ARTIST FEATURE: Julie Bailey, Traditional Quilter
by Easton Bowring
The San Juan County Fair returns next week, “Jam-Packed with Fun.”
The annual quilting show is a highlight and showcases some of the best work of San Juan County natives.
In 2017, Julie Bailey won the hearts of the judges. She walked away with a Managers Award, Best of Show, and Judges Award for three quilts.
Previously, Julie received the People’s Choice and Honorable Mention awards in the 2015 fair.
Julie has been around sewing machines for as long as she can remember.
At the young age of six, she sat with her grandmother and mother who taught her to sew.
However, Julie didn’t start making tied quilts until she was married. She picked the art of pieced quilts 12 years ago.
She has now completed more than 25 quilts, a majority of which were distributed to family and friends.
To this day, Julie still uses the 64-year-old machine that was given to her mother when Julie was born. It’s the machine on which she learned how to sew, and has completed all of her quilts.
In 2014 Julie joined the Monticello Quilting Guild and worked closely with the other women to improve her work. It was recently that Julie realized her confidence was growing, and she started to showcase her quilts.
“I fell into a really good guild of amazing quilters,” Julie said. “They taught me a lot about quilting.”
As part of the quilting guild, Julie had a hand in the creation of the quilt honoring Aaron Butler along with quilts for local law enforcement officers.
When asked about her inspiration behind pieced quilts, Julie said, “I have always admired Verneta Sonderegger. My goal is to always be just be a little bit like her.”
Julie is finishing her quilt for the 2018 Fair. It is in honor of her son, David, who completed three tours to Iraq and Afghanistan with the U.S. Navy.
Julie’s success is attributed to great attention to detail and precise stitches. She says, “If it ain’t gonna be right, don’t sew it.”
See Julie’s newest quilt and other local artists’ at the San Juan County fairgrounds August 9 through 11.