Who is Judith Baker Montano?
Judith Baker Montano is a world-renowned Canadian fibre artist, author and teacher who is comfortable in many mediums. She grew up on the historic Bar U ranch in the beautiful foothills of Alberta, Canada. A love of fabrics and embellishments reflect her heritage. Her great-grandmother was a master quilter and her mother taught her needle skills at an early age. She attributes the rich, embellished ethnic influence in her work to living next door to an Indian Reservation and a Hutterite Colony where she observed beautiful handicrafts. Eight years overseas in England, Germany and Japan was another profound influence on her artwork and outlook.
Judith attended the California State University, Chico, graduating with a degree in art and journalism. Upon graduation, she painted with the San Francisco Art Guild. She started quilting in 1976 while living in Houston, Texas. There she was an active member of the Kingwood Quilt Guild.
Judith made her first prize winning quilt in 1982, winning Best of Show at the Calgary Exhibition and Stampede in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. It was a special victory as her great-grandmother won the same award in 1934.
She began to concentrate on appliqué quilting and “Pekisko Memories” a quilt depicting her childhood home, won Best of Show at the Texas State Fair and the Pacific National Exhibition in Vancouver, British Columbia. It won the Mountain Mist award, the Margaret Steel award for design and colour, plus many more. It was presented to the Bar U Historical Museum in 1995 and represents ranching in Canada.
At the same time, Judith was running a successful antique shop and tearoom. For six years, people enjoyed her European menu and hospitality in an old, converted church. In 1982 she closed the shop to pursue a career in fibre arts.
Her designs soon turned to clothing and crazy quilting. Using rich fabrics, vibrant colour combinations, embroidery, beading and punch needle, original pieces took on a unique style. Judith’s Indian heritage appears in many of her art garments and embellishment projects.
Experimenting with materials and sewing machine, Judith created “The Montano Center Piece Method”, a copy write machine method of crazy quilting. This led to teaching classes and her first book on crazy quilting. Over the years she has become the leading expert on Crazy quilting, silk ribbon and embellishments.
Judith has been honoured to be spokesperson and endorser for both Kanagawa Silk Company of Tokyo, Japan and W.F.R. Ribbons, USA distributors for Mokuba Ribbons of Tokyo, Japan.
She was presented with the prestigious “Governor General’s Centennial Award of Canada” in recognition for her work in the Arts and representation of Canadians living abroad.
Judith has done commission work for International firms such as Concord Fabrics, Fairfield Batting Corp., Plaid Enterprises and Kanagawa Company. Her art garments have been featured in Cut from the Same Cloth, the Statue of Liberty Fashion Show and Fairfield-Concord Fashion Shows. Her art garments have traveled throughout the United States, Canada, Europe and the Far East. Judith has won many awards for art garments and soft jewelry pieces. She designs for Butterick/ Vogue, Bucilla Company, Mokuba Ribbons of Tokyo, Japan Fox Hill Designs, Treenway Silks, Robert Kaufman Fabrics.
Her work has been featured at the Denver Art Museum, Denver Colorado; Profiles Gallery, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada; The Dairy Barn, Athens, Ohio; Mitskoshi Department Show, Tokyo, Japan. She has been a guest artist at many Stitches and Craft Trade shows, throughout Australia; the Tokyo Hobby Shows in Tokyo, Japan; Profiles and Visions, Alberta, Canada and the La Conner Quilt Museum, La Conner, Washington.
Her designs have been featured in Quilter’s Newsletter; Quilting U.S.A.; Sew Business; Quilting Down Under; Needle Craft For Today; Needle and Thread; Creative Ideas for Living; Lady’s Circle Patchwork Quilts; Better Homes and Gardens; McCall’s Needlework; Piece Works; Quilts Japan; Craft and Needlework; Australian Quilts and Needle Craft. She is an associate editor for Belle Armoire, Art to Wear.
Judith appears on TV shows such as the Carol Duval Show, Simply Quilts and The Quilt Show. She has produced tutorial videos and dvd’s; “Silk Ribbon Embroidery”, “Crazy Quilting”, “Embellishments”, and “Landscapes”. The videos and dvds are clear, concise information.
Judith’s career has taken her from painting, to quilting, to crazy quilting to embellished embroidery artwork and into land/seacapes and underwater projects. Although her work keeps evolving, crazy quilting always appears in new designs, and she has turned it into a contemporary art form. She is renowned for her fibre landscapes, which incorporate all aspects of art and needlework techniques.
As the best selling author for C & T Publishing, Judith incorporates a unique combination of her photography, watercolours, pen and ink illustrations and friendly prose along with her needlework designs and love of colour.