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Libby Christensen: The Art in Quilting

Is quilting a craft or an art? Yes, claims Libby Christensen, it s both.   She says that it ranges from a simplistic color by number to an amazing medium for artistic design and expression.  Clearly it has color and design, but in her talk, she ll show samples and point out some other artistic elements.

Libby says she s been sewing since age 5 when she made a simple doll s dress and pieced a doll quilt.  She was embroidering and designing dresses by age 7 and sewing clothes by 11.  At age 16, she made almost all her clothes, including prom dresses, a lined wool suit and a trench coat.  In college, she worked part-time as a paid costume designer for her university theater.

After attending Vanderbilt for a Master s of Art in Teaching, Libby spent 42 years teaching English at six different universities while she and her husband traveled for the USAF, including nine years in England, Italy, and Germany as well as N. Dakota and Montana, which she admits were almost as foreign.  Most recently, she taught about 10 years for South University in Montgomery.

When Libby retired, she went back to her roots.   I really missed the creativity there s only so much red embellishment you can mark on papers! she exclaims.  So she created her own website, www.sewgocreate.com, with her downloadable patterns for Quilts and Cute Quilted Items. She has published over 80 original Christensen Creations patterns.  Last year she had an addition built on her home for her Sewing Studio, which now houses a king-sized quilting machine along with several sewing and/or embroidery machines, a serger and 1000 s of yards of fabric.  Fabric, to a quilter, is like paints to a painter–the pigment of the creation. I m really NOT a master quilter, Libby says, but I m learning.  My forte is in the design and clear patterns with lots of diagrams.   She does have a lot of samples, though, because she makes one for each design.  As her pile of samples is getting overwhelming, she is now selling many of her samples at Market Shoppes in Wetumpka, each one not only unique, but a designer original.

Libby has been a member of The Kelly almost from the start, often entering her photographs in various exhibits.  She s had several photos published in Best of Photography annuals and this year had some selected for an international online exhibit called See Me.  Sometimes she combines her photography with quilting and often exhibits artistic wall hangings in local contests, winning Best of Show with a photo quilt at SAC s Water Show in 2018.

Her support of The Kelly increased last year when she agreed to be Secretary for the Board.  She edits The Kelly Canvas and Kelly Canvas News Clips, too. Christensen Creations also gave a large donation to sponsor the Home and Hearth exhibit/reception.  It s close to my heart, Libby explains; besides sewing and quilting, I also knit, crochet, embroider, do beadwork and have even hooked rugs.  My mother and I tackled anything and everything that used a needle it s in my blood.

Come hear Libby s talk and see her beautiful handiwork on Jan.  19, at noon.  Bring a sack lunch; she ll provide dessert and some interesting door prizes, and The Kelly will provide drinks.

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