Shirley Johnston Shelly

Photos

VA22302-011a.jpeg

Title

Shirley Johnston Shelly

Description

Shirley Johnston Shelly begins by sharing her childhood, education, and career background. Shelly says the first time she saw quilting was when she was in high school. Her friend's mother had made a quilt for her twin beds that were in patchwork style with Nine Patch at the bottom. Shelly was inspired by the beauty of the quilts and eventually had worn them out. Once she retired, she got involved with the Cardinal Quilters. She mentions that quilting gave her a hobby, and she learned how to quilt from meetings and workshops from the guild.

Shelly describes the quilt she has brought to the interview, a Log Cabin-designed wall hanging with autumn-like colors. The quilt is strip quilted and strip pieced. A few years later, Shelly became a bobbin lace maker and took classes at a church. Once she learned how to make lace, she added strips of plain Torchon lace to the quilt. Her quilt has been shown in quilt shows. Shelly talks about others' quilts she has bought from quilt shows and auctions.

Shelly was vice president of Cardinal Quilters twice, and then president for two terms. She says that people that completed projects were given a moon or star as motivation for people to quilt. She taught Crumb Piecing and make a basket. She was a historian for the Virginia Quilt Documentation Research Project and had to document all quilts she could find in Virginia. She would train others on how to document quilts as well, which included photography, identification, and description. She found quilts from the Civil War and possibly the Revolutionary War period.

Identifier

2019oh0373_qsoscar0011
VA22302-011

Subject

Quilts
Quilting
Quilting--Patterns
Quiltmakers
Quilts in interior decoration
Strip quilting
Log cabin quilts
Virginia Quilt Museum
Museums
Quiltmaker's club
Quilts--United States--History--20th century.

Interviewee

Shirley Johnston Shelly

Interviewer

Evelyn Salinger

Interview sponsor

Nancy O'Bryant Puentes

Location

Alexandria, Virginia

Transcriber

Evelyn Salinger

Interview Keyword

Quilting community
Quilt design
Fabric choice
Quilt guilds
Hobby
Fabric - Printed patchwork
Log Cabin (quilt pattern)
Strip/string piecing
Design walls
Quilt shows/exhibitions
Home sewing machines
Quiltmaking classes
Color theory


Citation

“Shirley Johnston Shelly,” Quilters' S.O.S. -- Save Our Stories, accessed October 18, 2021, http://qsos.quiltalliance.org/items/show/2635.