be able to touch it!

  12. It's an inspirational piece in so many ways. I hope I get to see it person.

  13. Bravo! Your handwork is to be admired. I love the ethereal nature of this piece.

  14. Thank you for the supportive congratulation comments.

    I am so pleased to be awarded the surface design awards for this piece.
    Most of the quilts accepted into the exhibition are made with dyed or painted fabrics.
    Some others were dyed with natural plant dyes like Soft Summer Gone.
    There wer a few others that were hand stitched, but most of the other quilts used bold and colourful machine piecing with magnificent machine quilting.

    It was such a reward and affirmationo to receive the attention of the jurors in this way.
    I have dedicated so much of my creative passion and time to learning my craft and to practicing it.
    I spend a lot of quality time with my work, and it becomes part of my life story. It holds so much of my life story.
    I put my love into my work, stitch by stitch.
    I want to put that love out there into the world.

    There is power and beauty in hand stitched cloth.


  15. Congratulations, Judy! Well-deserved recognition.

  16. touched....your work, words and wisdom

    thank you for being you!

  17. So many heartfelt congrats. Dedicated to your art, committed to excellence in design and stich that calls your viewers to come close and see the work as intended - executed over life's precious days, with cloth in hand and skills honed over time, Beautifully expressive Judy, and speaking.

  18. You are so inspirational!! Love your work.

  19. I was drawn to the beauty of your stitches on your quilt, when I saw it on another site. Your quilt is a masterpiece...I wish your work could travel across the oceans, so others would have the opportunity to view your creative work up close. Congratulations on your awards.

  20. Joyce Leatherwood4:47 pm

    Soft Summer Gone is just an amazing quilt. Like other commenters, I hope to see it in person some day. Thank you for the photo of yourself in front of the quilt to give a perspective of the size. And your description " It’s simple, quiet and empty, yet at the same time, it is luscious and full of touch and time" is perfect. I find it difficult to describe my own work and you do it so well!


Thank you for taking the time to connect. Much appreciated.xx