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Work from St. Helens-based artist will be highlighted at annual Estacada gathering

CONTRIBUTED PHOTO: JUDITH BAY - Quilter Judith Bay counts this design featuring horses as one of her favorite pieces.

Judith Bay is the featured artist for the Garfield Skip-a-Week's quilt show, but she never expected to become interested the craft.

In 2009, Bay was working as the manager of a store's fabric department, and one of her regular customers would always invited her to a quilting night.

"She wouldn't leave me alone, and finally I went. After it was over I said, 'It wasn't what I expected,'" Bay said. "She's my best friend now, and we still quilt together."

Bay, a St. Helen's-based crafter, will have work highlighted in the annual Skip-a-Week quilt show scheduled from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Friday, July 27, and Saturday, July 28, at Estacada First Baptist Church, 29101 S.E. Eagle Creek Road.

Bay has a background in garment sewing. She enjoys longarm quilting, which uses a sewing machine to put together the piece's top, batting and backing.

"I like piecing together the quilts and then putting them on the longarm machine and having fun," she said. "I mainly make quilts that will hang on walls. I like putting them together and getting carried away."

She appreciates one-of-a-kind designs on her creations.

"The wilder it is, the happier it makes me," she said.

Some of her favorite pieces she's made feature flowers and horses.

"I saw a pattern with a Clydesdale horse, and I knew I had to make it. I've always had a love of the Clydesdale horse. I'm fascinated with how beautiful they are," she said.

Bay also creates quilts for Legacy Good Samaritan Hospital in Portland. Through a program organized by the hospital's chaplains, they are given to people who are facing the end of their lives.

"It really touches my heart," she said, noting that she's made 276 pieces for this cause. "I can put a little bit of color in that white room with all of the beeping machines, and bring color to a person's life in their last days."

Bay is looking forward to participating in the Garfield Skip-a-Week's annual show. Her niece is a member of the Estacada-based group.

"I've seen quilt shows, but I've never been in one before," Bay said.

She's remaining humble about being selected as the event's featured artist.

"It's not because I'm a famous quilter. I just have a lot of quilts," she said.

Bay enjoys the different possibilities that are available when creating quilts and tries to avoid any limitations in her work.

"I'm a rule follower in most of my life, but when it comes to quilting, I want to break all the rules," she said.

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