Who am I?
jude (Judith) hill
66 67,68 years old (eek! . OMG, 69! 70...71! OK, I have stopped counting.
Where are you from?
Born and raised in New York. Currently retired and living small, residing in New York State in the woods with The Man ,
WAS (the cat), SOUL-o the cat, a lot of cloth scraps and a long road in.
How did you begin sewing?
My love of sewing started with making doll clothes and then my own clothes. I learned from Mom and Grandma.
I began sewing creatively during my long commute to work, making my first full sized quilt in 1979. Unplugged. Queen size.
Gradually, because of my sewing and drawing skills and fascination with story telling, I became obsessed with telling a story with cloth.
Where did you study?
I studied children's book illustration at SVA (School of Visual Arts 1969-1971) in New York City... quitting before completing in order to get a job and pay my rent... landed a job as a trainee handweaver for a large textile manufacturer, the beginning of a love affair with woven fabric design and a long weird career in the NYC textile industry.
I have been published here and there but really I'm not much into it.
I have no degrees or credentials but I do have a lot of great ideas. And I do consider myself a teacher. Challenged by how to explain my creative process.
Where did you work?
I designed woven fabric for the New York textile industry for 30 years, a full time career that required commuting to NYC on a train, 4 hours a day in transit. Most of the companies are no longer around due to the movement of textile jobs overseas.
Why hand sewing?
I am unplugged for the convenience of portability and my dedication to sustainable activity. Hand sewing is slow and quiet. I do occasionally plug in but machine stitches are just not the same. Over time, my style has evolved into using techniques and processes that cannot be duplicated by a machine.
You have a unique style. How did that happen?
Probably just by going.....my pieces evolve through a process of thought catching and "what-iffing". Each one is a sampler of a kind, containing new techniques and ideas, each a study for the next. I use them as metaphors for change and life's journey. I learn from them. My style is based on layers, the nature of cloth itself, redefining traditional techniques, mending and the relationship of sewing to weaving. I don't buy much of anything and I hate all the "gunk" that is applied to fabric art these days. It interferes with the nature of the cloth. I believe in recycling and re-purposing and my work is mostly made with old cloth. Old cloth is soft and much friendlier to hand stitching. I call myself an alternative quilter and a folk artist (if I have to use the word artist).
How did you start blogging?
I actually deleted my first blog but that is too long a story to tell. I started this blog (2006) to record the process of making a Spirit Cloth, which is always a gift and usually takes one or two years to complete. Because these are such long term projects I thought that the process could be interesting enough for posting. I hoped I could communicate something through this process. I can say I think I have.
THE QUEST, where all this started
Do you sell your work?
I do sell small works now and then I am mostly selling my work to fund my Feel Free Open Learning Center. And to make some loose ends meet. You know. The shop.
Do you give workshops?
I offered online classes for a few years but at this time I have changed my approach to teaching. I just do it here. To date I have not given any in-the-flesh workshops, except for children. I am shy that way but I am working on it.
Do you show your work anywhere?
No, I don't put myself in that league.
The whole Art Scene confuses me.