FEATURED ARTISAN & author
Introduced by Michael Mccormick, Founder of Quiltfolk
Looking back, Issue 02: Iowa was nothing short of magical. Not only for myself and our young team, but also for Quiltfolk readers. To this day, it remains one of our most popular issues and has been reprinted multiple times.
Over the course of ten days in Iowa, we met Marianne Fons, Tony Jacobson, Sandy Gervais, Heidi Kaisand, and so many more incredible Iowans who have contributed to our community for decades. Every stop we made – be it scheduled or completely unplanned – felt as if it were unfolding like a meticulously crafted quilt.
One such stop was to the small town of Grinnell, where we met master quilter Judy Bennett – better known in quilting circles as Judy Martin.
You’re likely familiar with Judy, or at the very least, have unknowingly been impacted by her work. She has been hugely influential for decades as a designer, author, and as a senior editor for Quilters Newsletter and Quiltmaker magazine from 1979 to 1987.
Since completing her first quilt in 1969, Judy has gone on to design a staggering 1,253 original quilts and quilt blocks, many of which can be found in the 18 books that she and her husband, Steve, have self-published through their company, Crosley-Griffith Publishing Company.
We discussed many of Judy Martin’s professional accomplishments in the Issue 02 feature story (which you can read here for free this month) but we also introduced you to Judy Bennett – wife of Steve, and mother of Will and Kate. Martin might be the name you know, but it was the lesser-known and personal side of the exacting and prolific quilter that captured the hearts of Quiltfolk readers around the world.
I will always remember the feeling of stepping through Judy and Steve’s front door. The temperature outside was in the teens, snow was on the ground, and yet, flowing across the threshold was a wave of warmth and welcome (and the wafting smell of freshly baked cookies) that made you want to sit and stay. Stay we did. For more than three hours, much of which was spent chatting around the kitchen table like old friends.
At that time, Judy was working on a new book of Lone Star quilts. We even got a sneak peek of a few quilts that were to be included. That book, titled Singular Stars, was published shortly thereafter – and we are proud to offer it today as May’s Book of the Month.
An unexpected project that came up in our conversation was Judy and Steve’s collaborative creation: a board game called Quilt Show. In this classically designed board game, “quilters” collect fabric, make quilt blocks, then design and sell finished quilts at shows for prize money. We didn’t have a chance to play it that day, but I am pleased to announce that Quilt Show is now available at Quiltfolk.com. We think it’s the perfect thing for the whole family to enjoy, especially now, as so many of us are rediscovering our long-standing love of board games.
Judy's Featured Products
In its 160 pages, this wonderful book features patterns for 18 sewn and photographed quilts. But those 18 quilts are just the starting point. Singular Stars has everything you need to make an additional 163 variations of the photographed quilts. And those 163 variations are also just a starting point as they represent a tiny fraction of the thousands of quilts that it is possible to make with this incredible volume!
In Quilt Show, “quilters” collect fabric cards, which can be exchanged for block tiles. The quilters race the clock as they amass block tiles that they can combine into one or more quilts at a time. They can mix block tiles of a single color or a single pattern to make a quilt. Three times during the game, when the clock reveals it is time for a quilt show, quilts are entered and prize money is awarded. At the game’s end, the quilter with the most prize money wins!