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A quiltmaker’s visual delight

By Staff | Sep 6, 2012

During a book signing held at the Muncy Historical Society on Friday afternoon, Judith Cole Youngman signs the back of a framed quilt design of the Lycoming Lily Basket for her retired pastor, David Phillips from First Presbyterian Church in Williamsport. The design is also featured on the cover of her second book, "Amadeus Quilts - A Journal of Encouragement".

MUNCY – “Judith Youngman’s quilts have the WOW factor.” This sentiment is expressed by the area’s well-known artist, Nella Godbey Storm in the first line to the forward of Judith Youngman’s second book, “Amadeus Quilts – A Journal of Encouragement.”

Youngman was present at the Muncy Historical Society on Friday, August 31 to sign her new full color book that features a collection honoring 19th century life and its sensibility. Each selection also has a well-thought out verse specifically written by Youngman to commemorate the artistry and the process of life that forever changes. She says, “Open the door to greet new friends. New friends are welcome in a fulfilled life. Life gains luster by remaining open.” This was the most daunting part of the book according to Youngman, as it took some time and careful thought to match the verses with the inspirational patterns designed to lift one’s spirit and gain a sense of renewal. She wrote all of the verses herself to go with each quilt photograph.

Most of Youngman’s work with textiles is done by hand. After attending a quilting workshop under the guidance of Anne Blumer at Lycoming College, she made her first quilt for her son Adam when he was 13 in 1976 in honor of the Bi-centennial. “There were five of us who learned from Anne,” Youngman said. “I made it in red, white and blue.” Ever since, she has been spinning exquisite patterns using well-selected fabrics that have made her creations more desirable than a collection of printed art.

To showcase some of her earlier creations, Youngman’s first book “In the Spirit of Quilting” was published in 2001. It was a collaboration of crafted works from teaching workshops and a compilation of vintage designs that weave historical elements into each piece. She said her new book took about ten years to gather all of her designs and pieced patterns.

Along with her book a 9 inch paper pieced basket block pattern was available after Youngman created the Lycoming Lily Basket quilt which is featured on the front cover. This was adapted from an old Carolina pattern from a quilt made in 1879. The corners were a real challenge she said, but the results are stunning with an elegant display of infused color, golds and purples.

Growing up in New England and attending Brown University with a major in art history and biology has certainly qualified Youngman as a talented artist and now as an aspiring author. She has spent the past fifty years of her life here in North central Pennsylvania working as a nursing home administrator and later serving as a volunteer in her community. She has raised four children and now has ten grandchildren, one great grandchild and “another great grandchild to arrive very, very soon, ” she said.

Youngman also serves on the board of the Muncy Historical Society who published her second book, and she can often be seen at many of the historical society’s events. Judith also provided a marvelous backdrop with her quilts for the interviews that will be seen in the upcoming Our Town Muncy documentary on WVIA to be premiered September 19. She is proud to finally present this new collection, a mosaic of quilts in her second book supplemented with prose to inspire and encourage others along their quilting journey. “These are not cozy little quilts that granny made,” said Nella Storm. “Youngman’s works of art with their color palette savvy, leave the viewer wanting more.”