The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America


Artist finds her niche

In retirement, quilter finds success in creating wall hangings

Judy Rehmel remembers her first attempt at sewing. She selected a piece of fabric, carefully folded it and ran it through the machine. The feat surprised her mother because Rehmel was 3 years old.

Judy Rehmel is well-known for her wall
Judy Rehmel is well-known for her wall hangings, including those with liturgical themes. The silhouettes in her Christmas artwork (below) are designed to emphasize the season, not individual personalities.
Rehmel, a member of St. Paul Lutheran Church, Richmond, Ind., has advanced in skill quite a bit. Now a quilter of wall hangings, she has become one of the state’s most celebrated artists in the craft field. This year she was honored as the “signature artist” for the Indiana Art Fair held at the Indiana State Museum in Indianapolis.

All of these accomplishments have come as a second career. Rehmel first taught needlework and wrote several books on quilt patterns. “Then about 1990 I was looking for something I could do as a retirement business,” Rehmel said. “I looked at art shows to see what people were doing and realized I had better choose something I really knew. And I was able to find my niche with wall hangings.”

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Embracing diversity