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Threads That Bind -A Quilting Story

A cozy country home awaits down a long, winding road in the middle of The Mark Twain National Forest. It's the home of Judy Harmon and her quilting studio, busy creating quilts overlooking her personal wildlife sanctuary.

The studio, filled with colorful fabrics, some old and some new, slowly patched together, making beautiful handmade masterpieces. Judy has carried on this family tradition of stitching bits of hope and faith into everything she makes. Her creations hold much more meaning than just a quilt.

...Judy Harmon and her quilting studio...

Her home is full of quilts made by her friends and family. Judy

creates fabric messages that lift the spirit in a time of need, just as her

grandmother did many years ago.

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This Story is sponsored in part by First State Community Bank!

I'm Judy Harmon. When I was just a little girl, my grandmother, Edna, sat quietly stitching a new spring apron. This apron was different from any other apron she had ever made. The pattern was unique; each stitch was a stitch in faith and prayer. It was also double the thickness. It took much longer to make as she sewed by hand. Each stitch represented a prayer.

My grandmother seemed to foresee the future. When I was a child, my father was preparing to bale when his arm got stuck in the bailer machine. His limb was taken off! I was only 12 years old at the time. I was in shock at the sight. Luckily, my grandmother was a former Registered Nurse. She told me to stay calm and get towels from the linen closet. I watched my grandmother calmly wrap the severed arm to stop the bleeding. My mother took him to the hospital.

That's when my grandmother says, "Don't worry, child. When this is all done, your father will be a preacher." Sure enough, the arm was able to be sewn back on, and four years later, my father became a preacher.

Judy still has many of her grandmother's quilts and sewing items. It reminds her to hold on to her faith and be strong. Today, Judy makes aprons for her community. She adds a special prayer pocket to each one. She calls them Aprons of Faith. Now, the local women wear Judy's Aprons of Faith as they serve at community events. The bright colors and patterns cheer folks up in their time of need, just as they did a century ago. Notes are slipped into each other's pockets, asking a fellow sister for a prayer.

...Judy makes aprons for her community. She adds a special prayer pocket to each one.

Judy is working on a quilt called Getting Ready. She embroiders by hand just as her grandmother did. She has given the gift of stitching to many community members and taught many young children how to sew.

Judy just finished piecing her new quilt together titled Getting Ready—being prepared for the next thing in life.

Judy shares her Great Grandmother Breckenkamp's hand-stitched quilt—every stitch was done by hand. Every stitch shows high-quality craftsmanship.

Judy reconstructs antique pillowcases into a new retro apron. The hand embroidery is displayed with elegance and complements the server.

Judy makes many new custom aprons for her friends and family. This one can be used for an everyday "Down on The Farm" moment. She adds a prayer pocket just like her grandmother did. Many of Judy's aprons are double-stitched for use and washing. She chooses fabrics to brighten the day, even while doing chores.

Judy saves every scrap of fabric and creates a hand-stitched needlekeeper for her friend. She adds a quote from Mary Engle Bright.

Judy pieces together a perfect BBQ apron for an upcoming celebration. She uses her rustic rod iron bodes as she pins everything in place with great detail.

Thank you, Judy. It was fun getting to know what you are all about.

Get Out There! Time is wasting.

words colleen rabbit smith

pics & video t. smugala

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